Okay, so I don’t consider my encounter with girls who tried to steal my cell phone a successful muggery. I call it an attempted muggery.
Here’s how it went down on June 24th, 2012:
Me: “blah blah blah” (not actual words) -talking on the phone with my
boyfriend (Ex-boyfriend), sitting by the sidewalk right in front of my well-lit apartment complex-
Girl 1: -approaches me- “Give me phone”
Me: -noticing her foreign sounding accent I responded with the only way I seemed to understand at the time- “Oh, you need to borrow it?”
Girl 1: -laughs at me and gestures to another girl across the street- “hey, come check this out”
She then lunges at my phone and tries to take it from my hand. Me being the freaking crab I am, held my phone with my pincer hand.
SIDE NOTE: That week I had felt especially strapped financially so don’t judge the stupidity of my actions, por favor.
Me: -wtf, face- “Jon, she’s trying to take my phone!” (That was me telling my boyfriend, who was on the other side of the phone call, what was happening, he probably didn’t hear since we were practically grappling)
In all honesty I could have taken that skinny girl down, but I had a heavy backpack on which contained my laptop. I wasn’t about to risk one of my few assets in a throwdown.
Girl 1: -gestures to Girl 2 (who is larger and bulkier, but still within my ability to own if I had not been weighed down -___-)
Girl 2 proceeds to cover my mouth with her hand, on hindsight it was probably dirty but I bit her.
This left my mouth uncovered and I called for my roommate as loudly as I could.
They struck me on the back of the head with fists for a short moment and left with none of my possessions at a run.
I know, I’m too feisty to mess with!
There was a 3rd girl but she just observed and bolted with the other two.
The only damage was: 1) bloody nose (looked worse than it actually was), 2) scaring my friend who had just come to Berkeley to visit, D: 3) having my
boyfriend visit me despite his busy schedule, 4) a small lip bruise and 5) a week of anxiety every time I went outside.
So here’s the lesson regarding college life in Berkeley:
One way or another you are going to find yourself having to go somewhere at night (I had just returned from SF that night)
1) Avoid traveling alone
a) Call a friend
b) Use BearWALK or the shuttle (USE IT, it’s free and you’ll probably meet cool people) It reaches pretty far!
c) Drive (that’s pretty safe, I mean, as long as you drive better than me)
2) Carry pepper spray
a) Learn the rules: you’re not carrying pepper spray so you can beat the crap out of someone, you’re carrying it so you can get away.
b) Carrying pepper spray has re-empowered me to feel comfortable being alone again.
c) It is a weapon, not a toy. It’s like birth control, the second method makes you feel safer so don’t just rely on one (AKA condoms). So instead of going out and waiting to use the pepper spray, try to avoid having to use it at all. Walk with a purpose, do scanning motions with your head at all times, and use your ears (no headphones/ phones).
3) Avoid going outside altogether (if you’re unprepared or daunted by the possibility of being mugged/ jumped)
a) Spend the night with a trusted friend
b) Change of plans
4) Take self-defense classes
These are just a few tips regarding personal safety, if you have any to share I would love to read some in the comment section.
I am not afraid, I am not angry (anymore), and I know it could happen again so I am no longer unprepared.
I don’t want anyone to be caught by surprise and unprepared so carry SOMETHING in your hands: be it keys, pepper spray, a taser, or fists.
Don’t walk with the intent of hurting someone, just defend yourself.
Here’s a pic of me! It’s old and don’t worry, not a real bruise. This was my first semester at Cal taking Stagecraft (Theater 60). One of the teachers was demonstrating stage make-up.
-Some say BearWALK takes too long to arrive but in my experience they get to where I am before I’m even packed up to go. So don’t use that excuse to not call them.
-File a report with the UCPD if the event happens on or near campus. I had to file with the Berkeley PD instead but my phone malfunctioned and we never got together to file the report…isn’t it ironic? That crap phone lol