City Life

Last night at 9:00 pm a friend of mine was attacked while walking up Grant Street in North Beach. My friend is 6′ 2″, over 200 lbs, and a black belt martial artist. He was struck from behind in the head, fell to the ground, and was repeatedly hit and kicked in the head by several people. He never saw his assailants.

The street is upscale, quiet, presumably safe, and residential. We went back there this morning, trying to analyze the stage. How could they have come out from the alley on the right if he was knocked in his head from the left? We tried to figure out where they must have been hiding. Hard to tell. At one point during the attack, my friend gained his composure long enough to say loudly “ENOUGH!”. They took off running down the hill with his wallet. We thought they may have ditched the wallet somewhere so we wandered around the neighborhood looking in trash cans and planters. No luck.

My friend is shaken up, but okay. Given how many times he was hit in the face and head he’s lucky that nothing was broken. And he’s lucky that there was no weapon involved. Our human nature is to make sense of our world. This one is hard to really take in, especially if you’re the one to whom it has happened. One thought is that this gang was out to jump somebody last night. They knew exactly what they were doing. Instead of a large, very strong, seasoned martial artist, they could have beaten someone less sturdy and could easily have killed them. Still…

I’ve been complaining for years about the super bright and large street lamps they’re putting up all over the city that make previously romantic neighborhoods look like Walmart parking lots. Maybe those lights aren’t so bad after all.

Be careful out there.