Hello -Details are still emerging, and no description has been given of the suspect. We'll update as more info is available. Be safe. And if you hear screaming out your window do something. This woman is lucky.
If you're getting this email its because you are a female friend in my circles, live in my neighborhood-ish, or have a large circle of women friends. I wanted to spread the word of what happened to me so hopefully you and your circles can be more aware, street smart and vigilant about your personal safety.
On Saturday evening I was walking home from a friends potluck through the mission when I was attacked - an attempted rape. I was actually being quite conscious of those around me due to the fact that I'm heading to Nairobi in several weeks and personal safety has been on my mind. As I turned up 23rd street, I noticed a man walking to me that 'zero-ed' in on my presence, locking eyes on me. There was no side street to turn down, and I didn't want to turn around, exposing my back to him, so I kept walking. As we neared each other, I tried to walk around a tree quite close to the curb, before I could do so he lunged at me.
He knew what he was doing and how to attack someone. He went first for my eye socket with his thumb and put his other hand in my mouth to stifle my screams and slammed me down to the ground. He was using the hand in my mouth and on my jaw to try and slam my head on the concrete, presumably to knock me out. Once I was down on the ground he straddled me pinning down my arms. After about 15s of struggling just to avoid him knocking me out, I was able to use all my strength to surge up on my right side to unpin that arm. Since I'm a climber, I'm strong, and I don't think he was expecting this and was unprepared for that maneuver. Luckily through this move and some biting, I was also able to get his hand out of my mouth and started screaming - first just yelling and then screaming for help. I struggled with him while screaming and trying to avoid him knocking me out for another 30s until a couple in a house several houses down the street threw open their window and turned on lights. This scared him away.
The cops came and while we drove around looking for him for awhile, we were unable to find him. This means that someone who clearly knows how to attack swiftly and effectively is still out there in our neighborhoods. This happened at 23rd between Guerrero and San [Jose] - the fringe of the mission and noe.
I'm incredibly lucky that I had the strength to keep him from delivering a knock out blow and to fight for so long until someone came to help. I'm incredibly lucky that those in the houses around me didn't fall prey to crowd think and assume someone else was going to help. I'm walking away from this with a bruised eye, scratches on my face, road rash on my shoulder and sore/bruised back, shoulders, jaw and ribs. It could have been significantly worse.
I wanted to spread this around not to try and get attention or your sympathy, but to hopefully make you aware of the fact that attacks, and 'bad things' can also happen to people in your circle. We live in a big city and the best thing you can do is be incredibly conscious of your surroundings at all time. Please - walk in groups, or with a male friend, take taxis and dial up those street smarts...
Feel free to send this around to other females that could benefit from a dose of reality.
Update (1/9): Mission Local confirmed with SFPD that this attack happened at approximately 2:40am and posted a description of the suspect:
Authorities described the suspect as an 5’8-tall Asian man who weighs approximately 160 pounds, between the ages of 20 and 30. He has a buzzcut and a slight beard and was wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants.SFPD is investigating this as an attempted rape.
Also: a rally has been organized for this Friday from 4-6pm to promote solidarity among/with women and to increase awareness and vigilance so these attacks don't continue.
Update (1/14): The SFPD has released a sketch of the suspect.