Thursday, April 30, 2020

Man Hit 77 Year Old Tucson Woman With Pipe, Steals Her Pizza

So this news story caught my attention because of the obviousness of the pre-attack indicators, but that the victim ignored them until she was quite literally smacked upside the head.

I looked at three different articles about the attack, all with embedded videos, from The Daily Mail, the New York Daily News, and Tucson.com. Basically, the woman was in one of those store-front pizza places in a strip-mall, floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows giving her an unobstructed view of the outside, as well as giving the attacker a clear view of the inside. No other customers are visible in the store. Outside is the attacker--presumably a homeless man--standing behind a shopping cart. As the victim turned from the counter with two pizzas boxes held in her hands, the guy slipped a pipe out of the cart and started approaching the door, timing it in such a way that he would intercept her at the door. As the victim approached the door, she turned so she could push the door open by backing into it. Suddenly, the attacker flung the door open and brought up the pipe to strike. It looks like maybe he said something to her, and she hesitated neither moving forward nor backward, and he then struck her and grabbed the top box out of her hands as she stumbled backward into the store.

     The Tucson.com article described the attacker as "a short, dark-skinned man with a 'wrinkly face.'" The Daily Mail described the attacker as " a dark-skinned male, possibly Hispanic, with a wrinkly face standing around 5 feet 6 inches or shorter." The Daily News reported: "'The Suspect is described as a dark-complected Hispanic male with a wrinkly face and short stature. 5’6” or shorter,' reads a tweet by officer Ray Smith...."

     Just to be clear, I'm not blaming the woman for being robbed, but there are, nevertheless, things she could have easily done to avoid being victimized. In the first place, she could have actually paid attention to her surroundings. Based on the video, the man was in her plain view after he drew the pipe and had it in his hand. A guy standing outside a door with a pipe in his hand was probably a good indicator that the man was up to no good. Because the man was Hispanic and blacks and Hispanics disproportionately commit violent crimes relative to their percentage of the population, I think that should also have been a warning sign; but maybe the percentage of Hispanics in Tucson is so great that it is meaningless. In any event, she surely should have been able to see the man start to approach the door as she moved toward it--a perp taking an interception course is a classic pre-attack indicator. She turns her back to push open the door, and the guy suddenly flings the door open with the pipe raised ... and the woman apparently froze. If she had backed into the restaurant, the attacker might have broken off his attack.

     Now, moving to a different subject, I want to briefly point out the self-censorship in the media about minority on white crime. The Daily News, to their credit, quoted the description given by police which specifically identified that man as Hispanic. But the Daily Mail changed this to "possibly Hispanic," and the Tucson.com article just gave the vague description of a dark-skinned man, leaving the impression it could have been a black man, Hispanic man, Hawaiian man, Vietnamese, Indian, etc.

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