Sunday, August 25, 2019

Riverside Drive: Attempted Rape Reported To LAPD, August 23, 2019

Photo: Google Street View.  A pedestrian tunnel crosses beneath Riverside Drive at Allesandro Elementay School.   

This weekend, an attempted rape in the 2200 block of Riverside Drive (Allesandro Elementary School)  showed up in the daily Crimemapping email.  I requested whatever details could be shared from our new LAPD Senior Lead Officer (SLO) for Silver Lake, Jesus Aispuro.  He responded with the following email: 

An Attempt Rape report was taken on August 23.  The incident occurred at 2:00pm.  An adult victim was walking in the tunnel, near the school, when she observed an unknown male suspect in the middle of the tunnel. As she walked by him,  the suspect blocked her path and grabbed one of her wrists and attempted to pull up her shirt.  The Victim slapped his hands away.  The suspect then unzipped his pants.  The victim then ran out of the tunnel and the suspect left the tunnel on the other side.  There was no one else inside the tunnel at the time of the incident and no kids were out in the area at the time.  They have assigned patrol units to monitor the tunnel and I will also go out there to monitor it as well.  There have not been any other incidents like this in the area.
Officer Jesus Aispuro
LAPD Northeast Division

If you are afraid to use the tunnel under Riverside Drive, DO NOT JAYWALK. A pedestrian was killed in 2014 in a hit & run incident in front of Allesandro Elementary.  Take the long way around and cross Riverside at the signal at Allesandro or Gilroy.  My understanding is the tunnel is only unlocked during school hours, but I have not confirmed this in years.

Through the years, neighbors have asked me about carrying pepper spray to defend themselves, but mostly, to defend their dogs from coyotes and pit bulls while walking.  Pepper spray is tricky and you may not point it in the right direction if panicked.  I recommend an inexpensive, pocket size air horn (many friends carry them when hiking and camping).  It's loud and ear piercing, breaks up fighting dogs and scares off coyotes.  It also gets the attention of anyone nearby.  

I say don't live in fear.  Take action: learn self defense techniques, know your neighbors and their contact info, don't walk with headphones, know the streets and public staircases in the neighborhood, install motion sensor lighting and locked mailboxes, adopt a dog or two (please don't adopt a pit bull if you have never handled one before).  If you are the victim of a crime, make a police report.  LAPD doesn't know there's a crime problem, if you don't report it. 

Editor's note: Since the onset of the LAPD Senior Lead Officer program (after the 1992 riots), whenever I've heard a rumor or seen a report of rape or other violent crime in the Red Car Property Neighborhood, I request info from our SLO.  I do not publish reports of domestic violence, which seems to be most of the very rare number of violent crimes reported to LAPD in our neighborhood. 

In more than 12 years of producing this blog, I can only think of a handful of violent incidents occurring in our neighborhood.  In 2012, a woman was murdered elsewhere and dumped near the 2 Freeway entrance across from Allesandro Elementary.  Five months later, another murder victim was found on Allesandro Way.  In 1996, a drug bust turned into such a large gun bust, the police shut down traffic on the 5 Freeway, Riverside Drive, Fletcher and locked down the entire neighborhood around the Red Car Property for hours.

Our neighborhood crime is primarily mail theft, car break-ins, dumping, graffiti vandalism, joyriding and a lot of stolen cars seem to get dumped here. We highlight the general lawlessness around the Red Car Property.  We'd much rather be posting photos of the urban wildlife and native plants around the Red Car Property Neighborhood.  While we've not updated the blog frequently in recent years, we continue posting on Twitter @RedCarProperty.

Useful Links:
LAPD contracts with Crimemapping for crime stats.
LAPD non-emergency phone: 1-877-ASK-LAPD