This note (from a 19th Avenue Lofts resident, at 1812 – 19th Avenue) came my way via a friend:
A warning to you all about a considerable safety and security issue on our street. As I was walking home late the other night, I turned left onto 19th from Madison and was walking down the sidewalk on the west side of the street. As I did so I saw a gathering of several men in the dirt “yard” of the apartment building that lies between ours and the Al-Anon building on the corner of 19th and Madison.
These men also noticed me, and proceeded to move quickly in my direction and surround me, demanding money. They displayed no weapons, but I felt sufficiently intimidated by being surrounded that I gave them what cash I had ($6, for their trouble).
As it was quite dark and I was more concerned with my own survival than the criminal justice system, I did not get a very good look at any of the men who mugged me, nor do I feel particularly confident that I could pick them out of a lineup. However, they were all African-American males, three of which were in the 25-35 range and one was in his forties. The older one displayed the spastic nervous habits and stuttering speech patterns of a habitual drug user.
In any case, once I gave them the cash I had on hand, they let me go unharmed. My concern is that these people are friends of residents of the building next to ours and may be frequent visitors to the area (or possibly even residents themselves, I don’t know). In any case, be on your guard, especially when there are people gathered out front of that building at night.
I’ve reported this to Officer Chris Kelly, Liaison Officer for the East Precinct, and he managed to stop most of the activity. However, with the warm weather, the young men are once again gathering, sometimes till wee morning hours, loud, and offensive.