BREAKING: Castro Resident Viciously Assaulted and Robbed

Dalton Huckaby bruised and scraped face after being attacked and robbed.

Dalton Huckaby bruised and scraped face after being attacked and robbed.

Monday night saw yet another violent attack and mugging go down in the Castro.

Around 9PM, Dalton Huckaby, popular personal trainer and 2013 Bare Chest Calendar participant, was on his way home from work walking down 17th Street near Noe St speaking to a friend on his iPhone 5 when it was cruelly torn from his hand by a thief who ran off with the phone at a break neck pace.

The criminal who snagged the phone-5′ 7″ to 5′ 8″, sporting a black hoodie/dark clothes-used his running start and sneak attack to prevent Mr. Huckaby from being able to describe him beyond generalities.

Mr. Huckaby isn’t what you’d imagine most criminals would point to as an ‘easy target’. Well built and confident in his movements he immediately reacted and started to chase after the mugger.

Before he’d taken a few steps however he found himself attacked by a second, unseen assailant from behind, who blindsided and knocked him forcefully to the ground . Mr Huckaby slammed the pavement hard suffering bad scrapes and bruises to his face and hand. He lay stunned and disoriented from the surprise cold-cocking.

Mr. Huckaby's hand swollen and bruised as a result of his attack.

Mr. Huckaby’s hand swollen and bruised as a result of his attack.

By the time he regained his composure the second culprit, described as a skinny, 5’10″, Anglo in a black hoodie with a possible baseball type cap, dark clothes and ‘tweaker’ mannerisms, was hovering near by under a tree obscuring a clear shot of his face from Dalton’s view. He was gripping something in his hand. Mr. Huckaby believed there was a decent chance it was a gun or other weapon.

Smartly choosing not to confront a thief who might be armed, and fearing for his life, Mr. Huckaby withdrew while his cowardly batterer faded into the night.

Kind neighbors hearing the commotion came to his aid and the police were notified. SFPD responded quickly, within five minutes, but, by then both robbers were long gone.

This attack follows a string of, as yet-to our knowledge-unsolved, Castro neighborhood robberies the Biscuit has posted about since December. Car jacking, false imprisonment/kidnapping pistol-whipping at Hartford/18th, stabbing/robbery at 14th/Noe and two armed robberies at different locals on 18th St. in February.

The City-to it’s credit-has taken notice and initiated steps to combat the surge in crime.

Safety meetings and public, town hall forums-the last one in January-have been held with the enthusiastic cooperation of SFPD captains, Dist. 8 Sup. Wiener, members of the DA, the Stop Violence Project and the community at large around the issue.

New signs at SFPD police stations to help reassure LGBT victims of crime to come in and report

New signs at SFPD police stations to help reassure LGBT victims of crime to come in and report

SFPD has recently started posting signs at police stations, according to a Mar. 7th blurb from the B.A.R., designating them ‘LGBT Safe Space’ in an effort help victims feel more reassured and confident about reporting these events.

Despite these combined, concerted efforts it seems to most casual observers the crime problem in the Castro continues unchecked and is more violent with each incident.

City officials have put out warnings repeatedly regarding use of electronic devices while walking and on MUNI-especially at night-as bandits are increasingly targeting the unaware who’re momentarily caught up in their mobile media content making them easy marks..

SFPD on the #24 Line as it passes through the Castro advising riders on safety concerns.

SFPD on the #24 Line as it passes through the Castro advising riders on safety concerns.

Sharp increases in violent thefts like the one Mr. Huckaby found himself at the center of prompted SFPD to send out patrols-all be it mostly during daylight hours-on bus and underground lines in neighborhoods with higher rates of these incidents warning citizens of the danger.

Castro Community on Patrol has also been working diligently to help abate the problem by updating their website with information and assisting the community and police in any way they can.

Perhaps it’s time we, as a community, started to look for alternatives to solve this issue. Working together has always been the LGBTQ’s strong suit when faced with any foe, attacks or threats.

During 80′s and 90′s Castro residents were perceived as easy targets by criminals. Hate crimes, random attacks, muggings and robbery were all to common place.

Instead of just relying on overtaxed, City supplied, resources a community response campaign organized by Community United Against Violence (CUAV) was put into play.

The simple idea: Give everyone a whistle. If you get attacked blow it loud and continuously as you try to get away. If you saw someone being attacked blow it. Hear the sound of a whistle blow? Blow yours and run to their aid not away from it. The whistles created a cacophony of noise as each person who heard the shrill tweet added their whistle’s voice alerting everyone and anyone there was a problem. Simple, creative, genius.

A united attitude to trouble rather than ignoring it or waiting for someone else to solve it had an immediate and community galvanizing impact. People felt safer, more confident with the knowledge they weren’t out in the dark on their own and people had their backs.

A sharp decrease in crime was noted within the first month of its use and by the end of the first year attacks of this nature had dwindled to next to none.

It’s time for more of this kind of safety innovation in addition to the City’s efforts and we, the people, need to lead that charge.

In an effort to better serve and assist our readers the Biscuit has assembled some simple ideas on how to stay safe while out on the town or in the neighborhood and contact numbers to call if you need help. Please take a second to look them over.

If anyone observed the attack on Mr. Huckaby (or any of the other incidents we’ve referenced in this post) please contact SFPD. You can do it anonymously if you so choose.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

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25 Responses

  1. Peter says:

    … and before someone reflexively blames the nudity ban, because it is apparently the source of all evil, two points: (1) there aren’t very many nudists around after dark, when most of these attacks occur; and (2) the crimes are occurring citywide, not just in the Castro. When I was robbed at gunpoint on upper 18th Street in January, it took the cops all of 3 minutes to arrive when I called them, so a lack of police resources isn’t an issue. A lack of vigilance on the part of the public is — and yes, I include myself in that statement.

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  2. MPetrelis says:

    Wishing Dalton Huckaby a speedy recovery from the awful attack and am glad he didn’t resist the attacker.

    I believe another person who was robbed in the Castro was also checking his cell phone messages or texting at night when his assailant struck. Might be wise for cell phone users, especially after dark, to refrain from being distracted looking at or sending messages.

    Put your personal safety first, be aware of your surroundings at all times, and wait until you’re inside your home to read your texts.

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  3. Peter says:

    Or, as I’ve been telling anyone who will listen: KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS (or your jacket or your man-purse). Maybe not the most popular message in the Castro :) but it’s one that needs to get out.

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  4. studancer says:

    I’m so sorry for Dalton’s injuries and loss, and even more importantly, for the emotional and physical trauma this kind of crime imposes on victims and the community at large. Nightime at the corner of 17th and Noe is very dark, lack of street lighting or trees blocking the lights, not sure. I see hundreds of guys and gals daily and nightly talking and texting and can only wish them well, because they appear to be asking for trouble. I read somewhere the Guardian Angels are making a comeback, maybe we should explore a gay version of this organization. God knows there are a lot of gay men who must be in great shape considering the time they spend in gyms.

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  5. It’s important for all of us to be more vigilante and aware of our surroundings. Did this happen on Monday or Tuesday night? I heard there were sirens and police cars last night.

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  6. mikeinsf says:

    Wow, Peter. Really?? Sounds to me like the nudist is being just a tad oversensitive. I seriously doubt that a single person reading this would blame a nudist resentfully wearing clothes for this attack.

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  7. Peter says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  8. Dalton, I am sorry you were hurt! I am glad you were okay! A phone or any other possession is not worth your life! I am just glad you are alive! Everyone should take care and pay attention to your surroundings and what you are doing! There are people that come to prey on the people who are leaving bars, etc. Just be careful, please!

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  9. Richard Hussar says:

    Whistles worked a decade or so ago and will work today. You just have to use them. We did a few times when we lived off DuBoce Park for 25 years. Very sad to me seeing an increase of violent attacks. Be aware of your surrounds and don’t walk alone or take a cab.

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  10. Tom says:

    *SIGH*
    Here’s sending along good energy to not only Dalton, but to those whom I know who were victims of these senseless, cowardly attacks.

    Folks please be careful out there, especially at nights in not very well lit areas.

    Isn’t the Castro Street Patrol around any longer? I know they can’t be everyone at one time, but that could be something that studancer had alluded too.

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  11. I’m sorry but who writes this shit? ” Mr. Huckaby withdrew while his cowardly batterer faded into the night.” Is this a news report or a crime novel?

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  12. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  13. Taezer D'Ildo says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  14. stephen collier says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  15. Pickles says:

    This is horrible. I wish Dalton a fast, peaceful recovery. Now, onto the nudity ban and Weiner’s dedication to this allegedly important issue. Some perspective:

    In the 26 years I’ve lived in SF, I’ve been chased by 3 gay-bashers (they were NOT nude). I’ve had a home invasion (he was NOT nude). Our car was broken into (the hooligan was NOT nude). Dalton was mugged (the jerks were NOT nude).

    The point is that the nudity ban was and is a ferocious waste of energy when there are serious, life threatening issues right in the Castro and Weiner chose to focus on THAT?? I’ll say, he seems effective in some capacity but he blew it on that one. It was like when a kid sees a ball rolling away and chases it instead of helping his friend who fell off the swing.

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  16. Kevin_BGFH says:

    There are way, way too many of these incidences occurring recently. I know of at least two separate, unrelated incidences involving friends who, for reasons I really cannot understand, didn’t go to the police — and if I know of two, there must be so many more from others who didn’t report, either.

    Also, while an exposed cell phone might make a tempting target, neither of my friends who were mugged had their phones out. One had accidentally left his in the bar (and thus was able to recover it the next day), while the other had his in his car. But they did lose their wallets and got beaten up pretty badly.

    I do have my old CUAV whistle on my keychain, but I’m not sure I’d be able to pull it out of my pocket in time if I were to get mugged.

    I’m not entirely sure what the right solution is (increased police presence? citizen patrol groups?), but addressing this problem needs to be a priority.

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  17. Thanks everyone for your responses. At the time of the incident, I honestly felt like I was in a safe place and definitely hyper vigilant about phone use in other areas such as SOMA and 16th/ Mission. I truly wasn’t aware of all the crime in the area until this happened to me. Ever since my incident a few short weeks ago, I’ve heard of many other related “Apple Picking” iCrimes. I continue to work with The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on their Stop the Violence Campaign to tell my story and pass out whistles. I helped gather a group of people to hold a volunteer training through CCOP (Castro Patrol) and patrols have since been underway. We’re also holding a self-defense class on Apr. 30th at MCC on Eureka. I definitely don’t use my phone on the streets and very cautious of my surroundings and have spread the word to encourage others to do the same. I encourage others to seek civilian run neighborhood watch programs and other means for spreading the word about being safe in public, especially with phone use.

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  1. March 16, 2013

    [...] the Castro Biscuit reports, Huckaby was talking on his iPhone when it was suddenly snatched from him by a [...]

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  2. March 16, 2013

    [...] (Community Matters) This is concerning to me. Steven and I spend a fair bit of time between the Castro, Noe Valley &… [...]

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  3. March 17, 2013

    [...] the Castro Biscuit reports, Huckaby was talking on his iPhone when it was suddenly snatched from him by a [...]

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  4. December 31, 2013

    […] BREAKING: Castro Resident Viciously Assaulted and Robbed (9,885) […]

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