Another East Liberty assault.
Guess it’s not over just yet. I was riding up Highland between Peabody HS and Stanton around 10:30 pm tonight (Saturday Oct. 9) when I saw a group of 5 black teenagers walking south on the sidewalk except for one who was in the middle of the street holding something big. Uh-oh. I grabbed my u-lock from my pocket. Get closer, see it’s one of those smoker’s pylons they put outside of establishments – I guess they took it from the old folks home at Stanton. Fuck. Sure enough the little motherfucker ran at me and threw it right at my front wheel. Miraculously it simply bounced off and I didn’t crash. Turned around and impotently waved my u-lock at the bastard as he ran away and I screamed “you want some motherfucker?” as another one ran out and picked the thing up. We faced off for a second, yelled at each other, giving him plenty of time to chuck it at me but he didn’t. Regardless I decided it was smarter to turn and speed away. 5 against one, they have a bigger weapon. Shit. I sped up several blocks to safety, called 911 & the operator was very helpful. I hope the cops grab those little shits.
My bike and front wheel seem to be fine, and that thing was HEAVY. Love an old steel 10speed.
Who or what were they after, any idea? Just looking for the first thing to come along, bike or car? Do you know if they were singling out bikes? Was there any car traffic?
No idea. They likely saw me from a mile away (literally); I was using my new front light. No cars around.
Glade you’re ok Noah. Five on one isn’t good odds even with a defensive weapon. Stay safe.
I was thinking more about this… you stood down 5 kids… that’s plenty rugged. Very Chuck Norris-like.
Lovely—only a couple blocks away from where I live, no less.
There seemed to be some bands of folks out last night, as I made a late trip to Target and when I came back, I noticed folks hanging out in the middle of my street. I usually just ignore them, but it does make me wonder. I guess the warm weather brought people back out into craziness.
Glad you’re ok, Noah. The, uh, “you want some mofo” line is priceless, though.
Another beautiful example of what happens when you stand up to bullies. You’re the shit Noah!
Meanwhile, I had a completely pleasant ride home on empty streets from a friend’s house in Highland Park back to Bloomfield.
Bummer for ya Noah. I had some guy earlier on Saturday evening want to fight on Liberty Ave. U-lock in one hand, dialing 911 with the other. Luckily his wife kept him at bay both times he tried to jump out and fight, and I didn’t take him up on the offer to fight on the next corner. All because I passed a double parked car with traffic, and he was behind me and took issue with it. I guess he needed to get to the redlight directly behind the car that I was following. It was bizarre, even more so that him and his wife were wearing their Sunday best.
It was bizarre, even more so that him and his wife were wearing their Sunday best.
Taking a cue from Michael Bryant?
Very glad to hear you are ok, Noah.
I’m not sure if anyone has linked to this article from this message board (my apologies if it’s a repeat).
Good writing, sadly familiar story. The article describes an incident that took place in Chicago, but it probably could have happened just about anywhere.
Glad you made it away, Noah.
More foot/bike patrols would be good in H Park. Seems like there’s a regular group of youths there (or at least a pattern) for several years now. I think its wilding/initiation.
Slightly OT: I did just see a bike cop on a Frick Park trail…behind the bowling greens.
Glad you made it home.
They probably didn’t do anything because between screaming, swinging your lock and wearing that pink shirt you had on earlier, you probably looked completely insane.
We need exploding dye canisters like retail anti-theft devices use. First, it would probably scare the crap out of the attackers enough to give you a second to get away, and second it could mark them to assist police in finding them.
Nah I’m not a badass at all. I was just incredibly furious. I’d had such a nice day and evening; how dare they try to take that away? That was an entire summer’s worth of fear and anger coming out of me. Remember they accosted my girlfriend in a similar manner, and broke out my car windows for fun. And sent a couple cyclists and pedestrians to the hospital. I’m convinced it’s the same group.
Anyway I’m so glad I wasn’t hurt. Amazed too -my bike handling skills must be better than I thought. That fucking thing landed right on my wheel as I going by the scoundrel.
Their weapon is still sitting, by the way, on the corner of Highland and St. Marie (by the seminary). It has a nice little dent from where it hit my bike.
Less of this would make me ride my bike more.
Glad you are okay, Noah.
That sucks man, glad you’re ok… Stu has a pretty good idea there.
==Stu. Did you call 911 and tell them that the weapon is still there, ready to be recovered?
That really sucks, glad you’re ok.
Did the police ever come to talk to you in person? I really hope they, and the city administration, are taking these things seriously. A few well publicized incidents like these are the kind of things that can kill neighborhoods and destroy years of work. I can think of some specific cases in Cleveland where, almost literally, one mugging has changed a neighborhood from moderately healthy to boarded up abandonment within a couple of years.
I didn’t; I was hoping Noah would. I’m not sure my calling 911 (from either my Perrysville land line or my Verizon cell) would put me in contact with the right 911 folks.
Call Zone 5 directly: 412-665-3605
Earlier this summer the zone commander said they would’ve been interested to take a look at the prints on the bike used in another attack, but it disappeared after a day or 2.
@bradq Luckily his wife kept him at bay both times he tried to jump out and fight
I had a similar experience a few years ago, but with me as a pedestrian and the wife -with infant- in the pickup truck.
A woman who volunteers at shelters says it’s a pattern of abuse – he was letting his wife know that he is capable of violence over trivia.
I don’t know how true it is, but it makes sense.
he was letting his wife know that he is capable of violence over trivia.
Might be giving him too much credit.
I’d just go with “control freak and bully who thinks violence is his right whenever he doesn’t get his way.”
“I had some guy earlier on Saturday evening want to fight on Liberty Ave. […] All because I passed a double parked car with traffic, and he was behind me and took issue with it. “
How did it go from taking an issue with it to U-Lock wielding and wife interfering?
Him gunning the engine, laying on the horn and trying to squeeze me into the double parked car I was passing with the speed of traffic. Me telling him to “go fuck yourself” both in words and in the well known gesture. Him swerving in front of me, throwing it in park, and opening his door. Me jumping on the sidewalk, pulling out back pocket ulock and front pocket cell phone. His wife digging her hand into his thigh.
It was simply an assumption that he took issue with me passing the double parked car. Perhaps it was the color of my bicycle or the pants I had on at the time that he truly took issue with. I don’t know what his problem was, or why he felt the need to make the first threat with his car.
We he driving an Outback by chance?
Maybe it’s your muttonchop sideburns?
All this stuff is finally getting to me. Between the assaults in and around East Liberty, and a good friend getting jumped a few doors down from his house off Butler, I decided to skip the solo night ride over to Frick Park last night.
Pretty sad. I’ve been riding in Pittsburgh on and off since 1994, this is the first time I’ve ever decided the risks of riding somewhere at night were not worth it.
Went for a motorcycle ride instead and got lost in Baldwin, which was enough to scare me back into the city, happy to be out of the shithole suburbs, which I was unfortunate enough to stumble into a newish development last night. Sucker born every minute.
Anyway, this shit needs to stop. I’m not a fearful person by nature, but honestly, packs of teenagers with no fear of adults or authority scare me.
i feel your frustration and fear, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that we are hearing about this stuff pretty much instantly now, where in the past it was all word of mouth (with a whole lot less mouths).
one of the side effects of having an active messageboard and facebook is the 10 o’clock news effect that keeps people in the burbs afraid to go into the city.
again, don’t take this as a critique of how you feel, i’m not trying to start anything, i just think it needs to be mentioned. with that said, i wonder where we’d be if this messageboard (or something similar) didn’t exist as a place where cyclist can tell and share stories and experiences.
And with that in mind…
I live a block from ELB & Negley, and though concerned about these random incidents, I also try to keep in mind that 100’s of cycling trips are taken through the area without a problem on a weekly basis. Ride smart. If you know there’s a sketchy spot on your route (like a few blocks around Peabody), make modifications.
I understand the fact that more info is available more quickly about things like this, but again, I’ve been in this city for over 15 years, I’ve never been scared to ride, anywhere really. I’ve ridden at night all over Pittsburgh, and plenty of other cities too, often alone. Sure I got some yelled now and again, got a rock thrown at my head and a knife pulled on me in the South Side, but this is different. Targeted attacks against cyclists. This hasn’t happened before, taking place over the course of months, not days or weeks.
That I know of: no case number, no visits from the police. After calling 911 my next step was go home and drink two beers in quick succession to calm my frayed nerves. I was absolutely freaked.
I could call the police to dust that thing for prints. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Somehow I doubt they give a shit. Worth a shot though.
I understand the fact that more info is available more quickly about things like this, but again, I’ve been in this city for over 15 years, I’ve never been scared to ride, anywhere really. I’ve ridden at night all over Pittsburgh, and plenty of other cities too, often alone.
I doubt anything is any different now. The fact that you haven’t had an issue is 15 years is a testament to how safe it is to ride!
yeah totally sucks. again, not trying to start anything, but this situation wasn’t necessarily targeting cyclists, noah coulda been the next person that happened to go by. who knows, they might have thrown it at a car too.
regardless, it’s good info to know, and something to be aware of so that you can make a better decision on whether to ride at certain times or places or streets or not.
this summer seems to have been a bit extreme with this, but i have no clue whether it’s been like this every year, or if it’s a new phenomena and we’re aware of it now because our networking is better. either way, it sucks. people should feel safe in their neighborhoods, and when you have to understandably change your lifestyle because of a few assholes, it sucks all around
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