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Surviving Oakland After Dark

At about 2:30 am, my friends and I step off the 10A at Oakland Ave and start our adventures home. At the corner of Oakland and Sennot, it was time for us to part ways. “Let us walk you home!” my friend says. “Yeah, we’ll walk you home!” the other says. In response, I reply, “No guys, it’s cool. I live one street over. I’ll call you when I’m home.” We hug and venture off in different directions.

Once on Atwood, I am overwhelmed by the smell of pizza. Outside of Antoon’s, I see another group of friends. “Lindsay,” they say, “Come to our place and eat this pizza with us!” A voice in the back of my head says “You’re tired, just go home.” But another voice — a voice that’s craving this pizza with every wiff says “YOU’RE GOING TO EAT THAT PIZZA!!!!!” And so, I follow the obese voice in the back of my head to McKee Place, about two streets over from my current home. After inhaling the pizza in not even five minutes, I decide it’s time to go home and sleep. My friends and I smoke a quick cigarette on the fire escape and after assuring them I was fine walking home alone, I start the walk that I will remember for the rest of my life
.

     For two years now, I’ve been a student at this university. I consider the streets of South Oakland to be decently safe. I’ve been walking them alone, for much farther distances, and never experienced anything too shady before. When I leave McKee Place, I still feel safe. There are others still walking around at 3:00 am, so I follow a couple walking in front of me down Louisa Street. On the way, we pass a group of three young males. Safely behind this couple, I nod as they pass and continue texting on my phone. Once on Meyran, however, the couple turns left so I am left to walk up York Way alone. As I turn right onto my street, I think about how great it’s going to be to finally get home, to finally sleep. Little did I know, I wouldn’t be getting much sleep that night.

About fifteen feet into my walk up the final street, I am suddenly no longer on my feet, but on the ground. I feel two sets of hands gripping my arms and torso, pulling me across the street. In my head, I cannot process or register what is going on, but something in me knows to quickly grab the satchel purse I have across my body. I try to hold on as much as I could — they are now dragging me by my neck.

Something in me says “Just let it go. Do you want to die over a purse?” and so I let go and am left lying in the middle of my street. Tears form in my eyes, still trying to comprehend what just happened to me, I turn around and see the backs of three males screaming “Go! Go! Go! Go!” After this, I realize I was jumped. I realize I was mugged. I realize I was bleeding from my ankles and my elbows.

After reporting the incident to the police, I sit at my house and talk to two City of Pittsburgh officers as well as a University of Pittsburgh officer. Shortly after, they say they have a possible suspect and that they’re holding him. I get in the back of the police car at about 4 in the morning to make an ID. However, I could not remember their faces because I never saw them during the attack. They made sure that I didn’t. As of now, no one has been caught–I don’t think anyone ever will.

     I’m writing this as a reminder: we are never as safe as we think we are. This kind of incident can happen to anyone, at any time, at any place. Be vigilant of your surroundings wherever you are, look behind you and watch your back. Carry mace with your keys. And remember ladies, the buddy system is the buddy system for a reason: don’t walk alone. 

Image Source: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-HkpcWgpqOjY/T1P6PTtBKsI/AAAAAAAAAeA/h4vwK5ya6a…

Whaddup doe?! I'm Lindsay Franko. 20 year-old Pitt Junior from Allentown, Pennsylvania. I love to write and always have. If you ladies (or guys) have any suggestions slash ideas for articles that you'd like me to write, send 'emmm in. I'm all about making others happy. Until then, HCXOXOLinds
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