Suburban night jogging -- already plagued by the prospect of creepy sexual offenders lurking in the shadows -- just got even less attractive.
New freak attackers to be paranoid about: rebellious young riff-raff who sneak up behind you, beat you with skateboards, take your cell phone, then continue beating you with skateboards in cold blood until they get bored and wander off to peruse your phone's mp3 collection.
No joke. It could happen to you. And it did, in the deceptively peaceful L.A. neighborhood of Eagle Rock on Wednesday night at 10 p.m., to a 43-year-old male jogger as he ran his usual route through Yosemite Recreation Center (the other, far less majestic, one). Now, LAPD detectives are trying desperately to calm a community of inland Angelenos who claim graffiti artists are taking over their pleasantville.
According to KTLA, two of the late teens/early 20s suspects have since been arrested, but another two are still on the loose. So please, Eagle Rockians, do try to refrain from night jogging, unless you've got a skateboard of your own to give you a fighting chance.
LAPD Captain David Lindsay told KTLA that "even though the jogger gave the suspects his mp3 player, the suspects continued to beat the man with their skateboards." And the plot thickens:
The victim, whose identity has not been released, was able to make it to a nearby residence, where he got help.
He was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Police do not think the suspects are gang members, but say they might be part of a graffiti "tagging" crew.
Eagle Rock Patch gets way more sleuthy with the thing, specifying that the "nearby residence" on whose doorstep the victim landed happened to be that of Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council President Michael Larsen:
At about 9:30 p.m., said Larsen, he heard someone moaning and crying outside his house, which is adjacent to the "Rec Center," as the Yosemite Recreation Center is popularly called. "First I wanted to make sure who it was," said Larsen, "and then I saw it was our neighbor. He was bleeding and dazed and his fingers were broken."
Larsen said the attack, which occurred around 9:15 p.m., left his neighbor with severe lacerations to his head, a broken hand and possibly broken ribs. "He was literally going into shock and was very confused," said Larsen, adding: "He was probably knocked out at some point and had symptoms of somebody who had a severe head injury. He kept saying, 'are my kids okay' and 'my fingers are broken.'"
Wow. All the gory details, no holds barred. This is exactly what Patch is good for.
In a follow-up piece, reporters Kristi Kellogg and Ajay Singh delve into the panicked neighborhood response to the crime, which, as they put it, has "shocked the community and spurred demands for greater security."
Larsen, unlike police, does believe the attackers were gang members. Directly after the attack, Patch quotes him as saying: "It's extremely common that hoodlum-type youth hang out at the Rec Center... I think it was outsiders and probably gang-related -- these were not kids smoking pot or making out but kids out to rob somebody. It shakes up your whole world."
Still, after interrogating one 18-year-old, the LAPD maintains that the kids were just graffiti artists trying to show off for each other. No need to get all riled up, Eagle Rock!
No such luck. The Patch comment section has turned into a fix-it wish list for Yosemite.
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New dog park! Frisbee golf course! More security cameras! More events at the amphitheater! New playground! Volunteer patrols!
Yeah... looks like District 14 City Councilman José Huizar has got his work cut out for him. The up-for-reelection scandal magnet actually stopped by an LAPD news conference in the 'hood yesterday, assuring residents that the city is pumping funds into a clean-up crew called Graffiti Busters and calling Eagle Rock the "safest community in Los Angeles" -- even though theft has gone up 12 percent in the last year, according to police.
Oh, Huizar. Always good for a laugh, in the darkest of times. Anyway, back to the crime, via KTLA: