A Disturbing Account of an Attempted Rape at 23rd and Guerrero

Following the string of brutal rapes in the fall of 2011 at the hands of Frederick Dosier, a.k.a. The Mission Rapist, everyone in the area has been left on their toes.  And, thankfully, the vigilance helped one woman escape a recent attack, just over a block away from one of Dosier's most violent assaults.

This woman's story has been circulating on local email lists and is now making its way onto neighborhood blogs, via Noe Valley SF.  As of right now, there are is no police sketch of the suspect, nor a verbal description.  However, details are still emerging.

Emphasis is ours:

If you're getting this email its because you are a female friend in my circles, live in my neighborhood-ish, or have a large circle of women friends. I wanted to spread the word of what happened to me so hopefully you and your circles can be more aware, street smart and vigilant about your personal safety.

On Saturday evening I was walking home from a friend's potluck through the Mission when I was attacked - an attempted rape. I was actually being quite conscious of those around me due to the fact that I'm heading to Nairobi in several weeks and personal safety has been on my mind. As I turned up 23rd Street, I noticed a man walking to me that 'zero-ed' in on my presence, locking eyes on me. There was no side street to turn down, and I didn't want to turn around, exposing my back to him, so I kept walking. As we neared each other, I tried to walk around a tree quite close to the curb, before I could do so he lunged at me.

He knew what he was doing and how to attack someone. He went first for my eye socket with his thumb and put his other hand in my mouth to stifle my screams and slammed me down to the ground. He was using the hand in my mouth and on my jaw to try and slam my head on the concrete, presumably to knock me out. Once I was down on the ground he straddled me pinning down my arms. After about 15 seconds of struggling just to avoid him knocking me out, I was able to use all my strength to surge up on my right side to unpin that arm. Since I'm a climber, I'm strong, and I don't think he was expecting this and was unprepared for that maneuver. Luckily through this move and some biting, I was also able to get his hand out of my mouth and started screaming - first just yelling and then screaming for help. I struggled with him while screaming and trying to avoid him knocking me out for another 30s until a couple in a house several houses down the street threw open their window and turned on lights. This scared him away.

The cops came and while we drove around looking for him for awhile, we were unable to find him. This means that someone who clearly knows how to attack swiftly and effectively is still out there in our neighborhoods. This happened at 23rd between Guerrero and San [Jose] - the fringe of the Mission and Noe.

I'm incredibly lucky that I had the strength to keep him from delivering a knock out blow and to fight for so long until someone came to help. I'm incredibly lucky that those in the houses around me didn't fall prey to crowd think and assume someone else was going to help. I'm walking away from this with a bruised eye, scratches on my face, road rash on my shoulder and sore/bruised back, shoulders, jaw and ribs. It could have been significantly worse.

I wanted to spread this around not to try and get attention or your sympathy, but to hopefully make you aware of the fact that attacks, and 'bad things' can also happen to people in your circle. We live in a big city and the best thing you can do is be incredibly conscious of your surroundings at all time. Please - walk in groups, or with a male friend, take taxis and dial up those street smarts…

Feel free to send this around to other females that could benefit from a dose of reality.

Be vigilant, everyone.

[Noe Valley SF, via Patrick Connors]

Comments (20)

Did I miss the physical description in that essay? It would make it easier not to have to be on the lookout for everybody.

That’s why god created prejudices.

Actually, it’s better to be on the lookout for everybody.

I wouldn’t want any woman I know to walk around the Mission at night alone.

Countdown to pro-gun argument in 3… 2…

I’m curious how we are to defend ourselves. I am older and not very strong. I’m sure the victim is stronger then me, she says she’s a climber. I have pretty severe arthritis too. How am to to negotiate the world? Oh and this isn’t hypothetical. I was assaulted at 19th and Folsom in 2004.

Hey, why no description? Is there a legal reason? Cops don’t want perp identified?

The easiest, safest and cheapest upgrades the city can do for safety is to ADD LIGHTING. And I don’t have any studies to back this position, but intuitively it feels like the more well lit alleys and streets are, the less likely creeptards are too hang around and attack.

That said, I’m going climbing this weekend…

It was easier to replace ever street sign in the city?


I’m sorry, walking alone in that part of town, or any part of town, at 2:40 AM is something that most intelligent women would think twice about doing. I am sympathetic for anyone being attacked, but I would never walk by myself at that time of night, and especially not in the Mission.

I noticed the essay didn’t make note of the time, just “evening…after a friend’s potluck.” (The missionlocal.org story noted the time.)

I’m glad that someone has worked out who to blame here.

Bullshit. You’re safe walking in Manhattan at 3am and you never need to fear like you do during the day in SF. SF is a shithole of filth and degenerence that is allowed to create an air of fear and neglect.

That’s bullshit.

Fuck you. Fuck. You.

(Directed at “Common Sense“ ‘s blame-the-victim bullshit.)

That particular area around San Jose Ave and 23rd is especially dark at night. Take a walk over there and check it out. And I don’t buy into the blame-the-victim thing either. The City should really take a look at that block.

Agreed. This attack (like all attacks) was no one’s fault but the attacker’s.

You can keep things with you to protect yourself. I do always.

dont blame the victim I climbs a fence and broke my arm where is my money