Woman shot after resisting mugger in Midtown

The woman’s purse lay on the blood stained steps after the shooting.

A woman was shot in Midtown Friday night when she resisted a man who was trying to steal her purse, according to police. The shooting occurred just after 10:30 p.m. on the 800 Block of 27th Street, half a block from where a community meeting on public safety was held Thursday night to address crime in Midtown.

The 34-year-old victim was shot in the arm, with the bullet traveling through to her chest, and was transported to a hospital in stable condition, according to Lieutenant Wendy Brown of the Sacramento Police Department.

The shooting occurred just outside an apartment where the victim was attending a party.

The woman was attending a party and had stepped outside when she was approached by the suspect, police said. 

"It sounded like a gun shot, and then a woman starting screaming, howling and then crying, and then there was nothing," said Lauren Ferrantelli, a neighbor. 

An edited snippet of the interview with Ferrantelli:

Police have described the suspect as a male Hispanic, early 20’s, 5’11’’,with a red long sleeve shirt, blue jeans, moustache and goatee. Anyone with information about a crime can call the police dispatch center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-HELP (4357). Tips can also be texted to 274637 (CRIMES). Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

There were 13 pedestrian robberies on the grid between Dec. 16, 2012, and Jan. 6, 2013, a fact cited by  police during the community meeting Thursday, which was held to address residents’s concerns over an increase in crime in the central city.

"It’s definitively devastating for the community," Lt. Brown said of the incident Friday night. "Since the holiday season we’ve had additional law enforcement resources in the area, we’re doing everything we can to keep the citizens of this area safe, and we’ll continue to do so."

The full statement from Lt. Brown: 

Sacramento Police Captain Ken. Bernard, who oversees the police patrol district that covers the neighborhood, sent this update to residents:

"I’m sorry to report that tonight, just after 10:30 pm, a woman was shot in front of an apartment building on 27th Street, between H and I. We believe that it was an attempted purse snatch. The only suspect information we have is a Male Hispanic, unknown age and that he ran off in an unknown direction.

Officers are continuing the investigation as I type this.

Please pass this information on to your contacts and I will keep you updated as I learn further."

Police advise against resisting robbery attempts. In an email sent to residents last month about the recent uptick in assaults on pedestrians, Sacramento police Lieutenant Marc Coopwood said people should consider walking in pairs or groups at night, be aware of their surroundings and, not resist if mugged. "We do not want to see somebody get injured," he wrote.

City Councilmember Steve Hansen issued a statement Saturday morning.

 "My thoughts are with the woman who was shot and hope for a full recovery," he wrote in an email. "Thankfully, police were only blocks away and responded instantly. For anyone who might have witnessed this, please contact the police to help identify the culprit."

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January 12, 2013 | 3:13 AM

Jesus when will this end. And at what point do we start critizing the police for not finding these culprits or preventing these incidents? What can be done? Maybe seems radical but what about throttling access points. Close off a number of streets into and out of the grid after a certain hour, limiting acess to a few check- points. Also require require bars and nightclubs to install metal detectors.

January 12, 2013 | 9:37 AM

Turning Sacramento into an “Escape from New York” maximum-security compound is a hilarious idea–where’s Kurt Russell when you need him?

Metal detector wands/pat-downs at bars might help to a certain extent with the crews that go to bars and get into fights, but a lot of these street muggings don’t happen inside bars. There are a lot cheaper ways to increase pedestrian security (street lighting, increased foot patrols etc.) than turning the central city into a prison.

In 2007, the Sacramento police department put forth a model like the one used in Los Angeles where alcohol license holders and nightclubs paid a small fee to fund police officers dedicated to patrol and protection of the nighttime economy. It was killed by the Law & Legislation Committee of the City Council, with the recommendation of then-City Manager Ray Kerridge that the measure not be passed.

January 14, 2013 | 1:14 PM

It will never end. That is the unfortunate truth. There will always be those among us prone to do evil. It is up to each one of us to be vigilant, prepared, and wise.

January 12, 2013 | 7:15 AM

Metal detectors for bars- yes! 2nd time in 2 weeks my family have been auditory witnesses to gunshots, both times with devastating results. But I have to say, while they cannot predict what will happen or when it will happen, both times the police have had very quick response.

January 12, 2013 | 9:03 AM

I think it might be time for Randy and the other business owners in that area to pay for a real cop to patrol the hood. Also I’ve said it before but having a 1/4 block surface parking lot in an urban are is a blight and sends the wrong message. Proven. City can resist the revenue? Fine, then enact a city-wide commercial surface parking lot tax. That will be a disincentive to tear down buildings and replace them asphalt. Plus the money generated could go to pay for more police and other public services.

January 12, 2013 | 10:58 AM

There was just such a plan, promoted by the Police Department in 2007, to set up special funding for an entertainment/nightlife unit, but Randy and his pals got it thrown out. But we’re in very different times now, so perhaps it’s time to bring that idea back.

January 12, 2013 | 11:23 AM

But wasn’t this at a house party? How is this the bars’ fault?

January 12, 2013 | 11:31 AM

It’s not a question of “fault.” Increased patrols in the neighborhood would make things safer for bars, restaurants, house parties, and anyone else out and about on nights and weekends–which, in my opinion, should be anyone and everyone who wants to be out and about at night.

January 12, 2013 | 1:21 PM

Maybe fault isn’t the best word, but by asking Paragary to foot the bill, I’m assuming Mark is assigning responsibility to him.

January 12, 2013 | 4:06 PM

There’s a difference between responsibility and fault. I take responsibility for safety in my neighborhood by leaving my own porch light on because there isn’t a city streetlight on my block. I keep an eye out for problems and report them when I encounter them. I don’t assume that the safety of my neighborhood is someone else’s problem.

But you’re right, it isn’t just Randy Paragary causing the problem so he shouldn’t share exclusive blame or foot the bill entirely. The only business that was mentioned by name at Thursday night’s meeting was Barwest–a resident noted the significant increase in the number of fights and other incidents since Barwest opened, and that isn’t a Paragary venture.

January 13, 2013 | 11:04 AM

I don’t really get how a parking lot leads to higher crime, but I do agree with lights. I leave front and back porch lights on and have motion activated lights for my yard which come on when people are on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, the businesses across the street don’t see fit to be good neighbors, and I have been an auditory witness to a mugging and several instances of harassment. The person being mugged yelled for help, but before I could call the police the deed was done. We used to have a street light, but SMUD removed it and crime has gotten much worse ever since.

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January 23, 2013 | 12:21 AM

On the subject of ‘fault’, its more a matter, in my opinion of taking a look at the context of the situation. Unfortunately, the entire Marshall Park area has become a hotbed of crime. I lived right across the street on I between 27th and 28th all of last year. In August, at around 9pm on a Thursday night, my husband and I sat in our living room watching movies on our computer. We had our front door cracked open a few inches for our cat, and our windows open for air. Our two daughters were asleep in their bedroom. While we were in our own home, someone crept into the entry way of our living room and stole one of our two bikes stored there, while we sat not 5 feet away. Talk about SCARY! We didn’t even know the bike was gone until we locked up for the night. I don’t think this is the fault of Barwest, or any of the other local businesses, this instance was an issue of transients most likely casing us for days before hand and swooping in. In addition, I do think that area is a hotbed of crime because of the amount of traffic and therefore potential victims it creates. The least these businesses can do is invest in the perceived safety of their customer base by adding to the safety of the area, rather than subtracting from it. Most of the fights, late night in-car drug fests, and confrontations I have seen while living there were involving Barwest clientele almost exclusively (though not entirely). In this way, there is some direct responsibility on their behalf explicitly, though not exclusively, for the ill doings occurring in the area recently. Bars + congregations of untreated mentally ill collecting at the park + poor lighting conditions + easy freeway access make that particular part of midtown a very easy target.

January 12, 2013 | 9:37 AM

When they catch this monster, we will discover he’s got a long list of felonies on his record. And if he’d previously been charged under three-strikes, that unfortunate young woman wouldn’t be fighting for her life. The solution is lots more prison space. Prison space that we can afford — out of state, in Mexico.

January 12, 2013 | 10:06 AM

This is a tragedy and another blow to midtown. But at the same time Rhonda is posting that another youth has been murdered in her neighborhood, for which i have seen zero press coverage.

Face it, the government we created is now failing us. The best thing SacPress readers can do is to vote every incumbent at every level from office until we start getting the government we paid for. The fact that Jan Scully has sat in the DA seat for this long is unacceptable.

Today SacPD priority is protecting the benefits of a cadre of senior officers as they routinely throw young patrol officers under the bus. The priority of city council is to protect our bloated fire dept structure even as the need for fire protection decreases year after year. And our DA is only interested in high profile sensational hidden camera cases that will keep her name in the news as she chases her next political office.

These groups could care less about your friend shot in the arm or your teenage son murdered in South Sacramento or the fact you cant leave a bike unattended anywhere in the city.

January 12, 2013 | 10:12 AM

This might be the incident Rhonda is referring to, though it’s not in South Sac: http://www.sacramentopress.com/headline/78242/Woman_found_dead_at_Chevron_gas_station

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January 12, 2013 | 9:53 AM

I walked past these women and this party about 20 minutes before this happened, saw them smoking outside, and spent my entire walk from my house at 27th and C to Harlow’s where I went to see a show, afraid of getting mugged. I feel *so* fortunate to have not been the person in this story. As much as I love midtown, my independence, and my nightlife, I think the only safe conclusion for now is to forgo life after dark in this city. Maybe if we all withhold our nighttime participation (and financial participation) in Midtown, the city will get its act together. This is ENTIRELY unacceptable… we midtowners pay good money to live here, to enjoy all that midtown has to offer, and to add our selves to the cultural mix. I was scheduled to attend an art show at Bows and Arrows tonight that I was really looking forward to. Being that its happening after dark and I don’t own a car, there is NO WAY I’ll be able to attend and support local business and art tonight. Oh, and good thing we just opened that gun shop on 24th and J huh? I’d say the time for empowerment via financial withdrawal is upon us folks.

January 12, 2013 | 10:56 AM

Actually, that gun shop is about the only place in the central city where you can buy pepper spray and other nonlethal items for personal defense–police at that meeting highly recommended carrying pepper spray, personal body alarms and other nonlethal devices when walking around at night. The shop’s owners are very concerned about recent events and their owners came to the community meeting earlier this week. If this trend continues, you can bet that people will “vote with their dollars” and stop patronizing central city businesses, so if those businesses wish to remain open, they had better start coming up with solutions.

It is entirely ridiculous that central city residents should be expected to stay in our homes at night and surrender the streets to predators and their prey.

January 12, 2013 | 11:01 AM

Completely agree – Vote with your pocketbook and stay home. Send the message that Midtown fails (all of it as a whole -businesses and residents alike) when we the residents are not safe. The over-hype of Midtown for years as party central by certain factions of the business community -who refuse to engage in competent management of their industry and refuse to acknowledge or do anything about the chaos they create – continues to haunt us. We are and have been for a while easy pickins for predators. For the first time in years I am altering my behavior – am more paranoid than ever, drive more instead of walk, not going out to see shows, etc. The gun store at 24th & J does sell pepper spray and other non-lethal devices but I would never use them when confronted with an armed individual.

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January 23, 2013 | 1:13 AM

Yes, except, regardless of the gun shops concern, the fact is they are still bringing lethal weapons into our community… clearly we need more of that! It is just as easy for us to encourage other local businesses in the area to carry similar non-lethal supplies, and anyway, do you really think, if faced with a gun, most people would be likely to maneuver and manipulate pepper spray whilst simultaneously avoid getting shot? I feel like my chances would be better if I walked around with a pillow case full of soap bars! (Which, by the way, I have honestly begun to consider!) And don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a party, but not amidst a local culture that is stuffed to the brim with guns, out of control drunks, practices of unchecked violence, and lack of basic humanitarian values (the worst attributes of the influences and variables at hand. I’m not stating that I believe this to be the current state of midtown, but the worst-case scenario, yo). I have never, in my life been afraid to be out alone. I grew up in downtown SF and walked late at night many many many times through that city. I have traveled to various cities around the world completely alone. This is the first time I have come to a place where I truly feel afraid to leave my house at night, and am having to seriously consider purchasing a car so that I don’t have to be so vulnerable walking around with my two young daughters during the day, getting lost in play, and risking being caught scrambling home at twilight.

January 12, 2013 | 10:04 AM

After hearing the helicopter overhead, I went to sacpd.org and saw that they have a dedicated helicopter notifications page. However, I was surprised that, although the website listed the incident as a robbery, neighbors in my Facebook feed were telling me that it was a shooting. Does anyone know why that was the case? I’m thinking about ways to push real-time, location-based crime notifications, so I’m just wondering if there was some kind of miscommunication or if there was a specific reason why Sac PD would not want to post information about a shooting. Sorry if this is a dumb question.

January 12, 2013 | 11:02 AM

It was a robbery and a shooting–the mugger tried to take her purse, she resisted, so he shot her.

January 12, 2013 | 11:55 AM

Right. My question is why was/is it listed as a robbery and not a shooting? –> http://www.sacpd.org/helicopter/archive.aspx?date=20130111

January 12, 2013 | 4:11 PM

His primary goal (so far as we know) was to steal the purse, not shoot someone, so it’s primarily a robbery, with a shooting in connection. Looks like on the same night another suspicious person was picked up at 10th and K with a concealed firearm:


January 12, 2013 | 10:26 AM

I blame big business, incumbent leaders and greed. If we had a middle class still this would be a better Midtown. There would be no disconnect between business and consumer. This whole corporatization of midtown comes with a price. Support independent businesses ONLY. I hope the woman is okay.

January 12, 2013 | 11:03 AM

In the central city, there are very few corporate/chain businesses, especially in the late-night arena. Paragary Restaurant Group is locally owned and operated, but they’re one of the biggest opponents of any sort of increased policing/enforcement activities of nightlife. And food trucks, of course.

January 12, 2013 | 11:06 AM


January 12, 2013 | 11:17 AM

That might be because Randy Paragary is a silent partner in many central city night spots – several in the vicinity of 27th/28th and J Streets. His handprints are all over the major nuissance spots that draw some unsavory elements to the grid. So nice he gets to escape to Arden-Arcade and watch from afar in the safety of his quiet home all the chaos he and his partners create for the rest of us. Thanks guys!

January 12, 2013 | 11:25 AM

How can Randy Paragary and the bar scene in Midtown be blamed for a robbery outside a house party? Are we just blaming every crime on restaurants and bars now?

January 12, 2013 | 11:33 AM

Are you under the impression that this was an isolated incident?

January 12, 2013 | 1:18 PM

I don’t see the connection between Randy Paragary’s restaurants and a robbery/shooting outside a house party.

January 12, 2013 | 1:24 PM

As log as we’re playing armchair causation darts, why isn’t the neaby park to blame? That park houses transients and shady characters at all hours of the day.

January 12, 2013 | 11:26 AM

And once again, there is nothing about this in the Bee…

This situation is only going to improve if residents and business owners start DEMANDING action from the city council, Sac PD, and the court system. Criminals need to start facing real penalties. And I refuse to cower behind a triple-locked door with a shotgun in each hand! If I hear or read one more person saying “Well, you shouldn’t have been out after dark, don’t go out alone, don’t go to that place, street, neighborhood, don’t leave your bike unlocked”, etc. I really am going to scream.This is MY neighborhood and I DEMAND to be able to walk through it any damn time I want without being shot at, robbed, or having my stuff stolen!

When a person is a victim of a crime the only place the blame goes is to the person committing the crime.

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January 23, 2013 | 12:41 AM

I agree, and, also consider the cultural influences that coagulate to foster this kind of climate… I don’t think I read a single comment that said “you shouldn’t go out after dark”. The point is not to cower, its to stay alive AND impact change in the only language business seems to speak anymore, which is MONEY – not values, not virtue, not community, not even sustainability (because creating a climate where people can patronize businesses safely is considerably more sustainable than neglecting that climate altogether)- but MONEY. It is one power we have to force the hand of business to get on the safety bandwagon. Why should I give my precious funds to people who care not what happens to me and my family as a result of their presence in our lives? Furthermore, why should you???

January 12, 2013 | 11:31 AM

I don’t think we can shift all the blame on business or police response. Yes, certain priorities of city funding must be addresses (fire/police), but we, as residents, can do our part to be more active in guarding our neighborhood and having a presence. Think about this, if you’re walking on a street with another person or two, and you walk by and make eye contact or say hello to somebody who’s shady looking, or maybe you’re just friendly in general to everyone you see on the street, that sends a message to others who might be considering a crime that they are being watched. I’m not about to let my neighborhood to be over run.

Please remember to be safe and encourage others to have common sense to comply with thieves. It’s not worth your wallet/phone/whatever being stolen to get shot. It might be difficult in the moment of panic, but forethought into how you respond to a robbery may very well save your life. My prayers are with the woman who was shot last night.

January 12, 2013 | 11:37 AM

This Tuesday night at 6 PM at City Hall, the City Council will discuss how the money generated by Measure U funds should be spent. It might be a good opportunity for the members of our community to show up to that council meeting and remind them of their priorities. At this Thursday’s meeting, Councilmember Hansen stated that the purpose of Measure U was to restore services like police.

I’ll be there. And afterward, I’m going to go out to dinner downtown, then go see a band play.

January 12, 2013 | 11:47 AM

Hey Bill, this is heckasac and you know I respect your opinion but I am taking your defiance somewhat personally since I was robbed at gunpoint with my husband three weeks ago by a guy that fits this description. Your defiance to not be cowed would be admirable except for the fact that we were doing nothing “wrong” to be targeted and could have easily been shot. It was 9pm and we were walking from Red Rabbit only a few blocks and neither of us were intoxicated. We are both pretty vigilant and often cross the street if we see anyone sketchy anywhere ahead.

I can tell you from having this happen that pepper spray or a body alarm likely would have gotten us shot and a gun certainly would have as he came up on us fast out of nowhere with gun drawn and had a buddy across the street, likely with a gun.

I am sure cops will be crawling for at least a few nights but they can’t be on every block and that will probably just enable them to respond quickly to a crime scene. In our case they had the helicopter out within 5 minutes to no avail.

I am also going out to dinner and a show tonight but guess what? Me and my husband are going to take a cab because I do not feel safe riding the few isolated blocks to my house (which is impossible to avoid) late at night when the show is over.

By all means, continue to make your point by going out and I pray you are not targeted.

January 12, 2013 | 1:35 PM

From SacBee’s reporting of Thursday night’s public meeting at the Hart Center

“The midtown area is now among the safest places in the city, City Councilman Steve Hansen told approximately 200 people who attended a midtown community safety meeting this evening, “so when something happens, we notice it.”

Along with your frightening encounter (not to mention life threatening) compounded by numerous other attacks along with last night’s “isolated” incident….a poor choice of words….to say the least!

January 12, 2013 | 11:51 AM

The police have been great. Their response phenomenal but they are spread too thin. All of this violent crime has been happening periodically for the past few years and more was predictable due to over concentration (ABC term “undue concentration”) of late night operating bars and clubs and those masquerading as “restaurants” but operating until two a.m. All Sacramento city management and Planning had to do was learn from other cities’ crime related experience in their entertainment areas, which were much smaller. But both chose not to.

The city and Midtown Business Alcohol businesses learned all of this when they spent 20K together to contract with Responsibility Hospitality Institute but neither liked what they heard, so adopted only what helped them to increase safety on site.

Residents who attended those meetings did further research and found numerous studies like the USC Alcohol Study in LA, More Alcohol Sales Sites Mean More Neighborhood Violence, New Research Finds, HOW ALCOHOL OUTLETS AFFECT NEIGHBORHOOD VIOLENCE, the Vallejo Case Study, etc. All of these supported RHI’s information.

These residents distributed this information widely in a preventive effort to get the word out, but MBA PBID bars/clubs/”restaurants” city management and Midtown’s council reps continued to remain in denial and did nothing–even after two murders. Further, the messages and messengers were ridiculed by many party goers (residents and visitors alike) as well as sacpress, SN&R writers, etc. One former Midtown council rep was even overheard calling residents “whiners.” Apparently, as suggested in a prior comment, influential club interests were too powerful for truth and reason to prevail.

City staff blamed ABC but that was “buck passing” because all city staff had to do was object to ABC approving any additional licenses in the central city’s census tracts by submitting the data these tracts were high crime areas. In addition, Planning could invoke the Public Convenience or Necessity Codes to limit the number, but staff did not except in the case of the Dive Bar in the CBD. Did past and present city management order staff not to on any others?

The reason staff and a former councilman gave for the city not objecting was that the revenue from the party bars/clubs/”restaurants” outweighed the costs. Residents asked that a study be done to prove that because it was a known fact that other cities’ studies had shown the combined costs far outweighed the revenue. But again concerned and informed residents’ request was refused. So what does the future hold now? Will things be any different? Best of luck to our new councilman.

January 12, 2013 | 12:21 PM

This isn’t a drinking issue. The perpetrators aren’t a bunch of drunken hooligans deciding to pick up their bar tab with a gun. The person or persons committing these crimes are laying in wait around these establishments and *anywhere else people may be vulnerable*, like gas stations and transit stops- and apparently apartment doors. The only possible exception was the shooting in the bar in Old Sac, where the perpetrator was caught fairly quickly. However, this shooting, the one on 65th and S, the two holdups my friend’s kid was victim of, this shooting in this article, the mugging mentioned above in comments, the attempted assault of my wife at a bus stop- NONE OF THOSE HAVE EFF ALL TO DO WITH DRINKING.

If you want, you can turn Midtown/Downtown into a ghost town, roll up the sidewalks at night, and it will still have these problems. So will Arden/Arcade, and South Sac (which don’t have the same density of nightlife), who also have these problems. I am tired of this town crawling up into a little whimpering ball whenever something bad happens. Hey, here’s news- bad things happen. There are bad people out there who do those bad things, and they won’t go away because the town collectively hides its head!

The police can’t prevent them, really. If you want them prevented, then maybe knowing who your neighbors are, spending time outside in your neighborhood, and reporting strange or suspicious individuals might be more effective in preventing these problems. Looking out a window when hearing gunshots, and getting a description of anyone fleeing, and handing it into the cops would be immensely helpful. Stepping outside your apartment and yelling “I’m calling the cops, get outta here!” works pretty damned well (done that several times, also got pictures sometimes as well on my camera phone). How dense is the population at 27th & H? Nobody could do that? Or nobody would?

People stopped breaking into cars and stealing bikes on my block because I showed others how to snap a picture, make a lot of noise, and call the cops. These criminals don’t like getting caught. But if the solution chosen is to just make ourselves really quiet and hide in our homes as a good decision, then have a look at South Sac- they’ve been doing that for years, and see where that got them.

January 12, 2013 | 1:22 PM

So you are saying RHI and the studies these cities conducted and took corrective action are wrong. What arrogance or perhaps or lack of being able to connect the dots or comparing oranges to apples or all of the prior. In any event you obviously did not read the articles which were conducted with conclusions reached by experts far more knowledgeable that either of us. But I’ll take their word and experience over yours..

January 12, 2013 | 5:19 PM

Nobody is trying to roll up the streets at night and shut down all the bars. But the status quo obviously isn’t working, so maybe it’s time to take a look at other options–like those that were offered by a national nonprofit whose specialty is helping cities deal with problems associated with nightlife, and whose advice was mostly ignored after the city and MBA paid them a whole lot of money for an honest assessment. But some folks felt it was a little too honest!

January 13, 2013 | 11:22 AM

The Safeway shooting was a daytime event, but I can see how night time robberies would increase due to increased alcohol venues. Seems to me that people who go out to these venues to drink and socialize, go there with money to spend and leave there with impaired judgement and reflexes–easy pickings for the criminally inclined.

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January 12, 2013 | 12:25 PM

This will all be fixed when the arena is built and hordes of people are walking to the parking garages throughout downtown

January 12, 2013 | 12:28 PM

Again, I find everyone who thinks you can take “correct”action to prevent these crimes is being very smug. Everyone wants to blame it on something, the cops, drinking, whatever. I do know some of my neighbors. I have no one to blame it on, I just want it to stop. I don’t know the answer, and neither do any of you. Take precautions, sure, but we did. Please take the time to read my comment above.

January 12, 2013 | 5:17 PM

No action will prevent what has happened after the fact–the actions we take today are in the interest of reducing future incidents. The point isn’t blame, it is finding solutions, which in some cases means looking at how we got here, what has worked and what hasn’t. The point isn’t removing all risk and all crime, but making the neighborhood a less comfortable environment for crime, through security, through design, through communication.

Taking precautions reduces risk but does not eliminate it–you responded in exactly the right way, and you’d get precisely the same advice from the most dedicated pacifist and the most qualified self-defense trainer! But that doesn’t mean precautions and working for a safer environment don’t have any value.

January 12, 2013 | 3:37 PM

Midtown is one of the few (if not the only) neighborhoods in Sacramento where people regularly walk and bike after dark. We’re not isolated (shielded) inside our vehicles; our homes are only a few quick blocks from our offices, or where we have dinner with friends. It’s why many of us choose to live here, and wouldn’t be happy living in other, more “suburban”, areas. It’s also, unfortunately, what attracts the criminals that are preying on our neighborhood. Yes, they are preying on us…like sharks. I know many local bar and restaurant owners who care, and would support better enforcement. However, the “hype” of nightlife (and 2nd Saturday), by certain venues, has essentially acted like chum in the water, attracting a negative, criminal, element, to the detriment of those who live and work in Midtown. Especially this time of year, when it gets dark so early in the evenings, those looking to commit crimes like these come to midtown because they’re gauranteed to find a higher concentration of potential victims, walking on the streets after dark. And they do it again, and again, and the recent reports seem to reflect that the criminals are being emboldened. It’s worse than just “a few bad apples”, we’ve become their happy hunting ground.

January 12, 2013 | 3:46 PM

I agree with you, mtsacramento. I do think that more police presence on the streets would help — that brief time when we had neighborhood police officers was the safest I’ve ever felt in midtown (I’ve lived here since 1992).

I don’t think blaming the bars makes any sense at all in this instance. The people being targeted aren’t bar patrons, they are residents, and we’d be walking around midtown at night with or without the bars. (I rarely go to a bar these days, but I do go out to dinner several times a week, and we always walk.) These robberies are happening fairly early in the evening, not after hours when the bars close.

I would like to see better lighting in more parts of midtown, but 27th and I is actually one of the better lit parts of town, most heavily foot-trafficked, neighbors do tend to know each other. (My parents rented an apartment on that block for a while two years ago, and they met lots of neighbors in just a few months.) We walk back and forth there at night with our two little kids all the time, and there are always dog walkers, people coming back from dinner, etc. If robberies are happening there of all places, then I just don’t know what we can do.

(We do not need new laws. A few years back California passed some of the toughest gun use laws in the country. Shooting someone during a robbery, or even using a gun that you don’t fire, carries a very long sentence now.)

January 12, 2013 | 8:49 PM

Re “I don’t think blaming the bars makes any sense at all in this instance.” Obviously, you too feel your opinion is superior to results of the studies I listed as well as the RHI experience that Bill cites. Apparently, you too didn’t google the titles of the studies I listed so you could read the FACTS. All of these studies plus others show a direct correlation. As a result, those cities took action to reduce the related violent crime to keep residents and bar patrons safe. It makes no difference whether the victims are residents or bar patrons because a victim is a victim. But then “ignorance is bliss.”

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January 23, 2013 | 12:56 AM

Its not a matter of drunkenness, its a matter of the climate… people being out, with money, on a regular basis… inviting people from other neighborhoods and cities in for culturally attractive experiences (which, for the record, I think is a marvelous thing!)… these are the elements that contribute most to the violent environment we suddenly have found ourselves in. If we are to have, enjoy and sustain these bars/restaurants, then we are also to hold them as accountable as we are for caring for the neighborhood appropriately. Without residents who feel safe enough to venture out, they don’t have businesses after all. Its in everyone’s best interest for them to share the responsibility of area safety.

Profile photo of 5x5
January 12, 2013 | 3:57 PM

A garbage digging bum was giving me trouble in front of my house. I told him I would call the police if he did not leave and he said to go ahead because it would take the cops 45 minutes to respond and he would be gone by then. The bad guys know the police are not here for us.

Police in Sacramento need to be more of a presence. Officers should be walking into bars and other late-night establishments, cruising the alleys, etc. Unfortunately, they are too busy generating money for the City’s coffers from DUI’s. There’s just not enough money to be made in patrolling the streets.

And why doesn’t anyone mention the obvious problem of the Lightrail system running right through midtown, depositing people from all neighborhoods right onto our doorsteps?

January 13, 2013 | 10:53 AM

I agree that in the last year and then some, it is taking police forever to respond. It took three days for police to respond to my B + E call.

January 13, 2013 | 4:36 PM

For police to be more of a presence, we need more police! And catching DUIs certainly counts as fighting crime in my book–drunk drivers are all over the central city, and they’re as dangerous to people walking around at night as any mugger–not just in our neighborhood, but also in every neighborhood they careen through on their way home.

January 14, 2013 | 9:44 AM

Nobody disagrees that DUIs are bad. But also recognize that a DUI checkpoint is a SacPD wet dream. The dept gets to blow a bunch of state and federal “task force” dollars on overtime. The effort makes a big media splash as the police “doing something”‘. The DUIs (and anybody else that gets their car impounded) drives great revenue for the dept. And cops love to hang out in groups of 15 and BE and laugh at the plebes stuck in a traffic jam.

Massive DUI enforcement in the face of escalating violent crime is about self- serving as a government agency can get. The residents of midtown can only hope that SacPD finds a way to generate revenue from victims of armed robbery, otherwise they are pretty much on their own.

January 12, 2013 | 10:56 PM

Makes me sad because I live in this very building. Have been for the past 1.5 years and nothing this drastic or violent has ever happened. Just so shocking to me, and I’ll be much more cautious walking to my car at night.

January 13, 2013 | 1:41 AM

Got robbed at gunpoint a couple weeks back on 19th street between J and K. There was a brief moment where I didn’t want to give up my phone and I’m glad I didnt entertain it. a phone or a purse isn’t worth second guessing the will of a stranger pointing a gun at you.

Profile photo of lmw
January 13, 2013 | 8:56 AM

It sure seems like it’s the same few/couple of people doing this over and over. Maybe police can set some bait and catch them?

January 13, 2013 | 9:04 AM

Several suspects have already been caught, including (quite possibly) the ones who robbed mtsacramento, and the bicycle rider who punched a Boulevard Park resident and stole his wallet and keys, who was positively identified.

Profile photo of lmw
January 13, 2013 | 9:24 AM

I didn’t attend the safety meeting because I thought they had all been caught. Now the Friday night incident. Word on the street must be there is easy pickins’ downtown. I do agree more foot patrol would help.

Following the stories over the past month, I’m guessing
1) These robbers have homes, probably not downtown
2) They didn’t get their guns from a gun store

I’ll be going to the City Council meeting Tuesday night.

January 13, 2013 | 10:32 AM

Yes, Dale, I read the studies, which found that the largest increase in violence related to carry-out alcohol sales, or venues “primarily devoted to drinking,” which have little to do with restaurants in midtown.

January 13, 2013 | 3:59 PM

Au contraire. “Restaurants” in Midtown that keep the hours of bars/clubs are “primarily devoted to drinking,” You can also buy “carry out” six packs at those places. I have here and in other cities, have you never? Those places are the biggest majority in Midtown as in the articles. Those alcohol sellers bought ABC Type 47 licenses because they are far cheaper to buy and easier to be approved but operate as if they had a Type 48 nightclub license which are far more expensive. Such bars/club “restaurants” do not keep their expensive chefs and support staff on until 2:00 a.m. or even 1:30 a.m. Those Midtown establishments may serve certain preprepared meals reheated in microwaves or convection ovens, assorted sandwiches but no freshly prepared dinners w/o a chef on duty. Dinner serving hours for real restaurants and dinner houses (a term foreign to Sacramento) according to national restaurant standards end at 10:00 p.m. “Supper clubs” in NYC, SF, etc. that cater to the after-theatre crowds retain their chefs, etc and often feature dancing or live entertainment in addition to serving “suppers.” Sacramento does not have Supper Clubs.

January 13, 2013 | 7:05 PM

A whole lot of bars that are primarily devoted to drinking have Type 47 “General Eating Place” liquor licenses, including some that haven’t served food in years.

January 13, 2013 | 2:00 PM

The mix of entertainment and residential neighborhoods appears to be a failing experiment. But I don’t think it is the alcohol and I don’t think it is the gun shop. There has to be some thought given to the idea that there appears to be some “easy pickin’s” to armed robbers who think that pedestrians are great targets. I also wonder if perpetrators can merge back in with the entertainment crowd, to avoid being caught. Small things might help. More street lighting; more foot and police cars who are routinely patrolling at sporadic hours after dark. This last shooting was very serious; a purse snatch is one thing; a shooting which could have killed her is profoundly different.

Do we need the Guardian Angels in Midtown? The last guy who robbed a man of his wallet and car keys was purportedly a parolee. Does make you wonder if some of the folks on bikes aren’t simply homeless folks down on their luck, but also a mix of some very bad dudes.

January 13, 2013 | 2:02 PM

Post from this story in the BEE, posted early this AM by a new commenter…if legit…it reveals some good news about the victim and clarifications

OlderBrother916 wrote:

“not all news is reported correctly. she DID NOT resist “mugger”, she was trying to run up the steps away from the criminal when he chased her up the stairs and shot her, and fled. He left the purse behind. Senseless act of violence. And the smoking comments? Please. We all have our vices. That has nothing to do with this crime and the criminal who shot her. Please remember that family and friends are reading these posts. Please exercise your free speech while being respectful to our loved one. She is in stable condition, surrounded by the people who love her, not the trolls who wax-poetic about her in Comment Land. Thank you.


January 14, 2013 | 3:04 AM

it’s legit. she is out of OR for her second surgery. On the mend. We are all very lucky and fortunate.

If we move away from midtown, we let the evil win. We need to take it back and figure out a way to enjoy an amazing place to live.

January 14, 2013 | 6:02 PM

Thanks Tony!! In light of all that occurred,that’s Great News!

January 13, 2013 | 5:12 PM

I agree with many of the comments here, I don’t think there is a silver bullet to solving this situation. That doesn’t mean as a neighborhood we should sit idle. A combination of things will definitely help. I think we need to make a push for consistent street lighting throughout midtown, not just around business and bars on J, K & I. As one commenter noted, for those of us living in New Era Park on C and D streets it can be scary walking at night with almost no light. For instance 28th street betwen C and G is nealy pitch black in some areas. Neighhors can help by leaving porch lights on but that doesn’t make up for a lack of good street lighting. More eyes on the street can help as well, I try to walk around as much as I can and keep my eyes open for anything suspicious. Its important for the police to be responsive to us as well, its nice to know they wil be focusing more resources in our neighborhoods in response to this recent crime spree.

Profile photo of aid
January 13, 2013 | 8:45 PM

Definitely a drastic need for lighting. The robbers are scouting dark locations and the weaker prey ofcourse. However , the problem worsens when the weajer prey per say is actually a human being with instincts tonprotect themselves. I was assaulted and mugged walking with my sister and a friend on dec 22 on L st, like this woman i also instinctively faught for my purse against one of two assailants who did not get his way with the theft but injured me badly, the other did succeed in taking my sisters purse and also injuring her banging her head to the concrete. It is a huge responsibility for everyobe to work together abd investigate what you can…for example for us they mAde it to elk grove del taco withing 25 minutes. I think business should be held more responsible for accepting purchases being made by such criminals with cards that belong to victims they just atracked… there is no excuse, the del taco district manager told me well sometimes they use the card of their wives…no, unnacceptable especially at 1:30 am. they need to report suspicious attempts rather than take any chump of dirty change they can get. Also having them trained on working the video equipment and the importance of saving video. Hold businesses responsible…i am a business owner and feel i owe it tonour community…safety interests before money!

Profile photo of lmw
January 14, 2013 | 5:16 PM

Aid, there should definitely be some penalty for a business that has knowingly taken a card that has a female name on it and is being used by a male. Whatever happened to showing ID? Terrible!

Ladies, for now anyway, if we’re going more than a block or two and there are only one or two of us, as in walking from a building to a car, we should leave our purses at home. Put what you can in your pockets. Wear clothes with pockets. Wear shoes you can run in. Don’t dress up where a perp might think you’ve got something valuable. Yes, we should be able to do as we please, but any small thing to stay safe might help until these crimes are resolved.

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January 29, 2013 | 11:11 PM

You would think lmw, yes it is policy to check id but it does not happen all the time. I was given the lame excuse that sometImes men use their wives card but that is the worst excuse I have heard. I made a complaint to corporate to stress the importance of that. not only will it save them from being targets of robbery it shows some integrity on their part.

January 15, 2013 | 11:21 AM

My brother was mugged and beat up at the same location. I took matters into my own hands and drove around until I found them. I followed them in my car and directed the police to their location. As soon as I saw the police down the street 20 minutes later I got out and confronted them. Only to see that they were mong teens. I should have just beat the piss out of them in hindsight.

Profile photo of jat
January 15, 2013 | 11:31 AM

As a suburbanite who occasionally comes downtown at night for dinner or a play, I have to say….do you all not see the insanity here? You’re talking about arming yourselves, weapon detectors, avoiding going out…living in fear in your own neighborhoods. And you wonder why so many of us choose not to live in the city!
For god’s sake, take to the streets in protest already. Demand more from your elected officials and very highly paid public safety workers. Stand up en masse and say you’re mad as hell and not going to take it ANYMORE.
I’m coming downtown for dinner tonight…and now wondering why. I repeat…insanity.

January 15, 2013 | 11:48 AM

Agree with belleaurse and aid. This small burg has grown a ton in 10 yrs- but hasnt updated the lighting in decades- I wrote to the sacbee roads guy about how dark it is on many freeway ramps etc – but also – midtown –
try to cross a street in the dark on a crosswalk- its very dangerous-
I am thinking of upgrading my headlights to xenons since the city and caltrans obviously dont care about basic safety.

mayor JOHNSON- lighting is a big step towards safety!

This is the darkest area ive ever lived-

January 16, 2013 | 1:10 PM

Several years ago when we had to make decisions on lighting, it apparently went block-by-block … one of our neighbors told us that the neighbors had decided not to pay for street lights, so we didn’t get them. (I live in New Era Park.) My husband and I were in favor of them but that was the only time we were ever approached on the subject — certainly we got nothing from the city. How does one bring this topic back up? And who decides?

January 16, 2013 | 3:56 PM

A friend of mine found a Betsey Johnson clutch underneath his car parked at 21st and I the morning after the shooting. There was her RN card, medical benefits cards & even a Discover card in there. If anyone knows of this person who was possibly mugged or just highly intoxicated that night; shoot beaucornell@gmail.com an e-mail.

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