A 25-year-old Bergen Street resident fought back against a group of muggers, saving his backpack but landing in the hospital with a slashed scalp.
The man was walking to his home on Bergen Street between Grand and Classon at 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when he saw four men in their 20s, two sitting on a stoop and the other pair the street. One of the stoop-sitters was holding a metal cane, and one of the men across the street had on a black ski mask, according to a police report.
“When I glimpsed the cane and then saw the guy with the face mask on the other side of the street, I realized what was coming,” the man told Patch via e-mail.
The man, a filmmaker who hails from Rochester, N.Y., posted a blow-by-blow of the attack on Brooklynian. Here's the short version:
As he neared his apartment, the stoop-sitter without the cane ran up to him, and said “Don’t say anything, I’ve got a gun,” while gesturing toward his pocket.
The man said, “No you don’t. Show it to me.” As they began to discuss whether or not the guy did in fact have a gun, the man with the can ran up and “started swinging.”
The man grabbed for the cane and a tussle and loud cursing ensued.
“My strategy was to make as much noise as possible and fight them off long enough that they'd have to flee without getting my stuff,” he wrote on Brooklynian.
“We grappled on the sidewalk for a second, and made our way to my stoop, where I started yelling "This is my HOUSE!" repeatedly. Then Cane-o got a really good hit on me, and I went deaf for a second,” he added.
He kept resisting as blood poured down his forehead, but the men then backed him into a corner managed to grab his his wallet (with $20 in it, as per the police report) and cell phone, but not his backpack, which he was blocking with his body.
After a few seconds, the group gave up and ran off. The man went inside, washed off the blood, gave a statement to the cops, who showed up almost immediately afterwards thanks to neighbor phone calls. Then he went to Methodist Hospital, where he got a single staple for the slash on the top of his head (the Brooklynian post has a gruesome photo, if you’re interested).
Asked why he chose to fight rather than had over his stuff, the man told us via email that he spent several months living in Quito, Ecuador, which he called “a notoriously dangerous city” and “learned how to distinguish between different types of criminals.”
If the guy had really had a gun he would have shown it and wouldn’t have needed to bring “a whole crew” with him, nor would they need the cane, he wrote.
But, he added, he doesn’t recommend this course of action for everyone, that the safest course of action is to just hand over your valuables, and that if there had been a gun or knife he wouldn’t have resisted either.
And what was in the backpack he fought valiantly to protect? Nothing valuable, but did have several items of personal value, he said.
There have a string of strong-arm muggings in the neighborhood since Thanksgiving. Last month, a four of them, but they've continued, with , one on and Vanderbilt Avenue, and .
In addition, on Dec. 17 while walking home from the subway on Park Place between Vanderbilt and Washington avenues.