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Photo Op Gone Bad

On the afternoon of Friday, April 3, I was riding my bicycle in the parking lot between the Villa Toscona apartment complex and Kohl’s in Rancho San Diego. A friend had recently asked me about Villa Toscona, whether I was aware of any suspicious activity going on there, such as meth labs or a gang presence. Realizing that I didn’t know much about the place, I decided to take a spin around the outside of the gated community.

I had my camera in my hand and had begun filming the back wall of the complex to show how diligent the Villa Toscona management is about painting over graffiti. As I’d begun filming, I noticed a single youth getting into his car that was parked next to the wall. Soon I came to realize there was not just one, but seven young men, occupying three cars.

As I rode past, camera in the air, I noticed something white in color fly toward me and hit the front wheel of my bicycle. I made a quick U-turn and confronted the people in the area where the object (probably a plastic bottle cap) seemed to have originated.

The conversation was civil enough, with several of the young men denying they’d thrown anything. However, the one sitting in the driver’s seat of a red car demanded to know why I was “taking pictures of [his] car.” Communications broke down when my attempt to say “none of your business” in a kind manner came out as “that’s my business.”

After demanding several times that I produce a business card to decribe my “business,” another young man could be heard saying “wanna #$!% this guy up?” Then the red-car driver got out of his vehicle and charged me, saying he would “take me off that bicycle.”

I pedaled hard to stay out of the angry driver’s reach. Once out of range, I stopped and held up my camera toward the man who’d threatened me. He charged me again. I decided to pull out my cell phone and announce that it was time for some “police action.”

The audio portion of the video tells the tale more accurately. The Lemon Grove station of the San Diego County Sheriff has reviewed the video and is deciding what further action is appropriate.

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On the afternoon of Friday, April 3, I was riding my bicycle in the parking lot between the Villa Toscona apartment complex and Kohl’s in Rancho San Diego. A friend had recently asked me about Villa Toscona, whether I was aware of any suspicious activity going on there, such as meth labs or a gang presence. Realizing that I didn’t know much about the place, I decided to take a spin around the outside of the gated community.

I had my camera in my hand and had begun filming the back wall of the complex to show how diligent the Villa Toscona management is about painting over graffiti. As I’d begun filming, I noticed a single youth getting into his car that was parked next to the wall. Soon I came to realize there was not just one, but seven young men, occupying three cars.

As I rode past, camera in the air, I noticed something white in color fly toward me and hit the front wheel of my bicycle. I made a quick U-turn and confronted the people in the area where the object (probably a plastic bottle cap) seemed to have originated.

The conversation was civil enough, with several of the young men denying they’d thrown anything. However, the one sitting in the driver’s seat of a red car demanded to know why I was “taking pictures of [his] car.” Communications broke down when my attempt to say “none of your business” in a kind manner came out as “that’s my business.”

After demanding several times that I produce a business card to decribe my “business,” another young man could be heard saying “wanna #$!% this guy up?” Then the red-car driver got out of his vehicle and charged me, saying he would “take me off that bicycle.”

I pedaled hard to stay out of the angry driver’s reach. Once out of range, I stopped and held up my camera toward the man who’d threatened me. He charged me again. I decided to pull out my cell phone and announce that it was time for some “police action.”

The audio portion of the video tells the tale more accurately. The Lemon Grove station of the San Diego County Sheriff has reviewed the video and is deciding what further action is appropriate.

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Comments
8

further action.....get some karate lessons. hahaha

April 13, 2009

The kid in the end throwing the bottle then stomping off in humility of throwing the worse curve ball in history is probably the best part. Mad props to dude on the bike for stepping up to the low life, parking lot, rico suave, scum that threw the cap.

April 13, 2009

karate...why, so he can dance his way out of it?? go brazilian jiu jitsu since most real fights end up on the ground anyway...haha i'm just messin wit u x_acto...xoxo

April 13, 2009

In hindsight, I wonder if I should have just stood my ground? If he’d hit me, I could have pressed assault charges and seen that he’d gone to jail. There are two people that I know personally who did jail time simply because they were the first to touch another person in a heated dispute. On the other hand, I was alone against 7 guys, with my camera my only reliable witness. I know of another individual who was jumped in the parking lot over by Fridays and left unconscious, in need of hospitilization and reconstructive surgery, and a very hazy memory of the attack.

April 13, 2009

Pete, Why didn't you just tell them what you were doing? Basically documenting the reaction of a community to vandalism.
From the video it looks like you set them off by saying it was your 'business'. It doesn't merit their reaction but I was surprised that you wouldn't be more transparent with what you're doing.
"I'm Pete and I work with the weekly reader and am doing a video essay on the communities reaction to the vandalism." Like I said, their reaction wasn't merited but the conflict could have been avoided. Best of luck next time.

April 14, 2009

migpics: You're probably right. I think I was feeling a bit put out that someone had disrespectfully tossed something at me. If I had explained my situation clearly perhaps they might have been quite pleased and I might have been able to interview them about their views on vandalism. Thanks for your comment. --pet

April 14, 2009

Hahahha.................. I would have dropped that skinny dork with one punch at half speed!

April 14, 2009

Surfpuppy, with the rants you post on blogs I'm guessing you probably can't fight your way out of a wet paper bag. Nice try at acting tough behind a computer

April 18, 2009

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