In the weekly feature called "e-views," we invite readers to answer a question via email.
Last week's question:
Last week a woman was stopped while driving and approached and assaulted by a man and teenage girl who tried to rob her in Antioch. What precautions do you take to stay safe? And, what can the community do to stem the tide of crime in East County?
FIRST AND FOREMOST, the main important thing to remember, while driving, is to do so with all car doors locked. Assailants have often gained access to car interiors at stop signs, red lights, etc. through unlocked car doors. In this case mentioned, possibly if the driver had both pepper spray and/or a stun gun (within quick reach), they would have been effectively used against the assailants allowing the driver to exit quickly. A good reminder for people is not to stop for suspicious behavior like people stopping in the middle of the street with their dog. Most of the time, people walking a dog, don't normally stop in the middle of the street. They are only interested in crossing safely and quickly to avoid vehicles.
FIRST THING YOU do is don't go into bad neighborhoods. That would mean all of Antioch.
Our elected officials have let it get out of hand by a mountain of poor decisions. It is a very sad situation that is only getting worse. But, if you do find yourself in Antioch, you should always have your doors locked and windows up. Never wait at red lights for them to change. Just stop and proceed when safe. I have no interest in anything that someone who approaches my car has to say. If they step in front, they will get run over and dragged all the way to the Antioch Police Department, or the nearest Starbuck's. Also, showing your loaded gun helps a lot too.
We need to stop anyone who looks suspicious either walking or driving in town. Tickets need to be written for every conceivable offense. Make Antioch a most unfriendly place. Then any visitors or local trouble makers will decide to move on and we can reclaim our town.
NO EARTH-SHATTERING revelations, but I've adopted a few simple ways to cut down the odds of mugging, which happened to me in Boston, Mass., years back and gifted me a trip to the hospital. Wife and I avoid neighborhood walks in the dark, using ATMs in dim hours, gassing up at night at convenience stores and, if possible, parking in the back 90 of shopping areas or BART stations. Things are dicey enough without further tempting fate.
PRECAUTIONS RELY UPON the situations at hand and vary. While in a vehicle, one should keep their doors locked, windows raised with some room for ventilation and hearing purposes, and not stop or drive where one can more easily be victimized. Keeping a cell phone ready with the local police number handy also helps. The crime in East County is not unique, and is not what I'd refer to as a "tide" -- it is common throughout the U.S.A. Panicking the public by constantly crying "wolf" is insidious and usually meant to advance one's propaganda and special interests, with the help of the news media no less! The community just has to be alert to and be prepared for the potential of being victimized and taken advantage of -- such as tax increase proposals by big spending politicians, and by those who will personally gain by their passage. Those types of proposals do indeed victimize the public also
Ralph A. Hernandez
I AM VERY AWARE of my surroundings and make the best decisions I can to stay safe, but I refuse to hide out or be afraid of the city I live in. God put me here he will have to take me out. I trust him with my life and know he has my comings and my goings covered. I run several days a week with my sister in Antioch and never feel threatened or afraid. Guess it just depends on the area you are in.
I LIVE IN Alabama (moved here six months ago from Antioch). Crime rate is just getting too bad for me to stay. I don't have a solution, but I hope it gets under control.
Former Antioch resident
I ALWAYS HAVE the doors locked and stay alert to my surroundings. And, I try to make eye contact with people, because in theory if people know you seen them, then you can identify them. I don't make visible personal items such as phone, etc. If your on the phone perps know your not paying full attention to your surroundings.
I THINK IF we had more officers helping in our city twice a week -- maybe have Oakland cops helping us crack down on the violence in the crime. But it seems that the cops don't do much unless their called, and even then, nothing gets accomplished.
Kelly M. Brumwell-Cobb
I LOVE THE fact that I'm hearing and seeing more of the citizens fighting back the degenerates of this once beautiful and peaceful area. I support CCW and feel it should be communicated to the area that we as citizens of the Delta are fighting back.
ALWAYS KEEP CAR doors locked and windows up. Carry a Taser (out and ready) in the car. If anyone approaches your car, resist the urge to be kind! It goes against the grain for most, but you can't trust people anymore. Anyone walking up to your car is a potential assault/robbery. Don't roll down your window for anyone. If you feel threatened, listen to your intuition. Speed away, lay on your horn, call 911, do whatever you can do. How very sad that it has come to this.
IT'S NOT ABOUT how many police we have, although it's nice to be fully staffed in that department. Personal safety is crucial because any incident will take seconds to minutes for the police to respond. I talk to people at the dog park in Brentwood who live in Antioch who are deathly afraid to do anything in Antioch because of the crime.
I tell them the same thing: Lock your doors, keep flashy phones and iPads out of sight, whether you're in your car or not. Trust your gut instinct -- if you're at the intersection of Delta Fair and you see gang member cars congregating, drive away from the area. People don't trust their instincts. If someone is approaching your car, lock the doors, roll the windows up and drive away -- if you can.
The citizens of Antioch need to take back a beautiful downtown and gentrify it. Stamp out the crime by forcing the police chief to hire the correct amount of police officers. Raise a small tax to keep the county fire stations open so AFD doesn't have to respond to county incidents.
ANTIOCH SHOULD STOP announcing to the public that there short of officers -- people think they can do crime around here and get away with it, and the sad part is, most of the time they do. This city has gone nuts. It would help if we would stop letting in all the Section 8 people in the area as well the Dear Valley area has gotten so bad because of that reason. I won't even take my kids to a park in Antioch.
I go into Brentwood for almost everything.
I DRIVE WITH my doors locked and my windows up. I try to limit my business in Antioch to absolute necessities. I'm even toying with driving to Tracy or Livermore to do my shopping. I also just ordered another pepper spray to keep on my key chain. I only go out during the day.
DRIVE WITH WINDOWS and doors up and locked. Always leave enough space between you and the car in front of you in case you gotta get outta there fast. Don't stop for anyone, stay off Sycamore during all hours of the day and night, keep an eye on your kids and hope for the best.
I AM VERY aware of my surroundings and make the best decisions I can to stay safe, but I refuse to hide out or be afraid of the city I live in. God put me here, he will have to take me out. I trust Him with my life and know He has my comings and my goings covered. I run several days a week with my sister in Antioch and never feel threatened or afraid. Guess it just depends on the area you are in.
WE ARE easy prey for those of the criminal element here. Add one minor detail -- we could be armed as well. Now we are not easy prey, but potential threat that fires back. I'm just saying!
TWO WORDS -- "Shall issue." If every day law-abiding citizens are allowed to legally carry a concealed weapon, criminals will start to think twice before they try to assault someone.
This week's question:
An Antioch woman was fatally shot and two others injured following an altercation at a local skating rink that was open until 3 a.m. for a regular late-night adult skate night at the fairgrounds. Some have questioned if the rolling rink should be allowed to stay open that late. What do you think?
Email your response to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please limit responses to a few sentences, and be sure to include your full name and city of residence. .Note: Please respond before Monday.