Jul. 28th, 2004
Weho Caution  
One of my friends told me that his friend was attacked in West Hollywood in front of his apartment just a few weeks ago. The story is a little disturbing, especially because this friend is neither an alarmist nor prone to exaggerate.

He walked home from a club, and only remembers being jumped in front of his place. He believes he was hit by a baseball bat. He basically woke up the next morning in front of his place, wrists bruised and body scraped. He was raped, and evidence suggests he was drugged.

Frighteningly, this certainly isn't the only incident, and as you talk about it with people, you start hearing more stories (and less often heard is someone getting caught, so these people are still out there). A good friend of mine had someone slip something in his drink several years ago. Fortunately someone saw him dazed and being led out by a someone, and was able to grab him and ask what was up before the man could get him out of the club.

Bottom line: While not going all paranoid, it's important to realize these things do happen even in gay clubs, where we generally feel safe since, let's face it, it's not like str8 clubs where brawls breaking out is the norm. These crimes often go unreported, and rarely make the news.

The usual being aware of your surroundings aside, it's probably not a bad idea to limit walking back to your car alone (and don't let friends either) while this person or persons remain uncaught.

A few other reminders (I know I forget about these sometimes):
  • Try to ONLY take drinks from the bartender

  • if a friend hands you a drink, don't just take it; ask him where he got it. Too many times, someone trying to drug you will hand the drink to a friend of your's to give to you. Your friend, tipsy and unaware, just hands it to you.

  • Don't ever leave your drink unattended—even to go to the bathroom. If you do by accident, toss it out and get another. Seriously, the $5-10 bucks you may save on a drink aren't worth the risk.

  • Keep an eye out for your friends and yourself. These things happen fast. GHB, for example, only takes 10-20 minutes to kick in, and with a large enough dose, you will first get disoriented and very soon will likely pass out. Seriously, it will come on and escalate fast. If you feel yourself feel weird (especially if it's more than you should based on what you drank) just find one of your friends to hang around quickly, and don't let anyone distract you from that task.
I know we're told this shite all the time, but time has a way of getting us to forget—until of course we hear of it happening again.
 
 
Listening to: Mest - Jaded (These Years)
 
 
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Alexanderalexanderwolf on July 28th, 2004 - 10:48 pm
Good Thought
I hope everyone reads this (and remembers your message).
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ex_prezrober685 on July 29th, 2004 - 06:12 am
scary.
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Brianprofidious on July 29th, 2004 - 04:31 pm
Two years ago I was drugged at a straight dance bar (it appears the creep was going for one of the hottie girls I was with) and ended up in an emergency room. Roofied like a mofo, I was down for the count in no time flat. Had I been one of my girlfriends, I would have a). overdosed, or b). been kidnapped.

Too bad I had to be roofied to adhere to the above safety guidelines. Hopefully people will read this and listen.
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beachboyty: aframebeachboyty on July 29th, 2004 - 06:09 pm
thanks for this post, David. Its easy to feel insulated from this down here in OC, but the wisdom is universal. I especially feel strongly about walking alone at night, especially when somewhat impaired by alcohol (or whatever other substance). The risk of being assaulted is exponentially reduced by the simple act of being with another person.

Having grown up in some pretty mean inner city streets, and having a more edgy/imposing look to me, I have never really felt afraid for my safety, just because I was raised to be wary and hold myself in a way that discourages confrontation. But that still doesn't mean that I (and guys who think they are just like me) can take the reality of the sick world we live in lightly. I follow the kind of safety guidelines you mention because it is good habit to do so, and it encourages your friends to follow your example.

I am EXTREMELY sorry and disturbed to hear about your friend's friend. :(
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