I am still shaking. 🙁
Anyway, it’s totally my fault and I put myself in that situation. But regardless.
My plan was to take some night photos of the waterfall behind the Metreon in downtown SF. Normally, it’s a very pretty area during the day, but it can be kind of sketchy at night. I figured since there was a big convention in town and so many tourists would be nearby at the Moscone Center, it’d be okay.
I was carrying my huge camera tripod with me (obviously looking like a target) and my camera in my backpack. I get to the middle of the grassy field (which is dark of course) and started setting up the tripod when I noticed someone running across Mission Street in my general direction and kind of sticking to the trees. This creeped me out.
So I folded the tripod back up and decided to walk back towards the Metreon. This dude ran up and cut me off. He had a hoodie over his head and a black bandanna over his face (total robber style apparently). His hand was in his pants and he said “Hey fool, give me all your shit!”
I was shocked even though I knew what was happening and all I could think to say was “What the fuck?”
He said, “I said give me everything, like your camera and wallet. I have a gun and I’m not playing” and stepped towards me.
So… I hit him in the chest with my tripod.
Ugh. (Stupid, I know!)
He backed off and said, “Alright, I see how it is. You better watch yourself” and ran off!
That was it. No fight or anything. Thankfully, nothing taken and I’m not hurt. Just shaken up a bit.
I flagged down a police car up the street and filed a police report. I doubt they’ll catch the guy though. I told the officer that I probably shouldn’t have hit him in the chest and he said, “No way, it’s great you did that. Next time, hit him in the fucking face though.” Ah… vigilante justice at work.
Eh… anyway, that was probably the scariest moment of my life.
I know you can’t put a monetary value on your life and objects can just be replaced. But my first thought was simply “My cell phone, wallet, iPod, camera and lenses are all in my backpack right now. That’s almost my entire life right there…” Not to mention my New Zealand sweatshirt… now *that* is irreplaceable. 😉
Joking aside though, it’s weird how instincts work. I wasn’t trying to be a hero or go Rambo style. But damn, I’m not a pushover either. That said, things would have been different if he actually had pulled a gun on me. I’m willing to wager at this point that he didn’t have one (he never showed it).
But I was still worried that maybe I’d get a bullet in the back as we went our opposite directions. 🙁
What a stressful night.
Anyway, here’s a photo of my savior and hero. (And probably the key reason I got mugged).