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A Look At Unprovoked Violence and Prevention In The US and Beyond

Avatar for Samantha Biggers Samantha Biggers  |  Updated: July 31, 2019
A Look At Unprovoked Violence and Prevention In The US and Beyond

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The last time I wrote about crime it was to help you learn how to handle yourself if you find yourself in the midst of a flash mob looting.

Now I am here to tell you about avoiding becoming a victim of unprovoked violence in everyday settings.

In mid July, 2019 at the Hilton in Washington D.C a random tourist was ambushed and attacked by a gang of 12. The entire incident was captured on security cameras.

To me, it would have almost have been a relief if someone had reported there was some motive behind this incident but there was no robbery and no indication of any past association.

This leads one to the sinister conclusion that this crime was done for fun and malice. The only other option I can think of is that it was done as a form of protest for a perceived slight.

Regardless of the reason, the fact is that it is wrong to go around beating people down that are minding their own business.

I have compiled a lot of incidents from the USA and other parts of the world so you can see a broader view of this type of violence. I do not feel like the mainstream media does this and I think it is harmful overall because when people just hear about an incident here or there, it is easy to feel like it is not as big of a problem as it is.

The Incidents

The Hilton Hotel

Washington, DC

July 14, 2019

A group of 12 young people approached and attacked a tourist staying at The Hilton, a hotel that is known for hosting dignitaries and came to the public attention in 1981 as the site of then-president Ronald Reagan’s attempted assassination. When the attack happened, the youth said: “Hey that’s him”. When another person said, “No you got the wrong person” they turned their rage on them as well. The DC police are still looking for the perpetrators and asking for the public’s help in identifying them.

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The Beating of Journalist Andy Ngo By Antifa

Portland, OR

When conservative journalist Andy Ngo tried to cover the political protests in Portland, Oregon he was beaten so bad by Antifa that he suffered a brain hemorrhage. This is an extremely horrific incident that is best told by Ngo in the video below.

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Baltimore City PD Office

Baltimore, Maryland

July 24

A group of teens on e-scooters brutally attacks a civilian employee of the Baltimore Police Department as they exit the office. As you can see from the video they circled the person and one made a hard and debilitating blow to the head. What follows is more blows to the head. These youth were going for maximum damage.

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Taco Bell

Philadelphia, PA

February 24, 2019

It was a long wait at the Taco Bell on 11th of Chestnut on the night of February 24, 2019. Some customers had been waiting on their food for over 30 minutes when workers decided they had enough. A total of 6 Taco Bell employees jumped over the counter and began beating a man. When the man’s girlfriend tried to intervene, the employees held her down and beat her. The employees were naturally fired but the man who went through the trauma was offered a $20 gift card and assured that the employees were fired. That is little comfort and I don’t blame him for perusing further legal action for such injustice and the resulting medical bills.

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Rochester, NY

A man was attacked by two teens and the whole incident was live-streamed on Facebook. The victim suffered head injuries.

The messages from people in the community expressed in this video are worth watching. I urge you to watch this video. It is clear there are some good people out there that want things like this to not happen!

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The Attack of A Pregnant Woman on the Sidewalk in Boston

April 2019

This really makes me sick. A pregnant lady in Boston was feeling nauseous and stopped on the sidewalk. She was vomiting when teens started to laugh at her and call her names. This led to her being beat. Luckily others intervened and she and her unborn child were ok. This act speaks of terrible cruelty and malice.

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Red Line Chicago Bus Stop

December 30, 2018

Chicago, IL

Public transportation services are essential to helping people get around in the city, particularly those that are disabled, elderly, and the lower wage earners. The weekend of December 29, 2018 witnessed 8-10 young people aged 15-19 attacking several people at a bus stop. While several people were arrested and charged, the rest got away with these attacks. There were still other criminal acts committed that same night in front of various businesses. Below is the news footage. I am also including an eye witness video that is quite graphic and has strong language because the news footage describes a lot of the incidents of the night but does cover the brutality of the attack.

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Hong Kong Protests

Even if you are just going about your business in Hong Kong, you are not safe. Groups recently attacked everyday people using the subway system in the city. Yes, some of those using the subways were protesters making their way home but plenty of the others were just bystanders trying to go about their daily lives.

Considering how enclosed the area is, it is easy to imagine just how bad it could get. It reminds me of the senseless act of terrorism committed in the subways in Japan where people died of exposure to chemical weapons. Enclosed public transit areas are very dangerous places to be if anyone wants to cause trouble.

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New Zealand

New Zealand has seen a lot of unprovoked attacks affecting people from all walks of life. Here are a few of the incidents that stand out. New Zealand doesn’t seem to have a lot of videos of incidents so please forgive me for not including any as I have with the other incidents described. I have linked to news stories so you can get more information if you would like. New Zealand is known for taking a strict stance on video. Remember when people were threatened with 10-year prison sentences if they shared video of the massive shooting in Christchurch?

March 6, 2019- A man sitting on a park bench is viciously attacked with a hammer.

March 14, 2019- New Zealand Minister on Climate, James Shaw, grabbed and punched in the face in Wellington while outside of the Botanic Gardens.

June 6, 2019- A man and his wife that recently immigrated from India were scouting out a home to buy in a neighborhood when they were attacked walking on the sidewalk in Auckland.

Wedding celebration in England

In Manchester on April 28, 2019, a group celebrating a wedding was attacked. 7 men attacked the party at 2:20 am as they were leaving a bar.

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The Concept of the 10th Street Crew

With all that you see on the mainstream news about recognized organized gangs, it is easy to think that reports of a “gang” attack mean it was done by a real deal gang.

The reality is that plenty of group violence is done by local “crews”. For our example, let’s call them the 10th Street Crew.

The 10th Street crew may eventually become organized and answer to more powerful and influential groups, like recognized gangs, but most of the time they are just a group of people that live close enough together and have enough in common to come together.

Think about your own neighborhood. Are their groups of younger people that hang out a lot together a lot and have similar interests? Well, what if one of those groups decides that it is a good idea to cause a scene?

This is not about just the troubles you read about that take place in the major metropolitan areas of America. A small town or city is not safe from crime committed by mobs and gangs of people. We must stop seeing this type of crime as just a big city problem if we want to create true change and safety in our communities. Unprovoked violent attacks happen all over but we hear mostly about those in larger areas and some go totally unreported.

Avoiding Becoming A Victim

Maintain your distance

If you can keep a good distance from unknown persons then consider doing so. People can move faster than you would expect. It may not always be possible to maintain a good distance in some situations and more urban areas but it is a concept that you should be aware of.

Watch for coordinated movements

Mobs, gangs, and groups may coordinate so that you have nowhere to run. This is what happened in the case of the tourist in front of the Hilton in Washington D.C.

Avoid wearing obvious gang gear

Where I grew up in Washington State, every kid I knew was aware that you didn’t wear certain colors of headgear. Was it fair? No, but it was not worth it to me to challenge the fact that if I wore certain things I might offend one group by showing allegiance to another even if I didn’t actually have any thoughts on the matter.

This is probably more of a concern for those that are younger but it never hurts to use a little common sense and pick your battles carefully. Honestly, I think the safest thing to do is just avoid bandannas entirely if in an unknown area. It is impossible to know all the signs used by gangs or crews in areas you are unfamiliar with. People seem to be looking for excuses to be offended nowadays so if you want to avoid conflict, you need to avoid giving them fuel for their actions.

Think before you yell things

Have you considered that you may have done something to provoke a person or a group that has violent tendencies?

While you may think yelling at someone or getting angry at them is just going to get looked over, that may not be the case. People can sometimes overreact to criticism or any anger that is directed towards them. A casual insult may not be that casual to the person at the other end. Think before you speak and ask yourself if saying something is really going to change anything. It is probably unlikely that someone is going to change their overall behavior just because you say something to them and they are probably not going to apologize either so what is the point in saying things except to bolster your own ego and hurt pride? There are a lot of people in the graveyard that couldn’t swallow their pride and take a different path.

Avoid traveling alone regardless of your gender

Women get told to not walk places alone or travel alone fairly often. Well, we live in times where violence is concerning enough that everyone should heed this advice, especially in areas where individuals are not allowed to carry weapons of any kind. Two is better than one but 3-4 people moving together are less likely to be attacked and they can put up more of a fight. Having more than one set of eyes looking out for the group can make a huge difference in fending off potential ambushers.

Carry something for defense if at all possible

In areas where weapons are not allowed at all, I feel sorry for people because it must be a helpless feeling. I also know that plenty of people ignore these laws entirely. I am not going to tell you to ignore laws. It is very easy to get caught and get in trouble in some areas if you choose to disobey the laws. In Washington DC the police are known for how well they detect and eliminate weapons in the area. They even have microphones set up throughout the city to detect gunshots so they can respond more promptly.

If firearms are not an option for you, there are plenty of other defense devices that you can carry daily. These are less lethal means but that doesn’t mean they could not ever be lethal. The power of a weapon largely depends on how it is wielded and the circumstances of the situation. Make sure that you learn how to use any defensive device you choose to purchase. Don’t just cram it in your bag and think you will know what to do when the time comes.

My article “Best Non-Lethal Weapons For The Prepared Individual” has a lot of suggestions for arming yourself.

Is it worth it to be in a crowd of people?

People like to get out and do things but we are living in times when it seems like a logical choice to ask yourself if it is safe or worth it to be in large crowds. Even food festivals are being attacked by angry people. Just look at what happened at the Gilroy Garlic Festival recently.

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Does this mean we should all stay at home hidden all the time? No. If it is that bad then I consider it a long emergency moment and that is no way to live in your daily life. At the same time, it is important to consider the safety of large events. Personally, I have never liked being in large crowds but when I do choose to go to larger events it is outdoor events like the Gilroy Garlic Festival where I am not in a very confined space.

If there has been a lot of unrest or tension in your area, it may be wise to avoid larger events, particularly those that are involved with anything regarding politics or special interest groups.

Consider where you live and if it is safe to stay there for the long term.

I know people have roots in an area and that it can be very difficult to move somewhere else. At the same time, there are a lot of people that move around a bit, especially the younger generations.

Personally, I cannot imagine starting over again at 36. It is a scary concept but at the same time I did it once and it was the best decision I have made. It set the course for the rest of my life and got me out of place that was going downhill fast. I had two bags and that was it when I got off the bus in North Carolina.

People that have good intentions and want to lead productive lives are leaving urban centers in huge numbers. This definitely hurts the cities overall but at this point, I cannot blame them for jumping ship.

I advise considering your future if you live in a heavily populated area. Is it worth it to stay? Remember that during long emergencies, it may be impossible to get out if you wait too long.

Let’s do something to stop these problems before they start.

Kids don’t start out wanting to cause mayhem and hurt people. We can set around in our homes and judge all day long and accomplish nothing. This may ruffle some feathers but here is how I see it and a few ideas for helping prevent atrocious behaviors.

Give kids something productive to do

I know that times are different and people are super busy. It is easy for everyone within a home to get caught up in the day to day and their own bubble. One of the big problems today is that there is not always a lot of meaningful activities for kids and teens. When people get bored or are not getting the attention they need to learn and grow, they can go down a darker path. Human beings crave a certain level of attention, praise, and acceptance, especially when they are young and figuring out who they really are and their place in the world.

Too many people like to point out that kids are lazy or clueless. That is not a good way to look at things because it doesn’t do any good for either side of the equation. Sometimes kids simply are not given the tools and opportunities that would help guide them down a better life path. It is not fair to say someone is lazy when they haven’t even been given the opportunity to do any meaningful work or gain skills. One of the best things you can do for your kids or the youth in your community is to be supportive of programs and activities to help them learn and become better people. Idle hands are more likely to cause trouble.

When I was a teen I worked at a low paying fast-food job and farmed. There were a lot of jobs like that if you had a way to get to them and at least a slight work ethic. Now that things have become more automated and more adults are working for longer time periods before retirement, it is harder for the really young to find summer jobs or part-time employment.

People need to spend more time together

Families don’t necessarily even sit down for dinner together. Some recent studies reported outstanding numbers of people saying that they looked at the internet during most of their mealtimes. That means even if everyone is eating in the same room they are still not interacting in a positive way. How on earth are folks supposed to have any idea what is going on in the lives of those closest to them if they don’t talk to each other about their lives except to announce where they are going and when they will be back?

Consider how much glorified violence is part of your life and how you deal with it. Do you invite it into your home more than you should?

Teens now have grown up in a time where the internet, video games, movies, etc are cheap entertainment. Things have come a long way. In the past, it was only the wealthier kids that could afford a lot of gadgets or the latest game. When I was a teen, a lot of video games were $50-$70. That was a lot of money back in the late 90s and it is not a minuscule amount now. In 2019 most games are under $50 and they have a lot more content so you don’t beat a game in a day or two. Movie rentals are cheaper and easier than ever before. The level of violence in games and television is off the charts. No one is checking the ID of the person on the other end of a video game account or an Amazon movie rental.

I grew up in a household without cable television or video games. My understanding of violence came from my father mentioning incidents in Vietnam, my grandmother revealing the state my Dad was in when the medics found him after the mortar fire, the countless paperbacks scattering our house, and the slides of photos my Dad took that we projected onto the wall of kitchen occasionally. Violence was very real to me because it felt personal. A video game or movie is a Hollywood version that desensitizes people to the true horrors of violence and the finality of death.

The popular shows today reflect how people can just turn away and go about their business when they see the suffering and horrors occurring in the cities of America. It is much easier so see someone as a “zombie” than a real human being and tortured soul.

The Temper and Violence Connection

People are pretty angry in general in the USA. I get feedback and comments from housewives that are calling for blood. I have increasingly seen a tendency towards a “shoot first and act questions later” philosophy.

As someone that has experienced huge anger issues and problems over the years, it is frightening to me just how angry people are. One of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooters described himself as “angry”.

If increasing numbers of people are that angry, we as a society, need to consider what we can do to change things and at least decrease the number of violent events. Unprovoked violence will never be entirely eliminated in society. All we can do is find ways to reduce it. Good anger management skills and healthy coping mechanisms could help some people.

Practice controlling your own temper and try to understand the root of it so you can heal

I include myself in this. We need to make an effort together to learn methods for not getting too angry. It takes time to learn how to control your temper and I will tell you right now that how well it works depends on the person. 

I know for a fact that it is not good for your mental or physical health no matter if you the angry person or the one that has to deal with it. 

Part of the equation is finding the root of your anger and going from there. This requires some brutal honesty but if you can do that for yourself and those around you, then you will be on a better path that will enhance your ability to survive no matter what. If you are a leader in your group or household, accepting and coming up with solutions for your own negative behaviors will be of immense benefit. 

Allow yourself to vent and listen to others when they need to do it too.

An outlet for anger and frustration is important. When people feel they have no outlet and cannot express their feelings, it can result in exploding emotions and trouble. We need to be there for one another. Don’t shame people for being angry. Anger is part of being human. It is how anger and frustration are dealt with that make a difference.

Get off the meds and don’t let them put your kids on them for minor reasons.

Look I realize there are some folks that have legitimate conditions and need medicine but there are far more that are just handed it for minor discomfort or expression of feelings. If there is any way at all to keep yourself and your children out of the pharmaceutical mess our country has become, then you should try. 

I did an extended article on “When The Meds Run Out”. I will refer you to this article for more info because the issue of pharmaceuticals and our dependence on them as a nation is far too immense to include in this post on violence.

Advice for youth

So some psychiatrists are saying that they are seeing more and more angry girls that are committing acts of violence despite media claims that it is a male problem. The truth is that kids are just angry in general but sometimes for slightly different reasons.

I am going to go out on a limb on this one and I will probably get a ton of hate mail for saying this but whatever. Sometimes things need to be said.

I think that kids today do not know how to act and it is not their fault. While they have their own feelings and emotions they are told to be this or that if they want to be “strong”. Both genders are taught to blame each other for problems when it is not at all that simple and little good comes of playing the blame game.

Guess what?

You don’t have to listen to either extreme. You can be yourself.

You can like girl stuff and boy stuff and be successful. The one thing I caution you against is anyone, male or female, that consistently uses your personal likes and dislikes in order to use you for their agenda. Be yourself. Think for yourself, realize you are not always right but other people are not always right either. You will make mistakes and that is life. The difference is do you learn or do you flounder in the abyss?

I think you can flourish.

Remember that it takes some time to find your path. None of us have if figured out from the start. Be passionate about what you care about and take the time to think for yourself while appreciating the thoughts and opinions of others.

You owe yourself that respect.

Is unprovoked violence a problem in your area? What steps are you taking to stay safe? All comments on this post are welcome if they actually add to the conversation.

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3 Responses to “A Look At Unprovoked Violence and Prevention In The US and Beyond”

  1. Interesting article. Somehow I doubt that Samantha’s intention was to mislead us to believe that crime crosses racial boundaries. But she was using video from mainstream media sources and racism is a big part of their message. There is no worse form of racism than cross racial violence. This bias in the news is terrible. As a white parent of a black son who is now 35, we have almost never seen true racism toward our son or our family…something you’d never know by watching or reading the news.

  2. Wow, if I weren’t such a fan of crime and crime studies, I’d walk away from this article believing that all crime in America is black on white! Forget that every statistic proves that most blacks attack other blacks and that most white victims are attacked by whites.

    This article’s examples made me wince at its overt stance against non-whites.

  3. Good eye opening article. I don’t really agree with some of the touchy feely suggestions such as anger outlets. I believe there are evil, criminal kids out there. Many father’s hit and run. Kids who grow up without “good” fathers are likely to act out. I see it in poor neighborhoods in cities and that’s one reason our jails are full and should stay full.

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