Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guardian Angels Plan Rapist Patrol, 1987

Guardian Angels Plan Rapist Patrol;

Edward Iwata. San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, Calif.: Nov 30, 1987. pg. A.2

The Guardian Angels, the crime-fighting group known for its bright red berets, said yesterday that it will start patrolling Santa Clara County to help combat the notorious Ski Mask Rapist.

Curtis Sliwa, the outspoken founder of the Guardian Angels, criticized local police forces for not thwarting the rapist who has attacked 30 women since 1984 in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Altos and other South Bay towns.

"Let's face it - anywhere else, people would be screaming for the head of the police chief," said Sliwa. "Nowhere else in the country would 30 rapes have been tolerated and accepted as passively as they have in this region.
"Come hell or high water, regardless of the reaction of police or political officials, we're going to be there to help patrol. . . ."

Sliwa spoke in Hayward yesterday afternoon at a graduation ceremony for 40 new Guardian Angels, who completed 128 hours of self-defense and legal training. They will join 100 veteran Guardian Angels in the Bay Area and Sacramento.
To the nods of graduates and local residents, Sliwa also questioned the "archaic" self-defense tactics being taught to women by local police departments.
Sliwa said that five women in Los Altos had contacted the Guardian Angels, complaining that the self-defense methods described at a recent seminar by the Los Altos Police Department are outdated and sexist.

"Women are being told to get on their hands and knees and eat grass, hoping that the rapist - who is nuts himself - will think they're nuts," said Sliwa. "Women are being told to stick their fingers in their mouths and regurgitate, to scare off the attacker."

Sliwa said that women must "take the offensive" by screaming and yelling, or jabbing fingers into an attacker's eyes or nose. "The key is fighting back," he said.
Police officials in Mountain View and San Jose declined to comment yesterday on Sliwa's remarks.

On Friday, San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, a nationally known law enforcement expert, told United Press International that he "stops far short of endorsing the Guardian Angels." McNamara added, however, that "any organization that helps people from being victimized, that's great."

In Los Altos, police Sergeant Frank Pearson said yesterday that the department has not talked yet to the Guardian Angels, but "if they can be of help, that would be appreciated."

Guardian Angels leaders said they do not mean to disrupt or compete with police investigations. Rather, they hope to give residents an extra feeling of security during crime waves.

"We want to comb the area and give the rapist one more thing to throw him off balance," said Scott McKeown, West Coast director of the Guardian Angels.

Today, the Guardian Angels will start 24-hour patrols on foot and in cars at the San Antonio Shopping Center in Mountain View. They will also offer self-defense classes and escorts for women.

At the graduation yesterday, dozens of East Bay residents praised the group for helping the police patrol their neighborhoods during the recent manhunt for accused murderer Franklin Lynch.

Apprehended in Los Angeles, he is charged with killing two elderly women and is suspected of several other attacks.

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