Police offer tips on staying safe

4S RANCH — In response to a March 6 stabbing attack on female pizza delivery driver on Lone Quail Drive in 4S Ranch, Community Relations Officer Gaylon Sells, of the Northwestern Division substation of the San Diego Police Department, has offered some basic safety tips.
After having delivered the pizza, the victim was approached from behind by two masked assailants in dark clothing who demanded money. When she told them she had none, they stabbed her four times, the fled the scene. Fortunately, the victim’s injuries were reportedly non-life threatening, but the attack could have easily had a very different outcome.
The San Diego Police Department suggest that when you are out:
— Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
— Walk with a friend or family member.
— Walk with confidence and know where you are going. Be alert. Make eye contact with people you pass.
— Watch your surroundings. Leave any places in which you are uncomfortable. Be especially alert for suspicious persons around banks, ATMs, stores, your home, etc.
— Cross the street if you see someone suspicious following you.
— Walk into an open business and call 911 if you see anyone acting suspicious or following you. Don’t go home.
— Don’t go out alone at night, venture into unfamiliar or dark places, take shortcuts, talk to or accept rides with strangers, or hitch rides. Don’t walk in or near alleys, on deserted streets, near dark doorways or shrubbery.
— Don’t approach vehicles even if the occupants say they need directions or assistance.
— Consider your options in the event you are confronted, e.g., scream or blow a whistle to attract attention, flee to a safe area, etc. Decide what you plan to do and practice your responses so you can recall them in a real situation.
— Learn self-defense. Take classes only from licensed instructors. But don’t substitute self-defense training for common sense, alertness and caution.
— Know where telephones are along your route.
— Carry cash and credit cards in a pocket.
— Carry change for emergency telephone and transportation. 911 calls are free.
— Carry identification, medical information, names and phone numbers of people to call in emergencies.
— Carry only necessities.
— Avoid verbal confrontations. They may lead to physical altercations.
— Don’t leave notes on your door when you are away from home.
— Don’t leave keys in mailboxes or planters, under doormats, or in other obvious hiding spots. Leave an extra key with a neighbor.
— Don’t carry a gun, knife, club, chemical spray, or other weapon. Some are illegal to carry and all could be used against you.
In general, follow the four As of self-defense:
— Be aware of your surroundings and who or what is nearby.
— Assess the situation and possible threat.
— Act quickly and decisively. Change your route, go into a store, use your voice.
— Maintain a confident attitude. Don’t appear to be an easy target.

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