Monday, September 27, 2010

Woman Attacked On North Beach

I have a young woman friend, in her mid-twenties, who is visiting the Island for the second time. She is a well-seasoned world traveller and not the least bit naive about the dangers of travelling alone as a single woman. Even so, who would imagine that you could get hurt here on the island? And on North Beach especially. This is her story.

It was just starting to get dark out. Almost everybody else had left the beach for the day. Having been on the beach all day, she gathered up her belongings and started walking down the beach. She was about 30 yards past the Swing Bar I showed you on Friday, when a group of three boys approached her. She says they looked to be in the 12-14 year old age.

One of the group asked her for a cigarette. She said she didn't have any. Then they asked if she had a lighter they could borrow for a second. She rummaged in her beach bag/purse and handed them a lighter. They did nothing with it but continued to stand there and look at her. At this point she was getting a little nervous. She asked them to return her lighter. At the same time, an older, much larger man appeared out of nowhere and stood with the kids, not saying a word.

The boys laughed and gave her back her lighter. She walked around them, continuing on her way. All of sudden she felt a strong force push her from behind and she fell to her knees in the sand, the contents of her bag scattering. She says that all she could think was to get up. Get up! She stood and started to run, screaming for help, for the nearest break in the fence which leads to a restaurant. They did not pursue her.

She reported to the staff at the restaurant what had happened and they accompanied her back onto the beach. Both to see if the thugs were still there and to help her collect her spilled things. Except, of course, there was nobody there and most of her belongings were gone. Her wallet, which only contained money, her camera, her iPod and her snorkel. All gone. Even so, she feels lucky that she escaped this encounter relatively unhurt.

The moral here: Do not stop and talk to a group of people who may approach you....for any reason. They surely will not have your best interests in mind.

20 comments:

Arizona Kelly said...

Wow. Thats scary as hell. Is seems our sweet, safe little Isla is gone. I'm glad she is ok.

Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

This is so unfortunate to read. I am so sorry for your friend. I am so glad that she is alright.

Thank you for the reminder to be careful and cautious all the time. In our little bubbles of normal and quiet it is easy to let your guard down. - atleast for me. I am glad your friend is okay.

Calypso said...

Makes me mad as hell!

Life's a Beach! said...

This is really bad. I've always felt truly safe traveling by myself to the island, especially when I stay in town. What amazes me is that it wasn't even late at night. I'm glad she's okay, but I'm betting the magic of Isla is certainly lost for her.

threecollie said...

That is so ugly, the poor girl...

Islagringo said...

LAB: actually she is fine. Blaming herself for letting her guard down. She says that kind of shit can happen anywhere, to anyone. She was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. She refuses to let it taint her whole impression of the island. To me, it just shows what the island is turning into more and more every day.

Anonymous said...

How come they don't approach nice old 6 foot 3, 260 pound guys like me? I would of loved to played with them. Doesn't take a lot of a man to mess with vulnerable people, grrrr, that makes me mad.

KfromMichigan said...

Thank God she is OK .. I would never have stopped. Crap happens anywhere. It's a shame that it is starting on Isla!

Anonymous said...

I've always dreamed of retiring to Isla and opening a little business. Perhaps I could sell mace. Too bad she didn't have any.

Jane said...

I'm happy your friend understands this can happen anywhere. As for scarey experiences, I know this from my own experience: If you are known as a good person, bad people will soon disappear, thanks to good people who want Isla to be safe for their extended "families." God bless my wonderful friends on Isla.

Joanne said...

Last winter I was walking down our street in Progreso. It was mid afternoon and I was with my 80 year old mother. Three girls, about 15 years old were approaching. One stopped in front of me and very rudely asked for a prestamo, a loan. She had that saucy, insolent look in her eyes. I said no and stepped around her. As she walked on she turned and made a rude comment about my mother. So I turned to her and started to say something back to her. I quickly came to my senses. I am 50, my mother is 80 and these were teenagers. Mom and I walked home but it left me shaken. We are talking about Progreso, Yucatan where not much happens. And I don't know what bothered me more - that they would dare to threaten an 80 year old woman or that they may have thought that I was an easy mark.

I am glad your friend is safe. It is a good reminder to be careful.

Jane said...

P.S. My enounter with low-life happened 14 years ago, right after I watched the sun set at North Beach. And again I will say, thank God for my very good "old" friends on Isla. I love you.

Jackie said...

My 22 year old niece and a friend are coming down to stay with me on Isla for a few days next week. I have already had the “how to be safe”conversation with her. Yes, this can happen anywhere.

Steve Cotton said...

Like everywhere else, respect for others is eroding. During our St. Patrick Day celebration in Melaque this year, a boy (around 10 or so) was tormenting a dog by shooting at it with a pistol that shot plastic projectiles. When an elderly woman chastised him, he laughed at her. And when she turned her back, he shot her. People in the crowd gasped. He laughed. I suspect he will be one of the people to avoid in drak places in years to come.

Safari said...

Wow! Very scary! I’m glad to hear that she’s alright.

Beaches can be a particular spot of vulnerability. At a certain time of day, the sands are cleared of the bustle and it's just the sea and the wind – the potential for crime. I have always thought of Isla as a very safe haven in Mexico and we isleƱos want to keep it that way! Still, we must be aware that it's a short ferry ride over to this paradise and anyone can cross. I admire your friend's strength, that she's not letting this taint her whole view of Isla. However, it’s a good reminder for us all, especially us ladies, that if not with a group or partner, we should leave the beach with the crowd.
~Empathic hugs to your friend.

clay nobles said...

I had my wallet and passport stolen two blocks from the governors mansion in Xalapa but nothing happened. The worst thing was I had to go to Mexico City to get a new passport, which turned out to be a very pleasant trip. Bad things can happen to good people ANYWHERE in the world.

Anonymous said...

There must be some kind of mistake here:


There Is No Crime On Isla.



O Robert

BlueSky said...

It is scary to think this could happen in broad daylight but I'm glad the girl is okay. It's true, this can happen anywhere but you like to think it wouldn't happen here...It's a good reminder to stay on guard and perhaps learn some martial arts!!!

Anonymous said...

Why are you staying?

Diane (friend of O Robert)

lagovistajenn said...

Safety in numbers.