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Los Angeles Times
December 28, 2003
Vigilante helping to keep LA streets safer?
FINANCIAL DISTRICT — Reports of a vigilante rescuing people on the streets of Los Angeles have surfaced, with reports coming from several police districts.
At least ten incidents have been counted, many in the city’s Financial District, of a man stepping in between people who believed they were about to be the victim of a criminal act, and the reported criminal. All those reporting in described a man of medium build, dressed in a long leather duster, and, most tellingly, with bright platinum hair.
Though he willingly puts himself between the reported victims and danger, the vigilante is not above a cutting rebuke to them, several reported.
“I was walking home, and this guy grabbed me,” said Holly Torr, who reported a rescue from the vigilante. “I was terrified, I knew I was going to be mugged or probably worse. But the blond guy, he just kind of strolled in, very casually, told the guy to let me go. When he (the mugger) wouldn’t, the blond guy pulled him off of me, punched him, and the mugger was gone.
“Then he turned to me, and started berating me about walking alone in a place like that in the middle of the night, told me to get a cab next time, called me a moron and a nitwit. As unpleasant as he was, I think I just might.”
Those that fight with the vigilante are often reported as “disappearing,” according to many police reports. Los Angeles Police have investigated the scenes of the reported crimes and rescues, and have not yet found any criminal evidence - no blood, torn clothing, or unconscious or wounded would-be criminals.
Those rescued by the vigilante have found him charming as well, with one woman rescued from a mugging in the Financial District – only to have the vigilante proposition her.
Although vigilantes are often lauded as heroes of the people, the LAPD is not encouraging people to help or join in the vigilante’s efforts.
“We encourage vigilance on the part of Los Angeles residents, but we don‘t encourage them to ride out on their own with the purpose of finding and confronting criminals,” said West Bureau Chief Arnie Spatafore. “The risk is too great that the crime might just be expanded upon, and we’d end up with more victims than heroes.”
The worry in this case, said Spatafore, is that the vigilante might get hurt in the attempt to help people, or that people will try to emulate him.
Spatafore said that if anyone spotted the vigilante, to contact the nearest police department.