Shredder is pretty angry, folks, so I'm going to set down my well-worn snarky hat for a moment here to say this straight: The police need to catch this shitbag rapist. He attacked a young woman in the street last week and by my guess is responsible for a number of strikingly similar attacks last year. Somebody knows who this guy is. He's got a tattoo on his arm--it's red, green, and blue with a lot of lines. And he's a shitbag. Maybe you work with him?
As New Times staffer Kylie Mendonca tells us in her story on page 11, the local police aren't yet linking the latest rape to the previous ones, but I will. It sure seems like the same guy. Attacks by strangers are the minority of rapes, and his method--attacking from behind and in full view of the public on the street--seems like a signature, if only for its utter recklessness.
But does it really matter if anyone links these crimes or not? I think is does. The idea that we have an increasingly desperate predator loose in our community is orders of magnitude more alarming than the idea that our town has seen a certain number of random acts of violence. The latter idea may well be more disturbing when you think about it, but the former calls for real caution. And real action. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry, but if I'm right, this guy who's hurt a lot of women could get taken out with one good tip and a coordinated law enforcement effort.
So here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to go around with my sleeves rolled up until the police catch this guy. I'm calling on all men in the area to do the same. Got a long-sleeve shirt on? Fold 'em up. If you've got a hoodie, push up the cuffs. Wearing a sweater? Roll. Show your forearms, guys. You don't have anything to hide, right? I'll take it a step further and say that if anybody wants to shake hands with me, I'm going to take the initiative and push their sleeves up for them with my other hand. Grip and expose, grip and expose.
Let's roll, guys. It's time to expose this shitbag, and at the very least our bare forearms will help the cops narrow down the suspect pool. And don't come whining to me about civil liberties. The Second Amendment gives me the right to bare arms, and I'm using that right for justice.
Only mildly less disturbing are the reports of the serial flasher who's been working area malls and stores lately. For a while he seemed to be excited only by the thought of a bargain--he was exposing himself in and outside of discount shoe shops--but now he seems to have upgraded to Gottschalks. Maybe he was ready to splurge.
On the scarier side of things, he apparently exposed himself to some students in the SLO High School parking lot, too, and while the commercial slant of his previous exhibitions may invite a small, unpleasant chuckle, the act for kids most certainly doesn't. What's going on in this town? Some lady friends of mine are getting scared to walk anywhere on their own after dark, and I don't blame them. I'm getting a refill on my own can of spray Mace, and I'm advising everyone I know to do the same.
And now that all that's out of my system, I've just got to put my snarky hat back on.
One of the things people have been whispering in Shred's ear lately is that it's a pretty big deal that the lawsuit by rancher-turned-(hopeful)-developer Ernie Dalidio against the Downtown Association has been moved to federal court. If you don't know what I'm talking about, allow me to remind you: It's the suit that could expose the names of all of the donors who secretly gave money to fight Dalidio's development plans. The ones whose faces he pictures when he closes his eyes and throws darts at the dartboard.
It seems that certain movers and shakers in SLO's downtown core are pretty happy that the court case won't be happening in SLO County, where every revelation of precisely which big-walleted donors were fighting Dalidio's plans would immediately be public knowledge and therefore subject to public tongue-clucking and eyebrow-raising and other possibly more dire consequences.
Instead, whatever goes on will happen in Los Angeles, where it will take real initiative for the local media to get to the story. Here's hoping that our local intrepid reporters--New Times included---won't let proximity stop them from telling what promises to be a hell of a tale. Las Vegas is pretty much the only city guaranteeing that whatever happens there stays there, so we should be hearing at least the biggest developments in the case. If not, send a letter to every media outlet you can think of.
But before you do that, here's one weird thing about the case's move to federal court: It's being brought under the RICO statute, that catch-all that's been the government's choice for shutting down the mafia and drug gangs. After all, it stands for Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations--not that Al Capone was behind the anti-Dalidio campaign. Or maybe he was. We won't know for sure unless this suit is successful.
Maybe the judge will find out that Downtown Brown whacked Jimmy Hoffa. Or maybe the fuzzy bear is Hoffa. Why else would he always be wearing that big furry head?
Really, I don't much care either way. Just so long as he joins my crusade and rolls up his sleeves.