Community members are calling for action after a security guard was brutally attacked trying to protect an Oakland neighborhood.
Some suspect the people responsible are part of a larger crime spree in the neighborhood.
“They jumped on me like a wounded lion, they were with fury and anger. They started beating me left and right,” said the victim Alex Igbineweka.
That brutal beating left him in and out of consciousness, with two broken wrists.
“My independence is completely eroded by some silly folks who have no hope for themselves. It creates a lot of emotions, pain,” said Igbineweka.
The 72-year-old unarmed private security guard was patrolling Oakland’s Oakmore neighborhood on Leimert Blvd last week when he took a picture of three men breaking into a home.
He said that when the suspects spotted him, they started attacking him with an iron rod, at gunpoint.
“I could have been instantly dead, if that thing can break my wrists, you can imagine what it could do to my unprotected head,” said Igbineweka.
Security footage shows a car speeding away moments after the attack. Frustrated neighbors, who do not want to be identified, believe it’s the same car that was used in a string of targeted thefts over the past month.
“We are scared, this is a pretty quiet neighborhood up here but we have had a rash of burglaries and thefts of our cars and mostly construction workers that are just here trying to do their job,” said a neighbor.
Construction workers, like Arturo and his team, who were held at gunpoint by three men on the same street last month.
The thieves got away with $900-worth of tools.
“They said, ‘stay over there, don’t move, don’t come here,’” said Arturo. “Everyday that I see a suspicious car I’m nervous, I’m really scared and now we are more alert.”
As Oakland police look for the thieves, neighbors are calling for police patrols, implementing automated license plate readers and faster response times.
They say it took an ambulance nearly an hour to get to Igbineweka after he was beaten.
Council member Janani Ramachandran represents the district and says she is committed to taking action.
“I can raise attention and urgency to the issue, the more we can showcase to our police department and the mayor’s admiration that these are neighborhoods that absolutely require police presence,” she said.
The community has raised over $20,000 to help with Igbineweka’s medical expenses. He had surgery on Monday but said it will take weeks to know how long his recovery will take.
Source: NBC Bay Area
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