(June 11, 2007) -- Eight women -- business owners, property owners, professional women in their 20s and 30s -- are now traumatized after three of the women were ambushed, struck and injured by violent strong-arm robbers while the women were walking east of The Pike in the Convention Center area last Friday night (June 8).
Two of the women were robbed of their purses, losing their money, IDs and credit cards. Two of the women were struck in the head and pushed to the ground. One was transported by paramedics to a hospital with a laceration requiring stitches.
A third woman was struck when she tried to defend her friends, another one of the women present has told LBReport.com. She indicates that the robbers jumped into two waiting getaway cars, meaning at least four people were involved in planning and executing the crime.
The woman says her friends indicated that the two assailants didn't say a word as they struck the women and stole their purses. The crime does not appear to be racially motivated. There were no sexual assaults. What took place sounds like a violent, coordinated, strong-arm robbery.
It left the eight women -- precisely the type of young, urban professionals Long Beach hopes to attract downtown -- brutalized and (with their friends) traumatized.
The crime occurred barely a block south of downtown Ocean Blvd. near Elm Ave. along Seaside Way in the Convention Center area east of The Pike and behind some of LB's most desirable condominiums.
A newstipster first alerted LBReport.com to the crime over the weekend...and we held the story until we could learn more about it from LBPD and one of the women present. We provide their two versions below, which while differing in tone and approach are not inconsistent.
LBPD Public Information Officer Jason Evans told LBReport.com that on June 8 at about 11:15 p.m., four women were walking east on Seaside Way near Elm Ave. when two male Black subjects approached them from behind. One woman was struck in the back of the head. She was transported to a hospital with a laceration. The suspects forcibly took the purses of at least two of the women, then fled north on Linden Ave. from Seaside Way said PIO Evans.
One of the women present provided this description of events to LBReport.com.
The eight women (in their 20s and 30s) were walking on Seaside Way. Some own businesses; some own property downtown; one is from OC.
The women were walking from an establishment at The Pike eastward behind one of the condominium buildings. They were in two groups of four, one group walking ahead of the other. The woman describing the events to us was in the leading group of four in front of the trailing group.
From behind her, she says she heard screaming. She saw two cars zoom by. She saw three of her female friends lying on the Seaside Way sidewalk as one woman ran toward her.
The following is based on what she subsequently learned from her friends who were behind her. They indicated that two men -- who did not appear to be juveniles -- hit two of the women from behind, knocked them to the pavement and stole their purses, taking their money, credit cards and IDs.
A third woman was struck after she tried to defend her friends by hitting one of the muggers with a water bottle. He punched or elbowed her, leaving her with a large bruise on the side of her face. The fourth woman in the group ran ahead to summon help.
The two assailants jumped into two cars that appeared to be waiting for them. The cars sped off.
[update] The robbers said nothing as they struck the women. One of the victims has since indicated that several hundred dolalrs in charges have appeared on one of her stolen credit cards. [end update]
This isn't the whole story. There'll be more to follow...on LBReport.com.