Would-be victim thwarts another Oak Lawn attack

DALLAS -- The Oak Lawn neighborhood in Dallas is known for being gay-friendly, but lately it's also been crime-friendly. Not hate crimes, but crimes of opportunity like muggings.

Ricky Sweet was almost the latest victim on Sunday night when he was approached by a man with a knife behind The Mining Company bar on the Cedar Springs strip, but instead of giving up his wallet, Sweet gave the attacker a return threat.

"I just started walking forward, just talking to him, like, 'Are you really going to use that?  What are you doing?'" recalled Sweet.  "I just stood my ground until he eventually ran off, jumped into a car and took off."

As you could probably guess, police do not advise having that response in that situation.  After all, your stuff is replaceable but you are not, so your best bet is to just stay safe and call the cops as soon as you can.  Sweet admits he was under the influence of some "liquid courage" but has no regrets. However, he also won't be going out again for a while and when he does he'll be sure to change his travel habits.

"From now on it's always Uber, always with a friend, never alone."

Neighborhood watch organization Take Back Oak Lawn gave the following statement to NewsFix regarding the recent crime issues in the area:

"When it comes to a complex, marginalized community like Oak Lawn, Take Back Oak Lawn recognizes that there is always room to improve safety implementations from all fronts.  From the bars and businesses, to the police, to the community itself, there are lots of things that we are doing that are right, but there are still more things that can be done.

"With the officer shortage in the Dallas Police Department comes less coverage and higher response times.  There is a balance that needs to be reached with police resources and we hope that the Dallas Police Department will continue to evaluate and adjust their resources as best as possible to reduce the risk of crime and to better react when crime occurs.

"Take Back Oak Lawn believes that neighborhood safety can be increased through the implementation of citizen patrols.  Citizens from the area know their surroundings, their neighborhood, and their neighbors.  When something looks amiss, a member of the neighborhood with a watchful eye may recognize it faster than a police officer who may not live in the area.  We are working on implementing a volunteer-based safety patrol program to expand the existing patrols that we currently do.

"Take Back Oak Lawn has been working with local businesses and vendors to plan and install call boxes on the Cedar Springs strip.  We believe that these will be critical safety increasing measures."

Sweet says he called 911 after the incident but the Dallas Police Department told NewsFix it could not find a report matching the address.

If you see something, say something, then follow up to be sure cops are aware of areas that might need additional patrolling.  Because all of us should be able to safely have a gay ol' time, no matter what neighborhood we're in!