Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 7 / 15 February 2018

Former B.A.R. staffer robbed in Tenderloin

Dennis Conkin (Photo: Facebook)

Dennis Conkin (Photo: Facebook)

A former Bay Area Reporter writer was robbed last Thursday night (June 29) in the Tenderloin.

In a Facebook post, Dennis Conkin, 63, who uses a wheelchair, said he was leaving the Vietnamese restaurant Tu Lan, 8 Sixth Street, when a woman who’d been harassing and “lying in wait” for him grabbed at the food he had in a Trader Joe’s bag.

Conkin said he told her, “Get away from me, bitch,” and someone from the restaurant came out and asked her what she wanted.

The woman then “followed me down the street and said you can’t call me (the N word),” said Conkin, who denied using the slur.

The woman pepper sprayed him in his eye, then followed him down Stevenson Alley. Another woman grabbed his hair “and started yanking my head back,” he said, but “I grabbed for her hand and got it.”

The first woman started hitting him, so he grabbed her shirt, said Conkin. As he did that, he was pulled out of the wheelchair.

Conkin screamed, and the woman grabbed the Target bag he’d been carrying and ran away. He went back to his home, which is two blocks from the scene, and someone called police and an ambulance.

In an email to the B.A.R., Conkin said that the thieves stole a Target bag that held his art supplies, Valium, and laxatives. He’s also missing $100, which he suspects fell out of his pocket “during the melee.”

“I do hope they thought the clear, lemon-flavored liquid in the bottles was a soft drink and enjoyed it,” he said in his Facebook post. “It was a strong, always works laxative.”

Conkin said he suffered an abrasion on his head where he hit the sidewalk when he came out of his wheelchair.

“Even though I love Tu Lan’s  shrimp fried rice, I won’t be going out to get it in my wheelchair by myself after dark anymore,” he told the B.A.R. “I’m not a young queen.  I’m a geezer and disabled.  What was I thinking? It was pretty awful. Pepper spray burns and fists hurt.”

Police said the incident occurred at about 9 p.m. They described the suspects only as two black females. One appeared to be 60 and the other was in her 20s.

— Seth Hemmelgarn, July 6, 2017 @ 1:55 pm PST
Filed under: Uncategorized

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