Gunman Asked Victim ‘Can You Help Me?’

The suspects got away with the woman's bag, a cell phone and a wallet with less than $30 in it.

A La Jolla man is calling for more police presence after he and a friend were robbed at gun point near a busy intersection last weekend.

A hooded gunman and his accomplice approached Rick Wildman and his female friend around 10 p.m. the Saturday after Christmas. They were walking up Ivanhoe Street together toward Torrey Pines after leaving a restaurant on Prospect Street.

Wildman said the two sat down after checking their surroundings, but after a few minutes, a man in a dark hoodie came up and asked for help.

"He leaned over and said, 'Excuse me. Can you help me?'" Wildman said. "I looked at him and saw that he was holding a glock."

Wildman said he recognized the gun from his military training as a combat engineer and told the man he was going to stand up slowly and toss his wallet and iPhone to him.

"I was surprised how calm I felt," Wildman said. "I knew if I gave him what he wanted, I didn't feel there was going to be a problem."

By that time, a second assailant approached the two and pointed a gun to the middle of the woman's forehead before dragging her toward the street.

"Oh yeah, it was right in my face," said the female victim, who wanted to remain anonymous for fear of another attack. "It was a big gun...like gangsta-style, sideways, you know?"

Wildman said he didn't realize there was a second gunman or that his friend had been pulled away until he saw her curled up in the fetal position near the street.

The second guy wrestled the woman for her bag and the two men took off on foot.

Wildman said his friend lost her shoe in the scuffle, but he put it back on her foot and the two continued walking in the opposite direction of the gunmen. They ran into another couple who offered to call the police, but Wildman told them to "just keep walking" until they came to a high rise and another man called authorities.

A police chopper and three units were there within five minutes, he said.

Little did the suspects know, the armed robbery didn't come with much payout. Wildman said he had just gotten his hair cut earlier that day and the two had just left dinner, so there was less than $30 in his wallet.

But Wildman said La Jolla, which he called a "crime magnet," needs more officer coverage.

"There's really only one full-time officer here in La Jolla," Wildman said. "And, you know, we used to have a police substation at the recreation center and there was one across from the cove...so we never had this kind of problem."

Wildman said he thinks recent armed robberies were committed by the same suspects and those men think they can get more from residents in that area.

"Most normal people are very fearful," he said. "It's terrible to have to always be looking over your shoulder."

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