Oakland Man Asks Woman For Her Number, She Makes A Flier & Reports It To The Cops

The Bay Area is a hotbed of technological innovation, men in Arc’teryx hard-shells and rent that is so laughably, ridiculously high that normal people with normal jobs can’t afford to live there. San Francisco is insanely expensive, as are the surrounding areas. You can’t afford Berkeley or El Cerrito or Albany, and Oakland – dear, sweet, lovely Oakland – is rapidly gentrifying. And it’s in Oakland where, apparently, if you’re not careful, some dude will ask you for your phone number. And, if you’re feeling particularly threatened or confused as to how and what and why, you’ll post a flier in your neighborhood warning everyone about … the dude that tried to holler, but sort of failed.

Here is the full body of the note, emphasis preserved.

Dear Neighbors Of Cleveland Street

On Monday, October 12, around 8:30am, I was approached by a man asking for my phone number……

Look Out For This Man: mid-late 20’s, African American, medium build, around 5’10”, short dreadlocks, wearing saggy jeans and a tan hoodie, both dirtyish, walking a pit bull on a rope.

*He was clearly not a resident of our block, crossing back and forth across the street.
*He asked me if I had friends, if he could be my friend, then asked if he could give me his phone numberpresumably to steal my phone.
*As I reached the intersection of Cappell and Cleveland, an older model (possibly late 80’s) Buick/Lincoln type sedan, light tan color, pulled up. I believe they were working together.

I reported this incident to the police and asked for possible surveillance.


I’m not interested in making light of the very serious issue of street harassment, but what this looks like is a woman who was approached by a man who wanted to try to, erm, get to know her better, if you’re picking up what we’re putting down. The logic behind thinking that accepting a man’s phone number makes it easier for him to steal her phone is spotty at best. Street harassment is very real. The way you react to it, however, is up to you. To ignore it, or flip the bird, or turn up the volume on the music coming through your earbuds, and keep on keeping on is one choice; writing a strangely paranoid, racist-adjacent flier and posting it to telephone poles in your new neighborhood is quite another.