Holiday crime

I walk my dog almost every morning in Midtown, but I am glad that what I witnessed recently is not common: a small crowd gathered around a memorial for a homicide victim.

Fellow dog-walkers and even bicyclists ceased their routines to stop at the corner of P and 18th streets this past Monday, where photographs had been taped to a lamppost. The pictures depicted a smiling young man, Josiah Humphreys, 28, with friends and family, and flowers and lit candles decorated the sidewalk.

A day earlier, at around 1 a.m. on St. Patrick's Day, Humphreys was beaten to death by three others.

The intersection at P and 18th streets is just three blocks from my apartment. In fact, I'd passed that very lamppost with my brother after sipping beer on R Street just hours before the murder.

Also this past weekend, after 10 p.m. on St. Patrick's Day, another man was walking in Midtown on D and 20th streets—the same street I live on—when two 30-something men approached him. One, a black man in a green T-shirt, spat anti-gay slurs at the victim, then the other, a white male, hit him in the groin with a bat.

I walk everywhere, all over town, at all hours, and this holiday weekend was no exception. The people out were young and friendly, if not a special breed of good ol' fashioned drunk. Many—perhaps too many—were severely intoxicated. But just like in San Diego or San Francisco or any other American city during St. Patrick's Day, right?

Here in Sacramento, crimes during big holidays continue to shock (let's not forget New Year's Eve in Old Sac). Is it the booze? The party? Is it Sacramento? Or is it …