Pedicab San Diego arrest
A few women dressed in short skirts, leather jackets and high heels waited this morning near the boulevard’s intersection with Kansas Street. A motorist pulled up next to the group, one woman slid into the front passenger seat and the car took off.
Across the street, customers at a 24-hour diner worked on their breakfasts and read the newspaper as if part of a normal routine. They turned to watch the remaining women when a patrolling black and white pulled up.
The police officers separated the remaining two women for questioning, but eventually let them walk away. They had no evidence to prove the women committed a crime, and at least for the time being, the women had lost their interest in standing at that corner. They’ll be somewhere else tomorrow.
The corner of Kansas Street and El Cajon Boulevard is one block south of a YMCA youth activity center, less than one mile away from several schools and not too far from popular neighborhoods. It is also within a five-block radius where San Diego Police arrest the most people for crimes of prostitution. The boulevard is renowned as the city’s hub of prostitution and its reputation has helped sustain the level of criminal activity while other hotspots have faded with time.
“Why El Cajon has survived as this area where prostitution does take place, is a question that probably goes beyond my expertise and before I was ever a prosecutor or before any of us were here, ” said Kristin Beattie, who prosecutes neighborhood crimes in the Mid City area.
Prostitution is often called the world’s oldest profession and it dates back in San Diego as far as anyone can remember. In the last half century, the Navy and Marine Corps presence following World War II helped support prostitution markets in the Gaslamp and Loma Portal along Midway Drive. El Cajon Boulevard was also an ideal place for prostitution, because it had high traffic flow and a community of businesses that catered to adult entertainment.
Prostitution thrived in those different regions but it had a more complex upbringing along El Cajon Boulevard. Midway and the downtown markets relied heavily on the military while the boulevard cultured its own reputation. My efforts to find a definitive account on prostitution’s origin along the boulevard were unsuccessful, but many police, residents and business owners painted a similar story that had been passed along at some point or another.
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