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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This Just Happened And I Am Pissed

An unusually quiet evening on my block in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn turned upside down when I heard the terrifying screams of the girl who lives one floor above me shortly after midnight.

I hate to say it, but the first seemed like nothing more than one of those neighborhood sounds that blend in with the kids and cats and car alarms on a nightly basis. The tenants who were in for the night probably just chalked it up, as I did, to living in Brooklyn.

But there have been three previous attacks on my small block in the last year, and by the time I'd thought of that a moment later, take a wild guess what happened.

Sure enough, that second scream sent me flying down my nearly 20-yard hallway into the kitchen. I grabbed the biggest knife I could find, then ran shirtless and shoeless back to my front door and down the steps. By the time I got out in front of the building, though, the damage was done. My neighbor emerged from the side of the building with blood all over her face. She said the guy went "that way."

I'd never met the neighbor before, but this wasn't the night for introductions. I've also never been at a woman's side 60 seconds after her life was changed forever, so the right words — often easy for me — betrayed my intentions. I just wanted my neighbor to be OK, but I know it will be a little while before that happens again.

Once she took a seat on the step and waited for the cops to arrive — a gal said through a second-floor window that she'd already called 911 — a few more neighbors streamed outside to find out what happened. I liked that most of them stayed out there with our new survivor-friend for the hour or so it took before she gave in to the officers' urges that she get in the ambulance and hustle to the hospital.

I honestly have no idea what I would have done with that gigantic knife had I come face-to-face with the scumbag who got away with my neigbor's wallet. It's been more than 20 years since my last fist-fight, and that wasn't exactly a display in skilled combat.

But now that 90 minutes have passed and I'm back in the safety of my quiet apartment, wondering what I would have done is irrelevant. I've got a neighbor to pray for.

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At 2:18 AM EDT, Blogger Mike_R said...

in the end good people like you and your poor neighbor will win. I'm pissed too.

At 11:38 AM EDT, Blogger Maria said...

OMG how scary!! But it had to make that girl feel good knowing she has a neighbor like you willing to be there for her...Hope she heals from this trauma quickly.

At 1:56 PM EDT, Blogger Marcus Riley said...

Any idea what happened? Random stranger or guy she knew?

At 5:37 PM EST, Anonymous Trisha P said...

Just that fact that you reacted and responded...says a lot. I'm more surprised that you didn't have a good line, not like you ;-)


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