Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I, Coward

Tonight as I left the office, I watched our security guard as he watched a group of kids and teens beat the bloody shit out of each other in the street across from our building. At first I was stunned- I couldn't imagine that such a loud and violent act could be occurring in broad daylight in a crowded neighborhood- one kid was on the ground while another one was beating him with what looked like a golf club. In total, there were maybe 15 or 20 youngsters in the group and they were all screaming and shouting and waving sticks, throwing rocks at each other...it was madness and there seemed to be no cause for it.

The security guard didn't seem to be in any hurry to intervene and there were no parents in sight- a woman across the corner held up her cell phone and mouthed "9-1-1"...my startled brain still hadn't recognized what it was seeing, my first thought was : why is she calling the police on some dumb , noisy kids?

Because they are killing each other. Duh.

After what seemed like a long time, the guard moved towards the tiny riot, break it up, break it up...I didn't envy him his job. He had a gun but he was seriously outnumbered and it was possible that there was a firearm or three amongst the kids- you really just don't know any more. There are gangs in the area, teenage shootings are not especially unusual and I admit that I was scared to wade into the fight myself- I watched from a distance, waiting for the police to come.

The 911 woman ran across to where the guard was, I think she was imploring him to do something...he hitched up his belt and yelled a little, which actually gave one victim a chance to run away and cleared the street for a minute...but still no cops. The guard gained enough room for several of my workers to drive away, but I was parked farther down the street and still blocked in. The beaten kid seemed OK-or at least ambulatory- as the 911 lady walked with him, but it was hard to tell from the distance and I'm ashamed to say that I didn't investigate further.

I rolled my windows down , put on my best crazy baldhead scowl and pointed my car at the kids, who parted quickly. I fully expected to be assaulted, so I figured having the windows down would save me from being showered with broken glass and allow me to counter-attack easier, but I escaped without harm. Perhaps Security had them outgunned after all.

I wonder if the Police ever came?

9 comments:

NYD said...

You need to re-title the post, my friend. I, sensible works much better for me.
I have always maintained that if it ain't my fight then I don't get involved. I have seen far too many Samaratins get the living daylights knocked out of them for trying to be good.

Smart idea with the car windows though. I'd never have thought of that.

citizen of the world said...

It seems ike you did the most sensible thing - the kids scattering was probably for the best since the cops weren't there. It wrenches my gut to see a fight.

Anil P said...

With behaviour so unpredictable now, following no norms whatsoever, it's never easy to walk into anything anymore.

I remember the elders speak of how they only had to shout at a fighting pair to separate them for, they knew for sure the elderly carried some respect. Not anymore.

AC@46 said...

a number of years ago, wife was driving to meet us at a hockey game, and got caught in a running battle of teens. No harm to her or the van, but scared the life out of her. Best thing you could do was what you did.
Broken bones take time to heal

billy pilgrim said...

nothing scares the shit out of hoodlums like a corolla.

mine has saved me countless times.

Allan said...

NYD- Yeah, I'm grokking that now...

It really sucks to be inside a car when the windows get smashed and you get pulled out by your long, teenage hippie hair and beaten up by a PCP-crazed redneck who thinks you screwed his sister but you didn't. It's the worst of many worlds.

CW- I heard the cops arrived right after I left, no arrests or serious injuries reported.
It rattled me, seeing it.

AP- It used to be like that here too. Not anymore.

AC- I'm glad no hockey harm was done!
In hindsight, I'm glad I sat it out. It really shook me up, though.

BP- Fear my four-cylinder Divine Wind Machine!

yellowdog granny said...

it's not till i read stuff like this that i realize i'm nuts..as i know without a doubt, i would have waded in there, punching and shoving to get to the kid..i know this..i know im a smart person, but there is no way i would have stood by..i don't know how to do that..maybe im not so smart after all.

Craig D said...

There is no "I" in coward.

Or is that there is Noel in Coward?

Oops. My tinfoil hat needs adjusting. 'Scuse me...

angel said...

Holy crap thats frightening. I woulda hung back too... you never know any more!