Sunday, September 4, 2011

It did not last long, but it lasted long enough


Friday morning I was attacked by a total stranger.  I wasn’t robbed, and no real violence on my person occurred other than being shaken up, but it’s odd that I could brush it aside so easily right after it happened, and now, two days later I keep replaying the sequence of events in my mind.

It was a typical morning much like any other Friday morning, aside from the fact that I was going to work an hour later than usual.  I was the one scheduled to work “the box” that day, the person designated for responding to system issues and various IT requests; you’re required to stay an hour later than everyone else, so you start an hour later than usual too.  

So after I hurry up the street in front of my apartment building to get to the ‘main drag’ (where the bus stops are located) I notice a man about ten steps ahead of me, wearing a light jacket & ballcap and walking a bit slower than me.  I can only see his back, but he stops a couple times and cocks his head, and I think something’s not right with him, I hope he doesn’t know I’m a few feet behind.

And so we keep walking that way (it’s still too early for any real foot traffic other than a jogger and his dog across the street from us, going in the opposite direction) and just when I think well here’s my bus stop, the guy suddenly swings around and runs up to me and pushes me up against the wall of a flower shop, his hand planted firmly in the center of my chest.  He is very strong, and I can see him very well now, he’s 3-4 inches taller than me and looks to be in his late twenties/early thirties.  His eyes are a very clear blue and his lips are pulled back in a snarl.  He gets up really close and rasps “I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING—YOU’RE LUCKY I DON’T KILL YOU!”  and his breath is very hot on my face.  

Very quickly the thoughts “schizophrenic” and “drug user” go thru my head.  One or the other, maybe both.  I say quietly “I’m going to yell for the police now.”   His face is red and full of rage.  “YOU’RE LUCKY YOU’RE STILL ALIVE!”   I turn my head to the right and yell “Police... POLICE!”   Right away the doors to the bakery next door open and two women step outside.  One says “What in the world??”  and the guy lets go and takes off running down the street.  The other woman says “Mister are you ok?”  and I shake my head, yes.   And as if on cue, my bus pulls up and I say “Um, this is mine, thank you” and climb on.

By the time I finally got downtown, 40 or so minutes had passed & I was feeling a lot calmer.  I was just anxious to get upstairs, get settled and see how many emails were waiting for me.  After catching up with things, I walked over to the other people in my group and related what happened earlier.  I wasn’t surprised at the reactions I got:  “Oh my God!”  “Doug you need to move to a better neighborhood!”  “Next time kick him in the b-lls!”  “No—you want to jab him right in his Adams’ apple, that will bring the strongest man down, I guarantee it!”   Okay…

I walked back to my desk and thought “I’m not shaken up, I’m not angry or anything.  I’m just tired.”  I called my borough’s local police.  A woman answered.  I said “I don’t know if this is worth calling in, but there’s a dangerous guy walking around there, he came up to me this morning on Main Street while I was getting ready to catch the bus downtown.”   She said “Did he demand anything?”  “No.”  “Did he make any threatening remarks?”  “Yes, he said I was lucky he didn’t kill me.”  

She continued.  “Do you know him?”  “No.”  “Was there any physical contact?”   “Yes, he pushed me up against a wall.”   “That sounds like an assault; can you give me a description of this man.”  I said I could, and I did.

When I got home from work, I called the station again, and they informed me that no one had been seen matching my description, and asked if I knew the two ladies who had seen what occurred, no, I didn’t.  They asked if I would identify the suspect if something turned up, I said yes, and would I be willing to fill out a form and press charges.  I said definitely and he said “that’s good, it doesn’t help us or you if complainants don’t follow through.”

Monsters in the streets—who needs them.   (Sorry for sharing this, I had to get it—like that wacko’s hand—off my chest.)


  1. Doug, yikes! I am glad you are okay. I am sure that it was an unnerving experience, but talking about it certainly will help. Stay safe, my friend.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Martin--I wondered if it was even worth sharing, but it felt good to just "get it out there".

  3. Doug, so sorry this happened to you. I hope talking about it has helped. There are truly evil people out there, I don't think it matters where you live. Hope your spirits are lifted now and things look a little better. DB

  4. Thanks for the kind words DB--yes I'm feeling a lot better now. That guy hasn't been seen again but I'm convinced he had some drug or mental issues, so I feel more sorry for him than angry--I just hope he IS found before someone else has a worse encounter than I did--thanks again :)

  5. Holy cow, sorry to hear about this scary incident! Glad to hear you were OK. Too many nutjobs out there, that's for sure. The guy sounds like he was truly mentally unstable and/or on drugs.


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