Monday, May 5, 2008

Screwed: The True Story of How I Got Mugged By A Tool

I had a nice weekend. I'll have pictures and stories to come later in the week to that point but it was all rather unfortunately overshadowed by this evening. It started when I took my disposable camera to get developed. The one with all my England pics on it etc.

On the walk home, around 6ish on a GORGEOUS Sunday evening, I was on the phone with my darling Kimmy getting the details of her engagement. I was about to unlock my back door when someone grabbed my bag from behind me. I turned around and a young man told me he wanted my purse. My initial response was to tell him to go fuck himself but then he pulled out what looked like a knife. At that point, just gave him the bag and he ran down an alley. But there was a man walking his dog at the other end who stopped. And then there's me on the other end now on the phone with 911 and screaming expletives at said motherfucker.

So he runs through an empty lot, where he is seen by two other neighbors getting into a car being driven by his little comrade. One such neighbor offers that I get in her car and we will pursue. So I do. And other people have now noticed this erratic car or the boy who doesn't seem to belong to the bag.

The cops arrive and pick up me and the girl who has volunteered to leave her car to come with. Maybe 15 minutes have passed. They have the guy already about 5 blocks away. I ID him from the back of my cop car (view up top) and the only thing left on him is my iPod. Which, don't get me wrong, I am VERY grateful to have.

They also get the weapon. Not a knife. A screwdriver. The irony of getting screwed via screwdriver. What else is missing though? Two debit cards belonging to two fantastically empty bank accounts, 1 driver's license, 1 set of car keys and one set of office keys. And a nice bag. Oh and for the purpose of instant gratification... about $1.78.

This is where things turn upward and people really are genuinely good. BEYOND this other girl ID'ing the "perp" (that he was even FOUND is a glory), my bank shutting down the operative debit card (apparently picked up by some other tools once the "perps" tossed the whole bag sans iPod) as soon as it met it's second south side gas station and me being pissed but totally unharmed.

Great Karma Moments over the next 6 hours (Just got home):
1) Someone ELSE called the cops when they saw what was happening from a balcony and even got the car's PLATE numbers which is how the cops nabbed them so fast.

2) My landlord from my last apartment (the one on my license) called. A doctor from a nearby hospital came across my license in a gutter and DROVE it to the address listed to return it to me. He left his card with my ID. What a NICE thing to do!!! And maybe he's a cute doctor:)

3) Just kidding (kind've). Jaimeson was by some miracle online in Norway and was able to chat me down a bit. Even if he's halfway round the world, it's comforting to have a gigantic Greek man ready to rough up anyone and everyone on your behalf.

4) The officers and detectives were great. The case was so open/shut that the state's attorney even agreed to do things over the phone so I was there for 6 hours rather than 12 (though that felt like awhile).

5) AND the detectives got me McDonalds when they drove me home. AND gave me $10 (technically forced $10 on me) because I have access to nothing else barring a small bag of dimes in my desk. And in my downtime, they told me gang stories. Needless to say, I will not be out of "material" for awhile.

6) Last but certainly not least...the England photos were the only thing in my bag that were irreplaceable. BUT since I'm a vain little ho, I get them on disc so I can edit before committing to physical prints. Because of the disc factor, I called Walgreen's from the station and there's a fresh one waiting for me there tomorrow:)

More than anything I'm struck by three things:
  • People are good. Sure, some of them are shitheads but many many more of them are good.
  • That could have gone very differently. I am unhurt. Obviously a little shaken but I feel very lucky to have such great neighbors paying attention and happy that I didn't freak out at the time.
  • Last....there are two 17 year olds who just signed away 3-5 years of their lives for an iPod and $1.78. Yes, they did something very wrong. Yes, they deserve to be punished. But I'd be lying to you if I said I didn't feel a little guilty right now that 2 more teenagers are going to prison and they don't even understand that yet. Minimum of 3 years for armed robbery. Three years ago, I was about to graduate from college. Three years from now I am a world of opportunity compounded. Three years is a long time. And it's sure as shit worth more than my iPod of 3,500 folk songs and $1.78.
I'm sure this isn't the last you'll hear of this...I'm exhausted but after 5 hours of simply staring at (below), I've done some thinking. See you in court.


Nilsa S. said...

OMG, TKTC. I'm relieved to hear you are physically unharmed and can only hope the emotional healing is as simple.

It's a big, bad cruel world. Full of really stupid people. If only those 17 year olds had a few positive mentors in their lives ... sigh.

My only advice to you? Don't talk on your cell phone when walking (it makes you look vulnerable) AND get a digital camera so you don't have to get photos developed. :-)

Let me know if there's anything I can do. *hugs*

d said...

i saw you a few hours before all this happened! branner's gonna throw down on those guys.

i'm glad you're okay. see you soon.

camille said...

UM was this sunday?? glad you're okay!

Jenn said...

Wow. My first instinct would have been to tell him to eff off as well. I'm glad that you were able to get back a lot of the stuff. Too bad about the purse though :( At least you are safe! How cute is it that the cops got you McDonalds!

Susie said...

Oh wow. I'm so glad to hear you're OK. That seriously sucks (and is super scary!!) but it sounds like you had a good experience with the law in Chicago.

I've seriously thought a million times about getting some mace. Mace trumps screwdriver, right?

Talk soon!

joner said...

Being robbed is not fun. Although when it happened to me I was too drunk and oblivious to realize it had even happened. Glad you are okay and those little "shitheads" as you so eloquently put it, deserve what they get.

Your Ill-fitting Overcoat said...

Oh my god, that's terrifying!! I'm so glad that you're ok and that people were so helpful. I'd hope that most of us would be that helpful if we were in the same situation.

Also, the ending of this post was really beautiful. I'm touched by your thoughtfulness about the greater implications for these boys and the lives they've probably had that are in part (although certainly not wholly) responsible for where they are today. What a mature reaction! I'm not sure if I could have been so generous after such a scary experience.

L Sass said...

Phew! I am glad it turned out so well and that so many nice city folk helped you!

Anonymous said...

oh wow! glad to hear you are okay and that people were so helpful. surprises you sometimes, huh?

this will make me be a bit more cautious in the days to come...sometimes we just forget how things like this can happen anywhere.

~Angela~ said...

Yipes! So glad you're okay!

nicoleantoinette said...

Omg! You're right, this could have been so much worse but ah!! What an ordeal. You deserve a new purse :)

Jonk said...

I'm glad you're okay -- you handled it better than I would have, I'm sure. My dad was mugged in New York when I was little. Supposedly.

I saw that a University of Illinois football star (and recent NFL draft pick) was robbed at gun point this weekend in Chicago along the lakefront, South Side.

Alexa said...

whoa whoa whoa. i am catching up on my reader now and i like just freaked out reading the beginning of your blog.

thank god everything ended up ok!! phew!

Sara said...

susie told me about this. i'm so glad to hear you are okay!! you must have been so scared :( i'm amazed at how nice the cops were to you, too. boston cops blow!