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The tale of a mugging

Yesterday I watched a violent mugging happen and it's been spinning around in my head ever since.

I was with someone I'd been on a course with, walking towards Goldhawk Road Tube Station. It was five in the afternoon. It was light, the ending of a nice day.

I was slightly in front of her, halfway floating off and planning the next thing I needed to do but when I heard screaming I turned around and saw a well-built white male trying to snatch her shoulderbag.

She was the one doing the screaming as she clung onto it and fought him. He was strong and not prepared to let go. He clung on, pulling and pulling and she was resisting and screaming like a banshee and I was frozen in space.

I was rooted to the street in my fear and my confusion. I genuinely didn't know what to do. I wanted to rush in and help her fight him, but I was really really scared. Physically I was no match for him and I was really frightened that he'd hurt me. I didn't want to get hit, and I didn't know what to do. Pummel at him with my shoe? I certainly had no other weapons. Rush in, waving my arms and screaming?

And it went on and on the tug-of-war, unfolding like a scream. And I was paralysed, watching it like the sun's wide eye, seeing it all and absorbing every detail of his face because I wanted to remember him so I could describe him to the police.

In the final segment when I see his lifted up hand time slows down, like watching events unravel in a dream. His hand comes down, connects with her face. She falls down on the ground hard. She is only very slight. She is still screaming. He takes off down an alleyway with her bag.

In the aftermath she was shaking and I was shaking so much I could barely hold the phone to call the police or string rational sentences together.
I said I'm so sorry, I hadn't known what to do
She said It's OK, I wouldn't have known what to do either .

We waited for the police. It wasn't a long wait. They took our statements, our details and then we drove around in police cars to try and spot him on the nearby streets. I was asked to look at a suspect. It wasn't him.

Afterwards in the police station more of the same, just with photographs. I don't think his picture was in there, but there was one that was very similar. I said as much to the Officers of the Law.

And everyone was courteous and lovely, and I went home, and a part of me continues to carry the memory. Of his hand coming down towards her face. Of my own confusion and entrapment.

But on a final note, boy am I glad I carried a bag that is damn difficult to snatch.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 12th, 2005 08:21 am (UTC)
She's going to have 'what I should have done' angst for a long time -- you too, probablly. I still get some, even months after my mugging.
Jun. 12th, 2005 10:31 am (UTC)
Rucksacks for ever. Poor woman. Poor you too...I wouldn't have rushed in either but I wouldn't have had the nous to commit his face to memory either.
Jun. 12th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
You need to not live there =(
Jun. 12th, 2005 02:57 pm (UTC)
The temptation is to put a grenade in the bag, with a piece of string on it attached to the pull-pin, and the other end attached to one's wrist. Go on - take it and run! MUAhahaha.

Alas, in real life all we can do is suffer the shock of unexpected violence. How awful. It's this sort of thing that makes one seriously consider martial arts.
Jun. 13th, 2005 05:58 pm (UTC)
You did the right thing- the violence could have been worse if he felt threatened. *Makes tea*
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


deep sky, firefly

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