Last week a friend of mine who lives about four blocks away from me got mugged. Paul was by his car in the alley behind his house when four kids looking about 14 or 15 years old approached him and asked for the time. He looked at his wristwatch, and before he had a chance to look back up one of the kids had a gun pulled on him, pointed at his knees. The kids told Paul to give them his [expletive-expletive] money. When he tried to reason with them, the armed kid cocked the gun and pointed it at Paul’s head.
So, Paul did what any other reasonable adult would do: he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet. He tried to pull the cash out of it for the muggers, but one of the kids came up and snatched the wallet with everything in it—credit cards, driver’s license, debit cards, cash.
What Paul did next, though, was not at all expected. As one of the kids approached him, Paul instinctively grabbed him and threw him to the ground. The others fled, and the stunned boy lying on the road picked himself up and ran after them. Paul reached for his phone, dialed 911, and told the operator his situation and location while pursuing the perps on foot. The operator asked if they were armed. Paul said yes. The operator said, “Then STOP CHASING THEM.” So he stopped.
Despite Paul’s gutsy attempt to track the kids and find out where they were going, the police never did catch them. A couple days later, similarly described kids tried to break into another neighbor’s house. Fortunately, however, they were foiled by the woman from across the street, who came at them wielding a kitchen knife.
I’m amazed by the courage of my neighbors, and I’m grateful that people like Paul and Pat are a part of my community.
Coincidentally, David Copperfield (the magician, not the Dickens character) was also robbed at gunpoint by four kids recently. But Copperfield was in Palm Beach, and the kids didn’t get his money. After snatching the purses of two of Copperfield’s friends, one of the robbers, Riley, demanded Copperfield’s money. Instead of giving it to him, Copperfield used a little of his trademark legerdemain: “He pulled out all of his pockets for Riley to see he had nothing, even though he had a cellphone, passport and wallet stuffed in them.” As the kids sped away in a Chevy Malibu, Copperfield noted the license plate and called the police, who managed to apprehend the kids within 10 minutes. Read the article in the Palm Beach Post.