As noted in the “About” section of this blog, I state my dedication to providing fair and honest coverage of the Bronx. Though many of the posts on here have been very positive (mostly because I stay away from politics), it’s obviously not all art galleries and cute restaurants out there.
Case in point, I’ve been tutoring a student who lives over by Crotona Parkway for a couple of months now and on my usual walk yesterday, I was approached by two young female teens. I had seen them out of my peripheral vision and thought they were walking suspiciously close to me, but it was a narrow sidewalk, so I thought they might be in a hurry try to get around me. Our conversation was as follows:
Girl 1: We wanted to know why you looked at us wrong back there.
Me: What are you talking about?
Girl 1: You looked as us dirty.
Me: I’m certain I didn’t. However, if I did, I didn’t mean to. I didn’t even know you were there.
Girl 1: We want to fight.
Me: Well I don’t.
Girl 2: We want to fight.
Girl 1 throws a punch, which I block because I’ve taken self-defense and kickboxing a little ways back. But I was clearly outnumbered and caught off guard. (Seriously. Who is so forthright with their intentions like that?) They threw me to the ground, and while I don’t remember much from being on the sidewalk, my next memory is of seeing my bag a couple feet away from me and Girl 1 going for it. I got up and pulled her back by her hoodie. Girl 2 came at me yelling “Let go of her!” Then, two men ran from across the street, so the two delinquents ran away. Apparently, during all of this my shoes had come off (which means I ran after the girl barefoot, which IMO is kinda badass). Either way, the two neighborhood guys hop in a car and drive after the girls.
I spent the next couple hours or so with the cops, looking for them and filing my police report. As it turns out, though, the neighbor actually was able to chase one of them down and got her information, so she most certainly will be arrested and I have a very strong feeling that she will rat out her friend, who was the main aggressor anyway.
Physically, I’m fine. My adrenaline was up, so I didn’t even notice the scrapes on my feet until about a half hour afterward. Today, I’m just nursing a bruise on my knee and my muscles are sore like I was working out or something. Plus, I have all of my possessions, so I win. 🙂 I can’t thank the police officers of the 48th precinct who helped me enough (I wish I’d gotten their names). I know NYPD gets a really bad rap (which is sometime warranted), but these guys were nothing but helpful and responded really quickly.
The point of me telling you this is not to freak you out or make you super paranoid. It’s just to present the reality and work in progress that is the Bronx. It isn’t perfect and I can’t pretend that it’s some utopia it’s clearly not. But this could just as easily have happened anywhere else in the five boroughs. And to those that subscribe to these tired old Bronx stereotypes, I want to make it especially clear that it has nothing to do with the location. Delinquents and reprobates exist everywhere; none of this Bronx is burning bullshit. I don’t intend to run away or move or anything of the sort and the moral of the story is that I will continue with the mission of this blog ( Also, don’t use those damn white ipod earbuds/try not to wear headphones at all. It was daytime, around 3:45 pm, so I thought I’d be ok. Obvs. not. )