Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gettin' Robbed

Gettin' Robbed

OK, so, I got mugged on Saturday afternoon, about 3 pm - in broad daylight, right on Gravois Ave. at Ohio/Lynch. Right in front of the architecturally magnificent St. Francis de Sales Oratory.

Here's what's weird: the teenager who hit me upside the head, knocking my glasses off my face, took only the food (from Burger King, of all places) I was carrying in my left hand. Not my wallet, cell phone, or anything else. In the process, I also dropped the sodas I was carrying. Total loss: $14.48 in admittedly unhealthy food.

Nevertheless, I was pretty shaken up by the whole mess. I got home ok thanks to a good samaritan neighbor who drove me the few blocks. But, I'm still feeling anxious about it. At least the pain in my right temple seems to have disappeared.

We did call the police non-emergency number about an hour later, but it just didn't seem worthwhile to file a report. I know that's a bad thing, but I couldn't identify the kid; he came at me from behind.

What was stolen was so trivial; but I was still pretty damned angry! I had seen this group of 6 or 7 young men walking along Gravois - it seems fair to call it a gang - but I should have been paying more attention.

Anyway, it's not the first time I've had a strange altercation on the street with somebody, but it's the most recent and probably the most shockingly violent.

I've had people throw stuff at me and yell profanities and insults from moving cars a few times - but that usually happens in the suburbs, where hardly anybody else walks.

In high school, a (probably) homeless guy tried to take my tennis racket from me on the #95 Kingshighway bus. The tennis racket belonged to my school, so I didn't really want to have to pay for it, and I got it back after a small struggle. But after that I walked the mile or so from 5017 Washington to the Barnes Hospital (Richard C. Hudlin Memorial) tennis courts for practice.

I also had a strange incident outside Saint Louis Centre one time where a young woman rammed into me, shouted something incoherent, but didn't take anything. That was several years ago.

And twice my wallet was stolen at UMSL; once, from my bookbag in the library, and a couple years later, right off the desk in my dorm room while I was down the hall in the bathroom.

Also I find it rather ironic that, as I had noted earlier on Saturday, I rode MetroBus all through "dangerous" North St. Louis that day, taking the #30 Soulard and #04 Natural Bridge to go to UMSL; and then taking MetroLink (the section that was open), the #94 Page from Wellston to downtown, and the #10 Gravois back south. I don't recall ever having problems in North St. Louis, either on the bus or while at a bus stop or visiting a library, store, agency, or school. Admittedly I don't spend that much time there, but I guess it could be I'm just a little more cautious when I do travel through or visit places there than in other places.

So, I just need to be equally cautious everywhere I go, whatever time of day it is.

Between this, our $400 bill from Laclede Gas based on a highly inaccurate estimate, and significantly increased minimum payments on some of our credit cards thanks to new federal regulations, I feel like I'm getting robbed from all sides!


Greg said...

Did you know that you can do your own meter reading for Laclede Gas? They'll send you postcards which you fill out once a month and mail in. It's easy, convenient, and the bills are realistic.

Tim Schoemehl said...

Joe - I'm so sorry this happened to you, but glad you are OK.

Michael Allen said...

Sorry to learn of the incident.

The most recent weird incident that happened to me was when I was walking back with food on Locust in front of the Board of Education Building. A man approached me, got real close to me, said "Oops!" in a threatening tone, but then moved aside when I glared at him. While nothing happened, and weird threatening men are all over downtown, I had never had anything that scary happen right outside my work.

Then again, with Ninth Street closed and the 800 and 900 blocks of Locust lacking any real street life, the area is ripe for trouble. It's a dead zone.

Our gas bill is exactly like yours, only much higher...

Urban Review - St. Louis said...

I too am glad to hear you are okay. I know the two times my old house was burlarized it made me angry and a little less excited about the area.