*True Assault Stories*
We can read in the newspapers everyday about assaults that have taken place in our towns and cities; however, it always happens to someone else. Well I have not made any headlines but I have been in my share of street assaults and thought it would be a good idea to write about them so that members can get a true account of the attacks likely to happen.
Now none of these stories will make me look like Bruce Lee, just the opposite. It is embarrassing to share these stories with folks whoís reactions to the assaults would likely be different than mine, but thatís ok! If I look like a fool and it helps someone I am happy.
The majority of these attacks happened before I had any martial arts training. I was raised by a single parent and never had a father to teach me to duke it out. Subsequently I grew up as a meek geeky kid who was always picked on in school. Into adulthood I lost much of my geekyness but retained my easygoing gentle character. Not a bad way to be if it wasnít for the fact that it makes you an easy target.
The stories are roughly in order:
1. The area I lived in could easily be called "inner-city", in less PC terms welfare ghetto. If any of you have lived in such an area you have quickly learned that racism is not strictly a "white thing". That is PC crap! Racism tends to happen in any area where one race is more predominant than any other. In this part of the city I was the minority to be scorned and looked down upon.
After a day visiting friends in the better part of town I headed home just after dark. The clothes I had on were black pants, a green army coat, and rubber/nylon pac boots because it was winter. Just before my building there is a corner going down a row of government run housing. It would be a street except the upper part borders the parking lot of my building.
So with only about 200 feet left to go before I reached my building a guy comes around the corner and shouts something to people I cannot see. Then he runs up to me and I guess some part of me knew what was going to happen because I raised my hands up and said, "Hey I donít want to fight". Well he did so he kicked me in the chest and I landed on my back propped up somewhat by a snow bank. It wasnít even a second before I found out who he was yelling down the corner too as I had about eight guys surrounding me kicking me in the head and shoulders. My eyeglasses came off and even with all the kicking I clearly remember seeing them thrown out into the street and hit the hubcap of a car.
Once my self-preservation kicked in I managed to roll onto my stomach and stagger away. I am foggy at this point but for some reason I stop half way and look back and a guy handed me my glasses. I have no idea if he was one of the attackers or a bystander, no idea if my attackers were still there of had run away, I just know that I made it to my apartment sore and swollen feeling angry and violated. My mother was home but for some reason the police were never called. It doesnít matter; I could not identify my attackers to the police because my mind just wasnít working at that level.
2. When I was a Christian I was involved in a multi-church youth group. Us young leaders would get together and plan large events to bring together all the youth of the United Baptist churches in my city. It was after one such event that my two friends and I walked a girl from the campus to a restaurant downtown where she was meeting her friends. After we dropped her off I continued to walk my friends to their place so I would know they got home safely.
For some reason my brain wasnít working that night, and so rather than taking the upper streets I take them directly past my house. I guess we were all tired from the event so we werenít talking to each other. At one point I notice my friends are not beside me and when I look back I see Peter and behind him I see Chris either stopped by a crowd of people. I see Chris either get punched or pushed in the stomach so I go back and stand between Chris and the big guy. It is important to point out that Chris was the smallest of our group yet he was the one to get stopped by the biggest guy from the crowd.
So there I am, a white guy standing between my friend and a big black guy with a large crowd of other ghetto kids of both genders. The big guy takes offence to be putting a stop to hid fun so he roundhouse kicks be several times. Heís not very good and keeps connecting with my hip so he raised a fist and I raise my hands but another guy steps from the crowd and tells the big guy to let me go. I finished walking my friendís home and their mom drives me home, which is just across the street where we got into trouble. Now I know what they mean when they say, "Take the safe routes home".
3. While still living in the same neighborhood I was coming home one night from downtown when I see two white guys walking my way. Everything is fine till they get beside me and one of them grabs my shoulder and punches it. I am not sure if they were both in on it but the non-puncher takes off running into an alley and the puncher walks. I am very angry so I start following this guy all the while he is asking if I want to get shot and that he has a gun. I continue to follow yelling out for him to show me but he goes into the alley too. At that point I smarten up and realize that I donít know if they are cutting through the alley or waiting for me as part of a set-up so I turn around and go home. Once home I look out the window to see them on the upper street and I want to go after them with a baseball bat but I donít.
4. This last one happened recently but did not escalate into violence. However I still consider it to be an assault as it could have easily ended up in a violent manner.
I am biking home in a part of the city where each block has a lane between the houses for yards and parking. Out of one such yard comes four black kids and one throws a stick (turned out to be a piece of one of those large wall hanging knife/fork sets everyone in the 70ís had) at my wheel. This pisses me off so I stop and pick up the stick and stare down the kids who are about 10-16. Surprised that they donít run away the 16 year old (obviously the ring leader) both asks me why I stopped and tells me to go. They approach me and I try to be cool and chat with them. After giving props I ride away with their stick and they start chasing me. I wasnít even at the end of the block when my chain falls off and I find myself having to talk to them again. Because of their race I have a pretty good idea that they live just a block over from me so I give back the stick so it doesnít become an issue of theft (roll your eyes here) and walk away with my bike.
By now the older kid is gaining increasingly more confidence that I would make a fine victim and they whole group follows me. I am into my sixth year of martial art training so I know a few things, know I can take a hit, but also know the realities that when fighting ghetto kids it is never just a fair fight. If you win, you are going to have to fight his older brothers and friends later on. I had no fear of defeat from the three other boys but I did fear that if it came down to a fight I would have to hurt them cause they would all pile on. Being only 10 or so I would not be justified in the eyes of their brothers or the law.
This situation is the one I most did not want to turn violent but they got closer and closer and more excited the longer we walked. An attack was going to happen. Thankfully a guy came outside of his house and I stopped and shouted, "Hey can I use your phone?". The boys ran down into the ghetto and I could still hear them so I let the guy call the police. I felt a bit silly when the police arrived but I 100% did not want these kids to know where I lived so I had the cops drive beside me while I walked the long way around to my house.
So there you have it. Nothing like you would see on your TV but real assaults nonetheless. Many of you may be thinking to yourself that you would have fought back, that you would have done many things differently, and thatís ok; but in all honesty you neither know what you would do in an assault or what the outcome would be. There are always too many variables in an assault for us to know how it will end until it is over one way or the other.
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