August 26, 2006

Crime in the City

It wasn't as dramatic as the SWAT-team stakeout a few blocks away from us earlier this year, but there was violence and commotion just a few doors down from us last night ... and we were totally oblivious.

The woman who lives two houses south of ours has an twenty-year-oldish son who lives with her. It's not clear what the son does with his life, beyond hanging out with an assortment of his buddies in the garage behind the house. Go down our alley any time of the day or night, and you're likely to find their garage door up, with five or six people sitting on chairs inside.

Last night, the group was hanging out in the garage as usual, when someone came up to them and (after an unelaborated-upon sequence of events) stabbed one of them in the chest. In short order, there were paramedics, police, a crime-scene investigation team in our alley — and we had no clue that all this was going on until this morning, when our neighbor sent an e-mail to our neighborhood mailing list. Sure enough, I went out to the alley, and there were still remnants of cut-down "POLICE — DO NOT CROSS" tape dangling from each side of the garage door.

I'm not sure what to make of all this. On one hand, a stabbing is a stabbing, but these people seem to be the single focal point for any dirty doings taking place on our street. In the time that we've lived here, we've never had any problems with crime. When we moved in, our next-door neighbor told us a story about how he'd left boxes full of household items and a television set on his front porch for over a week: they just sat out there, completely untouched. And I'm not sure that we're getting the full story yet: earlier this year, the owner of the stabbing house sent an "omigod, my son's friend's car was just stolen in broad daylight!" e-mail to our neighborhood mailing list. Only later did it come out that the friend had left the car, unlocked and unattended, in the back alley with the keys in the ignition. Sure, people shouldn't steal cars, but the guy might as well have listed his name in the phone book under "Joyrides and Joyriding Services". In a second email tonight, thanking everyone for their kind words and letting us know that the stabbing victim would be all right, we were told that while the attacker was still at large, "we know who he is" — not "we know what he looks like", or some other more-distancing construction — and "the cops are hot on his trail".

And the son and his remaining buddies? This morning, they were so shaken by the events of last night that they were . . . back to hanging out inside the garage.

Posted by Kevin at August 26, 2006 11:56 PM
Sadly, Further Comments Have Been Disabled ...

Due to a never-ending flood of comment spam, we've decided to disable comments for all blog entries past a certain age. If you'd like to comment on a closed blog entry, say something in one of the newer entries or E-mail the author.

-- Apologies, The Management