In the late summer of 2006, my friend Gilly and I had a bizarre late night encounter with a methed-out mugger.
We were walking home from Wellman’s after our Law Review beginning-of-year BBQ/Bar Outing. Our spirits were high–we were starting our last year of law school and had just had several Jaeger bombs. And I mean SEVERAL.
The walk home was great. It was one of those perfect summer nights and even though it was 2am everything just seemed so great and happy. We were laughing and talking about how it felt like college all over again. I even nabbed a sign out of someone’s yard.
When we were about 3 blocks from my apartment, our walk was interrupted. We were on 35th street about to cross Cottage Grove when a small, junky car abruptly turned on to Cottage Grove, stopping us in our tracks.
Without shutting off the car, a man stepped out of it and approached us.
“Ladies, it’s your lucky night.”
If it wasn’t for the numerous Jaeger Bombs, perhaps I would have been better at describing him. The next day, Gilly and I gave the detective different descriptions. We fail at life. From what I remember, he was of medium-build and had long, scraggly dark hair. He was wearing clothes a stoner in the 90s would have worn. That is all I can remember.
When he stopped, my first thought was that he was stopping to offer us a ride, hence saying it was our “lucky night” to have been offered a ride by such a kind, kind gentleman! I was preparing to insist that we were fine, it was only a few more blocks, when he spoke again:
“Just give me your purses and you won’t get hurt.”
A little background here: I had recently purchased a pricey purse and in it was my fancy digital camera and my iPod. I was not giving those up.
Without really thinking, I heard myself saying “No.”
“Listen, I really need the money. Just give me your purses.”
Again, I speak up: “I’m sorry, sir, but us giving you our purses would not really help you with that. I have no cash, and you’d have to sell the items first in order to make money.”
I should add that during this whole time, he was standing between his car and us with the passenger door open. I could see his hands at all times, and for this reason (and the fact I drunkenly thought I could “take him”) I was not intimidated by him.
“Ladies, come on. Just give me your purses. These (expletives) are chasing after me and I really need the money.”
“Do you want us to call the police,” I asked him, “and tell them you are in danger from those men? Do you need any help? We can help you.”
“Just give me forty bucks.”
Gilly had forty books in her purse and promptly got it out and handed it to him. He grabbed it, and hopped back in his car–what I later described as a “piece of shit Escort” to the cops.
He was gone.
We walked another block and I got out my phone to call 911 to report the crime. We were routed through to campus security who was on their way.
After I hung up the phone, I LOST it. I had been so composed and so brave the whole time, but all at once everything just came out. (very similar to the Slipknot experience, which is another story for another day). The police came, we told them what happened (Gilly now being the brave, together one), and they drove us the remaining two blocks to my apartment.
While I would probably (hopefully) react differently and value my life over my property in the future, I still like to look back on my moment of bad-ass bravery and pat myself on the back. I RULE.