It’s Not Real Until It Happens To You

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CHICAGO, IL - Neighborhood residents watch as Chicago police investigate a shooting in front of the Uptown Baptist Church on August 19, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Last week I was the victim of a strong armed robbery and battery. I received 5 blows to the head, yet the robbers only took my phone. This was a jolting situation but I want to share with you the details in hopes that it might help you avoid a violent situation in the future.

Friday October 28th 3:15am

I left my apartment that morning like I do every morning. I was expecting it to be a little blustery, as Fall was officially underway, but I was looking forward to a busy World Series weekend and finishing the week on a high note. I decided to find my rhythm for the day with help from “Mr. Brightside” by The Killers. With my earbuds firmly in place, I commenced the brisk 10-minute walk from my apartment to the Wilson El stop. I paid my fair, climbed up the newly renovated station staircase to the clean, and brightly lit platform, where I found a windless solitude in one of the heated alcoves.

3:25am

I was enjoying my playlist on shuffle and beginning to cherish the solidarity of the platform since I knew I wouldn’t have to do this the next day. The singularity was broken when I noticed 3 guys walk by me, only briefly looking up to catch a glimpse of their business. I was a little suspicious since it’s rare I see people at this time, but I thought they were preoccupied, so I paid them no mind.

3:28am

My senses heightened when two of the guys walked back into my sight from the other side of the platform. My gaze turned down to my phone in an attempt to show I was minding my own business. They got closer and closer, slowing down until I felt their personal presence encroaching on mine. I knew something bad was about to happen. KLOK! Before I could look up I was sucker punched in my left temple. Down went my phone, my glasses became a projectile, and another fist made hard contact with my jaw. Down I went.

3:29am

“Give us your phone! Give us your phone!” Focusing on protecting my face, 2 more hits struck the back of my head. I squeeze out a muddled, “Just take it!” One last hit followed by, “Whats the password!” I obliged their request without resist.

3:30am

The train arrived and as they fled, I scrambled to my feet. I reached for my glasses. I reached for my hat. I wobbled to the train, frustrated, throbbing, angry; wanting to be anywhere but where I was at the moment. There were at least 10 other people on the train and I sunk into a seat.

3:35am

After inspecting my head I noticed there was no blood, just pain and a reoccurring incident etched in my quivering mind.

*DDDAACCKK*

The emergency door at the end of the car swung open and 3 figures lurked through the door passing my hunched body one by one. The guys who just robbed me were now on the same el car, sitting 10 feet away from me and they didn’t even notice me. I had no idea what to do. Should I call out their crime in hopes the rest of the riders would have my back? Should I approach them demanding my phone back? No. Instead, I sat in disbelief of what despicable people were sitting not too far away from me.

3:40am

After looking back every 30 seconds to see if they were still there, they left the train at Belmont meeting up with 3 other guys who were most likely doing the same crime on other el platforms. I continued my commute to work in disbelief.

 

The reason why I’m posting this is because Steve said something that resonated with me a few months ago. He said, “All the violence that happens in Chicago isn’t scary or important until it happens to someone you know. It’s not real until it touches your life” In 5.5 years of living in the city, I have always felt safe taking public transportation, walking through neighborhoods, etc. However, this was a reminder that the unbelievable numbers we hear reported every day are very real and will impact your life sooner or later. As citizens of this great city, we must do all we can to keep ourselves safe and work to combat the unspeakable violence that plagues Chicago.

*I have filed a report with CPD/CTA and I am in cooperation with CPD Detectives who are working to find the robbers