Wednesday, February 20, 2008

I'm not in small town Michigan anymore

I can't say that I live in a safe part of DC, nor is it really a bad part of DC. Like any city; everyplace has its 'sketch'.

In the 5 years that I've lived in DC, I have never had a problem with crime. During that time, I would take the Metro probably 95% of the time that I go out, and I would walk the 2 blocks from the metro to where I live. Most of the time, this walk id done alone, in the dark of night, and with my earphones in, hands stuffed in my pocket, and head down. I would read in the condo-wide newsletter and crime blotters about crime in the area, but I never paid attention to it. I guess I've just been a bit naive.

On Sunday, I finally had my first run in of sorts. Coming back from grocery shopping and picking up a movie, my GF and I came up out of the parking garage and into the courtyard where we were met by a 13 yr old boy standing near the steps by our corner unit. He asked us something that we couldn't understand, then asked again, "Give me your bags". Of course we said 'no', then he said, "Then give me some money." I turned to him and asked "What?", whereas he approached me and repeated, "I said, give me some money". My GF went inside to get her dog while I, trying to be all butch and tough, walked toward him, and basically chest bumped him, in a half hearted attempt to get him away from us. He started to back up when I said I was going to call the cops, and said it was 'too late' as he started to run away. I dialed the front desk to see if they could get a hold of the security guard who we had just seen as we came out of the parking garage. My GF was out with the dog and heading in the direction of where he ran toward while I stayed on the phone with the woman at the front desk.

The kid wasn't caught and I think the security guard was too busy talking on his cell phone to go after the kid, who had left the grounds, but it did rattle me a bit. He was sitting 20 ft from our front door; luckily there's a fenced in front area, but it's not locked during the day. He knows where we live, and my GF has seen him in the area before. It was probably stupid of me to approach him like I did, and next time, I'm sure there will be a next time, he could have a weapon.

This is obviously something I won't tell my mother since she's always worried about her girls living in the big city. Yes, he was just a kid, but the outcome could've been worse. I need to be more aware of my surroundings and how I react. Maybe I've become oblivious to the crime in my area and adopted the 'it can't happen to me' attitude. It can, and I got a taste of it.. and it scared me.


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