Monday, November 16, 2009

Reflections On An Assault

For the benefit of anyone who hasn't already heard, I was assaulted last Monday afternoon.  I was at the corner of W. Warren Ave. and Westwood when two black teenagers came up from behind me. Without saying a word, one of them punch me in the face as the other one watched.  Both of them promptly ran away before I could do anything else.

Apparently, from what I've learned talking with people who work in the criminal justice system, this was a gang initiation.  One person runs up from behind and punches a random person to prove that he is tough enough to be allowed into the gang while a current gang member watches to verify that he did it.

My nose has long since stopped bleeding and my swollen lip has returned to normal.  Emotionally, however, it's been a rough couple of days.

The thing that has made all of the difference in the world has been all of the other Detroiters.  The staff at the Dog House Coney Island (19344 W. Warren) were quick to give me the napkins that I needed to stop my bloody nose and let me use their mens room so I could clean myself up.

More importantly, as word of this spread around town, more than 100 people have reached out to me over the past week offering friendly support.  From messages on my Facebook page to emails to phone calls to those who simply stopped me when I was at one event another around town, their outpouring of support was tremendous.  It's the support of those 100+ people, as well as the knowledge that there are many more like them who I simply haven't met yet, that keeps me going when I otherwise would have quit.

To everyone of them, I simply say "thank you".

As for the two individuals who assaulted me last week, I'm not worried about them.  I filed a report with the Detroit Police Department (DPD Complaint Number 0911090417).  Maybe something will happen as a result.  Maybe it won't.

The one thing that I can be confident of is that, with gang life being what it is, those two individuals will likely be dead or in jail within 5 years regardless.  It's revenge on auto-pilot.

This means that I can simply concentrate on the more than 100 Detroiters who are determined to make this town a better place and who I am proud to call friends.
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