What would you do?

Cleef

Bronze
Feb 24, 2002
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It's about 10.30 on a Sunday morning at Mirador Sur and you're just sitting down to do some reading (you've done this dozens of times).

Before you can pull your book out of your pack, someone has a 12" knife to your throat and they take your backpack from between your legs.

You freeze.

He leans down to open the front pocket of the backpack and puts the knife to your stomach (it's impossible to get this pocket open with one hand) he backs away and tries the pocket again. Again no luck (less than 10 seconds have passed).

Now he just wants what's in your pocket (mp3 player, headphones still in your ears actually), you stand up, eyeing the left hand with the knife (you have your sunglasses on still, he can't see where you're looking) you try and get him just a little closer to make your move on the knife (less than 15 seconds).

He makes his first "bad" decision and touches your bike.

Time for offense! You ATTACK! He drops the bike and runs.

You give chase and in no time you're 10 yards behind him and losing quickly (you're wearing bike shoes with cleats, he knows exactly where he's going) and he jumps from a ledge out onto some vines and a tree and descends the 30-35 feet in two bounds. You commit and do the same.

You just made a huge decision jumping because you left a very nice bike all alone. If you don't catch him before he gets to the other side of the road and into the maze of barrios, the game is over.

Once you hit the road, he's breaking away and shooting down a barrio.

You backtrack and get your bike.

What you've lost is very very important to you:
1. A grade book that's 6 weeks from being completed - your first teaching position.
2. Your journal you've been writing in for 4 years.
3. "Learn Spanish in 3 months" book.
4. Bike tools, pump, watch, house keys, RD$50, towel, sun protector, and a popped tire-tube (what? you think your bad day waited until now to begin?).

What would you do next?

(Keep in mind that April's grades are due on Tuesday!)

1. Call the police (enter laughtrack).
2. Go right into the barrio, figuring he's at a colmado getting a celebratory beer?
3. ?
 

Timex

Bronze
May 9, 2002
726
0
0
What is there to think about?

Okay so your pride is hurt.
Big deal !!!!!!!!!!
Your alive and in 1 piece.
Count your blessings, thank the stars above, go home and have a tall stiff drink.

The Grade Book sucks though. Now you have to start back tracking, and I am sure its more work than any of us realize.

I am really happy to hear you?re ok!!! :)

1992, Edison, NJ
At work early, 5:30am, in the parking lot, while it's still dark.
Never heard the guy walk up behind me.
I was robbed at gunpoint, 38 special in my face.
My wallet, and a brand new 1992, Jaguar Convertible.

Handed over with a smile.
Material things can be replaced.

My pride healed.

Again, I am glad to hear you were not hurt physically.
It sucks, what happened- but in a month or two, it will pass.

Tim H.
 
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Tony C

Silver
Jan 1, 2002
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What I would do!

One of the beauties of the DR is that Justice is cheap. If by now you haven't made friends with some of the local police do so now.
Now tell your story to your police buddy and let him know you are willing to give a reward to anybody who breaks the jerks legs. If he is a typical "lowlife" then it should be no problem for your police buddy to track him down.
 

MaineGirl

The Way Life Should Be...
Jun 23, 2002
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Cleef,
I am really sorry to hear this happened to you. It was gutsy to chase him. Like Tony said, if you could offer a reward in the right environment, maybe you could get your stuff back. I am a teacher too and luckily we have all our grades on the computer. The journal is what is killing me.
Good luck,
Mainegirl
 

PJT

Silver
Jan 8, 2002
3,270
34
48
Justice?

Cleef, I am sorry for what happened to you. There is no price for what you have lost. It is downright frustrating. You were able to walk away from this one. Thank God!

I don't think you will have any gain as far as finding justice now. Justice in the D.R. has to be done on the spot by you (dangerous), otherwise you will be paying (or robbed again by) the police, victimized again. Not many people, including myself, are prepared for such an event. I surmise you will have a different perspective on your activities in the D.R. I pray it has not dampened your spirit. We just have to be wary of our surroundings and continue on. Regards, PJT
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
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Cliff,
Glad to hear that you're ok. Reading your account really gave me a bad feeling in my stomach. I used to live close to the Mirador del Sur and used to go grade papers or write in my journal or write some of the novel scenes there where everyone jogs & ride bikes (in fact, from your description I can even guess where in the Mirador you were when this happened!), so I can sympathize about the loss of the grade book & journal (both irreplaceable in their own ways -- if you're like I was, you don't have copies of either one). And it concerns me alot that the place I used to consider so safe that I went there all the time with the kids without ever having to feel that I had to look over my shoulders (that's what I left behind in the States, right? Or so I felt), makes me sick to hear. I know the "barrio" below that you describe -- I used to walk through it occassionally to go to the P.O. or some stores I knew on Av. Independencia a few (8-10) blocks into it. Take it from me, your chances of running into that guy are slim, and of him still possessing your pack or it being wherever he ditched it, slimmer still. Tim is right -- be glad you emerged ok, and deal with the inconveniences it caused as best you can. If you want to discuss it, man, you know my e-mail.
Cuidate Amigo Mio.
Un abrazo,
Keith
 

RHM

Doctor of Diplomacy
Sep 23, 2002
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that stinks...

Cliffy,

Amen. Glad you're ok. As for options....live and learn. Let it go. Whoever advises some sort of revenge is undoubtably someone who has nothing to lose from it. See you at the Beer House.-Scandall
 

Tony C

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Jan 1, 2002
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By not seeking justice or revenge you are giving that scum permission to do it again. That makes you just as bad as him in my book.
What ever happened to Honor?
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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Mirador Sur is not safe any more!

One of our Doctors,an American,lives on Anacaona and "had"been walking there every evening before dark for several years.He was robbed at "knife point" about 3 months ago! Seems they took out a police sub-station that was in the park.These robberies are now common,sadly! You were very foolish to give chase,is your life worth the things you lost?Calling the police? They usually get a "cut" of all robberies in their area!!!!!!!Best news is that you are OK! Cris Colon
 

Cleef

Bronze
Feb 24, 2002
1,797
6
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Settle down Beavis!

Tony C said:
By not seeking justice or revenge you are giving that scum permission to do it again. That makes you just as bad as him in my book.
What ever happened to Honor?
Settle down mouth, you haven't heard chapter 2 yet.
 

Keith R

"Believe it!"
Jan 1, 2002
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Re: Mirador Sur is not safe any more!

Criss Colon said:
One of our Doctors,an American,lives on Anacaona and "had"been walking there every evening before dark for several years.He was robbed at "knife point" about 3 months ago! Seems they took out a police sub-station that was in the park.These robberies are now common,sadly! You were very foolish to give chase,is your life worth the things you lost?Calling the police? They usually get a "cut" of all robberies in their area!!!!!!!Best news is that you are OK! Cris Colon
CC,
That substation was of minimal value anyway -- perhaps good only for discouraging muggings in the park. That was our substation when I lived in Los Cacicazgos. We were robbed in daylight about 3 months after moving in, lots of valuables stolen. We phoned the cops -- they didn't even want to bother to take a report! They finally did so only because the detective stationed there turned out to be the nephew of my suegra's comadre, and she called him up and said she would make his life hell unless he showed her comadre's household some respect. He came, spent maybe 5 minutes max (always eyeing the door), didn't want to examine the evidence we had collected or the crime scene, and immediately blamed the maid for it all (the DR police's automatic suspect for all household robberies, no matter how improbable). They did nothing more about it. Dominican justice! :(
Regards,
Keith
 

Criss Colon

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Jan 2, 2002
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"Dominican Justice",talk about an "Oxymoron!"

I have a 12ga. shotgun,and three "Junkyard Dogs"! My Dominican friends won't even get out of there cars!Cris
 

PJT

Silver
Jan 8, 2002
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Re: "Dominican Justice",talk about an "Oxymoron!"

Criss Colon said:
I have a 12ga. shotgun,and three "Junkyard Dogs"! My Dominican friends won't even get out of there cars!Cris

Cris, don't tell us what you do back in Boston. Tell us what you do in the D.R. "tongue in cheek" PJT
 

socuban

New member
Nov 24, 2002
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I would have went home, picked up a couple of friends - smith & wesson come to mind - got dressed up in ghetto gear and cruised the barrio until he turned up, dragged him into an alley off the beaten path and then proceed to line his arse with lead!

That's what I've felt a couple of times only to be reminded by police buds that it is illegal to take the guns hunting for humans.

If the police won't do anything, and assuming you can't go out and shoot the SOB yourself, can you hire a rent-a-cop or similar to do it? OK maybe that's too drastic a measure, how about cutting off a finger?

Trigger happy;)
 

Jon S.

Bronze
Jan 25, 2003
1,040
6
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Thank God you're alive man! It sucks that it happened but face it, they're material items. Calling the cops won't do anything unless you have friends in high positions. Might as well go human hunting like Socuban said. I'll go get my friends Mr. Mossberg and Mr. Pietro Beretta. They always like to join in on the fun :dead: . I thought that the Policia had the "brigade" with horses and the whole nine. Guess that didn't work out. A few years ago some joggers murdered a cop and his body was found near one of those caves, as if they dropped him down the hill. Now give us your pt. 2 so we can be on the edge of our seats............
 

Hillbilly

Moderator
Jan 1, 2002
18,944
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Incidents like this is just

Why nobody gives a flying phuck what the police get rid of. You can bet that the police know this guy and know where he hangs. IF they want to they can find him.

You just might get a request for a reward from someone that "Found" your backpack.

Very happy you are physically okey.

I don't know of anything that pisses off a person more than getting robbed by some little shit..

HB
 

Cleef

Bronze
Feb 24, 2002
1,797
6
0
I chose the road less traveled.

I choose #2, head into the barrio looking for the scum, figuring he's at a colmado by now celebrating his "winnings".

Instead of going straight in as I did in my first attempt, I went down a side street and circled back in, hopefully circumventing the "emergency management information system" of the barrio.

I'm keeping my composure and carrying myself like I know what I'm doing - I didn't want to blow my cover (that's a joke). I want, and can literally taste blood.

Back up for one moment. In the first 15 seconds of the initial chase I was imagining myself slicing his throat from ear to ear, and how easy it will be to dispose of the body over the side of the cliff.

I'm not weighing human life vs. a backpack of goods. I'm thinking that I've been violated and hell hath no fury as a scorned gringo.

I'm thinking of how good it's going to feel to have his nose crush under the repeated blows of my fist, teeth littering the ground, blood gushing from his nose, eyes and ears. My furious flurry of punches settling softer on the now grotesquely swelling face of this piece of garbage. The snapping of the left hand ulna and radius over my knee. The shrieking cracks of knee ligaments and patella?s as I stand him up like a piece of kindling and knock him down with stiff leg kicks. The last few limp heartbeats as I take in his final few breaths with my throbbing hands around his throat.

I?m sick. I know. But this scenario has kept me up for two nights.

At this point I'm so disappointed with myself and how I failed to react quickly, overpower the scum, shred him of his clothes, tie him up and leave him in the baking sun in the middle of the road with the knife 10 inches deep into his ass, and letting the Policia, or the next passerby deal with him.

But now I need to temper that anger, I'm no longer in familiar territory. In fact, my good sense of direction is losing confidence in this maze of sewage run-off, drying clothes and obscure forms of rotting pastel cement, that all seem to look alike.

In about 15 minutes time I see him. Unfortunately he recognizes me first (the piece of white rice in the black bean soup ? ON A BIKE - go figure) before I recognize him. He shoots down another rat hole and is gone. I give chase (I have my mtn. bike over my shoulder at this point) but I'm bound up in hanging laundry and a further maze of sewage canals.

It?s not like I'm dealing with Einstein here, but he's not going to be showing his face now that he knows I'm looking for him. The trail has gone ice cold at this point.

I?ve literally hit a dead end; this street I?m on goes right into the nerve center (colmado) of the barrio and stops at a wall that?s being guarded by a burnt out car and piles of trash waiting to be burned.

My Spanish is coming along, but it?s primarily in first person and not overflowing with confidence. To be kind, it?s rudimentary. However, within about 30 minutes of searching this jungle, some faces are starting to look familiar now as I?ve knocked over just about everyone?s trashcan - twice, so I?m getting ?que paso?s? and ?dimes?.

I go into my explanation ? I was robbed up at the park, I live here, I?m a teacher; ?they? have my grade book, journal and a bunch of other ?cosas? that have no value. Basically, help me out here. I really stuck them with the grade book thing. It was getting some attention from the older women and it was something I could explain well in Spanish ? or so I thought.

Before long I?m talking to the barrio ringleader and he of course wants money. I tell him there are $50 pesos in the backpack but my house keys are in the bag. I?ll gladly pay to get ?mi cosas? back, but I need my house keys to get more money. He tells me to wait ?here?; he?ll be back in a half hour. Where the hell am I going? To sit out in front of the locked door of my house?

As anyone in the know here KNOWS, excitement attracts crowds; car accidents, arguments, glass houses, gringo-with-nice-bike-in-barrio, whatever. In a short time I?ve collected 30 to 40 people at the colmado. In typical Dominican fashion, the guest gets a chair and some shade (the only chair in the place no less) and before long I have babies on both knees and I'm bouncing them around like we go way back.

Through the crowd comes the curious barrio Jefa. She is showered with arousing applause ? I haven?t any idea why ? but they start chanting her name and I quickly give up the lone seat for her. She plops down and gives me a warm thank you and smile. I go to put a few kids on my bike and show them how to work the levers and push them around a bit. Soon enough there will be Polaroids being shot and I?ll look like one of those mannequins that fools stand next to and get their picture taken with to ?prove? they were really there.

I?m thinking that this is the either the last Sunday I?ll ever see, or a legend is being borne. Ok, maybe that?s a stretch, but the story gets better.

I?m getting some uneasy feelings as some of the older women are trying to remind me that I could get stabbed at any moment, and to keep an eye on my bike ? in addition to the other 30 sets staring at it. They think I?m crazy, I agree and thank them for their concern and emphasize why I?m here; grade book, journal, blah blah. ?no policia, solo mi cosas?, all with a genuine smile.

After 90 minutes of wondering what in the wild wild world of colmados I?m doing here, Tony Soprano of the barrio, with a fresh bag of lunch neatly wrapped up in Styrofoam pulls up.

Great, I can hear a machete being sharpened in the background and ?Tony? decides it?s time for lunch. So with a crowd of 35 or so, he breaks open the package and low and behold there is my grade book, journal and ?Learn Latin American Spanish in 3 Months? book ? and my house keys, minus the keychain ? should I even ask?

The crowd is initially hushed, and then builds with excitement as my smile grows. I lift the Spanish book high over my head with two hands like I?m a Brazilian holding the World Cup aloft in downtown Rio, and the crowd goes nuts. I have nowhere to carry this stuff and a woman fetches a bag from her home and I give her a big kiss for all to see. The place goes crazy like they just beat Aguillas in the 7th game - no horns or whistles, but it was close. I?m feeling pretty good, for a minute.

All things considered, I?m feeling much better now, but I realize the trail is now hot again. As I'm being escorted out by all 35 people, I tell ?Tony? that I appreciate what he?s done, but I want the rest and I?m willing to pay. There isn?t any negotiating, I just tell him I?m going to bring back more than what ?they? have is worth to them, so go get it, I?ll pay you. What?s done is done.

After over two hours of kissing babies and desperately trying to find some understanding and support, I?ve made a connection not only with the neighborhood, but the conduit to ?mi cosas?.

Now what would you do?

1. Call it a wrap? Go get that stiff drink Timex was referring to?
2. Call the police now that you KNOW there is a connection to your stuff?
3. Go get some money, come back and continue?
 

Eddy

Silver
Jan 1, 2002
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You have passsed your initiation

Welcome to the club. No one will ever touch your shit again. Bienvenido Hermano...... A Glock is still a good option.