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Yesterday I was walking through a slightly desolate area as I headed to return my cable box to Time Warner. As I walked by the underpass, I noticed a group of teenagers. These kids were physically grown, but you could tell by their faces that they were no older than my son.
As I walked toward them, I noticed the group look in my direction, say something, nod at each other, then splinter off into what I perceived as a strategic assault formation.
I’ll try and illustrate this for you guys with some rudimentary drawings: Streetsmarts: Evading An Attempted Assault
As you can see from the illustration, they positioned themselves in a form where they could intercept me entering the subway, as well as prevent my escaping by backing up. That is of course, assuming that I walked into the trap. Bare in mind, this area was rather desolate. It is by a highway underpass, and provides the perfect cover for performing this type of assault. Be it for a random beatdown, a robbery, or just a quick round of the knockout game.
Of course, as you can see by my chart, I didn’t fall for the trap. First of all, I didn’t need to go into the subway station, and even if I did, I would have probably implemented the same strategy. Either that, or I would have boldly taken out my blade and opened it in a very indiscrete fashion silently stating: “You can try, but which one of you is coming to the hospital with me?”
None of that happened, thankfully. When I walked around the outside of their perimeter, they turned and looked at me. I could see that they were confused and unsure of how to proceed. I nodded and shifted my body in a way that I could see them coming if they proceeded to attack anyway.
The biggest kid in the group smiled at me, and I gave him a smirk as I continued to walk while remaining extremely alert. I considered alerting the cops who I saw a few blocks away, yet I was conflicted about it. You see, the fact of the matter is that no actual crime took place. Though I am nearly certain that they were setting me up, there is a chance that I am wrong. As we all know, not all law enforcement officials are on our side (NOTICE: I DIDN’T SAY ALL COPS), and I’d hate to have exposed these kids to a dangerous scenario with the NYPD based on a suspicion. Yet, at the same time I wondered: “What if you are right, and your silence exposes a citizen?”
Which brings me to a major point! What the hell are these kids doing hanging out by a desolate underpass like this? Would a cop be wrong in approaching and questioning them for acting suspect in this fashion? If they did actually assault me, and I hurt them, would I be crucified for hurting “Young, innocent, Angels who were on their way home from school?”
Parents, teens, and everyone else involved, please educate yourself, and your children. A desolate underpass, while wearing hoodies, and acting in this threatening fashion is no place for a teenager in today’s climate. Am I wrong here? Think about it, if you don’t want trouble, avoid troublesome situations. Protect yourself, and others! Use your head! Just because you are teens, you are not immune to trouble. I know many people who were extremely dangerous at 15, and younger. Like it or not, you pose a threat, and though you are kids, you can be dangerous! We know this, or at least we should!
The key takeaway from this post is awareness, as I mentioned in the illustration, more often than not, awareness is enough to stop a potential crime from taking place. The same applies to the kids out there hanging out at underpasses. If you are behaving this way, and not doing anything bad, please understand why some people like me who have extensive experience on the streets would get nervous. Maybe you should pick a better place to congregate? That is of course unless you actually intend to commit a crime, in which case you’d better be prepared for the consequences.
My friend, and fellow blogger, Xanadue Xaviera sums it up perfectly with this instagram post. We, the people of color often complain about society, but we must accept our part in perpetuating our situations! This scenario that I just shared is a perfect example of a situation that could have gone terribly wrong for me, and for those teenagers.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Is my logic wrong? Am I right? Sound off in the comments and let us know!