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Saturday, October 29, 2016


Saturday afternoon, 22 October 2016, in Milwaukee turned into a glorious afternoon - the gloom of the morning was replaced by bright sun.  I left my flat around 3:30pm to walk about 4 blocks to the nearby Starbucks.  I had a backpack on my back, which held a heavy book, a scarf, and other clothing in case it was coldside in the cafe.  I normally walk a certain path, but the usual was shaded, so I took a sunnier, tho slightly longer way.  It is all by Marquette Univ. and pleasant, though because the university classes were on short break, and many students traveled away, so very few people were on the the usually crowded sidewalks.

On the sunny side, I could see a young man approaching me, but walking directly toward me, even tho I was on the right side of the sidewalk.  Generally, in the US folks walk on the right, just as they drive on the right side.  Rather than have a confrontation,  I moved to the left.  He mumbled and asked something.  Many men live in a nearby homeless shelter, and often ask passers-by for money, which I never give.  But he asked where a certain street was.  I pointed south with my finger, and he asked if I would show him.  I said he could get to that street if he turned left at the next corner, and he decided to walk with me that half blockto the next corner.
Suddenly he moved very close, placing his left arm above my backpak and round both my shoulders while simultaneously jamming something in his right hand into my belly.  "Give it up or I'll pop you."   I've taught British English and American English, but I do not know criminal English.  I assumed he meant, give me your wallet or I'll shoot you.  But the object in my belly did not feel like a gun.  It was hard and thin, red with small metal circles on it, with perhap a knife inside it.

We struggled.  I was able to shove his hand with the slim object away from my stomach and above our heads, but he got his right hand free from mine and hit me hard.  I fell, trying to pull his dredlocks as I wnt down, and pull him down too.  But my hand did not close round his bleached locks, so he had more of an advantage. I went down.  More punches and struggle.  I was also yealling, “Help!”  He was trying to get into my pocket.  Then I heard a male voice shout, "He's a police," and the thief scrambled to get up and into a waiting car, as a Marquette Univ. policeman and several others rushed to the scene.  The thieves rode off.

 I got up and could see little with blood covering my eye.  I had retained my wallet, and now gave it to the policeman to show ID.  An ambulance came for me and rode me to a nearby hospital.  I received a cat scan, got stitches round my left eye, and was nauseated because of blood dripping from my sinus into my stomach.  But no one would give me water because of the operations.  Instead, I was given crushed ice.  A detedtive from the Milwaukee City Police force interviewed me about the mugging, and even showed me a number of pictures of possible perpetrators.  I was unable to identify any of those shown as the culprit.  The doctor who stitched me up was from Vietnam, a boat person, and we chatted about Saigon.  But he was not able to stitch my eyelid, - that required a specialist =- so I had to be transferred to another hospital for that procedure.  The other hospital was out in the suburbs.  Into another ambulance and more nausea.  It was about midnight when I arrived.  Waiting, more crushed ice, more waiting.  The doctor and a helper stitched the area beside the eye.  Around 4 am a police van drove me back to my apartment building.  I took a pill and slept until about noon Sunday.

The thief got no money from me.  But I face medical bills.

            It was probably a random attack.  But in Starbucks I do show a bookmark stressing Trump (which is not popular in this neighborhood).  Compared to the several shootings over the past month in Milwaukee, my encounter was minor.  But this is Obama's America, where he has made the police into the enemy, and defended the violent criminals.  The result - more violent criminals.

            Sunday afternoon, I woke and decided to wear the very same clothing and go to Starbucks and read – do what I had planned to do the previous day.  I purposely walked by the very spot of the mugging, and saw my blood on the pavement, and knew for certain now in front of which business the mugging occurred.  
            I entered Starbucks with my half-closed eye, my black/blue eye area, my stitches, and, on my light green sweat shirt, a large blood stain.  When the servers looked at me, I stressed that I was simply wearing my Halloween costume early

Hugh Murray.