Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Doing the Right Thing
I was walking back to Muni at the end of my evening when I saw three people on the sidewalk ahead of me, arguing. I heard what sounded like the man shoving one of the women against the metal cover over a shopfront. I walked around on the other side of the row of parked cars, assessing the situation, and then heard the woman scream, "Give me my purse! Give me my purse!" I found an inconspicuous place from which to observe the altercation and call 911, but did not intervene directly because there did not appear to be any immediate danger of bodily harm. At some point, though, the man noticed me standing there, talking on my cellphone, and he walked off, dropping the woman's bag on the sidewalk. I followed from a safe distance, about 20 or 30 meters back — close enough not to lose him, but not close enough to be in his space. The last time I ran that hard, I was trying to catch the driver that did a hit-and-run on my car. I kept the 911 dispatcher informed of our movements, but before the SFPD found us, I happened upon two UCSF patrol cars. I shouted, "Help! Police! Help!" and the police officers detained the suspect. I am told they also found the woman and got her account of the whole scenario.
It's been over an hour and a half, and my heart is only now slowing back to normal. I was so out of it that I spaced right through my Muni station, and just barely caught the last train back. Wow.