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Muggings in Brooklyn…another episode

October 8, 2008

 

In the late seventies the residents of Clinton Hill Apartment complex and surrounding blocks got together to ask the MTA to create another bus stop on the B38 bus line. Most at this point would get off right in front of Cadman church; the new proposed stop was on the NEXT block almost directly in front of the complex’s entrance to the courtyard and across the street from building 325.  Logistically it didn’t seem to make sense but if you look at the picture above(taken on a real sunny day), you’ll notice that it’s a pretty shady block which of course made it not only very dark at night but also a mugging hot spot. The thinking was having the bus stop on the more illuminated block with numerous apartment windows facing directly to it would be a deterrent to some of the muggings. The MTA obliged…

            Ten years later I’m in my freshmen year of high school. The autumn breeze seeps through the hood with a slight whisper sweeping the leaves on the sidewalk. Signifying the seasonal change, it was in the air literally…you could feel it(peace Ghost! lol). Crayola colors put away in my closet and earth tones to the forefront, I thought I was “mad fly” coordinating my whole outfit with the “beef & brocoli” timberlands on my feet. Posted up with me on Clinton ave. were my friends Ox and his cousin Sah who happened to be two years younger than us but still ran with the “big kids”. We’d just come from a teen party at Cadman church where we weren’t allowed to “wine” with the young ladies to dancehall music…needless to say three adolescent males with raging hormones, we were disapointed(Of course looking back I understand, my daughter is 13, a year younger than I was then and she BETTER not be “wining” on anyone..or whatever it is the kids do now!).

           At this point we’re just killing time and didn’t really stress how corny the teen party was for two reasons. One reason was we had a real party to attend on Monroe and Nostrand later that night, the other being that if we had not been in Cadman, we would’ve just been on the streets vegetating until it was time to go(my generation missed whatever social programs that used to be in place for teens and if it wasn’t for alot of the churches around here there wouldn’t have been anything). All of a sudden, we hear this yelp of distress coming from around the corner on Lafayette(I will never forget the sound in my life!), we immediately head towards the direction of the sound to see two young men tussling with a woman for her purse. We pounced on em’ in an instant, the lady froze emotionless, TO HER we didn’t look much different than the intitial offenders. After roughing them up a bit…well let me be honest…After whipping their ass lol, we chased them up Lafayette towards Waverly and yelled “DON’T BRING THAT SH*T OVER HERE-DONT BRING DAT TO OUR HOOD!!” . We walked back up the block to check on the victim who by this time had her purse and realized our role in what just transpired. The woman, white in her mid-twenties was almost apologizing and thanking us at the same time while offering money to which we politely declined. Yeah, we could’ve used a few dollars but none of us could consciously accept anything after what she had just gone through. For us it was honestly no big deal, just a day in the life of two teens and one pre-teen in Brooklyn. Plus it was time to party soon…

              We reach the party on Monroe and Nostrand, it was being held in the ground floor of  a brownstone. Inside was real dark, the only light coming from outside through the shoddy curtains and the glare of dudes gold fronts/grills( it was all too common at that time in Brooklyn for cats smile to resemble Hip Hop legend Slick Rick). In unison we put the scene under our perusal then found a spot to chill. My man Sah whose always had a eagle eye noticed a few dudes conferring with their attention seemingly on us. A closer look revealed two out of the four guys to be the same ones we ran out of Clinton Hill earlier. We were now in their hood and they were scheming big time presumably to not let us out of the party unscathed. One thing we knew was that we could not show fear, that alone would have them on us like a pack of wolves on prey in the wild…plus I never was one for being anyone’s food! We made a plan to split up in the party so while they didn’t know where each of us was, it still gave the appearance of  being present, not being scared and the possibility that we MAY have been prepared for whatever goes down. Being apart each of us would slip out at an oppurtune moment then meet on Putnam and Grand. “Im in loooove with a man nearly twice my age”, the lady sang in a Jamaican accent, the crowd went wild I slipped right out! When I got to Grand, my man Ox was there already…we got a little nervous but his little cousin Sah came a few minutes later. Although it was serious, we just laughed about it and teased each other about who was “shook”. Reminiscing on it I guess it was a crazy day…But back then it was just another day in the life of a young Brooklynite…

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