Turkey and the beginning of the holiday season continues to bring me dark memories. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 27, 1987, a friend and I decided to go out and get a movie. On the way in, we were talking and an out of now where, about 100 feet from the apartment buildings’s front door, a person jumps out behind me and tells me to give him my purse. As I turned around all I saw was a guy in a hooded sweatshirt and a silver Magnum 357 pointed in my face. I tried to negotiate and told him I would give him my wallet. He said no and put the 357 on my shoulder. The thought of a client telling me that it really hurts and burns when you get shot. Scared and pissed off, I gave him my purse. In shock, we went in – thankfully I had had
the keys in my hand not in my purse – and I called the police. My next call was to the credit card companies to report my cards stolen. Obviously I was in shock – the fear of it all would never allow me to be able to get the information together and make the calls . The Baltimore City Police – came quickly. The first question they asked was if we were hurt. Physically no, but in the future I would learn of the psychological effects. They took down all the information, gave me their names and told me they would do all they could. They seemed sincere; it was a ray of light in a terrible situation.
Tears filled my eyes and I began to cry, sobbing uncontrollably. My friend call others to come to my apartment. Caring was given and offers to stay the night was offered. After mid-night, my friends left. The woman I was with during the robbery lived above me and told me to wake them if needed.
I slept through the night then – at the time I attended church – dressed for my day. I went throughout the service telling people what had happened. I was offered money, food, housing and much more. Communion began. I was in daze waiting in line when someone poked me in the back. With no thought, I swung around a punched the person; he fell to the floor. Of course that stopped the service. That minute, I began to realize the effect of the robbery. The robber came from behind; anyone from behind was a target.
Later in the day between my crying spells, I went to the local park and looked for my purse. I looked for hours. I loved my purse and the memories and treasures it held in the pockets and in my wallet. Finally, I gave up; my heart was heavy. I began to grieve. he effect of the robbery. The robber came from behind; anyone from behind was a target.
The next night, I went to grad school; I attended night classes. When I got out of my car in the underground garage, I froze. Literally, I could not move. A couple saw me and asked if they could help. I gave a short version of my robbery; they offered to walk out with me. When we reached ground level, I asked them why they were going to University Hospital this time of night. They told me their son had been in a horrible accident and after a week they decided to take him off life support. Oh my god! Here they were literally in a life and death situation and they helped me. They even offered to walk me to the door of the school. When I left the class, I asked for someone to walk to the garage with me. When the guy came to me I told him of my incident.
Time went by and I found myself afraid of being in elevators alone with young men; I continued to be hyper vigilant especially when someone came from behind (to this day I still have this shoot from the hip response); I began grinding my teeth and cracked 4 teeth and needed root canals and crowns; I would cry at the top of the hat. Over time other psychological effects piled on these. I called Victims Assistance and asked it there was any financial assistance for the dental issues. They asked if I was shot in the mouth or had the gun in my mouth. Honestly, I replied no. That was that.
The same police who initially came to my home showed me a photo lineup. As I gazed a the photos, they told me that some people have weird ears or wild hair cuts. All I could see was the silver 357. By the way, if you ever have to do a photo lineup, listen to the police; they were giving me characteristics of the thug.
I had to go to court and when I got there it was cancelled. One day the police came to my home to tell me that the thug with 11 armed robberies and 7 other felonies got 7 years PROBATION! I grew cold. The officers told me how pissed they were as they were not even given an opportunity to testify. Officer Levitz told me one day he would meet a bigger gun.One office told me of how the guy had all information on me and the he could not tell me the thug lived at 376 General Way and his name was Trevor Allen. With that, they both hugged me and told me they were sorry how the system failed me.
I learned that life could be there one moment and gone the next. I learned to see the situation as a person, not a person of a specifically racial group, robbed me. I have to admit I will always say that it was a man that robbed me. Till this day, 26 years later, I still am hyper vigilant when I go out when it is dark. Darkness, a poke in the back and a 357 changed my life forever.