It was a Monday morning at 9:30 am when I went to my local Walgreen’s in my nice area of Uptown Minneapolis to drop off a prescription I had gotten from my doctor.
As I left there was a poor looking young black Somali kid who asked me if he could use my phone to call his mother. I made eye contact with him and said “no”. He kept pleading with me and I kept refusing until I was safely in my car. I did lock the door but then saw he was standing there looking desperate to call his mother as he kept repeating “please”.
In my mind I thought, “Are you being judgmental or prejudiced by not helping him? Is it because he is Somali that you are not helping”? So I rolled down my window part way and said give me the number and I will call for you.
“She doesn’t speak English,” he said. Then suddenly he reached in my window and grabbed my phone!
I screamed “Hey! Hey!”
I jumped out of my car and started running after him. Why as a 60-year- old woman would I attempt to chase down a teenage boy? I’m a badass at heart! That is why!
It was my first reaction. I didn’t think about it. It was fight or flight mode.
Then out of nowhere came the getaway car. My assailant jumped into the moving vehicle and then the car struck me, hitting me as a pedestrian! I was violently thrown to the ground, hitting my head.
I jumped up, not really realizing what had happened. A group of women came around me saying they were witnesses and got the license plate.
As I reached to the back of my head, I discovered my hand became covered in blood.
One of the women, a young Somali woman, worked at the clinic in that shopping center and she guided me into the clinic.
As I was telling them what happened, they explained they could not treat me they said there was an ambulance downstairs. I went down to the ambulance. The paramedics checked me out. My blood pressure and pulse were particularly high for me.
They asked if I wanted them to take me to the hospital. They wrapped my head and told me I would need stitches. I decided I would drive myself to the hospital (not one of my best decisions, but I wasn’t thinking clearly).
Once at the hospital, I was treated quickly. I called my daughter in Texas and told her what had happened while I waited to get the CT scan to check my brain.
The way they positioned my head in the CT scan caused me a lot of pain in the front of my neck. It still hurts in the muscles of my neck.
It has only been a few days but I am still in shock and pain.
How did it all happen so quickly? Should I feel guilty because I was foolish enough to help this kid? Well, I have sensed that judgment from some people I have told about what happened.
It makes me realize that as a society we cannot try to help someone in need without putting ourselves in possible danger.
I was certainly not lucky that it happened. Yes I am lucky that I didn’t get injured worse.
Crime in the morning on an overcast cold January day seemed surreal.
My message is to be extremely cautious. I recommend you not give into the temptation to help strangers. It sounds cold and callous to say but, I think for your safety as a woman it is a critical stance to take.