Saturday, January 30, 2010

Robbed At Knifepoint, That Was Fun

So, after an evening of disappointments (last week's gringo night was better), my friend C and I were standing in front of my apartment, waiting for a cab to pull up so she could get home. Suddenly, we both got grabbed.

Some little punk with a big ole kitchen knife had one arm around my neck and the other one ripping my little hand wallet away. {Note: Dear Baby Sis, I'm really sorry about the owl wallet. P.S. You're not getting it back.} I was screaming like a banshee, proving that all those opera lessons in high school really were good for something.

What was weird was that even in a state of panic, I could translate Spanish. He was telling me to stop yelling, which didn't appear to be happening, and asking me if that was everything while grabbing at my pockets. My hand had been around my wallet, which had my keys attached, and fortunately when he yanked that the hook for the keys broke and I was left with those while my cash and my credit card got to be all his. I told him I didn't have anything more and that was it.

The knife thing was a little surreal. Never been held up at knife point before, and that was more than a little odd. I should have probably been more afraid, but it is hard to be scared of something you know spends most of its life cutting vegetables, even if it is right in front of your face.

Anyway, the dudes took off, with the one giving my hair an extra yank since I was being so loud, and we pulled ourselves together and got inside the building, where C was a little hysterical. It helped, because I knew both of us couldn't break down. She kept reminding me about the knife in my face, and I was like, I'm fine, I'll deal, I'll get to that later. Our "Are you okay?" session was broken up by my neighbors.

Spanish was spoken . . . a lot of it! The basic jist of it all was that even though we have a guard on the street, crimes of opportunity do occur in this area. With all our focus on the upcoming cabs, C and I were not expecting anything from behind us, especially since the entrance of my apartment was right there.

My upstairs neighbor was totally nice, lending C his phone to call her other friends here to get home and calling the police for us. He's a grandpa type, with a knife scar on the side of his face from a robbery in his youth, so he gets it, probably way more seriously than I do right now. He hung with us for about 30 minutes, dealing with the other neighbors, and being generally all around awesome.

In his green knee-length housecoat. Smoking. With wingtips on, but no socks. Loved it!

Long story short, the police never came, which pissed off our Grandpa Angel. The guy who lives on the topmost floor is some kind of government official, and according to Grandpa Angel he is now going with me to file a police report in the morning.

I lost a credit card {canceled in 5 min} and almost all my cash. Computer, passport, spare change, and cameras where all in the house, along with my bank cards. Usually I was carrying a bank card, but had taken it out tonight. My guardian angel was on that! Also on not getting cut--I'm missing a serious chunk of hair and the side of my face feels weird, like it can't decide if it wants to bruise or not, but I don't remember being hit there. We'll see in the morning I guess.

C lost more--she had a proper purse with a phone, journal, drawings, credit cards, cash, and her itinerary for her plane tickets. Her parents were pretty upset too--we used her skype to call them, and she may be going home tomorrow.

All in all, a very memorable finish to an entirely forgettable evening. More details on filing the police report and other adventures as they happen!


  1. Jen, we just got the scoop from mom - so sorry. What a terrible adventure; not that it couldn't/doesn't happen here, but it's much more frightening when you are already in a place you're less comfortable with.
    We're thinking of you! In our new place :) We really like it, and are looking forward to having you visit when you get home!
    With love,

  2. I have to admit, I probably would have been screaming my head off, right there with you. Glad you're safe, even if a little more bald. :)

  3. Glad you are ok! I can relate having been robbed at gunpoint in Washington D.C. Keep alert and safe!

  4. Thanks for all the comments and concern . . . .been jumpy today but doing okay.