Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Neighborhood tragedy

Play it: Travis "Blue Flashing Lights"

One month ago (tonight,) disaster struck our street, leaving much of us quite disturbed through the holidays. Nothing ever made it into the papers about it, oddly enough, until this past week, when our weekly rag, The Stranger, reported it as part of a piece on recent violence in my neighborhood:
53-year-old Ronnie Greer broke into the Northwest 59th Street home of his ex-girlfriend. (She was not named in the police report.) The woman wasn't home, but she'd left her children in the care of a 19-year-old babysitter.

The babysitter, who was not identified in the report, heard the commotion. Suspecting an intruder, she grabbed a knife. According to the police report, she was relieved to see Greer, whom she knew. But just as the babysitter lowered the knife, Greer pulled a hammer from behind his back and attacked her. The babysitter wrested the hammer away, only to have Greer take the knife and stab her with it.

Bloodied and terrified, the babysitter escaped, running into the street where she flagged down a truck. Meanwhile, Greer attacked his ex-girlfriend's 13-year-old son, hitting him repeatedly in the head with the hammer while swearing at the boy for having white friends. The boy would later tell police that he believes Greer, who is black, has a hatred for white people.
When it first happened, everyone believed the boy was going to have severe brain damage, but he's apparently doing much better then expected. Even though it was an isolated domestic incident (involving someone who doesn't even reside here) the block was affected, especially the friends of the boy, who are white and can't comprehend why anyone would hate them for being white.

Brought to mind the Travis song "Blue Flashing Lights" (bonus track from the album The Man Who):
Blue flashing light last Saturday night
Brought the neighbours all out on the street
Watched as the firemen carried you out
Then we stared at each other's feet
Now everyone sees and yet nobody says
Are we all just afraid of the heat?
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1 comment:

MJAPA said...

Hey, I work for that rag! :-)

That reminds me of the guy who shot his daughter in our neighborhood last year saying he was "Saving her soul" because she was so messed up. He thought it was the best thing he could do for her. Creepy!