Wednesday, January 18, 2006

TALES FROM THE VENDOME: INCIDENT AT 72ND & COLUMBUS

It all started with Starsky. He had to throw the gum into this other guy's hair, as we were walking away. He ducked around the corner before the guy turned around, and I was standing there. This guy was a 17-year old who had been trying to find out if we were gay, which we weren't Anyway, he charged at me, and I charged right back at him. As we scuffled, Starsky came around the corner to assist me against this older, bigger opponent.

Walking down the block was the president of the 71st St. Block Association, and his boyfriend. As he broke up the fight, he held Starsky up against a wall by his throat. Starsky and I were scrawny kids of 13-14 at that time, and this seemed excessive force to me. The 17-year old and I had stopped fighting as soon as the adults intervened, and Starsky wasn't really doing that much, but told the guy "get away from me," or something. I can only guess what provoked this crazy bastard into this rage. I screamed "I'm calling the cops on you, man!"-to which he replied "go ahead, I'm the head of the Block Association!"

I ran over to the bodega on the SW corner of 71st and Columbus to call the cops. The men that hung out in front of the bodega asked us what was wrong. We told them what happened, and they tracked down the two guys at 72nd and Colunbus Ave. This one guy from the bodega came right up to the guy who choked Starsky and said "you hurt that kid," and punched him straight across the jaw!

Within minutes, a larger crowd had gathered. The police pulled up, and the block ass. president told the officers that "this guy hit me!" -The cops immediately handcuffed the guy from the bodega, as Starsky and I, along with the crowd, screamed out against this injustice. The cops wouldn't listen to us, two crying little boys in a sea of outraged people. We tried to show them the bruises on Starsky's neck, but this was the '70's, so we had to accept it.

Meanwhile, in the Vendome, my older brother noticed a commotion out the window; a huge crowd of people gathering around a police car, blocking the intersection of 72nd & Columbus. He got out the monocular (made by our grandfather - Robert K. Leavitt Sr.), and looked across the street. He called our mom to the window, and she saw the entire scene.
Starsky and Hutch, in the middle of a big public fiasco again. At the center of the mob, there we were, crying our eyes out to the cops, to no avail.

The only moral I can find here is "don't throw gum in people's hair, and don't assault suspected criminals, unless you want to get screwed." -just another installment in my Tales from the Vendome.

2 comments:

Heather said...

I see the Dignes in Hutch; quite cute!

Chris said...

Yes, that is my Norwegian heritage. I don't know much about them. Where can I learn more about them?