I saw a man walk across the street, go up to a woman (presumably his girlfriend), and slap her. Then, he turned around, saw me and the angry look on my face, and went back across the street.
Keep in mind, this happened in the middle of the day. In broad daylight. With other people around, some of them on that very sidewalk.
I don't know if the guy took off because he saw me (I very much doubt it). I pulled over to ask the lady if she needed help. She shook her head and sobbed "No," and kept on walking.
This woman, she didn't hit the man back or scream something like "How dare you!?" or even use the phone in her hand to call the police. She just cried, and walked away.
Now, I know, I know, that when a couple gets into a physical altercation, it is not for me to jump in and start smacking the dude upside the head with my MagLight. For one thing, he'd probably just turn around and mess me up, too, since I'm such a short little woman. But I have another reason. My grandfather once witnessed a man beating on his wife. Grandpa (who was young then, I'm sure) jumped out of his car and pulled the man off the woman. And you know what she said? "Get the hell offa him!" And she started hitting my grandpa!
So when I see something like this going on, I know that my job is to call 911 and let the cops deal with it, rather than try to insert myself into the situation.
So why didn't I call them today?
For one thing, the man, as I said, hit her once, and took off. He did not continue beating her. If he'd kept on hitting her, I would have dialed 911 without further hesitation, and possibly revved my engine menacingly so as to make the man think I was about to run him over (believe me, the thought crossed my mind). But he didn't, so I didn't. He just looked at me and left (still visibly angry). And the woman took off, too. By the time the cops arrived, both of them would have been long gone.
Still, I couldn't just leave her. Which is why I stopped to ask her if she wanted help. I could have taken her to the doctor (right around the corner), or called the cops for her, or even given her a ride home. But she didn't want my help. I also noticed that she was carrying her own cell phone in her hand. Apparently she didn't want the cops' immediate assistance, either, or she'd have called them right then and there.
So instead, I drove away slowly, thinking these thoughts:
- Should I have called 911? Should I have just immediately picked up my cell phone and started dialing
- What the heck kind of neighborhood is this? If this is the kind of thing that happens at 11:00 in the morning, what must this place be like at 10:00 at night?
- I am so never moving out here. (I should add, the neighborhood seemed made up of umpteen different apartment complexes.)
- In my own neighborhood, that kind of thing probably does happen, but the men have sense enough not to do that crap in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day.
- Then again, how would I know that, since I stay inside all day?
- My husband would so never do that to me. He's not that kind of man, which is why I married him. Plus, he knows that my dad would totally kick his a$$.
- I wonder if that lady said something that made that man mad?
- Did he stop and leave because he saw me looking at him? If I hadn't accidentally come down this road and witnessed this incident, would he have done worse?
- She probably had battered woman's syndrome, or low self-esteem, or both.
- Then again, her not hitting him back may have been the best thing to do, lest she incite him to do more damage.
- Her lip sure did look swollen, but not on the side of her face where his hand actually hit.
- That's it, there's no way I'm doing any shopping out here in Greenspoint (a.k.a. Gangspoint). I'm taking myself and my money out to Deerbrook, where it's nice and calm, and I don't care if I have to get back on the freeway to get there.
When I got home and told my family what happened, my father told me I did the right thing not getting in the middle. He didn't tell me whether I should have called 911, though. I think I'll ask him in the morning.
What would you have done, and why?
I sure hope that lady called the cops when she got home. I hope she takes out a restraining order. I hope she doesn't get back with him.