Monday, February 21, 2011

It's the middle of the day and I'm in front of a large old house setting up for Halloween. As I'm standing behind some sheer curtains on the front porch, I see 4 teenage black boys come up with Halloween bags. I come down the steps & ask them what they're doing. They tell me they're trick or treating. I tell them they're about 8 hours too early and they don't have costumes. They give me a lot of attitude and continue to loiter. I ignore them & get back to setting up. I notice there are expensive art supplies (paints, 6-foot paint brushes) on the lawn by the porch. As I start to gather them up, the boys try to take some of the supplies. I yell at them and a few of them run into the back yard while a couple others stand firm and taunt me.

I tell them I'm calling the cops and they don't seem to believe me. I step inside and ask someone for my phone. One guy is on his phone and can't help me. Kenn Minter hands me his Blackberry and I step off the porch to use it. It takes me a second to figure out how to unlock it (CTRL-FNCT). As I explain the situation to the 911 operator, the boys all run into the back yard. The operator sounds like she already knows the situation (as if others have already called her). As I step in the street to narrate the increasingly chaotic situation, the kids run through the cul de sac while other neighbors chase & berate them. A couple of men from 2 doors down are following them with large TV station-type video cameras. Things escalate & people begin to scuffle. I can no longer tell who is who and I try to break up a group of people. One person I grab is a short middle aged man I know. He is agitated & asks me why I interfered. I tell him I just didn't want anyone to get hurt.

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