Today was my second day back to running. I’m taking it easy with my back and all and I must way it’s not as smooth going yet as I would like it to be. So I am running East down West Mercury Boulevard, not too far from my house approaching two young men when I hear this screaming. But is it screaming? I cannot tell. I don’t see anything looking around. But then I hear it again; the traffic is still a bit heavy, it’s almost past rush hour. I see what looks to be a man from some utility company on the other side of the road and a mini-van oddly stopped in the left turn lane on the West bound side but nothing more. So I start to turn back to my run when I hear someone scream “Rape!” The mini-van is laying on the horn and that is when I see the utility man is not from any utility company as he is over top of someone in the grass across the highway. A few seconds later he is up but appears to be calm but the person on the ground looks distressed! What do I do?
I didn’t know, it was weird. The guy is calm, there are 6 lanes of busy road between us, a van laying on the horn, two guys approaching me and a man and a woman approaching the scene from the other side of the road. The guy was backed off a bit. I could not tell who was on the ground: A Man, a woman, a Kid. It looked like a kid. Was there an assault going on right on the side of this road in broad daylight? Was it some kid who was out of control and that was his father? Again, this guy did not look agitated, he looked calm. The man and woman approached and the guy backed off. The two men approached me and asked what was going on. I knew about as much as them; but all the while I kept thinking I should call the police.
We crossed the road and learned it was a woman who jumped out of this guys truck after he apparently became violent. She had proclaimed he had assaulted her a few days ago and was in jail for a bit but when he came home he continued the abuse. She came up from Georgia with him and had no family and he was preventing her from using a cellphone to call them.
The two guys I came across with contemplating throwing this guy a beat down but he sauntered off to his truck and left. We further assessed the situation trying to help this woman out when the guy returned. The two guys went to speak with him I hung back. He got out of the truck and was a bit verbal. At that point I’d had enough and called the cops (something I should have done from the beginning). He took off, the cops arrived a few minutes later and I gave my report.
It was a scary thing, that it was. Standing there trying to figure out what is going on, wondering if I should get involved. If nobody did, where would this woman have ended up? Afterwards I really felt bad for holding back, for not rushing to the scene sooner or calling the cops. But I have to admit, I was uncertain and a bit scared at the prospect of confrontation with this guy. I mean come on, if he is really assaulting a woman in broad daylight, around rush hour, on the side of one of the busiest roads in the area; what am I going to meet on the other side? Some guy with a knife? A gun? But what about the woman? If I hesitated too long what about her?
What I should have done immediately is called the police. Regardless the situation, better they arrive sooner than later. If things had taken a turn for the worst the police would have been on the way. Waiting could have proved fatal.
I love superheros, that I do. Comic books, movies, all that; but when it comes to real life it’s a scary choice to interfere in someone else’s tragedy; very scary. It would have been so easy to just turn away and keep running. No it wouldn’t have been, it would have haunted me.
She plans on pressing charges and I hope she does. I hope my report helps and I hope she gets the help she needs; maybe a lift home. I wish her well and I hope I am never in this situation again. But if I am, I will learn from today and make sure help is on the way from the start.