I was at 11th and Pine, the middle of the Gayborhood, and I was talking on my phone to another friend about an art project we were working on together. From my peripherals I noticed a man moving closer to me and, thinking that he wanted to pass me on the sidewalk, I stepped to the side to let him by. Instead of him going on his merry way he moved closer to me and ripped the bag I was clutching to from my shoulder and started dashing down an alleyway.
I was still on the phone while this was happening and I immediately reacted by chasing this motherf*cker down the alley, screaming at him every swear word in the book and demanding that he give my purse back. My commotion awakened some people inside their homes and I even saw one guy look out the window, but no one came out to help me. Maybe they thought I was just messing around or maybe they thought they were witnessing a drug deal gone bad, but no one bothered to find out what was really going on.
I eventually lost the thief at the end of the alley-- he turned somewhere and I lost trace of him-- and I could do nothing else but collapse in a heap on the sidewalk. All he got was a pack of gum and seven dollars, but it bothered me because the bag was leather and handmade by a friend. I was spent after all that, but I was surprised at how my instincts kicked in and how ready I was to fight this dude. I was thinking about this incident the other day and how it would have went differently had I been armed with a taser or something else.
Is it weird that I fantasize about getting revenge on the loser who took my bag? I've never been in a fight, but I studied Muay Thai and I know how to fight if I ever have to. I wonder what would have happened had I caught up with the thief and pulled out a knife or a gun. It wouldn't have been self-defense, really, if I ended up hurting the dude because I was pursuing the criminal. I think about this a lot, and I can blame my Law & Order addiction for adding fuel to my hypothetical fire, and I have to say that I'm really lucky that it turned out the way it did. I wasn't harmed, I wasn't held-up, I experienced a simple purse-snatching, a crime of opportunity.