I was in an armed robbery last night!

Here’s the story: For about six months now, I’ve lived in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a legendarily bad neighborhood (those blackout '77 riots depicted in “Summer of Sam” mostly occurred there.) The neighborhood is in turnaround though, with obvious signs of gentrification (lots of building being majorly renovated - including the one I live in), but is still pretty raw. And even the worst neighborhoods in NYC are not as bad as they were in the mid-70s. I was not blind to the fact that it was a bad neighborhood. Still, there tends to be a lot of people out on the streets, even at night, including kids & elderly folks, so I relaxed a bit about walking to & from the subway station at night.

Anyway, last night (Wendesday, 9/5) I went to a bodega down the block from my apartment to get milk & such. As I approached it, there was a guy in a blue sweatshirt who was hanging out around the front door, but I didn’t think much of it. As I was about to step in the front door, another guy in a yellow sweatshirt was blocking my way and said “Don’t come in here right now.” All of a sudden there is the sound of yelling, and I can see through the front window to the store a guy pulling a gun on the cashier, and another guy w/ a gun jumping across the counter.

I was about to bolt away, but the yellow-sweatshirt guy starts yelling “Don’t you call the fuckin’ cops n****r! (He meant me, even though I’m white) Give me your fuckin’ phone!” Then the grabs me and demands that I hand over my cellphone, and shoves me inside the store. I stood there with my hands up, while the guy yells at me, holding what might have been a gun in his pocket at me. I stood there as nonchalantly as I could whiile they cleared out the register. They took off in a car that was parked out front.

I just happened to be walking in the door at the wrong time. They didn’t even take my wallet, just my cell. The whole thing was on caught on the store’s security cameras. (That guy in the blue sweatshirt I mentioned earlier shows up on the tape and was obviously part of the gang, a lookout who cased the place out.) I stuck around to give a police report and went to the local precinct house to look at mug shots (I only saw one guy clearly, but couldn’t place him with any mug shot.)

From what I overheard from the detectives, the same guys have been pulling heists on deils around the area. The cops also let me in on the cheery little detail that I live almost directly across the street from THE worst drug dealers in the city! They told me they (cops) don’t like going into that neighborhood themselves, and stated simply “Get out of the neighborhood!”

Anyway, I’m all right now, just a little shocked, and I’m starting a new apartment search.

Wow. Glad you’re okay, I’m just…wow.

The Old and Original Superman would’ve kicked their asses!


Glad you’re OK, it’d be nice if they used your cell to somehow get caught.

Holy cow!

Glad you’re OK.

Glad you’re OK.

Hmmm…what’s with their lookout guy? First he says not to go in, then he shoves you inside? Points off for style, there.

Seriously, though, I would have peed myself. Holy cow! Glad you are safe.

Yeah, if this was TV, it’d have a GPS that the cops could just hone in on.

Wow…I am glad that all that happened was that you lost your phone. I just moved to the city not long ago and I actually live in a nice, affordable neighborhood so if you want to pm me I can give you the number of the management company and you can see about looking at an apartment in my building.

The worst thing that has happened to me so far is the homeless guy who hangs around outside the deli by me called me fat because I wouldn’t give him a quarter, so I consider myself lucky. Hope you stay safe until you are able to get away from that neighborhood.

I was most definitely more Clark Kent than Superman last night. I never felt so meek & mild-mannered before in my life.

As for the cellphone, the cops dialed my number a few times but only got voicemail. It’s most likely that they tossed it somewhere.

Thanks for your support, every one.

There’s always phonetrace.org :smiley:
(That link is not live, and is EXTREMELY!!!111 NSFW. Please Google phonetrace.org and read what some of the links have to say about it before putting a www in front of it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But it is hilarious to email the link to unsuspecting prudes :slight_smile: )

Score! Go make friends with them. I remember in the comic strip Doonesbury when Mike Doonesbury just got married and moved in with his wife J.J. to a spot in New York City; Mike was always trying to get the neigbourhood drug dealer to buy girl scout cookies or contribute to clean-up projects and whatnot. The drug dealer was always portrayed by the barrel of a rifle pointing out of the slit in a metal door.

Duke of Rat beat me to my first comment, so I’ll just say congratulations for staying calm and not panicking.

HOME in on.

Homing device, homing pigeon, to go home.

To hoNe is “to sharpen, particularly a blade, by grinding.”


I knew that.

Sorry…pet peeve.


He couldn’t let Supes leave, knowing that a robbery was going on, because he would have called the cops (presumably). And force is rising to meet resistance: cell phones facilitate reporting crime, so now crooks go for the phone before they ask for the wallet.

Glad you’re okay, Supes!

Want me to get the rest of the Justice League on their asses?

Seriously, I’m really glad you’re okay. hugs

where i live, i am pretty sure it is actually honing pigeons. i can see a lot of pigeons from my window, and when they are not shitting from windows and flying in circles, they all seem to be hanging out by this grinding stone next to the back door. once they are appropriately sharpened, they fight duels over who gets the nicest windowsill and who gets first dibs on all the pigeon bitches hanging out on the stairwell.

homing pigeons might be more useful and socially accepted, but let me tell you, a large, blade-sharpened pigeon is NOT something to be trifled with.


I am glad you are ok and that you only lost your phone AIGH! but, forgive my midwestern corn shucking shelteredness:
What, exactly, is a bodega? I’m guessing what we call a party (liquor) store?

Bodegas are pretty much like a corner convenience store, but nothing like a 7-11 or anything. Basically, a good place to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and cheap processed food. Generally very mom-and-pop. If the neighborhood has a high concentration of a certain ethnicity, it may cater to them food-wise. Much more of a family/friend feel.

Bodegas are an aspect of very urban living. The only places I’ve seen called “bodegas” are in NYC.

Why are they called bodega’s.
I like to get the history of stuff like this.