Friday, March 23, 2012

Bob had dropped me off at The Bare Wall this morning and was returning home from the grocery when he was attacked by a young black teen armed with a brick at Green and Clinton. The boy struck Bob behind the left ear and ran off without demanding anything. As fate would have it, I was telephoning Bob as he stumbled into the house, and I quickly hung up and called 911. No one answered immediately and when I did get a dispatcher she was less than helpful. I explained that we needed assistance in the 1600 block of Green and gave what little info I had. Rather than send a policeman or ambulance she said she would attempt to be in touch with Bob at his house to assess the situation. If she did call she did not reach him; all the more reason to raise the alarm, I would think. In the meanwhile Dr. Bob Coldren and I raced up to Bob's house to do what we could. I was again on the phone to 911 but was told that the Harrisburg police had been informed but that they were busy elsewhere. Anyway, it was a half hour or more before the police responded to our call for assistance and to see if we needed an ambulance . . . Turns out that several neighbors had seen this kid lurking about but none, including Bob, could give a precise description. And if he was roving the streets mid-morning instead of being in school he should have been easy to spot . . . My anger arises from the fact that the police were so lackadaisical in responding to a emergency distress call. They may not have been able to catch the kid, but in the meanwhile Bob might have been on the sidewalk somewhere and bleeding his life away . . . Last night around five at Green and Verbeke a woman just emerging from her car was approached by a black man about 20 who grabbed her keyring and ran. Of course, all the locks in the house had to be changed immediately . . .

1 comment:

  1. Ronn,
    I'm so sorry to hear about Bob's experience, and agree with you. It's disturbing enough when something like this happens, but to have the experience exacerbated by the blasé attitude of the cops is infuriating. Please give Bob my best, and let him know we're thinking about him.