Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Last night Ryan and I were in the middle of discussing our Christmas shopping details and we heard shrieks - shrieks followed by a woman screaming, "GET OFF ME!" repeatedly. So, we walked outside and heard more shrieks. Ryan went to put on his shoes and I ran over to where I heard the shrieks from. As I was running across the cul de sac, a boy - maybe 17 or 18 - wearing what seemed to be nothing but a towel, appeared from the neighbours house. I heard more screams, so I yelled back to Ryan to call the police. The boy in the towel yelled, "No - DO NOT call the police! Just go home!" Which seemed so ludicrous at the time I just ignored him - to me it sounded as if a woman was being attacked. We turned out of the cul de sac and saw two women fighting, one was pulling on the other. I wasn't sure which one was screaming. Ryan walked over to the girls but before he had gotten to them the boy in the towel darted between Ryan and the girls, yelling at him to "Just go home!" I ran back to the house and called the police, who arrived before I finished talking to the dispatcher. When it came time to make his statement to the police, he seemed to be trying to make it about Ryan intruding, instead of that there were two women fighting. That is, until his father walked up to him, leaned down -the kid was sitting on the pavement in his towel, shivering- and said, "Shut up."

According to Ryan, the kid stank of alcohol and kept saying that he knew the women involved and would take care of it.

I was baffled, frankly, by this kids behaviour. I attribute it mostly to the alcohol and an inflated ego. What did he expect was going to happen in the middle of Palo Alto? What kind of person would ignore someone shrieking like that? I doubt I was the only person to call the police.

It was a similar situation when our neighbours burglar alarm went off and no one responded. We called the police and the neighbours who's house it was, were furious because the police came and took a set of keys they found lying on the floor in the kitchen. Apart from the "wouldn't you want your neighbours to call the police if there was legitimate cause to believe a burglar had broken in" argument - their burglar alarm had been going off for a whole hour and was preventing anyone from going to sleep.  What were we supposed to do?