Way to ruin a Friday night

With an impending child arriving early next week, today was most likely my last day of work before I take three weeks off. It was a great trip home on the bus thinking of the timely break from the job.

Our Friday night schedule is getting fish ‘n chips then going home to watch the Friday night football (NRL of course).  A schedule I love a lot, and really look forward to.  Unfortunately events outside of my control ruined the simple joy of this, tonight at least.

After we placed our order at the fish ‘n chips shop we walked the short distance to the supermarket to get just a few things. At the checkout, it appeared like there was some sort of scene developing between what I thought was the supermarket checkout supervisors, and a 20-something girl and a guy maybe in his 30s.

Once I had paid for our groceries, I walked through to my wife who was sitting at the entrance and quietly asked what was happening.  She had a good vantage point from her seat, but she said she didn’t know except that the girl walked straight up and asked the supermarket girls to call the police.  Oh dear.

I walked us out of there, past the guy and the girl arguing. As I pass them, trying to become invisible, I noticed that she had two children with her. One was maybe 2 or 3, the other 10 or so.  My wife, son and me walked on while the arguing was intensifying. I couldn’t comprehend what was being said, except that there was plenty of swearing, and it was mostly him. One of the only things I recall the girl saying was that the security cameras within the shop would have recorded him.  This is not good I thought to myself.

With all the arguing, when we were a safe 20 or so metres away from them I decided to not walk any further and keep an eye on what was happening.  As I look back I notice that the guy was starting to look very aggressive toward her.  Right then he threw an almighty punch that connected with the side of the girl’s face. I couldn’t believe my eyes, but straight away I knew I had to do something. I handed the bag of shopping to the wife and rushed toward the guy, still thinking this can’t be happening .

I figured I reached him pretty quick.  He was setting himself to get her again when I caught him side on and shoved him from her.  I had expected right there that this would then just become a fight with me.  Despite the guy not being too small, my push managed to knock him to his knees with his back more or less towards me.  I was a bit surprised, but certainly glad of the result.  I grabbed the back of his jacket and forced him to the ground flat. Within seconds I had another guy jump on board like Steve Irwin taking to a rogue crocodile.  I noticed the guy helping me was saying actual words to the guy about him hitting her.  Straight away I’m appreciative there’s some confirmation of what had actually happened, and that my fellow arresting citizen was equally peeved at what had occurred.

The two of us have the low life pinned around the shoulder area, when a couple more quickly joined in.  One keeping the man’s legs down, and the other holding his arms down in front of him.  We’re certainly in control of the guy, but that didn’t stop him trying to escape, or unhook an arm to force us off.

He continued to struggle, only to stop now and then to tell us to get the f___ off him, or that he’s going to remember all of our faces, or that he’s going to cut us all up real good.  He also let fly with individual insults about each of us within his view.  Actually before the whole posse got involved the guy had tried reasoning with me. Allegedly the girl was trying to take his kids away – I wondered to myself if he really believed that was justification for belting a girl half your size.  I didn’t say what I really wanted to say, but I made it clear I wasn’t moving. He’d have to sort it out when the police arrive.

Unfortunately the police took more than half an hour to arrive from the moment the flood of 000 phone calls were received from people at the scene.  In fact one of our sheriffs had to leave during the ordeal due to the delay.  As it was taking so long, we started to take turns at different regions to allow small rests.  It turned out the police had come from another hairy situation which required them all. 

They handcuffed the guy, and asked around who had been involved to take our details and brief statements. When the cop was told I was first on the scene he came to me and said, ‘Talk to me – what happened?’ I told him the honest answer, that guy ruined my Friday night footy – which got a slight smile. 

Fortunately we managed to get home before the footy started, and with time for me to have a shower to try and wash off the foulness I felt that the situation spread over me.

The whole spectacle was disappointing on a number of levels.  My three year old son witnessed the guy hit the girl, then me having to get involved, then the guy on the ground bleeding, swearing and threatening all of us. But just as disappointing was some of the comments people walking by had made to us. I think at its peak, the crowd would have been 20 – 30 or so people.  But it seemed everyone that walked by needed an explanation.

The majority of comments were to leave the guy alone cause he could sue us.  The worst comment though had come from an older lady who came up to me very early in the piece and said – very seriously – the girl was a drug addict anyway.  My goodness that made me mad.

I heard later that the girl involved in the attack just ran off once I had dropped the guy.  On the way she sweared at my wife for trying to help her with the pram.  While that wasn’t very nice, I feel for her.

I really hope she’s OK, and she never has anything to do with that piece of trash oxygen thief again.  Hopefully she presses charges and he gets what he deserves.  But I’ve heard that’s not the common pattern with these sorts of things ..

The weekend has to get better from here. The police officer suggested I write down my version of events while I remember which often helps getting things clearer.  They could be in touch for a more detailed statement.

But then I’d like to strike it from my memory, but I know I’ll be unable to.