Well I don't know exactly how to start this post. There's really no easy way to tell this story, so here it goes....
On Thursday, July 24 at approximately 9:10am I was attacked on Capitol Hill 1/2 block from where I work (16th and Madison). I had been late getting into the office and was hurriedly walking down Madison Street right near Trader Joe's and the Central Co-op. I often walk this route as it is usually a busy street, full of people walking to and from those stores.
I'm very aware of the types of crimes that happen in this neighborhood. It's not exactly the safest place in town, but I've always felt fine cruisin' around. I consider myself a very street savvy gal - my phone is hardly
ever out and I scan my surroundings to avoid spots that
look like trouble. But back to the story....
As I got halfway down that particular block, I felt an immense shove from behind that almost brought me to my knees. The shove was more along the lines of a full on football tackle and I felt my neck snap with the body on body impact. "Great, another neck injury." I thought to myself as I gained my balance.
For a split second, I strangely thought it was a long lost friend of mine who hadn't seen me in ages and was a little too overjoyed to see me. I just couldn't understand why else someone would touch me on the street like that. I turned about to see who this excited person was, and was shocked to see someone I did not even remotely know looking right at me. I yelled a few explectives and turned and ran into work trying to shake it off as some random, crazy person. I did manage to look back over my shoulder a few more times, just to make sure he wasn't following me to do it again. Luckily, he took off in the other direction.
As I sat down at my desk and tried getting prepared for the day ahead, I began to shake. Bad. It was starting to sink in that maybe this wasn't just random and that perhaps I was being targeted on purpose. I recalled as I was regaining my balance that there happened to be no one even near me on that popular block, which I found strange. I always make a point to look at everyone in the face as I walk by them on the street and I did not pass this man before he attacked me. He must have been hiding behind a building or dumpster waiting for a lull on that block so he could attack someone and that lucky someone was me.
My colleagues encouraged me to call the police and I dialed up the non-emergency line. Once I got a hold of the operator, she told me that I probably should have called 911 right away. Looking back, I can definitely see why that would be helpful to them but I was mostly unscathed and didn't want to be a bother. There are far worse things happening in the city, which rang so very true when the police showed up two hours later for my statement. There had been a big shooting on 23rd and Jackson right around the time I was attacked and all available police were sent that way. The dispatcher did call me to let me know, which I thought was extremely nice of them.
I gave my statement, trying to recall every single little detail then was promptly sent home. Honestly, I felt OK at first. My adreneline was still running high and I sort of balked at the idea of being at home. But the next day I crashed and crashed hard. I wanted nothing more than sleep, lots of sleep and my mid-back and neck were throbbing. I went and saw my doctor early the following week and was prescribed anti-anxiety medication and high doses of ibuprofen. I just couldn't get my heart to stop racing.
It's now been over a week, and I'm doing OK. My back is still sore and walking around does give me a bit of anxiety, but I know in time, it'll all get better. I also know that it could have been worse, way worse. I do worry how I will feel walking to work come fall when it's pitch black, but I'm trying not to think about that right now. I also worry about my sis who lives right down the street and walks places quite often. Ugh, here comes the worry wart.....
The police said that they were glad I reported it. Having someone attack you in broad daylight on a busy street is not a good thing. My case will be put into the bunch and could possibly be used down the road if similar cases are reported. And, if they happen to find the creep, I might have to go and point him out in a line-up. Fun times.
So lesson learned peeps. The city is a rough and tumble place. Watch your back and always call the cops.