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This is a question I witnessed a crime

Freddy Woo writes, "A group of us once staggered home so insensible with drink that we failed to notice someone being killed and buried in a shallow grave not more than 50 yards away. A crime unsolved to this day."

Have you witnessed a crime and done bugger all about it? Or are you a have-a-go hero?
Whatever. Tell us about it...

(, Thu 14 Feb 2008, 11:53)
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School Bully Retribution
2 years ago, during my AS level year, I was on the last bus-ride of my daily trek home.
Getting on the bus, I looked out the window to the opposite side of the busy A-road. I was tired, bored and just wanted to go home, but what I saw grabbed my attention immediately.

Three boys and a girl, all looking about 13 or 14, were coming out of the nearby tube station in their uniforms, walking together.
By walking together, I mean that the boys were following the girl, taunting her, pinching her, trying to trip her up and not letting her get away.
The sight was disgusting. The boys were actually hitting her. She was twitching with pain, flinching at any vaguely hostile movement from a boy. But this assault on the defenceless girl wasn't the worst of it, oh no.

Their half-broken voices pierced through the bus' thick windows as I watched on in horror. The girl was quite short, podgy and ginger, and were they letting her know it. They called her all manner of cruel names, and the tears were welling up in her eyes. I could see her desperately trying to hold back her sorrow, to not let them have the satisfaction of breaking her. But she was in the midst of puberty, with her self-esteem at an all-time vulnerable low and they were ruining her development, shattering her confidence, striking at her deepest insecurities. I could see from where I stood the look of true pain on her face, and it was borne not of their physical barrage but of their mental torture, their brutal beating of her self-image at this crucial time in her life.

By this point I couldn't have been standing there more than 20 seconds, but I'd seen enough.
I am usually incredibly calm, but then I could feel the rage build up in my heart, feel the anger course through my body and seep into my very being. I wanted nothing but retribution on these little scummy pieces of shit.

Now everyone had got onto the bus and the doors had just closed. It was about to pull away, but at this point everything changed for me. I wasn't going to be my usual slow-to-react self.
I shouted at the top of my voice to the driver that I was getting off. He looked round to me in annoyance but this quickly turned to a wide-eyed fear as I stared him down, my fists clenched, my teeth bared, poised to pounce. He stopped and opened the doors.

I leapt out of the bus and marched across the road. I cared not for the cars hooting, nor my safety, nor for any obstacle in the way of satiating my bloodlust. The boys were in my sights. They didn't even notice me pounding ominously towards them they were so embroiled in hurting this girl. But I made them notice.

"WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU'RE DOING?!?" I roared at the top of my voice as I approached. Other commuters exiting the station started to stare. I had their attention.

I grabbed the largest boy by his underarms and lifted him up, slamming him against the nearby wall.

The boy let out a small whimper. I think he tried to say something, but at this point I was past caring. Onlookers simply walked on by, their introverted Londoner tendencies out-weighing any desire to intervene.

"DO YOU FIND IT FUNNY NOW?" I screamed and threw him to the ground, then proceeded to do the same to his two cronies, all unable to break their falls due to the terror-induced mal-co-ordination.
I was determined to scare them, to show them the other side of bullying, to give this girl some dearly-needed protection that her bullies would never forget. She just stared on in amazement, stroking her bruises absent-mindedly.

"GIVE ME YOUR SCHOOLBOOKS" I screamed, my lungs unleashing a voice that boomed like thunder and caused them to visibly tremor. They could only stare blankly. Each took off their bag, and I ripped the zip off each one in turn, taking a schoolbook from each.

I smiled. "Now I have your names and the name of your school. Your headmaster will be hearing from me about your behaviour." And with that, I walked off, leaving them to struggle up from the ground in horror and the girl to make her quick getaway.

At least, that is what would have happened. That is what I would have done, that is the series of events that has played out in my head ever since, that is what the ferocity that took me over had urged me to do.
However, when I observed this taking place, by the time I had made my plan to deliver justice and find a way of getting their names, by the time I had turned around to get off the bus, it had actually already started pulling away unbeknown to me during my distraction.

With my surprise at this event I did not think to try to stop the bus, and in typical Londoner introversion I did not think nor want to shout at the driver.

Instead all I did was turn back around in time to see those boys and that girl turn into a road leading to a maze of residential streets. By the time I stopped at the next bus stop and walked back, they could be anywhere in suburbia. I was too late.
Instead of justice, I spent the rest of that bus journey and most of the following weeks boiling with anger.
Anger at them, anger at the world that produced them, but most of all anger at myself for being so slow to do what was right.

To this day it is one of my greatest regrets that I did not get off that bus.
(, Thu 14 Feb 2008, 23:39, 2 replies)
You are weak!!
only thing is.... you are most definitely NOT!! You are exactly the same as all of us. Everybody seems to turns away and do nothing more than be secretly glad that it isn't them. It only takes one confrontation, however well intentioned, where the little turd has a knife, and kids do have them these days, or a psychotic parent who will take their childs side whatever they has done and your life can be ruined forever. It is utterly selfish on all our parts, but ubiquitous. A well written account BTW, I've seen this kind of thing happening everyday and felt exactly the same, and you summed up precisely how helpless and pathetic I feel in being unable to stop it.
(, Fri 15 Feb 2008, 8:39, closed)
The thing is...
...you're better than most. You wanted to help, but you didn't...not because of selfish concern for your own safety or convenience, like most, but simply because you hesitated too long and, reasonably fairly, didn't want to give the driver a hard time.

Don't beat yourself up over it. It was just bad luck.
(, Fri 15 Feb 2008, 17:13, closed)

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