What’s the number one thing you SHOULD NOT do if you get mugged?
I got robbed on the streets of NYC last week and guess what I did?
D. ALL OFF THE ABOVE.
When someone snatches your phone from your hand, there is no time to think. I acted completely out of instinct. This instinct was to scream, “FUCK YOU” at the top of my theatrically trained vocal capacity. And one “fuck you” certainly wasn’t enough. What if he hadn’t heard me? I had to make sure he understood! I chased after him, following him down 26th Street repeating myself over and over, “FUCK YOU!!!!”
I wasn’t trying to catch him, I just needed him to know how much I hated him. “FUCK YOU!”
If You Get Mugged TIP: BE LOUD AS FUCK.
I was wearing shitty little slip-on shoes. They certainly were not made for running. Really, my whole outfit screamed “hipster” louder than I screamed “fuck you”. I was well aware, I’d tweeted just hours before:
— New York Cliche (@NewYorkCliche) April 18, 2016
How To Avoid Being Mugged TIP: Never wear a crop top AND culottes at the same time. Dressing like you belong on the show Girls makes you a target.
This guy saw me on the street and read, “Spoiled little white girl whose Daddy buys all her iPhones. Piece of fucking cake.” It’s easy to make that mistake. But all my friends know I’m a banshee fucking pirate in Taylor Swift clothing. It’s how I’m introduced at parties. By 8:45PM, all of 26th Street knew it as well.
The street was well populated, it was well lit. A shadow of the deserted alley where you expect this sort of thing to occur. I dashed by dozens of people, yelling at them, “HE STOLE MY PHONE!” in between the FUCK YOUs. I never asked for help, never shouted anything like, “STOP HIM” or even “HELP”.
If You Get Mugged TIP: Ask for help! Ask by-standers to call 911. Make it clear this is not a “lovers’ spat” or friendly “horsing around” NO! YOU ARE BEING VIOLATED.
Adrenaline buoyed my shitty slip-ons, I was surprised how closely I tailed the thief. We were nearing the end of the block, I felt no signs of fatigue. The culprit, however, seemed to be slowing down. “YOU’RE SLOWING DOWN!” I yelled, taunting him. “YOU CAN’T KEEP UP! FUCK YOU!” WHY did I think that was a good idea? Adrenaline makes me
a moron shout the darnedest things!
If You Get Mugged TIP: DON’T TAUNT CRIMINALS!!!
He crossed to the other side of 26th, running in front of a taxi to get away from me. I followed him and miraculously avoided getting hit by on coming traffic.
If You Get Mugged TIP: DO THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING I DID.
As he hopped up from the street onto the sidewalk, he dropped his jacket. This was chance! I immediately picked it up, “FUCK YOU! I HAVE YOUR JACKET!”
He stopped running.
He turned and faced me.
I was a deer in head lights. My brain wasn’t processing fast enough for me to feel scared. Nor pee myself.
He was smiling. Laughing. Laughing like this had all been a game! A game he never expected to loose, but I’d impressed him with how well I played. I didn’t inspect that jacket, I didn’t look in the pockets. I have no idea why this article of clothing was more valuable to him then the iPhone 5S he had stolen from me. But lucky for me, it was. He held out my phone saying something like, “It’s all good, no hard feelings okay?” I grabbed my phone, threw him his jacket.
He opened his arms, stepped toward me like he was coming in for a hug.
“DON’T. FUCKING. TOUCH. ME.”
If You Get Mugged TIP: If the perpetrator comes toward you, RUN AWAY.
He turned, still smiling, and walked away. Yep, just walked away.
I couldn’t move. I clutched my phone, standing stock still, awash in shock.
If You Get Mugged TIP: Call 911 IMMEDIATELY, as soon as you possibly can.
I’d just chased a criminal. I’d gotten my phone back all by myself. I’d done basically EVERYTHING you’re NOT supposed to do but it had all turned out okay. It was over, I was fine.
That could’ve been then end of it, and thankfully it is the end of My First NYC Mugging. But it’s far from the end of this story.
All gifs from HBO’s Girls (click image for credit)