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wtf-gorillaSo it’s Sunday evening, after midnight, and I’m turning lights off, checking windows and doors, the usual, when I hear a car (an SUV it turns out) stop rather abruptly across from my house. And then the fighting starts–and by that I don’t mean yelling only, no. There was yelling, screeching, screaming and shouting, to be sure, but there was some physical contact.

More yelling, more screaming, then the couple take it inside. Their windows seem to be closed, yet I can hear them from across the street.

And I’m sitting here wondering whether I should call the cops or not.

Of course, people argue and fight, and for all I know the physical contact wasn’t violent. But if you have checked the news lately you’ll see that these days, more than ever, one cannot take these things in stride. It would seem that almost every day for weeks people all over the US are killing their loved ones and then themselves, or randomly attacking strangers.

I’m glad someone else did call the cops–who just left, about two hours later, with the guy in handcuffs. But the yelling and shouting? Continued for a good hour after they got here–all three of them, at short intervals.

Why did I hesitate, you ask? Because I know that in the end the person in handcuffs is going to know exactly who called the cops on his ass, and I live alone, and I don’t really want to feel any more paranoid about my neighbors than absolutely necessary, if you guys get my drift.

The thing is, I live in a nice neighborhood. Safe. There have been three daytime robberies–no violence, no one home–in the dozen years I’ve lived here.

Most of the time, it’s a quiet place, both during the week and on weekends. No wild, crazy parties, no loud music, etc. Families with young children,  a number of single women, older couples, a few college students; all friendly enough, quiet enough.

But things are changing, evidently.

This particular couple has had the cops over three times since they moved in, less than a year ago. Another couple just a few houses down from me, twice in the last year and a half. A woman, across from my house and half a dozen houses down? Three times in about two years–plus the county guy serving her with summons of some kind, twice.

This is the kind of change I really don’t like.


  • I think you have to look after your own arse first in what you have described. I’m lucky – I never have anything like that in my neighbourhood in Oz. The most we have is one woman that gets absolutely pissed as a newt every 3 months – without fail – and then she stumbles around the neighbourhood swearing, singing and yelling at people telling them things like she hates their mailboxes or their house numbers….


  • KCfla
    April 6
    3:13 pm

    See, where I live you don’t have to give your name.

    We had a couple several years ago that rented the house across and maybe 3 down from us. We would hear arguments coming from inside, but nothing physical ( that we could hear). Then one day I heard a slap-thud-scream, and I said to DH ” I’m calling the police”. He tried to talk me out of it, but I did it anyway. The lady I talked to stated to me that I did NOT have to give my name, but just something like “a neighbor” called it in.

    His ass was hauled away, and she was treated by paramedics at the scene. I heard from another neighbor that she filed for divorce. She moved after about 2 weeks, because she was afraid he’d come back. I also heard that she didn’t know *who* had called, but she was very grateful.

    Your laws might be different Karen, but you could call up the local police and just ask. I’m sure they’d be happy to let you know. I can understand your fear, as you live alone.


  • MB (Leah)
    April 6
    3:53 pm

    It sucks when neighborhoods change. And it’s weird how that happens.

    A long time ago an ex and I lived in an apt on the west side of Lancaster, PA. For being very close to downtown, it was a fairly safe neighborhood. Lots of older couples living there. We had the middle floor apt. from a converted townhouse with quiet neighbors.

    Then the upstairs guy moved out and this woman moved in. Next thing her boyfriend or some guy kept coming around and screaming at her from the street. At all hours.

    I still felt fairly safe, but of course I had a mace container for when I went to go out on to the street to pick up the boyfriend from work at 3 am.

    But then one day we were parking the truck and one of two guys walking by suddenly pulled a gun on us out of nowhere. He was really high on drugs and it was the middle of the afternoon and we got lucky because his friend kept trying to calm him down and pulling him away telling him to be cool. WTF? That really scared us because it was right in front of the house we lived in.

    That was it. Our lease was coming up and we told the landlord that we didn’t feel good living there anymore that things were changing, which he was worried about himself.

    It’s too bad when things like that happen.

    Calling the police, yeah, I’d do it. And insist on not giving my name. Who knows whose life you might be saving.


  • Las
    April 6
    7:45 pm

    I’d probably call the police the first time, but if it keeps happening I wouldn’t bother unless it was interrupting my sleep. Frankly, I have no patience for people who choose to stay in abusive relationships…let them kill each other.


  • (KCfla, Karen lives in the UK–it is I, azteclady, who lives in FL)

    Las, while disagreeing with you quite a bit on the “no patience, let them kill each other” bit, there’s more to this. Let’s say he kills her and then we have the cops hunting for a killer in the neighborhood. That would certainly interrupt my sleep–for a long while.


  • karen Scott
    April 6
    8:04 pm

    KcFla, the post is by AL. 🙂


  • The words hell and hand-basket come to mind.

    Anyway, I like to err on the side of caution and call the cops. After all, my tax dollars–and speeding tickets–pay their salaries.

    Besides, you want to prevent these tragedies.


  • Las
    April 7
    1:06 am

    AL, I totally understand what you’re saying…I certainly don’t want to know there’s a killer in my neighborhood, and I’d also feel guilty about it for a while. But I firmly believe that we can’t, and probably shouldn’t try to, protect people from themselves. The police get called, guy get’s taken away, then released, and she’s still there waiting for him? Her choice, her problem. We’re not living in a time where women have no options and these things are never discussed. We’ve had Nicole Simpson, Tina Turner; we hear over and over again about domestic violence and how those men don’t change and just get worse. So, yeah, no patience.


  • KCfla
    April 7
    1:43 am

    First – My Bad!
    I was so caught up in the topic, I didn’t look at the actual author. Concider me schooled.

    However, I still stand by what I stated. Any police officer i’ve ever known was more than willing to let the ” everyperson” know what the laws/rules/exceptions are. Because they do rely on us to help them out when things like this are going on . After all , they can’t be everywhere.


  • eggs
    April 7
    4:16 am

    @KS re: living alone. I thought I must have missed something too. K lives alone?! What happened to that tall guy?! And they just bought that lovely new house and everything ! I was just about to start scrolling back through the archives when I realized it was an AL post.


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