Thursday, September 22, 2005


After Katrina, I am haunted by memories of 9/11. I can't be the only one!

But today's post is not about 9/11 the date, but about 911 the emergency line. I got to dial it for the first time (without incurring penalties and lectures, that is) last night.

let me backtrack a bit. Tuesday evening, after bedtime (11-ish), we heard an argument in the street. We live on a very quiet residential street, in a very quiet neighborhood; usually the most disruption is when the teenager who lives on the cul-de-sac roars through in his car TOO FAST. Tuesday evening, however, we heard a woman's voice yelling, low man's voice, and lots of arguing. this went on for quite some time - or so it seemed to us! at least 30 minutes or more.

Last night, we didn't hear a disruption until someone came running up our driveway calling out - then banging on our door, calling for help! well, I wasn't going to get up, but DH went to the door; he didn't open it, but he called through it. Then he hollered up the stairs for me to call 911. I thought he was threatening this person if they didn't go away we'd call the police on them, but actually, she WANTED us to call the police.

So I dialed 911 and said "we need the police." (DH did open the door about then.) The neighbor told us she had been beaten by her husband and was afraid he would leave with her son (age 3). The operator, of course, told her there was nothing they could do about him taking her son, as they were still married with no custodial dispute. but she was bleeding, and said he had drunk two bottles of Cutty Sark (isn't that whiskey? how could he STAND!?), and busted up her cell phone, so SHE couldn't call for help. so they sent the police, and an ambulance, I think.

This woman went back across the street and across the cul-de-sac, being frantic for her child. Meanwhile, I stayed on-line with the 911 operator until the police arrived. DH went back with her and became a witness to her condition/allegations. (I stayed home to prevent MY children being frantic.)

I was in my nightgown, DH in his boxers, no shoes. So after the police had arrived, I walked up the hill with a pair of shoes for him. He stayed until he'd given a statement, then came home. (I was on my knees by the bed, scared out of my mind!)

Apparently, this family is not LIVING across the street, just PARTYING across the street with a friend of the people who recently bought the house. (yup, there goes the neighborhood!) and our midnight visitor wasn't quite sober herself, IMO. DH thinks more than alcohol was at play. on a weeknight, with a 3-year-old child in the house. (but it was only 10 pm, really, not midnight.)

Well, all we could do is what we did. And I got to call 911. But I have a feeling this story isn't over. Hopefully, we'll have extra patrols, and less disturbance, and as they aren't the purchasers of our neighbor's house, they will be transient and find someplace else to party - or not party, as we'd hope. *sigh* Further bulletins as events warrant, as Calvin used to say/scream.

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