Letter from Suburban Businessman
Saturday afternoon after a business trip to St. Louis Friday afternoon for a save the day overnight effort to hang onto a very important customer- in essence a 19 hour string of work that ended satisfyingly enough – I made what was supposed to be a 3 or 4 min pit stop at Wal-Mart back in town for a bottle of wine and some cigarettes on my way home from Ohare.
I just moved from Chicago to the suburbs- a fairly nice one- June 1- partially to get away from the constant argie bargie I experienced like I said the last few years on the north (good) side of Chicago (side note- a liquor store would have sufficed fine but I was tired and missed it so figured a quick in and out at the Wal-mart in front of me for some wine would work followed by about 20 hours of well deserved sleep).
Well that didn’t happen. I was in and out sure but as I was checking out I hear 5 loud pops outside- knew they were gunshots right away. Madness ensues. Didn’t see a black person in the store or in my neighborhood up until this point but low and behold I walk out calmly to a black man on his back bleeding out of his stomach- with an absolutely enormous black woman walking behind me then around me to him – with 4 kids screaming and crying in tow – and I see a few fellas running down and out of the parking lot.
As I called 911 I thought to myself both,”bad day to stop at Wal-mart” and “where the hell did I move to?” As I’m walking to my car the officers finally begin to show up and exactly what I was afraid of happening happened: I’m detained for questioning and my car – untouched – is going to be impounded as evidence.
I’ll give you the long and short – I was finally allowed to leave around 2330 when I got there at 1545. A 5 min in and out turned into an almost 8 hour ordeal for myself and about a dozen others that were finally allowed to leave with our vehicles except the 2 unfortunate souls with gunshot holes through theirs… How lucky I was the detective reminded me or he would have had to take me downtown even though I told you exactly what I told him about 5 times before he actually let me sign the damn statement.
My phone had long died hours ago. Walmart had closed. I was just told to: shut up/sit there/wait.
Fun Bonus fact: While I was sitting on a bench those 8 hours in the rain, just steaming along with the others – the officers went and bought the wife/gf of the “victim” and her 4 kids Subway sandwiches and bought them toys from Wal-Mart to play with – I have pictures and video of all of it.
Fair enough with the kids but before a portion of the audience hates me I figured I’d save the best for last: as the officers show up and walk me and others attempting to leave back to the store for our long night ahead – the “victims” wife/gf literally flops to the ground and insists that glass from somewhere must have cut her and she needs medical attention right along with her man – the actual gunshot victim… Remember I walked out and she was behind me – holding 2 of her 4 kids – no blood anywhere other than her man’s and she is flopping around like a fish all of a sudden.
There was no glass. She wasn’t shot. She was no closer than I was to the shooting if and when you read the story she was walking out after me and during this “custody dispute” as it has now been named. She had sent her new man to meet her baby daddy to exchange the kids while she finished shopping.
Obviously it went swimmingly. Feel bad for Wal-Mart’s lawyers here because when I told the detective that fact about how impossible it was she was injured he said this exactly -“that’s for the lawyers to decide sir my concern is the crime committed” and as we went back and forth when I insisted he put it in the statement that it was impossible for her to be physically injured when I wasn’t he just said that was tertiary to his job and would not include it in my statement and only got his way because I was about 3 days overdue for a night of sleep.
Argie bargie in the Chicago suburbs now Colin. Hours and hours of our tired/hard working lives taken away/a pissed off fiance to come home to in my case/ my new neighborhood’s property values affected… But I finally did hear what the detective was trying to tell me at the end there during our dispute about what to not include in my statement…”look sir – we do not want to make the black kids angry…”