As I'm walking down the street, I witness a young couple getting into a verbal altercation and screaming match. They stop walking as the boy is trying to get the girls attention by holding on to her. As I approach where they are, I see a young girl no older than 17, trying to push the boy off of her as he wraps her up into a big bear hug. While she is squirming to get free of his grip, I realize that he is pushing in on her stomach and yelling that he was going to “kill the baby”. I stop dead in my tracks and ask if everything was okay. While the girl is screaming for him to let him go of her, a teenage boy and girl comes up to us. In a very nonchalant matter, as if they had witnessed this display a thousand times before, they assure me that everything is fine and that they have it in under control. Not convinced, I walk a couple paces ahead and stand watch. The boy, also no older than 17 himself, is screaming at the girl about all of the guys that she has had sex with and gotten pregnant by; while she is trying to get away from his wrath. The more he yells, the angrier and more aggressive he becomes. In my mind I am trying to determine if I need to call the police, while silently wishing that he would just stop. However, I knew that I could not walk away.
He begins charging at her, while his friends are trying to hold him back. At this point, I begin dialing 911, because I realize that he is not going to stop, but my phone keeps saying that my service is unavailable. Not exactly sure of what to do, I slowly approach them, and he hits her. As she is falling down on the ground, he tries to kick her in the face, but his friend grabs him in just enough time for his feet to miss her forehead by an inch. While she is screaming, coughing and rolling around on the ground; he yells, “I hope she cough up that baby”. By this time he comes up to me and says, “What, you calling the police?”. I tell him that this is their business and he agrees and proceeds to tell me what’s going on. I allow him to express his concerns and afterwards I tell him that he has no right to put his hands on her. I ask about his mother, if he has sisters and whether or not he would want someone to put their hands on them. He shakes his head and says, “Naw”. He then goes back towards the girl and is still yelling and trying to hit her. As I am witnessing this and trying to break it up, I am fearful of and for this young man who has lost complete control over his emotions. Even as he tried to talk to me, I could see in eyes that he was detached from reality. It was as if a demon was trapped in his soul and hurting her was the only way to free it. But I was even more fearful for her had I had left.
By this time an older black lady in her bathrobe comes out and tries to help diffuse the situation. She walks with the young man.“The police are coming, you need to leave," she tells him. "We got too many black boys locked up already”.
My stomach, which is already on the floor drops even lower. I was taken back by the fact that this woman was so quick to simply excuse this boys behavior because she feared him being caught up in the system. She didn’t see the emptiness in his eyes, just another black boy that we needed to keep protected by any means necessary. At this time, the young lady gets up off the ground and I am trying to walk with her to safety. We can all hear the police sirens in the background, but the young man refuses to let it go. And as the girl and I are walking, and I’m trying to figure out how to get her home, we see him running towards her with a vengeance. She starts running and is screaming and I follow after them into the street. He catches her and I stand in between them. I am trying to tell him to calm down and to chill out. I have no idea what he is going to do to her, or if he may turn his anger towards me, and I would not have been surprised if he did. But as I’m thinking this, the police finally arrive.