May 25, 2008
By Javar Wilson, Bronx, NY

My heart was pounding as I ran. I could hear the five pairs of footsteps getting closer. Get out of the alley, I thought. I ran into a crowd and kept screaming.

I get a call from the police. They caught six suspects, but I only saw five men in the alley. They tell me to come down to the station to identify the men. My friend, Mark, agrees to drive me. He is allowed to come in with me because I'm scared. I am able to identify the guy that was not chasing me. The police officer tells me that he is a criminal, but they can’t catch him in the act of committing a crime. He wants me to press charges on him. I do not know what to do. I don’t want to convict an innocent man, but I don’t want to let a criminal go free either. Out of nowhere, the guy starts arguing with the cop and hits him. He is arrested and given more time than the others. One of the five who were chasing me has a ratchet. He is sentenced with a year.

We don't have crime like that in Alabama. I had only been in New York for a week before the incident. I was at the ATM getting cash for my grandparents when the gang saw me. First they were behind me. Then they started walking faster, so I walked faster. Then they ran, so I ran, and I kept running.

It all started two years ago. I was living with Tiffany in our house in Alabama. We had our ups and downs, but I thought I was in love with her. I called her one night at the bar where she works. A man picked up and said, "I am going to drive her home." I hung up the phone, and I was real scared.

When he dropped her off they sounded drunk. It seemed like they knew each other well. I started getting upset. When she stepped inside I asked her, “Do you want to be with me or someone else?”
She got mad and she said, “You already know.”
I kept saying, “Who do you want to be with?”
She was leaving and I asked her, “Where are you going?”
She said, “None of your business.” Then she said, “I don't need you no more.”
I got mad and hit her. The man was waiting outside. She ran to him. From the car he said, “I will catch you one day,” and they drove off.

It wasn't until two years later that I saw her again.

I was in New York City for Thanksgiving. My grandmother asked me to go to the store to buy some items because she was cooking pancakes and sausages and orange juice. I was getting money out of the ATM when I saw Tiffany. She kept looking at me right in my eyes. She did not say a word but I had an uneasy feeling.

I left the store and took a shortcut down an alley. I did not know she was following me with some of her friends. They started walking faster, so I walked faster. Then they were running after me.

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