Believing is seeing!

A girl is mugged, but she ends up fine in a surreal incident for the author!

It is 25 June 2009 around 3am, and I am listening to news of Michael Jackson’s death (and his music) on my computer inside my apartment in Tel Aviv:


I was reading various people’s thoughts on Hacker News:

When I first heard of his death, “Never Can Say Goodbye” seemed like the most appropriate track for that moment.

But then I started hearing squeals (not really screams) from the street below and I thought they were coming from drunk girls and so didn’t pay too much attention:


However, the squeals persisted. After about 20 – 30 seconds I peer out and a woman is lying on the road holding her handbag with one hand, while a bagsnatcher is trying to yank it away from her. There is a bicycle on the ground between them. He is still standing up. I yell aggressively a few times at the man, he looks around (not at me,) lets go and sprints around the corner:

Interestingly, the street was empty and quiet at the time.

I go downstairs and the police have already been called by a bystander. The police arrive and I thought I saw the same man up the street again but an officer told me that he had already been apprehended in the area and was known to them.

I go to the station with the woman in a police car. She appeared unhurt (perhaps grazed) and was speaking Russian. She could have been a prostitute. Her handbag was damaged.

My witness report was emailed to the station officer later due to language difficulties.

I got a call some weeks later from a lawyer asking what I was doing up at that hour and I told them about MJ.

It was a surreal, very sad and unnerving night to say the least.