Monday, 24 September 2012

Tackling a woman thief in London

For some reason, I am reminded today about an incident that took place in London many years ago.

Near the intersection of Holborn Viaduct and Farringdon Road, there used to be an Indian corner shop (perhaps it's still there).

As I was passing by, someone rushed out, followed by a very Indian voice shouting "Thief! Catch her!".

As she ran not too far from me, I chased her, tackled her, and brought her down.  Though she wanted to get up and run again - she was very strong - I had a grip of her legs and it became difficult for her to escape: a crowd had gathered round almost instantly, no doubt amused or scandalised at the sight of an Asian man dressed in a suit laid out on a Central London street with his arms gripping the legs of a much younger white woman also on the ground and dressed not too respectably.

It seemed like only seconds later that the police arrived.

Apparently, she was a thief who had earlier too purloined things from the Indian corner shop and the owner had rung the police as soon as she had come into the shop.

I slipped away quietly as there was nothing more for me to do, and I couldn't spare the time to be involved in unnecessary things - it was difficult enough for me financially in those days, as I had just started as an independent consultant then.

That was my closest encounter with a drug-crazed person.  And I hope not to have any other such encounter.  But I was reminded of the mixture of emotions in me at the time: anger at the white woman for having fallen so low, upset at the thievery (from a fellow Indian at that!), pity at a person on drugs....

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