I just wanted a hamburger

What was supposed to be a quick 10 minute trip to the nearby Carl’s Jr. for a hamburger ended up with blood, police and arrests.

I’m back home visiting my family for a few days, and my brothers and I decided to make a quick run to grab a couple hamburgers. It was about 1 AM, but we’ve done this before, hundreds of times, and never had a problem. It was pretty quiet out, and trouble is the last thing we expected.

We got our burgers and began to walk home. Across the street from the burger joint is an AM/PM. There’s an alley way right behind that that takes us to a small parking area off a street that connects to our street. It’s a nice quick shortcut, well lit, and safe enough. Usually.

As we were heading through the parking area, we heard footsteps behind us. I turned around and saw three guys, but they were a distance aways. I had a bad feeling, but thought I was being paranoid. As we continued to walk, they continued to keep their distance, until we walked onto the street in an unlit area.

One of the guys (they were all teens) pulled his shirt or jacket over his face and grabbed my food. He said, “Give me the food. Give me the food!” I held onto the bag and he pulled hard, breaking the bag in two. He took it and started to laugh. Without hesitation, my brother yelled at him to give it back, and threw his little Dixie cup of water at him. The guy turned around and started to punch him in the face.

There was blood everywhere.

This all happened so fast that I couldn’t react in time, but immediately after I saw another one of the guys start to go over to my brother as if he was about to join in the fight. I jumped between them and said, “Hey, it’s cool. Just take the food and go.” I was frightened that they would pull a knife or gun on my brother and wanted to just end it right then.

They turned around and started to leave. The guy who punched my brother said something like, “I sure was hungry!” and they laughed and continued down the street. We saw them turn onto this one fairly long street. I immediately called my parents, waking them up, as at this point I really wanted more people nearby in case those guys realized they could get our wallets instead of just our food.

I then called the police. They were here within two minutes, faster than my parents even. And not just a couple police. Two police cars sped past us, down the street those guys went (as I described to the operator on the phone), and then two police cars stopped where we were. A third came by later. And a fire truck. And an ambulance.

It turned out that they were expecting something big a block away and thought this might be it. So they sent in the cavalry. Fine by us. They took our statements, had us each identify the suspects (who they had nabbed almost immediately). I was able to positively identify one of them, though he wasn’t the attacker. My brother, however, was able to give a positive identification for the attacker. We were told he’d likely be in jail before the night is up, and maybe his accomplices as well.

So at least we got them off the street. My brother, though, is currently at the hospital getting stitches, and I’m feeling guilty as hell for talking them into coming with me for a burger. I just wanted a hamburger, and instead I got my brother a trip to the hospital, and some guys off the street. What a night.

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20 thoughts on “I just wanted a hamburger

  1. You didn’t get him a trip to the hospital – that’s the fault of those disgusting examples of humanity who are currently (hopefully) enjoying (well, hopefully they’re finding it rather unpleasant) the hospitality of the local police department.

    Applause to them for turning up and arresting the guys so quickly.

  2. what a story!

    I hope your brother will be fine soon and you all can have hamburgers in peace… =]
    It’s very sad when the streets became like this… =[

  3. I hope your brother feels better!

    I was mugged several years ago, while living in Brooklyn. Was definitely one of the scarier moments I’ve had in life. I never managed to identify the two guys who did it though.

    Never fun to experience, but I’m glad everyone is ok, as these things go!

  4. That sucks, it must have been a horrid experience. I was quite surprised with the way the police handled things though. I’d hope to see them act as effectively in my country – The Netherlands – as well.

  5. Even though you feel sorry, be glad. What if you had been walking alone there? Things could have completely ended up differently.

    Good thing they immediately caught the folks. The city where I live (in the Netherlands) doesn’t have a police station anymore. If there is an incident, they have to drive from a `nearby’ city, which is about 15 km from our place. Usually they’ll say something like: we’ll stop by tomorrow morning.

  6. Heya,

    Good to know it turned out mostly OK – best wishes to your brother’s injuries!

    Oh, and decidedly Not Your Fault (TM). You (and your brother) did nothing wrong.

  7. Good lord! I’m glad y’all came out relatively ok in the end! And to further what others have said, you can’t predict these things. Try to be glad that it wasn’t just you or just your brother out there! Being together is always better! What a bunch of punk asses….

  8. Don’t feel guilty, that’s not your fault at all. Shit happens from time to time, and there’s nothing you can do stop it from happening, apart stopping to live and never going out. And even, you wouldn’t be safe from an earthquake.

    Shit happened this evening, but it ended almost well – no one’s dead, just a few stitches – consider it under the positive angle as much as possible !

  9. Christian, I’m sorry to hear about what happened and I’m glad that it all turned out well in the end. To echo what others have said here, I wouldn’t blame yourselves; it was those other guys that made the choice to take the actions they took.

  10. In the future, I’d recommend just giving them the food, calling the police, and letting them deal with the followup. Something that cheap just isn’t worth the trouble you went through. Fortunately, you were blessed that nothing too horrible came of it, but life’s too short to worry about something as ephemeral as a hamburger.

  11. Looks like you have the same problems as us over in the UK. That said, I’ve never heard of someone being mugged for a burger – the world is slowly going insane!

  12. Dang, seems like those punks went thru a lot of trouble just to get a burger. It would have been a LOT cheaper for them to grab something from the “dollar menu” than end up in the slammer for the night. ;)

  13. It’s sad that teens amuse themselves in such ridiculous ways. That’s why I been such a big fan of the Boys and Girls club of America. Mentoring a child can really help turn their life around and let them realize they can look forward to something. Most of these kids have poor role models. Hopefully this will be a memory you can laugh about years from now.

    James
    “It is no secret that organized crime in America takes in over forty billion dollars a year. This is quite a profitable sum, especially when one considers that the Mafia spends very little for medical supplies“.

  14. You did a great thing by stopping the fight, but I would have not done that. I would have made him give up the food if it meant taking it from his cold dead hands. Some people think I have an anger problem.

  15. You have got to be kidding. It’s a pretty sad world we live in when can’t even egt a burger without some a..hole ruining your evening. Thank god they didn’t pull a gun or knife… this could have been a lot worse!

  16. I’m happy that you don’t have crappy police and that they showed up for you with such a quickness and there were so many of them. Where I live you’d be lucky if you got somebody in a reasonable amount of time since they’re usually in training, and by training I mean napping near the river.

    Such an odd thing, to take food. Maybe there are a few homeless people who actually aren’t going to spend money on booze?

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