Friday, August 24, 2007

Dude, where's my neighborhood?

From July 1975 thru June 1986, my Mom, younger brother and I lived in a two-bedroom apartment on the east side of Saint Paul. The residents of our building consisted mainly of single moms raising their kids, sprinkled with some newlyweds and the elderly. In fact, many of the friends we had growing up were in the same situation as Eric & me: living in cramped quarters with a sole parent.

Given the clientele, there weren’t a lot of incidents which required law enforcement to visit the premises. I could count on one hand the number of annual stops made by Saint Paul’s finest. And when the cops did pay a visit to our apartment complex, it was for such benign things as a couple shouting at each other or someone playing music a little too loudly.

I can say with 100% certainty that we were never exposed to incidents like this:

Although police say as many as 10 people witnessed a sexual assault in a St. Paul hallway, the suspect said he has no memory of what happened.

Rage Ibrahim, 25, said he blacked out from drinking too much alcohol. But he said he wouldn't have committed rape.

"I'm so upset because of the situation I'm in," Ibrahim said, crying as he headed to the Ramsey County jail on Thursday to turn himself in. "I've got a mom, I've got a sister. I wouldn't rape anyone."

Surveillance video from a Highwood-area apartment hallway makes it clear that a sexual assault happened Tuesday, St. Paul police Cmdr. Shari Gray said.

Prosecutors charged Ibrahim, of St. Paul, on Thursday with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Admittedly, it was this phrase which really shook me to my core:

The surveillance video shows the 26-year-old victim lying in the second-floor hallway at 371 S. Winthrop St. as early as 1:20 a.m. Tuesday, according to the criminal complaint.

Yes, for that 11-year period in the mid-70s to mid-80s, we lived on that exact same floor.

And to think the worst thing we ever saw was a guy getting busted for shooting a squirrel with a BB gun out his second floor apartment window.


1 comment:

Uncle Ben said...

Yikes! I heard about this the other day and was just disgusted. How can anyone care so little for their neighbor?