It had been a quiet morning on the drawbridge. A pleasant, sunny day, and yet no sailboats were out on the water. (I’ve given up trying to predict which days will be busy and which will not.)
I was taking advantage of the peace and quiet. I was blogging away. Yes, I kept a regular watch of the waterway, and I was also monitoring the marine radio for opening requests. That has become second nature to me. But it never occurred to me to look up at the sidewalk camera, because I usually only do that when I’m about to have a bridge opening. Safety first, after all.
The next thing I knew, about a dozen emergency vehicles came roaring onto the bridge and came to a stop on the center of the span. And that’s when I saw him. A man, collapsed on the bike lane. That’ll make you knock over your coffee cup.
I went down to street level to find out what was going on for my reports, and to render drawbridge assistance if needed. Based on the extensive blood trail, it seems that this guy got stabbed just south of the bridge. At 9am on a sunny day. (What’s the world coming to?)
They believed he would live, but there was so much blood on the bridge that the fire department had to hose it down with some sort of cleaning solution. The police asked to see our camera footage, and when I rewound it, I was horrified by what I saw. Unfortunately, you couldn’t see the actual stabbing. That was too far away. But what you did see was bad enough.
The man, already bleeding profusely, weaves up and down the bike lane for 15 minutes, discarding various pieces of clothing. And people walk past him, jog past him, and bike past him, and nobody, nobody offers to help. You could tell they knew something was wrong. And there was so much blood that it would have been difficult to overlook. But nobody did anything.
That is, until he collapsed. Then a jogger called 911. Finally. But he didn’t stay with the guy after the call.
And here I was, in the tower, just blogging away, oblivious to the drama unfolding across the street and 70 yards away from me, if that. That part of the bridge is out of my line of sight, and my main focus is the waterway, but if I had looked up at the camera monitor, I’d have seen him.
But I didn’t. That will always bother me. I look at that camera a lot more often now.
The guy was not cooperating with the police, so the working theory was that it was a drug deal gone wrong. I don’t suppose I’ll ever hear how the story played out. But apparently he survived. Thank goodness for that.
I’ll never forget the number of people who passed this man by as he bled all over the bridge. It makes me lose even more faith in humanity, if that’s even possible after this year. People suck.
Too many of us say, “Let someone else deal with it.” “That’s not my problem.” “I can’t be bothered.”
And that, dear reader, is a problem, indeed.
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