The afternoon sun was streaming through my front window, warm on my face. I heard the yelling, then the crashing sounds. I sat disoriented, listening hard before moving.
A young man across the road in the back-end of a block of flats was the noise maker. He was leaping about, screaming and shouting and hurling objects toward a flat entrance and windows. In what seemed like minutes but in probability seconds, endless crashes and thuds occurred together with loud, ever so scary cursing. A young woman from another unit seemed to be trying to calm the thrower but to no avail, he was in escalation. Somehow he had injured his hand, there was blood everywhere. In a frenzied state he repeatedly ran up the steps to hurl yet another piece of brick or wood, then arrive back in the driveway to shriek obscenities to whoever it was in the flat. At one stage he kicked at a post and fell to the ground only to jump up, throw another object and fall over again. The falling over seemed to be in response to the intensity of his rage!
It was at this point that we decided to call triple zero. Through to the police immediately I was asked what seemed like endless but calm questions. Whilst I tried to answer the woman on the triple zero line the scene across the road became more menacing.
‘What is the address and what can you see?
‘He is now wielding what seems like a cricket bat, or something similar.’
‘Do you know the person?’
‘What is actually happening, does he have a weapon?’
‘Don’t think so but he is throwing anything he can find, at the flat door or window.’
‘What does he look like and what’s he wearing?’
‘He’s thin with very short, cropped hair and he’s wearing a singlet, either black or blue, jeans and that’s it. We need the police, he’s escalating!’
‘Okay. I’ve notified them.’
‘Is he dark-skinned or fair?
‘How old is he?’
‘In his twenties, I think. Not sure.’
‘OK you’re doing well. I need to clarify the address again.’
‘Do you mind giving your name?’
‘What’s he doing now?’
‘Still throwing things, cursing. This is getting bad!’
‘The police are on their way.’
We momentarily considered going across the road to try to help, but knew that we couldn’t risk it. I became anxious for the young woman who appeared to know the young man, he didn’t show signs of anger toward her but she was unable to calm him. Several times she walked toward him but ignoring her he continued his tirade, she walked away. There was a stream of cursing and screaming being returned from inside the unit but it quickly subsided as time elapsed. The only thing that didn’t subside was the young man’s rage. He leapt, screamed, ran and hurled broken items without what seemed, a smidgen of control.
The police arrived, two vans, four officers, two immediately walked briskly down the drive way. He spotted them and turned his tirade of abuse toward them, they moved in on him very hesitantly. He screamed blue murder as they got him on the ground, or did he throw himself to the ground? Two younger female officers, plain clothed arrived and ran toward the scene.
Then the sad, pathetic sound of the young man’s crying and sobbing like a baby, rang across the street. By now there were three police cars, seven police, four ambulance officers, a mica unit and an ambulance on the scene. Several minutes elapsed, the street fell quiet again. Soon, they led the young man to the ambulance. He was very subdued. A small tan and white foxy dog followed the man, police and ambulance officers. One police officer then picked it up, ever so gently and took it back to the driveway of the flats. Police officers rode in the ambulance with the young man. The vehicle however was forced to stop when the small dog returned. Likewise a police car leaving the scene slowed to miss the small creature. Was it the young man’s dog?
A stillness settled. Except for one police car and officers, obviously interviewing the occupant of the smashed up flat, the street returned to normal Friday afternoon activities. Except for the debris at the end of the units drive way, no-one would know that earlier a young man had lost control for some reason or other.
As I write this I’m sad. I know he’s someone’s son, maybe he has brothers or sisters even, does he have a family that can care or help out? And I wonder how it came down to this distressing event, for the young man in the singlet, on a quiet Friday afternoon!