It’s Monday night—the day after a tragic neighborhood incident. I call it stalking and grand larceny.
My husband, Anthony Blanche, who will be 88 in October, born of Thompson Street (long before SoHo) ultimately living on Cornelia Street for fifty years, I for 34, was mugged in front of our door at noon.
Yesterday we walked. A lovely Sunday walk that included Jefferson Garden. It was noon as we walked home. My husband is a wonderful local guy whose circle included many neighborhood famous artists, writers, restaurants and wiseguys. He was chosen several years ago to represent New York City in the international Ubuntu Project documentary film. More recently quoted in the New York Times about the neighborhood opening up and welcoming dining out.
The noon mugging resulted in a sacred, personally loved, blessed by the Pope, chain with all its charms—ripped so hard from his neck that it knocked him off balance and marked him. “Stop him, Stop him” we screamed. People were immediately frenzied. I must thank a selfless young man who took to the chase and never gave up. He returned valiant, a hero to us. We hugged, traumatized, and he handed me a chain. He quickly disappeared into the crowd. As I opened my hand, we saw a bogus chain. That thief was a pro. What assails my thoughts and nerves the most is that he was a pro. A pro of stalking, awaiting his opportunity. He pounced on his prey like a stealth animal! 911, 311, call to the Sixth Precinct proved pointless at the moment of need.
The desk sergeant said she couldn’t help me if I wasn’t the victim. I explained that the victim was in shock, vision impaired and deaf and very difficult for him to come. He must go there as the end result. Not a bit of sympathy, no empathy, no community outreach. I need the police report in order to see if any neighborhood cameras caught anything. I was told by a neighbor that two police cars showed up long after we all hugged, some crying, some showing sympathy and support disbanded. No one rang our bell; had police inquired of anyone they would have been given that info.
Everyone at West Fourth, Sixth and Cornelia at noon on Sunday, thank you from the bottom of my heart. And, to the dear young man who gave chase, you are a true hero, a prince among men. We pray you have many blessings. And, to the stealth thief, who could have chosen track instead of thievery; we pray you will learn of Kharma.