Molly pointed out that it's been well over two weeks since I've written anything, and that I better get to writing.
I was supposed to go to birthday party at a downtown bar on Saturday night, but by the time I got there(12:30am), the line was 40 people long and there was no way in hell I was going to stand around with the other hunyucks, and then pay a cover for what would end up being an hour a drinking. Fuck that.
Everybody else had just left the party, so luckily for me it was easy to coax the Girl out of her conversation with two queens that had fallen in love with her in three drinks time. I'm just that studly.
Where did we choose to go? Solera, of course! I don't normally like drinking at the bar at which I work, but it was one of the few places that wasn't absurdly busy. I haven't been downtown on a weekend in what seems like forever --because the loud music hurts a curmudgeon's ears--but I was surprised how many people wait in line after midnight to get into a shitty club with a shitty DJ playing shitty music.
We grabbed a beer at the bar and quickly headed outside to enjoy the summer air on the sidewalk patio. It wasn't long before we were joined by two of my coworkers, Andrew and Lori. There was a gaggle of 15 Solera employees celebrating a birthday one table over.
I didn't hear this until after the fact, (I might have been peeing or admiring my reflection in a pint glass) but at one point while we were sitting there, a young, productive, lanky, cornrowed member of society asked the girls if they had the time. Molly reached into her purse to check her phone time, but before she could slide it open, Lori answered him. He gave a disgusted look.
Five minutes later, I heard both Molly and Lori scream. When I turned towards them, I saw the man running past on the sidewalk with a black bag in his hand. It took very little time for me to realize that he snatched a bag off of one of our tables, but when I did, I immediately dumped my chair, hurdled a low chain, and took off after him, down 9th St, past Chamber's.
Looking back, I'm sure he tried to time the snag with the stoplight on Hennepin, so that if anyone were to chase him, he'd make it through the intersection, but the pursuers would be stopped by traffic. I don't think he realized that anyone would follow at all, and definitely not as quickly as we did.
Like I said, I got up and ran after him almost immediately. At least that's how I remembered it. Everything happened so damn fast that I don't recall ever even thinking. Andrew saw me take off and thought, aw shit, now I've got to go, too.
My problem? Flip-flops. They're kick-ass flip-flops that have a bottle opener in the bottom, but right then, at that very moment, they weren't helping my crime-fighting ways at all. When I got to the end of the block, I briefly thought about kicking them off and continuing the chase, but not only would I have bitched and moaned about every pebble I stepped on, but Molly would've killed me. They were a gift. A gift that opens beer bottles.
Is it any wonder that we've dated this long?
Right when I nixed the idea of losing the flippies, Austin, one of the guys from one table over, bolted past me, sans shoes.
"Was that your bag?" I wheezed. I didn't understand why he'd join in if it wasn't.
It wasn't until that point that I knew that the friendly guy without a watch had grabbed Molly's purse from off the table, right in front of her. Motherfucker.
Shortly behind us were two more guys from Solera who decided to join in the chase. It was obvious that I was no longer a legitimate threat in catching up unless he tripped over a crack in the sidewalk, but I ran just fast enough to keep the thief(and Andrew, who was way closer than anyone else) in view.
It was no fair because Andrew had on normal shoes, and I had decided to let my dogs breathe for the the rest of the evening. In my defense, I didn't think I'd be running 1 am sprints. Have you ever tried to run in flip-flops? I can do it, but it's not exactly efficient. Despite that, I think I did an adequate job in making myself look really, really slow.
Anyhow, the chase took a right turn on LaSalle, and then a left down 10th. I remember screaming "STOP THAT MAN!" on more than one occasion while we were running, but I don't remember exactly when or even if there was anyone around to hit this fucker with a flying spear tackle to the back, severing his spine in the process. No such luck.
When I got to the corner of 10th and LaSalle, a valet from Chamber's joined in the chase. The only thing that would've made me feel less capable was if he was running on stumps for feet. My sense of self worth was boosted a little bit when I saw that he was wearing comfortable and sensible shoes.
In addition to the Chamber's valet, a small black man in a wife-beater was following the festivities from the comfort of his BMX bike. My first thought was that he was with the thief, an accomplice to grab the bag in a quick pass-off scam, but he was too far behind to do anything about it.
3 blocks in and everybody started to tire. The thief slowed to a trot right across from The Local, which allowed Andrew to catch up. As Andrew was about to get near him, the guy started digging in his pants for something. Um, ok. Abort, abort!
Andrew stopped, told him to put the purse down, and smartly started backing away. The man quickly rifled through the purse, I'm assuming for cash, and when he didn't find anything worth a damn, he dropped the purse and started jogging away.
To make this story succinct, when we returned to Solera with the purse, we were met with a hero's welcome, complete with fireworks, confetti cannons, and strippers dancing on tables and cheering our names. And free drinks.
At least one of those is true.
Everything was still in the purse, except for one tube of carmex for some odd reason. I guess must be a bitch being a poor man with monumentally chapped lips.
The cops showed up a few minutes later with the suspect in the back of the squad car. They picked him up a few blocks south of where we parted ways, and it turns out that the guy on a bike was an undercover something or other, and he was the one to track him down. They didn't say he was a cop, rather "security", whatever that means. Regardless, well played, sir. Well played.
It wasn't after I sat down and downed 2 pints of beer in under a minute that I thought, jesus, what the fuck was I going to do if I caught him? He wasn't a beefy guy, but at 6'5", he wasn't exactly small. And what if he had a weapon?
And what if he shot me in the face?
Not a bright decision, but it all turned out fine. He'll ultimately end up in jail for awhile, so said the police officer that took Molly's statement.
But my big question is this; couldn't he find an easier target? That area of downtown, from 9th St up to Washington, and over to the Warehouse District has the highest concentration of robberies and theft in the city. There's plenty of drunken people(Andrew and I were not drunk) down near all the bars to prey on, so why would he choose to thieve from an area where there's nowhere to run but empty streets? It's not like there are really any alleyways to lose someone during a chase, nor is there a crowd to get lost in, either. He clearly did not think his cunning plan all the way through.
Minneapolis is not a large city by any definition, but it still has it's fair share of crime. Shit like this just happens, I think mainly because people are assholes. There are far too many assholes.
Has anyone else been mugged in Minneapolis? What area? Were they ever caught? The closest I've come is having my stereo stolen from my car. Not the same thing at all, but I'm less than an optimum target for someone that's too lazy to get a fucking job.