Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Condemnation Part Two

The day of our attack and Jim's stabbing was pretty uneventful. It had been a quiet, lazy day as most middle of the month days can be in apartments. Nobody moving out, nobody moving in. The weather was nice so there was little physical work to do outside. Most of Jim's current work orders had been completed and any administrative tasks had been dealt with by me earlier in the day. Just before five that afternoon, I stopped into say goodnight to the girls that worked in our Regional Office. While I was in there chatting, the Office Manager asked me to check on one of the units on the sixth floor as they had just received a noise complaint from one of their neighbours. I left the office immediately and jumped on the elevator which took me up to the sixth floor in no time. Even before I got off the elevator, I could clearly hear audible sound coming from down the hall. There seemed to be what appeared like loud crashing noises being made as heavy furniture or items came crashed to the ground after having being thrown into the air.

I knocked fairly loudly on the unit's door while announcing myself clearly at the same time. After a brief hesitation, the door opened to reveal a young, black male in his early twenties. When I asked to speak to the tenant, he advised me that she wasn't home at the moment. I asked him if he knew why I might be here, and he answered that he did. He also told me that they were all getting ready to leave as they had just called to request a taxi to collect them. I thanked him for his time, and reminded him that it was the actions of himself and his friends that would reflect positively or negatively on the tenant as she was responsible for any of her guest's behaviour, whether she was there herself or not. He apologized to me, promising that this would be the end of it. While I was talking to him, I took the time to survey as best I could the state of the unit. I noticed that a book shelf had been overturned, as well as the sofa and coffee table. This would explain the loud thumps I had previously heard to be sure. While I was only able to see two others while I was standing at their front door, I could not help but notice that both were most definitely under the influence of something. Regardless, there wasn't much more that I could do so I thanked the young man that had answered the door and returned to my own apartment which was located on the main floor at the time of the attack.

By the time I got back to our apartment, it was close to twenty past five which meant for all intents and purposes we were finished work for the day. Jim and I were getting our jackets on when our phone rang. It was John from the sixth floor and all he said as way of introduction was "They're at it again." I asked him if he would call the police as they could only receive a complaint of this nature i.e. a noise complaint from another tenant and not the property's owner or representative. He responded that he "couldn't be bothered" but he still expected Jim or myself to do something about the situation, and to do this immediately! If it had been any other tenant, I most likely would have ignored the complaint but because it was from this particular tenant, I knew that if neither one of us responded that he would most definitely submit a complaint to our Regional Office regarding us. I also knew that he would be peeking through his own door waiting for one of us to return to the unit in question. With all of this in mind, I grabbed Jim to come upstairs with me figuring that as soon as we'd dealt with the complaint, we could be on our merry way to do some shopping at the mall!

If only we had managed to get that far. We both could hear a bit of noise as we stepped off of the elevator but nothing like I had heard earlier. This time Jim placed himself directly in front of the tenant's door while I stood slightly off to his left. He knocked a few times with authority, but didn't have a chance to announce who it was. We both heard the deadbolt and lock just prior to the door opening up. Literally the second that the door opened and without any sort of warning, a fairly large fellow jumped across the door's threshold and pushed Jim extremely hard across the hall and against the door to the opposite unit. Our building has proper fire doors which are by nature extremely sturdy. When the back of his head hit that door, I could literally hear his skull cracking. It not only seemed like such a loud sound but the only sound. Jim was immediately knocked out and didn't end up regaining consciuousness until the beating was near its end. In short order, two other pretty big fellows came running out of the apartment.

At one point, one of the three assailants took a moment to push me off to the side, otherwise all three of them were intent on savagely attacking Jim. It was utterly incomprehensible in so many ways. They all seemed to be following the lead of the first fellow to attack, and were mimicing everything that he was doing.  If he was pummeling Jim with his fists then so were the others. If he was jumping in the air and kicking Jim with his heavy boots, then so were the other two. It was deeply upsetting as I felt complete helpless and useless. I didn't know what to do after my intial attempt at jumping on one of the attacker's backsides, in the vain hope of distracting him, had been quickly and effortlessly stopped! From a great distance, I could hear my own voice screaming at them to stop, that they were killing my husband and that I didn't understand why they were even doing this to us. My brain couldn't seem to remember how to dial for emergency services although my fingers somehow managed to dial 911 all on their own. It wasn't until I managed to barely hear a distant voice offering assistance that I even realized what I had done. The kept repeating that I needed to tell them where I was in order for them to send any assistance. Eventually I managed to get my cell phone to my mouth, and was coherent enough to obviously offer our address to them.

Probably the entire attack lasted all of two minutes, perhaps a bit longer though I honestly can't say. Near the end of the attack a fourth fellow came out of the unit and actually attempted to help me and Jim. He tried to pull the others off of my husband in an attempt to get them to stop. When the attack first started, I was absolutely convinced that they were not going to stop until Jim was dead. That's what it looked like to me. I had never witnessed anything so utterly savage and out of control as these three lads appeared to be to me. Then as suddenly as it all started, it seemed to end. I don't know at what point the four of them made the decision to stop or even why they made this decision. All of a sudden they seemed to have taken flight, and just as quickly, were gone from my sight. I couldn't even begin to tell you which direction they took or how they even managed to get off of the sixth floor. The moment that they were gone, the only thing that I could see was Jim, and the state that they had left him in. I couldn't get over how much blood there was. It seemed to be everywhere. It was soaking through the carpet rapidly and there was so much of it, you could actually see where everyone had stood as footprints had been left behind. There seemed to be an equal amount of blood all over the door and wall behind Jim as well as all over both of us. We were covered.

At that point neither one of us was aware that a weapon had been used. I never say the knife and Jim said that he never felt it. It wasn't until the first police officer had arrived on the scene that a weapon was even mentioned. He noticed something peculiar about Jim's jacket and t-shirt - if you can believe it, Jim was actually wearing a red jacket and similarly colored t-shirt at the time of his attack !!! By this time Jim had regained consciousness but was having an extremely difficult time talking and breathing. We would later learn that this was a result of one of his lungs being punctured and subsequently collapsing at the scene of the attack. After closer examination, it looked like he had approx seven decent stab wounds on his left upper arm, five on his upper back, four throughout his head, six on various parts of his chest and one dangerous looking wound near his throat on his right side. They had managed to literally split his forhead in half. There was a constant stream of blood flowing from this wound. All in all, he did not look in very good shape.



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