While visiting our oldest in Los Angeles, and showing our youngest Colleges in California. I witnessed a crime nearly completed. There's not ever been a time when our daughters saw me do what I did today for someone else's daughter. But you see as I told them, "All the children are mine."Both my daughters are adopted. And just because I didn't give birth to you. Or I didn't raise you, doesn't mean I don't care about you. Its converse, I care. Because all the children in my view are my responsibility.
At that time I told them this,, as I had just previously been at a usually busy intersection of downtown Los Angeles, then it happened. Right infront of me/us.
I was at a red light, it was 9:45 in the morning. The three of us were headed off to see a college for our youngest. My oldest already attending college nearby sat in the back seat. She knows the dangers of cities, and this one in particular. She does get it. But you never 'get it' until you see it in action.
As we awaited the light to change to green, we saw a homeless woman 5'11" or about that size weighing 186-211 lbs, seeming to be of thirty-nine to forty-six years of age. Hard to tell weight, for she had an off-white blanket wrapped around her top like a shawl. She wore a long thick blueish coat.
As I saw her wrap her arm around a young, twenty year old looking, slight, female, Asian. The young victim appeared no more than a petite 5'2" student of the local college, as she wore a traditional looking backpack. I immediately saw the look of discomfort on the young lady's face, and a slight squirm of body language. All that, showed me a person was becoming traumatized. I knew what to do. Or at least what I was willing to do. That is anything for someone else's kid.
Realizing I had to take into account the safety of our 17 and 19 year old daughters, and not offend traffic regulations in a state I do not reside in. Yet respond quickly to someone I didn't know, yet felt they were in danger. I needed a quick, clear read on the situation. I know what I'm capable of. I know what I'm willing to give to someone else's daughter.
It is a situation I am familiar with. And I have virtually no fear, and I don't contemplate confidence in my abilities. It's like I'm always ready. Scared? Pissed? You bet. But determined to stop it. Yes indeed. You bet.
So my read was correct. I rolled down my car window and called out to the twenty year old college kid, "Hey Ma'am! Yo! You alright?!" The homeless perp who's arm wrapped around the girl looked at me. Acting as though ready to attack me in my car, began to release the girl. As she did, she began to curse at me. The twenty year old escaped and ran down the street I was to travel along. The perp backed off from my car. Maybe she didn't feel my apprehension that I might have felt initially, which turned to anger. It was a tense moment. I thought for a second. Then I realized, the perp may have thought it was three against one. Hmmmm. Yet I knew I would handle it alone.
The perp truly wanted no part of me or perhaps us, she departed from the area quickly. As the light changed and I turned the corner our daughters saw the young college girl running from the area. One announced to me, "Mom, she was scared. She ran."
I replied, "Good. You know she couldn't escape initially, because she was so stunned of how quickly a crime was almost completed. She now realizes her vulnerability. Hopefully that will save her in the future. And so you guys know, all the children are my children. Thats how I've seen the world. They all matter. I will defend them as I would you. Know that. That easily could have been one of you guys." ---Jody-Lynn Reicher
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