On my lunch break, I walked up two blocks to a pizza place. I ordered, sat on the store’s only bench, and waited while my food was being prepared. A scruffy old homeless man comes into the store and immediately parked himself on the other end on the bench. I thought nothing of him, it was a hot day, the place was cool. I don’t know, maybe the store owner was a nice person and let random stragglers come in to rest for a bit.
I was playing on my phone until I noticed the man’s hand was creeping slowly across the bench towards my legs. I could feel my brain sending out alerts while I just sat there, feeling the need to come up with various reasoning why this could be happening. He can’t be reaching for me, what is hand trying to get to?…..there must be something else interesting on this bench that I overlooked. He kept glancing over at me, like he thought he was being covert and sly. He ended up touching my thigh, snapping me out of my rationalizing mode and into a firm bark, “Don’t touch me!” He withdrew his hand and muttered an apology.
Navie me, I thought he wasn’t going to do it again, then I find his hand closing the bench gap again. I just got up, waited for my food and left. I remember talking to the staff behind the order window about the man. They looked between each other, not knowing what to do. Homeless dude leaves too, right behind me. He tries to talk to me, rambling on about I don’t know. Follows me into a drug store. He’s yelling in aisle trying to keep the one-sided conversation going and I manage to lose him.
I walked back to my job without incident. I came back outside, like 10 minutes later, I have forgotten something against my better judgement and against the advice of my co-workers. I go get what I forgotten…something I should have let go, but decided at the time it worth risking my safety. I was thinking he was gone for good. As soon I turned the corner to walk back to my job, homeless dude was there. I literally lost my breath. Homeless dude saw it and looked confused. I think he got the hint. He apologized, letting me pass.
Submitted by cua on 6/19/2010
Location: 12th Street & Monroe St. NE
Time of Harassment: Day Time (9:30A-3:30P)
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