Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Gimme all your money


[An omen?]


[Apparently German Shepherds are licensed to drive in Brooklyn.]

It was another ghost town night. The streets were virtually empty and I imagine the heat was keeping everyone indoors. At first I thought the theme of the night was gonna be babies since I had a three-month old child in the cab followed by a four-months pregnant lady. But then that ended when an old Polish lady got in on the upper east side and proceeded to describe the three times she got mugged.

One of these times, she had stopped at the candy store on her way home as it was apparently in the process of being robbed. When she entered the store, the robber grabbed her and locked her in a closet with six other similarly terrorized people. He then stripped her of all her money and jewelry.

In her mind, the mugging was somehow related to the misfortune of owning a car in New York, saying, "If only I hadn't found that parking spot in front of the store, I would've just gone straight home and it would never have happened." She got rid of her car soon afterward.

The night went on in the usual boring fashion, but when I got back to the garage, another driver told me a story about how he was once mugged at gunpoint by three guys (he was not working at the time). Unfortunately for them -- and him, I suppose -- he only had one single pathetic little dollar on him. He was on his way to buy a can of beer. When they found the dollar, he told them, "I guess you picked the wrong guy." They took the dollar anyway.

Luckily, I was not mugged tonight, but I was mugged several years ago when I still lived in the East Village. (Note to my parents: Stop reading this right now.) I was walking alone when two guys approached me. When they got close, one of them actually said, "Gimme all your fuckin money."

I almost laughed, thinking he was kidding, since it was such a clichéd movie line. But then I looked down and saw the knife pointed at my stomach, and I quickly stopped smiling. I gave them what I had, which amounted to about $40, but they were thorough, and made me face a wall as they patted me down to check for any hidden cash. When they were finally satisfied they had gotten it all, they ran off, and I staggered home in a terrified daze.

The driver at the garage tonight assured me that "it will happen" again. He also informed me that hiding my night's earnings in my sock was not really very effective. But I guess I already knew that.

I wonder if, using the logic of the Polish lady, any future muggings could possibly be avoided if only I got rid of my car. And maybe the cab, too. But I bet that German Shepherd up there in the driver's seat won't be getting mugged any time soon.

79 comments:

Dylan said...

I really hope that you never experience another mugging. I always thought it was really common place for cab drivers to experience, but apparently it's not. Thank god, right? Stay safe.

jin said...

Prevention is key.

I say shave your head & cover your entire upper body with scary looking tattoos.

Or does that sound a tiny bit drastic? ;-)

DS said...

Where in the world can you buy a beer for a dollar any more.

Anonymous said...

that's right...bad. shit.

be safe hack.

NYC TAXI SHOTS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
catkins said...

Hiding money in your bra doesn't work either. Last year I was robbed in the cab and the robber actually reached over the seat [yep, no divider] and jammed his hand down my bra and got my money. I didn't drive for two weeks after that.

Julian said...

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Greg said...

It was another ghost town night. The streets were virtually empty and I imagine the heat was keeping everyone indoors.

Well, it was a Monday night. Was it deader than even other Monday nights?

I was mugged twice while I was in my teens. My family's house was burglarized three or four times, the last time being around Christmas 1988.

jo said...

I have not been mugged yet - but expect it when it happens. It doesn't matter where you live, what you are doing or what time of the day it is - when it is going to happen, it will happen.

That's fate for you.

Hope fate is kind to you always.

xx

Drunken Master said...

There have been times even I have wondered, when walking to a subway stop late at night, if I make a turn onto a secluded street...

Business could be worse Tuesday and Wednesday...

Steve B said...

I thought you were starting a blog?

itsybitsygod said...

Yesterday a REALLY old man on the bus I was on got his pocket picked. The entire bus freaked out. Everybody was screaming and pointing at the offender. The old guy got his wallet back and only lost about $20 because no one was willing to actually pry the money out of the asshat's hand. It was kind of awesome actually. Twenty screaming women and one totally chagrined pick pocket.

Claire said...

A similar thing happened to my roommate, only it was three 15 year old kids. She also thought they were kidding at first, that is until they hit her in the face with a gun. People suck.

Crabbie said...

I've actually been able to talk my way out of every attempted robbery situation I've faced (this being two). In both cases, I just looked the guy in the eye and asked him what was going on, whether or not he was okay. In one instance, this led to me holding the kind in my arms while he sobbed. I've often found that dealing humanely with people who are acting inhumanely yields impressive results, and is often very intimidating to them.

Except, of course, with cops. Cops and the occasional meth geek. This strategy doesn't work at all when dealing with that level of psychosis.

I know very, very few cab drivers who've been robbed on the job. Bear in mind that all of this comes from Oregon, though.

January said...

I have been mugged at gunpoint in DC...at a mall! Bad things happen to good people all the time. It sucks but what can you do?

Maybe you should get a German Shepherd as your sidekick. Oooh...and then you should fight crime from you cab!

(Tell us how the book publishing process is going.)

... said...

"Bear in mind that all of this comes from Oregon, though."

Er, so, what you're saying is that if a knife is ever sticking at my belly I should talk humanely and offer to change the mugger into a hugger?

Good strategy.

Wish my job would let me smoke the shit you're smoking... (No, really. I do wish this!)

Katy said...

I do think the sock and bra thing wont work However the watch dog should do the trick.When I have patients after the office is closed I bring in my great dane. She is gentle but big and makes sure they don't wonder the halls

Anonymous said...

I feel incredibly sad that people live each day believing that some day they'll be mugged. It's never happened to me...never been robbed...can't imagine that it ever will, but I don't dwell on the fact that it might happen if I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time. People do suck. If I'm that desperate for money, I call my dad. :)

wil said...

Hope you don't mind.

I took your original photo of the german shepard, "photochopped" it and offer this modified image in lieu.

Pat said...

A friend of mine was mugged one Friday night in Brooklyn and it so pissed her off -- it was a Friday night and the end of a long, hard week and she was finally going to relax --that she chased the guy and got her money back. When the cops found out about it, they told her she was nuts. The cops told her that a mugger doesn't even see a person -- they see you as a human ATM machine... the thought process (what little there is of it) goes something like "It's Friday night; I need money; there's money walking down the street."

I was in a cab that was robbed -- just the driver, not me. He had his money in a shirt pocket. The driver had his window down and the mugger just reached in, grabbed the money out of his pocket, checked behind the sun visor for more and ran down (like a rat) the subway steps... it all happened in a split second. It freaked me out since I always thought I was safe in a cab. I also felt so bad for the driver because he said something like "I'm just a working man" and it was near the end of his shift.

Cliff said...

I've lived in New York for almost 5 years and haven't been mugged before. I'm sure it's terrifying. I hope it never happens to you again.

Houdini RedGreen said...

You are such a good writer. You take us all with you through the streets of New York where many us of "fear to tread".
Kudos!

Clankazoid said...

Seeing as how it's New York, you can't really be sure that's a german shepherd until it turns around.

Anonymous said...

no one is going to like me much, cause usually taxi owners are bad guys, i'm not so bad, i have been in the biz for 30 years and my drivers haven't been robbed for a few years now, due to the partitions

regards

Jen said...

I saw your article/picture in the paper. Actually, I was peering over the shoulder of the guy next to me on the subway and noticed your picture. You caught my eye. smile.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you shouldn't walk alone late at night?!!!

Sharkeye said...

I was curious when you would to mention muggings..

Anonymous said...

Hey, I read about you in the Daily News and decided to stop by. I have to say that you have such a cool blog. I'm a limo driver so I can definitely relate to some of the things you have mentioned about out of town drivers etc. etc. Keep it up and I'm looking forward to your next post.

Be safe.

Noah

Heidi said...

The USA... it has developed into a country that produces thugs. BIGGER, BETTER, MORE!!! And I shouldn't have to work for it!

Sorry you ever got mugged.

Thanks for the nice doggie picture...

Anonymous said...

Springfield, IL - August 11, 2004 a guy pulls into the Shell station at the corner of Wabash and Chatham Road. He fills his truck and leaving it running, starts walking inside to pay for his fuel.

Unknown to him the store was in the process of being robbed. The moron runs out of the store and jumps into the truck and starts to drive off the lot.

What happened next was absolutely hillarious.

The clerk yells at the driver and tells him that the guy is stealing his truck. The driver literally just laughs and says "He ain't gonna get far dude".

Before he reaches the curb the driver door flies open and this would be criminal bails out with a very very very very large German Shephard attached to his right arm.

When the cops finally arrived the guys arm was soaked in blood. 49 stitches to sew his ass back up!

Greg said...

Re: The guy who robbed the gas station and attempted to steal a truck to make his getaway: Did he sue the driver of the truck for the injury he received at the "paws" of the German Shepherd?

Wil: I couldn't tell what you did to the original photo of the German Shepard other than magnify it and crop it. [confused]

wil said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kayte said...

You know.. that grafiti is actually a tag name..
they've been appearing everywhere here in DE and PA
(what an odd choice for a name.. usually it's something cool, like King)

D.W. said...

Gas Station:

He tried but the judge, being one of the more sensible ones in the legal profession threw the case out.

Anonymous said...

Man that sucks. Stay safe!

lugosi said...

I've found that hiding my money up my butt is pretty effective. It also helps with tips since most people end up declining to take their change.

EverJack1 said...

Hope you never get mugged again, MP.

Love your blog, and the comments.

Stay safe out there.

EverJack1

Anonymous said...

The poor dog, i think it is funny as hell, i just buss out laughing each time i look at it.

Seismic_Pirate said...

Born and raised in Detroit, I was surrounded by BAD SHIT, muggings,etc. I managed to avoid most of it until I was about 25. Fortunately the night fate knocked on my door I was packing. My first and only mugging happened when a guy stuck a gun in my face in front of a beer store. I was stopping for beer on the way home from combat weapons training for my job as a bodygaurd. When he demanded my money, I reached into my jacket, pulled out a bigger gun than his, put it to his forehead and managed to calmly ask for his wallet, money car keys and gun. He gave it all up. I proceeded into the store and purchased my beer with his money. He was gone when I came out. It was that night while drinking beer paid for by a mugger that I decided to get out of the city for good. I now live in a village of about 300 people and reading shit like this post makes me glad I got out and my kids are growing up in the middle of nowhere. However, they all get combat weapons training in case they end up living in the city...

Anonymous said...

Be happy that you aren't a 187. Being mugged is one thing, but going to the mortician or the crematorium is much worse.

Perspective Inc. said...

Griity picture (of the grafitti)..
Well written but spooky post..
Stay safe!

Anonymous said...

Quote Bambi Killer...

Robbing the robber, what a way to set an example *roll eyes*.

Cynthia Fye said...

I"m a retired surgical nurse and I took care of a "hack" years ago who was hit over the head with a frozen chicken by a little old lady He picked up at the local supermarket. She thought he was goi;ng the long way around to take her home. The cabs in Seattle do not have plastic separations. Take care M

DS said...

is anyone going to tell me where you can get a beer for $1

Greg said...

ds, I think you'd need a time machine to get there.

Anonymous said...

My grandmother was a mugger magnet. Overweight, old, slow, with a cane. She never carried much in her purse. She just hands it over.

That's why I walk fast, head up, eyes open, constantly scanning.

Muggers are inherently lazy and do want to chase someone down. If they weren't lazy, they would have a job.

Anonymous said...

"It will happen again" which is why I drive days. Sorry MP, but you are completely nuts for driving nights. I don`t why you do, I`ve been driving days for the past 5 years and make the same money as nights if not more ($160 on Saturday and $140 on Monday alone), and the worst that has even happened to me was having someone run away without paying. Driving people to work is a hell of a lot less stressful than driving drunks and psychopaths at night.

Jen said...

You are certainly getting attention following the article in the paper.

wink.

TREND TRADER said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MJ06 said...

Is it a falasey or do most cabbies carry guns?

Michelle said...

When I was in living in NYC, I was walking down the street one day when a dude jumped in front of me and yelled, "Stick 'em up!"

I thought to myself, "Just another nut," and kept on walking. A couple of blocks later, it hit me. I lucked out on that one, I guess.

I hope it doesn't ever happen to you again. I don't think you should count on it, you know? BTW, I really enjoy your blog. I used to drive too.

meesh said...

Y'know, somehow I managed to live in NYC for seven years and I never got mugged. Even when I was waitressing and had to go home with cash, I never got robbed. I have no idea how I lucked out like that. Lord knows I don't look intimidating.

Although I did punch a guy once who grabbed my arm from behind on Park and 50-something. Poor guy was probably trying to return somehting I dropped...

Anonymous said...

mj06...

wtf anything that goes wrong and you think of pulling the gun. worst

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's time for a palm reading before you go out on your next shift.

Greg said...

I had lunch in a Greek restaurant yesterday and the TV there was tuned into the tape-delayed (by seven hours) satellite broadcast of the afternoon news from Greece. Somewhere in Greece (I forgot where, but it wasn't in Athens) a taxi driver was attacked with a hatchet by a German guy! The taxi driver seems to be making a full recovery, fortunately. Elsewhere, a bus was hijacked. It didn't seem to be that big a deal, so I guess there had been no passengers on it. But the bus driver and his wife own a small shop, which the wife runs, and they're selling it because she was robbed three times.
:(

Anonymous said...

I was in NYC Mon--Wed AM, and I looked for you but of course didn't end up in your cab. It was sure busy in Manhattan! You must have been somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

I was in NYC Mon--Wed AM, and I looked for you but of course didn't end up in your cab. It was sure busy in Manhattan! You must have been somewhere else.

Galt-In-Da-Box said...

Bambi_killer fucking RULES!

I can't understand why only the crooks are armed in big cities like New York...OH, yes I can:
It's called gun control
Sheeple think the state and the Atheist, Communist and Leftist Union are going to protect them, when they exert most of their effort protecting those who leach off of you.
Wake up or "sleep forever".
You're running out of time.

Anonymous said...

^ HAHAHAHAHAH wtf

NYC TAXI SHOTS said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

you got more of a reaction from the assosiated press article then you did the daily news article new yorkers are hard to fool i noticed in the daily news article that you were getting 3000 hits a day you should be
way over a million by now

Anonymous said...

Galt-In-Da-Box: How would carrying a gun protect someone walking along a city street from a robber who comes up behind him?

The Lone Beader said...

What a coincidence !! I just posted a German shepherd on my blog, too. Greman shepherds are tough dogs....I'm looking for participants in my 'Sheepdog of the Day' posts....

Dana said...

Hery MP, Long time since i left a comment. Truly still enjoying your diary! I grew up in Vegas and my mom was a change girl at The Flamingo so she always had money on her person coming home but was only mugged once (almost mugged) she would carry the change she made from the night in her purse, in a Crown Royal bag and the cash in her bra. Well one night this crackhead tried to rob her and she just beat the living crap out of him with her Crown Royal bag and man was she fired up when she got home. She was a tough cookie because she had to be.
Be safe
Peace

Vernon said...

I'm so sorry that you were mugged. I hope you move on with your career so you will not have to be in harms way.
In all thedays of my carrying cash, I was never robbed, but then times were better. Today, people are knocking off 7-11's, and almost any place to get cash. Even bank robbing seems to be back in vogue. This has not been seen since the '30's. Willie Sutton was asked once asked why he robbed banks, and he replied,"Because that is where the money is." Makes sense. You don't want to rob something where you can't gain any money. Do take care.

Greg said...

Tonight, I walked down Broadway from Lincoln Center to Times Square. As I waited to cross a westbound street in the fifties below 57th Street, a taxi driver turned right (north) onto Broadway! What a dumbass! Then, to make matters worse, when he realized his error (or when his passengers informed him he was going the wrong way up a one-way street!) he made a 180° turn to get his cab back on the street off of which he turned, just barely squeezing between the corner of the block and another taxi that was traveling along that street [shakes head]. Good thing I was waiting for the light on the sidewalk and not in the crosswalk.

Around 49th Street, I saw a young woman driving a Toyota Sienna minivan taxi, but she wasn't M.P.

suckingchestwound said...

You can't avoid getting mugged. But you can mitigate the problem if you carry a Glock Model 27 with Federal hollowpoint ammunition as I do. You can buy this upstate no problem. Good luck.

Wanda said...

Though I have not heard "Gimme all your money" personally, my Sammy has three times (all at gun poing).

His first time was as a teen in his country, Albania, at riffle point. The second time was some time after moving to the Bronx. He said he had been calmed because the crime level in the Bronx was much lower than at that time in his country. The three time happened around March. He had stopped to buy his morning coffee before heading to class (Lehman College) and the criminal took his brand new cell phone.

Myself, I feel pretty safe in NYC. My fear used to be walking at night in Hell's Kitchen. However, when my friend got a job at a restaurant there I came to realized that walking along 9th Avenue at night is pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

suckingchestwound is an idiot...gun control is what we need NOT more guns!

Brooklyn Ace said...

I used to drive car service in Brooklyn and always had my dog on the passenger side of the car(of course the tlc would never allow this now) it all started because of a fare I had going down into coney island 4 large guys I was sure I was about to get robbed, it was about 3am and lights in brooklyn become stop signs then, I saw a cop car accross the intersection blew the light and let him pull me over. I got out told them the deal and they followed me all the way to the drop all the while me telling the guys this f"ing cop is probobly gonna let me drop you off then write me a ticket. once they were out of the car I went back to the cop with the clipboard and said hey if you got to write me up I totaly understand it. both cops looked at me and said are you nuts that was a great move

Nicole said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you were mugged, and worse, that the fear stays with you while you are driving around. I sometimes think that the worst thing about crimes isn't usually the crime itself, but the fear that follows it. I was mugged only once in all the years I've lived in NYC, but it still shakes me up to think about it. I was 14 years old and getting out of the subway at Times Square early in the morning to meet a friend. The 2 guys didn't have a weapon (that I could see), and I didn't even feel afraid of them until after it was over. I guess adrenaline will do that.

Greg said...

Brooklyn Ace, how well did those four big guys tip you (if at all)? I'm wondering if they had no intention of robbing you and, if they didn't have such intent, if they felt bad or if they felt insulted that you thought they might.

unmikely said...

In Baltimore during college I was robbed at gunpoint. It was a silver semi-auto and he pointed it right at my forehead. At first I thought it was annoying and I was worried about mundane things like having to get more cash and replacing my drivers license and credit card. Then reality set in: I'll never forget the sheer horror of discovering your mortality while waiting for some piece of shit to decide whether or not he wants to blow your head off. I was with two friends but it didn't matter. He had a big shiny gun and we didn't.

Three years ago in Chicago my best friend was killed in front of me. We were walking home from a party ... two low-key, sober guys just minding their own business. As we passed two thugs on the sidewalk, one of them whipped out a revolver and shot my friend in the head for no reason at all. He looked completely thrilled to be doing it too. I don't know why they didn't just kill me too. I almost laughed because I thought it was a practical joke. The thugs ran away and were never caught. Barry was 27 - - nicest guy in the world.

Sorry for the downer - - this post just made me think of him.

www.justiceforbarry.org.

Be careful out there New York Hack. I love your blog, but I hope you publish your book soon and can retire from being a cabbie!

Galt-In-Da-Box said...

Too bad all those mulleted, effeminate-voiced, coke-bottle-glassed, Burkenstock-wearing "anonymous"es out there can't bring Barry back with their elitist Harvard and Yale degrees in Kakostocracy.
Even worse they want M. P. to be disarmed, instead of the freaking crooks!
Tell you what, when some crackhead pulls out a stolen weapon to get his next fix at your expense, try giving him all that sym-PATHETIC, sniveling drivel about "poor, oppressed victims of society" and reasoning with his doper-ass.
Be sure and let me know how that works for you, genius - if you can access the internet from your box 6 feet under!

Anonymous said...

^ You plunge a toilet

The Lone Beader said...

I've walked the streets of Boston at all hours of the nite, and never once had a problem...

Fallon said...

Here is my tale of out walking late at night.

While I was working for a jewelry store My boyfriend received a formal invitation to a Corporate VP’s wedding. I came up with a clever scheme. I bought a lovely long satin gown on Bay and wearing it to work managed to convince my boss to lend me some really pretty jewellery to compliment the gown, that I could say I had purchased there.
All seemed to work well. The reception was at the Ritz and we took in a hotel room across from a small park. We fit in quite well, and I must say I made a rather good impression. By 12:30 am, we had been at the reception for almost 6 hours and both of us were feeling no pain. Deciding to call it quits we headed out into the warm evening., walking to our hotel to save cab fare. As we left, my boyfriend was stopped by a colleague, and tired I headed on figuring he could catch up. I had just crossed the street when a couple on a motorcycle pulled alongside. The male driver asked me if he could have the time. I stepped over to them(dumb) watching the silly little grin plastered on the long haired female behind him. I raised my wrist to look at the time, and he grabbed it, no lady, gimme the watch. He pulled me, while the lady with him had hopped off the bike and got me from behind. It was over in seconds. She took the diamond earrings and necklace, the bloke got me bracelet, rings and rolex. They even snatched the rhinestone brooch from my gown. They then zoomed off, and were out of sight before I could even regain my feet. Talk about stupid. The insurance company money helped replace the jewellery, but not my self esteem..

Fallon

cash-inside-my-bra said...

im curious .to the woman that had her money in her bra. how did the robber know you had your money in your bra? this is something i do all the time and no one knows i have anything there. nancy

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