I believe it is much better to feed the poor than to give them cash. The last time someone stricken by poverty asked me for cash, they said that they would buy a sandwich. I told them that I would watch them go to the Subway across the street. Instead, they disappeared with the cash I gave them and did who knows what with it.
Last Sunday, January 11, 2015, at about 2:30 p.m., I was walking home from University Plaza in Buffalo after visiting my friends. I had just entered into Springville Avenue off of Main Street, when I was approached by a young African-American male who asked me if I had change for five dollars. Due to the story I told you before, I said no. I actually had about $100 in cash in my wallet. Another young African-American man came up and joined the other one, and they asked my name. At first I stayed silent, but then I said my name was Fred, which it most clearly is not. The second African-American male then told me to give them everything in my pockets or they would kill me.
Now, I am kind of good at gauging people. These folks did not appear to be armed, and did not appear to be capable of inflicting much damage. They looked like a couple of middle-class kids pulling some stuff. Even when they asked for everything in my pockets under threat of death, they seemed kind of confused. Idiots. Do not act confused when you threaten somebody!
I then started walking away from them towards private property at the edge of Springville Avenue. I figured that none of the multitudes of residents want somebody murdered on their property, and they would do something to stop that from happening. There were also other people on the street that day. There were two people walking right behind us, and a woman with her car window open right down the street. A few yards behind me was Main Street with busy commercial businesses. Given all of this and the fact that it was bright daylight out, it was one of the stupidest situations in which to rob someone. After I walked away, the young would-be robbers abandoned their attempt at crime and walked off towards Main Street. The woman in the car whom I have mentioned previously assured me that it was safe to continue on my way home because the criminals were gone.
When I got home, I did not call the police. I really should have, but the criminals seemed so stupid that I thought it was impossible for them to get away with anything. I guess I was also kind of in shock. For people who had just threatened my life, they seemed so utterly incapable of carrying out that threat. I was not bothered by the incident again until that night, when the following message came across on my university’s police alert system:
University Police are investigating a strong-arm robbery that occurred at approximately 7:20 p.m. today in the Main and Bailey parking lot on UB’s South Campus. According to police, two men threated the victim and took his cell phone and some cash.
The suspects were described as short, black males wearing all dark clothing.. They fled off campus towards Main Street and Kenmore Avenue.
Anyone with information about this incident should contact University Police at 716-645-2222.
The University Police have increased patrols in the area where the crime occurred. They remind members of the campus community that it is best to travel with others and to always be cognizant of your surroundings.
I immediately called University police, and informed them that I had evidence on their case. However, they declined to take my call seriously because the incident I was involved with did not take place in their jurisdiction. UB police is infamous all over Buffalo for ignoring crime that does not fall within a very narrow definition of their jurisdiction. I repeated to them that I had no interest in them pursuing my crime, which did in fact take place out of their jurisdiction. I reaffirmed to them that I had evidence and tips that could help them in their case. They told me once again that it was none of their business. I told them that I used to work for The Spectrum, the UB newspaper, and I expected them to say exactly that. They offered to transfer me to their superior officer. I said no. They offered again. I said no. They offered once more. I said no again, and hung up on them. A moment later I received a call from their superior officer, and I told him that I had expressly stated that I did not want to speak with him, and we ended our phone call.
That night, I received a phone call from the Amherst Police Department, which took an initial report of the crime. They informed me that the individuals involved in the crime had been quite active that day. The next morning, I called and had an officer sent to my apartment to take the official report. The officer they sent had not been on duty the previous day, and was not aware of the crimes in question. At one point during my report, he went out to his car for several minutes and was informed about them. He came back with a much more thorough viewpoint about the situation. He completed taking my report, and I finished by saying that the criminals seemed like some of the dumbest people I had ever encountered. To this he said, “They aren’t criminals because they’re smart.” And this is true. Although there are many criminals who are smart people or perform smart acts, not a single criminal is a criminal because they are smart. Crime is a dumb act.
This is about as far as my case has gotten. I did receive an email from a woman at the student affairs division of UB saying that she had heard about my case from the University police. She called it a robbery. I told her it was not a robbery, but rather an attempted robbery, and that the University police seemed incredibly unwilling to help me out. I am currently waiting for a possible call from the Amherst Police detectives regarding my case. Other than that, there is nothing new to report. My apologies on not getting this post out earlier. I owed it to my friend Brandyn Williams to let the last post stay for a while, and then I got sick. I wish you all the best of luck!
This blog posting is the personal opinion of Alec Frazier, not the professional policy of his advocacy firm, Autistic Reality. If you oppose it, please screen grab it! I am very proud of this opinion!