January 16, 2007 was your night?

I changed my mind about going home a few minutes after letting my friend SMVP out on 66th.

"You know what? Just drop me off on the corner of 86th and First Avenue."

I needed shampoo and eye make-up remover and decided to stop by the 24-hour Duane Reade near my apartment.

The cab driver was someone I know pretty well. I take a cab from Brooklyn back to my Manhattan home once or twice a week and I always use the same car service. Some of the drivers have been doing this for years, they know every road, speedtrap and shortcut. Others seem like they've been snorting heroin all night and are just driving a cab to get their next fix. When my friend Pheeleepok accompanies me on the trips to Manhattan, he is happy when this driver arrives to pick us up. He's one of the better drivers, not a crackhead and generally just a nice guy.

He pulled up to the Duane Reade and said "do you want me to wait for you?"

"Oh no, it's fine."

"It's late, I'll wait for you."

"No,no, I just live up the block, I'll be fine. But thanks."

Pheel has been in Michigan for several months now. He and some other friends of ours are opening a business out there and are back in NY sporadically. I knew he would enjoy the story of his favorite cabbie looking out for me.

I was fumbling in my bag for my phone to call him as I walked into the store.

I headed for the shampoo aisle, still digging in my bag.

There was a man sitting on the floor of the aisle next to mine but as it was a Duane Reade and two in the morning, I paid him no mind. It didn't even seem strange, a guy sitting on the floor, I am the ultimate jaded New Yorker.

I saw the man with a gun at the same time I heard someone say "he has a gun!" from another aisle. He had a bandana over his face.

"Get on the floor"


I was confused. It was happening so fast that I didn't believe it was real. I looked down at his gun--yep, that's real.

"Just..just get on the floor and be quiet."

Telling this story to Dawn Summers shortly after it happened, I told her that he had said "shut up". But thinking back, he wasn't rude at all. He politely told me to be quiet and get on the floor.

So I did.

I started thinking about the contents of my bag. I had won some money in Atlantic City last weekend and I was carrying it around in an envelope. I wasn't giving that up. He could have the $23 in my wallet...but not my ipod.

Of course, who knows what I actually would've given up if it had really come down to it. He walked away from me after I got on the floor and didn't come back. The next sound I heard were the cops arriving--but the robber was long gone by then. He got away with something like five grand from the store's safe. Apparently, it's more than they usually have in there but as it was a three day weekend, they didn't deposit today.

I gave the cops my statement a couple of times and then I went home. I guess I'll buy the conditioner tomorrow.

Posted by Karol at January 16, 2007 02:59 AM | TrackBack
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I'm so glad you're o.k. It must have been scary to say the least. xo Steff

Posted by: Steff at January 16, 2007 05:53 AM

Glad you're ok. Got mugged when I lived in Cobble Hill in the mid-90's and really didn't enjoy interacting with the system much.

Posted by: Shabbir at January 16, 2007 07:59 AM

Never. Blow. Off. Poker. Again.

Glad you're ok.

Posted by: Falstaff at January 16, 2007 09:55 AM

that's wild. i just moved to the dc area and i keep waiting for something crazy like that to happen.

Posted by: Brent J. at January 16, 2007 10:10 AM

Ruthless. Time to move back to Brooklyn!

Posted by: Ren at January 16, 2007 10:25 AM

Thats why I always tell you to ALWAYS carry a gun. Preferably 2 guns for those extended shootouts.

Posted by: Frank White at January 16, 2007 10:52 AM

Yeah, Frank, as if NY will let you carry.

So glad you're OK, Karol. I don't know if NYPD will even try to catch him, though.

Posted by: Tatyana at January 16, 2007 11:02 AM

My guess is that if he had asked for your bag, you would have given up the cash and the iPod. Glad you got away unscathed.

Posted by: Charles at January 16, 2007 11:07 AM

Of course I let you keep your cash/iPod. That's what homies are for!

Posted by: funkmaster at January 16, 2007 11:47 AM

And why are you carrying around gambling winnings in your purse? Geez louise. I get paranoid if I carry more than $40.

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at January 16, 2007 12:01 PM


I'm so glad that you are ok!! How scary! I always wonder when this is going to happen to me and someone I know. Well, you've put that fear to rest!

Karol...seriously, so happy that you and your "envelope" are safe and sound.

Posted by: Joe CuttheShit at January 16, 2007 12:55 PM

Glad you are ok.

Posted by: kipper at January 16, 2007 01:07 PM

You are okay - safe - alive - and that's all that matters. Pocketbooks that contain $$$ and ipod's are just "things," and "things" can be replaced!!!

Oven cleaner. Carry a can of oven cleaner. That's what I was told to carry since mace isn't an option. Nor is a gun. If EasyOff really wanted to cash in, they'd be making little "purse-sized" cans of it with fake labels that say something like "vanilla breeze air freshener." [Sending e-mail to EasyOff right now.]

Posted by: BT in SA at January 16, 2007 01:08 PM

Karol, I'm so glad you're okay.

Shabbir ... I know that name. That is to say, I know a bunch of the crowd you used to know at PUCC and your name got tossed about. I don't have a TypeKey account so didn't leave a comment at your place, but just wanted to say "Hi." Karol, please excuse the off-topic on a thread about your welfare. :/

Posted by: Anwyn at January 16, 2007 01:09 PM

Glad to hear that you're safe.

I had a poker buddy that was returning a movie at Blockbuster when the place got robbed. Check this out: Two guys robbed the place - one had a shotgun, one had a pistol. They both had rubber masks.

My buddy, who was about to head off to a local card club, was carrying a $4000 bankroll in his left front pocket. Forty folded bills are actually pretty obvious if yo look, but the robbers ignored him along with the rest of the customers on their way to a grand total of $280 for the heist.

Most people I know who play $15-30 and above have safe-deposit boxes for excess cash.

Posted by: Eric at January 16, 2007 01:18 PM

Glad you are ok, hang in there.

Posted by: Von Bek at January 16, 2007 01:34 PM

Odd nothing in the papers about it. I'm glad you are o.k.

Posted by: joaquinochoa at January 16, 2007 01:42 PM

Wow! Sorry to hear that.

I'm sure you're overjoyed that Hillary and the rest of the human debri left are fighting give this dirtbag the right to vote.

Posted by: Radical Redneck at January 16, 2007 06:37 PM

Glad ya came through unscathed. Bad guys are too damn unpredictible.

Posted by: Dick at January 16, 2007 06:48 PM

Most people I know who play $15-30 and above have safe-deposit boxes for excess cash.

I play $1/$2, sometimes $2/$5, so I'm not quite there yet. :-)

Posted by: Karol at January 16, 2007 06:50 PM

Glad to hear you survived unscathed! The fact you got to keep your cash and iPod in addition to your health and wellbeing was just a bonus.

Posted by: Garthmeister J. at January 16, 2007 07:01 PM

Are you not concerned that someone is going to stick up one of your poker games?

I mean, they can't exactly call the cops and be like, "Yeah, we were illegally gambling and this guy broke in and ..."

It has happened in VA a few times.

Anyhow, be safe.

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at January 17, 2007 12:59 PM

As long as you're ok Karol...

Posted by: Zelda at January 18, 2007 07:05 PM

Oh man.

Glad to hear that you're safe, Karol.

I doubt moving to another borough would help.

The only time I was ever mugged I was walking around in Midwood, which seemed pretty safe at the time.

Being robbed is never a pleasant experience though.

Glad to hear you made it out unscathed, if a few dollars poorer.


Posted by: Gerard at January 18, 2007 07:24 PM

Glad you're safe. Hope the cops were as polite as the robber...

Posted by: J.Kende at January 18, 2007 08:04 PM

Thank heavens you're OK, milaya.

And here's to hoping that the scum draws down on the wrong kind of guy soon.

Posted by: Misha I at January 19, 2007 01:50 PM

Do any of you remember the case of Colin Fergeson who killed several people on the Long Island train? He wanted to kill white people. He traveled all the way to Florida to buy his gun and ammunition, but he traveled all the way back to Long Island to do his killing.

Why? Because he knew how safe HE would be when he opened fire on his innocent victims.

He didn't try to carry out his crimes in Florida where "Shall Issue" concealed carry is the law.

Come to some town in the South and try that crap.

I love living in the South and knowing that at least 2 out of ten men I see around me are packing a firearm and they all just want to be left alone just like me.

Posted by: CDR Will at January 21, 2007 12:14 AM

damn im sorry 2 hear that but i was lucky 2 start working there like a month after that hppend but again im sorry just happy u made it out of there if u still go in that store ask for steven v. i would like 2 meet u 2 tell u that u were one brave lady

Posted by: steven at March 25, 2007 08:23 AM


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