Well, after last years’ Armed Robbery at our office, in which I had a gun pointed at me and heard the guy say shoot him, and thought my chips were up (I will recount that experience at a later stage), I definitely realised that we living in the Wild West. But after this evenings happenings (as I am writing this at 01h09 Friday Morning from Mom’s house) I now KNOW we live in the Wild Wild WILD WEST. Why ? ? ? There I was playing a bit of pool with Charlie at The Shack in town, and actually winning which was sweet. When I suddenly got a call from Mommy’s phone at approx 22h55. So there I was thinking . . . what’s wrong with her laptop now?? As, for me to get a call at that time from Mom, usually only means one thing, she is stuck with something. Either her laptop, or the PVR, or the TV, or something electronic. However, as I answered the call, I realised that something might also be up. Like something serious.
Well, my second thought was confirmed the minute I answered the phone. My sister, Terry, told me that something had happened. “A robbery next door, a guy in our house, the entertainment area, mom attacked, okay, police there . . .”
“Whoa, slow down there a bit”, I told her. She asked where I was, I told her town, and that I would be there in 10 minutes. I dropped Charlie off at his place, and shot, literally, through to my mom’s house in Newlands.
I could see the flash of the blue police light from around the corner already, and I arrived to find 4 police cars in the road right outside our house, with my mother and sister there too. I got out and heard a screaming coming from the back of the one police van. Screaming at the top of his voice. An almost hysterical scream, as though he was being attacked or something. I asked my mother, whom I could see was still in a bit of shock what had happened, and she was kinda all over the place, trying to act composed, but still visibly shook. I managed to get pieces of the story from my family members, and the events follow thus:
A guy had entered the property next door to us, a student house that is actually vacated by foreign language students, via the back door that they always leave open as they have students staying in the converted garage too, so there is no need to keep the door closed.
He had “apparently” assaulted a student at knife point, and then fled when she screamed. (I say “apparently” as I have subsequently gained more details as to what happened next door and will update it in the next post.)
He then jumped over their wall into mom’s property. There is lowish fence between their property and mom’s, and a tree in their garden that would definitely aid escape. He then must have run through mom’s garden, as the one girl’s toiletry bag was found outside a window, in the garden at the back of our property.
He probably continued around the house, as we later discovered a cigarette on the ground outside the far side of the house. On that side of the property there is a very low fence to the neighbours driveway that you can literally step over, but the neighbour has a big dog, that probably wasn’t out at the time, but he might have heard it earlier as apparently it had been barking shortly before the incident.
Then, and this is a bit of speculation, but we assume he headed right round the house to the driveway, which is actually alongside the house he had broken into, and was suddenly surprised when my mother arrived home and the driveway gate, a solid wooden gate, began opening. He must have then run down the passage at the side of the garage where there is a high gate that is usually closed and bolted, but not locked. This is now between the garage and the house and the funny thing is that this gate is virtually directly next to to spot in the wall where he jumped over into mom’s garden originally, on the garden side of the house. Seeing the closed gate he must have taken refuge in a little nook next to the kitchen door, which we use as a main door, on the side of the house, that enters the passageway/alleyway that separates the garage from the house. You can literally walk from the kitchen across the passage to the garage in 2 steps. The garage however is closed and the door is usually locked. There is a small recess behind where the kitchen door is that cannot be seen from the driveway, neither can you see it completely from the kitchen door. It is only upon entering the passageway that you can see fully into the recess.
Mom arrived home, entered the house and asked Terry, and Sam, my sister’s, to help her unload the car, as she had been shopping. As she was unloading the car, she suddenly heard 3 or 4 cars pull to a screeching halt in the road and heard police radios saying “Incident at 30 (roadname), Incident at 30 (roadname)” . What she thought, that is right next door. She went out into the steet and saw all the police cars. She asked what was going on, and was told there was a robbery next door. A girl had been assaulted by a man with a knife, but he had run away.
Sam was now also in the road, and Terry was in the driveway, when she got a weird feeling. She returned to the house, looked out the window into the garden and not seeing anything returned to her study to look out the window there. As she was about to enter her study, she suddenly smelt dagga (marijuana, dope, grass, weed, etc). She looked up and saw that the red alarm light was on on zone 13, which is in the garden area. She went to the door and called my mom, telling her there might be someone in the garden, because fo the zone light.
Mom told the cops and a police lady escorted her, and asked her to stand back whilst she checked it out. As my mother reached the passageway, the police lady was right next to her, and she suddenly saw the guy with a knife in his hands. She screamed and stepped back, falling into Sammy, who also fell over over. The man tried to stab the police woman, lunging from his head down, but missed and hit her arm and jacket. She also fell backwards against the wall. At this stage the cops on the road had been alerted and the next thing Terry, who was still in the kitchen, but unable to see anything, heard was a man shouting: “Get down or I’ll shoot! Get down or I’ll shoot!”
Thinking it was the robber with a gun, she hit the floor in the kitchen and scrambled off around the cooking island to try and hide.
The cops then grabbed him and threw him in the back of the police van.
Hence the screaming man I heard in the van.
There was assumed to be 2 guys so the cops were there for another 2 hours checking our garden, how we found the bag, but came up with nothing. I had suggested that the cops put the dog, they had a dog with them, in the back of the van, and let them “bond” a bit, but they weren’t having any of it! Bummed! But they did however “subdue” him a bit with Pepper Spray as he was at one stage getting really feisty and trying to kick out the vehicle door. Muppet!
I ventured next door to check out, I mean check on, the girls and find out if they had been told about the trauma counseling that was available at Rondebosch Police Station. There were quite a few people staying in there, and I picked up little bits here and there, but I could see that they were all really traumatised and left shortly afterwards.
When asked whether I should spend the night at my mom’s house the emphatic answer from both sisters was a resounding “YES!”
Both my mother and Sammy are okay, albeit a few scratches, and Terry is also okay too.
So it was, a night of adventure and stories and once again proof that no-one is really entirely safe in South Africa.
Easy Going Guy