I was walking home late at night from IKEA with a tall box.
Walking northbound on Wabash between East Illinois and Indiana Streets,* I was on the southeast corner waiting for the light to change when I was approached by a Hispanic teenager who asked me for a cigarette.
I told the boy, who was wearing what appeared to be expensive sports clothes, I didn’t think he looked like someone who smoked and if I gave him a few bucks would he be on his way.
Just then, the boy nervously put his hand in his hoodie pocket and, assuming he was reaching for a weapon, I immediately grabbed him and restrained him from behind.
At that moment, two other Hispanic boys appeared from around the corner and started to approach while their friend was trying to break free of my hold.
Fearing I would lose my grasp of the boy, I tripped him and brought us both to the ground.
Just then, I noticed an old, white, diner-style coffee cup lying on the ground, grabbed it with my free hand, and broke it against the brick wall of the building beside me. I picked up the largest piece of the broken cup and held the jagged edge to the boy’s throat to ward off his friends.
For the next five or ten minutes, I tried keeping the boys at bay while trying to talk some sense into them and negotiate a peaceful ending to the situation.
Just then, a passerby came along and saw what was going on a called the police on his cellphone.
Seconds later, an unmarked car pulled up in front of us that turned out to be a Über the man with the phone mistakenly called instead of the police.
He apologized and said he must have pressed the wrong saved number in his phone’s address book and tried calling again.
Just then, a police car approached driving south down Wabash and a plainclothes police jumped out of the car just as two other units came from around the corner.
About four or five uniformed officers rounded up the three Hispanic boys, put them into their patrol cars and sped off without as much as saying a word to me.
I looked at the man with the phone with a puzzled look and he suggested I wait there for the police to return to question me.
I opened up the tall box I’d been carrying to see it’s contents were missing.
Then I woke up.
*Wabash and E. Illinois Streets intersect in downtown Chicago, however, S. Indiana Avenue is about 10 miles away in the south side Englewood neighborhood.