our next door neighbors

today i was at the gym, getting ready to hit the ellipse machine, when ola called. he said there was a big ruckus outside of our apartment. he wasn’t sure what was going on. he said he’d call me back in a few minutes. when i talked to him again a little bit later, he described to me that he had heard the play-by-play of the police literally breaking down our neighbors door. the noise had been so loud that ola wasn’t sure if they were pounding on OUR door or somebody elses. eventually they broke down the door with a battering ram and ola heard loud confrontation and scuffling on the other side of the wall (our apartment shares walls in both the living room and bedroom with this other apartment). ola stayed on the floor, afraid of what would happen if somebody fired a gun in the direction of our apartment. eventually things got quieter and he took a shower and left for work (he’s in the hospital working tonight).

i arrived home a little later to the sight of tons of unmarked police vehicles on our street, and bunch of detectives milling around the lobby. i was pretty freaked out by the time i got in the elevator to go home. when the elevator stopped on our floor, i opened the door – there were 5-8 detectives and officers milling around our hallway and my neighbors (about 5 of them) were sitting on the floor in handcuffs. i was mortified and completely freaked out. i went inside and stayed long enough to grab a couple of things and left, going down the stairs to be someplace else for a while. on my way down, i met an officer who saw how freaked out i was, and i asked him what exactly was going on. he told me there had been a high-level drug bust, and our neighbors were the end result of an ongoing inter-state investigation. later, i spoke to an officer who told me they had been involved in high-level heroin trafficking in New York and New Jersey.

Now i’m at the hospital with ola because i really wasn’t comfortable at home by myself. Funny how once the supposed criminals are arrested, THEN i’m not comfortable at home, unlike when they were right next door, probably armed, and, it turns out, dealing out of our building.

i’m not really sure what to think or feel right now. i’m really upset. i’m really freaked out because what if something happened, especially after the baby was born? what if ola had gotten hurt somehow? he was home, he was just across the wall. he’s positive those officers had their guns drawn – what if he had poked his head out the door to see what was going on? what if shots HAD been fired?

to some extent, i know that things like this are simply what happen if you live in new york city long enough. there’s millions of people here, and at some point, you’re going to live very close to something happening – a robbery, a murder, an assault, an abusive boyfriend across the hall…but to me, this is the pregnant lady that i saw taking her laundry down to the basement to wash her clothes, now sitting on the floor by my apartment, handcuffed and 7 months pregnant. this is me wondering what happened to that little 3 year old girl i saw coming and going from the apartment several times – but she wasn’t there when the police arrived, and they don’t know who she is or if she lived there. i know – i asked.

maybe there will be forthcoming some post about police, drug policy, drug trafficking, safety issues, the criminal justice system, or something. for now though, i’m a little shaken up.

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2 Responses to “our next door neighbors”

  1. Scary shit. THis is why you’re moving next year, right? That must have been terrifying, but I’m glad to hear you’re okay. And good to hear that the police were on it. You know dealers really want to keep on the DL so I don’t think they would have ever tried to hurt you, if that’s any consolation. And at least now the police are going to be watching your building really closely…although any dealer who goes back in is a freaking moron. Anyway, like I said, glad ot hear you’re okay.

  2. mermaid mommy Says:

    Well this is hideous. I know it could happen anywhere, and that I shouldn’t blame the urban environment, but I can’t help myself. Having just come from a week in peaceful northern Minnesota, where towns are small and people are friendly, I can’t help but wish that Ola could find a fabulous residency in Mayberry or some place similar. But that’s just Mermaid Mommy of the Midwest talking. You’ll be ok, but do please be careful out there. I’m glad Ola ducked.

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