About a week ago, I was getting ready to play in a doubles tennis match when two of the ladies declared their need to use the restroom before we played. This is a fairly common occurance before matches; however, I refuse to engage in this ritual. I am not a lemming, darn it!
Anyway, while myself and the other lady were waiting for the other two to return, we heard a man shouting. I couldn't tell where the shouting was coming from, but my first guess was that someone was experiencing EXTREME road rage. As the shouting continued, I rolled my eyes more and more convinced that this person was just venting.
I walked over to the water fountain to fill up my water cup when my heart dropped at the sounds that immediately followed the shouting. It was the sound of leather or flesh pounding on flesh, and after each whack came a terrifying "YELP!"
There were about 6 or 7 of these whacks, and each YELP got more shrill and terrifying.
I asked to borrow the other lady's cell phone, so I could call 911. The operator greeted me, and I explained that I was reporting a potential domestic abuse. No, I have no idea where the incident happened. No, I can't see anything. No, I don't know if the victim was a person or an animal.
I felt impotent.
As I am typing this, I can remember the feeling of my heart dropping into my stomach. Dread. Anger. Helplessness. These are not pleasant feelings. There was nothing more I could do.
When the other two ladies returned, we began our match. We were about 1/2 way through the 4th game, when we noticed the LAPD helicopter circling above our heads. This is the officer they sent?
I couldn't tell for certain if this helicopter was there because of my call or not, so I decided to err on the side of helpfulness. I stuck both of my arms out in front of me, I bent over at my waist, and I kicked out one of my legs behind me to point the helicopter in the direction I heard the YELPS come from.
I doubt this was helpful, but we all got a good laugh out of my charades.
The helicopter circled above us a few more times before flying away. That's it?! Nope. A couple of games later we heard police sirens.
And rather than feeling happy that the police were acting so quickly to a phone tip, I was hoping that this poor excuse of a human being didn't have children. I was afraid the police would find this jerk, discover that he had been beating the family pet, and now, the children would wail as their beloved pet was removed from the home. What happens then? Aren't pets considered property? Would this jerk lay into one of his children now that the pet was gone?
These are the things I think of when I decide to intervene on something I have so little information on. I think it is a reflection of the state of our system that I have so little confidence in it. I don't think the system would actually be better for the victim or victims in this case than if they stayed in an abusive home. How sad is that?
I probably don't need to worry though.
I doubt they found the guy.