17th district

I live in District 17.  Here is a news report:

On 05-29-2008, at approximately 4:00 AM, a woman was walking in the 1500 S. 21st Street when she was approached from behind by an unknown B/M. The male grabbed the victim by the neck, punched her in the face and then forced her to the ground. At this point, the offender pulled a condom out of his pocket. The victim kicked the offender and she fled on foot. The male ran after the victim and began pulling her hair. The victim continued to fight and scream causing the offender to flee the location on foot.

Officers stopped the male at 21st and Tasker Streets based on the flash information. The victim was able to positively identify the offender as the male who had assaulted her. The offender was placed under arrest by officers from the

17th District.

There is a sense of pride as people talk about the 17th district. It’s not quite in West Philly, but close enough for me. A neighbor comes in sometimes to sit in the living room and chat with my roommate. He is constantly talking about some kind of violence and with a smile, he always tells us about the times he wins the fight. Rarely will he tell us about the times he got mugged or punched in the face.  I hear kids playing with toy guns on our block. The parents laugh and pretend to arrest them as they squeal with laughter.

Late at night the district rolls over. The kids are asleep or crying in their cribs and the parents aren’t so different from the alley cats. I find dark faces creeping along the alleyways, hidden in doorways, asleep in a corner. People watch guard of their corner as big drug deals come in. The men playing dice on the corner laugh loudly and whistle at the girls walking by.  We shut our doors and roll over.

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