Cliff was on the phone. “I couldn’t believe it! It was broad daylight! These criminals have no conscience, no morals. They beat up and rob old people. They kidnap and rape young women. It’s getting to the point where no one is safe anytime or anywhere.” Cliff’s wife had recently been punched, kicked, and robbed on a warm, sunny day. She had a black eye, sore ribs, and abrasions on her left elbow where she had been knocked to the pavement.
Janelle had gone to Santa Anita mall to buy a new pair of shoes. JC Penney was having a sale. As usual, the huge parking lot was crowded. The nearest parking spot she could find was almost 100 yards past the mall’s north entrance. She got out of her car and started walking south toward JC Penney, the mall’s northernmost anchor store.
She had only walked about 20 feet when she heard something behind her. She turned around. A hooded figure got out of the passenger side of a black Mustang. He walked right up to her. She clutched her purse. He punched her. She fell to the pavement, stunned. The man grabbed her purse. She held tight, until he kicked her in her side. She screamed in pain and let go of her purse. The man yelled something at her and got back into the Mustang. She heard laughter as it drove off.
A minute later, another car pulled up. A woman got out and asked Janelle what was wrong. Janelle was crying. The woman called the police, and helped Janelle to her feet. A police car arrived about 10 minutes later. The officer called for an ambulance, but Janelle said to forget it. She knew that most Los Angeles area hospitals were usually overcrowded with emergency room patients. Even if the ambulance managed to find a hospital that wasn’t too overcrowded, she would have to wait hours before an emergency room doctor would see her and treat her. I could go online and learn how to treat myself by then, or maybe even be completely healed, Janelle thought.