Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Lefty grrrl

In the big, wide-open internet, where self-publishing implies that anyone is entitled to read and comment, bloggers critiquing other bloggers would seem to be a normal, healthy function. However, it can also give offense. I have been reading the blog of Lefty Grrrl only a short while, and I hope not to give offense, but I do have some doubts about her fiancé's account of a fight he was in. If you're reading this, Architect Boy, know that I respect what I've heard about you in LG's blog, that you are trying to escape the bonds of a knotted past and ascend to the light of a brighter day.

These are just my thoughts, and while the story is suspect in my mind, I acknowledge up front that the story could be 100-percent, entirely true. And my suspicions could be just a factor of how my brain works.

I asked LG about the first version of the fight that she posted on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 ("Fight Night"). It contained a description of a cop talking to some guys after a fight near a bar, and letting them go without checking ID, even though one combatant was comatose and unresponsive. That didn't seem likely to me, and LG says she woke up AB in order to straighten it out. She relates that she originally had the story wrong, and that AB had told her he fled the scene before the cops arrived.

Fair enough. I thought no more of it. But then I woke up yesterday morning thinking about the parts of the story which still arouse my suspicions. Those of you who know me know I am a trusting soul with a keenly suspicious mind.

The fight happened one night when AB was serving as designated driver at a bar. Allow me to offer my excerpted summary of the account AB gave LG. As such, it may contain inaccuracies:

A girl had come up to Jason's friend and they stood at the bar drinking and talking. I guess she held his hand or kissed his cheek or some little form of affection. Her boyfriend saw it happen ... [and] ... got angry at Jason's friend and he recruited his boys and they jumped Jason's friend in the alley as they left.

[Just prior to the attack] ... Jason was ready to leave which was fine by AB. They walked to the car. As they were walking, Jason got a call on his Nextel - it was one of his friends, telling him to come back and help because one of their buddies was getting jumped by eleven guys. So instead of letting Jason go back alone, AB went too.

When they got to the alley behind the club, Jason's friend and his other two buddies were getting worked over pretty badly by eleven guys. AB and Jason jumped in. AB started trying to peel a guy off one of Jason's friends. The guy was drunk and AB succeeded in pulling him off the guy, but he wouldn't let go of AB. AB body-slammed him over and over again, yelling at the guy to just let go. As this was happening, two guys started kicking AB in the shoulder.

AB stopped bodyslamming when he saw police lights. He was still on parole. He and Jason fled the scene before the police arrived.

This account was given to LG by AB at about 3:30 AM the night of the fight, when he came home and she was waiting in his bed, as a surprise.

My doubts are as follows:

  1. Note that we are instructed as to AB's intent: He was leaving, but got drawn into a fight that took him wholly by surprise, but in which he reacted nobly.

  2. When 11 guys confront and attack one guy, his buddies usually stand with him, or at least are watched with suspicion by the 11 guys, to make sure they don't interfere with 'justice.' It is unlikely that one of the guys could have made a phone call. Indeed, by the time AB and Jason get there, the other two guys mentioned are being worked over pretty badly. That the 11 would let one of the three make a phone call is unlikely.

  3. It does not take 11 guys very long to smack down one guy. Only moments are required, even when tough-guy trash talk is delivered along with the blows. A phone call takes a long time to dial, connect, and complete. And it takes some time for Jason and AB to return. The short amount of time required for 11 guys to beat up and humiliate one guy (or three) adds to the unlikeliness that someone would have made a phone call to Jason.

  4. Making a phone call when your buddy is being attacked is not normal. You would tend to try to defend him, and be drawn into the fight, as we are told the other two with him were.

  5. If they thought AB and Jason were close enough to help, given that quick help is required when the odds are 11 to three, they would have shouted, instead of wasting time with a phone call.

  6. The odds of 11 to one, or 11 to three, seem made up to me, as if someone were trying to paint a quick, convincing portrait of a noble cause de guerre.

  7. Given the statistical distribution of body mass in the general population, it seems unlikely that AB and his four pals would have been able to acquit themselves so well at 11 to five odds. Either AB is one huge martial arts expert, or the 11 attackers were slender and effeminate, like me. Maybe one or two of them even had ALS.

  8. The account of AB being able to peel a drunk off of his buddy, but unable to dispose of the drunk, seems unlikely. It also throws into doubt the prowess required of AB in the previous point.

  9. The account of the drunk refusing to let go of AB, as AB repeatedly body-slams him, while AB shouts at him over and over to just let go, seems manufactured to transfer blame to the other guy. This is the sort of lie a little boy tells to his mother. "I didn't want to hurt him, but he just kept coming at me -- even though I told him to just let go!"

  10. The idea that AB would have the time to repeatedly slam a guy ("over and over again, yelling at the guy to just let go") in an 11-to-five conflict is not credible. We are told that some guys kicked AB in the shoulder while he slammed the drunk. At odds of greater than two to one, AB would never have had the time to knock the guy out in the drawn-out fashion described.

  11. And why the shoulder instead of the head, as the slams were being delivered "over and over?"

  12. It does seem credible to me that the drunk wound up unconscious and unmoving. If AB had been in a fight, this is not something AB would make up. While all the rest of the story seems constructed to make AB seem blameless, the limp body arouses concern in LG about a possible homicide, and indicates that AB himself was worried and uncertain about the drunk's fate. The story wholly absolves AB from responsibility for the drunk's fate, and for this reason the condition of the drunk at the end of the story is credible.

  13. AB saw police lights and fled. We are not told that he heard a siren. The time required for passersby or bar patrons to place a call to the police, and for the police to respond, is long (like the supposed duration of the "over and over" body slamming). AB and his four friends would not have lasted that long against 11-to-five odds. Especially not if a sober AB was unable to dispose of a drunk. AB came home under his own power, with no broken limbs.

  14. Why would a cop responding to a report of a bar brawl approach with sirens off?

  15. I don't know how you can just "stop" bodyslamming and exit stage left in the middle of a big brawl. The other combatants may seek to hold your gang to hand over to the cops, hoping to stick you with the blame -- "We saw these five guys beating up this guy, and we just ran up and caught them" -- particularly when one guy is down and appears to be unconscious. AB will likely say that everyone saw the police lights and just fled simultaneously. But since there is no account of a siren, and some had their backs turned, how likely is that? AB is likely to say that one of the 11 called out "Jets! Cops! Let's blast outta here!" That's credible, but convenient.

  16. Note also that the young woman is portrayed interacting with one of Jason's friends. Like transferring the blame to the drunk for refusing to let go, this account safely puts the flirting off on someone else. LG has described AB as hot, as no doubt he is. One wonders who flirted with the woman in the bar.

So the story appears to me as a confused, unlikely account designed to exculpate the teller from blame. Still, it might be true. How could I know?

Here's what I think may have happened:

AB was talking to the woman at the bar, when her boyfriend got upset. He threatened AB, and attacked him. AB reacted to being hit or pushed, and they fought. They got kicked out of the club. The guy found a blunt instrument and hit AB on the shoulder. AB wrested the implement from the guy and hit him over the head with it. The guy went down, and did not move. AB was worried, but two or three of the guy's friends were coming. He managed to flee.

This version can be expanded to include multiple combatants on both sides, but the 11-to-five odds mentioned by AB make me think that, if anything. AB's gang outnumbered the opponents.
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