At 3:00 in the morning last Thursday night, Logan ran into our room to tell us that teenagers were yelling outside our house. As soon as I woke up, I heard the yelling too. I quickly ran to the hallway and peeked out. I saw one man, certainly not a teenager, on our front walkway and a cab parked at the end of the walkway. The yelling and screaming was loud and frightening.
I should mention here that our house sits about 10-15 feet away from the street. If you are on our walkway, you are very close to our front door, which is mostly glass. Sound penetrates it easily.
Ryan woke up and we filled him in as I searched for a phone to call the police. The yelling got louder and someone started screaming for help. I was on hold waiting for a 911 operator. I tried another phone to see if my phone was broken - I had never heard of waiting for an operator. The other phone had the same results. After what seemed like 10 minutes, I was able to ask for police. The 911 operator said the fight had been called in by several other people. The police had been dispatched.
All during this time, we were panicked. The yelling was loud, it sounded like multiple people were beating on one person and that person was calling for help. Ryan kept us quiet with the lights off and away from the door because he was afraid that they would try to get into the house. At this point, we could only hear what was happening, and we did not know if anyone had a gun or a knife.
As we were hiding out in our dark bedroom which is in the very back of the house, I heard Ben yell out. The noise had woken him up. Ben crawled his way past the doorway and made it to safety. I later set him up with a video and he was happy as a clam.
Finally, the police arrived. I say "finally" because it seemed like forever, but in reality it was 2-3 minutes. With the man yelling "help" repeatedly, the decision to stay or help was weighing on my soul. Choosing the life of a stranger over the safety of our own family was not one Ryan nor I were willing to make.
An ambulance and a fire truck arrived. We still had not ventured out from the back of the house, so we could not see what exactly was going on. I was convinced they found a dead body. (I do have a wild imagination.) Ryan went outside to see what happened, but was not given any information.
After about 90 minutes, the police knocked on our door. They told us that three blocks away, a drunken bicyclist put his hand through the rear window of a cab, smashing the glass. He took off and the cab driver followed him. The bicycler stopped at our house and ran to our front door. The cab driver grabbed him and dragged him down our steps, thus scraping the bicyclist's knee. I am not clear on this point, but one of these two men were calling the police while the other kept knocking the phone out of the other's hand. The bicyclist's injured hand spurted blood all over our steps and walkway.
The reason the police were knocking on our door was to tell us that due to liability issues, the fire department would not clean up the blood. Logan was with us listening to every word and when we finally looked past the officers, we saw the blood everywhere. Logan broke down crying. He had been a brave soul throughout the entire ordeal. It was a lot for a little boy, not to mention his adult parents, to take in.
With the police's declaration of not cleaning the blood, in my sleep deprived, scared out of my wits state, I said, "My husband has a power washer and it should do the trick."
The crime scene was cleared, everyone had left and with adrenaline still coursing through his veins, Ryan cleaned the blood from the porch, steps and walkway. A guy with bushy hair and beard with a busted hand and knee walked up to him. He apologized for the blood and was wondering if he could look for the eye glasses he lost during the fight. All Ryan said was, "The blood is the least of my problems."
A neighbor across the street sent a text to see if we were okay. They too were terrified and were hunkered down in their home.
We all agreed not to tell Sean because he never woke up during the night. The blood was clear and nothing else would have clued him into something strange happening in the middle of the night.
First words out of Sean's mouth when he awoke, "Did you hear all that noise last night? Some people woke me up. I thought it was a dream and then I took away the sleep and the yelling was still there." I asked if he was scared. "No." I think he rolled over and went back to sleep.
Logan told a few friends at school about the story. He said half of them did not believe him.
On Sunday morning, we saw who we think was the bicyclist riding around - we all chuckled.
We laugh about it now, but it was one of the most frightening moments in our lives.