When I was almost stabbed

About four years ago, my friend Will and I had finished a hard day’s car cleaning. We used to go round houses offering our car cleaning services for £3 – 5, depending on the size of the car. Our customers were always happy with the service. We even made leaflets, posted them through people’s letterboxes and waited for the calls. And waited. And waited. Until eventually, someone called! They became one of our loyal customers. It was a relatively easy way of making money.
But anyway, Will and I had finished cleaning some cars, so we decided to go down to Roath Park to relax, to go on the swings, etc. We talked about how successful that day had been. I checked the time. It was coming up to half past three. We decided to leave the park to go home and get some food.
We were walking towards the entrance/exit gate when we were approached by two boys, only just a little older than us. They stopped me and asked what the time was. I said “It’s half past three?”.
They replied rather aggressively – “Half past what?”.
“Half past three…” I told him again.
“Why are you being so fucking cheeky?” came the angry response, “Tell me the fucking time.” It was now clear to me that he wanted me to get my phone out so he could steal it.
“Look, I’ve told you the time. It’s half past three in the afternoon. Please leave me alone.” I answered. I started to cycle past him.
At this point, he pulled out a knife.
I cycled faster until I got part way down the road to a crossing. There were some cars coming. My friend Will was lagging behind too. I paused to look for him. He was cycling towards me, but being followed closely by the two boys. My bike was now the wrong direction to keep on cycling and they had just about caught up with us. “Oh shit…” I thought, thinking that I was going to die very soon.
“Oi, fuck you. Don’t fucking run away from me when I’m fucking talking to you!” came the livid call from the boy with the knife. “Give me fucking 10p!” I was a little astounded at this. Here I am being threatened with a knife, and all for 10p.
“I… Erm… I don’t have 10p on me, sorry.” knowing that if I pulled out my wallet, they’d take it along with my half of the day’s earnings.
“Fucking give me £10 then.”
What? If I don’t have 10p, does he really expect me to have £10?! Alas, I knew I had £10 on me, but I wasn’t going to give it to him. I’d earned that money. I’d worked my arse off for it!
“I don’t have any money on me! Please just leave me alone!”
“No! Give me the money!” and he thrusted the knife towards me, threateningly.
His friend now piped up – “Just do as he says!”
“I can’t! I don’t have any money!”
Will began to recognise them. “You used to go to my primary school, didn’t you?” he asked the accomplice.
“Yeah, that’s right!” he replied.
“Fuck that, I want the money!” his friend interjected. “If you don’t have the money, I want your bike!”
I pleaded with him to leave me alone. He thrusted the knife towards me a few more times. I looked over at Will to see if he had any ideas. He nodded at me to go when he started talking to them. I quickly pulled up onto my bike and cycled right past them. As I did, the one with a knife turned round and tried to stab me in the back. Thankfully, he missed.
I cycled down to the other end of the street. I saw some people and told them that I’d been threatened by someone with a knife and if I should call the police. They just ran away from me. I pulled out my phone and dialed 999, asking for the police. Very soon, an armoured police vehicle came round the corner. Will cycled round the corner, much to my relief.
Apparently, someone across the road had seen what was happening, jumped out of their house and screamed at the boys who then ran away, soon after I left. A park ranger then saw them running and stopped them. The police did a search of the area and very quickly found the boys. The idiot still had the knife on him.
My mum had come down from home at this time and was understandably upset. I couldn’t speak to her on the phone because I was so upset and she only heard “Boys… Knife…” and was worried that I had been stabbed. The police van drove us home.
Later that night, a police officer came and took my statement. The next day, both of the boys had been locked up in a cell to get them to comply.
Will and I were due to give evidence against them in court, but something happened and that changed. The boy with the knife was given a referral order, a bit like bail. He had to go to meetings with counsellors every week for a year. Something like that, at least.
Then there was a meeting between the counsellors, the boy with the knife and me. I asked for a letter of apology, which they promised would be delivered within the month.
It never came.
I later discovered that he was a teenage delinquent who rarely turned up to school and was frequently suspended.

Published by Rhys

Computer Science graduate, from Oxford Brookes University. Originally from Cardiff.

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  1. A friend of mine was mugged and punched for his phone in broad daylight about 5 years ago.

    He made a positive ID from a police car. The mugger and his chums were still in the same place, bold as brass.

    He was told later that no arrests would be made because it was “only a phone and a cut lip, and making an arrest would ultimately cause more trouble”. They didn’t want to “harm community relations” apparently.

    The guy’s dad was an influential head-teacher, kicked up a fuss, it got into the papers, local police chief ending up giving formal apology and promising “guidance” would be re-issued to officers.

    Crazy. It shouldn’t be like that. An offence is an offence, not matter what “community” is involved.

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