Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Luckiest Guy Who's Ever Been Mugged

Yesterday I gave grand jury testimony against the suspects charged with mugging me. I had never been involved with a grand jury until yesterday, and it was a fairly painless process. A grand jury determines whether there is probably cause to indict the defendants, and thereby bring the case to trial. Neither the defendants nor their attorneys are present, which means that I didn't have to face cross examination.

I was there all day, and hung out with the two men who stopped and called 911 for me. I also got to take them out to lunch -- it was the least I could do. In talking to them, I learned that I had an incomplete version of what happened that night. Apparently, when they showed up, they saw my assailants kicking and punching me, repeatedly. One said he initially assumed that he was witnessing a drug deal gone bad, the other thought it looked like they were pounding on a bicycle. I asked the witnesses if they thought my assailants were stopping, or if the assailants only stopped because the witnesses pulled over. Both of them were pretty sure it was the latter, and that the beating would have continued otherwise. One thing I had known but I don't think I've blogged about it -- it turns out that one of the suspects was already awaiting trial for attempted homicide, which involved the use of a gun.

Already I felt pretty relieved that nothing worse happened to me, but now I'm rather astounded at my "good fortune." Reviewing all my lucky breaks:

1. The two witnesses came by when they did to stop the attack. If they had shown up a minute or two earlier, they might only have seen me talking with my assailants. Had they come by a couple of minutes later, I might have been more seriously injured, &/or the assailants would have been long gone.

2. The only thing stolen was my wallet. True, I don't like being out the cash that was in my wallet, and it's a pain to cancel my credit cards and get a new driver's license, but they could have actually used the credit cards, and they could have stolen my car.

3. Despite being beaten, I had no additional broken bones or bruises -- my injuries were consistent enough with being punched out and landing on my left side to support the assumptions I had made about only being punched once and then falling to the ground (though the amount of abrasions on my left side did seem to be a little more than I would have expected).

4. I have no memory of the beating. I don't know whether it's because I blocked it out, or that I was rendered unconscious with the first punch, but whichever it is, I don't think there's any benefit to have that trauma be part of my memory (other than a generalized desire to have my memories intact).

5. The police were out in massive force that night, enabling a fast response to the 911 call, and the arrest of the two suspects.

6. It appears that I'll have no permanent injuries, and if I do, they will be comparatively minor. All that's lingering (beyond another month or so for the two broken bones to completely finish healing) is some numbness in three teeth due to the damaged nerve. All the feeling in the other numbed teeth has returned. One of the three feels 90% of the way back, and the other two are well over 50% of the way back. There's a very good chance that all feeling will return.

At the moment, the trial is scheduled for the start of October, which seems pretty quick to me, being only three months after the attack. I'm a little nervous about having to testify, but regardless, I'm happy that it'll be so soon.