Text Message: University Crime Alert

By Lana Spendl

          This piece first appeared in Quarter After Eight (Issue 21)


The University Police Department is investigating
an incident that occurred at approximately 1:30
a.m., in which a water balloon was thrown at a
passerby from a moving vehicle near Lindenwood
and Darby. The car was a shiny black Mazda 3, and
the balloon was filled with cold urine. The victim,
one Jessica Thompson, was heading home after a
successful night at a dance club. Three boys had
bought her drinks, and she had let loose on the
dance floor with her girlfriends after a tough week
of midterm exams. She reports that she said
goodbye to her friend Tina at Tina’s dorm shortly
after 1:00, and that she headed toward her
apartment alone, dizzy with music and possibility
and life. She checked her phone for a text message
from this one boy she had liked at the club. But he
hadn’t texted—although of course, it was still too
early—but she kind of hoped his group of guys
would drunkenly head over to the pizza truck after
leaving the club and that he would invite her along.
Not that she needed immediate contact—she wasn’t
one of those—but she would have liked a little
comment, a little joke, a little invitation, just
something to keep the connection going, something
to show her that he felt the same way. But she
wanted things between them to move organically, of
course. One had to keep things organic. So the boy
had not called or texted or anything, and she felt
disappointed and insulted and a little pissed, and she
turned to cross the street, and that’s when the black
Mazda whooshed by like the car of death and a
woman in a woolen cap leaned out the passenger
window and threw the balloon at Jessica’s head. It
burst against her nose, and a wave of urine washed
over her face and shoulders. Her mouth had been
open. The liquid even went up her nose. Thoughts
of the dance club and the boy vanished and she
screamed in pain and looked around for someone to
help her, someone to run after the horrible car and
dismember its passengers. But to her horror, the
street lay empty and dark. When the squad car
pulled up—after a call in which a female had
muttered obscenities incoherently and managed to
give out the name of the intersection—Jessica was
found lying in a fetal position on a nearby patch of
grass. Her face and neck were smeared with dirt.
She had been chewing on the earth, apparently, in
order to get the taste of urine out of her mouth. She
could not speak. She could not gesture in a
comprehensible way. The policemen thought, at
first, that someone else had called them to check on
her. They attempted to speak to her and pull her up
by the arms but she swung at them wildly and
scratched the side of one’s face. So then they
carried her, kicking and screaming, into the back of
the squad car. Three hours later, at the station, it
was discovered that Jessica had been the victim.
The Mazda 3 was last seen heading north on
Lindenwood. We surmise that there were two or
more people in the car.

In an effort to keep yourself safe, please consider
the following tips:

– Carry money, and ID, and an easily
throwable weapon with you at all times.

– When returning home from a club, do not
walk your friend home first and then walk
alone. Screw your friend.

– When returning home from a club, pin a
note to your jacket that says: “Victim.”

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