Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I got beat up on the Las Vegas strip
They say what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I hope so. I don’t want that kind of thrash and trash in MY neighborhood.
The day started out very peaceful. I was in Vegas for Blogworld/New Media Expo. Got up early – after all I’m operating on Central Time, two hours ahead of Pacific time – and surveyed the area for good photos spots. I found a parking ramp was good for different elevated shots and intended to go back the next day. Of course, I wasn’t planning on being in the emergency room when the next day began.
The question needs to be asked at some where here, at what point do you stop protecting your camera? I shielded mine and protected it – but at a personal cost. I usually take one or of the other of my cameras when I go for a hike or a walk. In this case, I opted for my Nikon D300 instead of my little point and shoot Pentax. I wish I hadn’t.
About 8:00, I got to The Strip and walked from the Flamingo Casino area down the strip toward Bally’s. I should have known what I was in for when I got off the monorail. There at the base of the steps from the Monorail elevated platform, on the street was a shabbily dressed fellow trying to find a place to pee.
He found a spot. I walked around him and the puddle he was making.
It was a busy night on The Strip, but then I assume they all are that way. I walked past a street musician playing the old Leadbelly tune, Midnight Special. After I walked past, I thought that would make a good “touristy” shot of the casinos in the background and this guy playing. You can imagine the photo. It’s a common kind of photo.
He and his buddy were quite drunk. I spose you can get away with that on The Strip. Wouldn’t happen here. I guess what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. They may have been more than drunk, I don’t know. But what I do know is that before I could turn and walk away, I was accosted by first one, then another, then a group of men who wanted me to pay them for the photo I took of the musician. I laughed. Gave them a business card and tried to walk way.
For the third time in our brief encounter, one man tried to spit on me, this time, spitting in his hand and slapping me on the side of the face from behind. (That's him on the left in the grey tshirt and tan shorts with the tat on his calf. I remember the tat cuz when I was on the ground and he was kicking me, I stood up and grabbed that leg, upending him.)
I turned and wailed on him and then, all hell broke loose as they jumped me.
I huddled over my camera protecting it as I went down. I remember hearing men saying, “Oh oh. Let’s not go there.” It was a crowded sidewalk, but no one stopped to help.
Women were shrieking and one was saying, “Stay away from my aunt. Don’t hurt my aunt.”
It’s like they thought we were playing hacky sack or something.
Not one person offered to either help me, nor take my camera.
Finally, while on the ground, I got my camera set down on the sidewalk, stood up and did battle. It took about 5 seconds for the cowards to freak out.
By then I had blood running down my face. I picked up my camera and headed in to the nearest casino to try to get help. Stupid me.
“We’re not with the casino,” they answered when I asked them to call the cops.
“You’re with the human race, aren’t you?” I angrily retorted. They didn’t move to call anyone.
“What do I need to do? Scream? Shout?” I threatened. They then called Security.
A couple of uniformed men sauntered over after a while and immediately shuttled me in to a hidden room where gamblers didn’t have to be freaked by the blood. They called an ambulance and there I found the first two professional and down to earth people. Ron and Nick. They got me ready for the trip to the hospital, but we waited for the police. And waited. And waited.
When no cops showed, we went to Sunrise Hospital Medical Center in Vegas. I got my tour of the strip out the back window of the ambulance. There, a P.A. Leila and a nurse Kim showed care and cleaned up my blood and let me talk. I needed to talk. They let me. The four of them, Nick, Ron, Leila and Kim were the best things to happen to me that night.
Hours later, still no cops. Finally, almost 4 hours after the incident, the cops showed up, took my statement and a couple photos.
I got stitched up, and my friend from Blogworld, Julie came via taxi to give me a ride back to the hotel.
I’m still quite angry about the whole deal.
Las Vegas cops are too busy to respond to a simple assault of a tourist.
Tourists in Vegas are too busy to respond to someone needing their help
What happens in Vegas, I hope stays in Vegas. I don’t want that stuff here.
And oh – next time I won’t let $3,000 worth of camera gear get in the way of letting a bunch of pukes know the fear of my fists.
p.s. To get my mojo back, Julie and I went the next day to the LV Harely shop and Arlen Ness shop. That helped. Finally, on a hike of Mt. Charleston (30 miles outside of Las Vegas) my mojo returned.