On my lunch break, I went to the bank. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I felt the unfortunate lumpty-lump of a flat. I pulled over to address the problem. Tightening the last bolt on my spare, I heard a violent vroom and screech, looked up, and saw a small white SUV smash up onto the curb of the neutral ground, round the corner, and crash into a van parked directly across the street from me.
The driver door swung open and a teenage kid bolted down the street, around the corner, and out of sight. The back hatch popped open and another kid tried to lunge out, but a pair of arms belonging to an undetermined third occupant clasped firmly to his ankle. As I dialed 911, he bucked and wiggled, lost his shoe, and finally broke free.
He dashed across the street, towards me. A group of construction workers tackled him to the ground. (They started beating on him. Another lady and I hollered at them to stop hitting him and wait for the cops.)
By chance, a police car showed up at that moment. They cuffed the kid. The third occupant, the owner of the car, emerged, with blood streaming down his face. He was an off-duty police officer. They'd carjacked his vehicle.
As I was giving my statement, the cuffed youngster protested, "I'm twelve. I never touched the wheel."
Twelve. The same age as the kids I'll be teaching. It's a reminder that, in this business I'm entering, the stakes are high. If they make a wrong turn, they don't go to a second-tier college. They go to jail or worse.
Quite a lunch.