Sunday, June 20, 2010

June 19 Riverwest Patrol

The Watchman on Center Street

I've been hearing some ugly stories about people getting mugged the last couple weeks here in Riverwest, including someone I know getting held up at gunpoint. Because of this your local real life superheroes want to get out on the street more often.

I joined The Watchman out on patrol Saturday night. My downstairs neighbor was having a birthday party/ ping pong tournament/ heavy metal bonfire, so I slipped out of the party and into the Watchmanmobile. The Watchman had fashioned a new mask- a combination of an older one and red fabric. The trouble with the old one was that it was too hot- didn't breath properly and also reduced hearing capability. We checked out Reservoir Park, walking to the top of the hill and back down the bike path.

I brought my longboard along, so on occasion I cruised on ahead a block, or skated around the block, keeping in touch with Watchman by walkie-talkie.

As we turned a corner, we saw the doorman of the Riverhorse Tavern hanging around outside the front door. He saw us and nodded and said-
"What up, Watchman."

It was very quiet on the streets, which is very, very odd. The weather was hot, so usually you see groups of people walking around or hanging out on porches. We did see some of that and some backyard parties, but not a lot. Even Center Street seemed kind of dead. There was a show going on at Stonefly Brewing Company,and some bad karaoke coming out of House of Frank-N-Stein. Other than that not much, not even the steady foot traffic between Riverhorse Tavern and Mad Planet.

We patrolled in a kind of circle form- Weil to Booth and Hadley to Meinecke.

The only incident we encountered was three drunk dudes, across the street from Riverhorse. One of them was really enthusiastic to see Watchman. He asked Watchman what the "W" on his chest stood for, then said something like-
"Hell yeah dude, that's what we need- some vigilantes out there!"
As they continued walking down the street one of them threw a beer bottle, shattering it in the middle of Center Street.

Why do people do crap like that?

We weren't sure if we should dodge traffic and clean up the glass or tail the inebriated bottle smashers. We decided to follow and see where they went and if they were heading toward more trouble. On the next block they got in their car and headed home. They were gone before we could see a plate.
Hopefully the driver was the sober one and they headed home instead continuing on elsewhere.

At this point I cruised off on my longboard.

Watchman returned to the scene of the crime and removed the beer bottle neck and large pieces of glass and handed them to the doorman at Stonefly Brewing Company to recycle.

Blackbird wasn't able to make it out, although I know Bird has been patrolling Riverwest recently, doing late night solo patrols.

Another patrol is being planned for sometime in the next couple weeks.

PS- I wrote about Watchman and other RLSH parents in my third column over at FORCES OF GEEK, titled "Super Parents."

The author hanging ten on the longboard


  1. So a night of a RLSH patrolling and when he actually finds a problem he does nothing?

    From reading various patrol logs stopping drunk drivers is one of the few things a RLSH can actually accomplish that is for the betterment of society with out looking like a tool.

    Apparently Watchmen does not know how to use his gimmick properly.

    When the three exuberant intoxicated lads engaged him in conversation he should have chatted them up for information (names, where are you going, how much have you had to drink.. ect.).

    If they were pro vigilante justice I am sure they would have had no problems calling a cab or getting a ride home from a Real Life Superhero... especially in front of a reporter.

    It is nice he removed the broken glass from the road.. but you do not need a costume to do that.

  2. Well, I don't know- drunk people are pretty common on Center Street, it's hard to know how drunk any particular person is, who is getting into potential trouble and who is partying responsibly.

    Also in cases like this things are confusing- I may not have illustrated that point enough. We had already crossed the street, and heard the bottle smash but didn't see it happen so at first I thought it may have come from a different source across the street.

    In any case, you're right- while the three guys were in front of us, we should have expanded dialog talking to them, asking them (in a casual way) what their names were, etc.

    I don't know- it's a hard call- on one hand you don't want to let someone go get in a car drunk or walk into another bar and cause a fight, but at the same time you don't want to walk up and down the street interrogating people who are just having a good time.