My shameful dilemma
Along a reasonably well-heeled street in the Camden area of north London, my attention is first drawn to an argument between a young man and a young woman on my left. And then, 50 yards later, I suddenly see a man in his 20s bashing a much younger woman’s face into the bonnet of a car.
I hear her screams and the man’s shouts, and by the time my bicycle is abreast of them, she is upright, in tears, her face badly marked.
I instinctively intervene and ask if she needs help. The man is in a hyper-paranoid, violent state, and turns fast and menacingly on me, shouting and cursing, and I take to my bike in flight.
I pause further down the road and look back, and there seem to be more people about. I cycle back towards the group, seriously concerned for the young woman’s welfare. And it seems to me the man is standing close to a motor cycle.
The road is straight and somehow enclosed, with few escape points, and I conclude very quickly that if he were to give chase, he’d get me. I retreat, and I think about calling the police. But for some inexplicable reason, I didn’t.
Even now, I don’t really know why not. Somehow I feel that they wouldn’t have taken me seriously and that by the time it was all explained, the incident would have passed and there would only be my account of it.
I don’t often see that sort of thing, and it’s left me with a lot of misgivings.