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I always think Toronto is a safe city and never encounter any troubles walking in downtown. On Christmas Eve, I enjoyed being alone in my building and painting. Winter in Toronto and darkness came early; even it was not 6pm it was very dark outside. I was heading to the subway to go home as usual, I use the same path every night which only a short walk to the subway. I was just a short distance before I reach the subway entrance.
All of sudden, I heard someone running fast behind me and before I knew I was being bear hug from behind. A man’s voice spoke, demanded I gave him my phone! Although I was in shock but still managed to told him I did not own a cell phone.
“I saw you” that was his reply, then I realized he must saw me taking photos a couple of street earlier and mistaken I had a camera phone. He has followed me and wanted to rob me. I had my camera in my coat’s left pocket. On my left shoulder I was carrying a heavy bag full with my art supplies and news paper for my trip home
. My camera is important to me and I use it daily so I was not given up so easily. My instinct was to call for help; I yell “help! Help!, help!, as loud as I could. He tried to cover my mouth with his hand which gave me the chance to bite into his finger as hard as I could.
With the pain on his finger he released his hand from my mouth and tried to slam me against the iron fence next to the walkway. However he was still bear hugging me which make it hard for him to do this. He lost his balance and both of us hit the ground, He was underneath me and because of the cold weather I had on layers of clothing and with him to cushion of my fall. I was not hurt and I kept yelling for help.
Within seconds two men appeared while both of us still on the ground and he still has his holds on me. I told the men to call 911 as I was being robbed.
However the thief claimed I took his phone and he was merely trying to get it back from me. The men seem confuse of who to believe at first. Finally the tall young man made the call and describe what he was seeing to the 911 dispatcher.
Meanwhile, I was able to got up and stand closer to the tall young man and he hand me his phone. I was ask by a woman from 911 to describe the thief, his age, height and his clothing while he was still few feet away from me. As I was on the phone, the thief calmly first walked and then ran away and disappear from our view.
The woman from 911 instructed me to remain on the scene for the police arrival and stay in a safe area where I could see. I thanked the young man for his help and wish him a Merry Christmas he then left. Although I was only feet away from the subway entrance where usually is a busy spot. However being Christmas Eve with all the offices in the area was closed for the holiday and it was an extreme cold night, there were few on the street. After waiting for about 20 minutes I was cold and I feeling rather very unsafe. What if the thief returns? I would not be as lucky as the first time. I decided since I was not hurt and nothing was taken from me. I better leave that area and head home..
Thank goodness you weren’t hurt. That man was very quick to come up with an excuse to confuse bystanders–which probably means he’s a seasoned criminal–and not someone to tangle with. He could have been carrying a weapon and, if so, was probably willing to use it.
I think you are right, he likely not his first. yes, I think I was very lucky not hurt . I will extra careful from now on.
What a harrowing experience. I’m very glad the man didn’t hurt you badly. I hope you will soon recover from this shocking event. I love your work and am always happy to see what you’ve created.
It was very scary if the men didn’t showed up I don’t know what would happened . I won’t use that part of the street to the subway anymore.