Ever since I was 16, I would regularly travel down to Baltimore and spend time in my favorite city. I always avoided the touristy stuff and typically hung out in either midtown Baltimore or the western part near Camden Yards. I’ve always rocked the local mentality while I’ve stayed in the city because I know the best places for whatever; food, views, and art.
I woke up super late and had plans to go the flower festival in midtown in the early afternoon and go painting near the Bromo Seltzer Art Tower in the west end at night.
I went to the flower festival and found this stand that sold vintage concert posters. There was one from Lollapalooza II with Pearl Jam on it that caught my eye and I picked it up. The car was a couple blocks away in a parking garage. I walked the few blocks and up the several flights of stairs to get there. I walked towards the car and it didn’t look right. I walked closer. The passenger side window was smashed out and receipts and papers that were formerly tucked in the seat pouch were thrown everywhere in the car. The glove compartment broken into. Money for tolls that had been hidden away had been found and stolen.
The first thing I did was panic. The second thing I did was call the police around 12:45. I notified them what happened and they said they’d send people over to investigate and assist. At 1:15, I had not heard or seen anything so I called them back. They said someone had been dispatched. In the mean time, I called insurance to see if I could find an auto repair place to fix the window or at least give a temporary cover. They gave me a place that was about 20 minutes away. I wrote the address down and plugged it into my phone. It was then about 1:45. Still no sign of the police. I called them back and asked for a status and was told the same thing again. Around 2:00 or so I decided to leave because I didn’t think they would ever show up.
As glass was flying off the car, I made it to suburban Baltimore. As I was talking to the guy working on the window, I asked how common it was for an incident like this to happen in that part of the city. He told me that he works on cars from the Baltimore area with the exact same issue on a regular basis and said we were lucky it wasn’t worse. It was a little after 3:30 and I was looking at the job he did on the car and I got a phone call from the Baltimore police asking where I was because they were where I had originally called from. I told them I had to leave the area or I wouldn’t have been able to get the car worked on to go home. They said “okay” and hung up.
But think about it. They got there THREE hours after my initial call. Anything could have happened in those three hours. Vandals could have been waiting for me with a weapon or I could have been held up because nobody was in that section of the garage. The 90 mile ride home was very loud and cold with wind blowing through the temporary window. I came home two days sooner than anticipated.
With the incident occuring, I have no plans on going back to where I grew up ever again. I also learned to have an extreme amount of disgust with the police. The police station is pretty close to where I was and they could have even walked from the station to help me out. But no. It took them three hours to get any kind of communication from them. I felt disregarded by the police and that my problem meant nothing to them because it took them so long to even correspond with me in any form. I grew up respecting the police and admiring their work. When I was younger, I even wanted to be a police officer. But given the events of today, my opinion and views on law enforcement has changed.