The Chainlink

If you haven’t already, be sure to read Chapter 1 of our saga: http://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/the-bike-thief-chapter-1-its


Now then.  Before we go any further, I suppose I should fill an important omission, one critical to our story and which may offer a reasonable explanation of my bold behavior to anyone who has ever laid eyes upon me.


My many years of living in the ghetto have left their mark in the form of a general distrust involving a constant reckoning of danger, the sizing up of each and every passerby and, most importantly to our story, a hands-on manner of dealing with crime which requires being properly armed.


Through my exhaustive testing process I have determined that Guard Alaska brand bear repellent is a highly effective pepper spray product, reliable, and good for groups of up to and including six attackers.  (Look for the label with the peaceable Grizzly bear.)  I rarely leave home without it.

So, gentle reader, I admit only now that I had readied the canister immediately after phoning the police, popped the safety before giving chase and had held the weapon with both hands, at arms length and pointed directly at the face of the Bike Thief throughout the entirety of my shouted instructions.


In light of this information, my actions may appear more sane to you.  However, the reverse could be
said for those of the Bike Thief., who, despite my many warnings continued to defy instructions.  What was going through his mind or what he was fishing for in his pocket I knew not, nor did I desire to find out.

And so, let us return to our last scene:

“TAKE YOUR HAND OUT OF YOUR F*CKING POCKET!!!” I screamed.

The Bike Thief took a step closer.  I was surprised but not shocked.  I was steadfast in my resolve. 

I figuratively, and quite literally, opened up a can of whoop-ass on him.

As stated, I have used this product in the past.  Once, I sprayed a burglar at 15’, lightly connecting.  He proceeded to drive down my alley in reverse, slamming into trash barrels as he went.

Another time, I unloaded it on four 15 y/o ghetto punks trying to drag me from my bike.  Again I didn’t get a direct hit, but they all trotted off spitting and sneezing.  I rode home unscathed.

Hell, I even sprayed myself once, inadvertently.  (Although Johnny Knoxville is a childhood hero of mine).  I’d left the safety guard off and elbowed the trigger-- yes drunkenly-- in my very own kitchen.  The short, indirect burst produced about 4 cups of mucus over the next 20 minutes and a new appreciation for weapons safety procedure.

I have, however, never scored such a direct hit as I did that fine spring day.

The cone of the spray is reminiscent of a small fire extinguisher.  It diminishes to a 5’ x 5’ cloud at maybe 20’ from the nozzle.  (You should not wish to be in this cloud.)  The Bike Thief was standing approximately 7’ away and it seemed to me not a drop of the jet made it past his face.


He turned from me, wiping his face, spitting.  Then, angry, he turned and advanced at me AGAIN.


I was surprised but not shocked.  I have carefully learned not to blow my entire wad initially, partly as the effects take a moment to ‘come on’.  Again I blasted him, with an even more direct

hit at a closer range of 5’.  This time it seemed as I must be pumping the stuff directly down his trachea and slowly filling his lungs.


Apparently I was.  The Bike Thief backed off sputtering, coughing and shaking his head violently.  He removed his thick square glasses, now completely opaque with the bright orange residue. He began to moan, cry and wheeze all at once, a horrific sound that would haunt my dreams for the next several evenings.

The Bike Thief began to stagger off and I followed.  My heart pounding, I again dialed 9-1-1.  “I’m… I’m in the 6100 N. Block… of Damen Av.” I said wrongly.  “No.  Wait.  I’m in an alley… I’m parallel to Damen walking south…” vainly attempting to give our location. 

The Bike Thief was now 25’ or so ahead.  In a last ditch attempt to elude capture, he spun on his heels, threw his arms across his face and charged me at full speed, emitting a high, desperate squeal. 

Now I was shocked.  I sidestepped a bit, but he rapidly closed in.  I was holding the cellular in my right hand and the canister in only my less dexterous left.  But I waited for it.  At about 3’ I blasted him a third and final time.  His momentum carried him forward, but at about 3 inches away from me, he could stand no more and aborted his assault. 

It could NOT have been any closer.  The half pound canister was completely drained.  This, coupled with not wanting to leave the unsecured bikes led me to abandon the chase.


“Sir… Are you THERE, Sir?” the dispatcher asked impatiently.  I assured her that, praise be to Allah, I was.  I slowly and calmly relayed the information from my original call along with an update in regards to the BikeThief’s bright orange hue and direction of travel.  She indicated she would pass the information on to the police. “I sure would appreciate that” I stammered, uncertain as to whether I was being sincere or sarcastic.


There had been some blow back of the substance discharging at such close range and my face began to burn a little.  I made mental note of this fact casually, as the adrenaline coursing in my veins would have made bullet wounds seem like flea bites.  I wandered as if in slow motion, back to the bikes scattered in the alley. 

For some reason, I was startled to find the Aldi bag containing the cordless angle grinder, a Ryobi model. 

At the time, his loss of the tool seemed both to add to his punishment and my satisfaction and seemed to make the world a safe place again.  Unfortunately, a brief internet search shows these retailing for a mere $56, or $20 on the black market. 

The bag also contained the remnants the compromised lock, a Kryptonite Evolution 2000 mini
cleanly severed in two places. 

I collected the evidence and the bikes and rode back to the street awaiting the arrival of the proper authorities.

UPDATE-- Chapter 3

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Replies to This Discussion

I can only hope the thief's friends read this and nickname him Grizzly. Or maybe Boo-Boo.
TC, it's a great yarn. But there's one thing that is bothering me. One thing that seems so unlikely, so fishy, so extreme, that credibility is questioned and my ability to suspend disbelief is strained.

An ALDI bag?!? ALDI doesn't give out free bags! Their groceries are cheap, but to get a bag you've got to pay the piper. And unlike the shopping carts you don't get your quarter back.

Anyway, please continue on with your tale.
I love this story! I suspect it's going to sell a lot of bear repellent...
Great tale so far. I have to commend you for showing restraint and not taking the opportunity to wail on this d-bag on behalf of theft victims all over the city!
Even though I know how this story ends, it is Still Awesome.

What I don't get: why would the thief take the broken lock with him? It's just more weight and evidence against him. There should be a PSA explaining to bike thieves that they should leave the broken lock at the scene so the victim can at least collect insurance from the lock company.
heather - this is a good point; but I always have to remind myself that crackheads are not capable
of thinking straight. they are strung out and burned out. their minds are long gone.

and I am sure Aldi bags can be found anywhere : alley garbage cans, dumpsters, or blowin' in the wind.
Heck - I found a $10 bill in my front yard Sunday morning...good time for finding stuff in my experience.

db

heather stratton said:
Even though I know how this story ends, it is Still Awesome.

What I don't get: why would the thief take the broken lock with him? It's just more weight and evidence against him. There should be a PSA explaining to bike thieves that they should leave the broken lock at the scene so the victim can at least collect insurance from the lock company.
I receive many many reports of thefts from the same place (Ravenswood metra stop is currently the big "star".)
Probably makes sense if you're likely to be seen frequently in the same location not to leave clues for the casual observer as to what you were up to.
I'd say about 3/4 of the U-lock reports I receive have no traces of the lock.

heather stratton said:
Even though I know how this story ends, it is Still Awesome.

What I don't get: why would the thief take the broken lock with him? It's just more weight and evidence against him. There should be a PSA explaining to bike thieves that they should leave the broken lock at the scene so the victim can at least collect insurance from the lock company.
Maybe thieves think that if they take the lock it will look like they lost the key and just had to cut it off to get their bike, but if they cut it and leave it then it is obviously a theft to any potential observers.

H3N3 said:
I receive many many reports of thefts from the same place (Ravenswood metra stop is currently the big "star".)
Probably makes sense if you're likely to be seen frequently in the same location not to leave clues for the casual observer as to what you were up to.
I'd say about 3/4 of the U-lock reports I receive have no traces of the lock.

heather stratton said:
Even though I know how this story ends, it is Still Awesome.

What I don't get: why would the thief take the broken lock with him? It's just more weight and evidence against him. There should be a PSA explaining to bike thieves that they should leave the broken lock at the scene so the victim can at least collect insurance from the lock company.
The only thing more amazing than this story would be if Mr. T.C. O'Rourke had been wielding dual bear pepper spray bottles. One for each eye.

Question: Can the stuff cause permanent damage? I hope so.
i don't feel very sorry for the thief, but i'm guessing TC is lucky that the guy didn't have asthma. An attack could've been fatal. i for one would hate to do time for offing a crook...

About the only real problem with administering greaser justice (as we used to call it back in the day...) is that it often makes the thief sneakier and meaner rather than reformed.

Ryan said:
The only thing more amazing than this story would be if Mr. T.C. O'Rourke had been wielding dual bear pepper spray bottles. One for each eye.

Question: Can the stuff cause permanent damage? I hope so.
TC didn't spray him for attempting to flee. He sprayed because he was being charged. At that point it is self defense. I'd expect that to greatly lessen the risk of any criminal charges or conviction.

And this wasn't intended to be vigilante justice, the cops had been called.

mike w. said:
i don't feel very sorry for the thief, but i'm guessing TC is lucky that the guy didn't have asthma. An attack could've been fatal. i for one would hate to do time for offing a crook...
About the only real problem with administering greaser justice (as we used to call it back in the day...) is that it often makes the thief sneakier and meaner rather than reformed.
Ryan said:
The only thing more amazing than this story would be if Mr. T.C. O'Rourke had been wielding dual bear pepper spray bottles. One for each eye.

Question: Can the stuff cause permanent damage? I hope so.
Right... to come pick up the body.

Todd Allen said:
TC didn't spray him for attempting to flee. He sprayed because he was being charged. At that point it is self defense. I'd expect that to greatly lessen the risk of any criminal charges or conviction.

And this wasn't intended to be vigilante justice, the cops had been called.

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