In lower Manhattan, in Battery Park, a young Korean-American man ran past a senior woman, grabbed her purse out of her hands, and sprinted. She screamed and caught the attention of a cop. The young cop was quicker than the thief and ran down the Asian who didn’t resist. The cop frisked the man over his black leather jacket which had the insignia “On the Road to Hell”. The man still gripped the purse.
“You’re going to jail for a while my friend.”
The young man looked shocked. All he said was, “Why?”
“You have someone else’s money here pal.” The cop gritted his teeth, and he snarled his words as he grabbed the purse.
“No. It’s my money,” the young man said almost timidly.
The police officer scoffed, “Oh, smart aleck, hey?”
The two men were drawing a crowd.
The Korean asked, “Who are you?”
The cop was surprised at that one. “A New York City police officer.”
“No. I don’t believe you. I think you’re the Mafia. You’ve come to kill me. Just do it. Get it over with.”
Then it began to register with the officer. He had studied this in training. What he had was a psychotic man unless he was a very good faker. The officer was aware of the bystanders and knew he must do something.
“Buddy, I think you’re off your rocker. Come with me. I’m taking you to the hospital.”
The people who had been watching it all looked at the purse in the officer’s hand.
“What about the purse?” someone shouted.
“I’m giving it back to its owner,” said the cop handing it over to the elderly woman. “I’ll need no evidence. There is no crime.”
Shock registered on the faces of several in the crowd. Relief came over the faces on others.
One guy said to a man next to him, “Just act crazy and you can do just about anything under the sun.”
A middle-aged woman who looked like she might have been a librarian or something similar said, “Shame on you two. Can’t you see that young man was very sick?”
The first guy said, “You’d feel differently if he had grabbed your purse, lady.”
“I’d consider it an inconvenience, but I wouldn’t want him to go to jail. He needs help.”
“It’s you do-gooders why we have a problem,” said the second man, puffing on a cigar.