Thursday, June 21, 2007

And No One Stopped...

Last Friday night,I was attacked from behind, twirled around and thrown face-first into the concrete under an overpass.

The cowards who did it may or may not have realized that I am female. I was dressed in a long-sleeved knit shirt, a hooded sweatshirt and a big, grey jacket. And both of the hoods were pulled over my head.

This is what happened:

I was coming back from Bellingham, Washington. I hitchhiked to a rest area off of Interstate 5 heading south, near the Oregon border in southern Washington State.

A man picked me up and took me through downtown Portland and around to a ramp where I-205 splits off from I-84 heading west and east.

I told him that if I stood there without a sign on that busy ramp that nobody would know which direction I was heading. I also noticed that the ramp was crowded with traffic and there was no safe place for a driver to stop to pick me up.

So the idiot drove me down the ramp and scooted over to where I-84 east starts to split off and left me there on the median.

Mr. Brilliant.

"I don't want to get off's night and this is dangerous!" I said to the man.

He just reached over me and opened the passenger-side door and told me to get out.

I walked up the breakdown lane, with heavy traffic behind me, waving my flashlight and hoped that I wouldn't get hit.

Then I spotted an exit ramp that said "Exit 22 Hood River Columbia Gorge."

I scrambled up the ramp as fast as I could and then it started to rain.

On that night, Portland wasn't warm and I decided to stay dry underneath the overpass until morning.

I sat on my pack, well away from the traffic and looked around.

That's when the cowards jumped me from behind.

I remember the feeling of my face, the face that has laughed and smiled and reflected every emotion with courage, smashed into the stones and dirt and cold concrete.

Full force.

When I looked up again, my attackers were gone.

Blood ran down from my nose, my mouth and my right eye. My head started to throb and my right eye was swollen shut.

I knew that I was in trouble.

And I was terrified that I had lost the sight in my right eye.

I had no way of knowing if the attacker would return to "finish the job."

So I crawled on my hands and knees over to my green purse and grabbed my cell phone.

When I turned it on, I remembered that I hadn't had a chance to re-charge my phone and the battery was very low.

I contacted 911 and a woman took my information. But she couldn't seem to draw a bead on where I was.

Perhaps that's because my battery was so low.

I began getting dizzy and weak and blood was spattering all over my jacket.

And the traffic just kept passing me by.

I tried a feeble wave toward the traffic, but when a few drivers slowed down, they took one look at me and sped away again.

Nobody even called 911.

And No One Stopped...

The 911 dispatcher had to work with the police who used their sirens to "home-in" on where I was.

When the police finally found me, I was crumpled in a bloody heap, clutching my fading cell phone for dear life.

The ambulance arrived a few minutes later, and a sadistic EMT decided to wrap my neck in a tight neck brace.

(A CAT-scan later proved that I never needed that brace)

The plastic on the brace dug into my chin and scared me until a much kinder female EMT calmed me down in the ambulance.

I was strapped to a backboard, loaded into the ambulance and taken to a Portland hospital.

When I arrived there, I was wheeled in on a stretcher, with two IVs in my left arm and an oxygen feed up my nose.

Every part of my face and head hurt.

"This," I thought, "is not going to be one of my better days."


Bruce said...

Dear Ruthie

I'm so sorry to hear about your attack in Portland. That sure doesn't seem like Portland.

Some of those EMT people can be such asses, and then some can be kind and sweet.

I'm glad you got the attention that you finally needed. Too bad there were no witnesses.

I hope you're on your feet and feeling better soon.

**Hugs and Kisses**

Ruthie In The Sky said...

Bruce...Thank you for your kind words.

I have not gotten the bill from the ambulance service yet...but when I do...they are getting a letter from me in response!

Oh, and...

Who said that there were no witnesses...