The Age of the Good Samaritan is Over

So I got punched in the face this morning. “Why?” you ask? Because I stepped in to prevent a fight.

Northbridge, the lively hub of Perth, has a bit of an assault problem (funnily enough, the brawl in that article was the exact same place as my incident). The combination of alcohol, drugs, and a culture that promotes fist fighting, in my opinion leads to this anti-social and violent behaviour.

I was on my way home from a work dinner (followed by some 90s pop hits) when two men decided to take it outside, as they say. Normally I wouldn’t be one to get involved in someone else’s fight, but when it occurred literally right next to me, I was unwittingly brought into the situation.

Because the elbow of the windup for the punch meant for the victim almost hit me, I grabbed the arm and started trying to talk him down when he decided to shut me up by punching me in the mouth. I guess it worked because I ended up with my butt on the ground (and with a pair of now broken headphones). I’m very lucky to have not hit my head on the pavement, or on the corner of a table just next to where the incident took place.

Thankfully there were other people around, and some police officers were only about a hundred metres up the road so they were able to quickly intervene and restrain the attacker. After giving my side of the story to the police and knowing that he was heading off to the local police station, I made my way home and called it a night.

Today I went to the doctor to get a checkup to ensure there was no bad damage done to me. Again, thankfully, nothing bad, just a swollen lip and a bit of a sore jaw. Nothing serious at all. But it could’ve been much worse.

Whenever an assault hits the news I often see that people ask for more police presence. In this case, there were uniformed police officers around a hundred metres up the road so how much more police presence does there need to be for it to become a deterrence? Have officers stationed every fifty metres? Doesn’t really sound that practical.

I’m far from an expert in preventing violence so I don’t have any good ideas or thoughts on how to combat anti-social behaviour. Gone are the days where the Good Samaritan can be safe when stepping in to help another person. It’s a shame, really.

Why am I posting this? Mainly because I’m annoyed and frustrated that these kind of incidents keep happening, week after week, day after day. Come on people, let’s be nice to each other. As George Costanza would say:

George Costanza from Seinfeld shouting 'you know, we're living in a society!