Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Trenton, My Trenton: The Opposite of "Fucking & Punching" (and 32 gunshots)

PREFACE -- "Fucking and Punching" is a book by David Duchovny's character Hank Moody in the show "Californication" on Showtime. It's what came to mind after hearing the woman say shirtless guy punched her in the face for not having sex. In an episode of Californication, an underage girl punches Hank in the face after they fuck; here, a guy punches the girl in the face because she won't fuck. Hence the opposite. A reader of this blog, Aimee Ford Foster, thought of Fucking & Punching, too. Therefore, X-rated title.

UPDATE: In the middle of this entry a source called to say 1) a Guatemalan is "brain dead" after being found beaten on Walnut Avenue and 2) a man was shot on Brunswick and Bond in North Trenton.


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TRENTON -- A 5-block stretch of Grand Street turned into a carnival of lunacy at 5 o'clock today. It began after a crazed woman wielding a crowbar chased the shirtless man down the street and threatened to kill the "bitch-ass nigga" for punching her in the face after she refused to have sex with him. Moments later a female driver tried to run shirtless man over, damn near pinned him against another car, then made a left on Harding and drove onto the sidewalk to chase him down only to ram another car and say she doesn't give a shit about that car because she was so enraged. Shirtless man, who escaped down an alley between Grand and Adeline, dove through bushes back onto the Grand Street sidewalk and as he trotted past me, standing in front of the old cigar factory, he mocked his pursuers by waving at them. And that's about when anyone with decent ears heard the spraying of bullets nearby. A shit-ton of bullets. A cop said 24 shots, but an hour later a source cited 32 placards in the street at Grand and Beatty -- three blocks away.

Trenton, My Trenton.

The first 3 minutes of the video explain most of why the cops showed up to 404 and 406 Grand, which is close to where I live in the old cigar factory, which looks like Trenton's version of Melrose Place. The death threats, with so many kids around, was charming. So was the woman who kept calling shirtless man "bitch-ass nigga" and proclaimed "You dead tonight!"

The best thing about the scene was 1) how solid the cops were as they diffused a volatile situation, and 2) how the five black guys who were patted down and searched kept their demeanor. Four cop SUVs and an unmarked cruiser rushed to 404 and 406. One of the cops gripped a 12-gauge. Their first task was to create order and take stock of how many folks they were dealing with. The cast of characters included several riled-up black chicks and black dudes who usually become statistics in this situation when cops arrive in force, and the reports of gunfire, three blocks down the street, spurred even more urgency, so the third thing the boys in blue did was line all of the ducks in a row against the front of 406 and pulled shirtless guy aside and made him hump the back of a cruiser as an officer searched his jeans. More cops asked the four other men if 406 contained guns and a search commenced. Trenton's finest had firm control of the situation within 10 minutes.

After 45 minutes, cops called it a day at the scene. No arrests, and just one citation for the shirtless guy who is accused of punching the woman in the face. She squawked that she's taking him to court, and he looked at her in a "shut the fuck up, bitch-ass-ho" sort of way, smirking. As a cop walked to his car I told him I had a bad feeling about 404 and 406, that the woman's death threat was very real.

"Around here," he said, "it's par for the course."

I walked past two women (one in her 50s and her 80-something-year-old mom) who remembered me from a few months ago after I quoted them in the story of the drunk and crazed Latino who flipped his car in front of my building. I told them what happened today and that I had a bad feeling about tonight.

The mother has lived on Grand for 35 years. She said, "This street has gone from the best to the pits."

As she said that, yelling erupted inside 404 Grand, where the cops had just left.

Here are photos from my scene. Click to enlarge them.








































Here are all of the video clips stitched together. Listen for the gunshots about the 2:40 mark.