Re: What He learned from his near mugging
I agree with Mary Eastland's posting. While David Orange makes the very valid point that it is valuable to reflect and examine the experiences of others and ourselves as a learning device, we should still be careful not to "Monday Morning Quarterback". Those who aren't there haven't the benefit of perceiving all that is there or using all of their senses to assess the situation. There certainly were many subtle clues and conditions present that helped the orignal subject make his decision at the time. Many of those clues may have been received on a subconscious level that he didn't even note during the event. Only he had the benefit of the totality of the circumstances and even the most gifted writer would fail to present all of the evidence that was available to him.
With all that said, I don't think his actions would generally be a wise course. Street criminals often aren't afraid of being identified by witnesses and just act. As I thought about his account, I wondered what state of mind he perceived the suspect as having, whether the suspect had both hands in the pocket of the hoodie or not, or what the nature of the potential witnesses might be. It worked, so I suppose it was the right course of action at that moment for those involved. On the surface it appeared overly dangerous to me.
I was once told a tale by a Washington DC Metro Transit cop about an attempted mugging on their system. When confronted, the victim began berating the suspect about infringing on his turf as he, himself, was a mugger working that station and that the suspect was screwing up his business and had better leave immediately to find his own venue. Supposedly the suspect apologized and left. Whether true or not, I'm sure I wouldn't have had the presence of mind to pull that one off!