I know there are always rumors and urban legends about gang initiations. There is the car without the headlights on one, and the Wal-mart shooting woman with baby one, and probably more. I was the victim of a gang initiation and it wasn't nearly as clever, or thought out, or for the lack of better word -- interesting.
I was walking home one Friday night from a friend's house. He lives only four blocks away, so it is a short walk. The neighborhood in which I live is not that great of a part of town, but having no car, and not very helpful parents, I walk everywhere I go. Usually, when walking back from my friend's house, I walk home down Maple St., because it is more frequented by traffic, has a couple businesses that are open late, and is better lit, but it is also a block our of the way. This night was cold, this only happened three weeks ago, and I didn't want to extra time walking so I went down a side street named Jefferson.
Jefferson st. is a neighborhood st. There are nothing but houses, and houses serving as apartments (part of the problem with the neighborhood). As I walked down the st, bundled up against the cold, I see two guys in their late teens standing just off the sidewalk in an alley. I knew immediately that something was up. They were black and I'm Asian, so I knew that if I crossed the road they'd think it was because they were black. This isn't the reason. I wanted to cross the road because they were flagging for a local gang. I didn't cross the road though because there was the chance that they weren't going to bother me. I tucked my head down and started to walk past them, but as soon as I past them, I got attacked from behind.
True to stereotypes, I am fairly advanced in karate. I fought back, knocking one attacker to the ground. I always carry a pocket knife on me, for protection, whenever I walk anywhere. With one of my attackers on the ground, I drew my knife. This was a mistake. The remaining attacker got me in a headlock from behind, and his buddy knocked the knife from my hand. While one held me the other hit me. I managed to slip free and tried to run, but they caught me.
The next thing that happened will scar me forever, and not just because I have the actual scar. One of my attackers picked up my knife and tried to cut my throat with it. I suffered a three inch cut across my wind pipe, but the guy didn't press hard enough, and the knife didn't fully cut through my throat. With that attack over, my assailants ran off, and left me to die. Not more than thirty seconds after my throat was cut and my attackers fled, the cops arrived. Someone in one of the houses bordering the ally had seen what was happening and called the cops. An ambulance arrived shortly after, and I was taken to the hospital.
For the most part I was okay. I had, and still do, a nasty cut on my throat, and a few bruises. The police caught both of my attackers a few streets from where I was attacked. They confessed it was a gang initiation and that they were supposed to kill someone. I was unlucky enough to be that someone, but I am very lucky too, because I'm alive.