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Question of the Week: Crime on the Road (8/24/2001)

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A few years back a friend and I were playing volleyball in Central Park in New York. It was a Sunday and literally thousands of people were enjoying the gorgeous summer day. From a distance, we heard a man yelling "Stop him, he stole all my money!!!" and then it became apparent that he was chasing a man and everyone nearby seemed to have just stopped what we were doing and watch this two-man race across what they call The Great Lawn. Well, I said to my friend, Let's Go. She knows better than to ask where. Or why. They don't call us Lucy and Ethel for nothing.

As we ran toward the men, I told her to get a cop. The chasing man fell off and I exited Central Park after the robber and ran North up Central Park West after him. I was a block or so behind him and he kept looking over his shoulder to see where I was. It was a look of What in the World Are You Doing? And I must admit it did cross my mind that I would be terrified if I actually did catch up to him. Well, he was tiring and I was getting closer. But Ethel came through. The siren sounded and a police car screeched past me, in front of him, jumped the curve to stop him, and two cops and Ethel sprung out of the car just as I ran into the scene.

Ethel and I were in high adrenaline mode. Everything the cops yelled we would yell louder. They pushed him up against the car and yelled Spread Your Legs! Ethel and I yelled Yeah! Spread Your Legs!!! I told them the point where I had seen him throw something shiny over the park wall a few blocks back and, sure enough, they found a knife. Used a Baby Ruth wrapper to pick it up, keep it clean for prints.

That was a rush beyond belief, catching that guy. And it turned out he had been robbing people all over the park that day. The next day Ethel and I had a short write-up in The New York Post. But they called us Sherlock and Watson, instead of Lucy and Ethel.

Many of us seem to have encountered a crime of some sort while we've been traveling.

So let's hear a few of your stories.

Next Week: Everyday Travel

Last week, we asked you to call in and tell us about something you do to pass the time during your commute. Well, now we've got a real challenge for you: We want you to go investigate something you see every day during your commute and have always wondered about. One of the Savvy crew, Kelly Markham, passes the same homeless guy every day, panhandling on the corner of Third and Figueroa here in LA. She's always wanted to stop and find out more about him, so one day this past week, she did.

Wolf: "My name is wolf, and I`ve been homeless out here for about 12 years. I was in the United States navy, then I started drinking, then I stopped drinking, then I became homeless. What can I say? This is my corner 3rd and Figueroa. I used to be on 4th and Figueroa come up right there off the off ramp and I said "nah" so I came to the big corner. I try to make myself about 35 dollars a day. I can get a room with 25 and I have 10 dollars to buy me some food and stuff and wash my clothes and clean myself up."

Turns out, Wolf's a nice guy - he watches out for the people on his corner. I bet a lot of you see someone like that or something out there that piques your curiosity. Something that makes you say to yourself, "What the heck is that?" Maybe something in a storefront has enticed you to go inside … or a scrumptious aroma has begged you to stop and try a taste. Well, it's your turn. Live on the edge. Break out of your commuting routine for one day. Go investigate something you've always wondered about, and then tell us what you discovered.

Call or email us and share your story. The number is 888-SAV-TRAV. That's 888-728-8728.

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