I was just 21, a transplant in Manhattan, 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. ( I was) Walking down east 79th street crossing over to 82nd at 2nd Ave. I felt that I was being followed but ignored my intuition. Getting closer to the double-entry door of my apartment building I heard, chanting “it’s pay day, it’s pay day…” I never looked back. I opened the first set of doors and saw the reflection of two young much bigger boys entering behind me. I put my key for the lock door away. I had a shoulder bag and an old-fashioned umbrella, the kind with a long metal pointy stick on the end.
I remember asking or saying something like, “you don’t belong here.” They wanted me to open the door. Instead, I rang every apartment bell. No one answered. The boys pulled out knives and lunged towards me in the small Lobby. All I had was the umbrella which I held tightly while trying to stab at them. I got one in the crotch. Both were off and running. My fear caused me to leave a budding career and NYC. I took self-defense prior to this event which I believe saved my life. A gun would have spoken much sooner with less trauma to me.
I’m still a small petite lady under 5 feet. Other incidents have happened since that time. At 67, I realize a gun may be my best defense as be well as be very aware of my surroundings.