- Aug. 21 2007 - Okay, this was scary.
- We made it back to Montego Bay and
had one last night here in Jamaica before our scheduled flight
this afternoon. We headed out to find a restaurant and only got
a few feet from the hotel when some local guy appeared and started
getting friendly, then a second guy showed up. It seemed pretty
clear that these guys were street hustlers. They show you where
to go, then ask for money. Fine, I've dealt with this kind of
thing before but I had a bad feeling, it was the day after the
hurricane, the street lights were out because of the power outages
and and we were getting too far away from the hotel.
- They took us to a few places but none
had any food so we decided to turn back and return to the hotel.
That's when the inevitable request for payment came. We asked
him what would be reasonable and he said $20 U.S. for each of
us (myself, Jim Leonard and Peter Rowe). I laughed at the guy
and told him his price was outrageous, Most of the time, this
is the start of the typical negotiation process. Unfortunately,
Peter had taken out his wallet and was trying to figure out the
local exchange rate, that's when the guy grabbed Peter's wallet
- Here's where things get really interesting.
- I instinctively ran after the guy.
I've chased down thieves before so I didn't give it a thought.
The problem was that he ran across the street and when I followed
him, I forgot that they drive on the left side of the road here.
He ran in front of an oncoming car and that's when I came to
the sudden realization that I didn't have enough time to stop.
Collision was inevitable.
- I hit the front right fender and went
up onto the windshield then up onto the roof and rolled back
off the right side and down onto the ground. It was like a stunt
man in an action film. The instant I hit the ground, I popped
back up and kept running, to get the thief and to get out of
the way of the next car coming down the road. I kept running
until the guy dashed into a pitch black park. A woman standing
outside the park entrance said that I didn't want to go in there
and I wisely took her advise. The guy got away and my adrenaline
was still pumping so hard that I wasn't even sure if I had any
- The car never stopped and the second
guy eventually took off.
- This is one of the closest brushes
with death I've ever had and I'm amazed that I didn't get any
serious injury at all, I'm just a little sore this morning and
I have a bit of road rash but all things considered, I can't
believe I'm not in a Jamaican hospital...or worse.