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I was watching the News on television. It was about 10:15 in the evening. It had been a tiring day and I was not too far from bed. A knock came to my door. An insistent knock.

I’m in an access-controlled building and assume a knock on the door is from someone living here. So I opened the door without hesitation. It was the fellow who lives in the apartment next. He was pointing at my door and he asked if I was all right. He was obviously agitated.

I looked at my door. There was a smear of blood on it. He then pointed at the floor. Drops of blood trickled to my door. Then he pointed to the outside entrance, on the other side of the locked door. There were gouts of blood on the carpet and smears of blood on the glass.

“You OK?”

I assured him none of the blood was mine. We looked along to the other end of the corridor. People in their night clothes were milling around. We went to join them.

An couple were standing in front of the open door to their apartment. I could hear shouting and thumping and what sounded like someone kicking the wall. It was not happening in their apartment, but from the one above them. They said they had heard this type of thing on any number of nights. Then a yell turned into a scream.

So, the police were called.

The commotion upstairs, with few lulls, continued on for the five minutes it took the police to arrive. One officer joined us, heard the noise and yelling, and decided to await another police car. This did not take long, and shortly they both went up. The noise subsided. I returned to my News.

A few minutes later there were more emergency lights outside on the street. An ambulance. Assuming haste was important, I went and opened the front door for them. They asked where the apartment was. I told them. As they passed the elevator they asked if it worked. I said that it did, but it was really quicker to take the stairs. One of the EMS responders said that they understood, but they needed to know if they could use the elevator if they had to take someone out on a stretcher. I assured them it worked.

Over the next half hour four additional police officers arrived. From a number of conversations, I learned there had been four people in the noisy apartment. Somehow one of them had sustained a bad hand or arm cut. That person was taken in the ambulance but I did not see this. A young man in T shirt and jeans was taken past my door in handcuffs. He complained that his boots were not tied. An officer obliged him by bending over to tie his laces.

I was interviewed by a burly police sergeant. I knew nothing of the occupants of the apartment, and did not known they had been causing noise for the previous weeks. However, I did realize I had heard a commotion in the Entrance before the News. There had been muffled voices, and the sound of the wall being thumped. Unusual but nothing to cause alarm. It appears that the wounded person had either been injured in the entrance way, or his friends had been trying to get him to go to a hospital but he refused. That is where the blood came from.

I was told two days later that the tenants of the apartment where the altercation occurred were evicted.

None of this made the News.

DE

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