There was something odd, at a distance I could see that something was wrong, perhaps it was the angle he was sitting or just the position, but as I drove towards him my senses were alerted. As I got closer there he was slumped in a plastic garden chair with what looking like wounds on his face, I drove past and then stopped the car. My instinct was to go back and check it out, perhaps it was an elaborate prank, maybe it was just a dummy but it looked too real. There were people around but nobody was taking any notice it seemed. I was wary of approaching something that I knew nothing about, I called the Police. That in itself is another story as I struggled with the dispatcher who had no idea where I was despite me giving very clear and easily identifiable directions. I Was going to drive on but then I saw he was on the ground. An elderly couple pulled up and went to check him out, he lay there with his trousers falling down and I got out of my car.
I felt a little embarrassed that this elderly couple had intervened where I had decided not to but more about that later. He was deeply unconscious, and smelt heavily of alcohol, un responsive to pain or any other stimuli and his breathing was laboured. I did not want to move him but I rolled him into the recovery position and took his pulse. I got someone to call an ambulance. Long story short we found empty bottles of a benzodiazepine on him, his wounds were nail polish and his legs were bound together by a plastic bag, he was soaking wet with who knows what. With a Glasgow Coma score of three, he was in some difficulty with potential of needing resuscitation.
It turned out that he had been slumped in the chair for about an hour, he was extremely cold. The road he was on is a busy highway, hundreds of cars had passed by but no one had thought of calling the Police or Ambulance service. As to his drinking companions who had placed him on the chair, their protestations of their innocence and lack of responsibility were disgusting and reprehensible. I told them what I thought once the Police arrived.
Time stands still when these things happen, It seemed to take forever for other assistance to arrive. I kept thinking I should have stopped quicker and gone straight away but in the end I decided that my safety needed to be first. I care little about my own life truth to be told, but the effect of something happening to me on my children is not worth thinking about.
After the best part of an hour I got back into my vehicle, I was chilled to the bone and very angry. No one needed to stop per se, a simple call to the Police would have sufficed, he could have died easily, he was not a well man.
Someone had had fun at his expense, sellotaped his eyes shut painted his fingernails and his face with nail polish, trussed him up and then left him for all intensive purposes to die. He smelt intoxicated and had probably ingested drugs but the thing that went through my head was this, he is someone’s son, someone, somewhere, loves him.
I write this not to trumpet how good I am but as a way of working out my anger. Why the heck didn’t someone else care. What is wrong with our society, where we can pass someone whom looke as if he had head injuries, slumped in a chair on a bitter cold day. When I first approached him I couldn’t tell if he was alive? Yes I was scared for sure but one could just call the Police.
Enough now from me before my anger and despair turns to vitriol and judgement. If it looks wrong it probably is, just call 111 or 999 whatever your emergency number is.