Yesterday myself and Django were on Concord Street on the eastern side of the Packard Plant for some photography of the building's exterior.
There is 24/7 security on-site now, but only one guard at any given time. The guard is friendly enough, un-armed and keeps a close eye on things. He won't allow access to the inside of the plant (stick to the main streets) and says he phones the Sheriff if anyone is found inside.
Anyway, I was shooting some pix on Concord while Django sat in his pick-up truck. The next thing I hear is Django saying "Get in the car!". I looked around and saw some youths in hoodies walking towards me. (Hoodies in summertime?)
I picked up my camera bag, walked over to the pick-up and threw the bag into the back of the truck. Then I went back for my tripod. As I walked towards the car with it, I noticed one youth running straight towards me. I threw the tripod into the truck and dived into the back of the truck, lying on top of my equipment.
By this stage the youth had reached the truck and was holding what appeared to be a Glock pistol. He was standing at the passenger window and yelled "Give it up!".
Django was in the driver's seat unaware that the kid had a gun. I could see it plainly. The next thing I heard was the screech of our tires on the road and we got out of there.
As the car edged forward, the youth was now beside the flatbed, with me lying in it. I could've easily been shot. Luckily the youth didn't fire, or maybe he only had a replica or unloaded pistol.
I asked Django whether we should report the matter to Police. He seemed to think there was little point, but we saw the Packard security guard driving by and pulled up beside him. He phoned police and three or four squad cars arrived in quick time.
We did our best to give a description of the thugs. The police went cruising around to look for them but I don't know what they found, if anything.
According to the police no crime was committed because the thieves got nothing from me and "seeing someone with a gun" is not a crime.
We made it out safely, but a guy brandishing a pistol within inches of us is "not a crime"?
I just ran across a June 2014 issue of Metro (the trade magazine for rail and bus transit). They have an article about the amount of streetcar/subway projects going on in the US and Canada. Right now there are about $99 billion in funded projects in some phase of design or construction.
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