"Richie threatened to stab me. Should I press charges?"
This was the call I got while at work over a month ago from my roommate Charlie. Richie is our other room-mate. Charlie had just moved in about a month or two ago. Richie had been my roommate for about four months.
"Wait, what?" I responded.
Charlie explained, "Richie is really drunk. He threatened to stab me with a kitchen fork. He got up in my face saying I stole something from him. I'm in my room now and I'm wondering if I should call the cops."
"Hang on a second Charlie, I'm still at work, let me call you back in ten minutes." I replied.
I didn't get that long, soon I had another call on my cellphone. This time it was my landlord.
"Richie has to move out immediately. He just called me, drunk, cursing and screaming. I want him gone by the end of the week. Either he goes or I'm going to evict all three of you." my Landlord told me.
Luckily my shift was almost over, so I called a good friend to discuss this, and after my shift ended and I had clocked out we met for beers to talk things through.
Richie had been on a vodka bender for the better part of a week. He had done this before when his grandfather passed away, he drank vodka noon and night but I let it pass as he was mourning. I didn't realize then that going on drunken vodka benders was what he does. This time he had gone too far.
My friend, riled up, said we should just go to my apartment and throw him out. I could tell my friend was too heated so when we parted I told him to go home and I would handle it myself. I've been in this apartment for the better part of four years now, all the utilities were in my name and I have a good relationship with the landlord. I wasn't about to lose my apartment because Richie can't handle his liquor.
So I went back to my apartment to find Richie drunk and staggering. He came up to me immediately to make his case in slurred speech. I cut him off "I don't care. I want you out at the end of the week."
Voices rose. Richie said he wasn't going to leave. He asked if I would call the cops. I told him I would if he refused to pay his rent and refused to leave. That made things worse. Richie insisted that real men don't call the cops, that we could work things out. I told him there was nothing left to work out, he threatened the new roommate Charlie and cursed out the landlord. The landlord said either Richie goes or all of us are getting evicted. Richie had to go. That was that.
"You can't make me." Richie stated, his voice rising.
"The hell I can't." I replied. "Either you're gone in a week or come next Saturday I'm putting all your shit in the streets and changing the locks."
My name is on the lease. Richie's is not.
The argument escalated. Richie began to pace back and forth, swaying as he did so. I was losing my patience. Richie continued to holler and pace back and forth, pleading his case. I was having none of it. Eventually Richie took a quick step towards me and said "I'm not going and that's that. And what are you going to do about it you fat fuck?"
So I punched him square in the nose.
This, in hindsight, was a very poor decision on my part. More about that later.
He went falling back, breaking a framed picture of Mohammed Ali he had left on the floor. His nose was flattened. Blood came down from his nostrils and a gash opened under his eye. He got up and we got tangled up, he tried to hockey-shirt me but I wrapped my arms around him and slammed him to the floor, dropping my weight down on top of him. Then I dragged him through our hallway and to the front door, meaning to toss him out. I had him headlocked in one arm while I tried to unlock the door with the other when he wriggled free.
Now there was a total ruckus. Richie demanded another fight. He boasted that I knew he could take me. He said if I didn't call the cops we could have a rematch then and there. By then I had grown tired of this lunacy. I told him no, we won't have a rematch, I want you the fuck out of here by Saturday. So he walked away down the hall to his room and said over his shoulder as he left "You'll get yours on your way to work, watch."
So I followed him down the hall shouting "What did you say?" He closed his door on me and I kicked it open. He closed the door again and I kicked it open again. This time the door hit him in the face when I kicked it. We argued again. Holy hell was being raised. Eventually Richie decided it was okay to call the cops on me and threatened to do so. I grabbed my computer from my room and a few things and threw them in my bag and got the hell out of there. I stayed that night at a friends house who lives in my neighborhood.
The next day I told the landlord the whole story. My landlord likes me and wanted Richie out so we called the cops to explain the situation and see if we could get Richie evicted. No dice. he had been there for more than 30 days, it was a matter for the courts now. So I made myself scarce around my apartment for the next few days. I didn't want to be confronted with a drunken, fork wielding maniac holding a grudge. It wasn't until that Friday when I went home to sleep a bit around midnight so I could get up in time for work the next morning at ten that things came to a head.
And that was when the cops came to my bedroom door to place me under arrest.