BUM FIGHT over panhandling at N. Broadway & U.S. 36


By Max R. Weller


When I returned to my north Boulder neighborhood around noon yesterday, I found that a rival drunken crew was camped out underneath the pine trees belonging to the Dakota Ridge HOA, led by Renee — the homeless white female who squatted and pissed on the sidewalk there just three days ago. Her crew members included Drunk Steve (formerly part of Donna’s Drunken Crew) and some scurvy bum who calls himself “Irish” — and indeed he’s obviously an alcoholic.

No matter to me; I ate my lunch and waited the short time it took for Irish, Renee, and Steve to each take a turn “flying a sign” on the corner. All of the inebriates are such weaklings that they can’t stand upright in the hot sun, on the concrete median between asphalt roadways, for much longer than 20 minutes each. As I was watching the world go by and biding my time on the wall in front of the Mexican restaurant, one of the white male pedophiles and his Native American girlfriend showed up and sat down right next to me (these two were also a part of Donna’s Drunken Crew until recently). I agreed that this 60-year-old guy was next in line after me, and I mentioned our intentions to the rivals, who voiced no objection. When Renee’s Drunken Crew were finished, I went out and put in my usual hour or so.

NOTE: As always, the presence of a bunch of homeless people hanging around was bad for business, because it offends the passersby who are always friendly to a solitary panhandler.

As I came off the corner, expecting things to proceed as we’d planned, this Irish character started back out to U.S. 36 instead. I told him that another man was in line ahead of him and he replied, pointing to their wallow under the pine trees, “The line starts over there.” I shook my head and said, “This is how trouble starts.” It didn’t involve me directly, so I returned to my spot on the wall.

The 60-year-old man who was being cheated out of his turn by Irish took great umbrage at being disrespected so brazenly. He marched out to the corner, heated words were exchanged, and the Old Guy struck the much younger Irish twice in the face, then grabbed him by the ponytail and swung him around and down into the southbound lanes of N. Broadway. No traffic happened to be in the way to run him down — but the loss of this Irish bum wouldn’t have been cause for grief, not as far as I’m concerned. At this point in Round 1, Renee intervened and both OG and Irish returned to their separate corners.

OG continued yelling insults and challenges toward the pine trees about 50′ farther north along the sidewalk from where we sat, and pretty soon Irish and Steve came towards us. I immediately discounted Steve, who is tall but about as tough as a kitten. I figured that OG and Irish could settle it themselves, and get it out of their systems. In Round 2, Irish got the better of it, apparently by using his girly-length fingernails to scratch OG’s face; there was a fair amount of blood, which OG’s  girlfriend scrubbed off his face, by using an old sock moistened with water (I presume it was water — had it been rotgut vodka OG would have screamed in pain).

In any case, Renee’s Drunken Crew then gave up the corner and went on to wherever they might spread more Peace and Love to their fellow men. Strangely, nobody who witnessed this drunken fiasco called 9-1-1.

It’s absurd that more than a dozen would-be panhandlers flocked to this one corner during the course of the day, and that’s just the bums I personally counted between noon and shortly after 5PM when I left for my campsite. Several of ’em are in the various programs at Boulder Shelter for the Homeless. You have to wonder what in blazes they’re supposed to be in “transition” to . . . Ask Greg Harms, the executive director who makes $90,000+ annually.


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