It was a really nice day yesterday, wasn't it? Not too windy, not too hot, not too humid. Perfect Sunday weather, all the better to sit in the park, feel the fresh air, and, with any luck, not have some asshole come along and kick you in the face.
A 21-year-old Dallas man managed to achieve two out of three yesterday. The man, who we'll call John -- because, according the police report, that's his first name -- was sitting on a bench near Casa Linda Park, a few miles east of White Rock Lake. It was around one in the afternoon. He was alone, smoking a cigarette, when a man he didn't know sprinted up to him.
"What's your name?" the man asked. "Where do you live? What are you doing at the park?"
John stood up. His questioner apparently didn't much care for that, because he promptly kicked him in the face.
"Don't move," the man told John. "Keep your hands on the bench."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Then things got weird. The man demanded that John sing him a song. Thinking fast, John sang an improvised number, according to the police report, "about wanting to go home."
After this impromptu yet deeply disturbing vocal recital, John's captor kept asking him questions about where he stayed. He also kept telling him not to get up. Once or twice, to drive the point home, he punched him in the face. Several times, he casually told John that he was going to kill him. John later told the cops that he didn't try to run because he assumed, sensibly enough, that the man would hurt him if he tried.
The whole thing lasted for about an hour. Finally, John's captor apparently got bored and walked off. The police report doesn't list any physical description of the suspect, and no arrests have been made.
John seems to have kept admirably calm, considering. We're also impressed that he didn't just opt to sing "Happy Birthday" or the Friends theme song, as so many of us would probably default to under similar circumstances. Or maybe "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"? There's really no right answer here, is there?