Well, we got a late start today - Jen hit traffic on the way to my (Laurie's) place. We met D*****, at Kabuki restaurant on Vine and waited for A***, one of her partners. A*** hit traffic as well, so we didn't get on the road until 2pm.
Because we were running so late, we prayed on the way to the track. We prayed that the Lord would give us divine appointments, for protection, favor, etc.
We got off the freeway and drove down the track. We saw a random girl here and there - maybe two - spread out blocks apart. I wanted us to drive the entire track to get an idea of where most of the girls were before we parked and hit the street.
After we'd covered most of the track, we spotted a girl on a corner and decided to to turn around, park and talk to the her. We circled a couple of blocks and came back around... looking for the girl. Not seeing her on the same corner anymore, we thought that she got picked up by a John... but then A*** and Jen noticed that she was on the ground, being beaten up by a guy!
D***** flipped a u-turn and went back to where the girl was. She was on the ground, the guy standing over her, punching her trying to get her purse. When we pulled over, she was screaming at the guy and he was ANGRY. He yelled some choice words at her and walked away with her purse.
She ran up to D*****'s car yelling for someone to call 911. I got out of the car and ran toward the guy - so I could get a good look at him, but I was only able to see the back of his head and what he was wearing... he was a very angry young man. I saw him put the girls cell phone in his pocket... I didn't sense that I would be able to talk to him (he was too angry) but I didn't want to lose sight of him. Jen stayed with the girl (her name was Ta**sha), and I followed the guy... until he disappeared down an alley. I started to follow after him until A*** said, "You don't want to do that..."
I wasn't going to try and confront him, I just didn't want to lose him... but following him down an alley wasn't wise, but A***'s advice was - especially because Jen told me later that Ta**sha said that they guy was armed. He didn't seem like the most stable guy. Lol.
Well, while all of this was going on, A*** was on the phone with a dispatcher, Dottie had driven around the block to meet us, Jen was still with Ta**sha, another guy was on his phone with the police and Ta**sha was as well. People started coming around and shortly after, the police showed up... we caught sight of the guy who had on a light brown/beige shirt with an orange, white stripes... he was down the street about three blocks and we told the cops where he was, on the right side of the street...
But then we saw the cops stop another guy - on the left - Jen and I started running down the street, screaming "Go right!!!" then they put their car in reverse and came back and we told them again where we saw him... they took off but it was too late. Bummer.
By this time there were about 10 squad cars - no joke. I have never ever seen so many cops and cop cars in South Central (Daryl and I lived there for a while you know) even when there's a shooting!!! It was crazy, it must have been a slow day. There had to have been at LEAST 12-15 cops there, plus an ambulance. Ta**sha's face was pretty messed up, scraped and with a huge swollen bruise on her cheek.
They took Jen and Ta**sha for a ride in the squad car (Jen's first ride in a cop car :-)) and the other cops went down the alley with guns drawn. Unfortunately, the guy was not caught.
In the meantime, I had a great talk with an officer who was getting information from me - when I told him I was from Hollywood he was like "What are you doing here?" Which was a great opportunity to share with him. I told him that we were out there to give gift bags to the girls and "these" (handing him a pimp tract) - and he said, "Oh, a gospel tract?" and I asked him if he was a Christian and he said yes. He kept the tract. In fact most of the cops weren't interested in any of the other literature except the pimp tracts and a few, of my testimony tract. The cop that said he was a Christian asked what church we went to and I gave him one of the fliers that Melanie made for us with Reality LA's address on it.
He then proceeded to question D***** and A***, and I went to talk to the other officers. I handed out some more pimp tracts and then gave Ta**sha a gift bag. The police asked us one by one to see if we could identify a guy on the computer (I saw him way too briefly to say for sure if the guy in the photo was him) and Jen couldn't tell if it was him either. The guy in the photo looked more 'cleaned up' than the guy who attacked Ta**sha. He didn't look like a pimp or a runner - just like a guy who wanted to rob someone. He didn't look totally unkempt and dirty like he was homeless or anything, but he wasn't real sharp or crisp either.
D***** and A*** had an appointment at 4 and it was already after 3 - so we decided if the police were done with us, we'd get going. But I wanted to ask Ta**sha if we could pray for her... for some reason, the cops all left at the same time - and Jen and I asked her if she wanted prayer, and she said yes. I asked her (since the cops were gone) if she had been working when the guy attacked her and she said yes, with no hesitation.
Jen and I both prayed and Ta**sha began crying (hard) and we could tell by the way she was praying with us that she knew the Lord (or at least was raised in church). By the time we had just wrapped up praying, all the cops were walking back to where we were. I gave Ta**sha my number and we hugged her and said our goodbye's.
Again, hopefully Ta**sha will call me... unfortunately, I still haven't heard from C******, the girl we met two weeks ago - we had been texting back and forth and now her phone is still disconnected. I pray that she's okay.
I wish there was more that we could do for these girls... but we were blessed working with D***** and A*** and will go on outreach with them again on Friday. They work with sex-trafficking victims and are very successful at what they do.
God is so good - it was NO COINCIDENCE that we were at the right place at the right time - I really don't think that Ta**sha would have gotten so much help if we hadn't stopped and if so many people didn't call 911. A*** was very professional on the phone as well, which makes a big difference - compared to someone screaming, emotional and in a panic.
Please pray that Ta**sha realizes that Jesus was looking out for her today and that He LOVES her! :-)