Aug 4, 2011  •  In Personal

How My Father Ended Up in the Hospital

Thank you to those who commented on today’s earlier, emotional post. My father is doing much better now — he was able to regain consciousness and was coherent by the time I was finally able to see him. The CAT scan did not reveal any serious damage, but they want to keep him at the hospital overnight for observation.

I realize that the earlier entry was curt and may have been a bit confusing to some. So here’s the full story…

My father runs a coin-operated laundromat in the South Bronx. Ask any seasoned New Yorker where the most dangerous areas in the Five Boroughs are, and the South Bronx will most certainly be on the list.

Earlier today, a woman entered the store and started to make a big fuss about her daughter’s clothes not being in the appropriate dryer. My father told her that the customer is responsible for watching over his/her own property, as is clearly stated in various signs around the establishment. But the woman would not relent, and she continued to scream and make a ruckus for an hour and a half, disturbing the other customers in the process.

Finally, my father asked her if she would like to take a look at the security footage in the back room, and she agreed. He showed her how no one had been using the dryer in question, and how her daughter was not even at the laundromat at the time when she supposedly dropped off her clothes.

The woman hurried away in a huff. But before doing so, she grabbed a container which housed money that were collected from the change machine.

My father quickly went off after her despite the protests from the other worker. He — now, even I will admit that this was dumb on his part — followed her back to her apartment building, and when she noticed him in the lobby whilst waiting for the elevator, she became physically violent. She pushed, shoved, and even kicked him in the chest.

My father shoved her back and told her that he had her on camera, stealing the money, and that he now knew where she lives.

Then he headed back to the store. Within minutes, the woman returned, this time with her brother in tow.

Now, the woman was pretty big — at least 5’10” and about 200 lbs by my father’s estimates (I saw a picture of her and this seems to be a fair approximation). Her brother was a lot larger. But my father? He stands 5’6″ and is thin as a rail due to his illness.

He had no chance against them, and they knew it. Together, they began to beat up on my father.

He did his best to dodge and block them, and even tried to run away a few times. But they were unrelenting. Even as he fell to the ground, they continued to beat him.

The other customers at the store started to scream and yell at them to stop. One person was level-headed enough to call the police and an ambulance. My father tells me that when the sound of the ambulance became audible, the sister and brother ran away from the scene.

And that’s how I found my father, lying on a blood-stained pillow, with a fat lip and other bruises starting to form, with traces of blood all over his face and arms where the hospital staff had failed to clean him properly.

I did my best not to cry as I approached him and held his hand. He asked me why I bothered to make the long trip from New Jersey when I am still in pain myself, and who was watching Claire? (I had called J as soon as I heard what had happened, and he hurried home from work so that I could go be by my father’s side.)

“Because I’m your daughter. Because I know you would do more for me,” I told him.

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73 Responses to “How My Father Ended Up in the Hospital”

  1. Nia says:

    I hope your dad is doing fine. I was holding my breath when reading your post. Praying for him now. take care

  2. Eek565 says:

    Ugh, Jenny this brings tears to my eyes. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

  3. Mina says:

    oh my god jenny i am devastated that this happened. i am incredibly saddened that people would do something like this. i can’t read this without crying–i cannot imagine what you and your family are going through. it’s horrible to think that a loved one has suffered. so terrible.

  4. Becs says:

    How horrible. I don’t know why I am still surprised that there are awful people like that in the world. I am so sorry this happened to your father who is just trying to run his business. I really hope he fully recovers very quickly!

  5. Annie says:

    Oh Jenny 🙁 I hope your dad gets better soon and I hope those two horrible people get locked up. Here for you.

  6. christine says:

    I’m so sorry this happened but am thankful that your father is relatively okay. I pray that he continues to heal.

  7. Jenna says:

    Working at the DA’s office, I hear my fair share of stories of violent crimes, but it always strikes a different chord when it happens to someone you know (even through the internet!)

    I’m so sorry to hear about your father and pray for his speedy recovery and I hope that you are doing well, too. It’s absolutely disgusting when things like this happen. It’s so sad, but it also makes me sad for the assailants… imagine the life they had growing up to become adults that think that sort of behavior is okay.

    Make sure your family gets in touch with the local DA– California has specific organizations geared toward helping victims of violent crimes, both financially and emotionally. New York probably has something similar.

    Again, you and your family are in my prayers!

  8. Linsey says:

    I’ll admit it. I’m a bit of a lurker. I have read every single post since I started following you. This is the first comment I’ve posted and I do so with tears in my eyes.

    This is unacceptable. The fact that people have no patience, no decency, no self-restraint anymore fills me with RAGE. Which is rather counterproductive and part of why I prefer shopping online, playing with my son in the backyard and having friends over for dinner.

    Your father was mistreated by not one person, but two people bigger, stronger, younger and healthier than he for doing nothing more than running his business, protecting himself and his well being. That woman took food off his table and then she returned to take him out of commission. I THINK THAT’S AGAINST THE CONSTITUTION. I could be wrong because I haven’t memorized the thing, but I’m pretty sure…

    As a fellow believer I have faith that God is just and He keeps good books and vengeance is His and He WILL take care of this in His time and in His wisdom. As a forgiven sinner I want to go into Batman Mode and find these people and deal with them myself. I am so angry for you and your family right now I can’t even tell you.Bullies disgust me.

    Seriously. Please forgive my rant. I’m sending hugs to you and yours. Take care of you while you’re being an AMAZING daughter and looking out for your daddy. P. S. Your husband is a good man for running home to allow you to go. Kuddos to him 🙂

  9. Maya says:

    This completely broke my heart – I am so sorry your poor father had to go through that and I can’t imagine how traumatizing that must have been for you and your entire family. Sending your family all my love for a swift recovery and I hope that the two people who so cruelly victimized him are brought to justice.

  10. Lena says:

    I admit I am also one of those lurkers who have read all your posts but have yet to comment. Being from New York, I see things like this happen all the time and it pains me to watch people like that take advantage of others using intimidation. I hope your father makes a speedy recovery. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  11. Cindie says:

    Reading this I am absolutely disgusted, though sadly not surprised, that there are people out there who do such things to people who are just trying to make an honest living. I’m glad to hear that your father is on the mend and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers as he continues to recover.

  12. Being a bit of a daddy’s girl myself, this post made me tear up. I will be praying for your father and for you.

  13. Amanda says:

    Oh my gosh! How awful. I’m SO glad that your father is doing better. Have the police arrested the scumbags that did this? I hope so and I hope they are both jailed for assault. Thank god there were witnesses to call 911 and hopefully testify against these losers in court.

  14. Nani says:

    wow, I just recently read your previous post and before I replied I read this one (was right next to it on my feedly) I cannot believe there are people like this. I hope they get what they deserve and your dad gets better soon.

  15. Sarah says:

    Oh my gosh, what a nightmare! I’m so glad that your father is recovering well and I hope those two are suitably punished.

  16. Lori says:

    Oh my gosh! My heart goes out to you and your family! I teared up reading this because I know how hard it is because my parents used to run a convenience store in a not so nice part of town either and I would stress out daily for their safety. I feel so heartbroken and anger at the same time for what you all are going through. I hope the two people (in my eyes, animals!) are punished to the fullest extent of the law! I’m keeping your dad in my prayers for a speedy recovery!

  17. Diane says:

    This is unbelievable. I cannot begin to understand how people think of violence as an option. Best wishes to your father during recovery – those people need to go away for a long time.

  18. Sherry says:

    Jenny! I am so so so very sorry (and upset!) about the violence and injuries that your dad experienced. You and your family are in my thoughts and I truly hope that he will recover quickly and fully. Words cannot express all the emotions I feel for you over this. Stay strong, dear.

  19. Autumn says:

    I am so sickened to hear this story–keeping your father and your family in my prayers.

  20. christina says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you father, my thoughts are with him and the family as he recovers from this horrible incident.

  21. kelsey says:

    Oh my gosh, that is so, so awful. I don’t understand how people could be so cruel. I am thinking of you and your father and hope for a speedy recovery. This is terrible.

  22. LatteLove says:

    Jenny, reading this post made me feel sick.

    Praying for your family as your father physically recovers and as you all deal with the emotional implications of an event like this.

  23. Robin says:

    I am so sorry for making light of this yesterday.

    What a terrible experience. I pray you all recover from this trauma.

  24. Sunny says:

    OMG. What a horrible story. I hope your dad ends up being ok. My dad also has a laundromat in the Bronx, not sure which area, but it got robbed one night and one of the workers got beat up badly enough to go to the hospital. I’m glad that my dad wasn’t there. Bronx is no place for our parents to be working. =/

  25. Reanna says:

    I am so sorry to hear that this happened to your father. I’ll keep good thoughts for him (and the rest of your family). I hope he makes a full & speedy recovery!

  26. Wen says:

    I worked in a BX hospital for a year, and I gotta say–some of the people who live there are worse than animals. Complete POS who not only live on public assistance but then still rob/hurt their fellow men because they feel like it’s not enough. They feel so damn ENTITLED to everything, while the poor immigrants work their asses off and don’t ask for anything.

    Best wishes to a speedy recovery for your dad, and even as bad as it is, be thankful it wasn’t worse (I unforetunately saw a fair share of violence with baseball bats, glass bottles, and the worst: guns)

  27. jenny says:

    I hope your dad recovers quickly.
    The incident described makes me extremely sad and angry. I hope those two people were arrested and charged for robbery and more.

  28. Stephanie says:

    This brought tears to my eyes–of sadness and rage. I hope and pray for a quick recovery, and I hope those terrible people are brought to justice. 🙁

  29. Sarah says:

    What a week you and your fam have had : ( Prayers to you and your sweet Dad! Hang in there friend!

  30. Cyndi says:


    I am beyond horrified, sad, etc to read this! Jin and I are here for you if their is ANYTHING you need..Many prayers for you and your family!

    I hope the monsters that did this are locked up! I just don’t understand people! I am speechless…

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