Desperate Times

A man approached two police officers in the Old City and told them he was beaten and robbed on June 22 at about 3 p.m. at the Greyhound Bus station nearby. The man said he was just hanging out at the station when another man came up to him, asked him for a cigarette, and then struck him in the eye with a blunt object (maybe a piece of rebar). The man then passed out and when he woke up in an ambulance en route to the hospital, he realized he was robbed of $7 in cash. When he talked to the police, he pointed out the suspect, who was standing directly across the street throughout the entire interview and was quickly arrested afterwards.

Relevant statistics: The most recent data (May 2009) show state unemployment at 10.7 percent. Knox County unemployment was at 8 percent, up .6 percent from the month before. In addition, Metro Pulse analysts have unscientifically estimated the unemployment rate for people who hang out in front of the bus station at most-of-them-especially-recently percent and the unemployment rate of people who hang out at bus stations carrying pieces of rebar at nearly-all-of-them-always percent. Anecdotal evidence suggests that high unemployment rates can often cause moneylessness, which in turn can lead to extreme desperation.

So was all of this trouble worth a measly seven bucks? Answer: yes.

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