It seems that the City of Overland Park- my neighborhood in particular- has experienced a bit of a free for all, a series of delinquent crimes and odd encounters that make me question the quaint picturesque image I have of my childhood there.
Two months ago there was widespread coverage of a gentleman just two streets down from my parents house. He was facing foreclosure, and when the police came to escort him out, he was ready. He made a death threat at the door, then traipsed into his storm shelter, located just beneath the garage, gas mask and gun in hand. For two days he kept up this charade, causing traffic blocks on each end of the neighborhood and local footage declaring it “the longest hostage situation in the city.” My mother, who pays little heed to a smidge of insanity here or there, otherwise known as a complete police shrouding of the neighboring four streets, simply parked elsewhere and walked through other people’s yards to get into our home. Soon others were following suit. “After all,” she had said, “I’ve got things to do.” And by things, she was referencing fetching my little brothers band costume.
The next morning, things ended unfortunately with about twelve shots of tear gas blowing through the inhabitants windows, lots of shouting and screams, and the eventual removal of the man in handcuffs. And while local neighbors called teary-eyed and greatly disturbed, my mother reminded me that she was praying for him. “I wonder if he knew he garnered so much attention,” she wondered aloud. I voted he probably put those pieces together mid-tear gas blowout.