There is a local video making the rounds that has me quite disturbed. The video appears to have been shot on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook in the wee hours of morning on Sunday March 29. (Click HERE to view video).
It starts with an irate female violently venting her frustrations on the bonnet and headlights of a black Toyota HiLux pick-up truck, in full view of onlookers on either side of the roadway. I must warn you, up front, that the video does contain some coarse language.
Based on the running commentary provided by onlookers, it appears that the young lady had just caught her boyfriend in flagrante delicto with the outside woman, made a public ruckus and was preventing him and the outside woman from fleeing the scene in his vehicle.
As you can see, the jilted lover went to town on the vehicle. She ripped off the windshield wiper and then the front number plate and used them to scrape, scratch and smash the van before it could be driven away.
Further on in, you see that the attack on the vehicle escalated as the woman used bottles to smash against and throw at the van.
A deserved outcome for a ‘horn’, right? Guy got caught and received his immediate comeuppance, right?
My concern is with how that situation escalated during the course of the video. I saw one brave soul actively tried to stop the destruction (0:57) and calm the scene down. Unfortunately, the peacemaker was physically discouraged by another onlooker—who appeared to be a friend of the assailant—from intervening. Throughout the saga, the majority of the crowd goaded the woman into continuing her attack—or ‘chained her up’ as we say—and verbally fuelling her rage.
And of course, a plethora of smartphones were seen held aloft recording the incident.
What I cannot fathom is why some of the crowd members deliberately inserted themselves into the story. After the woman derived maximum use from the number plate, which she transformed to a club, a nearby female videographer offered her an empty beer bottle to use as a weapon (3:11).
Gleefully accepted, she chucked the bottle at the windscreen. More bottles, willingly volunteered by other crowd members, soon followed. Some just struck the vehicle while others smashed on impact.
The hapless driver’s escape bid continued to be hindered as the woman refused to remove herself from the vehicle’s path.
While infidelity is an everyday phenomenon, scenes such as these are, thankfully, not as commonplace. And it is frightening that, in addition to urging the woman to “mash it up”, the crowd—which had no stake in the dispute save for the raw entertainment value—offered her missiles to hurl at the van. This is the development that disturbs me most; the manifestation of mob mentality.
The woman did not seek out bottles to further her onslaught; the crowd spontaneously provided them to her. I shudder to think what would have happened if she had somehow managed to completely smash through the windshield, exposing the driver and the alleged outside woman.
Would the supply of bottles have ceased then?
That for me is the true tragedy of this situation. The public and open display of violence, as eye-catching and entertaining as it was, embarrassed all three main players in the scenario—the woman, the man and the purported outside fling.
However, the crowd’s unbidden eagerness to ensure that the scene perpetuated and intensified through their active participation brought shame directly to themselves as well.