It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Montclair and I was out with my family. We left Next Door after having brunch and decided to walk off our meal. We had barely passed the restaurant (I remember stopping to help my daughter button her coat) when I noticed something playing out on the sidewalk a few feet ahead of us. There were three young men laughing and harassing an elderly woman. I could hear them taunting her.
The next thing I know, I was up in their face, telling them to stop, as was my husband. And when things escalated, in addition to calling the police, I also took a picture of the offenders, so if they got away, I could post it on Baristanet, because that’s what I would do.
What happens next (unless we end up on the cutting room floor) will be on an upcoming episode of What Would You Do? Yes, we were caught on camera by ABC’s John Quinones and his crew, who Baristaville readers will recall are no strangers to Montclair.
The three young men in the picture above aren’t punks you need to be on the lookout for — they are actors, as was the elderly woman. Still, we were pretty unnerved by the whole thing, until Quinones, with camera crew in tow, came walking toward us. His friendly face and easygoing manner (it helped him score the first Chilean miner interview) must be the reason folks don’t go crazy — as these real-life ethical encounters are definitely designed to push your buttons. What you do feel is relieved that what you just experienced didn’t actually happen. And also a little bit had, although I think my kids learned something important, even if it meant seeing their mom get pretty angry at some strangers on the street.
And it could have been worse — as some of the scenarios get pretty heated (like the anti-Semitic bakery employee who is really an actor — recognize the bakery? — or the baby left in the car on Church Street).
After we had been interviewed — my kids were amazing — and got home, I checked my email. Sure enough, a tipster had sent us the picture below, sharing they had seen Quinones and the crew. Because that’s what Baristaville does.