James Lawton: I was mugged... next thing I know my flat is full of armed police



As muggings go, it was more adroit than violent, an arm dropping over the shoulder, a sharp push and then a successful lunge into a back pocket containing some cash. When the mugger flew, a large and quite elderly Ukrainian first threw his brief case, then attempted to grapple him down.

It was a brave performance from a fellow citizen of the world in an incident which is commonplace in every big city street. If you travel a little you tend to risk mugging, and this was hardly a maiden experience. They have come in Barcelona and London and New Orleans over the years but what was most remarkable about this one on a bright midday in a broad and well-peopled city-centre street at the start of the European Championship being hosted by the Ukraine and Poland was some astonishing after-care.

Within 15 minutes of reporting the crime to the city police, my rented apartment was filled with detectives, uniformed police, special police, a paramedic concerned that I had been hurt (I hadn't) and several officers armed with automatic weaponry with lapels that said in English "alert team" and at least one photographer.

I had to give a detailed account of my activities from the moment I cashed some US dollars at a nearby supermarket exchange desk, made some purchases (a bottle of milk, which turned out to be yoghurt apparently excellent for settling the stomach but not for coffee, a packet of biscuits, bananas and some mineral water), a stroll for some lunch at a café just a few hundred metres from the apartment, and a walk to some drastically delayed work.

One police offer assured that the culprit would be tracked down and in the morning I have to go round to the central police station, perhaps to inspect an identify parade.

If there is a lesson it is maybe the one about the need to be alert, not be lulled into complacency by the time and the pleasantness of the day. One theory is that my assailant witnessed the transaction at the cash desk, noted where I had casually put my money and then waited for his chance.

Maybe that was foolish and so I probably have no-one to blame but myself. Muggers and pickpockets come to big events and the warnings used to be one of the charms of a big race or a big fight. Yesterday a little of that colour had worn off – at least until so many different uniforms came so swiftly to the scene of the crime.

Kiev's finest, operating in the glare of a major sports event, are plainly geared to significant response.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments