This post is slightly off topic, but none of what we talk about on this blog matters if you can’t keep yourself and your family safe. When it comes to crime, everyone tells you to “be aware”, “trust your instincts”, etc. What I almost never see are specifics about how a crime is likely to happen.
Yesterday evening I had to run an errand downtown. I pulled in to the site parking lot just before dusk and parked my truck. Almost immediately after I shut off the truck a black man about 6 foot tall in his mid to late 20s started walking over to where I was parked. This by itself set off alarm bells for me because I really don’t like strangers walking up to me in this kind of setting. He came up to my window and didn’t walk away when I shot him a look. I rolled my window down just a little bit and leaned away while I asked him what he wanted. He asked for a quarter, and I told him I didn’t have one and rolled the window back up. He started to walk away so I started to put on my camo rain jacket. It was raining off and on and I learned later we were under a tornado warning at the time.
I kept my eye on him while I put my jacket on and saw him circle around in my mirror and stand by the left rear corner of my truck. When he did this I pulled out my pocket knife and was in the process of deciding whether to grab my cell phone or my headache bag next. This guy was definitely starting to give me a headache (and scaring the crap out of me). After just a few moments he started to walk back to my window again, so I moved over in the seat of my truck to better face him and put some distance between me and the window. As I did this he circled back again and eventually walked away to another section of the parking lot. Once he was safely away I got out of my truck and headed straight to the open area of the site and went in.
Once inside I suggested to the receptionist that they might want to have security check out the parking lot since there was a guy out there who didn’t look like he had any legitimate business there. She didn’t hesitate or ask any further questions, and actually cut me off while she turned and asked someone out of view to call security.
The guy himself didn’t look out of the ordinary. He was fairly well dressed, didn’t need a haircut or a shave, and didn’t look talk or move like your typical thug. But everything he did was textbook for an attack. Once I had parked, I had inadvertently created a sheltered place where he could have attacked and presumably robbed me without anyone seeing. There was a tree and a line of shrubs in front of my truck, and the truck itself would have prevented us from being seen from the building entrance. It would be easy to pass off my instinct that something was wrong and attribute it to being overly cautious, racism, whatever. Unless you know the five stages of violent crime that is. The guy in question had just completed stages one through three. Stage 4 is the attack itself. Check out the link if you don’t believe me. Actually, I highly suggest you check it out either way. It could help you or your family a great deal one day.