Friday, March 19, 2010

Bit of a Scare

Image courtesy of we heart it.

I’m not much interested in posting about the random crap that happens in my life, I do like to keep things light and fun, but I recently had an experience that 1: I feel the need to get off my chest. And 2: I think might be beneficial for other people to know.

This St. Patrick’s Day I had decided to keep it simple, no drinking, I stayed in town, and I ate dinner at an Indian restaurant so as not to be accosted by drunk people. Plus at 8:30 it wasn’t particularly late when I happened to be out. I had Randall and Heather with me and we drove home though some back roads over by Heathers house. About 20 minutes away from my apartment I notice this jeep behind me. I noticed him because he had one working headlight, had his brights on, and was driving really close to my bumper. After a little bit he began flickering his light randomly. And I mean RANDOMLY! I originally thought he was having electrical problems.

I was only going maybe 2-3 miles below the speed limit and he eventually got into another lane and moved in front of me. Again I didn’t really think anything of it, but then he got into a turning lane two lanes over, waited for me to pass and got behind me again lights flickering when I know it stayed on while he was in front of me. At this point I mentioned the odd behavior to my companions who thought the same this I did at the beginning.

It soon became apparent this guy was not following me by accident, I went 50 mph in a 35 zone and he kept up. Then I went down to 20 and he didn’t try to go around me, I even made a few turns without using my blinker but he still followed. We finally got back to my apartment but I didn’t want him to know exactly where I lived so I pulled into the managers office. He followed me there and parked in the lane behind me.

At this point I told Heather to have her phone ready and got out of my car (something I don’t recommend without other people around) and started slowly walking toward the guy while Randall went around the other way to check out the license plate.

I’ll be the first to admit I have terrible night vision, this guy turned all this lights off, but he wasn’t moving or laughing with a buddy like it was some great joke, he was just staring at me. I shouted in my best instructor voice, “Can I help you?” I got about 10 ft away when he pressed his foot down on the gas and peeled away. That’s when I had Heather make the call.

But the guy didn’t leave, he started going around the complex, making passes by us, driving over curbs, and backwards around curves with no lights on. Meanwhile we get back inside the car and are on the phone with 911. The last move we saw the guy in the jeep make was to go down a road of the complex that has no street outlet. So he either parked there, or drove through the grass to the next street.

Eventually the police showed up and took a little information and told us to go home, and that was the end of it.

Now I’m used to this sort of thing, certain members of my family are not what you might call respectable and I’ve been subject to 911 calls for most of my life. But Heather and Randall most defiantly were shaken up by the experience and didn’t seem to know what was going on.

So some helpful tips on calling 911:

  • Let them know what kind of emergency you have at the beginning of the call.
  • Answer all of their questions. Sometimes you might not be able too, like if you don’t know the address of the place you’re at. But landmarks are good, so are street signs, house numbers, and area names like ‘Criterion Building’, or ‘Jorgenson Park’.
  • Give them all the information you can.
  • Don’t hang up until they tell you to.
  • Don’t be afraid to call 911, they are there to help you. If it turns out you don’t really need their help, so what? Better safe than sorry.

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