I am writing this in hopes that it will help me heal.
A week ago today, I was assaulted in the parking lot behind my apartment building and my phone was stolen. I don’t care if no one reads this, but I need to get it out of my head. I don’t want to scare people but I am also posting this because people need to be aware. This does really happen and it does really happen here.
What happened has played over and over in my head everyday since then, what I could have done differently to have not gotten in that situation in the first place, what could have happened if I hadn’t done what I did to get out of the situation. A lot of thoughts about the “what ifs” and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
I was getting home from my shift at the Short Pump Town Center, last Wednesday, and sitting in my car listening to the last song on the radio. A man came and knocked on my window – he did not appear to be threatening, he just looked like the dozen of other homeless guys around my neighborhood. I opened my door to tell him that I didn’t have any cash or anything to give him.
He told me that he didn’t know how to use the ATM and wanted me to walk with him to the bank on the corner to help him with the machine. Innocent enough, but I have seen too many crime shows to feel comfortable getting out my car and walking with some strange man in the dark, so I said no. This made him frustrated but we kept talking, I wrote down for him how to use the machine but told I didn’t want to go with him. He asked if I was going home, I didn’t want to tell him that I was home because I didn’t want him to know where I lived.
Then he told me he had a gun with him that he wanted to sell, at this point in the conversation I still didn’t feel like he was really a threat, probably because he didn’t take the gun out. He asked me if I wanted it or if I knew anyone who might want it, I said no. We kept talking for a bit then he told me to take him to the ATM again, I said no, I didn’t want to get out of my car with him.
Then he told me to take him to the 7/11, I told him that was definitely not going to happen, I wasn’t going let him in my car. I told him I couldn’t help him anymore and tried to shut my door. He blocked my door and would not let me shut it and got closer to me. This is when I started to get scared. He wasn’t leaving and he had told me he had a gun, at this point he mentioned the gun again and said he was going to get it out.
I was really nervous at this point but I tried to stay calm, I asked him if he was going to shoot me if I did not do what he wanted me to do. I don’t know what made me ask that. At this point I had been talking to this guy for at least 5 minutes, while I felt weird about the situation and I knew I was not going to do what he wanted me to do, I guess I was still hoping that he would just go away. I had my phone in my hand, ready to call 911 if the situation did get dangerous.
He told me he was going to shoot me if I didn’t take him to the 7/11. I this point I started screaming and trying to call 911, he reached into my car, pinning me in, yelling at me to stop screaming. I kicked him and kept screaming. He grabbed my phone and ran away.
I was in shock for a little bit but then I got out my car to try to find someone to call 911, since I didn’t have a phone anymore. I screamed for help again, trying to get someone to help me. I thought about going up to the apartment to get a phone from a roommate but then my friend and neighbor, Sam came out because he heard screaming. A couple came down the alley from the opposite direction and called 911. By the time the police got to where we were, my roommate and friends, Jeans and Skye came down and Sam called people from our organization that live close and our director and they all came over.
I did a report with the police and thankfullying Hillside has security cameras and caught him on tape. That night the police caught a guy that matched the describtion and the detective took me to see him, but it wasn’t him. He is still out there, somewhere. I don’t have high hopes that they will catch him, which freaks me out more than a little bit and makes me worried that he will come back. The stolen phone has been deactivated and added to AT&T’s stolen phone list and is basically just a paperweight now. I don’t care about the phone, it has already been replaced.
My phone case is my wallet too, but thankfully by some kind of miracle when he grabbed my phone it popped out of the case and he only got away with the phone and I still have all my cards and ID.
I am so thankful for the community I have here that came to my aid and surrounded me that night and have prayed for and with me since then. I am thankful for my roommate, Jeans, that lets me text her that I am coming home, so that someone is expecting me home by a certain time. And I am thankful for my co-worker at the mall, Carla, who texts me to make sure I got home safely.
I have signed up for a self-defense class in May, I have bought mace to carry with me and I have signed up for counseling.