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What would you have done?

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by Tactical SS, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    Tonight some of my friends and I went out to dinner at a strip mall type area. We got out of the place around 10:30PM and were talking in the parking lot until around 12:30AM. When we got to cold three of us got in my friends car, turned on the heat and talked some more. At about 1:30AM I notice a car drive towards us at the back end of the parking lot. This didn't seem odd, even when he slowed down 3 times (Position 3 'clock, 12, and 9) and stared us down. That was a little creepy but we didn't think much of it... Until he did it for the second time... then a third. On the third time he stopped at our 9 at stared at us for a good 20 seconds. It was clear he was not a cop or a business owner. After about 20 seconds he left towards our 6. He came back about 30 seconds later and circled again, stopping at 3, 12, and 9 again. He then hung a u-turn in a parking lot, and while he did this I retrieved my bugout bag from my car (parked 2 cars over). I made sure he saw me do this. He then parked about 200ft behind us and sat there staring at us for a good 15 minutes. When he finally left we were making plans for tomorrow and about 5 minutes after he left he came back, circled again, stopped at 3, 12, 6 again, and stared us down.

    After he circled us the 3rd time I was legitimately concerned. We were in a nice SUV in not the best part of town at 2AM. We were not doing anything illegal, just sitting in a car talking. From my experience this guy seemed a little to interested. He was probably in his 50s-60s in an area where sexual predators are prevalent. We stayed in the car the whole time with eyes on. I was the only one armed and I was ready if anything was to take place. He didn't do anything threatening accept keep circling around us and staring in a really creepy manor. Given the area and the time, he was very out of place for a normal person.

    So my question is, would you have done the same? Would you have confronted him by getting out of the car? Would you have just taken off? What would you have done?

    I felt as if getting out of the car, going to mine, retrieving a bag and getting back in the other car in plain view for him to see may have deterred him from doing something bad.
     
  2. Muddman

    Muddman Aloha Member

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    Since you were already in this parking lot for 3 hours before you noticed him and you have no idea of how long ago he noticed you, I probably would have left and gone somewhere else.
     
  3. sillyrabbit

    sillyrabbit Salem, Oregon Member

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    Maybe he was just a concerned citizen doing what he believed to be his civic duty by "watching" what he considered several VERY "suspicious characters" sitting in a parking lot waaaay after closing at 2:00 am? Wouldn't you?
     
  4. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    It was the business owner wondering when you were going to break into his business.
     
  5. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Sounds reasonable to me. Look at it from his perspective.

    I would have left the premises.

    Keith
     
  6. JAFO

    JAFO OR, USA Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    It was Joey Greco. One of you will soon be famous.
     
  7. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Tonight after a trip to Salem to deliver some furniture for my kids, I drove past a piece of property my brothers and I are partners in, a strip mall type area. I drove past the place around 10:30PM, and were some folks hanging around talking in the parking lot. I didn't think much of it, but we have had problems with vandalism to cars, and a couple "false" burglar alarms. I went home and went to bed until around 12:30AM. My wife has had a cold, and was coughing all night, finally at about 12:55 I drove to Safeway to get her some decongestant or expectorant. I had a strange feeling, so I drove back through the strip mall on my way home. It was about 1:30AM and I wanted to be a little low-profile, so I came in the back end of the parking lot. There was still an SUV there, which didn't seem real odd, except that I am pretty sure it was the same one I saw before, 2 hours earlier. I wanted to be sure, so I slowed down 3 times (Position 3 'clock, 12, and 9) and tried to to take in as much detail as possible. Having had some training as a Cop in California, I was staying situationally aware and at the ready. The three people I could see in the car stared back at me, they looked very wary, and didn't make move to leave... So I did it for a second time... then a third. On the third time I stopped on the vehicles 9 and stared at them for a good 20 seconds. I was sure they'd think I was a cop or a business owner. After about 20 seconds I left towards their 6. I couldn't believe they wouldn't just leave, all the businesses were closed. I called my wife on the cell phone to explain the delay and gave her all the information I could about the vehicle and it's occupants. She trusts my instincts, but wanted me to come straight home. I told her I would, but then I thought of the insurance we were paying on our renters for recent property damage and a theft claim. I was leaving, and debating just calling the Police, but rashly decided to turn back about 30 seconds later and circled again, stopping at 3, 12, and 9 again. I then had to do a u-turn in the parking lot to position myself in a good escape path if they acted aggressively, and while I did this, one of the men retrieved a bag from a different car (parked 2 cars over). I am sure saw him do this. I then parked about 200ft behind them and sat there staring at them for a good 15 minutes. I thought it out... I'm no longer a Cop, or a security guard, and who knows who I might be dealing with in there? I pulled out and was debating calling the Police, but I was thinking of a recent thread on an online forum, where we were discussing the responsibility of citizens to improve their communities. As I drove toward home, I mulled this over for about 5 minutes and then went back, circled again, stopped at 3, 12, 6 again, and assessed the situation.

    Aside from my property interests, and the welfare of my renters, I was legitimately concerned. They were in a nice SUV in not the best part of town at 2AM. They were not doing anything illegal, just sitting in a car talking, but from my perspective seemed a little too territorial. It was several adults, I believe male, in an area where sexual predators are prevalent. I stayed in the car the whole time with eyes on. As far as I know, I was the only one armed and I was ready if anything was to take place. They didn't do anything threatening except remain in the area in which all businesses were closed, and the lot had unattended vehicles, staring menacingly back at me in a really creepy manor. Given the area and the time, they were very out of place for a normal group of individuals.

    So my question is, would you have done the same? Would you have confronted them by getting out of the car? Would you have just taken off? What would you have done?

    I felt as if clear observation of the other car in plain view for them to see may have deterred them from doing something bad.
     
  8. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Yup, that about sums it up Speelyei.

    Keith
     
  9. Tactical SS

    Tactical SS Washington Member

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    I thought the same thing, but as a business owner protecting his interests, he probably would have called the cops. Especially after he saw a suspicious male grab a bag from a car. Also, not all of the businesses were closed. There was a 24 hour Star-bucks 100 feet away and a 24 hour Sheri's on the other side of that.

    I can see the angle you guys are coming from, but something just seemed off... I know using your same angle you could say the same thing, but being in that situation, it just didn't seem to add up to a business owner or concerned citizen. There were plenty of cops that drove by so if he was doing his civic duty, he probably would have flagged one down.
     
  10. timbernet

    timbernet Boring, Oregon Member

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    I would have just left - no sense creating a situation.
     
  11. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

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    Interesting. My first question though, is why you chose to hang out and talk in a self proclaimed bad part of town in the middle of the night? Why not just drive to a bar or your house to continue talking?

    I would say that speelyei had a great perspective....other than if the character in the story was me I would have just called the cops on the SUV and let them deal with it, rather than trying to stare them down. Coctailer probably hit the nail on the head.

    The moral of the story is, don't hang out to chat with friends for hours upon end in a nice SUV in a bad part of town in the middle of the night.......wait......we already knew that didnt we?
     
  12. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

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    Also, the OP mentioned that the man was in his 50's or 60's; by himself; and that there are sexual predators in the area. So what possible reason would a lone 50 or 60 year old man have for staring down THREE probably younger and stronger guys? Unless you guys were wearing pretty pink dresses and were afraid of being molested by this guy, Im now fairly certain that this guy was a business owner.

    The fact that you were actually making yourselves look suspicious by your actions couldnt possibly have anything to do with it, right? I'm sure that you guys WERE just talking, but you COULD have been getting ready to rob a store; making a drug deal; or even getting high, for all this guy knew.

    My point is that your actions were way more suspicious in my opinion, than the other guys. I'm glad it did not escalate any further than it did, because it could have been a huge misunderstanding by both parties and someone could have gotten hurt or killed. I've been in FUBAR type situations before in my life, and have the gunshot wound to the face to show for it. Next time, (like timbernet said) just drive home and forget about it IMHO.
     
  13. RobertJ.

    RobertJ. Seaside, OR Member

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    Your post is titled "What would you have done?". I would have gone home.
     
  14. Doubletap

    Doubletap Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Bad part of town..bad time of night.. No brainer here.. I wouldn't have been there..
     
  15. Quagmire

    Quagmire Oregon New Member

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    I would have hauled my backside away from the area once I knew I was being watched.....could have been someone getting ready to roll me. Armed or not, I don't want to be involved so I would rather remove myself from the situation ASAP.

    If I were speelyei.....I understand his concern, but he was outnumbered and for all he knew you could have been a very bad group of thugs with AK's at the ready. If I was concerned about a group of people...I'd have called the police and let them deal with it and go home safe.

    Two different parties with not one bad intention.....one word from either party could have been less than pretty. Good intentions or not.



    :twocents:
     
  16. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Quagmire, you do understand that the situation I described did not occur? I simply copied the Original Post and portrayed it from the opposite point of view... playing devil's advocate, if you will.
     
  17. raftman

    raftman Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I concur with the whole "I would have left pretty much after finishing at the restaurant" consensus. Parking lots just aren't ideal places to hangout and talk for hours, particularly late at night. The guy's behavior sounds like he was trying to be very conspicuous and trying to make sure you guys got the message that he saw you in detail. Maybe he even thought it would scare you guys off.

    One could argue, "Well, if I were the property owner, I would have done this or that, but since he didn't do that, he probably wasn't the property owner." But if he was stressed out about the whole situation, maybe he wasn't thinking as clearly and rationally as he could have been.
     
  18. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    The fact that you were hanging around outside the restaurant 2 hours and then in the car for another hour was likely what caused suspicion in the other party. If I had my guess someone working inside the restaurant called the the other party to come and take a look at the possible sexual predators from the wrong end of town that were stalking them.
     
  19. BigBull 301

    BigBull 301 PDX almost Well-Known Member

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    Go home, shouldn't have been there.
     
  20. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I don't really agree with that. There is no curfew, one just needs understand that others may view you with suspicion but it's no reason to feel like we are in a police state.