Sunday, July 28, 2013

Following & Being Followed

I've been appalled by some of the comments I've heard regarding the Martin/Zimmerman case. Some think it's ok to attack someone just because they felt that person was following them. I'm not just surprised at the number of such comments, but by some of the people that made them.

I got to thinking about my experiences in that regard and came up with a couple stories:

Back in the late 80s I was living in Cutten. One afternoon I needed to go to Myrtle Avenue Market for reasons I can't now recall so I headed into town.

As I made the right turn off Walnut Drive near Sequoia Park I ended up falling in behind a white sedan. I could tell a female was driving from her silhouette. I followed her down Dolbeer Street and, lo and behold, she turned right on Chester- the same street I was going to turn on. Then she turns left on Montgomery just as I had planned to do.

I wondered if she'd be thinking I was following her and hoped she'd eventually make a different turn but she didn't. She turns right on Harris, then left on Hubbard, then left on Myrtle Avenue, just as I'd been planning to do. Now I know she's probably getting to wonder about me.

I get held up at the stop sign at Myrtle but as I leave the stop sign I see her pull into Myrtle Avenue Market! She goes into the store as I'm pulling into the parking lot. I'm thinking she must be freaking at this point.

I go in the store, round a corner and there she is. She looks at me like ..are we going to have a problem here? Before she can say anything I say, "No. I'm not following you. Believe it or not, I was coming here too.". She was relieved telling me she was getting worried as she thought I was following her. We shared a laugh at the situation and went our separate ways.

Some might say she'd be justified in attacking me because I seemed to be following her, but she would have been wrong to do so.
I was still living in Cutten when I ended up being followed. I was working at Juvenile Hall at the time.

I was headed to work one morning. It was still dark out at around 6am. I drove the same route as I described above, at first. I turned off Walnut drive onto Dolbeer Street. As I'm about half a block down Dolbeer I see headlights turn on behind me. The car pulls out into the street and comes up fairly close behind me. No big deal at the time.

I turn right on Chester. The car turns right. I turn left on Montgomery and head through the Harris Street intersection. The car is still behind me and it really seems as if he's following me cause he's so close.

I head down Harrison past the hospitals. He's still behind me. I come to the turn to go into the Probation Dept. and Juvenile Hall and turn left. I'm thinking, if he is following me, those signs should scare him off. They don't. He stays behind me.

I enter the parking lot out in front of Probation. It's dark and I'm the only one there. I pull into a parking space and stop. The other car swings by me on my left, then turns quickly around the front of my car coming to an abrupt stop maybe 8 feet from my passenger side. At this point I'm like "WTF??? What does this guy want?".

I was pretty buff back then being a regular gym rat. I figured I should be able to handle myself, but still, I don't know who is in that car and this is downright creepy.

I get out of my car to go into the Hall. He gets out at the same time and quickly walks around his car towards mine as if he had business to tend to. Except as soon as he sees me- a buff looking guy- he stops. I act nonchalant and say, "What's up?", and keep walking as if it's no big deal. He kinda stammers and says he thought I was someone else. He says when I flashed my lights as I passed by him he thought I wanted him to follow me.

Bullshit! I never flashed my lights. I was driving my old Volkswagon Rabbit diesel. He probably figured a car like that was likely being driven by some female, or a male he might be able to rip off so he followed it in hope of attacking whoever was driving it. In either case he was there for no good.

I just told him I hadn't intended him to follow me and that I had to go in to work. He got in his car and left.

Years later a local prostitute was killed. They suspected the boyfriend but couldn't prove it. A few years after that the boyfriend killed himself somehow or another. They published a face picture of the guy in the Times- Standard. I'm 99.9% sure that was the same guy that followed me to Juvenile Hall that morning.

Some say I'd be justified in attacking the guy under those circumstances. I don't think I would have been but, if there was any justice, I probably should have.


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