In the January issue of ConcealedCarry, Beth Alcazar had an article “It Didn’t Happen To Me” with successful examples of situational awareness. I would like to relate a story a friend shared about an encounter.
To set the stage: This was 1990’s Austin Texas and we had a couple of scary serial killers preying on women at the time.
My friend was entering a convenience story and two men were standing outside and she overheard one of them saying: “What about her?”. This did raise her awareness and she checked to see if they were still outside before she left. They were not visible, so she got in her car. She immediately noticed that a car was following her. Rather than going to a well lit public area, she decides to escape to a friend’s home that lives nearby. This friend also lives at the end of a cul de sac… With the car still following her, she arrives at the friend’s house, stops runs up to the door, and starts banging on it, the two men she saw at the convenience store blocked in her car in and get out and about that time her friend opens the door and she was safe and the men took off.
I asked her about her thought process and she said she didn’t know what to do.
I suggested to think about such scenarios and have a “Plan” of how to respond. She stated that that type of thinking “Freaks her out” and she couldn’t do it .
So thank you Beth for you article with successful “Head up” responses to potential danger.
My friend was extremely blessed to have avoided a worse outcome.
I worked at a small grocery store years ago. One evening when one of the cashiers left her car was visible from the store, so she wasn’t worried about it. A couple hours latter she came back crying, and said that someone was down in the backseat and after she pulled out of the parking lot he put a gun to her and made her drive to a remote area and raped her. So I made sure to emphasis to my wife and daughter to always check the back seat. it is good policy to do so.
I’ve had numerous experiences where situational awareness changed my planned behavior in order to avoid a potentially bad situation. But it’s hard to say for sure if any would have actually had bad results if I wasn’t aware. For example, one late night, it was abnormally warm, and the girl I was dating at the time wanted to get a Slurpee from 7-11. I pulled into the parking lot and the hairs on my neck immediately stood up. There was nobody visible inside the store, but a shady looking dude in a long coat leaning up against the outside of the store near the entrance. It was a little warm for a coat like that. Then somebody popped up from behind the cash register inside wearing a similar coat. He didn’t look at all like he worked there. So I put it in reverse and slowly backed out of the parking space and left. As I did, the guy outside the store got a slight smile on his face with a slight affirming nod. I would have sworn the place was just robbed and leaving when I did might have just saved our lives. But I never knew for sure.
On a more tangible side of things, I was chased out of a house at gunpoint by an upset ex boyfriend of the girl I was dating. He broke in through the back door and we fled out the front door to the safety of a neighbor’s house where they called 911. I’m not sure if any situational awareness skills were used there other than quickly responding to the loud crashing of the back door being broken down or my locking the front door on my way out, which bought us a little extra time by slowing him down a bit. But that’s what flipped a switch inside me that shooting was no longer just something fun to do with my friends. I prioritized purchasing my first handgun (rather than borrowing or renting at the range) and viewed my dwellings from a home defense perspective.
I think her first mistake was not confronting her fear. I am not a woman so I don’t know how it felt to her. She could have gone back in and called the police. When someone is up to no good they give off a certain vibe. We should not ignore it or think we feel that vibe for no reason. We should not make excuses to ourselves as to what we are feeling. I am sure Beth Alcazar explained it better.
Here’s a recent one in Oregon targeting female drivers, with at least three similar incidents.
I shared it with my wife and daughter. Not sure if it’s been shared here:
The victim told an officer that the driver of a silver Subaru with no plates told her to pull over because her gas tank was smoking. The victim pulled over and the man driving the other vehicle began talking with her. While the victim was distracted, a juvenile got out of the suspect vehicle, went around the passenger side of the victim’s car, and stole her purse. The suspects quickly got back into the Subaru and drove off.
Around here we’re see more and more of the brazen, in broad daylight attacks. On both women and children. It’s like these creeps know they won’t get caught and if they do get caught they get off on the I made a terrible mistake defense.