Author Topic: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...  (Read 14512 times)

Offline LvsChant

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As I was on my way home from choir practice... thought I'd just stop in to see if Wally World had any good Easter candy for me to vacuum seal (no joy... I was too late). I ended up leaving completely empty handed, which turned out to be a good thing...

As I walked to my car (pepper spray in hand, only the second car from the end closest to the store under a big light... only 8:30 p.m.... lots of people around), I noticed out of the corner of my eye a guy following me about 10-15 feet back... didn't think anything of it initially... probably just walking to his own car, right?

Well... he keeps on following me. As I got to my car, I very quickly unlocked only the driver's side door (make sure your car is set to do that and not unlock all doors unless you double-click for safety), got in and immediately hit the door lock on the inside.

He then walks right by the locked door... I at first thought perhaps he just so happened to have parked right next to or across from me because he stopped right there only a couple of feet from my door... no... after I was quickly backing out to get some distance between me and him... he starts sauntering back the way he came and stops on the other aisle just loitering around.

I was not pleased... and was really wondering why this guy would pick me as a likely target... I had no bags in hand, no kids distracting me, was parked really close to the front of the store...

After I got home, my husband berated me for not calling 911 immediately... but with the fact that he never got a chance to actually do anything... I hadn't even considered it.

So... doesn't hurt to remind people... be aware of your surroundings... perhaps reconsider that late night trip to the store...

Offline kc9eci

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2010, 08:32:45 PM »
Or he could have just been like me...I'm always wandering around the parking lot at WM...I can never remember where I parked the car.  It's even worse if the wife was driving and I get bored in the store and decide to come out and wait in the car.  On the other hand, he may very well have been a bad guy.  A very stupid bad guy...you ever count the number of video cameras pointing at the parking lot at WM?

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2010, 08:41:50 PM »
Would you have followed a lady right behind as she was getting into her car when your car was not the car next to hers? That's what the guy did... I'm thinking I am correct in thinking he was up to no good...

Plus... there were other things about him that, looking back, I should have picked up on. He also had no shopping bags... empty handed even though he was leaving the store... he was dressed in gang-type clothing and wouldn't make eye contact...

Maybe you're right and I'm just paranoid... in any case, all ended well.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 08:45:14 PM by lvschant »

Offline OKGranny

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2010, 08:46:42 PM »
You just never know, you really don't. It's always a good idea to pay attention to what's (and who's)around you.

Offline pchambers

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2010, 08:49:53 PM »
+1 for the good reminder! And I am tempted to agree with the hubs about 911, at least for a "suspicious person" detail.

Offline TekkieFae

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2010, 09:14:58 PM »
As a woman who has been stalked and followed, I think you did the right thing. You recognized the potential threat and reacted accordingly - securing your safety. Just from what you described, I do think he was stalking you. Intuition can save your life, as it has mine, and my father's in wartime. From your description - I do think you evaded a predator, and he probably went on to look for another easy mark after you got away. If you ever see anything like that again, I do think calling in a suspicious person immediately could save lives. I believe that all women need to understand that females are often prey to males, are stalked and hunted, and females need to look for human predators wherever they go. I have learned that it's the creepy guy in the bar that stares at you all night - but never approaches you - that is the threat. That's the crazy f**k that will try to follow you home, rape you and kill you! A women NEEDS to notice who is noticing her. It is a matter of survival, and KUDOS to you for getting out safely!

Offline Komodo

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2010, 09:42:33 PM »
Glad you made it home safely.  Criminals are bolder than ever these days, and it's always best to trust your gut reaction to a situation like that. 

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2010, 09:43:14 PM »
lvschant, so glad everything worked out okay. It sounds like you stumbled onto a real creep there. It is a little weird that he was willing to approach you under the circumstances you described, but there are many different types of nuts.

As far as calling 911, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away." IMO, it would have been very difficult for the police to do anymore than, maybe, question him or scare him away, since he didn't actually do anything.

The main point is, as you said, "be aware of your surroundings" at all times.

Again, I am so glad you were able to come away unharmed.

Offline ColdHaven

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2010, 10:28:18 PM »
I am glad that you are ok. I am not sure why he tried to follow you unless he hadn't ever done it before. People who look like they are situationally aware usually are avoided by other criminals because they are not an easy mark, and if they are aware of their surroundings like that the they might also have a gun.

It is good you noticed him. 

Offline Sister Wolf

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2010, 11:56:24 PM »
I am SO glad you weren't attacked.  Even near misses like that can really shake you up.  I understand your husband's fury at not being there to protect you (or you not calling for backup immediately).  But sometimes it's just nice to hear, "I'm glad you are okay."

And I am VERY glad you're okay.

Offline kc9eci

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2010, 03:46:32 AM »
Would you have followed a lady right behind as she was getting into her car when your car was not the car next to hers?

Me personally, probably not, I tend to be a bit people phobic.  But depending on how focused I was on finding my car I may not have even paid her any attention.  In the end, everyone came out OK.  If the guy really was that suspicious, the PD should have been called to check things out.  Chances are if the guy was looking for a victim, the next woman would have done just as well and a quick call to 911 might have prevented that.

Offline Morgan96

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2010, 04:31:29 AM »

As I walked to my car (pepper spray in hand, only the second car from the end closest to the store under a big light... only 8:30 p.m.... lots of people around)

Glad it turned out OK, and well done on your situational preps.  If your spider sense is tingling, act accordingly.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2010, 05:02:59 AM »
Glad you are ok.  And I know you don't want to hear it, but your husband is right.  If it ever happens again, call in a suspicious person call.  It could do nothing but scare him off, but that would keep the people coming out of that store safe until he is no longer spooked.


Offline jpommer

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2010, 05:23:05 AM »
You did well, lvschant. I'm glad it turned out okay and I hope you'll be calling me soon.

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2010, 05:34:14 AM »
Thanks all... perhaps I made more of it than it was... but thought a little nudge to others to be more aware wouldn't hurt, either... I do agree with my husband about calling to check on the guy... I just didn't really think of it at the time. I was just getting out of there!

jpommer... it did make me think again how good it would be to be well-trained and licensed to carry under those situations.

Offline Herbalpagan

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2010, 06:04:36 AM »
First, I'm so glad you didn't have anything really bad happen! Although, you can look on this as a good reminder.
I am fairly observant and alert, but even so, I find myself getting wrapped up in what I'm doing and thinking about the next stop instead of being more alert.
My husband is encouraging me to carry my side arm more, but we can't open carry here, and with summer coming, a jacket isn't always an option. One thing I do, is make it a habit to carry my keys wrapped in my fist with a key sticking out between a finger or two, so I can scratch or stab with it.

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2010, 11:42:51 AM »
Glad you are ok!!!
Your story reminded me to get pepper spray this weekend when we go into the big city!!!

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2010, 03:28:00 PM »
...pepper spray in hand ... I noticed out of the corner of my eye a guy following me about 10-15 feet back...

Congrats to you for very good situational awareness and being prepared for trouble.

And I'm really glad you're okay.

Offline Sarey

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2010, 04:55:48 PM »
Good for you! Too many woman take their safety for granted and dismiss that little warning...

I will not even go near my car if what I call a (pervert van) is parked next to it. Nope too many after school specials... Oh and Grandma's voice telling all about perverts... LOL

Offline kc9eci

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2010, 06:32:15 PM »
Good for you! Too many woman take their safety for granted and dismiss that little warning...

I will not even go near my car if what I call a (pervert van) is parked next to it. Nope too many after school specials... Oh and Grandma's voice telling all about perverts... LOL

That's it!  I'm never driving the company van again!

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2010, 07:50:21 PM »
Whew, lvschant.

Your situational awareness was much higher than most people's. 

A gun might be a good idea.  I don't know your exact situation, except that you can carry it in a purse (guys can't  :'() and if I recall you live in a state where permits are available. 

I can't say exactly how having a gun would have changed your near encounter.  It's not like you would have drawn on a guy at the slightest indication of trouble.

I'm curious: do you think a gun would have helped in your situation?

Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2010, 08:20:15 PM »
Lvschant - Sooo glad you are okay and that nothing happened.  This kind of stuff is getting more and more prevalent so this was a good reminder to us all to pay attention to what's happening around us as we enter and leave our homes, jobs, stores, etc. First thing that popped into my mind was rapist and he was looking for a victim. Thank God you were not harmed.

And to Heavy G - I just wanted to add that IMHO I think carrying a gun makes you a little less of a victim target as you tend to be more aware of your surroundings when you carry a gun and you definitely give off an "aura" of "You don't want to mess with me." But even that may not always be enough if you're dealing with someone who is high and bent on doing evil. Being aware and being prepared to be surprised are key.

Thanks for sharing this lvschant.  Blessings friend, TBM

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2010, 09:58:01 PM »
Whew, lvschant.

Your situational awareness was much higher than most people's. 

A gun might be a good idea.  I don't know your exact situation, except that you can carry it in a purse (guys can't  :'() and if I recall you live in a state where permits are available. 

I can't say exactly how having a gun would have changed your near encounter.  It's not like you would have drawn on a guy at the slightest indication of trouble.

I'm curious: do you think a gun would have helped in your situation?

I don't know that a gun would have helped, in all honesty... since I was aware of him and got the doors locked quickly... I imagine it immediately made any bad intentions the guy may have had potentially more costly... in this case, it didn't get to the point that I would have needed to draw it or use it...

I tend to agree with TBM... the very fact of being trained in the use of and the carrying of a gun would tend to make one more aware and confident. I'm thinking I need to be faster on picture taking with my cellphone... it would have been nice to snap a quick photo... I've been thinking I should call the local police department and see if they had any complaints about this fellow (I'll feel really guilty if some 80-year-old woman was mugged after I skated out)...

Evening shopping has been something I have liked doing in the past... no kids along... no huge crowds... am thinking I'll have to forego that activity in the future.

I definitely had that tingly feeling (spidey sense, is it?) of danger in this instance... I'm not one to question intuition...

Offline Heavy G

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2010, 08:28:10 AM »

The very fact of being trained in the use of and the carrying of a gun would tend to make one more aware and confident.


This is very true.  I heard people say this before I carried and I didn't fully get what they were saying. Now that I carry, I get it.  You have to carry to fully experience and appreciate how true this is.

Offline EmmaPeel

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2010, 02:57:05 PM »
Carrying daily does raise your awareness.  Being aware often keeps you from needing to draw.  You can avoid the confrontation.  I've been followed out of a local grocery store twice in the middle of the day so don't count on it just being an evening/dark thing.  In the past, when I have approached my truck, they've done a 90 degree turn and left.  I drive a old Dodge one ton.  My boss says they probably figure I have a shotgun under the seat. 

Offline MediumFrenchFry

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2010, 02:24:55 PM »
I am glad to see you are safe and sound. I think you can never be too prudent, observant and aware of your surroundings. It's not paranoia. Can't be too careful.

I also think you had a good judgement in thinking that this guy was up to no good and just had an abnormal behavior. It is definitely a signal. I like to keep my distances with people. And obviously this guy wasn't parked right next to your car.  It's like people who stick too close to you when you're at the ATM, you know? They are waiting for the weakest point in your attention.
I like to think that as soon as i step out of my house, i get into this war zone and that i have to manoeuvre as a ninja. Not that I walk like a crazy paranoid person, but i do look around a lot and observe for details.
I'd especially watch the moments when  you get in or out of a place (house doors, car doors).

I am 110pounds, and although I am 26, i look like a young teenager, so I guess that I come off quite as an easy prey...So far, I carry a mace, but I am in the process of getting my licence to carry. I think that the awareness you learn through gun carrying, use and manipulation , boosts or doubles up with your surrounding awareness.

Offline pugbellies

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2010, 04:35:16 PM »
He may have been a bad guy, maybe not.  It is possible that like the other fellow said, he was lost and looking for his car.  If so, he was very unaware situationally (that he might have been creeping some nice lady out by accident), and in which case, you were aware of your surroundings, so great for you!!!  I'm glad all turned out well, and that you are safe.  KP

Offline Ken325

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2010, 11:29:20 PM »
Glad things worked out.  I would like to second the comment on calling the police.  I have seen a lot of people who are reluctant to report crime because they were not sure.  I say call it in and let the police make the call. 

When I was in collage I lived near a cemetery where a lot of WW2 soldiers were buried.    Every time I saw teenagers hanging out in the cemetery late at night I called the police.  They were always grateful and always sent a car within 10 minutes.  Don't call 911 unless it is an emergency.  Call the normal police number to report suspicious activity. 
  I also worked for a while in a high crime area.  One of the things that shocked me is the people who lived in the neighborhood knew who was a criminal, where drugs were sold, and what areas were controlled by gangs. The shocking thing is they never called the police with the info.  I developed the theory that this is why criminals like these neighborhoods. If you want to keep criminals out of your neighborhood call the police to report suspicious activity.

Offline TheXGrasshopper

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2010, 11:59:32 PM »
LVS...really glad you're ok and that you spoke up to remind us to be aware.  I need to have that talk with my wife to see what she'd be more comfortable carrying.  This also got me thinking about the shopping/parking lot situation.

Typically don't use a shopping cart to carry my bags out if I can help it (I used to be a cart pusher for Wally World and I hate making more work for them lol)...which usually leaves me with both hands full of bags.  This is not a good thing which leaves my wife and myself in a vulnerable situation. 

So a behavior change in making sure that I have a hand free (although I currently dont' carry, I'm working on that) to at least be able to block a physical attack or in my wife's case pepper spray to distract an attacker.  So using the cart might be a better idea, and as a bonus the cart can be used to put distance between you and the attacker.  Just a thought.

Or we could opt for these shopping bags ;)  J/K.


Offline zackandjen2004

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Re: Pay attention ladies! Almost accosted at Walmart this evening...
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2010, 03:10:03 PM »
Was in a situation today where I had to walk about a mile to and from town  I was prepped to do this to some extent: sun hat, good shoes/socks, water, comfortable backpack, etc.   But when I heard dogs barking, I thought, "Pepper spray would be good to have right now."  As I came into town, I passed a "thrift store" that I hadn't been in before.  Went in to find basically a permanent garage sale, nothing uncommon in my part of the world.  A quick scan of the space--nobody in there.  I was alone.  Hmm.  "I should leave now," came the thought.  As I rounded a table to face the entrance/exit, I looked up and saw the (I assume) proprietor.  I hadn't heard/seen him come in.  He made friendly chit chat, very curious about where I was going and where I'd come from with that big backpack.  He wasn't overtly creepy, but my gut had said to get out of there.  I did, with friendly but unspecific replies to his inquiries. 

This didn't upset me because the moment I started my expedition from the auto repair shop, I had heightened my awareness.  Walking where all except those who've had their DL revoked drive, with a backpack on, is conspicuous.  I made a point to project confidence and make eye contact with passing motorists who stared, giving the (typically male) head-nod acknowledgement that serves as "hello."  Had I some pepper spray, I would have felt even better.  Gonna get me some of that!