Is It Any Wonder

Last night I received an email alert from our local police department warning abut a suspicious man following a young girl home from school.  I decided to check my personal FB to see if the local newspaper had posted any additional info.  They had…

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of suspicious activity near Freedom Middle School. A male appeared to follow children from the school to a neighboring residence, then lingered in front of the house once the children were inside. He is described as a white male approx 30-40 years old, 6 feet tall, 190 lbs medium build with curly grey hair with a bald spot and close cut grey beard last seen wearing a grey t-shirt, silver wristwatch, blue knee length basketball shorts and white and grey shoes. Citizens are advised to monitor their children carefully and report any suspicious activity to the Sheriff’s Office- 

Later today another update…
At approximately 5:15 p.m. a female 14 year old 8th grade Freedom Middle student
walked back to the school to get her keys which she had forgotten after volleyball
practice which ended at 5:00 p.m. She noticed a white male (description below)
running on the track and remembered seeing him there the day before when she
went home after practice. After retrieving her keys she began to walk home and
noticed the man leave the track and begin to slowly run and walk behind her. The
student called out to a friend who was outside and had him walk her home. Once
inside her residence the suspicious male stopped outside her residence and began
stretching, until a neighbor told him to get off his vehicle. The male then ran to the
end of the street and began stretching again. Once the student’s aunt arrived home
the male ran back toward Freedom Middle School.

The school principal was notified and worked with the Sheriff’s Office last night in
an attempt to identify the male. The student describes the male as follows:

Gray curly/frizzy hair on top of his head with a small bald spot/slick hair on the
back of his head
6’0” 190 thick body shape
Lost of hair on arms
Gray shirt with words on it, blue basketball short to knee length, white sneakers
with gray outline
Drove a white SUV type car that he parked in the bus loop
-walked on track or around the school two days in a row around 5pm

This was on the news and alerts went out and it was in the newspaper and on FB, but this person and no one that he knew came forward. 
 At some point the police said they were patrolling the area and noticed a man fitting the description and decided to question him.
They, the police decided that he is not a bad guy, just a jogger and no one should be worried.  Now, to be honest this doesn’t sit well with me, but that is not the point of this post. 
I make a comment on the story as followed…
I am immensely impressed with this young person. Way to be aware, make good choices and let a trusted adult know! Not her job to decide if he is a good guy or not. She did exactly the right thing!
This is the response from Melissa…
Dang I better be aware of my surroundings when I go out running in neighborhoods…or try to make it obvious I’m just out for a run! Good for the girl to stay aware though…
That is her answer to a kid’s reaction.  A kid.  A girl, basically alone at the age of 14.  This child accused no one of anything.  Not a single person was harmed in this event, but this person, Melissa, thinks it is wrong for the jogger to be inconvenienced.   The jogger, not the child, that is who she is concerned about.
This man very well may be innocent, although I half expect him to turn up on America’s Most Wanted someday, but regardless, this is the message much of society sends to it’s children, it’s women. 
We wouldn’t want to offend an innocent man, so it is better to keep quite and if he happens to mug you, beat you up, rape you, kidnap you or murder you, at least you didn’t cause a scene.  You were a good girl. After all isn’t that what we are looking for?
I am half tempted to post the link and unleash the full force of the gun community on her, but instead I will rant to the ones who already know the truth.  The ones that are already protecting their children and teaching them how be survivors. 
Good gravy, I am mad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No wonder we have woman and children who don’t stand up and say STOP! GET BACK! 
I am not blaming society for an individuals responsibility to defend themselves, but if one has no idea, no idea at all and is socialized, embarrassed and harassed into thinking it is wrong to stand up and question the odd behavior of another, well then, there is a good chance that person just might not be equipped, mentally or otherwise to fight back.
When I first started carrying my plan was still not to cause a fuss. To just sit back quietly and carry my gun.  I had planned to blend into the background of life and not draw to much attention to my gun totin’ ways, but that is out the window.  Little by little I have talked a little louder and I have fought a little harder, but this it is, this the straw that broke the quite little ladies back…NO WAY  I WILL BE QUIET!  NO WAY! I will not let Melissa convince  children that they should hush up.  That they should be good little girls.  That they should wait for something bad to happen, before they speak up. Nope, not a chance.
I am in this fight.  I am all in!

26 thoughts on “Is It Any Wonder

  1. Sweetie – there are turds that will love and defend serial rapists. They are sick people.

    Melissa fears that someone might suspect her of doing something other than jogging – something other than conforming and being a good little mouse – and that emotion is stronger than any concern she has for anyone else. That is astoundingly self-centered.

  2. Good for those kids for paying attention, and very good for that 14yr old to pay attention like she did. Maybe he was just a jogger, but the way he followed her is decidedly odd, and not typical jogger at all.

    • Ruth, I am a runner and so is my husband. We stretch, we run in our neighborhood. Neither of us are paranoid to run around children, but we also don’t lerk and if my husband saw a young girl who seemed to be afraid, he might wave and then leave as not to scare her. This may may be innocent, but it’s a little creepy regardless.

    • Exactly, maybe he’s just that oblivious, but the girl’s description of how he followed and then seemed to lurk outside is very creepy!

  3. I’m truly glad ‘someone’ taught her to pay attention to her surroundings; and thanks too for speaking up. If one of us tried to counter than woman, I’m sure we’d just be dismissed as chauvinists!

  4. I’m so glad that girl was paying attention!

    Listen, if it doesn’t “feel” right, it isn’t. I’m glad that she was aware enough and confident enough to not blow it off.

    I highly recommend any parent reading the book PROTECTING THE GIFT by Gavin de Becker. This girl could be an excellent example of situational awareness.

  5. Once is happen stance. Twice is coincidence. Three or more times is enemy action. And well I don’t believe in coincidences.

    Props to her for being situationally aware. The guy obviously had a good story for the cops but there’s too much “coincidence” in that story. If he’s truly innocent then he’ll be fine. There’s times to call attention to suspicious behavior and that fits the bill.

    Remember there are those out there who refuse to see how evil the reals world can be.

  6. Situational awareness. I’m glad the girl had it. More than that the head on her shoulders to act on her suspicions instead of worrying about offending someone. A normal person (especially a male) does everything in his power to make sure he doesn’t appear as a threat to a young girl.

  7. May I recommend to Melissa and everyone else a great book to read called, “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker. If you guys haven’t read it YOU MUST!!! Excellent book about trusting your gut and acting upon it, not making excuses or trying to disregard your instincts.

  8. For years now, we’ve heard “If you see something, say something” – for everything from possible terrorist activity to something like this. There’s always going to be someone who tries to second guess the person in the situation, though, a break out the 20/20 hindsight.

    I work long days, and sometimes do my walking before dawn or after dark in the evenings. Before I had my dog to accompany me, on more than one occasion I had a PD cruiser spotlight me and stop to chat a bit. I didn’t take offense.. if anything it made me happy that someone was paying attention enough to notice the big hairy guy wandering around the neighborhood 🙂

  9. A lack of situational awareness has been the precursor to many an assault type of crime. Good on this girl for being aware of her surroundings.
    This Melissa seems to be one of those “Oh, and now you’re blaming the victim!” types. Too many bad things happen to good people as it is, finding fault in someone for paying attention to what’s going on around them just infuriates me.

  10. As a former jogger myself (darn knees), what was described was NOT typical jogging routine. You usually don’t stop in the middle of a jog, at least I never did if I could help it, even going so far as to jog in place at stoplights just to keep the heart-rate going. I always found it incredibly difficult to get going again after stopping. And the only times I ever could be accused of “following” someone was on a track or during a road-race. I can only think of one instance in about 20 years’ worth of jogging (or more) where I hit my turn-around spot mere seconds after someone had passed it, but I slowed down a bit to widen the gap so that they didn’t think I turned around just to follow them. Screwed with my time, but I was able to sleep at night. So my guess is either the cop got hte wrong guy (that description could fit about a dozen guys I know, provided the right outfit), or he deserves an Oscar (tiny fish!) for acting abilities. Or the cops need to be fired. There’s definitely something wrong with this guy’s story.

  11. Excusing everything away seems to be the norm now. “Well I didn’t want to cause a fuss so I didn’t do anything”. It is rampant among society, you see it everywhere from child abuse to situations like this.
    When I was about 9 I walked home from the school bus stop on nice days. It was about a mile walk (yes really – we lived in the country). I clearly remember some guy in a strange car following me for a while then pulling up beside me. It didn’t feel right so I high-tailed it up a hill to a neighbors house. Did he mean any harm I will never know – I didn’t see the car again – but who knows, if I hadn’t trusted my gut I might not be writting this today.

    I admit there is a thin line between paranoia and situational awareness. It is sometimes easy to cross over to paranoia – been there done that. But everyone needs to be aware of what is going on around them. Kudos to the girl for being alert!

  12. I’ve had to refrain from commenting in order to cool off after reading Melissa’s comment. This “joggers” behavior was inappropriate and if he’s just a friendly, neighborhood, jogger, then he needs to learn to not hang out at the school like a creeper. If he’s a good guy, he’ll understand the reprimand and not freak out little kids anymore. If he’s a bad guy, then basically, he’s only been scared off to new hunting grounds. . .and that’s ok, too. And if that’s the case, it’s thanks to a little girl who wasn’t afraid to point out that this guy was engaging in sketchy behavior and adults who were awesome enough to LISTEN and be proactive. It’s people who don’t want to rock the boat that often end up as victims. “I don’t want to be an alarmist. . .” or they’re worried that they’ll feel silly if it turns out to be nothing. . .giving no forethought to how they’ll feel if it turns out that the threat is very real and decides to visit them one day. Once again, thanks for sharing this information and opening this dialogue. xoxo

  13. I am happy to hear about a child who was smart enough to pay attention to her surroundings. I talk about OPSEC all the time. Some adults ( err Melissa) should take notice.

    Just stumbled on your blog, and I love it.. I am now a follower.

  14. I will wager vital parts of my body that this “jogger” is up to no good. The 14yo young lady did exactly the right thing. As for Melissa, she’s bounced her reality check.

  15. This reminds me of the old “Designing Women” show where one of the girls was almost assaulted(don’t remember the details!)–so they all took self defense classes to help her get over her fears. At the end of the show, she was in a parking garage and a lone man was in the elevator. She chose to wait for the elevator to come back–and there he was again. She utilized what she had learned and he left. Turns out he was the client they were meeting. She was all embarassed, apologizing, etc. He told her to stop–that he had a wife, a mother, and daughters-and that he should have known better. He said that any man who respects women will not be mad at a woman who stands up for herself

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