Posted by: deerharas | September 16, 2005

09.16.05

I have a few minutes here after lunch, so I thought I would finish the post I began yesterday.  My intention was to fill in all the details of HOW I WAS HELD UP AT GUNPOINT, but I got a little distracted.  Thursday nights are usually pretty busy to begin with, then add last night’s HUGE Gulf Relief program sponsored by Residence Life, and I had no extra time.  I didn’t even get to watch Survivor until like 11:00.  And by the way … GO STEPHANIE!  She’s back, and her team won immunity last night.

So Sunday night a friend and I got coffee at Starbucks around 10:00 PM.  Starbucks closed at 10:30, so we just went outside and sat at a table to finish our conversation.  I hadn’t seen this friend since I think February, so we had a lot of catching up to do.  Anyway, there were some other people still out there, so I didn’t think much of it.  Evidently we were out there a long time, because a little after midnight this guy comes walking across the street straight toward us.  No one else is around at this point, so the situation is looking bad. 

At first, we both tried not to stare at him and keep talking to one another, but then it was obvious that he was walking toward us.  It was at this point that we both noticed the gun he was carrying down by his side.  My first thought was to pray, but I couldn’t even formulate words other than to pray “Jesus” silently.  The man took my friend’s purse out of the chair beside her, set it on the table and then sat down next to her and across from me.  I don’t remember all of the words exchanged exactly, but he made it clear that he wanted both sets of keys and both of our cell phones.  He took my friend’s out of her purse first.  He asked if I had a cell phone, but mine was in my pocket.  He told me to stand up, and then he came over to me and got it out of my pocket for me.  He then took my keys out of my purse and asked which car they went to. 

Now thankfully my ignition has had some trouble these days.  Probably for the past month or so it has been incredibly difficult to start at times, and I have had to turn the wheel while jiggling the keys in the ignition in order to get it to start.  When he got in the car, he understandably had difficulty starting it.  I’m trying really hard to remember exactly what happened at this point, but it’s a little fuzzy.  He opened the door and maybe said “Hey” or “Come here.”  I’m not sure, but I stood up and took one step toward him, but also closer to my friend.  I think he asked me how to start it, and I said something like, “It’s tricky … I don’t know … You have to push it in and out.” 

It wasn’t really until this point that I felt fear.  At first I was just in total shock, but now I wasn’t sure if he wanted me to come and try and start the car for him.  I just knew I wasn’t going anywhere near him and the car.  I would seriously have taken a bullet before I would have gone anywhere with him.  He soon gave up trying to steal my car and opted for my friend’s instead.  As he was walking over to her car he said, “Y’all don’t run yet.”  He got in her car, started it successfully, and just drove away.

As soon as he was out of sight, I just remember asking her if she would rather go to Krispy Kreme or Wendy’s.  Krispy Kreme seemed maybe a little closer, so we sprinted across Penn dodging traffic on the way.  They were closed, so we had to bang on the window and make signs saying we needed a phone.  Some guys came to the front door and told us they couldn’t let us in.  I shouted at the man, “I don’t want a doughnut, I just need a phone!”  Just kidding … I didn’t say that, although I wish I had thought of it at the time.  Once they realized that we were crime victims, they brought us a phone and we were able to call the police, as well as family and friends to come pick us up.  I just want to say thank you to Mike at Krispy Kreme for the use of his phone as well as staying with us throughout the whole ordeal.

Let’s see, from that point the police just took the information.  Oh, they looked to see if there might be some usable fingerprints in my car, but they concluded that there weren’t.  I’m sure that if this was a murder case they might have given a little more time and effort to that pursuit, but whatever.  Two of my coworkers came to get me, and that was pretty much it.  It wasn’t until I was riding home that I realized how much worse the situation could have been.

Evidently most crimes are crimes of opportunity as was this one.  Thank the LORD that this particular criminal was not a kidnapper, rapist or killer, but a robber instead.  We were really foolish for being out there so late with everything closed.  I seriously had no idea it was that late, though.  If you had asked me in the moment, I would have guessed that it was 11:00 or maybe 11:15.  Anyway, I am so grateful that it wasn’t worse than it was.  Mostly I am thankful because I feel like the Lord gave me such a peace and calm in the situation.  I know that if my first thought at seeing the gun would have been that he was coming to kidnap us, rape us or kill us, I would have FREAKED OUT.  However, I just thought he was coming to take our stuff, not hurt us. 

So my guess after this experience is that most criminals are not smart.  If they were, they probably wouldn’t be criminals.  I decided not to suspend my cell phone service immediately because I thought maybe he might try to use my cell phone … and he did.  He called several different numbers until my phone died on Tuesday.  I was able to assist in the case by providing those numbers to the detective. 

So I didn’t hear anything all Wednesday or Thursday until last night.  My friend called me to say that they had recovered her car and made an arrest.  That is seriously all I know at this point.  I don’t know where or how they found the car or if the arrested individual is even the real robber.  I’m waiting to hear back from the detective with any more details.  Oh, my friend is in the process of getting her car back, and evidently in the car she found two other people’s cell phone as well as a shot glass.  Our cell phones, however, are still MIA. 

So, I will definitely keep you updated on all the ins and outs of the case.  Who knows what will happen next … maybe I’ll have to pick him out of a line up.  I got a good look at his face, but in the moment I was thinking more about his height.  My friend said that she studied his face the whole time, though, so hopefully between the both of us we can identify him if we need to. 

So that’s probably one of the longest Xanga posts ever.  I hope no one falls asleep reading it!

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