Unsettling encounter - am I being paranoid? (Long)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by TarDevil, Feb 7, 2015.

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  1. SilentStalker

    SilentStalker Member

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    The comment on him being a loss prevention manager is very possible as well. Or he could just be loco! Haha. We can speculate all we want. What matters is that you noticed and you got home. Oh, and we all need to see a of of your wife to rule out him checking her out ;)! I kid! Lol
     
  2. rogerjames

    rogerjames member

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    I'm sorry, but this whole thing is ridiculous to me. What did this guy do that was threatening in any way?

    I walk in and out of stores all the time without buying anything. I hate shopping. When I do stop at a store, I'm usually there for one particular item or two and chances are I'm on the phone with my wife telling me what to get. I'll probably walk up and down the aisle once or twice and if I can't find it I'm going home and ordering it from Amazon.

    Now on top of all this useless waste of my time, some yahoo that frequents the place with his wife and has never seen me before fears for his life and writes a long post about his scary experience at the local store. You guys need to get out a little more
     
  3. short barrel

    short barrel Member

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    Maybe he saw your wife and was attracted. I think you did well locking eyes with him; that meant to him you were on guard. Glad to hear you were armed.
     
  4. Crisisbill

    Crisisbill Member

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    The hair on the back of your neck never lies....
    Always follow your gut, be prepared.
     
  5. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    This also shows that "some yahoos" read THR and make foolish statements, while others with legitimate concerns are being ridiculed by them.

    You know who you are !:mad:
     
  6. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    Somebody being slightly strange around you in a public place? Guess I've been to the city too many times recently, that just doesn't sound very alarming. Good that you are being vigilant though.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  7. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    I had considered the possibility that he somehow "made" my gun, but I'm really meticulous about what I wear and always check if ti print. Also, doesn't explain why he waited in the car until we entered the store.

    While I think my wife is gorgeous, I'm doubtful that someone his age would be drawn to a 55 year old woman. Who knows, tho...

    My wife has a shotgun she's quite fond of and shoots well. I keep encouraging her to get her permit and find something to carry, but she says she just isn't ready. I don't believe in pushing anyone to carry unless they're mentally ready.

    You obviously didn't read all my original post... and you positively weren't there to see what happened. That's pretty much all I need to say about your comments.
     
  8. RoboDuck

    RoboDuck Member

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    You can never be too careful . I don't consider you paranoid in the least .
     
  9. rogerjames

    rogerjames member

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    I read your original post, including the TITLE that said "am I paranoid?"

    If you don't want an answer to your question, don't ask it.

    If you don't like my answer, don't try to pretend it's because I didn't read your OP. I read it thoroughly the first time and each time I re read it, the more I agree with my opinion that you were paranoid.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  10. OilyPablo

    OilyPablo Member

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    Don't ever go to downtown Seattle!!

    I can't really add anything. Maybe I vote for he was trying to get something for the wife/gf and didn't know what to get and was going to ask you because of the eye contact......then he vacillated because of fear/gun bulge.........hard to say.
     
  11. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    Short answer to the OP : No!

    Now the yahoos may go to bed .:neener:
     
  12. KNO3

    KNO3 Member

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    I too would have been on high alert. You did everything right.
     
  13. TimSr

    TimSr Member

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    Better to be on high alert unnecessarily, than to not be, when it's necessary.


    Since it was a drug store, I'm wondering if he was casing you, or casing the drug store, and didn't like that you noticed him there.
     
  14. Sniper66

    Sniper66 Member

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    You know the old saying, "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." I'm cautious, but in what I believe are sensible ways. My wife and I always look before answering a knock at the door. If it is a stranger, we always talk to the person through the locked storm door and never open it. Had a guy approach my house once; he walked up the drive way when I was in the garage with the garage door open. I told him to stop his approach and informed him that he had not been invited on to my property. He smiled and continued his approach. I pushed the garage door closer and closed the door. Paranoid?? Maybe, but he turned and left quickly and I'm safe. I have a concealed carry, have guns in my home, and frequently carry a loaded gun. Paranoid?? Maybe, but I feel safe.
     
  15. rduchateau2954

    rduchateau2954 Member

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    Any chance you were printing?
     
  16. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    par•a•noid
    (păr′ə-noid′)
    adj.
    1. Relating to, characteristic of, or affected with paranoia.
    2. Exhibiting or characterized by extreme and irrational fear or distrust of others: a paranoid suspicion that the phone might be bugged.

    This is only a question you can answer. Do you see other people following or watching you when you are shopping at other stores or when you are driving somewhere?

    Everything the other person did was harmless and non-threatening. Many of our opinions and actions are influenced by our perceptions and past events.

    That is not to say you were wrong not to trust your gut feelings. What are the crime patterns in your city? For example in my area we are having a pair of men breaking into houses. Last week they broke into two occupied homes. One was a 81 year old man’s house. They beat him and fired a pistol shot into the ceiling. Wife says lock all of doors to all of the buildings and make sure we have guns ready. I figure the quickest Sheriff Officers can get to our home is 10 minutes and since we live in a large county 20-30 minute response is very possible. So a car driving several times slowly up and down the dirt road in front of our house with a couple of men in it is going to raise our attention. But our concern is based on real life recent crimes.

    Put the shoe on the other foot. The other man was engaged in a legal activity where he had the right to be. He is busy with his own shopping and he keeps seeing this middle aged guy watching him. I would be inclined to believe he is store security officer watching me and would leave the store. As I am leaving there you are again in the parking lot watching me.

    Or ever go shopping for your wife? I get totally lost looking for some items in a big store and stand in the aisle looking up and down it. I’m not looking at you, I may not even notice you as I am trying to see what is down the aisle behind you.

    The way you describe events would not concern me. In fact I would probably make you feel uncomfortable. I was raised to be courteous to other people. I also say "excuse me" when I go pass someone in a aisle when shopping as part of good manners and also to keep from hitting or bumping into them if they didn't notice me. From a long career in law enforcement I look people in the eye when I approach them as part of situational awareness.

    You state the young man was courteous to you when he passed by you and even said "excuse me." Doesn't seem like the attitude of a criminal to me.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  17. Outlaw75

    Outlaw75 Member

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    Your wife may have cut him off in traffic and he decided he needed to show you (but mostly show himself) what a bad dude he is. You thwarted his efforts by meeting his gaze and going into a defensive posture and not looking alarmed. His ego wasn't expecting that.

    Playing with the cell phone was an attempt to get away with out looking (in his mind) foolish.

    I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  18. krupparms

    krupparms Member

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    I don't believe you were to paranoid! You said he pulled in about the same time as your wife & you. That tends to rule out store security. We, as well you can only speculate as to his motives! I would suggest that your wife start carrying some protection! IE a gun! You may not be with her next time. I would have taken my cellphone & started taking pictures of him & his car w/ plates. But I also would have walked up to him & asked if there was something I could help him with, while in the store! Being at CVS, I would have borrowed a cane to try out & have in hand. If no problem, fine! I would keep an eye open for this person again! At that point, I'd make him nervous! Good luck! & Stay paranoid like you should nowadays!
     
  19. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    Thanks for the input.

    After sleeping on it and revisiting the occurrence, I have concluded that no, I wasn't being paranoid.

    Folks, I'm sixty years old and there's only been maybe one other time in my life that I grew uneasy in a situation such as this. It's not like I only yesterday wandered out in the world.

    Some of you may be missing a couple of key points from my original post:
    1. When he said "excuse me" to pass by, he had plenty of room to get around (about 4 feet between us and the counter)
    2. I wasn't worried in the least until I saw him aimlessly moving up and down the adjacent aisle. concentrating on us and NOT looking at merchandise

    I guess you had to be there. I was... and my instincts were to be extra cautious.

    Thanks again for your input and advice.
     
  20. HankB

    HankB Member

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    There have been a number of times I've received a bad vibe from a stranger . . . situational awareness is a good thing, so long as you don't start jumping at your shadow, don't focus 100% of your attention on the (possible) lone bad guy that caught your attention, and don't initiate some action that will land YOU in legal hot water.

    I think you picked up on something that was, well, wrong; you were aware of it but didn't do anything stupid, so I give you a "Thumbs Up."
     
  21. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    If you mean me I didn’t overlook that you said there was 4’ between you and the counter. I was describing that it is common for folks to say “excuse me” when passing someone who is standing in the aisle shopping. It is also common behavior for total strangers to greet each other with a smile and hello when passing each other.

    I don’t know what is common behavior in your part of the country. If I was in your part of the country you might well consider me to be a rube.

    knupparms confronting someone that has made you feel uncomfortable is risky business. If things go south you could find a claim of self-defense when you started the incident by walking up to someone who had not committed any illegal activity or actions that could be considered aggressive very difficult to prove. Taking my picture without my permission and then walking up to me and asking if there was something you could help me with would definitely create problems for you. And since you have a cane in hand you are now armed with a dangerous weapon which has put me into flight or fight mode. If I choose to flee that doesn’t mean I’m not calling 911 and let you explain your actions to them while they review the store’s security cameras.

    Like I said though it all depends what is normal for your community and things like recent type of crimes.
     
  22. gspn

    gspn Member

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    Could it be that he wasn't checking you out...but then he noticed you giving him the hard stare and then made a point to keep an eye on you the rest of the time?

    That's exactly what you did...so why wouldn't he? It could just be a case of two guys thinking the other dude is casing him so neither is willing to quit staring every time they meet.

    I could easily see that guy getting on another forum and typing "I had to run into the store tonight and some old dude kept looking at me. Every time I looked over to see if he was still checking me out he was staring at me...AWKWARD."

    Could be he was talking to someone on the phone. Could be you made him nervous by looking at him the whole time so he used his phone as a way to look busy.

    Who knows.
     
  23. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    The only thing I would have done different is jot down his license number, then dialed 911 and reported being stalked.

    A lot of people have been killed, mugged and so on through being blissfully unaware of their surroundings. I don't know anyone who has been hurt by being extra vigilant.
     
  24. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    That would be unwise in my opinion, as the OP could in fact by his actions and admissions be interpreted as being just as guilty of "stalking" as defined by:
    N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-277.3A. Stalking. (2008)

    "The General Assembly recognizes the dangerous nature of stalking as well as the strong connections between stalking and domestic violence and between stalking and sexual assault. Therefore, the General Assembly enacts this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system before stalking escalates into behavior that has serious or lethal consequences. The General Assembly intends to enact a stalking statute that permits the criminal justice system to hold stalkers accountable for a wide range of acts, communications, and conduct. The General Assembly recognizes that stalking includes, but is not limited to, a pattern of following, observing, or monitoring the victim, or committing violent or intimidating acts against the victim, regardless of the means.

    (b) Definitions. -- The following definitions apply in this section:

    (1) Course of conduct. -- Two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, is in the presence of, or follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.

    (2) Harasses or harassment. -- Knowing conduct, including written or printed communication or transmission, telephone, cellular, or other wireless telephonic communication, facsimile transmission, pager messages or transmissions, answering machine or voice mail messages or transmissions, and electronic mail messages or other computerized or electronic transmissions directed at a specific person that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies that person and that serves no legitimate purpose.

    (3) Reasonable person. -- A reasonable person in the victim's circumstances.

    (4) Substantial emotional distress. -- Significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

    (c) Offense. -- A defendant is guilty of stalking if the defendant willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose and the defendant knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to do any of the following:

    (1) Fear for the person's safety or the safety of the person's immediate family or close personal associates.

    (2) Suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment."


    Now I'm not saying that the OP did anything wrong, but if you are going to call the police on such a flimsy premise, you'd better know that you are definitely in the right.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  25. TarDevil

    TarDevil Member

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    Didn't mean that with criticism... I guess I'm doing a lousier job of explaining my initial position in the store than I realize.

    I wasn't in the aisle. I was standing in the front of the store, out of the aisles. I've been trying to make the point that there was a lot of square footage to walk in. This guy walks up directly behind me in an open area to say "excuse me" to get me to move when he had more than amble room. Like, he came to a complete stop behind me. And yeah, this is a very friendly town full of people who greet each other pleasantly (except during tourist season!). He would have received a very pleasant nod or "good day" from me if I had encountered him head on. As it is, he almost startled me speaking from behind.

    Yes, could be. Except before locking eyes (not at all a hard stare), I had casually observed him pacing and staring at us.

    Edit: By "locking eyes," I mean nothing more than that. We made direct eye contact. At no time was it prolonged or in a threatening manner. (Hope that is cleared up)

    I seriously hope it WAS a misunderstanding of "looks" that occurred. But there were too many outstanding specifics about this to be coincidental.
     
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