Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sad and Scary Day (Part 2 of 2)

I started trying to exercise, alternating between going to the gym and running with my dog, while my son skateboarded with us. We arrived home still sad from the days events, changed and decided to run/skateboard with Allie (our dog). I took off first while Elijah looked for his Ipod and would catch up with me.

I was halfway down the block, running, Ipod blaring...when I noticed an older man, in a silver Honda, stepping on his brakes, leaning his head completely out of the car looking at something behind me. My heart started racing, I quickly looked behind me, wondering what had caught his attention. To my horror, it was my son on his skateboard. The man was unaware that he was with me, Elijah was trying to catch up to me. My son also noticed the man and the weird look on his face. The man turned the corner a few minutes before we rounded it. He was still looking at us and pulled into a driveway that we would be running directly past. The driveway was blocked by thick green bushes, hiding him from our view as we approached it. I looked behind me to talk to Elijah and noticed another man in an old beat up, white, tan, burgundy and rusty Chevy van, parked across the street, also looking at us, he started his van as we approached the driveway. I tried to remain calm, hoping that it was just my imagination, but wanting to be cautious. I stopped and told Elijah, "When we're almost there I'll sprint and you ride your skateboard really fast past the driveway." We went quickly past and did not see the man. Relief came over me, feeling a little stupid for being so paranoid.

All of a sudden the silver Honda pulled out of the driveway...slowing down, looking again...he swerved as if trying to make an illegal u-turn, (we were running on the sidewalk, against traffic) and if he was successful, he would be directly facing us, we would be trapped. Traffic suddenly picked up blocking his attempt, he almost hit a pole in the middle of the street and had to jerk his steering wheel, driving past us.

We were at a spot where there were no houses or people. I told Elijah, "We need to get to the top of the hill before he can turn around again." My son was scared, I was exhausted from running so fast, but I had been attacked when I was younger and was now feeling very vulnerable and scared for our safety. We crossed the street and were close to the park that we run through...the man came from nowhere, made a u-turn and was now directly facing us waiting for us to reach him. I started pointing at him to let him know that I see him and know what he is doing. I told my son to get on his cell phone (we were never able to get his license number because the sun was directly in our eyes.) I started sprinting again and tried to look tough and confrontational, my heart pounding so hard and quick, I felt sure my son could hear it, as we approached his waiting car. We looked directly at him...he quickly put dark glasses on and tried to hide his face leaning down lower in his car. We made it to the park (now also deserted for some reason, very unusual for that time of day). We both were so scared and just kept running, looking behind us, sprinting, and looking, until we headed out of the park. We were approaching a light (where the park exited)...the Chevy van that had been parked, slowly passed (he had circled the block), looking around as he drove. We were hidden from his view, but could see him. Once he passed...I ran, and ran, and ran...we finally made it home safely. Both of us scared to death, realizing that it wasn't our imagination and we could have been in real danger, the men appeared to be working as a team.

When I got home, my husband was there, we got in the car and drove around...wanting to get a license plate or something to report to the police . Unfortunately, there was no sign of the men. I have not been that scared in years...my son said he was afraid that he would have nightmares about it.

I received a little taste of how an attack/kidnap could easily happen. The scary thing is, my son (13 years old) had been going to play basketball alone in the park for the past week and a half. You never know how long they could have been watching him and luckily, I just happened to be with him on the day that they might have decided to make their move.

We live in a nice neighborhood, the homes and park we run through is in a million dollar neighborhood. It can happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime. Please be aware of your surroundings...you never know who is watching!

5 comments:

SoccerMom said...

Oh my goodness! First and foremost I am so glad that you and him were okay xoxo This certainly does remind us of what can happen so close to home and to remember to stay in pairs. I hope they catch these two.

April said...

Ok, how scary! I wouldn't let Lijey go out alone again! I'm glad you were with him. I hope you see those cars soon, so you can get the license plate numbers. Maybe you should at least call the police so that they can be on the lookout and around the park more? Who knows when they'll try to do that to someone else?

~Trish~ said...

wow, that is a scary story!!! I live in a fairly small town where it is second nature to just let the kids walk to the pool, the park, friends houses, whatever. Now I'm a tad nervous but like you said, it can happen anywhere!! Glad you and your son were ok!!!

Mom said...

Oh wow. That is horrible. I am all about trusting you instincts when you think something is going on that is not right. Good for you for keying in on your gut feelings right away.

If you have not already notified the police, you need to do so right away. You may not be the only person they've made this attempt on. Don't worry about sounding crazy or anything. The police NEED to know that there is a predator team working the area so they can notify the parents.

You also need to notify all the parents in the area. This may be a bit more difficult for you emotionally, but you have a responsibility, not only to your own child, to make sure that people are aware of this.

Try not to let this take over you life. Teach your son how to protect himself. Carry pepper spray or some other type of easy to use defense weapon. Scout the area for possible escape routes if anything like this happens again. Play multiple "what if" games to give you both ideas of how you would deal with things if this were to happen again.

Making a plan will help you both feel like you are more in control. Use this a teaching point to let you son know that you have to move forward and not let bad experiences rule your life.

Kudos to you for keeping your head and being strong enough to face this attack head on. That takes a lot of nerve. Many people would have froze and panicked.

I'm glad you're both okay.

Liss said...

Hi, I read about your terrible ordeal through Mom’s blog and wanted to express my concerns. I am glad they you and your son got out of this unhurt. You were very smart and lucky that you are so in tune with your surrounding. I hope this does not affect your son too much. It is horrible that disgusting people like this live in our neighbourhoods.

Lets hope your actions gave them a scare and that they don’t do this again.