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When a stranger calls

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by dixiehack, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    My wife teaches with a colleague who is going through a horrible divorce. Her husband is basically a controlling, abusive psycho, who has contested the divorce every step of the way (mostly by firing and hiring attorneys to get continuances). She gets no money from him for their two kids, instead he is running up the bills as much as possible. Because of his behavior, he can only see the kids if his mother or sisters supervise. They refuse to do so, because they can't control his behavior.

    What makes the situation sticky for us is we babysit the kids one night a week while the mom attends grad school. She's in her last semester, and needs to finish so she can make the extra money to support her family. He knows we keep the kids (but not what night), and he knows where we live. She has a restraining order against him, but until now our house hasn't been included.

    This afternoon, I got home from work early thanks to the weather. Right behind me, I see an unfamiliar SUV pull up to our mailbox (we live at the end of a dead-end road). I walk over to see what's up and he steps out and introduces himself as "Jane's" father. I respond that he needs to leave. He begins a diatribe asking what he ever did to us, and saying when we persecute him, we persecute Jesus Christ. I repeat again that he needs to leave and whip out my cell phone for the 911 call. He gets back in the SUV, but leaves the window down and continues harranging me until he saw me take a step towards the back of the car to try and read his tag (he's been changing cars frequently, and his wife doesn't know where he is staying.)

    Once I took that step and he saw me talking on the phone, he proceeded to slam the car in reverse so I can't see the tag. He probably hit 20 mph backing into the main road (in freezing rain no less) before peeling out. I tried chasing him for close to a block while huffing and puffing info to the operator, but of course it was no use.

    They did send a policeman out to talk with us and advise us that we could basically do shit-all nothing at this time. Barney Fife didn't even bother filling out an incident report, or even have a business card to give us. He also indicated we probably don't have much shot at getting a restraining order against him (although his wife did call her attorney after this and is getting our house added to her order. Still I want something keeping him away from my family specifically, wherever we are.)

    Right now I'm about 3 parts frustrated, 2 parts pissed off and 1 part shaken. I've always said I would never own a gun unless I needed one, and now I'm wondering where to get pistol lessons. Part of me thinks that isn't the answer and the other half says I need something more than a purple T-ball bat to keep the peace. Mostly I just needed to vent.

    Hounds released in 3, 2 ...
  2. SpeedTchr

    SpeedTchr Well-Known Member

    Frightening and disturbing indeed.
    I will say, though, that a purple tee-ball bat to the boys is a very effective showstopper.
  3. mb

    mb Active Member

    -- Do you have kids? Did I read over where you said you did or didn't?

    -- I've always thought the biggest mistake people make is getting a gun ... and then thinking everything was good. Quoting the lyrical Allen Iverson (loosely, admittedly), "Man enough to pull a gun, be man enough to squeeze it."

    -- You'd better turn into a lawyer (or a reasonable facsimile), and fast. Meaning if you get a gun, you better damn sure know forward and backward when you can legally use it.

    -- So basically, yeah, I'd probably get a gun if I were you. But you're right in that you better take some lessons. And the instant you let cuckoobird know that you've got a gun, you better be prepared to use it. Because, at that point, shit will have REALLY gotten real.
  4. Care Bear

    Care Bear Guest

    Oh good, someone with a persecution complex comparing himself to Jesus.

    You should not have to be in this situation - you were generous to help this woman out, but something frightening like this cannot happen again. It's now your family involved, and any prior agreements are null and void. I'm sorry that his family won't watch the kids because of his behavior, but that is not your problem. Can the mother refuse the grandparents access to their grandchildren if they continue to avoid the situation? Can the grandparents pay for some other form of child care since money is obviously an issue?

    I think it's fair of you to tell this woman that your family no longer feels safe watching her children while psycho is on the loose. The stuff he was ranting outside your home is scary and obviously irrational. You can tell the mother that you're happy to help her in any other way you can and will certainly watch her children when the situation is resolved, but at this point, this asshole knows where you live and an aggressive move was made. That's it.

    What does your wife think?
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    The policeman had nothing to file a report about because nothing happened.

    A man pulled up. Words were exchanged. He left, albeit speedily and dangerously (stupidly), but without any damage to property or injury to you.

    There was no menacing or fisticuffs. Pulling up in front of someone's house to talk with them isn't a crime. There was, or is, no reason for a restraining order of any kind since there was no physical contact or repeated action.

    But obviously it's not a good thing and is unsettling.

    Your best bet is to make sure all your door and window locks are in working order, there are no spare keys in obvious places outside and all your outdoor lighting is bright. Keep the bat handy if it makes you feel better. Keep a few of them around the house where you or your wife could access them and if need be.

    If he shows up and knocks, don't let him in (duh.) and tell him to vacate your property immediately. Call the police and report a trespasser. If he did gain access, beat the shit out of him until he's immobile. Arm and head shots, repeatedly and hard. Then take out a knee.

    If you want to purchase a firearm, contact a local shooting range or gun shop and ask about lessons. You can buy a 9mm with a 13-round magazine for a few hundred bucks. It will provide stopping power without recoil that limits your handling ability. A better option might be a 12-gauge shotgun with an extended magazine and some home defense ammunition. Find a range and learn to shoot. Go often. Take your wife and let her learn. If the guy comes into your home, shoot him. Your life and those in the home are worth defending.

    YGBFKM Guest

    Godd luck with resolving this, man. Keep us in the loop and let us know how it plays out.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    My sister-in-law was involved in something like this. She didn't help matters by making contact with the ex while a restraining order was in effect on him. Eventually it got to the point where the kids were put in foster care for a few months while the mom tried to get her act together.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    First Dixie, as someone who also started a thread on SJ about being desperate enough to think about buying a gun to protect oneself and my family (the drug-dealing neighbors thread), you have my sympathies and complete understanding.

    Now, having said that, Care Bear is right in that you need to tell your friend that now you and your family are in danger. Maybe she can look into a night daycare place (some schools have them) or some other alternative.

    And as was pointed out with me, with a gun, you not only have to worry about you using it, but if you're watching a child, that the child may end up finding it. Then you'll really have problems.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Obviously, either your definition or the law's definition of "menacing" are two different things.

    Pulling up and saying shit to you in front of your house is "menacing" in my book. I'd also call it criminal trespass. Then again, I'm not a lawyer.
  10. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    Doesn't sound like he was on Dixie's property, at least how I interpreted it, so it's not trespassing.

    Having been in a somewhat similar situation, there's not much law enforcement can do at this point unless there's been a threat made. Like SixToe said, if he shows up again call the police.
  11. Shoeless Joe

    Shoeless Joe Active Member

    I'd say for someone's first gun get a.38 rather than a 9mm or any other semiautomatic. They're more accurate, more reliable, cheaper and cheaper to shoot. Certainly don't look at some of those little subcompact semiautomatics. You can't hit the broad side of a barn door with one. You just as well throw it at someone.

    If you prefer the shotgun route, you don't need one with an extended capacity. The best thing for home protection is to find an old double barrel and saw it off as short as the law permits if you're never going to be hunting with it. That makes it less cumbersome if you need it quickly. After that, get a Remington 870 pump. It's the first or second best selling shotgun of all time. It'll hold three rounds or five if you remove the plug but you'll never need that. The sound of you working the action on a pump shotgun will stop someone in their tracks quicker than anything.
  12. I'll never tell

    I'll never tell Active Member

    Please, please, please ... please, don't saw off a shotgun. Please.

    You don't need it. You have to have federal ATF permits for it, and if not, it's illegal as shit. They make short-enough, legal barrels for any old shotgun. They make home defense models. And honestly if you've never owned a gun or been around guns, just buy a non-pump.

    As far as pistols go, don't buy a Glock. Just don't. The position of the safety is just plain dangerous for folks that typically don't deal with guns. And a 9mm is just fine for accuracy or else cops everywhere wouldn't carry them.
    .38 is fine, too. Just don't buy a sissy gun like a .25.

    When you get something though, go chrome. I've always heard the flash helps scare people just as much as the shot, and I can't really argue.

    But if you're not going to keep it in your car, a shotgun is fine. It's cheap, you don't need any extra permits, and load it up with buckshot/birdshot and you really don't have to be able to aim, just point.
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