Wednesday, May 9, 2007

My neighbor got burgaled

1) Name: - Anon
2) City - Carson City
3) State - Nv
4) Country - United States
5) Date: - May 9, 2007
6) Time: - 08:30:00
7) Who did you witness? - a BURGLAR
8) What did you witness?
Before today, I considered our little neighborhood one of the quietest in the city. We have no street lights and there is very little traffic or noise at any time of day. This is mostly so because there aren't many houses in the area and we live on the outskirts of the city. Something happened this morning that changed all of that.

As I was backing out of my driveway this morning, a man was walking toward the end of the cul-de-sac. He was wearing white tennis shoes, black and white checked pants (they looked like flannel pajama bottoms) and a yellow hooded sweatshirt. He had the hood up. Other than the fact that I didn't recognize him, which is somewhat unusual in our neighborhood because I have seen most if not all of the people that usually take walks, seeing him struck me as strange. First, he didn't look at me even though I came somewhat close to him with my car as I was backing out and leaving. When I'm out walking and I car is headed my direction, I almost always try and make eye contact with the driver so that I know that he sees me. This man didn't do that. When I tried to make eye contact with him, he was only about 3 feet from my driver's side window, so I got a fairly good look at the left side of his face.

After leaving the cul-de-sac, I called my wife and told her not to worry but that I just saw a man that seemed suspicious and that she should be aware. After I hung up the phone, I didn't think much of it. But then she called me at work. She said she saw him walking back toward the street from the end of the cul-de-sac and then suddenly, he was gone. She went and looked in the back yard to see if he'd gone back there, but she didn't see him. In a beautiful moment of good neighborliness, she noticed that our neighbor's garage door was open (as it often is during the day) and gave him a call. He immediately went into his garage and found that he was inexplicably missing an air compressor.

Our neighbor's son is a deputy sheriff for our county, so when my neighbor called the police, he got an extremely quick response. (Thanks Carson City Sheriff!!) If I had to guess, I'd say it was much quicker than usual. The police found our guy parking his car in front of a pawn shop about 5 blocks from our house. He'd taken off the yellow sweatshirt, but he was still wearing the unique black and white checkered pants. After Whitney went to the pawn shop to identify him as the man she saw, but couldn't with any certainty, I left work and went over there. They pulled him out of the back of a patrol car and made him turn to the side to expose his profile. I said that on a scale of 1 to 10 that I was a 6--mostly sure that it was him. Then I noticed a police officer putting a yellow hooded sweatshirt in the trunk of his car, which sweatshirt he had pulled out of the man's truck. Then I asked to see his pants again, because I'd been focusing on his face, and when I looked again--same pants. So then I added to my written statement that I was 8 or 9 sure, on that same 1 to 10 scale, that he was the man.

In addition to finding my neighbor's air compressor, they found other things, including something out of my neighbor's car, which had been parked inside his garage. I can't imagine the nerve of this guy. Committing a burglary at 8:30 in the morning. Not only going into a garage, but going into the car inside the garage. Very assertive. The police also found drugs and drug paraphernalia, so I think that the case against the man is very solid and I have no doubt that he'll plead guilty when the time comes.

As happens with these things, now my wife is a little nervous about being home alone. She said she won't go on her daily run today. Now she'll be even more paranoid about security at home. I'm glad they caught the guy, and I'm glad my neighbor got his stuff back, but I wish that it hadn't happened. I envision having to get up in the middle of the night to check on strange noises, in my underwear, carrying a bat or some other useless weapon that will only provoke the intruder to use his stolen sidearm. I envision having to remember to lock up much better than we usually do, and having to check that I did so in the middle of the night. I also envision the possibility of having a good excuse to get a really cool dog. Maybe one with a spiked collar and a tattoo. That might make all this worth it.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

letting loose in church

# : 4
Your Name : sarah r.
City : salem
State : or
Date : sometime in 2003
Time : early morning
What : my husband and i were sitting in the back pew of our church building, and there was a kid who was about 16 or 17 standing in front of the side entrance door immediately to our right. we were in the process of taking the sacrament, and it was really quiet in the chapel. all of a sudden, i heard a funny noise. i looked around and couldn't figure out where the noise was coming from. it sounded like a leaky pipe or something. that's when i noticed that is was, in fact, a leaky pipe of sorts.
the teenager next to us (who was standing up, by the way), was peeing his pants. it was incredible. he just stood there peeing. his pants were getting wet, it was dripping on the floor, and he stood there and didn't even flinch. he didn't notice that my husband and i were looking at him. as the pee pooled on the ground, he used his foot to try and smear it around the carpet to make it look less obvious.
it was really strange. he was a totally normal, skater-type of kid. and there he was, peeing in front of everyone. to this day is it one of the strangest things i have ever witnessed.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Stupid Lady

# : 3
Your Name : At least not that stupid
City : neither here
State : nor there
Date : 19/02/2007
Time : 09:02
Who : A stupid lady
What : Last Monday morning as I got on the commuter train there was a lady who came frantically running down the stairs. My first thought was that there was someone chasing her or a bomb or something bad. She ran down the street to her car and drove into the transit parking lot – she pulled right into a disability-only parking space and she did not have disability plates (consider the fact that she was running). The streets surrounding the train station are no-parking zones on the first and third Mondays each moth for street cleaning.
This was Presidents Day though so I figured that she moved from one space where she was probably OK to a space where she was going to get towed for sure. She is almost back to the train when she stops short and returns to the car, the disability placard comes out of the glove compartment and she hangs it on the rear view mirror. Once again she runs back to the train, just before she gets to the platform the doors close. Apparently the conductor was feeling nice, possibly because of the light passenger load that day and opens the doors.
A minute later she scrambles up the steps frantically looking for her cell phone which disappeared at some point in the brouhaha. I helped her look but with no luck, I asked her if the ringer on her phone was on so we could hear it if I called. She thought it was a brilliant idea, but unfortunately for her it yielded no results. Later on the ride she asked if the private transit busses run on holidays – they don’t. She was going to be stuck at a station several miles from work with no transportation and no way to contact anyone. I offered my phone and she was able to get a co-worker to agree to pick her up.
She finally decided that the phone must have fallen from her pocket in or around her car. She asked the conductor to call the transit center and have the platform guard look in the parking lot.
Meanwhile we are fast approaching her stop so she asks me to call her if the conductor comes back with any news – I ask for her work number, she thinks for a second and dictates a number which I record in the margin of one of my textbooks. Then as she stands to leave the train she says “that is my cell number so you will be able to get me even if I am away from my desk.” I checked my recently dialed list and sure enough she gave me the number for her lost cell phone. Perhaps she is deserving of the disability placard after all.

Friday, February 23, 2007

JFK's last seconds

# : 2
Your Name : Anonymous
City : Dallas
State : TX
Date : 1963
Who : JFK
What :

Rollover Accident

# : 1
Your Name : Anonymous
Street Address : 1660 Covington Way SE
City : Covington
State : Washington
Date : 02/11/1995
Time : 12:00 AM
Who : myself
What : When I was 16, I was involved in a single-car, no injury, rollover accident. I wasn't wearing a seatbelt. I left my girlfriend's house that night at about 10 minutes to midnight. I was obsessively concerned with making it home before curfew at midnight. Normally, the drive home from her place was about a 15-18 minute drive, so I really had to make good time. Things were going just fine until I got behind a car that insisted on driving the speed limit. I passed them in a section of road marked with a double yellow stripe. Unfortunately, I soon overtook another law abider. The posted speed limit at that time was 35 mph. I was driving my dad's old Ford Courier truck with the pedal to the metal at about 70-75 mph. At the moment when I needed to either brake or pass the car in front of me, we were entering a left-hand corner with a double yellow stripe. From my vantage point, I couldn't see if another car was coming towards me in the oncoming lane. Not wanting to take the risk of colliding with an oncoming car, I determined that the only way I could get around the car in front of me without slowing down was to pass it in the right-hand, gravel shoulder. Without hesitating, I swerved onto the shoulder and narrowly squeezed between the car and a road sign, which indicated the recommended speed for the corner--30 miles an hour.
Somehow, I passed the car and made it through the corner without losing control of the truck. The funny thing is, I never even considered not making it. I never consciously considered that I wouldn't pull it off. I always drove like a maniac and people were legitimately, and understandably, afraid to be in the truck with me. People on the road around me didn't feel any better.
In Covington, WA, which is a very small, rural town, the roads were not always in ideal condition. The shoulders of the roads were sometimes worse. It just so happened that at that time, at that particular place, there was a small "ditch" between the pavement and the gravel shoulder. The ditch was only about 5 inches wide and maybe 3 or 4 inches deep, but it was enough. As I tried to bring the truck back onto the pavement from the gravel, the ditch provided just enough of a hiccup to cause the back-end of the truck (empty truck bed; rear-wheel drive) to fishtail 90 degrees. I was now perpendicular to the road.
Since I was going about 70 just before then, and my rear wheels were now peeling out in the gravel as the truck changed directions and hit the ditch, coming back onto the pavement perpendicular to the roadway was absolutely frightening. At the same instant that I turned 90 degrees, my headlights illuminated what lie in front of me: a yellow fire hydrant, a wooden, slatted fence, and a telephone pole. My eyes locked on the fire hydrant.
When the truck's rear wheels gained traction on the pavement, the truck catapulted sideways across the road at speeds around 60 mph. In my terror, my body froze and I continued to press the accelerator to the floor. I never let up the gas or moved the steering wheel. I only gaped at that fire hydrant. Only a split second passed between the time I hit the ditch and realizing that I was going to crash into the fire hydrant. I never once thought about my seatbelt hanging uselessly from the wall of the cab of the truck.
I hit the fire hydrant with my right headlight. The hydrant snapped off its base like the head of a Barbie doll off her body. It provided just enough resistance to send the truck into a 360 degree spin. Half way through the spin, tires still spinning at full tilt, my foot still stomping uncontrollably on the gas pedal, the bed of the truck exploded through the fence. Two four by four posts snapped in half, with all of the planks splintering into shards. As the truck completed its 360, the tires on the forward side of the truck dug into the soft grass between the hydrant and the phone pole, causing the still fast-moving truck to flip onto its roof. As one of the windows and back windshield shattered, sending glass into my hair and down my shirt, the center of the truck's roof landed on a small boulder. The roof collapsed almost to the seat, leaving just a small space for its lonely, dazed driver. As the truck flipped over, I was sent crashing down onto the roof, slamming my head and shoulder against it.
I was disoriented. I didn't know which way was up. And my head throbbed like the dickens. At first, it seemed that the best way out of the truck was to kick out the one remaining window. I didn't bother to look at the other one. After 2 or 3 futile kicks, I realized I wasn't getting out that way. Then I noticed the other window was missing. About this time, I could faintly hear a man's voice slowly, calmly asking, "Is anyone OK?" He wasn't panicked or anxious. I thought later that he surely guessed me dead. As I crawled out of the window and onto the grass, I looked up into the face of a man that attended my church. He was stunned. Not only had I survived, but he knew me. He had been driving the car that I had tried to pass. He was the second law abider.
The truck was totaled, of course. My parents ended up salvaging only the wheels, tires, and bench seat. The only other part of the story that is of any interest is that I was fine, barely a scratch on me. The paramedics were amazed. The friendly police officer gave me a ticket for negligent driving. I've had to tell two state boards of bar examiners about that ticket.
A little later, my dad arrived at the scene of the accident. I saw him as I was climbing down from the fire truck or ambulance. Without stopping as he walked past me, he said, "You know, with the racing suspension, high performance engine, and low center of gravity, I can see why you thought you could pull that off." Now that's what parents are for.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Witness Report Form

File your own report by doing one of two things:

(1) filling out the form below, or

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