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Old December 1, 2009, 02:15 PM   #26
sakeneko
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The only thing that clearly suggested a problem to me was that he boxed you in. That was aggressive and *really* not acceptable behavior. If it had not been for that, I'd say that he could have needed help, or he could have been scamming people. But someone who is trying to intimidate you or control your movements should be presumed to be up to no good.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:16 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zukiphile
I don't believe these on-the-street panhandling transactions, where all that is given is cash, are charity though. If one gives another enough money to OD, he's not really conferred a benefit.
I agree. The only way someone is getting straight cash from me is at gunpoint.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi
KingEdward did well NOT to engage the panhandler further by offering to go in to the store with him.
Indeed he did, if that's the way he chooses to handle the situation. Personally, I want to help if I can help. I'll tell the guy that I'll meet him at the pharmacy. I'll park right at the door of the place, and try to be out of my vehicle and headed in before he gets to me. I'll wait inside the door, visible to employees and cameras. I'll follow the guy to the pharmacy counter, wait for the transaction, wait for his money to come out, and then I'll pay the difference. Problem solved. If he even bothers to follow me to the pharmacy then I have gone 90% of the way to confirming that it's not a scam.

However, like I said, KingEdward (or anyone else), is not obliged to do as I would do. So long as the reaction is sane and cautious, then do what you want to do. No judgements from me whatsoever.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xyas
I just think it's kinda odd that people tell me their kids are sick and can't afford their medicine. Go to Meijer, Walmart, etc. where they're either free or $4.
If only it was always that easy. My wife was on a prescription that was required to keep our unborn child alive. It is so unusual that we had to order it at least 7 days ahead of picking it up.... and it cost over $750 a month at ANY pharmacy, if they could even get it. "Sick" doesn't always mean a $4 antibiotic.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:28 PM   #28
Xyas
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If only it was always that easy. My wife was on a prescription that was required to keep our unborn child alive. It is so unusual that we had to order it at least 7 days ahead of picking it up.... and it cost over $750 a month at ANY pharmacy, if they could even get it. "Sick" doesn't always mean a $4 antibiotic.

I understand that. I guess I wasn't talking in the context of the situation as I was with actually working at a pharmacy. As a soon to be pharmacist (4 months) I get a lot of people that complain to me saying how they can't afford their kids prescriptions when there are options available for them to get them for free/cheap. Your case was probably a very rare condition where as most cases are for antibiotics and pain meds. What really gets me mad is when people tell me they can't afford their kids medications yet they have a case of cigarettes, 2 fifths of alcohol, and a gigantic bag of dog food with them but that's entirely a different rant.

I guess in context with the situation, you could always ask what medication it is. If they have no clue, you busted them. If they tell you and you feel like being helpful, you could tell them you'll meet them in walgreens and pay for it when they get to the checkout. I HATE giving people money directly because you never know what they're going to do with it.

In the end, you handled the situation very well.

Last edited by Xyas; December 1, 2009 at 05:29 PM.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:36 PM   #29
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Here's my (pretty much scripted) response to these kinds of approaches:

"Hey, sorry to hear about your trouble. You know, the county has a program to help you out with that, let me call a deputy (police officer) who will be glad to help you."

My home county actually does have a procedure for referring legitimate needs to appropriate help agencies and I have discussed the issue with my county sheriff's office. They agree that this is a valid approach. They also agree that somewhere in the neighborhood of 99% will immediately depart the area.

I think most other locations have such help available for the really needy.

Of course, the approach should be significantly and more firmly different depending on the aggressiveness of the approach.

I often carry a few cards from the referenced agencies, but don't get the chance to hand them out much .

YMMV, of course and I agree that the OP did quite well, indeed.

Best,

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Old December 1, 2009, 02:52 PM   #30
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KingEdward,
You were being "interviewed". It was a good choice to stay clear of the vehicle.

General note (and you've all heard this refrain from me before).

In situations like this it is VITAL that you keep scanning the area. If it was a team the drive would have done everything to be the center of attention while the other guy(s) snuck up on you.

I have a standard response that I don't hand out cash. I'll offer to call for help or I've also offered to buy someone their meds/some food/etc. and EVERY time the response has been "oh f***ing never mind" or some variation.
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Old December 1, 2009, 02:55 PM   #31
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My point of view is this....If he dose not have 10 bucks to finish paying for his child's meds then he cant afford to drive that gas guzzler.

I say scam...don't care what you say....it is a scam.The OP did a great job in defusing a potentially dangerous situation.
And all this crap about "legit reasons" is bull to.hes in a 40k truck asking for money then when told no leaves in a whole different direction of drug store.
Seems to me you were being sized up."Great job" in conducting your self in a
professional manner.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:02 PM   #32
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KingEdward did everything right with the information he had available and his radar went up for some very good reasons. Much better to be safe and alive then to get sucked into this guys drama. You dun good!

The only thing differently that I would have done:
I would not have gotten into a conversation with him, other then to request that he move his vehicle. By doing so, would cause me to be distracted from another possible threat.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:11 PM   #33
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thanks. Thinking back to the event, my mind was moving forward towards
what I needed to do if he put the truck in park and got out and headed towards me. Or what I would do if he pointed something at me and I couldn't determine what it was.

Or where I might retreat to on foot should I feel the need to not stay near or in my vehicle.

I literally could not have left safely in the vehicle due to vehicles on both sides and behind.

The progession in my brain was less (how can I help him and what must his little girl be going through) and more what do I do next if he doesn't move and he progresses by exiting his truck.

Not to start up situational awareness recycling but he must have seen me go in and then saw where he could block my car in. I do not remember that truck when I went in, but it could have been fairly close. When I say it happened fast, I mean that when I got my key in the door to unlock it, his truck was not there but in the second that I opened the door and was about
to climb in, I looked ahead and there he was blocking me in at that point.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:12 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javabum
My point of view is this....If he dose not have 10 bucks to finish paying for his child's meds then he cant afford to drive that gas guzzler.

I say scam...don't care what you say....it is a scam.The OP did a great job in defusing a potentially dangerous situation.
And all this crap about "legit reasons" is bull to.hes in a 40k truck asking for money then when told no leaves in a whole different direction of drug store.
Your point of view is just that, YOUR point of view. You have no more facts than the rest of us. We all have the same suspicion that this event was a scam, or worse. However, to claim that there is NO CHANCE that it was legit, that there is NO legitimate way that a guy could have an expensive truck and be FLAT BROKE, that there could be NO legitimate reason to not go back to the drug store is just ridiculous.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:24 PM   #35
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Good call. Good reactions, thanks for the heads up.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:37 PM   #36
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Though not a new scam, its a variation on several old ones. In a situation like this awareness and distance are your friends. Stay safe and remain vigilant, always.
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Old December 1, 2009, 03:53 PM   #37
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I had the same guy hit me for $20 for "gas money to get back to Delaware" on two successive trips to Annapolis a couple of months apart.

He didn't seem pleased when I told him that he should make damned sure he has enough gas to get back BEFORE he leaves Delaware.

But, I never felt threatened by him.
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:18 PM   #38
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Quote:
Though not a new scam, its a variation on several old ones. In a situation like this awareness and distance are your friends. Stay safe and remain vigilant, always.
Well said. I have never seen a "legitimate" aggressive panhandler. We have some in Portland area that hang out on freeway onramps. A reporter discovered one couple brought in over $200K in a single year just from panhandling. They had a nice house, cars, etc. and special "poor" clothes for costumes.

I cannot imagine a responsible person going up to a stranger in an aggressive manner in order to beg for money. Most of us if we felt we had no other choice would approach another person with respect and assurance of no threat, and ask politely even if emotionally agitated.

Also, who would ask strangers for $10 bucks but not family or friends unless they have destroyed those relationships as well?

Anytime a person panhandles aggressively from me I consider them at best a nuisance and at worse a potential threat. A common ruse used for muggings is to engage the victim in conversation (begging, directions, etc.) in order to get close, then spring the trap. I dismiss aggressive panhandlers curtly and make distance to end conversation. Any stranger that shows me no respect while making a demand/request will get little in return.
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:19 PM   #39
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Quote:
Your point of view is just that, YOUR point of view. You have no more facts than the rest of us.

It's not possible to have all the facts. Only common sense.


What happened wasn't a scam. It was an act of aggression.

One legitimately in such a predicament acquires the money from friends or neighbors before going to the pharmacy.

WHAT HE DOESN'T DO IS DRIVE TO A PARKING LOT, BOX SOME ONE IN, AND AGRESSIVELY DEMAND THEY APPROACH HIS WINDOW SO HE CAN HUSTLE THEM FOR MONEY.

Should have been a 911 call. Not the non-emergency number.

Interesting how some are making excuses for him. Flat broke or not, his tactics were aggressive and a good tactic to precede a robbery.

Just my thoughts on the matter.

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Old December 1, 2009, 04:21 PM   #40
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Quote:
Your point of view is just that, YOUR point of view. You have no more facts than the rest of us. We all have the same suspicion that this event was a scam, or worse. However, to claim that there is NO CHANCE that it was legit, that there is NO legitimate way that a guy could have an expensive truck and be FLAT BROKE, that there could be NO legitimate reason to not go back to the drug store is just ridiculous.
Just let it go peetza. You made your point. Many posts ago...
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:26 PM   #41
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Quote:
Not to start up situational awareness recycling but he must have seen me go in and then saw where he could block my car in. I do not remember that truck when I went in, but it could have been fairly close. When I say it happened fast, I mean that when I got my key in the door to unlock it, his truck was not there but in the second that I opened the door and was about
to climb in, I looked ahead and there he was blocking me in at that point.
That is what separates this in my opinion from mere panhandling to aggressive and therefore worthy of special alertness. Can we even say we are in Condition Yellow if something so out of the ordinary occurs and we do not immediately say "Hey, pay attention, something might become a threat here."

A stranger suddenly blocking in your vehicle and yelling at you, for whatever reason (well except, Hey your lights are out, or your tire is flat), is a "heads up" moment in my book. Especially when they don't just move on but linger after you have expressed no interest.
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:41 PM   #42
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KingEdward,

You did the right thing. Always, trust your instincts. You felt this situation wasn't quite right and acted accordingly. Read "The Gift of Fear" by Gavin DeBecker. He's anti-gun big time but the info in the book is dead on the money.

Whether it was legit or not doesn't matter. It's better to err on the side of caution. Listen to that little voice... it's usually right.
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:51 PM   #43
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People I don't give money to - anyone knocking on my door for money, anyone that approaches me aggresively for money, the many men that have approached me because their car broke down, the guy at the LAX airport that autographed a book he wanted me to have for a $10 donation, anyone at the 16th Street Mall, downtown Lawrence, downtown Colorado Springs, Country Club Plaza, Nations Capital or wearing military uniforms.
Some people I have given money too - the person downtown asking for change for a dollar for the parking meter at the spot I saw them pull into. Those bell ringers around the Holidays. Once a person in Mexico with a deaf/mute sign (she cried when I gave her a $20). Baristas, waitresses, bartenders, valet parkers, my cheapskate friends and pretty women.
It's my money and I'll do what I want, nobody (outside of the government) forces my asset allocation.
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Old December 1, 2009, 04:58 PM   #44
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If my child was sick and I needed money for medicine and no way to get it but beg, yes, I would beg.

But not that way.

King, you did good.
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Old December 1, 2009, 05:34 PM   #45
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Maybe I'm a little jaded... But I think the OP's response was pretty good. I'd have probably pushed back a little harder. IMO it started as an agressive panhandler. I truely believe that if King responded with kindness, or shown a hint of weakness it may have gotten ugly... fast. Now this is just my opinion... but that so called pan handler was sizing King up.. I truely believe from the information. this guy would have tried to intimidate him into coughing up some cash. This is a common scam more seen in sub-urban areas, rather than inner city, or rural areas. ( where you could get shot). The criminal is depending on your guilt for having more than him, your good nature, and natural curiosity and friendly manner, your sense of community. If that fails ... intimidation!!!... nope it was a scam and possible crime.


Why did he block King's vehical? Why did he motion King over to his vehical? why did he not speak?.... come on... you have to see this coming a mile away. I wonder what would have happened if King did walk over.
Maybe he's grabbed by the collar and a knife put to his throat, and money taken, maybe a gun is displayed and his money taken... Maybe the guy in the passenger side of the truck ( whos been hiding on the floor) gets out and grabs from behind. When a panhandler asks for a substantial amount of cash, he really wants to see if you have cash, and where do you keep it. I'm origonally from NYC...I know panhandlers..lol. They tend to be happy with what ever you give them as the old saying go's... beggers cant be choosey.

END OF RANT.
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Old December 1, 2009, 05:36 PM   #46
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Flame on but some of you are point blank too paranoid, heartless, cynical and, with all due respect, pansy boys!

I drive a $1.4 M USD car & its happened to me in the same car. My first born had 102 fever (first time he got sick) and I rushed out to get Panadol at 3 AM. The nearest 24/7 pharmacy was 35 kms. When I reached there I realized I had left my wallet, mobile phone and even my watch at home. I'm someone who's never even asked my parents for money after I was 14 but I went inside the pharmacy, told the guy at teh counter I had forgotten my wallet and if he would give me the medicine & I'll come back with the money in less than an hour. He didnt even bat an eye lid and gave me the medicine. Same guy now owns his own pharmacy at a hospital that I own. You could have asked the guy to come with you to Walgreen and to buy him the medicine he needs if you were not comfortable with getting close to the guy & his vehicle.

So what if thats guys daughter was really sick?

How you screwed up is:

1. You didnt give him a mere $10 bucks.
2. And for topping you got police on his tail screwing up the poor soul.

How would you feel if you daughter was sick and you had to beg someone for a mere 10 bucks where that someone would flatly refuse. So here you are all worried and VOILA! Cops all over your arse..... and we all know what happens next.

Seriously guys, have some compassion for godsake. I never really understood fatherhood and the love for a child until I had my own.

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Old December 1, 2009, 05:48 PM   #47
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I like Peetza's plan

I agree there's a 97% chance it was a BS scam... but by offering to follow the guy

to the pharmacy counter the human in me wouldn't feel so guilty.
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Old December 1, 2009, 10:07 PM   #48
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People legitimately looking for help don't generally DEMAND it, they ask for it. I'd say it was a scam, and an aggressive one at that.

jmho,

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Old December 1, 2009, 10:23 PM   #49
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Ummm

Of all the things I may be..... a pansy boy isnt one of them. Because of the location your texting from. I'll take a chance and assume that you dont have a complete grasp of the english language. As far as my being too paranoid... that may well be so... but I've earned it fair n square. I'm sure there are things in your world that I'll never begin to understand... After all were all products of our environment. Well the mean streets of the United States is my environment. Consider that there may be things that I know that you cant understand. I promise that I will respect your postings, and I ask that you tender me the same respect. And i'm not heartless... I'm suspicious...I refuse to be a victim. And I thank you for your feedback

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Old December 1, 2009, 10:49 PM   #50
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aggressive begging

Peetza, I admire your optimism. Maybe I'm a bit jaded having grown up in NYC and then spending most of my life in Philly and the D.C. area, but my guess is that the odds are at least 1000:1 that this guy was a scammer, and a fairly aggressive one at that. The "sick kid" story is old and worn out, just as is the "only need money for a cab to get home" (or buy gas to get to my family, etc., etc.) Do not believe that some folks don't make a living doing this. In NYC a local TV station did an interview with a well-dressed young guy asking for money from motorists stopped at a traffic light. When the TV reporter determined that this was effectively this guy's "job", he asked him why he chose to do such a low yield and demeaning thing, he was told "I can make about $100,000 a year doing this, no taxes, and I spend my winters in Florida." There have been well-documented reports in NYC about entire families who were professional beggars, and whose annual take put them well into the upper middle class. My wife works for the Archdiocese of Washington, and they get lots of people looking for charity. The single males who say their families are starving are rarely interested in being given food; they want food stamps (to sell) or cash for drugs. I used to believe the stories, but not so much any more.
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