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Old December 2, 2009, 08:52 PM   #76
Mokumbear
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40k truck? Step off!

I have no sympathy for someone in a $40k truck I could never afford.

Just like people who bought homes they couldn't possibly afford.

Blocking your exit was an aggressive, provocative act.

Sell that outrageously expensive truck, drive something affordable and
you wouldn't be in that situation, if it was even true.

As a young man, I once walked about 10 miles home rather than ask
a stranger for the 5 cents I was short for subway fare.

Your encounter sounds like a suburban version of the Bernard Goetz subway story.

You handled it correctly and kept a cool head. Kudos to you.
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Old December 2, 2009, 11:47 PM   #77
Nnobby45
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Quote:
I wonder why so many of our priorities are to err toward assumption of violence?
I've been wondering why you don't in this specific instance.

I can see that winning the argument is important to you. OK, you're the winner.
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Old December 3, 2009, 02:43 AM   #78
SigP6Carry
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erring on the safe side is a good thing. There've been encounters with people in my past that I've reacted rather absurdly too. The "homeless man" wrapping his arm around my shoulder walking with me, dropping the "n-word" constantly and acting like I was his best friend. My response "I gotta get to my train!" and hopping a median near Grand Station in Chicago to get away.

It's a perfectly apt way to react, but a lot of people condemn anyone who asks for help as a scam artist, simply because they've never had to put themselves in the same place.
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Old December 3, 2009, 03:46 AM   #79
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OK, this is not tactics, but I have to share.

I just have to share my experience. Experiences, actually.

I was painting my entryway when a guy knocked on my front door and asked me for $20 to buy gas so he could get home (about 50 miles away). He was handicapped (I don't remember if it was hearing impaired or could not speak--it was a three or four years ago), and told (wrote) a good line about starting a taxidermy business and having a good work history with a local (to his home) business. I gave him $20. I figured I could spare the money even if he was scamming me and I am (was) a soft touch. He promised faithfully to mail me the money.

No letter came.

A couple of weeks later, I was in my office when one of my co-workers came upstairs looking for our boss (who has our building posted "No Soliciting", by the way). There was a guy downstairs who was needing gas money. Our boss wasn't there, but another co-worker and I went downstairs to find out what's up. I recognized the guy right away. I informed my co-worker that he was a scam artist. He didn't believe me right away, but I told him to just keep him occupied.

I went outside and saw the same truck, and the passenger side window was open. So I opened the glove compartment and found the registration and a business card from a local charitable group which helps the handicapped. I noted that his fuel gauge was low, but with the ignition off, I don't know if it was reading true or not.

I went back inside where my co-worker and he were still talking. I walked up to the other side of the scammer, plopped the papers on the counter and joined the conversation. He did not remember me.

He went through his spiel with me and I reminded him that I had given him $20 two weeks ago and accused him of running a scam. He denied it and was insulted. He said he tried to come back to pay me, but could not remember where I lived. He began to leave and I told him he would want to take his papers with him. He was incensed that I would have the nerve to go into his vehicle. I told him he could have the papers as soon as I photocopied them, which I did.

He said he was so insulted that he would be back the next day with my $20. He never showed.

I did call the organization whose business card he had. Yep, they knew him. They had helped him, too. But they do not give money any more. They do have vouchers for a few gallons of gas, food and clothing. But this guy was not interested in that stuff so much.

So, I called the police to let them know this scammer was out there and to file a complaint. As it turns out, there is no law against doing what he is doing. He wheedles money from someone by lying and it is not a criminal act. If someone gives him money, that's a gift. Fraud laws require a bit more.

His truck was registered to a lady, evidently his mother. I considered driving out there to let her know what her son is doing, but thought that was just investing too much into this jerk, so passed on that idea.

I am not that soft a touch any more. But I do recognize that there are people out there who are genuinely in need and at their wit's end how to make it from day to day and here to there. So, sometimes I will give the benefit of the doubt, still. But less now than before.

So, scammers steal from more than thier primary victims. They steal from people they never met, other people with real needs. They do this by making charitable people less willing to give.

Pity.

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Old December 3, 2009, 09:26 AM   #80
hogdogs
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Quote:
I wonder why so many of our priorities are to err toward assumption of violence?
Momma taught me that "An ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure..."
in this case it may beat having to double tap someone with JHP ammo and the ensuing hours of hassle with the "blue crew"...

Pop always said "Prior planning prevents P*** poor performance"...
Both of those cliches fit the realm of tactics and training so well!
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Old December 3, 2009, 10:02 AM   #81
Brian Pfleuger
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Still not one single person has bothered to actually explain why my method would be wrong or unsafe. Just the same tired argument about how it was a "guaranteed", "99.999%", "no doubt" scam.

Instead of the "it's obviously important to you. You win.", "I give up." or "You've made your point, let it go.".... how about ANSWERING the point?


My method is no less safe, no more open to getting scammed, does not encourage panhandling and also ensures that an honest needy person does not get turned away with the cops on his tail for no reason.

I mean, really, there's only two possible outcomes:

1)The same thing observed by the OP.
2)"Oh man, that'd be great! Yeah, I'll meet you over there. Thanks a lot! I really appreciate it!"
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; December 3, 2009 at 11:10 AM.
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Old December 3, 2009, 11:11 AM   #82
Motob3000
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I got one for ya'

About two years ago my father and I were on our way to a family Thanksgiving in a town about an hour away from Nashville. We were in my Mom's car a 2000-2001 porsche boxster. At the gas station we were approached by a young female. We were nicely dressed and given the car we were in I am sure we looked like a good target. Most people don't know you can get a used boxster for cheap and that most new SUVs cost twice as much, its a porsche and it gets attention.

She approached us and said she needed gas money to get home, they were almost to thier families house where they could get help; her husband was in the car and maybe some kids too. They drove a two-tone Ford Explorer that wasn't in pristine condition.
My Dad has a temper but at the same time is a very giving individual. He pulled out his wallet and was handing over the twenty dollar bill. When she took a hold of it, he didn't let go and said. "I am doing the right thing by trying to help you and whether or not you do the right thing with this money is up to you" She started to talk and he interrupted her with "Tell your husband if I see him panhandling at this gas station, the next time I see him I am going to punch him in the face as hard as I can" She was needless to say surprised as I was by the whole transaction. She said thank you and left.
The same girl approached me at the gas station a few weeks later and had the same story. I started laughing and said "Your lucky my Dad's not here" She looked confused. I said "two guys in a porsche on Thanksgiving Day gave you a twenty dollar bill for similiar circumstances" I guess she remembered us. She left immediately and I haven't seen them there since.

I don't give money, I will buy gas or food. I will do the right thing by helping out needy people, I would hate to think that I was ever in a position like that I would be able to call family or friends for help. Maybe they don't have any to contact with their family, or maybe their family is tired of supporting them.

Either way good job.
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Old December 3, 2009, 11:56 AM   #83
armedbutnotdangerous
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My two cents.
King Edward, glad it worked out for you. All you who are CERTAIN it was a
scam, I envy your self-assurance and feel sorry for your cynicism.

I have been scammed a buncha times. Got hustled for a couple hundred bucks by a young
co-worker and his wife. Was necklace scammed in Jamaica.
Was "victim" of a beautiful hustle in South Africa when a couple of
locals helped me buy cigarettes at a vending machine. It was a great hustle, we all enjoyed it.
It cost me ten bucks, that I am lucky enough not to miss. Also had a great conversation with a
junkie looking for money in Dublin.

However, I will still stop to help people on the side of the road, give somebody a couple bucks
if they look like they need it (and have a good pitch, bum sittin' mumblin' about change probably
won't get any), and buy food for the homeless guy that says he's hungry.

If I had freaked out, and over-reacted in several of the above situations, they could have
gone much differently. Relax, go with the flow, but watch your back.

I prefer to do as Motob3000's dad did. I feel better if I can give to somebody; if they mis-use the money,
well, that's their bad karma.

I don't want to live so incredibly paranoid a life that I ascribe evil motives to everybody I come across,
and right now I can afford to spare a few bucks.

Peetza Killer, I'm with you. I try to find ways to help that are safe for all concerned. Makes for a better
world than "AAAHHH, they're out to get me!!! Call 911!"
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Old December 3, 2009, 01:14 PM   #84
RevJim
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Different Perspective

I come at this from a different perspective: I am a pastor. We believe we have been a mandate by Jesus to help people and minister to those in need.

The question is how - how do you help someone in need? Do we really help someone when we give them $10 for gas/prescriptions/food, or are we simply enabling them to remain in a lifestyle that does not work? The original post stated that the man drove a $40,000 truck. If he is asking for money, could he be living a lifestyle that he cannot maintain? Perhaps he lost his job or the economy turned south - shouldn't he be expected to reduce his spending, even if it means making big sacrifices?

There should be a lot more consideration than just whether to give the man some money or not. If he is a scammer and we give him money, then we have just enabled him to continue his scamming. If he is living an unsustainable lifestyle and we give him money, then we have just enabled him to continue that unsustainable lifestyle. If he forgot his wallet at home and we give him money, then we have helped a man who forgot his wallet!

It is easy to become jaded and cynical - either give him $10 and tell him to go away or don't give him $10 and tell him to go away. But neither has helped him (unless he just forgot his wallet). Unfortunately, scammers know this: make people uncomfortable or make people feel sorry for you and they will pay you to go away so they don't have to deal with you any more!

From a tactical standpoint, obviously you should not go toward the vehicle. If you are alone, PeetzaKilla has a great suggestion - offer to go to the pharmacy and pay. But be careful that the individual is not really a team, waiting jump you when you go in or come out. And if you have loved ones present, their safety is your first priority - I would hesitate to leave them alone. But some pharmacies have drive-through windows that allow you to pay without getting out of your vehicle. But again, pay attention to your surroundings.

I have done what PeetzaKilla suggested - offer to pay. It is shocking how many times I have been refused (and verbally insulted/assaulted)! But occasionally someone is grateful for my help. Here is my rule-of-thumb (for what it is worth): if they act confidently and have a story that sounds like it has been practiced, it probably has! But if they act ashamed and their story sounds unrehearsed, they are probably legitimate.

I am by no means an expert; I just seem to get hit up for help a lot!
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Old December 3, 2009, 01:38 PM   #85
ClayInTx
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Peetza, some answers you wanted

Let’s understand something right up front-- from the tone of what I’ve read in almost every post in this thread the poster is willing to help for a genuine need. Most have not seen King’s situation as truly depicting a genuine need, they have, instead, seen a potentially dangerous situation because of the actions of the potential perp. Note: I said potential, no proven but potential.

I don’t know if he was truly a perp, or really in need.
King didn’t know if he was truly a perp, or really in need.
YOU don’t know if he was truly a perp, or really in need.

King has not indicated he would not help a genuinely needful person.

1. King did see a person in a vehicle which indicated some measure of affluence, but was begging.
2. King did encounter a person who was trying to get him away from the safety of his vehicle.
3. King was some distance away from the lighted store and not able to retreat with just a few steps.
4. King was amongst other cars in the parking lot and on foot essentially boxed in for retreat in other directions.
5. King’s own vehicle was boxed in.
6. King had no way of knowing if the potential perp had confederates lurking.
7. King had no way of knowing he wouldn’t get jumped if he left his vehicle and walked toward the drugstore to help pay for the medicine.

Usually two out of three is enough to determine cause for concern.

How about seven out of seven?

Peetza, you wanted answers. You just got seven of ‘em!
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Old December 3, 2009, 02:13 PM   #86
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Thanks to all who replied.

In an effort to clarify a few things I'll reply here as well....

I am a Christian and I have young daughters and I do believe in helping others whether it be with time, talent, material means, etc.

I have helped people in the past who were strangers to me and
generally those times and situations were fairly easy going and
my approach was helpful and courteous as I was approached in
a very vanilla and humble manner to begin with.

In this situation, before the man in said truck ever opened his mouth,
there were caution flags and bells in my head due to:

a) being blocked in so quickly
b) his physical motions in the truck wanting me to move towards him
c) the fact that my only retreat option was on foot

My thoughts / intuition regarding his request for money became secondary
due to a,b,c above and I thought about what to and not to do and I decided to as kindly as I could say no while holding my position behind the car door and awaiting his reaction / response.

After it was over, and I drove home I thought about what if my refusal to help put his daughter's health in further jeopardy? What if I would have offered to go into the store with him and pay the difference would he have
left anyway because it was a scam? and there were a couple of other thoughts.

I truly feel if he had walked towards me but from a few feet away calmly
told me his situation/request I would have been much more likely to think
and act along lines of offering to go with him to the pharmacy and helping
get the medicine for kid.

But I didn't do that based on his approach and I can move forward in
peace.
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Old December 3, 2009, 02:19 PM   #87
OldMarksman
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Quote:
King did see a person in a vehicle which indicated some measure of affluence, but was begging.
Curious, but not suspicious.

Quote:
King did encounter a person who was trying to get him away from the safety of his vehicle.
King was some distance away from the lighted store and not able to retreat with just a few steps.
King was amongst other cars in the parking lot and on foot essentially boxed in for retreat in other directions.
King’s own vehicle was boxed in.
All causes for caution, if not concern.

Quote:
King had no way of knowing if the potential perp had confederates lurking.
True of everyone you meet.

Quote:
King had no way of knowing he wouldn’t get jumped if he left his vehicle and walked toward the drugstore to help pay for the medicine.
True every time you get out of your car.
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Old December 3, 2009, 02:23 PM   #88
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayInTx
Peetza, you wanted answers. You just got seven of ‘em!
Those aren't answers, my friend. Those constitute a description of the situation found in the OP. My suggestion takes into account every one of those conditions and does just as much to "feel out" the situation as does any other method yet posited. Those are all good reasons to feel uneasy and suspicious about the situation. We've established that it was likely a scam, and could have been dangerous.

I don't know, I guess I don't understand why my position is so difficult to accept.

I said that the OP, King Edward, acted in a safe and proper way IMO, if that was the way he felt that he should have reacted. Safe and sane, what more can you ask?

I'm simply expressing the opinion that there are OTHER safe and sane ways to handle the situation that either expose or eliminate the danger just as quickly while simultaneously allowing for you to assist a person in need, should it turn out to NOT be a scam.

I'll say again. The OP is not me. He has no obligation to act or react in the manner that I believe that I would, and I have. He did fine. He's safe, that's priority one. Priority two, is helping people who need help, at least to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingEdward
But I didn't do that based on his approach and I can move forward in
peace.
And well you should, you did nothing wrong.
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Old December 3, 2009, 02:33 PM   #89
Magi
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Peetza, the biggest problem I see with your solution of offering to accompany the con by going inside the pharmacy with him is that your solution requires CONTINUED CONTACT with the con. This solution of yours not only increases the potential risk to you but it now also puts shoppers in the pharmacy in potential harms way if in fact the con had far more malicious intentions. The fact that the con was aggressive and intentionally put KingEdward in a defensive position by blocking his vehicle's right of way should have removed all doubt that this con was not at all humble or deferring in his attitude and should therefore not be trusted. Your solution is not 'smart' tactically and would only have created more chances for the con to take advantage of KingEdward.
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Old December 3, 2009, 02:46 PM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi
Your solution is not 'smart' tactically and would only have created more chances for the con to take advantage of KingEdward.
Though I would disagree with the assessment of the tactics, the slight potential for increased risk is partially why I find no fault in his actions. If there was NO indication of any potential scam or hostilities then I think that we could all agree that telling the guy to bug off and calling the police would be more than a bit callous.

However, I consider any potential additional risks to be minimal.

I could also make an argument that my method may in fact REDUCE the risks, since it would nearly instantly establish the intent of the "begger". However, any such scenario is WAY into the realm of the theoretical. There's no way to know who would be right. I think it's a small chance. I'd take it. No one else has to. I see very little danger in meeting the "begger" in a lit parking lot and walking into a store populated with numerous employees and customers, not to mention monitored by security cameras, so that I can pay $10 for his prescription.
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Old December 3, 2009, 03:47 PM   #91
Magi
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Quote:
I could also make an argument that my method may in fact REDUCE the risks, since it would nearly instantly establish the intent of the "begger".
Not unless the con was prepared to continue the ruse which he has already established that he is willing to do simply by virtue of employing it in the first place.

Thus your solution remains tactically unsound. And again I argue that it places the victim (and potentially innocent bystanders) at greater risk simply because of the prolonged contact with a malcontent who has demonstrated an aggressive and domineering demeanor.
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Old December 3, 2009, 03:49 PM   #92
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'Tis so. 'Tis not. 'Tis so. 'Tis not.

Luke saw the buzzards circling beyond the rise as he approached the ranch with his month’s supply of grub for the hands. He drove on past the ranch house to see which animal had fell prey to the long hard winter and the blizzard which had swept the plains.

Yes, it was old Paint, the laziest horse on the ranch. Always needed the whip. He pushed the brake with his booted foot, took the long slender whip from its socket, and slowly climbed from the wagon.

The coyotes had already been there, as well as the buzzards darting in for a quick mouthful. Only bones remained.

He began at the skull and with lash after lash of the whip slowly worked his way down the bones toward what was left of the tail....
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Old December 3, 2009, 04:35 PM   #93
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayInTx
He began at the skull and with lash after lash of the whip slowly worked his way down the bones toward what was left of the tail....
Actually, we've finished beating, er, whipping the dead horse. We're on to a decent conversation now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Magi
Thus your solution remains tactically unsound. And again I argue that it places the victim (and potentially innocent bystanders) at greater risk simply because of the prolonged contact with a malcontent who has demonstrated an aggressive and domineering demeanor.
If that's your reasoning then it is how you should react. I personally don't see how there is any increased risk. It's not like the guy vaporizes into thin air when you tell him to go away. If he's a threat to others then he's a threat to others, your having gone with him to the pharmacy changes nothing in that regard. It is, IMO, exceedingly unlikely that he would follow you to the pharmacy if he was up to no good. Even if he does, I'm not assuming that he's instantly a good guy because he takes me up on the offer. I would continue to behave as "tactically" as possible during the ENTIRE encounter, including AFTER the proverbial medicine has been purchased.

Some of us have a different threshold of statistical anomalies that cause us worry. There is a HIGH probability that this was a scam, there is an even HIGHER probability that, if it's a scam, the guy is going to have an "adverse" reaction to the suggestion that you'll meet him in the pharmacy and pay the $10. I've had it happen, just as several others have posted. Someone claims to need money for food, you offer to buy them food instead of give them money and they get "pissy", for lack of a better word. The chances of danger get lower and lower each step of the way. If the guy says "OK, I'll meet you over there." then it is much less likely that it's a scam. Still a chance? Yep, still a chance. However, it's not like you're locked in to an unalterable course of action. Remain "tactical" and take your "out" if need be. Meanwhile, the little girl that needs the antibiotic might hear a story about the nice stranger that helped her dad.

Just as we get to a good conversation we likewise find that we are indeed also at the end of it. Anything further, at least from me, would indeed be whipping the dead horse. I'm not changing my mind, and I'm not even TRYING to change yours. I'm simply looking for clarity and understanding. I believe that we have that on both sides. It's been fun.... carry on men!
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Old December 3, 2009, 04:36 PM   #94
TMUSCLE1
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I'm totally with peetza on this one. Makes perfect sense to me...although, I did buy a guy $10 worth of gas in that same situation.

He was on hard economic times and was just leaving a job(he looked like a carpenter), and we wouldn't get paid for it for a while.

He needed $10 just to get home(about 30mi from where we were)

I told him to walk across the street to the gas station where he said his truck was...I drove across the street.

I paid the attendent, and he filled his truck up while he was very, very grateful to me. Yay me! A good deed!

Once again, I very much agree with peetza on this one as it's just common sense. Oh well, that's my opinion.
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Old December 3, 2009, 04:40 PM   #95
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Did the carpenter block you in with his truck and vigorously wave for you to approach and then demand money?
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Old December 3, 2009, 06:02 PM   #96
armedbutnotdangerous
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Nowhere in the OP did I see that he "demanded" money.
He chose "to yell from his truck". He then waited a few
seconds and drove away when he didn't get what he wanted.

I guess I fail to understand where all the references to
aggressive acts come from. The guy asking for money never
made any threats, he didn't advance on KingEdward,
he wasn't even verbally threatening.

Must be my aggressiveness meter is broke.
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Old December 3, 2009, 06:14 PM   #97
Lee Lapin
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In this situation, before the man in said truck ever opened his mouth,
there were caution flags and bells in my head due to:

a) being blocked in so quickly
b) his physical motions in the truck wanting me to move towards him
c) the fact that my only retreat option was on foot


Over and over (and over again) in scenario situations like this one, people are often told they should 'go with their gut.'

I think the same thing applies in this case. I don't think anyone else on the thread was there and in a position to make any observations- or draw any conclusions either. Sounds like it was a good call to me, and the OP should be satisfied with his original evaluation of the situation.

As to doing things that prolong contact with someone who gives the contactee the heebijeebies, well... it's also said often on boards like this that there are few victims, but lots of volunteers.

jmho, ymmv, etc,

lpl
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Old December 3, 2009, 06:31 PM   #98
armedbutnotdangerous
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lpl, you just drew a conclusion: "Sounds like it was a good call to me,"
but you weren't there!!!

If we're not here to draw conclusions or make observations,
there's not a lot of point to boards like this.....
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Old December 3, 2009, 07:33 PM   #99
TMUSCLE1
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Quote:
"Did the carpenter block you in with his truck and vigorously wave for you to approach and then demand money?"


No, but I was walking out of Wal-Mart at night at he approached me while my back was turned. Luckily that I pay attention with my ears as well as my eyes I turned around before he was right on me. I didn't have a firearm but I did have my trusty pocket knife that my hand immediately went to and I took out of my pocket, but I did not open the blade.

The point is I still had distance, and even if I was in the OPs position I would think that I could talk to him without approaching the truck just as the OP did. I would have offered to pay for the difference, if he declined, oh well...

That's just my opinion of the OPs post. I say good job on his part for at least being on alert and not approaching the truck like most people probably would do.
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Old December 3, 2009, 07:48 PM   #100
Departed402
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Join Date: September 25, 2009
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Since no one else has touched on it (that i saw) I'll say it in big letter so you don't miss it:

IF HE HAD STUCK AROUND AND KEPT YOU BOXED IN HE COULD HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH FALSE IMPRISONMENT.

In any case like this where you feel you are unable to leave it is false imprisonment.
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