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Old December 16, 2000, 08:33 PM   #1
Don Gwinn
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I wasn't sure I wanted to post this, but I gotta tell somebody. My sister came over today to tell me about what happened to her on Thursday. She's 20 years old and still lives with my parents in our small town, but her boyfriend lives in Springfield, IL.

She went to her boyfriend's house on Thursday morning, her day off. At noon, she came out to her car to find that someone had smashed the small side window on the driver's side and stolen her stereo and cell phone. The idiot apparently picked up her camera and moved it, but didn't take it--strange because the camera is worth more than the car. She was understandably upset. She and her boyfriend decided there wasn't much to be done, though, so she left for home. She was still in Springfield when someone ran a red light and missed her by a few feet, so she pulled into a service station on the corner.

It was about noon on a weekday, so she felt pretty safe. A clean-cut man in a dark blue Buick Regal, mid-eighties vintage, asked her for directions (she and her boyfriend both drive Cutlasses of about that year, so she noticed.)
She was out of her car and actually walked over closer to him to give him directions, completely in condition white.

That's where things went south. With no warning and no sign of anger, the man grabbed her and tried furiously to manhandle her into his car. She screamed and struggled but did not think to strike him and was unarmed. My sister is about 5'4" and around 100 lbs. She says her opponent was about 6' tall but very skinny, almost unhealthily so. A good thing, because a man my size would simply have picked her up and tossed her in. With her feet off the ground she would have been helpless.

She recalls vividly making eye contact with several drivers, but no one stopped. The man had apparently chosen his place as an ambush, because none of the service station's windows faced them and no one inside could see her.

The only reason she escaped was that a patron at the gas station came outside for some reason. This good soul ran over and struck the attacker, which caused him to let go. My sister sprinted for her car immediately, and her rescuer, seeing that she was free, ran immediately for his. She says he shouted at her, asking if she was all right and whether she wanted to come with him, but made no move to follow her. She yelled a hasty "no" and they both drove away as fast as they could, apparently leaving the attacker there.

My sister is friends with a former state cop who now manages a family restaurant a few miles down that road, so she went there. As a former cop, this man is entitled to carry a weapon and does so, and she trusts him. It was probably the smartest thing she did all day. He called the Springfield city police, and the real fun began.

She doesn't have a great deal of faith in police anyway, based on some past experiences with calling for help, and the officer who responded was incredibly rude. He refused even to get out of his car--SHE had to leave what she considered her safe place, the restaurant, to come out to talk with him. He would not allow her friend to come to the scene. Matters improved, however, when his sergeant arrived, and in fairness I have no way of knowing what the man had been dealing with all day.

The bottom line is that the man has not been found. He matches the description of a man who waited in a car as his partner tried to force his way into another woman's car last week, but that doesn't mean it's the same man. My sister is supposed to look at mug shots on Monday. No one from inside the store (except the disappearing rescuer) could see the crime because no windows face that direction, and the security cameras that cover that area were removed a month ago.

The hero who rescued my sister from probable rape and possible death has not come forward. It's possible he thinks he will be in trouble, that perhaps it was a "domestic dispute" in which the woman he saved will press charges against him instead of her attacker. We plan to ask on the radio and in the local newspaper that he come forward, as we hope that he might remember a license plate number or other important information.

My sister, luckily enough, is an artist and photographer by avocation and drew her own sketch of the attacker at the restaurant while waiting for the police, so there are no problems with a clear ID once she sees him.
In the meantime, she is afraid of the dark. The other night she had to let the dog out the front door at 11:30 at night because she couldn't bring herself to go out onto the back porch to open the screen door. She carries her can of mace now, at least, and it's always in hand, not in her purse. The police supervisor is a former instructor at a local Tae Kwon Do studio and is arranging for her to train there.

All these things are good, but I can't help wishing she could have a CCW and a J-frame revolver in a pocket holster in her coat pocket. CCW's are illegal in Illinois and she won't be 21 until April anyway.

I don't know what I expect anyone to say about this, but I needed to tell people who would understand that I don't want to forgive the man, I don't want to "purge the anger from my heart" I just want him to have left my sister alone and failing that, I want him to have died in the attempt to do whatever it was that he wanted to do.

The consensus among the police was that based on her size, clothing and car, the attacker was probably trying to take a young girl, around 16 years old. The sergeant is of the opinion that he planned things too carefully to have done this on impulse and, having been thwarted by my sister and her savior, will now target even smaller girls--which leaves out all but actual children.

I want the attacker captured.
I want to see him face to face as they sentence him to prison time. I will not hurt him myself, I just want to see him sentenced.
I want to meet the man who saved my sister.
I want my sister to be armed and ready to defend herself. I will teach her what she needs to know about awareness now that she is awake and listening, but I can't arm her because she doesn't want to be a criminal and armed self-defense is a crime.
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Old December 16, 2000, 08:51 PM   #2
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Not much to say but she got real lucky. I hope her "angel" comes forward and has some info to help in the capture. I hope her luck holds and the slimebag finds himself behind bars facing abuse himself.
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Old December 16, 2000, 09:00 PM   #3
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better judged by twelve than carried by 6!
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Old December 16, 2000, 09:06 PM   #4
Gary H
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Don:

Sounds like you might get politically active. Go for it and fight for what you want. Others will thank you.
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Old December 16, 2000, 09:32 PM   #5
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Don't let your anger consume you.

I'm glad she is okay. I hope things work out for the best.

Regards
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Old December 16, 2000, 09:33 PM   #6
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This world has some sorry sickos in it. You are correct in wanting justice and self protection for your sister. You never know until your in the situation, Thankfully, I've never been. Not too many years ago punks like this would be "swingin from a tree". Ahh! How I miss the good old days.
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Old December 16, 2000, 09:47 PM   #7
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1. So glad she got away from him.

2. Hopefully she will be more alert from now on yet not messed up by the experience.

3. Yet another illustration to the sheep that the uniformed police are NOT able to protect us.

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Old December 16, 2000, 10:34 PM   #8
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A good start would be to examine photos of known sexual offenders. Provided this poor excuse for a human being has a past record, it would save time and narrow the scope of the search.

Don, I hope the cops catch these perverts and that the jury has enough sense to deliver a conviction. Let them share a cell with "Bubba" and hopefully they'll give a diva a run for her money. That would be justice (and instant karmic payback). Sexual perverts are not appreciated by the common thief (they all have mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, and nieces). BTW, besides self defense techniques (she should learn close in fighting stuff like strikes (with palm, elbow), breakaways, pressure points) and mindset, she should also get a gun and a CCW.

Keep us posted.
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Old December 16, 2000, 11:27 PM   #9
Mike Irwin
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Your sister needs a cannister of pepper spray and a couple of classes in self-defense for women.

Something similar happened to a friend of mine about 10 years ago in DC. At that time pepper spray was illegal (pretty much ANY means of self defense was illegal at that time in DC), but she carried it anyway.

When the guy grabbed her in the store lot she hosed him down with the spray and ran back into the store.

When the cop finally got there, the guy was long gone. When he found out that she had sent the guy "South of the Border," he told her the spray is illegal in DC and that she should be careful to keep it out of general sight if she's stopped by a police officer, and that she should replace it as soon as possible because she had used it.
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Old December 16, 2000, 11:36 PM   #10
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Before pepper spray was legal for carry in CA (thank you anti-gun Assemblywoman Jackie Spier for making it legal to carry without a permit - really a sincere thank you), I was selling at cost key chain sized ones to all the secretaries, clerks, and anyone else who knew me. While it wasn't legal for civilians to possess at the time, we all thought like the cop Mike's friend ran into: it was the lesser of two evils.
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Old December 17, 2000, 12:21 AM   #11
navaho
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I'm glad your sister was able to escape safely.

One idea which may:

1) help apprehend the perp, and also
2) lead to CCW being allowed in your area

is to get as much publicity as possible.

I'm not a publicist, so I don't know how people go about getting their story in the newspaper, radio talk shows, TV talk shows, etc. [If anyone reading this _does_ know, please let us know!] Maybe you just call the news office of the newspaper/radio station/local TV station...?

If you get your story told in as many media outlets as possible, then you will build public awareness of this, and it will start to be discussed with the fervor that those chads were, which will:

3) hopefully others to contact the PD with details about the perp, and
4) get other not-yet-victims thinking about this, and demanding that their politicans legalize their God-given right of self-defense (CCW)

If you have any 2nd Amendment friendly politicians, definitely get them involved too. This is a win-win situation: your sister gets a CCW, and the politican gets an issue that he can trumpet the next time he's up for re-election.

It might be prudent to omit the part about the not-too-helpful cop. You don't want the PD to get annoyed because they think they're being shown in a bad light (sucks, but ya gotta pick your battles). If the PD start feeling they have to protect their public image, then it'll suck the momentum away from (3) and (4)

Best of luck!
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Old December 17, 2000, 01:47 AM   #12
Oleg Volk
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Get her a flashlight and baton training

Better yet, pony up some cash to move her out of occupied Illinois. If you convince her to move, there's $50 where my mouth is for the moving expenses.

The number of stories this week about people targeting women and the elderly is amking me rather angry. I hope to introduce more people to weapons (signed up a German exchange student tonight, will do a range trip early January) and hope that they cut a few criminal careers shot someday.
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Old December 17, 2000, 02:53 AM   #13
Don Gwinn
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Publicity is entirely her call. I will take it as far as she wants but no further. If she wants to use her story that way, I will help, but I won't do it against her wishes to get something I want politically even if I think it's best for her. In fact, I do think that would be best for her but it wasn't me and it's not my decision.

Money is always an issue but it is not the real problem with moving. The real problem is that all her family and friends are here and she has a job she enjoys, plus her boyfriend of nearly 3 years now. She should not have to choose between all of that and self-defense. She should not have to move out to get a CCW--her home state should care enough about her to stay out of her business, at the very least.

She may move eventually, but I finally decided a few weeks ago that I'm not going anywhere. Instead, Illinois is going to get a CCW law. Until then, I'm getting a fanny pack. If and when they outlaw that mode of carry, I will begin carrying unloaded pistols everywhere in hard-shelled, hand-held cases. If they try to outlaw carrying unloaded guns in hand-held cases the deer hunters will rise up. They've done it before. They're not getting rid of me. I'm sick of it and I'm not going to accept it anymore. Their stupid laws would have gotten my sister killed.
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Old December 17, 2000, 04:12 AM   #14
Dennis
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Don,

If your sister "goes public," it might attract the attention of the attacker or of other unsavory types.

You might want to check to see if a copy of the police report can be obtained by just anyone with a few bucks. If so, your sister's address may be available to the general public who would learn (from the radio) that she is small, attractive, and vulnerable.

Please check before taking action that might have unintended consequences. (No joke intended.)
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Old December 17, 2000, 08:19 PM   #15
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You know, some of the best heroes will always remain anonymous and never ask for anything in return. Their reasons may be many for remaining unknown. The guy maybe be fearful of repercussions in regard to the assault (legal or otherwise), maybe was a guy who called in sick to work that day, shy, someone just passing through the area, or someone who doesn't feel he did anything special. He might even be wanted by the cops himself for something else. The important thing is that he did come and help and made his presence known when it counted, although he may not wish his presence be known or counted.

Many years ago, my cousins pawn shop was held up for the second time. The guy with the food place next door appeared behind the robbers weilding a double barrel side by side 12 ga. shotgun. After the robbers were subdued, he vanished and was later reported as an "unknown good samaritan" who stopped the robbery and disappeared. In reality, he was a guy who had done hard time, paid for his crimes, and had his life on track again, but was NOT allowed to possess a firearm. He did a good deed, but made sure his deed did not land him in jail again. Annonymity is important for some people.

I am glad your little sister is safe. If the hero wants to be found, he will come forward. Light a candle for him at Christmas.
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Old December 17, 2000, 08:56 PM   #16
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Hey Don, I'm glad that she is alright. My wife is an easy target too. I always fear that she can be attacked when I am not around. I want her to be able to protect herself, but she is apprehensive about shooting guns. My wife has been sheltered her whole life by me and previously her parents. I say get her a pistol to carry in her purse once she is 21 (****ing Gov't) she can do that legally. (Brunner v. IL). Hope to see you at our meeting on Jan. 6th, maybe with a minor miracle we can overcome.
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Old December 17, 2000, 10:54 PM   #17
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Don

I'm so glad your sister is OK. She was very, VERY lucky.
I've told the story here before. You know how my best friend was murdered by an angry drunk with a huntng knife in front of his new wife. Throat slit...his widow told me that he bled to death in about three or four minutes on the hood of their car.
Now, violence has touched your family. It'll never be over or fogotten. This is why we carry.

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Old December 17, 2000, 10:55 PM   #18
Don Gwinn
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I'll be at the meeting. Wouldn't miss it. And I don't mean to intrude on the man's privacy. I just can't help thinking he may remember the villain's license plate or something else that could get him caught. If it would ruin his life to come forward then of course I don't want that, but if he's being shy or he's afraid I'd like the chance to tell him that no one is looking to make his life hard. We just want to get the guy who tried to hurt my sister.
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Old December 18, 2000, 09:58 AM   #19
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She needs to start carrying a gun.

This is the kind of crap that makes nice people turn bad. I bet she dosen't give anyone directions anymore. She probably won't return a hello from a stranger on the street anymore for fear that he may be a perpetrator.
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Old December 18, 2000, 10:53 AM   #20
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Wow Don! I am so glad she is ok! Get that sketch up and around the area, alert as many women as possible so it doesn't happen to them. That fanny pack deal has crossed my mind several times now, after hearing this I am thinking it is not such a bad idea. If she wants her story told let me know I would be glad to call up Ryan, mail him whatever it takes.

How many times has this happened here in IL and yet they still want MORE gun laws? Makes me sick. I am really glad she is ok Don. If I can help email me.
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Old December 18, 2000, 02:45 PM   #21
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I didn't read everyones responses, so if this has been said, sorry.

Maybe the hero of the story isn't really a hero, that's why he hasn't come forward to help. He might have been the attackers buddy, and was a decoy for your sister to go with. That's why he ran to his car and asked you sister to go with him. She runs to his car, gets in, they drive away and meet up with the original attacker in a secluded location.

I don't know if kidnappers think this deeply into their plans, but it could be...
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Old December 18, 2000, 05:17 PM   #22
Don Gwinn
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AMH, I wondered about that myself, paranoid though it sounds. I don't remember whether I posted this earlier or not, but the attacker fits the description of a man who waited in a getaway car as his partner tried to force his way into a woman's car a couple of weeks ago.

I find it unlikely, because if not for the rescuer's intervention the first guy was manhandling my sister pretty easily. Why bother to go to all that trouble when they could simply have grabbed her?
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Old December 18, 2000, 05:29 PM   #23
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On other lists, the Insights knife class is recommended by knowledgeable folks. I've never taken it but the press is good. Knives are force multipliers that far exceed standard martial arts if you have the training.
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Old December 18, 2000, 09:58 PM   #24
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Sad, sad story. I'm relieved your sister is ok (physically). Emotionally where the cost is born.

My 2 cents. . . . .Call local newspapers and ask to speak to the local news editor. Volunteer to meet the editor or reporter anywhere reasonable. Bring your facts but also bring your emotions. News feeds on emotions. If you get an interview make sure the reporter knows how you and your sister feel; about how the attack has changed you and her personally. The sketch your sister drew is an interesting human interest point. The good samaritan is another human interest angle. After all, you want to properly thank him. Bring up the martial arts offer but also mention how much training it takes to have it make a difference and how a handgun would have instantly equalized the situation.

Not all reporters and editors are horses patuts. A lot of them are hard working stiffs just looking to do a decent job. Your story could well help them as well as help your sister.
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Old December 19, 2000, 07:05 AM   #25
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It is better to acquire a gun and carry it illegaly than to be without one.
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