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Old January 15, 2019, 04:21 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: May 4, 2010
Posts: 5,468
visitor at my door.

Several nights ago, I answered the door to a person who I didn't recognize, who turned out to be a friend of a neighbor who I had met a number of times. he had a haircut and wasn't wearing a hat; this is why I didn't recognize him at first sight. He has always been well mannered, intelligent, friendly, and he had done a bit of yard work for me once. I invited him in and offered him a drink. a few minutes later, he called my neighbor and we invited him over. We had all discussed guns several times, and after a bit I showed them a new pistol that I had purchased, and set the unloaded gun up on my mantel afterwards.

About ten minutes in, it started to feel strange. some things that he said didn't seem quite right. My neighbor had looked at his phone, and ran out the door with an excuse, and I was left with this friend, or better said, acquaintance.

He had always been a bit strange, I suspected mild aspergers. Just a little poor in his communication. Now in the time since he had arrived, he had made a few strange comments. once alone, I started noticing other things. I don't know how long it took before I realized that he was in a fully developed psychotic episode, including hallucinations, delusions, complete severance from reality. He got so wired up and angry that I was getting concerned.

Now, I answered the door with a gun in my pocket, in my hand, and it was still hidden on my couch as we sat there. he had the unloaded blackhawk within reasonable reaching distance on the occasions that he got up and paced. I never felt threatened, but it was a seriously worrisome event.

I addressed it after a while, offered him a ride, offered him a call, tried to figure out what he might need or what to do, and eventually he decided that he would go back and see the neighbor. I don't know what happened after that.

Should I have suspected that a casual acquaintance who showed up at my door a bit after the holiday season to say hello might be in the middle of a possibly dangerous psychotic break? I guess that maybe I should have caught on earlier.

In retrospect, I did things right throughout the event. The thing that I did wrong was thinking good riddance and leaving my neighbor to deal with him after he left. I should have called the police. I did, however, watch events through my window.

so, as far as I can see, my neighbor had him visiting, and sent him over to see me. Then, when he was called, he came over and then ran. He never gave me a heads up. I spent a lot of time thinking about having a discussion with him.

What really went wrong was my wife. I had surreptitiously texted her during the conversation, 'DON'T COME HOME WITHOUT CALLING ME FIRST!!!' when she called, I told her that it wouldn't be a good idea to come home, several times, that she shouldn't come home. Of course, she did, bringing her sister and a niece into the house. Now she wants to have a safe word. I personally thought that DON'T!!!! was a pretty good one, don't you?

I have dealt with a number of people with severe mental health issues. They rarely showed obvious symptoms. When they break, sometimes they break badly. In all seriousness, it's not a great idea to let your guard down, even for an acquaintance. someone who you have known for a few years.

You should absolutely not trust your neighbor who happens to be a real jerk. This is the same neighbor whose daughter was assaulted in her front yard a year ago; I broke the fight up after calling the police.

Last edited by briandg; January 15, 2019 at 04:42 PM.
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