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Old March 19, 2018, 02:23 PM   #76
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If predators need a different car, or money, or a hostage with an ATM card, there are several ways to go about obtaining those things.

Setting a trap by posing as a motorist in need is a tried and true strategy for that.
I have no doubt that is true though I question the frequency of it. Those who chose to stop realize that doing so does pose a risk. It is a social interaction they have decided, for a variety of reasons, is worth it. I do around where I live because the risk to someone actually stranded is fairly high - there is a good chance they don't have cell coverage, there is a good chance they won't have another passing vehicle for awhile, and walking to get help is going to take awhile. I don't stop when those conditions are different.

Of course the obvious counter is that makes it an even better spot to lay a trap.
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Old March 19, 2018, 03:00 PM   #77
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With the proliferation of CCW laws it seems a scam, a trap might be more hazardous than it used to.
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Old March 19, 2018, 06:14 PM   #78
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If the weather conditions are cold enough to endanger life I will definitely stop. If my wife was with me I would be in condition one but I would stop.

If the conditions are not life threatening but the area is very remote from help, the same as above.

If we are in an urban area, they can call the auto club.
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Old March 19, 2018, 07:05 PM   #79
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To the OP's original question, I do, and always have; since I started driving and long before I ever carried or even touched a handgun. I'm cautious when I stop, and I have on occasion, when things didn't look quite right, passed by and then called local sheriff and described location of stranded vehicle/motorist and let them deal with it.

But I was taught, growing up, to help people when I could. My first such incidence is still memorable; leaving the house of a girl I had a crush on, age 17 or so, one night around 9 p.m., middle of winter, 2 inches of snow on the road, I came across a car stuck just beside the road, dead battery. In those days, long before cell phones and seemingly before random roadside serial killers, I took one look at the distressed father outside the car and the mother and two children inside the car and I stopped to give them a jump....always carry jumper cables to this day. Turns out, they were coming back from attending a visit by the Pope to Chicago. I've always hoped I banked a bunch of karma that night.
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Old March 19, 2018, 07:55 PM   #80
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I have no doubt that is true though I question the frequency of it
How frequent are robberies and burglaries?
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Old March 20, 2018, 02:48 AM   #81
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You can't help if they don't want it. This happened at 9 PM last night.

I'm driving home and came to a stop sign. I see a lady walking, with backpack and large plastic trash bag slung over her shoulder. This is an unusual sight around here, bit it's becoming more common. She stops by the passenger side window.

I roll it down a few inches to "I need a place to stay tonight." I replied "can't help you there, best of luck."


What came next was a great lesson in both compassion and futility. While the lady continued her track south, I turned around and checked to see if the town roach motel would take her in if I paid for the night. NOPE, they'd had too many "drugs and failures to check out" with these cases in the past.

After a call to 411 (no smartphone) I found out the homeless shelter would take her if I could get her there....I wasn't too eager to have a possible drug addict/prostitute in my car but hey, it's cold tonight and it was supposed to rain.

In the meantime a lady in an SUV had picked her up and taken her to a gas station. When I drove back I spotted her there and flagged down the SUV lady. We then spent over an hour trying to arrange a place for her to spend the night. The lady in need wasn't much help as she had no ID and was fairly evasive about who she was and where she was from.

Turns out the local homeless shelter had evicted her earlier in the day for "non compliance." (The lady in need said it was due to "confusion.") After several calls I was able to guilt trip the shelter into giving her another shot IF the hospital evaluated her over night. However, the lady in need either had no desire for that OR she was too stoned to understand me, since I repeated the proposal five times in a row "the shelter will take you back if you'll let the hospital evaluate you" but that was apparently too complicated for her to understand. Instead of looking at me while we spoke she looked all around, picking out snack items from the gas station shelves. No speaking manners.

The SUV lady had by this time lost interest in hauling her anywhere else since she wasn't acting like she wanted our help. I agreed with her. When I apologized to the lady that we couldn't help her after all, she just walked off towards the register with "OK."

When we gave her an umbrella we didn't even get a "thank you."

What can you do?

Although her pupils seemed normal size for the lighting, I suspect she was a drug addict and was high at the time. When I called the homeless shelter back to tell them we wouldn't be helping any longer, they more or less confirmed she was removed due to drug possession.

She was an attractive woman, fit and hourglass shape, not bad looking at all. Where did she go wrong? What has brought her to this point? I couldn't help but think how easy a target for exploitation she is. Very sad. Tragic.

On the plus side I learned about what options those in need have around here and that I'm not the only concerned person. The lady in the SUV gave her a ride, a dry jacket, and an umbrella, a bright green one at that, "hopefully it keeps her from getting run over" were the lady's words. When I offered to pay for the umbrella, she refused. Really nice lady.

You can't help if they don't want it.

Last edited by In The Ten Ring; March 20, 2018 at 03:11 AM.
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Old March 20, 2018, 11:30 PM   #82
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That's the way it works. You have people out there that can't handle themselves even when they have everything done for them. Maybe back in the old days, when the crazies were locked up and there were a whole lot fewer, when wandering down the road drunk in your underwear got you two days of beans in a bunk, we were better off. The problem got exponentially worse over I guess the last forty years, maybe it began with coke in the eighties. Winos could at least find a shelter of some sort and manage to stave off hunger. You didn't very often hear of a wino eating someone's face.

Chaos, entropy, either push hard to improve a situation, work like hell or watch the check engine light come on and wait for the wheels to come off.

Our constitution doesn't allow us to fix people against their will. We have to take this consequence of freedom.
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Old March 21, 2018, 01:01 AM   #83
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If the road is lonely enough that help might not be on its way and things don't look sketchy, then yes. I often will. I used to apply the same rule to hitchhikers in my younger days. I stopped doing that for a variety of reasons.
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Old March 23, 2018, 11:36 PM   #84
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It depends on the circumstances at the time. I don't have a solid "yes or no" answer to that.

I have stopped to assist in lots of accidents, I've stopped in clear areas for stranded motorists, and I've called in others where it would've been unsafe to. I've rarely just ignored one.
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