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Mon Dec 10, 2012, 11:52 AM

He Tried To Break Down My Door

Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 11:55 PM PST
He Tried To Break Down My Door
by leavingthezoo

The wind is blowing. The news is threatening us with snow flurries. Nothing major. Most likely I will see no evidence as it is not expected to accumulate over night. I'm huddled in my living room wishing I were in bed asleep. I tried to be. But sleep isn't coming easily to me lately.

Last week, Wednesday night, or really Thursday morning, I was sleeping as peacefully as I ever have. I live in a trailer. (Yes, yes, I know all the trailer trash jokes, and no longer cringe when I hear them.) It's a temporary abode. I will be gone from here in six more months. But for now, it is affordable as I finish up at a local community college before transferring to my home state's pride and joy. My significant other has moved ahead of me so as to make the move as easy a transition as it can be. So, I am here. Alone.

I awoke to what I thought was an earthquake. We've felt a few here in recent years. Small ones. Just enough to register in your head that its an earthquake, but not severe enough to drop to your knees in prayer. This one was different. It was jolting. With it was a distant booming sound that I couldn't quite identify. I sat up as I tried to get my bearings, still groggy and confused. It wasn't until I made my way halfway down the hall that I realized the booming sound was someone throwing themselves against my front door. It wasn't until then that I understood the jolting of the trailer was from the force. And I could hear a man yelling.

I instantly panicked.

My first thought was something had happened to my mother, and my stepfather in his grief was beside himself as he wailed and pummeled my door trying to wake me. They live a couple of spaces down from me, so it just made sense. I moved more quickly towards the living room, then suddenly realized it was not the voice of my stepfather. It was not a voice I recognized, and the concern for my mother suddenly turned into fear for myself.

My second thought, once I realized what was happening, was, "Great! I'm going to die before I get my degree!"

And the absurdity of the second thought gave way to the third, "If this guy succeeds, there is nothing I can do. I really might not survive this..."

It's difficult to be rational when nothing around you is in your control. So, irrationally, I immediately called my parents home. I guess when you don't know what you're facing, you seek comfort. By the second ring, my mind started clicking and I realized this was a futile route. I hung up before they could answer and called 911.

I stumbled through the words as I explained my emergency. "Someone is trying to break down my door. Where do I live? I live... I'm at... He's screaming. He's ramming my door and he's screaming to let him in. No, I don't know who he is! Please, please help me. I don't know what to do..."

The operator told me to stay on the line until the sheriff arrived. I hid in my bedroom behind a door that doesn't lock. Call waiting signaled someone was trying to reach me, and I knew it was my stepdad. It was then that I heard the first gunshot.

"Oh my God! I just heard... I think I heard gunfire! Please hurry! He's still beating my door."

I heard the operator radio that a gunshot had been heard, and not long after, a second caller confirmed there was gunfire. I got down low to the ground, and started telling the operator, "I have to call my parents back. I have to hang up. I'm afraid my dad is going to come check on me and get shot."

By the time I heard the second and third gunshot, I could also hear the sirens. The calvary was coming! But in moments, I would hear them go a different direction.

"No! No! They're going the wrong way! I heard them and now they're going the wrong way!"

There was a lot of confusion for me. In some ways, I am sure things were happening more quickly than I realized, and in others, they weren't happening fast enough. The operator told me the sheriff was in pursuit of a car that sped away from the area.

"But what about the guy on my porch? What about my dad?" I cried out. It was only then that I noticed I no longer heard the chaos coming from my living room. Trying to make sense of it all, I asked, "What do I do? What if there is a dead guy on my porch? What if my stepfather..."

"No, you're ok."

The operator told me that a second officer had checked the area, and no one was lying dead on my porch or anywhere else for that matter. I was safe. It was all ok. I wouldn't trust them until I saw my stepdad. And like me being so afraid he'd been killed, he was dealing with his overwhelming fear that something terrible had happened to me.

In the end, the man was arrested. He totaled his vehicle in the pursuit. He didn't even mean to be on my porch. He thought he was somewhere else. The gunshots came from a neighbor across the street. The man had been there originally, and gotten into a fight with one of them. Instead of calling the police, someone yanked out a gun and shot into the air. I didn't hear the first shot. I only heard the three that followed once he was at my door, ramming it with intensity. The neighbor next door to me is the mother of the man's girlfriend. He thought he was on her porch. The terror wasn't meant for me. The fear instilled didn't have my name on it. These sleepless nights aren't mine. This racing heart when unexpected noise jolts me awake doesn't belong to me. The chronic checking of locks, the hesitation before opening the door, the unwillingness to open the shades, or even sit on the porch in broad daylight are not my penance. But I pay them anyway.

All I can think is how silly this is to still be scared. I tell myself how fortunate I am. How there are so many whose doors have been broken down. How there are those who did not survive. That there are those who are dealing with so much more than a temporary instance of loss of control. That there are those who will live with both physical and mental scars for the rest of their lives.

And it make me wonder, are we protecting our neighbors? Because only two calls went to the police that night. Mine and my stepfathers. But multiple neighbors have admitted to hearing the chaos, and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

So, do something. If you wonder if you should, the answer is yes. Make the call. I can promise you, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you will be praying someone makes the call for you.


http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/12/10/1165762/-He-Tried-To-Break-Down-My-Door

21 replies, 2061 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply He Tried To Break Down My Door (Original post)
FourScore Dec 2012 OP
appleannie1 Dec 2012 #1
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #2
niyad Dec 2012 #3
liberalhistorian Dec 2012 #11
UnrepentantLiberal Dec 2012 #15
niyad Dec 2012 #4
hfojvt Dec 2012 #5
FarCenter Dec 2012 #10
hfojvt Dec 2012 #17
snooper2 Dec 2012 #6
bongbong Dec 2012 #7
former-republican Dec 2012 #8
bongbong Dec 2012 #9
liberalhistorian Dec 2012 #12
former-republican Dec 2012 #16
former-republican Dec 2012 #13
bongbong Dec 2012 #14
DaniDubois Dec 2012 #18
niyad Dec 2012 #20
Kber Dec 2012 #19
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #21

Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:07 PM

1. I second the "call" plea. You do not put yourself in danger by making a phone call but

you could be saving a life.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:08 PM

2. I can understand someone not going outside & getting involved,

especially if they heard gunshots, but not picking up the phone & calling 911? WTF?

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:32 PM

3. "genovese syndrome", apparently. we live in a society that seems to no longer care about

each other, even to the extent of making an anonymous call. it is beyond heartbreaking.

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Response to niyad (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:49 PM

11. Sorry, but this is nothing "new".

This kind of thing has always happened. There have always been a silent majority within societies that don't do anything either during an immediate crisis or a slower crisis, in almost every society. People often think "it's not my business to get involved" even when they are direct witnesses to things like child, spousal, elderly or animal abuse, or crimes happening. Sometimes it's fear for themselves. At other times what's being seen is so out of the normal for the person that their mind freezes and either tells them they're just not seeing it or they're frozen, unsure of what to do. And sometimes it's just plain old ""NMB Syndrome", or "not my business", and they just don't want to be bothered because it doesn't directly affect THEM (kind of like people who don't want others to receive benefits but when THEY need it, it's suddenly important).

This is at the heart of the German pastor Martin Niemoller's famous statement that "first they came for the Jews", etc., and what he spent the rest of his life and career after WWII trying to raise awareness about and prevent. Tons of social scientists have been occupied by this question and have done studies, and many have spent their whole careers specializing in it. It's nothing new at all.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:26 PM

15. Why would they do that?

 

I'm sure most of them had warrants out for their arrest.

She added this:

Edit for clarification:

While writing, I tried to reveal this situation in the sequence it unfolded for me. But, I want to clarify the events that preceded the mayhem at my door as told to my stepfather and I by the sheriff, the woman who lives next door, and one of the sons who lives where the gunfire originated.

The gun shooting neighbor was not scared. He was angry. Prior to this event, they were apparently all drinking (and possible drugging). An argument broke out and escalated over a flirtation with someone's girlfriend. Both parties are not unknown to the police. The man who landed on my porch has prior convictions for assault and battery as well as spousal abuse. (I have since found this out.) The men who live across the street (an elderly man and his three adult boys) have had their own share of trouble with the law. The sons specifically have been in and out of jail for various drug charges tied to meth and assault and battery. It was me who called the cops on them two years ago when one of the sons broke the windshield of a woman as she tried to drive away from their home.

There was a 4th shot that I did not hear. It was the first one fired, and I was asleep. It is the shot that drove the man to my porch. At this point, there was ample opportunity for one of the 4 men who lived across the street to call the police. They did not. Instead they chose to randomly fire gunshots in the air.

Secondly, the woman who my house was mistaken to belong to told me she witnessed the entire thing. In fact, she heard the originating shot. She told me the following day, word for word, "I thought he was comin' through your door! I was keeping my eye on him, though." Of course, she reassured me that if this ever happened in the future, I should just call her and she'd be out there with her gun. Yet, she did not call the police. She knew who it was. She knew he was mistaking my house for hers. She thought he was going to succeed in busting down my door, and she watched. Just watched.

I just wanted to clear this up. There is no being thankful for the guys across the street shooting their gun. They contributed to that night as much as anyone. Had they not fired the weapon, the man most likely would not have ended up on my porch.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:40 PM

4. although I was not home when my apartment was burglarized, I understand completely the

fear and concern. It was months before I could go to sleep before daylight, weeks before I, like this poster, stopped checking locks, and closets, and left lights blazing all over the apartment, so I would never have to walk into it in the dark.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:58 PM

5. this happened to a friend of mine many years ago

She called her father-in-law who lived right next door and he came right over and talked to the guy. It was just some drunk at the wrong house.

I am guessing the author of this piece is a woman, although he/she never says one way or the other.

Several things kinda jump out at me. Other than our previous discussions about women living in fear of men.

First, she might have felt mich safer if she had a gun in her trailer.

But second, if she had a gun, she might have still panicked and shot and killed some fool who was just at the wrong door.

Third, in this story the police are Mighty Mouse ("here I am to save the day") instead of the bleeping pigs they are in some other stories.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:49 PM

10. Once he's inside, it's a good shoot, whether he's at the wrong place or not.

You can defend yourself from someone who has broken in.

You can't shoot through the door, merely out of fear of a break in.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #10)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:39 PM

17. legally, yes

but both things might easily happen, creating a tragedy.

It's a "good shoot" to kill somebody who broke down your door, but it's a human tragedy to kill somebody who was just confused about what house they were breaking in to (as in, they thought they were getting in their own house and had just lost their damned keys).

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:07 PM

6. "But multiple neighbors have admitted to hearing the chaos, and doing nothing. Absolutely nothing."

Sure they did, the dude across the street busted out a gun and popped a couple shots off in the air-


He probably should have tried multitasking and dialed 911 as well though....

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:33 PM

7. Safety

 

Statistics prove that having a gun makes you less safe, so I hope (for your own safety) you don't take that emotional, ill-advised route.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:41 PM

8. Please don't get people killed by giving bad advise

 

Your statistics are all bull.



http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/gun-ownership-use-america.aspx



Gun Ownership and Use in America

Women more likely than men to use guns for protection

by Joseph Carroll, Gallup Poll Assistant Editor


How many Americans personally own guns, and what do they use them for? A recent Gallup Poll* shows that 3 in 10 Americans personally own a gun; most gun owners say they use their guns to protect themselves against crime, for hunting, and for target shooting. Gun ownership varies by different groups in the country, with men more likely to be gun owners than women, Southerners and Midwesterners more likely than Easterners or Westerners, Republicans more so than Democrats, and older rather than younger Americans.

Gun Ownership

The poll, conducted Oct. 13-16, finds that 4 in 10 Americans report they have a gun in their homes, including 30% who say they personally own a gun and 12% who say another member of their household owns it. These results show essentially no change since this question was last asked in 2000. At that time, 27% of Americans said they personally owned a gun and 14% said another household member owned one

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Response to former-republican (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:47 PM

9. LOL

 

You're obviously some kind of troll, since I wasn't talking about the popularity of guns, I was talking about the safety of guns.

The well known Harvard study proved that people who owned guns had a greater likelihood of getting injured with one than those who didn't own guns.

Quit giving dangerous, false "advise" out to people. Your religion (guns) is a very dangerous religion.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:51 PM

12. Well, this particular poster hates public employees

and unions, so I wouldn't waste too much time trying to convince him of anything remotely resembling facts.

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Response to liberalhistorian (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:36 PM

16. The members can read the entire thread and make up their own minds

 

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021922346


You will be shown a liar by your post.


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Response to bongbong (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:04 PM

13. Truth hurt didn't ?

 


LOL



Here's a thought !

Maybe you should stick to giving advise about subjects you actually know about.




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Response to former-republican (Reply #13)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:08 PM

14. LOL

 

HILARIOUS!

You're completely wrong! "Truth"? More like lies.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:58 PM

18. A lot of people don't want to call because they're afraid of the police killing or

 

injuring the person the caller was trying to help. It happens more often all the time. Also the witness's as well as the victims are always asked for their names, ran for any warrants, including no shows to traffic court and taken to jail if a warrant is found. Fear of the police is a big reason for not calling them. It's not because people don't want to help, it's because people are afraid it'll be a nightmare if they call the police. I've always told my kids, never call 911 until you call me first. I don't want my children in a situation where a trigger happy police person murders them because they were trying to help someone. It's sad but it's the way our law enforcement works.

CALIF. POLICE RESPOND TO WOMAN’S 911 CALL…AND THEN ACCIDENTALLY SHOOT HER

San Diego police are under close scrutiny after accidentally shooting a homeowner who called 911 after allegedly seeing a man in a ski mask prowling the neighborhood.

While searching for the man, police entered the backyard of the woman’s home, San Diego County sheriff’s homicide Lt. Larry Nesbit explained. There, they made contact with the homeowner and, horrifyingly, shot her.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/calif-police-respond-to-womans-911-call-and-then-accidentally-shoot-her/

Man Dies in Police Raid on Wrong House
L E B A N O N, Tenn.

A 61-year-old man was shot to death by police while his wife was handcuffed in another room during a drug
raid on the wrong house.

Police admitted their mistake, saying faulty information from a drug informant contributed to the death of John Adams Wednesday night. They intended to raid the home next door.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95475&page=1#.UMZJcOT7KSo


NY MAN ACCIDENTALLY SHOT BY POLICE WHILE FLEEING ARMED ROBBERY

A police officer shot and killed a convenience store worker who plowed into him on a sidewalk while frantically fleeing an armed robbery early Friday, a sudden encounter that the police department called a tragic accident.


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/tragic-ny-man-accidentally-shot-by-police-while-fleeing-armed-robbery/#

Oxnard police admit killing innocent man
Police officials had previously indicated Limon, whose family said had been out jogging, was just caught in the cross fire.
"During this rapidly developing foot pursuit, which included officers being fired upon, some of the officers believed that Alfonso Limon was one of the suspects. As a result, some of the officers fired their weapons at him," police said in a statement.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Oxnard-police-admit-killing-innocent-man-3965953.php#ixzz2EgQoBbtW

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Response to DaniDubois (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:21 PM

20. odd, I have never had to give my name when I have called the police, whether calling the desk

or 911. They ask, I don't tell.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 06:57 PM

19. Make the call

better to feel foolish for overreacting than under reacting.

About a year ago, my 14 year old son noticed a car with out of state following a friend of his as she went for her run (she's on the track team at his high school).

He thought she looked worried, and he called me to ask what he should do.

I told him to hang up and then I called the police. I passed along the description of the car and the plates.

Turns out it was her grandfather visiting from Georgia. He was following her because he didn't trust that our neighborhood was safe enough for his 14 year old granddaughter to be out running alone. (It probably is, but, you know grandfathers.) She looked upset because she was mortified at having to run with her grandpa trailing behind.

I found out later that I was one of 4 people to call the cops on the poor guy. Oh well!

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:30 PM

21. Yes, call 911

My best friend was screaming at the top of her lungs when she was being attacked in my house. A neighbor heard and did nothing. My friend was killed and her killer was never found.

Make the damn call.

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