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Stories about breaking the law!

When I Get Drunk I Just Cry And Fall Asleep… In My Own Bed

, , , , , , | Legal | April 24, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: Assault

 

I live in an apartment near downtown. Some apartment buildings open onto some sort of communal hall or space. Mine opens onto the street.

I had a final in the morning at 7:00 am, so I went to bed early, around 8:00 pm. At around 2:00 am, I was awoken by a pounding on the door. A voice called out:

Stranger #1: “Dan, let me in! We lost the d*** keys!”

Or perhaps he was calling out,”‘D***, let me in! We lost the d*** keys!”

As my name is not Dan, I gave a simple reply.

Me: “F*** off.”

There was absolute silence for a few moments, and I attempted to go back to sleep. Then, there was a loud slam, followed by two more. At the fourth slam, my door was broken open, flinging woodchips across the small space of my apartment.

Three drunken guys barged in and one of them pointed at me and shouted:

Stranger #2: “Thief!”

They bumrushed my bed, grabbed me, stripped the blankets off of me, and dumped me outside the house. I utterly failed to defend myself, mostly managing only to flail and scream incoherently.

After they hustled me out, they latched the bar on the door, locking me out. I probably should have latched the bar in the first place, I belatedly think, as if I had, at the very least, they wouldn’t have been able to lock me out — not that I felt at all safe physically confronting them.

I was topless in only my bottom underwear. I had no phone and no shoes, and it wasn’t warm outside. The only good thing was that hardly anyone was out, as it was so late at night.

I made my way to the police department, out by the rec center. Fortunately, the night staff let me in. They gave me a department T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants so I felt less naked.

It then took them nearly four hours to confirm my identity, to confirm that I actually was the leaser of the apartment, and to get their ducks in a row. I spent most of that time alternatively moping and sleeping on a bench in the station.

They then broke down my door a second, more complete, time and arrested the three fellows who were still passed out in MY bed and on my couch.

After such a long morning, I wanted nothing more to pass out on my bed, but my bed and couch now smelled of gross boozy boy body odor and I just couldn’t. I wound up going to school and sleeping in the student lounge.

On my way to pass out, I got in touch with my professor and rescheduled my final. He was very understanding.

After I got back, I started determining what had actually happened. They’d gone through my stuff and scattered it everywhere. Everything stunk of them. I have a very sensitive nose and it was very difficult to deal with. I rented a carpet steamer and steamed my apartment to get the smell out.

Some of my clothing was also wrecked like they’d tried to put it on or something and ripped it. It was mercifully little, but the stuff that was damaged was my nicest stuff — really frilly and lacy stuff. I was into Elegant Gothic Lolita at the time.

They also took the graphics card out of my computer for some reason and left it sitting on the table? It still worked. I don’t understand why they did that.

Sorting out my stuff actually took a few weeks, partly because it was mentally taxing and emotionally difficult, and partly because some of the stuff they’d done was hidden.

With the help of the police, I pressed charges and took them to court.

This upset the three boys. It turned out that they lived in a different unit in the same building as me. I’d never met them before.

Since we lived in the same building, they started mocking me and making rude and threatening comments. They kept demanding I just drop it, and calling me a busybody who didn’t know how to have fun.

Once, one of them hit me. It didn’t leave a mark, and the judge refused to admit it as evidence. But it was enough that the police started stationing an officer near the building to keep an eye on things.

Despite my pleas to send them to jail, the judge said, “Boys will be boys,” and gave them community service. He seemed impressed that one of them was an engineer, one was studying corporate law, and the third was in the journalism program. He said they were “bright boys with a good future in front of them” and he didn’t want to ruin that.

Odd that he didn’t care that I — also was a bright individual with a good future in front of me — was now living in fear in the same building as three people who drunkenly assaulted me.

The apartment complex charged me for the damages to the door, and the things the boys damaged. I took the three boys to small claims court, and they were held jointly and severably liable for the damages, including the ones to my personal property, but they refused to pay up, choosing instead to leave the state. They didn’t even complete their community service program before they up and vanished.

This story does have a happy ending. I graduated, got my degree, and left the city, never to return.

What A Hero! Sort Of!

, , , , , | Legal | April 23, 2022

I work in a convenience store. Today has been normal in every way. We’re in a low-income housing area, and it’s after payday, so we have our regulars trooping through doing their fortnight grocery and cigarette runs, and everything is going well. We have no one out sick, the industrial oven is running without throwing (too big of) a fit, and our orders for the week are arriving on time. Perfect.

Then, I have my mid-shift break. The store is too small for a staff room or even an internal bathroom. The office is a tight squeeze without anyone in it, and if you aren’t a manager you don’t have authorisation to be in there alone. So, we all take our breaks out in the delivery bay/stockroom. I pull up a milk crate, take out my phone, and surf the web in peace for five of my ten minutes.

Suddenly, a lady appears, rushing through the employee-only doorway into the stockroom. Her eyes are wild with fear, she is breathing heavily, and she looks like a rabbit trying to desperately shake off a pursuing fox. In short, she looked terrified. I jump up and call out to her.

Me: “Hey, are you all right? What’s going on?”

Lady: “Oh, God, no, I… My boyfriend, he’s after me. Please, I think he’s going to hurt me!”

Me: “Quick, over here behind the boxes.”

She runs over and I usher her into the corner of the room behind a towering pile of boxes just delivered this morning.

Me: “Stay there. I’m going to grab help.”

My plan is to run to the front doors, bolt them, and then bell for the manager on duty to get the police on the line and essentially barricade the store. I don’t make it to the doorway before I hear the sound of hurried boots clomping on tile. Whoever this lady’s boyfriend is, it sounds like he is already in the store and closing in fast. Plan B.

I grab the nearest thing to me — a cheap folding chair we never use because the milk crates are safer to sit on — and heft it up onto one shoulder. I plant my feet, take a firm two-handed grip on the chair, and wait for the man to round the corner. I figure the b*****d won’t know what hit him and the bang of contact should alert my manager to come running.

I’m so glad I’m not fast enough to swing the dang thing, though. Through the ceiling-to-floor lengths of dividing plastic flaps emerges a gun — an honest-to-goodness g**d***ed gun, in Australian suburbia!

I barely manage to register the gravity of the situation of bringing a folding chair to a literal gunfight when the man holding the gun also slides through the dividers. It is a cop.

Oh… s***.

He immediately spots me and the gun is now firmly fixed on me. Neither of us moves a muscle for a moment. The folding chair is still over my shoulder in a death grip, and I’m very much aware of how hostile my body language still is when he speaks.

Cop: “What are you doing?”

In probably the dumbest dim-lightbulb moment of my existence, I respond in a shaking voice:

Me: “Uh, well that depends… sir.”

Cop: “On what?”

Me: “Are you looking for your girlfriend?”

Please, for the love of God, say no!

The cop lowers the gun by a fraction and gives me a VERY confused look.

Cop: “No?!”

I then drop the folding chair with a clatter, hands still up above my shoulder, turn my palms out facing him, and side-step so the pathway from him to the woman is clear. This could only be one other kind of situation, then.

Me: “If you’re looking for a woman, she’s over there.”

The cop rushes past me to the now violently screeching harpy the terrified lady from earlier has morphed into. She is screaming how all cops are *bleep, bleep* this and *bleep, bleep* that and I’m just a *bleeping* whats-it and a traitor to women for dobbing her in. The cop gets her on her feet, the gun is holstered, and the handcuffs are pulled out. The woman is then led past me, kicking and screaming the whole way, knocking over stock in all directions. As soon as they disappear through the dividers, my manager comes bursting in.

Manager: “What the f*** was that?! What’s going on?!”

In a calmer voice than I feel by a gigantic margin, I smile weakly at her and reply:

Me: “What’s happening is I’m taking an extra ten-minute break, that’s what.”

It turned out that the woman was resisting arrest following theft and assault. She had run quite a distance to our little cluster of shops and darted into our store hoping to evade the cop on her tail. 

I’ve not had a gun pulled on me again to date, touch wood, but it still surprises me that it was a police officer who did and not an armed robbery scenario.

How Convenient!

, , , | Legal | April 21, 2022

I used to get this kind of scam call a lot.

Scammer: “If you don’t pay us right now, we are going to issue a warrant for your arrest!”

At the time, I worked at the county courthouse, and the sheriff’s office was literally across the hall from my desk. Man, they got pissed when I’d tell them I was walking across the hall to turn myself in.

A Wise Lesson Learned The Hard Way

, , , , , | Legal Right | April 19, 2022

When I worked at a call center, we were instructed that if any caller asked our location, we couldn’t be more specific than “northern Colorado.” This is because of something that happened before I was hired there but was still well-known company history.

A caller had a very severe argument with an employee at the call center. It escalated to the point that the caller asked the location of the call center. The employee gave the address, and the caller discovered that they only lived a town or two away. Hours later, the caller showed up at the call center waiting with a weapon to fight/maim the employee.

So, because of that, a policy was introduced to be vague about the call center’s location.

Stall And It Might Save Your Life

, , , , , , | Legal | April 17, 2022

In the 1980s, I worked in a newsagent at a local train station.

One afternoon, when rush hour was almost over, I was refilling our drinks cooler while my female colleague was at the cash register. A man came in and asked [Colleague] for a pen and some paper. He then stood to one side and wrote a note of some kind.

All of a sudden, a train or a bus had come in to the station and the shop was flooded with customers. I stopped what I was doing and went to the second cash register to help get people out the door again. After a couple of minutes, all the customers were gone and the man from earlier came to the register. He put a note on the table and looked expectantly at both of us.

Me: “What am I to do with the note?”

Man: “One of you should read it.”

I picked up the note and read the first line.

Note: “This is a robbery. I want a minimum of 10,000. If you try contacting the police, you will be dead.”

I then noticed that he kept his right hand in the pocket of his jacket. I immediately pressed the alarm button which called the police and had the instore camera take one picture every second.

I turned the note over and noticed that something had been written on the other side, though it had been partly crossed out again.

I gave him back the note.

Me: “Which side am I supposed to read?”

Man: *Snarling* “Don’t try to be funny!”

As I had now pressed the alarm, I tried to stall for time. I took the note again and read it three times. I must admit that my hands were shaking a bit, but I gave the note back to him.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I can’t read what it says. Could you read it to me?”

Man: *Annoyed* “I’m going to shoot if you don’t give me 10,000 kroner.”

As I removed banknotes from the register, when there were above a certain number of them, I truthfully told him:

Me: “We don’t even have that much money.”

Man: “Do you want me to shoot you or shoot up in the air?”

Me: “I don’t know, but I don’t have that much money.”

Man: “Fine, just give me 5,000, then.”

Me: “We don’t have that much, either.”

Man: “How much do you have, then?”

At this point, I had noticed that his eyes seemed unfocused and his last statement told me that he wasn’t exactly in control of the situation. I opened the cash register and started counting the banknotes. Having counted them, I put them back in the cash register and closed it.

Me: “There are almost 1,500 kroner in there.”

Man: “Give them to me.”

As he hadn’t complained while I was counting the money, I opened the cash register again and counted them while wrapping every tenth note around the other nine. When I’d counted all of them, I recounted them while putting them on the desk between us. At this point, I had left the cash register open, and there were a lot of ten- and five-kroner coins.

Me: “What about the coins?”

He glanced at them.

Man: “I want those, too.”

I started taking them out of the cash drawer one at a time while counting them. I then counted them again as I put them into the plastic tubes we used when depositing them at the bank, each containing twenty to twenty-five coins depending on which coin it was for. I had done this with all the ten- and five-kroner coins and was counting the third tube of one-kroner coins when the police came in. At this time, I think almost ten minutes had passed.

Police: “Is the alarm from in here?”

That was the moment I was ready to throw myself on the floor. If the man really had a gun, this was likely when he would choose to shoot.

Me: “Yes, could you please take care of that man?”

We locked the door. One officer questioned my colleague and me while the other one questioned the man. The other officer came back and told us that the man didn’t have a gun and that he claimed that I had written the note.

They ended up arresting him and taking him to the police station. I then called my boss and explained what had happened. He laughed and told me that I should just open the shop again. I was the one on closing duties at 10:00 pm. The police left a little after 6:30 pm, and those last three and a bit hours were horrible. I knew that the man wasn’t coming back, but I was rather shaken.

There had been a number of customers while this took place. [Colleague] took care of them while I was dealing with the robber. Apparently, not a single customer noticed anything out of the ordinary.

Over the next week, I was annoyed that everybody I told the story to ended up laughing. I certainly didn’t find it funny. After that week, I slowly began seeing that the entire thing was rather funny because the man obviously had been out of touch with reality.

Three months later, [Colleague] and I were in court as witnesses against the robber. Our names and addresses were read aloud in court while he was present. All I know about him is that he was thirty-seven and from a neighbouring town. I don’t even know what kind of sentence he got if any.

I know that I behaved in a less than rational way, but you can’t plan ahead and know how you will react in a stressful situation like that, especially when you haven’t been told by corporate what you are supposed to do. Picking up on his not-being-quite-there and trying to stall for time led to things happening this way. 

I have twice since been in similarly stressful situations and have learned that I’m good at keeping calm while things are going on. Afterward, I tend to end up shaking all over.