What The H*** Is His Problem?!

, , , , , | Legal | November 11, 2020

I used to live in a neighborhood that could generously be described as “sketchy.” I didn’t really have any problems until this incident.

I got home from work and walked up the stairs to my apartment. As I was unlocking the door, I heard someone walking up the stairs behind me, but I figured it was one of my neighbors. I got my door open, stepped in, and turned around to close it, and I saw a man charging at me from the stairwell. I screamed, slammed the door closed, and threw the deadbolt right before he impacted the door. He pounded on it, trying to turn the handle, and swore at me through the door, while I frantically tried to block the door with a small step stool and a hatrack. Not the smartest move, but panic is like that.

I ended up basically cowering by my couch while watching the door, and it took a minute for me to think about calling the police. By the time I did so, the pounding and swearing had stopped, but I was still too afraid to actually approach the door and check if he was there… at least, until I heard the sound of keys jingling and being inserted into my door’s lock.

I lived alone, so absolutely no one should have been trying to get in. I panicked again, and this time, I dove to the door and held the deadbolt shut. I heard someone grunting as they tried to turn the key on the other side, and then more pounding and the man swearing. At that point, I was sobbing in fear as I just held the bolt shut and pressed my weight against the door.

Then, there was the sound of sirens as the police arrived. I still sat there holding deadbolt shut, and it took the police knocking twice before I was actually able to break myself out of it enough to check through the peephole, confirm they were dressed like cops, and actually open the door.

The cops had two men in cuffs when I came out; one of whom was the man I’d seen, who spotted me and tried to lunge toward us before he was wrestled to the ground and then into the back seat of one of the cars. I was still panicked, and the rest of everything was a blur as I told my story and ended up back inside. I slept with the lights on that night, jumping at sounds.

I got a call from my landlord the next day.

Landlord: “I owe you an apology. Along with the man who tried to break into your apartment, the other man who was arrested was one of our desk attendants at the office. After failing to break in immediately, the man went  to the office and claimed to have been locked out, and the idiot attendant grabbed the spare key we have for maintenance — which he was not actually supposed to have access to — and headed up to let him in. Apparently, anyone could have walked in off the street and claimed they needed into any apartment, and he’d have just let them in. We fired him, naturally. I’m so sorry about this.”

But all of this isn’t actually the end of the story.

Around two years later, I was living in the same city but in a different apartment complex entirely (given that I was never really able to be comfortable in my previous apartment, for obvious reasons). It was a slightly better neighborhood, and I had stopped at the convenience store near my apartment to grab a few things for dinner. After I’d paid and was walking out, I spotted the same man who’d tried to break into my apartment two years before running across the gas station parking lot towards me. I recognized him due to a distinctive tattoo on his face, and he seemed to recognize me, as he barreled straight towards me.

I panicked, jumping back into the convenience store and locking the door just as he rammed into it. The door actually bent, but it didn’t open, and I fell back screaming while the guy swore at me through the door. Just a few seconds later, two cop cars pulled into the parking lot and the guy took off running again, with one of the cars chasing him while the other pulled up next to the door.

We were able to get the twisted door open, and the cops took my statement and the statement from the cashier, mentioning that the man had apparently just robbed another nearby store. I have no idea if he’d hoped to hole up in the convenience store, recognized me and wanted to take me hostage, or just hoped to rob this store, too, before running away again, but I haven’t been able to build up the courage to go back to that convenience store since then.

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