Poll: Have you, or someone in your family, ever been the victim of a serious crime?

In a recent thread on Panhandling Crafter_Man said

To which Spooje replied

This caused me to flash back to a a jury duty summons back at the criminal courts building at 26th and California in Chicago, immediately next to the Cook County Jail holding facility.

The larger courtrooms have the gothic high ceilinged look you associate with Batman the dark night, very large, dark and ominous. But the case that I sat in on voi dire for was a murder trial, an office murder.

One of the first questions asked of the three panels gathered at large, was how many there had been victims or violent crime, or had family members who had been victims of violent crime. Shocked murmurs went through the room as something like 2/3rds of the room raised thier hands.

I’ve had a gun pointed at me in an office robbery around the corner from police headquarters in Chicago on a Saturday afternoon when I was maybe 15 or 16. My aunt was murdered in an office robbery when I was in my 20’s leaving my cousins orphans. Neither had anything to do with panhandling so I started a separate thread to ask about this.

Once someone did try to get me to give him his wallet with the implied threat of his dogs, but compared to my family’s St. Bernards they were puny and I asked him whether he wanted his dogs to have their noses kicked through thier brain and die on the spot, or whether he wanted to leave me alone. (A Bluff. I did not think that the dogs would have attacked me, they were sound and fury but not actually mean, I have spent enough time around dogs to know the difference, but in an emergency did at least know how to try to do what I said.) As I suspected, he cared a lot more for his dogs than for my wallet, which had maybe 3 dollars and my student bus card in it. And he never bothered students on that path near my school again because I called the police as soon as I got to the phone and they picked him up and explained how it was unwise to hang out near high schools with his dogs if he wanted to keep them.

So, back to my question. How many of you have been victims of some kind of threat of violence, with or without a weapon, and in what kind of situation? How did it affect you? Do you think you handled it well? In the armed robbery situation, I lived through it, hid my class ring, and did not lose it, and survived, so I guess I won. But missed an opportunity to call the police who were right around the corner. But that could have got me killed for trying.

One more story. Commuting home from high school in the late 70’s I am the only white kid on a bus moving from an african-american neighborhood to a mixed-raced but mostly white neigborhood. I do this every day and think nothing of it. One day teenage nut sits behind me and I hear a click. I can feel the blade of a switchblade knife at the back of my neck.

“Don’t move M-F or I’m a gonna cut you.” I got very still wondering if I could lurch forward and down out of the way. I sat that way, motionless for about two miles. Then I heard another click and the same guy said. “Man, you one cool dude. Not one word. Not one tear. Hm.” Then he slides out the door. I stop holding my breath.

Then I hear a guy behind me say, “Hey, you were never in any danger” as he and three of his friends displayed their knives, “that guy was insane, we had your back covered, there was no reason for that S, he made one real move on you we would have had him off this bus like that. And that’s a fact. Don’t you worry about taking this bus now. You’re a regular. We know you. You don’t cause no one no problems, likewise.”

I don’t know if at the time I was more scared by the guy with the first knife or by the other 3 who were willing to jump in and drag him off the bus. I didn’t stop riding it. And in 38 years of taking CTA that’s my only story like it.

So how did I handle these events? When I cowered on the floor with the other kids in the office was I sensible or foolish ? How did I handle the other events? No dogs were actually harmed.

So what are your stories? How did you feel about them. What do they say about are society?

Inquiring Peters want to know. :cool:


Yep. Miami, March 1991.

I was mugged at knifepoint. Grabbed as I walked by an alley, thrown up against a wall, and had a knife stuck in my ear.

They got $16.

I was mugged twice growing up. They got all of maybe $15 both times.

My Dad has been jumped coming out of the bowling alley several times. Each time the punks run away when he charges them with blood in his eye and intent to maim. :smiley:

I’ve been burgled before, and the number of times I’ve had the stereo jacked out of my truck is in double-digits.

That’s about it.

A few things…

  1. A murder by stabbing I’m not going to discuss further.

  2. Sometime in the '70s my dad drove an ice cream truck to make money to pay for school. His route went through some really bad areas of Baltimore. One day he was set up near a school as it was letting out, and a man came up and robbed the truck at gunpoint. The robber then went to a liquor store across the street and robbed it. When the owner ran out chasing him, he was shot to death for his trouble. (Dad quit that day.)

I myself have never been threatened or held up or anything, but sometimes I wonder about the neighborhood I live in, given that there has been a rash of muggings lately. Oh well. I just try not to be out alone at night.

My sister was in one of those “Deranged Man Shoots Up Local Fast Food Establishment” situations. She got herself and her friend under the table right smartly, and they made it out fine after the gunman shot himself or had the police do it for him.

My grandmother’s sister was murdered by her husband back in the late 70’s, but I was only 8 or 9 years old, so it didn’t affect me. I didn’t really know her, and my parents didn’t tell me until I was older.

Nothing’s ever happened to me though.

I have a relative who was raped.

Another relative had the daylights beat out of her by her piece of shit boyfriend. She was pregnant at the time ended up losing the baby, which I think is what he was going for.

Abbie reminded me of this (I was just going off of me, personally, before):

I was engaged several years ago, and my then-fiancee (who has since run off with another guy) was the victim of a sexual assault. By an ex-boyfriend. She was in Seattle at the time (where she was originally from), and he tried to rape her. When he couldn’t, he beat her senseless. He broke fingers, he cracked ribs. He started biting her (she now has a permanent scar on the inside of one of her thighs). She almost lost one of her nipples when he tried to bite it off. He grabbed her by the hair, and started ramming her face repeatedly into the dresser.

After he got done, he COULD have raped her. Instead, he kissed her on the cheek (while she was laying in a broken heap on the floor), and walked out. The fucker then sent her flowers the next day.

My second cousin’s adopted son was a victim of Charles Ng and that other crazy fuck. They forced him and his girlfriend to write letters home and ask for some personal items and clothes and stuff. I shudder to think what he must have gone through.

That’s all I got.

I had a cousin who was murdered at the age of 7. Just playing outside in a rural area and a nut grabbed him.

My best friend was raped. Her brother was shot in cold blood and died. And her step-son’s mother was strangled by her boyfriend and left in a drainage ditch. All different incidences. No one ever did time for any of these crimes.

Nothing like that for me and my blood family, but she’s as close as a sister, so it counts.

I had a cousin who was murdered by his “best friend.” They were high and had an argument. Cuz turned away to leave and the friend shot him in the back of the head. I was too little to even remember the guy though.

My next door neighbor was shot execution style in his own basement by his own son for drug money. Mr. K was a cool guy and we all knew his son was a bad seed, but it still surprised all of us. This happened after I had moved away from my parents house.

I’ve been assaulted by a shoplifter but got off light. He just lightly beat me while his buddy put the stuff in the truck.

Last year, my ex-husband did his best to put out my lights permanently. He would have succeeded if it weren’t for the man who was in our back yard fixing the air conditioner.

Wow. I’m really sorry that happened to you, Dung Beetle. :frowning:

Thanks, Indy. Things have really changed for the better since then! :slight_smile:

On April 8, 1966, I was raped by two men. Terrible way to experience sex for the first time.

Serious crimes against parents, immediate family or self:

Domestic violence
Attempted kidnapping
Breaking and entering and robbery
Stolen vehicle
Aggravated assault

Only two:

My daughter was working in a retail store and, contrary to all logic, they had her working the evening shift alone. Granted, the store was on a main thoroughfare through a college town, but still. Anyway, somebody waited until the store was empty except for her and him, then pointed a gun at her. She spent approximately a millionth of a nanosecond wondering if she should use her karate black belt skills and then handed over the contents of the cash register. The perpetrator apologized, saying he just really needed the money to feed his children (or something equally implausable), and that it was nothing personal. Perpetrator was never found.

Second-hand story: A friend of mine, a rather LARGE fellow, was just leaving his martial arts class when he felt something poked into his back, and heard a demand for money. He was just about to hand over his wallet when there was a slight sound and there was no longer a weapon in his ribs. He turned to see a would-be mugger, gun in hand, lying unconscious. Next to him was the martial arts instructor. “Just leave,” the instructor said, and they both did.

My girlfriend was the victim of an attempted carjacking & abduction. She offered to give the man (who was carrying a knife) the car but refused to go with him. Eventually he gave up and went away with nothing. My g/f called the cops, the guy was promptly arrested, and he is currently serving 20 years.

Home destroyed by arson when I was 10. Retaliatory, not for insurance purposes or random.

There have been a couple of times in my life where I am sure, looking back, that I was being cruised for a rape, but in neither case did the guy get me far enough away from other people to try anything.

1995, Winnipeg. I was 22, working the evening shift alone at an adult video / novelty store. It was really a crime waiting to happen: the windows were covered so no one could see from the outside and there were no security cameras since corporate felt it would make customers feel “uncomfortable”.

A man rushed in and got behind the counter and held a butcher knife to my throat. He walked me to the front door to lock us in. Then he had me empty all the cash into his duffle bag (almost $800 - it had been a busy Friday night and I hadn’t had time to make drops to the safe in the back). He also told me to put videotapes in the bag.

That was the one moment of clarity I had. The area I was standing in had our best selling, most expensive videos right in front of me. I went one shelf down and gave him our “lipsticker specials” - videos we couldn’t sell to save our lives. Terrible films with “surprises” a la The Crying Game.

He told me to get on my knees and for a moment I thought things were about to get much worse. I don’t know what his intent was, if seeing me sobbing and shaking made any difference, but he backed away and decided to go into the back in search of more money. As he was leaving, he told me he knew who I was, where I lived, and if I told the cops he knew where to find me. The second he went out the back, I locked the door and hit the panic button (which had been out of my reach the entire time).

Eventually the cops came and told me that most criminals says that “I know where you live” crap and thats it’s bullshit. I couldn’t really give a meaningful description of him - he was wearing a windbreaker with hood tightened so that only his eyes were visible. He was never caught.

I got two days off (corporate wouldn’t even pay me but my personal manager worked my shifts and gave me cash). I continued to work there for six more weeks until I realized that my anxiety level was through the roof. Everytime a man walked in, I grasped the scissors in one hand and hovered over the panic button. Corporate didn’t make any changes to how to store was set up and it was ripe to happen again. I quit.

Worst part was just looking at men everywhere I went after that and wondering if that was the guy.