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

No serious crime has ever happened to me. I have a relative I’ve never met who’s committed his fair share of GTAs and probably a litany of other crimes. I think he died of an OD, but I’m not sure. I suppose there’s a chance he’s had a crime committed against him.

I have another relative who rather stupidly tried to break up a car-smashing riot incident in a large Northeastern US city, and got a baseball bat to the head in return. No long-term damage, but I’m sure it was a scary situation for him.

I once had a law class with someone whose (non-gang-member) son was killed in a gang murder, and who had a few friends who were murdered by a serial killer who roamed a bayside apartment complex here in SD.

I also had a friend in high school who was raped several times by her then-boyfriend, who subsequently impregnated her and then refused to drive her to Planned Parenthood for the abortion. <sarcasm>Real stand-up guy</sarcasm>. He managed to convince everyone in the school that “she wanted it anyway”. She managed to get to PP eventually, but stopped wearing makeup and doing her hair for a long time, so that people would find her less attractive and wouldn’t want to rape her :eek: Terrible, terrible stuff.

When The Sausage Creature was a toddler, I worked three nights a week at a Mom 'n Pop convenience store for a little extra cash. I went to high school with the owner’s son, and it was kinda out in the country. Not a bad neighborhood, either. We (the stockboy and I) got robbed at gunpoint by a couple of really stupid crooks. I didn’t like keeping a lot of cash in the regular cash registers (two of them), so most of the money went in a drawer in the counter right underneath it. That was also where all the roll change was kept, and BLANK MONEY ORDERS. The stockboy had just gotten paid that day (the owner would pay you however you wanted to be paid-monthly, weekly, etc.), and there was enough money in the bank bag in the lower drawer to cash paychecks for regular customers. It was a rainy Tuesday night, and there were no customers around. Even the biker bar next door only had a couple of cars in the parking lot. These two guys came in the front door; one had maroon pantyhose over his head and the other one had (I am not making this up) a paper sack with eyeholes cut out of it over HIS head. Pantyhose Head pointed a gun at my head and told me to open the register, so I did. He removed the entire till from the drawer and they ran for it. They did not ask for money out of the OTHER register, check anything underneath, rob me or the stockboy, steal cigarettes or booze (for crying out loud, the place was ******'s Liquor) take money orders, or even steal candy off the shelf. I think they got a couple of hundred bucks and there were two customer checks in the till. We got hold of the owner via intercom (he lived in a trailer behind the store), and he chased them awhile with his shotgun. He found the empty till in a field. They got away, and robbed an auto parts store in town a couple of days later. They got caught after that one. One of the other cashiers I worked with called in and quit. I gave two weeks notice and worked it. Scared the crap out of me at the time, but now it makes me laugh.

I was raped by an acquaintance in college.

A sister-in-law of mine assaulted her (now-ex-) husband several years ago. A couple years ago, her (now-ex-) boyfriend beat her hard enough to break one of her ribs. I think they committed mutual assault (with cops involved) on each other previously, but she wouldn’t admit anything about that to us.

In Arlington, Virginia in the 70s, my older sister was waiting for a bus in the early evening when she was struck over the head from behind and dragged toward an alley. She was momentarily stunned but came up kicking and screaming. Attracting passersby, her assailant ran off and was never caught.
In Delano, CA, early 80s, my younger brother was attacked by a street gang and stabbed 3 times. (Two hand wounds and a nasty upper shoulder wound.) He had a shotgun pointed at him, which he got hold of and dry fired: no load. The only 2 gang members caught were the two he beat senseless with the empty shotgun. They didn’t let him keep the shotgun, but he still has the scars.

Apparently I’m in a minority here, since I’ve never been the victim of violent crime, nor has any member of my family as far as I know. My closest encounter with serious crime is probably the fact that during my ceramics class in high school, the girl who sat next to me was the daughter of a serial killer.

Only 24 people posted before you did - that’s very few people out of the board membership. :wink:

I wasn’t hurt or robbed, but I did walk into my local Blockbuster into the middle of an armed robbery. Luckily it was almost over and I’m a small, non-threatening person; one of the two guys pointed a gun at me and the girl behind the counter said “Get down, we’re being robbed!” (Okay, so I was a little off in my own headspace trying to figure out what I’d be renting. In hindsight there were clues before I got in there.) I did my level best to sink into and beneath the floor, below the water table if I could possibly manage it. They got the safe and one register drawer and left. Never caught.

It wasn’t scary at the time; it was too strange, too much like a movie. Didn’t bother me after, either, until much later that night. The interesting thing is how wildly different my description was from the counter girl’s. She saw ski masks, I saw a nylon jacket and a baseball cap. I think we were mostly looking at the gun.

While stationed at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, me and an couple other guys went down to Chicago one Saturday to see what was down there. I had just walked out of a small store after buying a pack of smokes and a kid of maybe 15 pulled a knife on me. He held the knife right under my chin. I was just about to turn and run when one of my buddies came out of the store right behind the kid, took a second to size up the situation and kicked the kid right between the legs. The kid went down to his knees and he kicked him in the back. I kicked the knife into the gutter and the kid started talking about getting his gang and killing us. A woman that worked in the store came out and I told her he tried to rob me. She went back in the store and returned with a billy club and started clubbing the kid on his head and shoulders. She was hollering at him to get away from her store and he got up and stumbled away. The woman told us that we should leave that area, it wasn’t safe for us to be there. She didn’t have to tell us twice, we left and I haven’t been to Chicago since. The reality of the situation didn’t hit me till that night, I sat huddled in a corner of the barracks restroom and cried like a baby.

My mother worked in a tavern and a drunk suckerpunched her because she wouldn’t serve him

My aunt had the crap beaten out of her on a New Years Day by her ex because she dared to go out and celebrate New Years Eve instead of staying home for my cousin’s birthday. The ex was found a couple days later with a broken arm and various other non life threatening injuries. My aunt’s landlord at the time was an ex Navy Seal, we found out he was not someone to piss off.

I don’t know if this counts as a crime, but my dad got stoned once. And by stoned, I mean with actual rocks.

The reason I’m not sure it was an actual crime is because it happened in Ethiopia back in the sixties. My dad was stationed there with the DoD, doing aerial photography and mapping. He and his buddies were in some out-of-the-way bar, drinking a lot. The buddies got in some sort of altercation with some locals. My dad went to drag them out of it and the whole bar turned on them, chased them out into a field and stoned them. They made it back to their apartment, barely, and took pictures. Very many, very gruesome pictures. My mother can’t bring herself to look at them, almost 40 years later, but I’ve seen them many times.

That’s all I’ve got, though. I have some relatives who’ve committed violent crimes, but we’ve been lucky otherwise.

  1. When I was teaching, seven trespassers were causing trouble in the hallway. When I confronted them, one of them knocked me around until I fell and hit my neck or my head or spine (I don’t remember) on something that jutted out from the wall – part of a radiator. I was in the hospital for three days.

The students were caught and the perp was convicted and given probation. One of the students ended up in my classroom in another school the next year. We got rather attached to each other. Teaching is a strange job.
2. About three years ago I was held up at gunpoint in a parking lot. He asked for my purse. I told him that I would give it to him if he would give it back. He did.

He was in the parking lot robbing someone else when I drove away to a restaurant at the end of the lot and parked to see what happened. When he left, I went in to call the police to give them a description of the vehicle and driver and which way he was headed. The woman on the phone was taking an order and wouldn’t get off to let me call the police until she had finished taking the order! Finally, I called in the description and the police came.

While I was talking with the police, I could hear all these noises on his communications device. He said they have found him and that a police chase (including a helicopter) was taking place.

Meanwhile, the restaurant owner came out and fussed at me for coming in her restaurant while there was a gunman in the parking lot. (I used to be a regular customer and their son was my Councilman.)

The man was caught. He had two other women and hijacked the car. He got twelve years.

The gun turned out to be a BB handgun. That’s all he could afford after robbing the first woman with a knife. Then he picked on one retired teacher (moi) and one active teacher. The guy just didn’t have any luck at all.

I still have the purse.

I won’t get into friends’ stories.

Just me and my immediate family?

My brother was one of the occupants of a house that was the subject of a home invasion, wherein the gang burst through the front door and tied up him and his two companions, and then rifled the place. They recognized one of the gang and the perps were all busted, convicted, and went on to the TDC.

My older sister was backpacking her way through Europe in the early '70s when a neonazi beat the shit out of her on a street in Germany. The West German government paid for her hospitalization and repatriation.

I won’t count cars stolen, unplanned for junkies snoozing in my kitchen or burglaries, as they, while offensive, were not crimes of violence in my experience. I was held up at gunpoint while working for a long since faded hamburger chain here in Texas. That was a weird experience in that the Houston cops who showed up put me in the back of their cruiser, pulled out their guns, and then told me, as we cruised neighboring streets, to point out the perp and then get on the floor ASAP. Whoohoo! Finger of Death experience there.

During the years that I operated a taxicab in Austin, I twice had guys tell me they we’re going to rob me, but nobody ever actually produced a gun, and I was ultimately not robbed. I had another fare who was drunk and belligerent and produced a knife, but I managed to keep that cool until I dropped him off at the Dollhouse South, a strip bar where I knew the bouncers were bikers who could handle him.

There was another fare who just started slugging me. I fought back and eventually got rid of him. What an asshole he was - finally got out and left all his shit in the cab - that went into the first dumpster I saw.

One more taxicab event stands out, where I answered a call to a south Austin residence and an Hispanic male quickly positioned himself towards the rear of my cab, while an Hispanic female approached the front of the car. She was quite obviously intoxicated, and she held a ~9" knife, which she thrust towards my left eyeball. My driver’s window was open, and I cranked the window up as fast as I could. I caught the knife between the window glass and the door frame, threw the cab into reverse and backed wildly out onto South First Street. I called for the cops on the radio, and waited for them across the street, with that damn knife wiggling in my window frame.

While I wasn’t the intended victim, I did once intercede in an attempted rape, which I’ve described before.

I was robbed at knifepoint about 2 weeks before my 17th birthday. I was working “swings” (until the store closed at 10pm) by myself when this guy with the Biggest Hunting Knife EVER came in. I’d been in the back washing coffee pots when I heard the bell ring and when I got to the front, no one was there. So I go back to washing coffee pots and I hear the bell ring again. Annoyed, I throw the towel into the sink and walk towards the front of the store, only to be met at the ATM with the aforementioned BHKE aimed right at my guts. He followed me behind the counter where I opened the drawer and just kind of stood there for about .2 seconds (right by the panic button, which I didn’t dare push) before he told me to lay on the floor. He was there for 10 hours, I swear (it was awful; I thought I was going to be stabbed in the back 100 times and he’d leave me in a bloody heap where no one would find me until 6am the next day) and when he accidentally (I think) kicked me while he was going for the phone, I knew I was going to die.

But then he took the receiver, hid it under the counter, and walked out. I stayed where I was, stunned and completely silent, for probably five minutes before getting the nerve to reach up and hit the button. I started crying a little, still on the floor, but I managed to talk myself out of it after a few seconds, convinced he was coming back. When I was sure he was really gone, I stood up and my eyes met with the eyes of a man peeping into the window with a gun in his gloved hands. I’m sure he saw the panic in my face, because he moved his arm into view and pointed at the county police patch on his arm. I waved him in (he was directly followed by 3 other officers) and, finally knowing I was safe, I started freaking out and vomiting uncontrollably. Good times.

But wait, there’s more. So I told my boss I couldn’t work nights anymore, which he understood, and that worked for about 3 days before he bribed me with a dollar an hour raise to resume my normal schedule. I hesitantly agreed while demanding that I be permitted to have another person working with me. Since the rest of the bitches on staff were too… whatever, I don’t know what their problem was, but they all had a real good excuse for not working with me. Anyway, he hired my mom part time and 9 days after I was robbed, this asshole in the ski mask with the Biggest Hunting Knife EVER comes back for more. Between the first and second robberies, my boss had ordered additional panic buttons (there was only one before, under the register) to be worn on the hip. As soon as I saw him coming, I pressed my button and told my mom to do the same. Before he made it to the door, I’d also pressed the button under the register, just to be sure the alarm company got the message. As soon as he opened the door, I hit the floor (to the amusement of my boss as he viewed the tape about 20 minutes later, fucking asshole). When he told her to get down, my mom kind of squatted next to me. She told me later that she was protecting me, concentrating on covering my torso with the intention of absorbing the impact of any attacks to keep me alive, which totally blew my mind at the time. I’m a mom now though, and I think I get it.

About 5 minutes prior to this, a friend had called to see if I’d shut the car wash down yet. She and her boyfriend showed up just as James (the bad guy) was running out the door. The boyfriend chased him across the street to his getaway car and memorized the plate number (DRE (as in Dr, so easy to remember) and numbers I can’t recall). The cops picked him up around 2 o’clock the next morning and called my mom and me into the station around 5am so we could identify clothing and look at various mug shots. My mom, being in casino security for about five years at that time and therefore trained to pay attention, was able to pick him out despite the fact that he was seriously whacked out on meth and looked completely different from the man whose eyes I’d now seen twice.

I don’t remember if I worked nights anymore after that, but I’m inclined to think I did. I started drinking a lot (like, a lot) and I became really paranoid (keeping the lights off, all the doors locked, the blinds pulled, etc.), and I just lashed out in general which pretty much caused the break up of my relationship at the time because my boyfriend, with whom I was living, didn’t know what to do with me anymore.

I’m not sure what James was charged with. All I know is he plead guilty to one thing or another because I never went to court. I called a while back to see if I could find out how much time he served, but the lady I talked to didn’t know. She said he was sentenced to 68 months, but she wasn’t sure he served the whole thing (not likely). I got a letter from him. So did my mother and our boss. You can read mine here.

I never did get that dollar an hour raise and I quit my job three months later (I think the ski masks during the snowmobile season is what really did me in; plus, I was pissed off about my lack of a raise and still drunk when I called the store 10 minutes before my 1 o’clock shift (so I was still working nights, and alone because my mom’s primary job was too demanding to allow her to stay at the convenience store) and told a coworker to tell my boss to jam it in his ass, I quit)). I’m still afraid of the dark; I won’t walk around outside by myself if I can help it, but I can walk around in my own (different) home without freaking out and I only close to blinds to cut down on glare during the day.

Well. That was fun. Holy shit, this is a long post and, believe it or not, I’m actually leaving some parts out. Like how about 10 minutes before the first robbery, I’d been outside shutting the car wash down and he was out there. Or how, when I came back inside from all that, I considered closing early because my instincts (or whatever) had been screaming at me all day. Or how 'bout the fact that about 6 months before this, a friend of mine was kidnapped from her job at a convenience store and killed? Little details, like the fact that he lived across the street from the store, and how my boss suspected it was James all along. I think I’ll stop now. Good thread, that felt good.

Reading all these stories I just have to say I feel I’ve been lucky (knocks on wood). The closest thing that has happened to me or my family I think was that my sister got into a barfight. This girl had it out for her and actually pulled a knife on her, and she seriously cut open the arm of a guy who tried to hold her back. My sister, drunk at the time, instinctively remembered her self-defense training and slapped the knife with one hand, and knocked the girl down with the other. She then proceded to kick that girl a few times when she was on the floor. For this, she was later picked up by the police and she had to spend the night in jail …

I’m happy to say, that’s all I’ve got. My symptathies to all here. I did have one near miss - I worked part-time at a post-office, and these were being robbed quite a lot back then (now everything is in time-locks). Two of the post-offices I worked in had been robbed. The one I near-missed (I worked there the day after it happened) was quite gruesome, in that the robber actually pointed a gun at a baby and told my colleagues to hand over the money or he’d shoot the baby.

What I find most disturbing, and what I read here also, and what I also noticed in a colleague who got beat up in a subway, is how much the victims are affected. Two of my colleagues weren’t able to work full-time for months.

I was the victim of a walk-by groping. Not serious, but startling. I was walking from my apartment to the liquor store to call my then-boyfriend (my phone had long since been shut off). Minding my own business and walking down the street, this guy passes me and grabs my left breast, squeezes, and kept walking. I was too shocked to do anything but stare and blubber at the creep. Made it about another 50 feet down the street before I noticed then-bf pulling into my apartment lot and booked it back to the apartment. He took me out to get pepper spray that night. Funny, and I was working night-shift as a security guard at the time, and nothing near that ever happened on shift.

Perhaps the worst crime however was when I related this story to my cow-orker the vehicle patrol guy, who said I deserved it for being young and sexy :rolleyes: . That guy got so fired!

At my first college (hi, NinjaChick!), I was drinking with some guys in my room when the conversation took a very abrupt turn to hostility. Long story short, they started throwing my stuff around. I was in the trajectory of a bottle of foundation makeup, and my lip was split.

Later, one of the guys who’d left after the talk got mean but before things got physical told me he’d done so because he “saw how it was going”, thought I was going to be raped, and “didn’t want to be around.” Surprisingly, or not, he’s the one I still hate; the others I’ve managed to chalk up.

Oh, and incidentally, later that year my roommate was raped. That same guy told me I shouldn’t have reported it because “you could ruin these guys’ lives!” They weren’t really guilty of rape, you see, because my roommate had gotten drunk at a party, and what did she think was going to happen?

Actually, once I bent over to get some candy from a vending machine at a trainstation, and one of the two girls passing behind me grabbed one of my cheecks. I was too surprised to be bothered about it.

The same thing happened a couple of years later in a disco, only then in a reflex (I’d had a girlfriend who liked to be grabby in all sorts of ways) grabbed the hand, held onto it, turned around and laughed at her embarrassment. But I was as surprised as she was when I noticed the hand belonged to a girl who was close-dancing with her boyfriend! I could tell later on that they had a fight over this.

(I guess it’s much easier not to be bothered about this if you’re not in an otherwise threatening situation. )

I’ve never been involved in a violent confrontation. But I can’t count the number of times I’ve had a loaded gun pointed at me at the shooting range… :mad:

I’ve never been a victim of violent crime and neither has my family (except for my dad who many years ago thwarted a mugger by running away.)

Reading this thread has been fascinating and disturbing. I’m glad at least some of these crimes had “happy” (I use the word loosely) endings.

I’ve had a few run-ins with crimes.

The first incident was when I was 15. I was involved in a fall ball baseball league (I think affiliated with Little League baseball, it always started a bit after the HS team finished up each year) and was playing the only “inner city” team in our division. I was supposed to call my parents on a payphone when I was done so they could come get me, I go into the payphone booth and as I’m about to put my dime in the phone a knife is put up against my throat. The guy tells me to give him all my money. I’m in my baseball gear and all I’ve got is like fifty cents, don’t even have a wallet on me. I oblige him and he walks away.

The second time I was probably 17, and was working in my uncle’s grocery store. A guy walks in and runs out with a case of beer, I run him down in the parking lot and hold him there til the police arrive.

During my lean years I lived in a really shitty part of town. One time I get up in the middle of the night and someone is struggling to force my window open. I run to the wall and grab my trusty rifle off the rack and put it right at the glass. The guy freezes and I tell him to get the hell out of there. I guess the nature of the neighborhood made calling the police seem like a waste of time in that incident.

Third time I was on leave from the Army in Baltimore. Take a wrong turn I guess and three thugs come at me and demand my wallet. Being reckless as I am I tell them to “take it from me.” I hit the first guy to get to me with everything I have right in the eye socket then follow up with a blow to the throat almost immediately, he was effectively done from that point on. The second one I get a knee planted in his groin, but that’s when I get tied up and the third guy barrels into me. They wail on me pretty bad but I am able to return a few punches and I avoid going to the ground, I’m fairly sure if I had gone down they would have killed me. I work my way away from them and sprint down an alley and brandish a broken wine bottle as a weapon, they decide I’m not worth the trouble and leave.

They definitely got the better end of the fight as I hurt just about everywhere, but they sure as hell knew they had been in a fight, and they didn’t get my wallet. So I called it about even.

The next day I had two black eyes, multiple bruises on the torso, broken bones in my hands, cracked ribs, and a hell of a headache.