The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across the keyboard.

The tickle of curiosity. The gasp of discovery. Fingers running across a keyboard

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Man Had His Penis in His Hand - How NOT to leave dance class.


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parking lot with unknown crime scene
 (Photo credit: useless no more)
I know I usually post on Mondays, but something happened last night, and I thought that I needed to share this with you all, in the hopes that beyond using the information to write a good scene, maybe it will help someone stay safe.

I'm just going to tell you the story, then I'll break it down and give you some insights.

Last night fairly late, tired and ready for the day to be over, I left the dance studio with my daughter, and her medical alert dog, T. My arms were full. I had T. on his lead, his "place" which is a large quilted pad, my backpack with my computer in it, and my car keys. I moved into the parking lot with my teen yammering about her costume fitting, walking behind me. We walked toward my mini-van that was parked nose in on the side of the lot next to the woods.

As we moved forward, away from the studio and the lights, my focus was on a man that I saw easing quietly to the side of my van. I stopped short. I hadn't seen him move into the woods. There was a large black truck in the driving space just to my left. I gave myself a second to assess. Did the truck belong with that man? The truck's door popped open, and I took a step back to gain distance. I immediately recognized the man emerging as one of the other dancers' fathers.
      "Where'd he go?" he asked.
      "To the right. The light hasn't come on, so he's not in my vehicle."
We moved cautiously together to see. And there was the stranger in all of his glory, leaning against my door, 6'4", out of his freaking mind on some drug, penis in hand.
      At that point I wanted out of there. I hand unlocked the door, shoved everything in, including my kid and her dog. I hit the lock button and peeled out of there with Crazy-man holding on to my door handle and explaining to me about his penis in a very loud voice. I had a window-breaker, a very nasty tool that would easily crack a skull, in my hand by this point and thought,  "Wow, I'm doing everything wrong."
      I drove home and had a rum and coke.

This did not go well. And as a trainer, I would say I did not perform well. I want to break this down so if this is you, you can do better than I did. And if this is your character? Well, good luck to her.

Parking Lot at Night
Parking Lot at Night (Photo credit: VinceFL)

1. I ALWAYS park pointing
   outward, (first mistake was to
   break my rule) because in an
   emergency
   you don't want to be backing up
   (ask my friend Cathy who blared
   her horn, so I didn't smash into her
   new car in my haste).
2. Park under a light/camera and
    away from landscaping that can
    obscure your view.
3. No matter how tired and
    distracted you are, you must
    remain vigilant. I make a habit of
    scanning every time I'm out in
    public. For decades I have been
   scanning, but this night, it made the
   difference. My daughter didn't
   walk, alone, around to the passenger side to find the crazy man with his dick in his hands when mom was
   out of reach.
4. Develop a strong arm. Your non-dominant arm should have your carried items, your keys should be easily
   accessible, and your weapon should be in your dominant hand. I have several blog articles about weapons
   that are easy to carry, as well as their pros and cons.
   * Kuboton
   * Asp batton
   * Stun Guns and Tasers
   * Pepper Spray and Mace
   * Conceal carrying a gun
5. Move with focus to your car. Everyone in, doors locked immediately, and pull out. This is not the time to
   text and read mail etc.

What does it mean to move with focus?

Parking Lot at Night
Parking Lot at Night (Photo credit: David H. Chu)
1. Scan the area to get a good feel for who is there and
    who is moving in a way that your paths will cross.
2. Be aware of the cars that are parked beside you.
    If someone is sitting in the passenger seat next to
    your driver's door, you may want to get in from
    your passenger side or go get someone to escort
    you.
3. Be aware if the cars beside you, or your car
    allows enough space for someone to easily lie
    underneath. Glance under the vehicles as you
    approach.
3. Briefly check the floor boards front and back for
    unexpected visitors. and get in quickly.

God forbid something go wrong for you, but if someone tries to abduct you in the parking lot here is a LINK with some strategies.

As you drive home, be aware if anyone is following you. This happened to me once, so I drove an extra block and visited the fire station.

Now as you go through a list of possible weapons, everything from concealed guns to knives, from electronic weapons to mace, you may feel uncomfortable with any or all of them. Babies in arms, curious children, and pets, as well as a willingness to use a weapon and having the training to do so effectively come into play.

At night, I am now carrying (except for last night - when it would have been the perfect weapon) a high powered handheld (4") flashlight with enough lumens to blind a person if it is dark outside.
* A lumen is simply the measurement of a light's brightness.
* A high-powered tactical flashlight is easy to find on the web. I happen to use Autocraft.
* In a dark environment, the light is intense enough to blind someone. They cannot see past the light to know
   what you are doing. It is disorienting and gives you an authoritative posture.

Your number one weapon is your awareness and focus.


Your number two weapon is your posture and your voice quality 

Though maybe yelling at the guy, "Hey! Get off my car!" was not the very best tactic. The best tactic at that point was to back away and go to the studio to call the police. But hey, hind-sight...


And it's always good to have a physical weapon at the ready, something you are comfortable with deploying be it a high pitched siren or bear spray.

Sunset Police Car
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The dance school owners did call the police. When the cops arrived, they found the guy with his pants around his ankles, his shirt pulled up, lying in my parking spot, rubbing his belly next to a pile of poop. The crazy guy spent the rest of the night in jail.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will do my best to help.




Thank you so much for stopping by. And thank you for your support. When you buy my books, you make it possible for me to continue to bring you helpful articles and keep ThrillWriting free and accessible to all.

15 comments:

  1. This is so terrible and frightening, Fiona. I'm sorry it happened to you and your daughter. I appreciate the tips. Checking out the weapons you recommend, too, and the link. Thank you for sharing this experience, as awful as it was. :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind thoughts. ~ Fiona

      Delete
  2. The link about the body language didn't work. Just FYI. Great post, though. I'm bookmarking it. So glad you and your daughter are okay.

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  3. Thank you so much, Melanie, for letting me know about the link. I've it fixed now. And thank you too for your kind thoughts. ~ Fiona

    ReplyDelete
  4. You'd be surprised how often stuff like this happens. I worked for a defense attorney. He represented guys like this. They were usually arrested in front of convenience stores. I don't know why they like to take their clothes off. It was always a joy to talk to them on the phone. I'm so glad you had your wits about you, even if you didn't do everything perfectly. I like the flashlight idea.

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  5. Would you please stop writing about our encounters? Seriously, though, you've turned a despicable experience into some excellent advice. The only thing I would emphasize is this: to truly be safe, you must become an expert with whatever security device you decide to carry. It's not enough to take an ASP baton class or to buy a can of pepper spray. Train, train and train some more, in a variety of situations and even with a number of different coaches. Train until you think it's ridiculous to do any more. Then train more. A predator's moves are instinctual; he is a hunting animal. Your defensive tactics must be every bit as effortless and even more vicious. Sean Connery said it best in The Untouchables: "He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his in the morgue." (to paraphrase the rest) THAT'S the Fiona Quinn Way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for emphasizing this, Doug. For those of you who do not know Doug, he has been in both law enforcement and is a crime reporter, so he knows what he is talking about. (read more here: http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/2013/08/easy-evil-interview-with-crime-reporter.html).

      And of course I agree with every word. I train daily (most days, anyway). And when I train hand-to-hand, my husband (second degree black belt) never goes easy on me. The last time we fought together he had me upside down in a hold, and he said, "What can you do here?" The only thing I could do would be to bite off his nose. And that is what it might take - because my kids need their mother - and their mother (me!) might be the only thing keeping the wolf at bay.

      This isn't meant to frighten anyone - just to encourage you to think about possibilities in advance and have a plan that works for you and your skill level.

      Be safe!

      Fiona

      Delete
    2. Glad you and your daughter are ok Fiona, here in England we have roundabouts not sure if you have them there but if you think your being followed here, head for one and go round it a couple of times before turning off, if the car follows you round and takes the same turn off as you, you can be pretty sure there's a problem. .

      Delete
  6. I hope that filthy man got more than just one night in jail! Too early to tell probably. A situation like that can cause nightmares and more in children-- adults too. People that do that make me sick. I'm so glad you and your daughter (and her dog) are all right.

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  7. I hope people understand that this does not apply to only women, it applies to everyone. There was a time when I lived in a city where there were people who wanted to kill me first chance they got just because of a cousin of mine. They actually managed to kill him. I don't really believe in violence, but at the same time I don't believe in cowering. I have learnt to be vigilant from those experiences in my life and I always tell myself, "it does not matter how smart and how strong you are, there is always a possibility that your adversary will be smarter and stronger.

    Another thing to understand is that most people who are likely to attack a women are almost always not well trained to fight or to defend, they use element of surprise and fear to advantage and they learn this from experience after a few failures. They might not be strong or smart, but they are very sneaky and definitely a woman or a child will be much more venerable than a grown man. To a woman or a child my advice would be to never walk alone in the late hours, to never walk when too tired if you can help it. If you have to walk somewhere in the night try to use streets and roads that are most populated. Always carry a panic alarm and if you do come face to face with a psycho then make sure that no matter how scared you are you attack first. Attack with all you got and attack all vulnerable spots. You have no idea how freaked our an attacker can be if you do this.

    If you come across more then one attacker and have no weapon or anything to defend you then use something like a car key or a pen holding it in a firm grip with only a small point out. This can have a devastating effect. Make sure you are closer to one attacker and away from the other all the time. When you attack people, try to attack where it takes longer to defend, like first attack their foot or kneecap, now that might not disable them, but will move their attention away from their face. That is when you attack their face. Don't try to go for eyes unless you got a clear shot at them as it's actually very easy to defend eyes as our brains are wired to defend them the most. Go for their temple or forehead with a key or pen or even with your knuckles if you got nothing else. Make sure your first attack is vicious and use all the force you can so just one hit is enough . Always remember your adversary who attacks you in the dark is most likely not a skilled fighter, but never outrule the possibility. I can go on and on about how to defend yourself, but then it will just turn into a huge book and I don't really want to do that. If you are already here reading all this then you already got a good idea by now about what to do in situations like these. Just do a bit of research on how to defend yourself without a weapon.

    Never think twice in such situations because no matter how much you regret if you turn out wrong and the attacker turns out to not be an attacker you will regret it a lot more if the attacker turns out to be an actual attacker. Also remember even if the person in front of you might be innocent he or she still made a mistake of invading your private space and surprising you and are responsible for their own actions. Never make that mistake yourself. Never go around surprising someone you know in the dark just for fun.

    I have been attacked on multiple occasions and the only thing that saved me everytime is that I never hesitate. I always attack first and fast without giving my adversary time to even think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience.

      Glad you're safe.

      Fiona

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    2. Thanks for letting me share my experience here. I am always worried when my ids go out specially when they go out in the night time. Sadly they never listen to my advice. I really hope someone would listen to what I have said and it would help them when they are in any such situation.

      I have been following your tweets and I really like your blog. Thanks for sharing all the knowledge and experience with your followers.

      Delete
  8. The guys penis was in his hand? Was he bloody?! I'm just wondering what happened to get to that moment lolol

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    Replies
    1. I believe he was trying to relieve some stress. His inhibitions were obviously compromised by whatever was in his bloodstream.

      Fiona

      Delete
  9. Late, LATE to this party but damn... The human in me is SO sorry you, the wee-child-young 'un, and the puppy had to deal with this. The writer in me sees SO much scene potential. Thanks for sharing.

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