Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Guys 4...Bad Guys 0...or a PSA

This post is a few weeks overdue. I had to wait til the dust, bonds and attorneys settled.

I spent the week after Christmas with my daughters and family in Georgia. Two of the days during the week were spent skiing in North Carolina. I was sort of in mid-training form for the Miami Marathon. I counted the two days of skiing as cardio but couldn't log my miles because I forgot to wear my Garmin. Oh well. I know I sweated none the less.

I wanted to get atleast one run in while out of town. The only day I had available was the last Friday of the year. I was going to go to Kennesaw Mountain National Park and use my GoPro to film my run. I was actually excited to do this run. I should also mention that I love my new GoPro. You should check out some of my videos on Youtube. Santa brought it to me. Thanks again Santa.

Kennesaw Mountain was the site of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain during the 1864 Atlanta Campaign of the American Civil War, in which the Union forces of General William Tecumseh Sherman launched a bloody frontal attack on the Confederate Army of Tennessee, which was commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston. Federal judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the first commissioner of Major League Baseball, was named after the battle, in which his father nearly lost his left leg. That's a brief history of the mountain.

I checked on line and found out that there were over 15 miles of running trails in and around the park. I needed to do a long run but did not bring my trail shoes for this trip. Should I use that as an excuse to shorten my mileage. Hey why not. I figured I would do the one mile up hill run for starters and then head to The Varsity for my chili dawgs, onion rings and a frosted orange.

I got to the park in the mid-afternoon only to discover this place was pretty damn popular with the tourists, local runners and turns out the thugs. There was no parking in the main lot so I had to drive to the new overflow parking lot. This lot looked like it would hold about a hundred cars. There were probably 30 or so cars scattered about. Some people were leaving from their cars to go to the park and some others were returning to their cars.

I found my place to park and was finishing up a call with a friend when something in the rearview mirror caught my attention. I continued my conversation and started scanning my rearview mirror and side mirror. I saw a guy wearing a black hoodie standing between two cars. He was facing one of the cars making a punching motion. He also had something large and white wrapped around his hand. For a brief second I thought he was brushing snow off the back of the car. I only thought this because I had just been skiing for two days. I was quickly brought back to reality when I remembered the temperature was in the mid 60's. He then pushed his hand towards the car again and made a circular motion. He was clearing all the broken glass from the car window. I told the person on the phone that I would call them back because someone is breaking in to a car. I called 911.

I then saw the hoodie thug climb in to the car he was facing. He was then out of my view. I was on the phone with a 911 operator. This was the first time I ever used my cell phone to call 911 and it worked like a charm.

I then saw two purses being thrown from one car to a white minivan that was next to the car that was broken into. This made me furious. People work hard for their stuff and no one has a right to take it without their permission. Do you hear that Congress and POTUS. The thug with the hoodie then climbs out the car window and falls to the ground. He then gets in to the white minivan and the van starts to drive away just as a woman is walking to her car which was parked in front of the van. She was not aware that something had even happened.

I pull in behind the van as it exits the parking lot. I am still on the phone with 911. I then notice that the tag on the van is from out of state. I needed to do what I could to make sure these thugs get caught. If I lose sight of them, they may never be found.

I have spent a lot of time watching CSI, Car 54, Starsky and Hutch and COPS so I knew what I needed to say to the 911 operator so she didn't tell me to stay away.

I stay behind the minivan for the next 8 or so miles while saying the right things to 911. The van's occupants had no idea I was on the phone behind them. It was my duty as a citizen to be the best witness I could be. I could have turned the other way and got my run in. You know there are some out there that would have. They were no physical threat to anyone so there was no need for me to take physical action. Now had they been robbing someone that would have been different.

The calvery finally stopped the minivan blocks from the interstate entrance. I was now in a live COPS episode of my own. Four guys busted. All belongings returned to the owners. If I am going to miss a run this is a good reason for it. I still got my Varsity in though. A chili dawg. Onion rings. A slaw dawg. A large coke.

My PSA for you is to remember to put your belongings in your trunk or under something in the backseat. Dont just leave your stuff out for all to see. When someone is breaking in to cars, they look in the car from the outside first. If nothing is seen then they will move on to the next one. Or you could just leave an opened dirty diaper in the driver's seat. Thugs don't like dirty diapers.

1 comment:

  1. nice job Walt! What about the citizen's arrest and all that as well?! LOL Seriously - great to hear that you helped out here so much, and watch a lot of great shows so you knew what to do!!