Yes, I was robbed at gun point. I was pistol whipped, I had the cold steel of a barrel placed against my head and given a countdown of 3 seconds to live. I’m here writing this story, so I’m sure you can guess which option I chose.
Though it was not the choice of the car jacker’s that I chose, but it was more of an innate victor response that allowed me to survive.
I suppose I should explain. Let me start with the hormonal choices of a teenage boy that lead me to allow myself to be placed in this situation that opened the door for me to be a victim of the crime.
I was 17 so my choices were limited and I was grounded to further limit my options. For the life of me I don’t know why I was grounded, but knowing me, I’m sure I deserved it. I was allowed to drive my sweet ’92 Chevy Lumina APV Minivan and go to my girlfriend’s birthday party, but was to go straight there and come straight home and I had to be home before dark. Which considering the circumstances were not bad options.
The problem was I broke every one of these rules.
1) I did not go straight there. I picked up a female friend who lived close by.
2) I took her home afterwards even though there were other people more than willing to give her a ride.
3) My friend who I brought home was not to have boys in the house when she was home alone. While we followed the letter of the law we did blur the spirit of it by sitting and chatting on the front lawn.
4) We talked till dark and so as you can guess, I broke the “be home before dark” rule.
An interesting fact is, that while we were sitting on the lawn, 2 cars drove by hopping curbs and erratically navigating the open streets of the neighborhood. This lead us to the conversation of “What would you do if held at gun point?” To which I literally told her, “I’d wet myself, I’m not even going to act that tough.”
We concluded the night with her having to use the restroom and me deciding that the time being after dark was already pushing the limit of my parental guidelines.
On my way back to my hot rod (I say loosely) a car pulled up similar to the one that drove by about a half an hour before and a gentleman jumped out the back driver side with his shirt pulled over the back of his head and his hand (or so I thought) under the front of his shirt with a protruding silhouette pointed at me shouting something unintelligible. Though it embarrasses me to say so, I hadn’t fathomed this would happen to me, so needless to say I was in a minor denial state as to what was going on and just stared like a deer in the headlights. Until a gentleman stepped out of the driver side with the gun in my face demanding me to lay face down on the ground.
Well that I understood and at this point I brilliantly followed the instructions given to me and I laid face down and hands up with my keys on my index finger. The one man I could understand instructed me to stay down and the other two patted me down. This was the attempt to find the obvious buried treasure of a minivan-driving 17 year old boy.
Who was I to complain. I was finally getting the physical affection that I had hoped for that night. The affection was just not in the manner or from the gender I had been hoping to receive it from.
When they couldn’t find my wallet, one kicked me in the side and rolled me over on my back. I don’t know why, but I kept my face covered and when they asked why I quickly explained to them it was “so there was no confusion to the fact that I could not ID them”. At least I was hoping they’d believe that I couldn’t identify them, though seeing them pretty clear on their initial arrival.
They proceeded to ask me where my wallet was and I told them it was in my right front pocket. They dug around and when they couldn’t find it they asked again. I claimed someone had either already gotten it or it had fallen out during the confusion. They could not believe that one of them was withholding the wallet, I’m assuming honor amongst thieves and all. They told me to search the ground for it rather politely by giving me another swift kick to the other rib.
While searching they held the gun to my head and then hit me with it, causing me to see stars, out of frustration when I couldn’t find my wallet. The man informed me I had 3 seconds to find it or he was “blowing my head off.” I frantically searched as he counted down “1…2…3…” in the unusually long pause after the three, something snapped, and I was yelling at them to either shoot or go at the top of my voice.
This was my reaction and not a planned response. Looking back I probably would have just requested the latter part on its own. However, for whatever reason, it worked and they told me to quiet down and stay down till I heard both cars pull away. Which I patiently obliged.
Now while nothing I did deserved the crime that was committed against me I can say there were choices I made that lead to allowing myself to be in that situation.
All of these choices ignored the fact that everyone of the guidelines were in fact set in love for mine or my friends safety by our respective parents.
The first choice caused me to clearly abound on the guidelines set for me, but in such a minuscule way there seemed no harm. By detouring to pick my friend up there was a harm and it was setting a precedence for making choice number two easier to make despite my given boundaries.
Choice two was the one that brought me to the “scene of the crime.” If I hadn’t taken her home I would not have been there at all and they wouldn’t have had me as a potential target.
The third choice, while not a rule directed toward me specifically, was in place for a reason and had I respected that reason I most likely would have been home before dark in my PJ’s preparing to watching Quantum Leap reruns.
Which brings me to number four. The old “before dark” rule which I’m sure we all know personally. This was setting me up with the wrong time for my being at the wrong place in choice number two.
Again the choices I made did not justify these men in any way to commit their crime. Nor is it my fault they chose their criminal behavior. To me, they are a victim as well (‘vict’ is the mind set and ‘im’ is the choice to give yourself in sacrifice). By making choices to allow them to commit this crime they were a victim of their own mindset. However, I only have control over my own mindset and there are clearly things I could look at and adjust to ensure I was never on the business end of a handgun again.
Now in case you were wondering. They were caught about a block away where they parked my van and due to lack of witnesses later they beat the charges though they were arrested. I hope that they learned from it and moved on making wiser choices in all honesty.
As for me, my parents found out. (They were surprisingly not mad though I think they saw it as a learning experience and a testimony to following instructions.)
I had some sweet black eyes and bruises to show off at school and it was finals week giving me extra time to study.
The girl in the story grew to be one of my best friends throughout high school and not to mention from then on I was the only boy allowed in her house while mom and dad were not home. We respected their house for anyone thinking it.
Finally I got this amazing story to share with others.
In short we all cannot stop crimes committed against us, but we can make smarter choices to reduce the probability of them. We can all choose to let those uncontrollable circumstances either define us for positive by learning and growing from them or negatively by weighing us in that moment for days, months, or even years.
That’s not to say we don’t grieve or have a natural recovery period. It took me a while to ride with my windows down in that area, but I can honestly say I made a decision to not let it change my life out of fear, but to let me learn and grow from the experience.
Thank you for bearing with this one I know it was long, but I tried to make it as entertaining as possible for you. I’d love to hear your stories and feedback. Comment below and have a victorious week.