I had never been near insane persons before in my life, and had not the faintest idea of what their actions were like.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to write about this or not. I think if one considers themselves a writer though, you should write about the things you know about. And the thing I know about is my life has taken a completely unplanned detour due to someone’s insanity.
About a six weeks ago I was taking a well deserved Saturday nap when my work phone rang. Since I was more interested in sleeping than talking, I let it got to voice mail. When it rang twice more from the same number I did not recognize, I figured someone wanted to speak with me very badly, so I checked the voice mails. The first told me “Hey, Charlie you don’t know who this is, but call me back and you’ll find out!” He sounded very angry. The second voice mail he threatened to track down my home phone number if I would not call him back and stated he was angry. Not wanting to be tracked down at my house by my white pages.com listing for a phone number I no longer had, I called him back.
It was an angry significant other of one of my employees who’s relationship was suffering from some discord. The conversation was vulgar, long and threatening. This lunatic thought I was having a relationship with his wife. He threatened to assault me and told me I was lucky he was not the kind of guy to drive his car through one of my stores and light it on fire. Over all a pretty disturbing call, but since I had no personal relationship with his “old lady” as he so classfully put it, I figured the truth would come out and no further issues would ensue.
I was wrong.
Immediately thereafter he showed up at store and made an ass out of himself while I was on phone with store. The store asked me to call 911 which I did. I explained to them there was a crazy person who had threatened me and the store at the location. They assured me they would send someone right over and asked if I wanted to file a report against said crazy person. I declined figuring it would blow over. The police dutifully showed up at store 35 minutes later, after crazy man was gone. I did inform my work of this, just in case any thing about it came up later. This turned out to be a great move on my part.
About ten days later I was in same location where employee worked. I was a little uneasy about visiting there and had stayed away for what I figured was a reasonable cooling down period. Another employee approached me and wanted to speak with me. During this conversation the threats against building were repeated to her as well as the fact that he was going to hunt me down and kill me. This was quite disturbing as I had made it to the age of 43 without anyone actually verbalizing a threat so serious. I had a team of 4 people working on a project with me that day at store and felt like my presence was putting them in danger as well as myself, so I decided to leave the premises.
At this point I contacted a local detective I knew to seek some guidance. It turns out this crazy man had an outstanding warrant against him from another state as well as a restraining order against him from some other poor guy. He informed me to be careful as this guy had a history. I informed work once again as this was getting serious.
Now I have made it this point in my life without ever feeling the need to arm myself. I am very uncomfortable about guns in the house and guns in general. I did not grow up in a gun culture family and there was no hunting background in my past. In fact I had only fired and handled a fire arm a few time in my life at boy scout camp in Texas. I didn’t see how my thirty year old experience with a 22 caliber single shot rifle was going to help me here.
The next day I headed to some local pawn shops to look at hand guns. There was something that didn’t feel right about purchasing a gun from a pawn shop. I felt it was saying I need a gun and I need it right now. When they put one in my hand, it felt like it weighed fifty pounds and was as foreign an object to me as I had ever seen. I left there feeling kind of dirty and mad at this guy for making me consider things that I have never had to consider before.
Arriving home, sans weapon, I still felt threatened. So I did what any sane individual face with such circumstances would do. I headed out to the garage and got my golf clubs and placed five of them strategically around the house. Now, I know if I am 100 yards from the green, I prefer to use my sand wedge, but what is the right club to brain someone with. After much thought, it went down as follows. A 3 iron by the front door, a driving iron by the back door, a 7 iron by the bedroom door and the only club I ever make good contact with, a 5 iron by the office. Now this whole thought process made me question who the sane one was here. I really don’t even play golf much and struggle to hit a little ball sitting still. How was this going to help me if my home was invaded?
The craziness ensued on the night we went to see Them Crooked Vultures. Apparently this guy called 911 to report that myself and the store staff were attempting to kidnap his wife.
Enough was enough.
I called the alarm company to activate and monitor the system in the house.
I also visited Tom’s Gun Shop in Rome, Georgia. Now I liked this place better than the pawn shop. From the sign on the door telling patrons their pants had to be pulled up to the waist, to the large selection of firearms, to his vast collection of Nascar and Coke memorabilia, and especially Tom himself. We spoke of Coke and Nascar and my current predicament. It felt so much better dealing with somebody that guns were their specialty as opposed to the pawn shop experience. I finally settled on the gun from the beginning of post.
My driver’s license didn’t have my current address on it, so I would have to come back the next day to pick it up. On my drive to the gun shop I was informed crazy guy had turned himself in on the terroristic threat charges from what he had said to me and the store employees. There were some circumstances that made it possible he would be denied bond and have to sit for a while. I was very disappointed to find out that he told the judge he had found God in the last week and was trying to turn his life around. Bond was set for $5000 and he was out on the street in a little more than 4 hours.
The alarm system was activated 2 days later.
At this point I wasn’t really feeling physically threatened. I just took it as a wake up call that there were crazy people out there. With all the warning signs, I would have been a fool to not take the necessary steps to protect myself and my family.
The employee resigned because she could not properly fulfill her duties while the store and all its employees were under threat.
So I figured the story was over.
Until I got a courtesy call from one of the detectives I had been working with to let me know that the employee had filed a sexual battery charge against me. This was quite upsetting. Now case was immediately dismissed without further investigation because of the fact that the police were all aware of the background of the case, and the fact that crazy guy told an officer while Ms. Crazy was filing report that they were just doing it because their attorney told them it might make for an easier plea bargain in his case.
All in all a very disturbing and stressful time for me and Laila.
The good news is that my company has been completely supportive of me through this whole process. I can only imagine how it would have turned out much differently if I had not informed them early and often. How do you prove you didn’t do something?
Hopefully this is the end of it. I may have to go to court to testify against the crazy people though.
Laila and I are both fine and looking to close this ugly, unwarranted intrusion into our peaceful little world.