A couple years ago, my sister and I would frequently go to the same restaurant/bar a few times a week just to gossip and to get out of the house. They had some pretty good late-night appetizers and because of where we worked, we would get a free one. On this night, we decided to go to a 24-hour grocery store afterwards and grab some beer to go home. We were roommates at the time.
It was about 11pm, so it was dark out. While we were walking towards the doors, we noticed this bulky man wearing a beanie hat, standing in the entrance. We didn’t think much of him because he could have been waiting for his ride or something. When we were walking past him, he stopped my sister. She is younger, smaller and has a lot friendlier of a face than I do. I was 24 at the time and she was 21. She was a skinny blonde and I was a curvy brunette with a resting mean face. If this has anything to do with why he bothered her and not me, I don’t know, but I figured I would put that out there. He asked her if she had a lighter. She simply said no because she didn’t smoke. He didn’t say anything, just took a couple steps away from us. We shrugged it off and went in to get the beer that we came for.
After grabbing what we wanted, I headed towards the register. My sister did not have her I.D on her so I told her to go sit on the bench up front, for I didn’t want to chance it being an issue. As I was standing in the checkout line, I could see the man come back in the store and start to pace back and forth in front of the bench my sister was sitting on. I was really hoping that she would get up and walk to the bathroom or something. I really did not want her to get up and make a break for the car. I did not want this man to follow her outside when she was alone. I was fully prepared to drop my things and follow her out. No amount of beer is more important than the safety of another person. However, she stayed seated on the bench while he kept pacing. In the middle of the cashier ringing me up, I observed him say something to her and then walk out the doors. I scooped up my purchases and walked to her. I asked her what he had said to her. She said that he asked her yet again if she had a lighter and when she told him no, he got noticeably frustrated and walked out the door. Did he forget that he had already asked her or did he think that she had went and boughten one just for him? We had no clue.
At this point, I was a little worried that he would be waiting outside for us. I fished my pepper spray out of my purse and told my sister to use it if she had to. I then subtly opened my pocket knife and held it in my hand but hid my hand in my sleeve so that it wasn’t obvious that I had it. I remote started my car so it would be running when we got to it. When we walked outside, he was standing around the corner glaring at us. We started walking towards my car. I was not parked that far away thank goodness. I kept glancing back at him to assure that he was not trying to follow us. We were almost to my car when we heard him yell out, “Just a couple of spoiled little brats. That’s all you are.” All I could think was, just because neither one of us smoked and we didn’t have a lighter for you, that makes us a couple of spoiled brats? Okay then. I told my sister to get right in the car and to lock her door. I opened my back door, shoved my purchases in the back seat and shut the door. I closed my knife, put it back in my purse and shoved my purse in the car. Before I got in the car however, I noticed that there was a smaller, blonde woman, probably in her 30’s getting out of her car and about to head towards the store. I walked up to her and told her that there was a sketchy man hanging out around the entrance of the store and to be careful. She said okay and thanked me.
I got in the car and backed out of my spot. I started driving down the aisle pointing towards the front of the store. I told my sister that I wanted to wait and make sure that this woman made it in the store. Right before she entered the store, he walked over to her and I assume said something to her because she turned to look at him and shook her head. When she turned to walk in the doors, he walked up right behind her and I don’t know if he was going to touch her, follow her or what he was going to do. I did not wait to find out. I honked my horn and turned on my brights. He turned, looked at me and quickly walked in the opposite direction. He was heading over to the parking lot of the store next door. This was also a 24-hour store. I told my sister that I was uncomfortable just knowing that this guy was out here harassing people, so I called the non-emergency police hot line. I told the operator what had just taken place, gave her a description of the man and where I last seen him headed. She told me that she would send an officer out there to check things out. I gave her my name and number, said thanks and hung up. The last we seen him, he was just pacing in front of the store next door. There was nothing more that we could do and quite frankly, I didn’t want to piss him off any more than we already had, so we just headed home. Never heard anything from the police and never seen the man again. I hope for the sake of other shoppers, that he got his lighter…