Author Topic: The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood  (Read 94137 times)

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Missyanthrope

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I'm embarrassed to say that my husband and I are the guilty ones here.  We live in a quiet upper class neighborhood where NOTHING ever happens.  Except for us:

First night in our new house the smoke alarms went off and wouldn't stop at 3AM.  We grab the pets and ran outside to call 911.  Cops show up, engines and rescue show up.  House is searched.  No fire.  Fire Marshal uses canned air to blow out several of our smoke alarms to remove spiderwebs, and....the alarm stops.  Cue massive embarrassment on our part.

Husband is diabetic.  One night he has a seizure due to a severe low blood sugar.  I call, and again at 1AM we have lights and sirens all over our quiet little culdesac.  Husband gets glucagon and is fine, but adamantly refuses to allow the Fire Dept. to remove our wooden railing and balustrades to get him downstairs on a stretcher.  He slides down the stairs on his butt, and then LOUDLY refuses to be transported for observation.  I skipped church that week so I didn't have to answer any questions.

And finally when our latest little one was just 7 weeks old she was battling acid reflux and an overactive reflex reaction.  As I was getting her ready for bed one night she began to gag, and in her panic she stopped breathing.  This repeated itself several times  before I yelled for my husband to call 911.  In the meantime I worked on trying to assure she had a clear airway, and trying to calm her.  I was pretty calm considering, and credit my previous BLS/First Responder training I had had in order to work as a dispatcher at a local college.  Everyone else?  Husband was screaming into the phone, eldest foster daughter was crying hysterically, younger daughter was running around screaming and trying to climb the adults, and the dog was howling.  All while I ran to the front yard to meet the ambulance.  I know the whole neighborhood heard it, because we didn't stop getting questions for WEEKS afterward.  (Side note, little one is perfectly fine now, is 15 months old and going strong, and now all the adults in our house are trained on infant and child resuscitation).

snowfire

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When I was in high school a car came flying down our street, jumped the curb and hit a power pole.  They broke it off and it flipped end for end over the car, pulling down the power lines and knocking out the power for a couple of square miles.  Fortunately, no one was hurt other than scrapes and bruises.  Unfortunately they showed signs of felony stupid-in-public.  They were high school students (16-17 years old, therefore underage for drinking.) They were very drunk and they had been playing musical people after they crashed, trying to lie about who was driving.  It turned out that I knew all of them from high school.
Our power was out for about 8 hours while the power company brought in a new pole and spliced in new wire.

A couple of years ago a guy who was fleeing from the police in a stolen car turned into the neighborhood right behind ours.  He ran into a dead end street and bailed out, jumped the fence into my next door neighbors back yard, then jumped the front fence and vanished.  There were multiple cop cars behind our houses and in the front.  The first thing I knew about it was when my Mom called me and said "Turn on the TV!  There are cops in front of your house!!!!" 

I had been sound asleep and had not heard a thing.  :-[

Wavicle

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I thought I had nothing, but I can't believe I forgot what happened to the house my fiance built. It isn't quite our neighborhood, but considering that I have more cow neighbors than human ones and someone leaving a bunch of stools and then milk crates by a field was big news for a couple weeks, this was a pretty big deal.

WARNING suicide attempt
So anyways, Fiance's company builds a house for their weird guy. Finish the house, the guy can't pay for it and starts drowning in the debt of it. So he decides to kill himself by burning down the house while he is sitting in his truck in the garage. After the fire gets going, he chickens out and drives out into the woods behind his house and tries to stab himself in the gut instead. By this point someone has noticed what is going on (rural and things are spread out so a house burning down isn't going to be noticed until things are going along and someone happens to look). The guy survived, not sure what kind of trouble he was in but he was left with the debt and no house and possibly some criminal charges. He had a wife and kid who I think were out of town at the time, and I felt so bad for them that not only did their husband/father try to kill himself, he took their home too.

Fiance was supremely annoyed that the guy burned down the house he poured so much sweat into (yes I know the guy was mentally ill, he just had an emotional attachment to one of the first houses he built) and dragged me out there to see the damage. The trees surrounding the house were blackened, and the foundation was damaged. I wish I had managed to tell my Fiance that considering my own depression, going to see the remnants of someone's suicide attempt felt like getting punched in the gut  :(

Elfmama

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We had an older man living on our cul de sac a few years ago. His neighbor had left her grill too close to their shared fence and the fence caught on fire. He ran out of his front door wearing nothing but a short, frilly skirt and used his hose to put out the fire.
I do hope you meant his garden hose.... ;D
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Elfmama

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I think it's the fact that the creepy guy specifically mentioned the police when it was obvious that the jumper needed medical attention as a priority.   Most people's reaction would probably be, "Someone's hurt, I need to call for medical assistance.", but his was, "This guy jumped, I need to get the police to deal with it.".  To me, that doesn't seem like a normal reaction to such a situation.

That's exactly my reasoning :) .
Here in Maryland, when you call 911, they answer with "911, do you need police, fire, or ambulance?"  For a suicide like AK's, they'd send both police and ambulance.
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Ms_Cellany

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Wavicle, your story reminds me of something I read in a book about real-life cops and cop stories:

A cop's relative couldn't keep up the payments on his very expensive car, so he torched it for the insurance.

As it turns out, and as the cop informed him, it's NOT illegal to set fire to your own car, but it's EXTREMELY illegal to file an insurance claim afterward.

So the guy had to keep making the payments on a burned-up, nonfunctional, expensive car.
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LeeLee88

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My parents' farm is located about 15 minutes (driving) away from a juvenile detention facility, and every few years or more, we see the black helicopters that are out looking for escapees and get inside the house with the guns and the whatnot.  And always, like clockwork, the escapees try to break from our woods and across our pasture, only to get bogged down in the swamps and get caught.  You'd think they'd share this valuable information amongst themselves at some point.  One time, a kid got in the goat pasture, and discovered that goats have no sympathy for anyone, least of all those who are on the wrong side of the law.  He came to the main house and told us he was an escapee and waited patiently in the drive for the police to come.  Very few of the boys who escape are bad; 90% of them are just homesick and panicking over their situation is all. 

Another one is that one time, my mom answers the door to find a young man (about 15) wearing torn, filthy clothes and he's all dirty and scared.  He tells my mom that he's escaped from a basement that one of his step parents was keeping him in, and he was supposed to be living with his grandparents, but he was away for the summer or something, I can't remember too much.  Well, Mom can see a liar a mile away, and this boy was definitely not lying about having had something bad happen to him, but she didn't know what it could be (she didn't really believe the basement story, because that was a big story on the news at that moment).  She tried to call the police to help him, but he begged her not to, and asked if he could have a dollar to help him get to his mother's house in Cleveland, OH.  The kid was crying and panicked and everything, and Mom wound up calling the police, who got him, and Mom found out later that there was an investigation going on.  The kid had some sort of disorder, and while the police found no hard evidence of his mistreatment, he did wind up going back to his grandparents, and that's all they could say. 

We also had the guy a few miles away from us blow himself up in his End of Days bunker, complete with massive, illegal weapons cache because he was goofing around with some ancient gas generator, and it blew.  The blast could be heard for miles around.  Luckily, he lived alone in the middle of a very large property, so no one else was injured. 

In my current neighborhood, we have gun shots occasionally, and one time, the neighbors told me I missed a massive bust two streets down.  The police had organized themselves on our street (a very nice street, actually) and then charged over there.  There were rifles and massive SUVs and even horses, for cryin' out loud.  I asked if anyone got stabbed with a trident, but apparently, the police don't carry those, go figure. 

Last month, I was out on my porch when two men got into an argument while cleaning out a garage one street across from me, and one of the guys found a gun and accidentally discharged it.  The second guy took great offense and accused the first guy of trying to kill him, and so on and so forth.  Because I've lived an odd life, the sound of gunshots don't really bother me all that much, and because I'm an idiot who didn't want to miss out in case someone actually got shot, I remained outside, all while things are getting really heated, and one has the gun in hand and is sounding pretty threatening. But I ducked behind my crazy thick brick porch wall, cigarette dangling off my lip, and posted a short story entitled, "Why I'm Too Dumb to Live" to facebook about the experience as it was happening.  I'm a grade A dumb***, in other words.

bansidhe

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Esan ozenki!

Arizona

Diane AKA Traska

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This is the yard of one of my neighbors:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/jenniferjo/3Points_neighbor_120605b.jpg

YIKES!  That is... wow... it's just...  You guys don't get much rain, do you?
Location:
Philadelphia, PA

Missyanthrope

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Quote
This is the yard of one of my neighbors:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v31/jenniferjo/3Points_neighbor_120605b.jpg

CRUD MONKEYS!, bandshide......WANT!!  (I know, I'm a tad off.  Currently my husband holds schematics for a HUGE 25 foot trebuchet he wants to build.  In our back yard.  I don't see this happening soon.  But we can dream!)

bookworm317

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The apartment I lived in before I was married.  One night my boyfriend was over and we were watching a movie when we heard what sounded like the "crash" of the garbage truck lifting the dumpster... except that instead of a single crash-bang, it went on and on and on and on and on...

Turned out that a woman had accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes when she had intended to turn into the gas station next door to the apartment complex.  So she'd hit the corner of a parked car hard enough to cause it to hit the car in front of it, that car to hit the car in front of it, etc., so that seven cars parallel-parked in a row all banged into each other.  But hitting the parked car hadn't been enough to stop her.   She'd barreled across the lawn, gone up a hill, through a chain-link fence, and into the corner of the apartment building.

I suspect she was drunk.  Or something.  Because I don't understand how you could accidentally hit the gas instead of the brake, right after you came around a corner (so she shouldn't have been going too fast to begin with), hit a car, and keep going about 100 feet over rough terrain (hopping a curb, going up a hill and through a fence) without managing to brake the car until you hit a building.

When I was a kid, I remember hearing a story that happened in my city but not my neighborhood.  An older woman was taking a shower when a man broke into her house and went into her bathroom.  She stormed out of the bathroom.  "How dare you, break into an old woman's house and scare her half to death!  You ought to be ashamed of yourself, you rapscallion!  Who is your mother, because she needs to know what a scamp she has raised!  You young people have no respect for the elderly, you naughty boy!  How dare you startle an old woman in the shower!  I could have had a heart attack!"   Etc.  The whole time, she is bearing down on him, shaking her fist in his face.  She backs him all the way down the stairs, out of the house, and stands in the front yard screaming at him as he drives off.  I totally want to be that woman when I'm old.  Although I think I'd rip off the shower curtain to cover myself before I chased him all the way outside.  :)

MommyPenguin, I wanna be her, too!  ;D

Spriggy

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My former place of residence.  My door is the one on the left, the boa was loose on in the townhouse on the right.   

http://www.kmbc.com/news/23038651/detail.html

And yes I did check my toliet every time I went to the rest room.  (They found the snake a week later).

mechtilde

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A police cordon, after they had had to evacuate part of the village due to a fire near some gas containers.

Or maybe the time a murder suspect tried to hide in the woods nearby- cars, helicopter, all sorts.
NE England

P-p-p-penguin

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I think it's the fact that the creepy guy specifically mentioned the police when it was obvious that the jumper needed medical attention as a priority.   Most people's reaction would probably be, "Someone's hurt, I need to call for medical assistance.", but his was, "This guy jumped, I need to get the police to deal with it.".  To me, that doesn't seem like a normal reaction to such a situation.

That's exactly my reasoning :) .
Here in Maryland, when you call 911, they answer with "911, do you need police, fire, or ambulance?"  For a suicide like AK's, they'd send both police and ambulance.

I'm sure they'd do that in most places, but it wasn't about what was sent but what the guy told AK he had requested.

soupmom

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I believe I've shared this story before, but it's been a while.  It's long, sorry, but it's quite a story.

DH and I bought our house in a quiet neighborhood several years ago.  Soon after we moved in, we started hearing from the neighbors "gossip" about our next-door neighbor that turned out to be true.  She'd had multiple husbands and had a rathered checkered career.  Took us a while to meet her (well, we did move in at Thanksgiving...).  Anyway, by springtime current husband was gone.  She and her grown kids moved out a lot of stuff, including a hot tub out of the back deck (that was interesting, there's about 6 feet between the sides of our houses). 

So she left, and then "friends" of hers moved in -- she allowed them, but she was in foreclosure and was drawing it out as long as possible (this was long before the housing crisis).  The friends were a group of young people, not too difficult to live next to, although we could periodically smell recreational substances coming from the back deck, and the guy started his van at 5:30 am every morning by hammering under it for about 20 minutes while cursing loudly.  They had a dog who frequently got loose and got the cops called on them because of the leash law.  After almost a year,  the bank finally got the house back in foreclosure, then it went up for auction for back taxes and a man down the street bought it to "flip".

The new owner fixed it up very nicely and sold it to Sean and Erica.  Then the fun started.  They brushed me and DH off when we went to introduce ourselves the weekend they moved in, but we chalked it up to busyness.  We did get to a point where we spoke regularly when we saw each other outside.   When they had a maple tree taken down in their front yard, they gave us the firewood for our fireplace.  It was hard to keep up with exactly who was living there at times; Sean was the main owner and occupant, sometimes Erica was there, then she would be gone for a while and another woman would be living there, then Erica would reappear.  Erica had a middle school aged son and an infant when they moved in, and the kids disappeared and reappeared sporadically too.  Sean and Erica did have a dog that they took good care of, and we had no problems with him.

Things went along quietly for a couple of years.  Then one summer I started having trouble sleeping at night, and was often up after midnight.  I started noticing lots of traffic coming to Sean's house.  People would get out of the car, go to the front door and knock, then leave very quickly -- usually about a minute, no more than 90 seconds later.  As I noticed this pattern, I mentioned to DH that I thought Sean and Erica might be dealing drugs -- it fit the pattern.

DH was unhappy that this was going on in our neighborhood.  Unknown to me, he decided to do something about it.  He called our local police to talk to them about it.  They said they'd look into it.  He also identified some of the cars that were regulars and started taking photos of them and their drivers from our son's bedroom window.  However, we didn't own a digital camera, but instead an ancient 35 mm.  It clicked loudly when the photo was taken, and DH wasn't very careful.  Sean and his friends realized what was going on.  While I was away at a conference, DH was intimidated by a couple of Sean's friends.  He didn't want to back down, but I made him promise to cool it.  Our older son was getting married in about a month, and I didn't want any difficulties while we had a house full of out-of-state relatives.  So DH agreed to cool it.

We got through the wedding with no problems.  Then a couple of weeks later, Sean stuck a note in our mailbox saying that he was sorry he hadn't been putting his trash out at the curb, that he was having a dispute with the trash collection company contracted by our town, and that he would get the trash taken care of soon.  We didn't realize there was a problem -- turns out he had been storing trash on the other side of his house, and the other neighbors were complaining. 

Then one Friday evening, Sean stuck a note in our front door saying that he and his family were going out of town, and that all the issues such as trash would be dealt with as soon as they got home on Sunday.  Sean, Erica and some of their friends hopped in their cars and left.  All was quiet until Saturday night.  About 8 pm, a couple of police cars showed up in front of their house, and officers knocked on the door.  DH went out to tell them Sean & crew had left town the night before.  Police thanked DH, then asked him to go back inside.  We watched as three more police cars showed up and officers stood around in the yard, until about 9 pm.  Then things got busy.  An officer with a search warrant showed up (all our windows were open, so we could hear most of their conversation).  The police went in and started searching the house.  The county's mobile crime lab truck showed up a while later. 

As the search went on, we'd hear the police calling to each other, "Hey, I found something in this bedroom"  or "Come check out what's in here" (remember, the houses are just a few feet apart).  Then, around 11 pm, all work stopped because they found a floor safe in the upstairs bedroom closest to our house.  They called in heavy equipment.  It was after midnight when a hydraulic jackhammer showed up on a trailer.  They jackhammered the safe out of the floor.  It took them about 45 minutes of continual work to get it out.  Nice way to spend a late Saturday night/early Sunday morning, listening to a jackhammer about 15 feet away from your bedroom window.  After the safe was out of the floor and opened, the police started calling to each other, "Hey I found some 100s with traces of cocaine on them" and similar statements.  We also heard them say they had torn open a 50-lb bag of dog food and run water in the bathtub for the dog that Sean and Erica had left in the house for the weekend. 

Finally, the search wrapped up about 2 am.  The next day, the police were back, looking for Sean and Erica. 
They were staked out down the street, but they asked us to let them know if we saw anyone.  All was quiet until after dinner.  I had to run to the store.  When I got there, I thought I saw Sean's car in the lot, but I wasn't positive.  In the store, I thought I saw him and Erica, but they were quickly leaving.  I finished my shopping and headed home. About a block from the house, I saw Erica running down the sidewalk with the dog.  She jumped in Sean's car and they took off.  Unfortunately, the police weren't around at the moment.

But the saddest part of the entire mess happened about an hour later.  Erica's middle school aged son came home from spending the weekend with a friend.  The friend's mother dropped him off and made tracks out of there, not even waiting until he got to the door.  Son went to the front door, tried to get in, rang the bell, pounded on the door, went around to the back door and tried to get in there.  He was locked out and no one was home.  DH and I had immediately called the police number when we saw him arrive, and the police showed up.  After talking with him, they called Erica's mother, who lived in the area, to come take him home with her.  The idea that Erica would risk arrest to grab the dog and leave her son to fend for himself still boggles my mind.

That was the last we saw of Sean and Erica.  We still weren't positive that he was wanted for drug dealing, but we strongly suspected it -- until the following weekend, when the local media broadcast that police were looking for Sean, who had been running a counterfeiting ring out of his home.  He and his crew had been passing 5s, 10s and 20s in the area.  That explained the "problems" with the trash collection.

Sean and Erica and their friends had left a few cars in the driveway and at the curb.  Over the next few weeks, they were all repossessed.  A couple of months after the search, the police brought a trash-hauling company in clean out the house.  We finally heard that Sean had been arrested in another state about three months after the search.

Forgot to mention, when Sean first moved in, he was a chef at a local restaurant.  Coincidentally, my older son, the one who got married during all of these events, is in food service and got a job at the restaurant where Sean had worked.  DH & I asked him to find out what they knew about Sean.  When our son asked, his boss immediately said, "You know Sean!  How do you know Sean?"  Once our son convinced him that we were just neighbors, they told him Sean had regularly stolen money from the restaurant, and was fired.  That's when his counterfeiting operation went into high gear.

Periodically we'd get phone calls from various "law offices" asking if we knew where Sean was ; most likely debt collectors.  We heard a rumor that he'd been convicted and went to prison; we believe it was his second offense due to some internet searching we'd done.  Amazingly, we discovered recently that yes, he had gone to prison, and while he was in there, he set up his next counterfeiting operation for when he got out.  Astonishingly, he served less than 4 years, then he and a prison buddy came back to this area, though not to this neighborhood thankfully, and started counterfeiting $100 bills that were supposed to fool counterfeit detecting pens.  The prison buddy turned informant for the police, and Sean was busted again.  I hope he's in for a good long time now.

The house was foreclosed on and flipped again, and an older couple bought it for their daughter and son-in-law.  They've been here a couple of years, and are a true delight with a couple of young children.  We are friendly with them, and extremely thankful we finally have good, normal neighbors.  They did find $100 bills stuffed in the electrical outlets when they were preparing the nursery for their second child...they were counterfeit.

Thanks for reading this novella.