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Author Topic: The strangest, scariest, most dramatic thing that you've seen in your n'hood  (Read 249590 times)

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Growing up, my best friend lived next door, but we had grown apart by junior high. She fell into a rougher crowd and eventually certain mental problems became apparent. It culminated one day in our late teens when my mom and I heard screaming from next door. We heard loud threats and called the police, but the dispatcher informed us that another neighbor was already ahead of us in that matter. It turned out that my ex-best friend snapped and was chasing her parents around the house with a knife. She had to be dragged out into a paddy wagon. And that didn't go well. She screamed the whole way, said the cops were hurting her, begged to get her cigarettes and managed to escape back into the house. It took at least five cops to get her into the wagon. Meanwhile the neighborhood had gathered to watch, upsetting her mother, who started screaming at everyone for gawking. I remember crying and feeling helpless for my old friend through it all. She was taken to a local hospital for psychological treatment for a while. While she had several minor incidents after that, none were as dramatic.

At the same house, I once heard a helicopter hover just above my bedroom window while I was in there reading. When I peeked out to see what was going on, I heard a voice as if it were coming through a megaphone say "Get back in the car, and don't try anything funny." I couldn't see anything, but it seemed as though a police copter above my house was monitoring someone on the street behind my house.

My current neighborhood is relatively quiet, but we've had a few troubling incidents recently. One, a man was found shot dead in a dumpster at the hopital up the street from me. The investigation determined that he crawled in there to commit suicide.

At the local bar where I play trivia once a week, a waitress was abducted and forced to drive up the road into the next city. When she crossed city lines, she knew he was planning to kill her, so she rolled out of the car and escaped with minor injuries. This happened late on trivia night, on a night I skipped going for a reason I now forget. The time she was abducted was the time I'd usually be leaving, by myself, for the walk home.

And in the neighborhood mall, we recently had a teen jump off the top floor of the parking garage in front of all his friends. Lucikly, for him he survived. Yes, drugs were involved.   


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A few months ago, my normally nice, decent neighbor guy stopped taking his bi-polar medication. That along with having several stressful situations in his life finally sent him over the edge one day. I’m sitting in my bedroom, when I hear this guy constantly screaming out his name over and over again. I look out my window, and it’s this neighbor guy walking around our complex courtyard doing that. I go to call our landlord, but no one is answering, so I go and look out my bedroom again. Now the guy is walking around buck naked! And I just had to look out my window right as he’s walking toward the window, ugh. Then our landlord and maintenance guy are trying to corral him and get him to put his clothes back on. Of course the police are called and take him away on a 5150. Poor guy.

One funny comment made though, and I posted this on this forum already – our macho maintenance guy was talking later about trying to get him to put his clothes back on and said, “There’s nothing ever good about having to see another dude naked”.


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This wasn't my neighborhood, but it was certainly one of the weirdest things I've ever seen.

My co-workers and I were on a moving job in one of the more decayed areas of a big city. We were moving a pastor and his family out of the rectory of an older church, obviously built when times had been much better. As my co-worker and I were working in the living room, she happened to look out the window.

"Is that what I think it is?" Pastor moseys to the window.
"Nope, she's a cop. You watch, another cop will be around in a minute or two."

 :o When I peeked out, I was witnessing a pr*stitution sting go down in real time. An unmarked car pulled around the corner and blocked the man who had pulled over to chat with the woman. The man was then removed from his car and popped into the police car. When we asked the pastor how he knew it was a sting, he explained: the woman was too healthy-looking to be in the business for real. He also admitted that was a large part of the reason they were moving. He had young kids, and they could tell the pr*stitutes from the police as well, having watched so many busts.
Ancora Imparo - I am still learning


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Oddly, this is the same dog that allows the neighbor kids to use her as a bench and helps clean baby goats so gently that she doesn't even make them sway.

Not so odd, they are a guardian breed. I think they are listed in my Storey's Guide on goats as one of breed profiles for herd guardians. While they need to be tough enough to take on any threats they also need to not hurt the goats/sheep/whatever they are guarding..


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jpcher!   :o  I can't even comprehend how terrifying that must have been.

The rabid raccoon story reminded me of something that happened in a n'hood not far from mine.

A few years ago, a cougar wandered into a residential neighborhood and was roaming around people's backyards.  Animal Control came in and removed the animal but I get sick to my stomach just thinking about how easily this could have been worse than it was. 

I once worked for a dog rescue group and took an Anatolian shepherd from the pound to foster for them. He'd been caught in a relatively rural part of the city and had been captured after a helicopter chase - he was so big he'd been called in as a mountain lion.

So of course I named him Puma.

This is an Anatolian shepherd:

He's beautiful! What kind of disposition does this breed have?

He is beautiful!  I love big dogs. 


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I once worked for a dog rescue group and took an Anatolian shepherd from the pound to foster for them. He'd been caught in a relatively rural part of the city and had been captured after a helicopter chase - he was so big he'd been called in as a mountain lion.

So of course I named him Puma.

This is an Anatolian shepherd:

He's beautiful! What kind of disposition does this breed have?

They're livestock guardian dogs, bred to work independently in the field. This makes them very intelligent, very protective, highly enterprising and disinclined to listen to anything you say.

For instance, one day when I was out of the house, Puma decided he wanted out of the house too. I came home to him in the backyard, holes bitten THROUGH the brass back doorknob, the cable wiring torn completely out of the 1/2-inch hole that might have served as an exit, and a crank window broken in the process of him squeezing out through it.

He was glad to see me.
Bingle bongle dingle dangle yickity-do yickity-dah ping-pong lippy-toppy too tah.


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I just wanted to add a strange one from my neighborhood.  As BG, housing prices in my city are very high.  About five or six years ago, a young couple bought a house a block down from us in an estate sale.  The house had been constructed in the 1910's and had never received any real maintenance or repair.  It was very attractive, though, as it was apparently the cheapest house in the city.  They decided to do all the repairs themselves, including replacement of the foundation.  That would have been somewhat reasonable, had they known what they were doing, but they did not, as evidenced by the fact that they used automotive jacks to hold the house up while doing foundation repair.  The house collapsed and slid into the neighbors.  It was actually not terribly loud -- we just heard a mild rumbling.

I also happened to see an undercover bust in action while walking the dog.  I saw an unmarked car parked on the street, and what I'm guessing was a cop pull on a wool cap just before walking up the street to a guy just standing there.  About thirty seconds after he starts talking to the guy, a second cop tells him he's under arrest (couldn't quite hear the conversation).  I was glad the cop didn't pull a gun!


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Then there was the time that a helicopter crashed on a house about two blocks away from where I live. The 3 people on board were killed, and the house was completely destroyed . . . The wife that lived there had just gone down into the basement to change a load of laundry. She was the only home and came out unharmed. Her house was the only one on the block that was damaged.

The talk about town was that this house was directly across the street from a park where there were about 5 little-league games in progress. Could you imagine the devastation that would have happened if the helicopter crashed into the field?

Another story -- a few years ago a father committed suicide. Before he killed himself, he set his wife and 4 year old child on fire (they were sleeping in the mom's bed) then spread gasoline throughout the rest of the house. The 12 year old daughter woke up and found her 8 year old brother in the smoke filled hallway. They were able to climb out of the daughter's window onto an overhang where the daughter jumped to the ground and ran for help.

These kids went to school with my DDs and they lived 1-1/2 block away.

(P.S. Thanks to those that responded to my earlier post. That happened almost 25 years ago, different 'hood than where I live now, but it still shakes me up when I think about it. Time and a bit of counseling helped me realize how fortunate I was.)

edited to change a word.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2011, 06:05:40 PM by jpcher »


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What a lovely dog  :D


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The Exploding Trailer

Late afternoon on a weekend, my husband and I heard a loud BOOM shortly followed by sirens. Checking things out from our balcony, we saw a good-sized fire a few streets away. In the area where I live, boom + fire usually means that a meth lab has exploded, so that's what we assumed had happened.

The real story turned out to be much more absurd. A few days after the fire, we ran into our neighbor, who volunteers for the area Fire Department. He had responded to the trailer explosion and fire and arrived to find the owners of the place standing outside. He asked them how the fire had started and they replied that a snake had started it.

Additional probing revealed that the two men who owned the trailer used it primarily for storage. Two of the things they were storing were propane and gasoline. One of them had seen a snake crawl under the trailer, so they decided it would be a good idea to stick a lighted torch under there to scare the snake away.  ::)
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The Manhunt

The peace of an early evening was broken abruptly by the WHAP WHAP WHAP WHAP of a helicopter buzzing around our house. It wasn't the usual Border Patrol copter either, but one of the biiiiig military ones and it was making enough noise that my husband and I could barely hear each other speak.

We went up to the balcony (our usual vantage point) to see, in addition to the large copter, several Border Patrol copters. On the ground were literally dozens of armed men and cars from Border Patrol, Sheriff's Department, DEA, and I'm not sure what else. There were several canine units, also.

Noticing several of the armed men right outside our fence, we went out to the fence line to ask if they needed access to our property for anything. One of the DEA guys responded by saying, "Go back into your house. These guys are armed, they've killed some people, and we see their footprints right here on the road." (The roads out here are dirt, btw.)

As we headed back to our house, our tenant came stumbling out of his place, intoxicated and clad only in tighty whities ( :-\ ) asking what was going on. We repeated what the DEA guy had said, to which our tenant responded by slurring cheerfully, "Hey, I've got a gun too!" As if we needed any more encouragement to go inside and lock the doors...

Everything quieted down about 20 minutes later, so I assume they caught the guys.
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The Border Crossers

My place is about 30 minutes from the Mexican border so it's no surprise that on numerous occasions, we've run into folks who are trying to walk from Mexico to various points in southern Arizona. (I'm in the Tucson sector: One encounter sticks in my memory more than the others.

A border crosser stopped by our place one very hot morning in June. He was not in good shape: weak, dehydrated, and barely able to remain standing. We were horrified and amazed to see that he had his dog with him. The dog appeared to be a Bulldog cross and was panting heavily, but otherwise didn't look too bad. Owner was asking for directions to Mesa, which is a two-hour drive from my place and he would be dead long before he could make it there.

We called for help. While we were waiting for someone to arrive, we rushed inside to get food and water for both the man and the dog. (And what does my husband offer the man? Crackers. Nice dry, salty crackers. Just what you'd want after walking through the hot desert with no water. I teased him about that for months.) The dog sucked down the food and water like he hadn't had any for days.

When help arrived, they loaded the man into an ambulance but no one was paying any attention to the dog. I couldn't come up with enough Spanish to ask the owner about him, but one of the paramedics did. Turns out the man had actually seen the dog for the first time about five minutes before arriving at our place. He belonged to one of our neighbors and had just decided to follow the guy. Then he pulled off the "poor immigrant dog" act well enough to score a large, free meal at our place.

I still see the dog sometimes.
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One morning I had just woken up when there was a knock on my apartment door. I look through the peephole to see two U.S. Marshals. I opened the door and they showed me a picture of some young man and asked if I had seen him around. The answer was no, I had never seen him. They thanked me and went on their merry way.

It just wasn't something I expected at 8 in the morning.   ::)

One morning at about 7:30 or 8 AM, someone knocked on our front door. I almost jumped out of my skin, because who knocks on your door at 8 AM? So I answered the door...guy shows me a badge and says, "Special Agent John Doe, FBI. Is Mr. Pinky here?"

 :o I went upstairs and woke DH up. "OK, honey, this'll wake you up. The FBI's at the door looking for you."

DH comes downstairs, and it turned out quickly that DH wasn't in trouble. A year or so earlier, my MIL had had a handgun stolen from her house. The gun was registered to DH. Someone had used it in a BANK ROBBERY and the FBI was just following the chain of evidence. DH wasn't a suspect, as he was 10 years older, 100 pounds heavier, and the wrong race, but it did make everyone's lives easier when he was able to give them a copy of the police report from when the gun was stolen.

The lousy part is that we never got the gun back, either. It's probably still languishing in an evidence locker.


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I had forgotten all about this until my friend and I were talking about 9-11 calls earlier.
 I had just moved into a new town. This was 2004 or so. I was sitting in my living room watching tv in my PJ's when my front door crashes in. I jumped up to see Police Officers, Firefighters, and EMT's all coming towards me yelling "WHERE IS SHE!?"  I just looked at them scared out of my mind and yelled back "WHO"? It took them a second and they had realized they had the wrong address.

I live at 123 Smith place west. They were supposed to be at 123 Smith place. No West. Thankfully they had already sent emergency to the correct address. I guess a young girl was trying to commit suicide at that address. The Police and Fire personnel couldn't have been nicer. They kept apologizing for booting in my door. The city paid for the repairs. I'm still in the same house. And I've had to call 9-11 numerous times for car accidents. I've had the same officers show up and joke with me about my door. Pretty scary moment at the time though!
"Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday"


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I was driving to a dinner one night when I took the wrong exit off the interstate (though I didn't realize that at the time).  I topped a hill to find what looked like every cop car in my city down at the intersection (my city has 600,000 people within the limits).  Cop cars come rocketing past my car (now stopped in traffic), sirens blazing, every few seconds.  By the time I got away from the area, I estimated there were probably 50 or more cop cars from my city, the county and the state.  The police chopper is buzzing around and I finally figure out what's going on.  Two fugitives had escaped from a jail a couple of states over and for the past few days, moved around the region.  They had killed one person thus far and were considered very bad dudes.  They wrecked one of their getaway cars in a chase with police and tried to escape into some woods (which were actually on the corporate campus of my city's largest employer...they didn't get but a few feet from the road).  By the time I came along, they had been captured for 15-25 minutes so I wasn't in danger and just got to watch the spectacle.