Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Cop Next Door

About 7 years ago my husband and I lived in a nice, older neighborhood with lots of charming, well-kept colonials built in the 1930s. The homes were very close together and the neighbors on the street were relatively friendly. We had a sheriff and his wife who lived two doors down from us. My husband had known them a little bit previously so they'd talk to us once in a while. The husband always made me a little uneasy. He was one of those people who would compulsively stare at your chest while he spoke to you and it was very distracting.

 I hate to admit this but most of the time cops make me uneasy as it is because they have to have certain traits, one of them being that they pay more attention to you than other people do. Its part of their job, I understand, but many times their job experience brings a dark side and I don't like the combination of the dark side and over intrusive behavior. 

One evening in the summer, we had a sprinkler set up in the backyard to water some new grass we'd planted. My husband was at the gym and I was upstairs - we had our front door open but we had a screen door that was shut. I'm in the bathroom at the top of the stairs and I just hear my screen door open and I hear some guy go "hello!". (He hadn't knocked or rang the doorbell first, just came walking in).

 I walk to the top of the stairs and still can't see anything (we had a circular staircase so you had to walk half way down to see the entry way). So I walk down the stairs and the sheriff neighbor is standing there RIGHT at the bottom of the stairs, where I can't walk down the stairs all the way without walking right into him. He is blocking my way to the front door. He tells me that our sprinkler fell off the pole it was on and that the hose was just spraying water straight up in the air. So I said "oh ok let me get outside", and I sort of pushed past him and went out to fix it.

 He followed me to my back yard where the sprinkler was, did his usual staring at my chest, standing WAY too close to me the whole time he spoke to me and eventually after I fixed the sprinkler he left. 

Cut to winter. Husband is at the gym again but it's dark out now because of the time of year. I didn't feel well so I was laying on the sofa in our living room, watching tv. Our living room and the sofa were right next to the entryway where the front door was. We'd had to do so much work to the house we'd just finished painting the living room and I didn't have any curtains up, so anyone on the street could have seen that I was in there. 

I hear a knock at the door, and I ignore it. (I just don't answer the door when I'm home alone and not expecting anyone, especially at night). I hear a harder knock a second time and the doorbell rings. I still ignore it but I'm aware that whoever it is knows I'm there because they can see the tv on and probably saw me on the sofa from the street. However, I don't care, I still don't answer. 

Suddenly the person at the front door starts trying to OPEN it. (REALLY?). THIS startled me and got my heart pumping and I got up and grabbed a heavy object with which to protect myself in case whoever it was got in. I was surprised this was happening because it was a street where there were lots of neighbors and many used to walk a lot, so I was thinking the person would be seen trying to come in and it would look odd. I just felt trapped too, because I felt like whoever it was could see me standing there through either the living room windows or the sidelight windows (which did have a sheer over them but when it's dark outside and there are lights on inside you can still be seen).

 I decide not to take chances so I pick up the phone and call the police. I hear the person try to open my front door again and i hear some scratching at the door as well as if there were a dog jumping on it. I then hear the screen/storm door shut and the person appears to walk away. Then, I hear them trying to open my side door outside of the kitchen (which opens out to our driveway). They didn't even try to knock, just tried to come in. Thankfully I had THAT locked as well and they gave up. 

A few minutes later two patrol cars show up with two officers in each (we don't live in a very high crime area so I'm sure they had nothing to do at that moment). Two officers knock on my door right as my husband drives up. He had no idea what was going on so he talked to one of the officers in the driveway for a moment and came in and I explained what had happened. The officers on my front porch said "well here are some footsteps and some dog prints and they do go out to your driveway and to your side door, then out to the sidewalk."

 They checked around and said they couldn't find anything but that I was smart to call anyway and that we can call any time. (SO different from how the cops where I grew up in Los Angeles behaved, but that's another story). 

 Here's the shady part of all this. My husband tells me "it must have been [sheriff neighbor], because he was outside with the dog when we all drove up". I said "did he stop to talk to you or the cops?". He said "no, he just looked over and went inside". 

Now, if you were a cop and you had just innocently come to talk to a neighbor, then saw the cops drive up a few minutes later, wouldn't you go over to see if anything had happened? If you had innocent intentions knocking on my door and TRYING TO ENTER MY HOUSE, and I'd called the cops because it scared me, wouldn't you come try to explain what was so urgent that you were trying to get my attention? 

Cops talk to cops all the time. What was this person up to (and with his dog with him)? The whole thing was just strange. Thankfully we moved out that spring so we didn't stick around to find out. I'd hate to be pulled over by this guy on a dark night.


Alma said...

Oh hell naaaaw! This one is scary too, because I'm pretty sure the cop would have the benefit of the doubt or a reasonable sounding excuse in most situations. Always have a hard time sleeping and love to read or write scary stories. New here but loving it.

Keep scaring me!

Aloneinthenight said...

Great to hear, Alma. Thanks for participating!