It was early 2009, I was living in a city going to university for mental health related stuff, living, working and doing a practicum in the downtown core. My parents had come for a visit, and were staying in a hotel. My mom and I had decided to go to a movie, my dad opted to stay behind and watch a hockey game on tv. It would have been fairly early, I think the movie started at 5:30 and it was a weeknight.
So off we go, only a few blocks from my place but it's winter so we
decide to drive. Right beside the entrance to the mall where the movie
theater was, there was a 4 level parkaid, we parked on the 3rd floor,
went down in the stairwell and entered the mall. There was also an
elevator option beside the stairs.
I don't even remember what movie we saw, but it ended and we made our
way out of the theater and down the escalators to the main floor. Most
of the other people had wandered off into other parts of the mall and my
mom and I were basically alone riding down. As we approach the bottom,
we see two presumably homeless people, they approach us as we're getting
off the escalator and ask us for any change. We politely decline, both
stating we had used debit cards (which was the truth.. at this point I
was working very closely with the city's homeless population and had a
lot of sympathy and good report with many). They aren't all bad but these two were.
Generally, that would be the end of the interaction, but I guess
these two men had a different agenda. As we're approaching the doors,
one of the guys says something like "yah, okay. liars!" We quickly
walked out of the mall, intending to head back into the parkaid and nope
out of there. We hear the door behind us, I look at it's the two guys
and they're like, staring us down.. following us and generally muttering
under their breath. They're really not far behind and I just look at my
mom and I'm like, GO! As soon as we book it for the little foyer in the
elevator area they're running after us.
We're in the foyer and I'm pressing the elevator button like crazy,
it seems like it's taking for-freaking-ever and my mom goes, let's take
the stairs! I tell her hell no, I had noticed when we went in earlier
there were no cameras in the stairwell. Just then, I see the guy through
the glass foyer door and he's slipped on ice, and is now trying to get
in. The elevator arrives, opens and we get in JUST as angry panhandler
gets in the foyer. I'm screaming for my mom to hit a floor button - any
one, just get this fucking thing moving! He reaches for the elevator
door just as it closes, I literally see his gloved hand damn near
So in our blind panic, my mom had hit the button for floor #2 (rather
than 3 where the car was parked) but this ended up saving our bacon, I
think! So we reach floor #2 and we're full of adreneline, and ready to
make a run for the car. It's 4 levels of spiraling cars, so we just
start running up hill, searching for the car.
It seems like forever but it was probably only a minute or so until
we find it, get in and lock the effing doors. My mom BURSTS into tears..
nothing like this has ever happened to her before. She is
hyperventilating and I'm trying to calm her down. She eventually catches
her breath and we begin driving out of the parkaid, and as we're
passing the 3rd floor stair well entry/exit we see the other guy (not
the one who chased us into the elevator but his counterpart) heading
into the stairwell. That was the cherry on top.
So we get down to the part where you pay for your parking and my mom
tells the attendant that there are two men in the parkaid area who are
chasing people and causing trouble. The attendant's first language is
not english, and he just keeps saying "I am not knowing, I am not
knowing". We just pay, drive out, and see the first guy walking down the
street, visibly pissed off and alone.
We get back to the hotel, call the cops, give descriptions and all
that, and that was pretty much it. Never heard anything more. The worst
of it was, we were two grown women, I would hate to think what might
have happened if instead of us, it was two young people.