Last week the White Mountain community was very lucky when a 21-year-old woman was nearly abducted by a strange man.
According to a social media post by her mother, the young woman went to the store on the evening of Feb. 24 for a small list of items for a younger sister’s birthday party.
“Today, I feel very blessed. I get to hug my children tight today and tell them that I love them. I want to share with you an experience that my daughter had today. A very scary experience. I would say every parent’s worst nightmare could have been our reality today,” the mother wrote on Facebook.
The young woman told her mother, “I was halfway through the list you gave me. I was down the soda aisle when I noticed a man staring at me. He made me feel uncomfortable and I got a sick feeling in my stomach. My first thought was that he is a creeper.”
The woman fled the store as quickly as possible.
“I thought to myself, ‘is this man following me?’ I thought that I would test my theory, so I proceeded to the bakery section. When I got to the bakery section and I was picking up the brownies and cupcakes, I noticed that he also was now in the bakery section,” she told her mother.
At the store’s checkout area she was finally able to free herself from the stranger; at least she thought she had.
“As I left the store I looked to the left and noticed that the same gentleman was actually outside of the store at the far corner. He was looking at me and I thought ... ‘great now he’s outside.’ ... I quickly walked to my vehicle so that I could unlock it and put my stuff away,” she said.
What happened next was terrifying.
“I started my car and proceeded to look backwards, so I could back out. As I was looking through my back window, a black car pulled up behind my vehicle and boxed me in. I was not going to get out of my car. I just kept honking and motioning for the vehicle to move. They did not move. They kept me boxed in. I was then startled by someone tapping on my driver-side car window. It was the man who was following me inside Walmart,” she told her mother, according to the Facebook post.
The man told her he needed her help to change a flat tire, but the young woman resisted and remained locked inside her vehicle.
“I said, ‘I don’t know how to change a tire. ... If you want, I can just call my dad, who is a cop and is on duty right now. He would love to help you with your flat tire.’ This gentleman’s response was ‘oh no, no, no, that’s OK, I will just find somebody else to help me.’ I said, ‘have a nice day.’”
Image this young woman’s bravery when she told him to have a nice day!
The man fled and left the young woman alone. Fortunately, this story has a happy ending, but it may not have been such a good ending if it were not for her resourcefulness, cool and calm thinking and downright intelligence.
She did the right thing, and I am so glad that she got away safely.
The man is described as a skinny white male, in his 30s with a bald head. He was wearing a white shirt with blue jeans and driving a black car.
“Mom I’m so scared. I legit just almost got abducted,” she told her mother on a phone call right after the event.
The police were called and a report was filed.
The mother was grateful afterward as she wrote, “Tonight, as all of these children are in my home making insane amounts of noise and having just great fun times … I can’t help but feel the true blessing of the Lord’s hand in my life and in her life today. I can’t help but think of how tonight could have been a much different night for us. How if she didn’t follow her instincts and take the actions she took, tonight and possibly for the rest of my life I would be searching for her. My stomach is in knots and I have surges of emotions I have to hold back. I am so grateful that these events didn’t go down that dark road.”
I salute this young 21-year-old for protecting herself, and I salute her mother for sharing this story with the people of our community. Perhaps other women are safe today because of their bravery and courage.
“Hug your kiddos tonight. Hug your hubby. Be mindful of what’s going on around you. Be aware of your surroundings. I’ve known for a long time that this world has changed and continues to change every day for the worse. I guess I just never really considered that the stories you hear on the news can very easily land in your own front yard,” the mother wrote as she ended her Facebook post.