In the spirit of Halloween I will share an incident that happened to me last October. It was 10 am on a weekday and I had the day off so I decided to go to the grocery store and get some pumpkins to carve. Did my shopping with no problems, didn’t notice anything off since it was earlier in the day and the other shoppers were elderly. I bought three large pumpkins and had them in a cart to put in the trunk of my car.

As I was putting the first pumpkin in my trunk (holding it with one arm, opening the trunk with the other and my back to the parking lot) I feel someone pulling the pumpkin out of my arm backwards. I spun around and threw that pumpkin in the process to see two men directly behind me. I am a very small female so I immediately felt endangered.

The one man who I assumed was the man who first grabbed at me made an attempt to scream at me in a language I didn’t understand and grab at me again. I pushed the cart with the remaining pumpkins at the two men and got in my car to lock the doors and drive away. The two men got into a white, brand new Dodge Charger with temp plates and sped out the parking lot after me.

The street we both pulled out on was a busy, 4 lane 25mph business district. You can’t safely speed. That didn’t matter to the Dodge Charger who weaved in and out of traffic to try and run me off the road. The driving was so erratic that another driver attempted to box the Charger in. Didn’t matter much, they went into incoming traffic anyway.

Meanwhile I threw my left turn signal on and made a quick right into a coffee and donut chain I regularly frequent. Next to this coffee chain is a pizza chain (not yet open).

I noticed that the Charger had pulled into this pizza chain and was waiting for me to pull out the coffee chain parking lot. I frantically told the employee what was going on through the drive-through while I ordered a snack (I mean I was there and didn’t want to pull out yet). This coffee chain knows me well and on this day, the manager went above and beyond the call of duty. She called the police who told her to have me pull around to the window. She did knowing I would be in full view of the Charger, so she came outside to stand between us with the BIGGEST rolling pin I’ve ever seen in my life. She stared those men down like my own mother would have.

The cops came and took statements. The Charger was still there and searched. One officer told me they pulled tarp and rope from the trunk and are treating this as a trafficking attempt. Both men refused to answer any questions and were arrested.

I don’t know for sure what their intent was, but I live in a sanctuary city with mostly people from Nepal or Bhutan, and have NEVER had a scary issue. I love my neighborhood but I did not recognize these men or their car frequenting the neighborhood.

That day I bought everyone working at that coffee chain a gift certificate for a massage as a thank you for protecting me. And I still tip them every morning extra, a year later.

So pumpkin grabbing dudes in a white Dodge Charger, let’s not meet.

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