Thursday, July 20, 2017

Security Dealing With A Stalker

My daughter’s husband’s father, her father-in-law, is a personal injury lawyer in California. We’ll call him Bob. Bob does quite well there. His practice is thriving. He told me about a time when he was stalked by an angry business owner who he successfully sued for being at fault in injuring an employee. This guy was making obscene phone calls to his office and somehow found out where he lived. He started to become concerned and so he got a concealed license and started to carry a gun. He also instructed his family in how to avoid risk when at home and out in public. He started to receive phone calls at his home. He quickly changed his phone number (this was before cell phones). The police had been called and a restraining order issued. The calls become violent and threatening so to top off his home alarm he had cameras installed. Finally the creep was caught breaking the restraining order being dangerously close to their home. Bob called the police when he saw him on one of his cameras.
You never know when some whack-o will get the wrong idea about why you pulled in front of him, or why you did some other innocent thing that they took wrong. Here are some tips to keep you safe if you’re being stalked.
Carry a weapon.
If you’re trained to do so, carry a gun. Bob rushed out to get a concealed carry permit because he was truly afraid this person might come to his home and attack his family. If you don’t want to carry a gun, at the very least have a tactical pen on you. The truth is a concealed carry permit is basically an inexpensive form of insurance. If you live in a state that issues them, I urge you to get one as soon as you can. Don’t wait. Until that permit is physically on your person, you are not legally allowed to carry concealed. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation like Bob’s without the means to protect yourself.
Immediately stop all contact with the person.
Of course, this only works if you know who is stalking you. If you’re being hassled by an ex-lover, jilted co-worker, angry neighbor or someone else who is familiar to you, be sure to ignore any messages they leave you on the phone or on social media. Make sure that your friends and family stop all contact, too.
Document everything.
Save every voicemail and every note. A paper trail will come in handy if you need to take legal action. In Bob’s case, he kept detailed records. The first police report was useful to establish the pattern of harassment. Document activity, dates, times. Even establish witnesses. Be cautious to never let the stalker have the advantage.
Tell everyone you know that you’re being stalked. Don’t be embarrassed and keep this information from friends and family. Tell people so they’ll know to keep you safe. Bob had talked to other lawyers so they could have keep an eye out. Personal injury law is a small “community” in the city he works in.
Check to see if you’re being tracked.
If the stalker had access to your cellphone, check it for a tracking app or get a new phone entirely. Check your vehicle for a tracking device by looking underneath it to see if a small GPS has been attached to your car. It doesn’t appear that Bob was being tracked electronically, but he did see his vehicle occasionally. He made sure his phone was recording when he spotted him.
I experienced a little of this once. We knew a woman who was leaving her husband. I don’t think it was particularly because of physical abuse, but they were separating. She brought her 2 small kids with her and they stayed at our home a day or so. She wanted to leave town and didn’t want to be followed. He was not a particular threat to me. He had friends in the sheriff’s office and they made a few passes by our house. We have several acres fenced by a 6ft deer fence. To actually get close to our house you would have to enter our drive on our property. There are signs. These deputies knew better. They did not come on our property. I would have ran them off. I often am armed (the only place I open carry) on our property, not that I really wanted to get into it with law enforcement (LE) carrying a gun. In fact, I probably would have removed the weapon to communicate with LE. But it never came to that. I was afraid they, and the husband, would try to intimidate me. But when vehicles I did not recognize went by our property I went out of my way to let the driver know I was watching. I didn’t want anyone “testing the wire” so to speak. Nothing happened and our friend got off alright. But if I ever had to deal with a stalker, I would probably go for “in your face” rather than running away. I would not look for a fight but, depending on the circumstance, I would let the stalker know I was prepared and ready to stalk them!
Be careful taking that advice. This is something for me in particular. Make sure you stay safe. Don’t take any unnecessary chances. Make sure you get authorities involved if there is any type of threat. You are not me and often being “in your face” can get your face smacked! Always be safe and secure.
I like the following quote though:
“I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money... but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that will be the end of it - I will not look for you, I will not pursue you... but if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you... and I will kill you.”
So is that a little over the top? I guess threatening someone’s life is a little too much. But I have had a long career (seems longer every day!). And do have a very particular set of skills.
You should acquire skills too. Don’t be a victim. Don’t let the aggressor take control. Like me old friend the Green Beret used to say to me time and time again, “Be aware, be deadly, and be in charge.”
FDR said:
“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
I’m not an FDR fan. But I like this full quote. When worrying about a stalker “…convert retreat into advance.”

Semper Paratus
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