Hey, what did you all do today?

I learned how to file a police report for ‘stalking’, and how to get a victim protection order in the state of Oklahoma.

:-/

Yes, I have a real-life, for real stalker.

Its something my parents have been worried about since I started this blog. They have actually been pissed at me for agreeing to do debates, and such, considering the lunacy of True Believers.

The man whos stalking me?

Just got obsessed with me since he got put in a near-by half-way house (reminder: all of my ‘neighbors’ are half-way houses. I do not live in a ‘nice part of town’). I have no idea what his name is. I have no idea who he is. I have no idea why he was in this half-way house.

All I know is, he waits for me to go to and come home from work. He has followed me to work. He has tried very hard to find out where I work. He has tried to contact me at work. He has tried to get into my apartment building on numerous occasions, by lying to my neighbors (‘Oh, I saw her fall down while she was running her dog! I wanted to come by and check on her… would you let me in?’). And while he has never been lewd or suggestive, he regularly ‘asks me out’ and comments on my figure. He has done this to another woman in the neighborhood.

Its stopping with me.

OU-PD was absolutely fantastic. They took me very seriously, put a detective on the case, and found out who this guy is in about 45 minutes, from the minimal information I gave them. Luckily (?), this guy is not a rapist or a murderer. He is ‘just’ a severe alcoholic, and apparently, a fucking idiot. OU-PD told me exactly what to do, exactly how to do it, and how to keep safe.

I mean, you all know me. And it was still hard for me to go to the cops. This has been going on for months. I thought this behavior was getting excessive, but I couldnt shake the thought ‘Am I just exaggerating this? I mean he hasnt tried to hurt me…’, but once I starting listing things off to the cops, they were like ‘Yeaaaaaaah… this is bad. You need to get a protective order.’

So that was my activity for the day.

And my brother had to put his dog to sleep. That dog loved him so much (she didnt give a rats ass about me if he was around. dogs love me). My brother is *me*, so he found out Friday he had to put her to sleep, but he took her home to spend one last weekend with her. He couldnt do it on Friday. Her name was Speckles. My grown ass brother named a dog he found on the street ‘Speckles’. I hate this feeling.

Oh, and I found out a childhood neighbor died. Lovely old lady.

And I might have just invented something that will be The HIV Vaccine(TM) (in like 15 years).

Im going to sleep.

Comments

  1. #1 Betz
    November 8, 2010

    I’d call that a full day.

  2. #2 Jen
    November 8, 2010

    Ugh, I hope you’re okay. The stalking things is one of my nightmares about blogging :(

    *e-hugs*

  3. #3 ERV
    November 8, 2010

    Jen– Me too. And then I got a regular ol stalker who has no idea who I am on the internet (or in any capacity, really, hes just obsessed for god knows what reason) or what an ERV is. Be vigilant online. Be vigilant irl.

  4. #4 Jen
    November 8, 2010

    I just hope that my routine of “Wake up. Sit in front of computer. Go to lab. Sit in front of computer. Come home. Sit in front of computer” is good Defense Against Stalking By Boredom.

  5. #5 Alex
    November 8, 2010

    Cyber-stalking is easy for anyone, but *real* stalking takes a certain degree of crazy. The combination is even creepier. If it’s any consolation, we blokes also have stalkers, although the physical threat isn’t as big there as the psychological one you have just met. Sorry you had to meet one, though. Hope it’s the last time.

    And I’m sorry to hear about your brothers dog. But excited about your invention. All in a days work.

  6. #6 HP
    November 8, 2010

    Sorry to hear about your ordeal. Does sharing experiences help you cope? My sister’s been through this a couple of times (the first time it was a guy who escaped from a federal mental hospital in order to follow her after she finished her internship, which meant the FBI was involved — oh, fun), and it’s always nerve-wracking, not just for the stalkee, but for everyone who loves her as well. Escalating it may seem fraught, but it’s the right thing to do. (And if you’re anything like me, trusting cops to do the right thing is hard, but they are occasionally good for something.)

    And, um, cheers on the HIV research! This is why you must take care of yourself — you’re important to everyone.

  7. #7 ERV
    November 8, 2010

    HP– Yeah, we havent told Dad yet. Hes all excited about the school computer contest thing (NBC is coming to the school tomorrow), cause it was kinda his idea, all excited– Moms like “Yeah, we arent telling Dad about this for a while.” He would freak the fuck out and insist upon living in my apartment until I graduate :-/

    Bossman was planning on moving me/Arnie into his house this afternoon if Ol Boy ended up being a rapist/murderer.

    And since this is Oklahoma, about half a dozen people, independently, offered to take me to the gun range.

    Which is why I just dealt with this myself… for about six months now. Fucking stupid. Dont do that if this is happening to you. Write shit down, and go to the police.

    Oh, and I actually ‘knew’ the cop who took my report this morning because of my research! The campus police are always patrolling the buildings at night/weekends/etc. One weird time I was in the lab (Tuesday at 2 am, Saturday at 11 pm, something stupid), and this cop was reading my poster. I was like ‘LOL! HAI! I know its 2 am, but would you like me to explain my poster to you?’ and he sure did! So I walked in this morning and he was like ‘You do HIV research!’

    Good times.

  8. #8 gillt
    November 8, 2010

    Counter-intuitively, they say in woman’s defense classes you shouldn’t go for the nards cause a direct hit, which is what is required, is very difficult. Owning a dog is probably the best. And ninja stars.

  9. #9 Joshua Zelinsky
    November 8, 2010

    Sounds like you had a very long day. Too bad about the stalker and very sad about the dog. The last sentence sounds like a good thing though.

  10. #10 who Cares
    November 8, 2010

    @Gilt: You forgot the second most important thing. Don’t wear high heels since they make it hard to run away in (which is the second line of self defense, the first having a nice dog like Arnie around).

  11. #11 Orakio
    November 9, 2010

    I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this. I can’t say me or mine have been in the situation, but fear is a day wrecker, I know well.

    And good luck with the vaccine efforts, too. :D

  12. #12 theshortearedowl
    November 9, 2010

    \hugs{abbie}

  13. #13 HP
    November 9, 2010

    ERV, telling Dad is rough. When my sister went through this, my Dad, who barely escaped a Section 8 himself (clinical depression), and was given an honorable discharge with 10 percent disability instead (this is all ancient history) — anyway, Dad got ahold of one of Grampa’s 22s and made a big deal of cleaning it so everyone could see. Christ, I was so scared.

    But the cops took care of everything, and we saw nothing, and the whole thing was resolved. My sister is now stable and very happy and secure.

  14. #14 Kemanorel
    November 9, 2010

    Counter-intuitively, they say in woman’s defense classes you shouldn’t go for the nards cause a direct hit, which is what is required, is very difficult

    As someone who used to teach classes like that, that’s not completely true. If standing face to face, yes, because unless you’ve trained in martial arts, your speed probably isn’t enough to beat automatic reflexes to block that area; however, if you’re taken down, anything you can do is a valid option. If he has his junk out, grabbing a hold of it and squeezing it hard enough to cause a testicle to rupture can cause unconsciousness at best, debilitating pain at worst… so it’s not so much a hit as it is crushing grapes in your hand.

    There are usually better options, but it should not be discounted as a valid option in certain situations.

  15. #15 gillt
    November 9, 2010

    A wince-worthy but fair point Kemanorel. One should do everything possible to help it from getting to that point though. Keep sketchy dudes on the opposite sides of the street.

  16. #16 Rorschach
    November 9, 2010

    Good on you, Abbie, keep safe !

    And since this is Oklahoma, about half a dozen people, independently, offered to take me to the gun range.

    *shakes head*

  17. #17 who Cares
    November 9, 2010

    @Kemanorel:
    As someone who has been doing martial arts what I’ve learned is that about the only reason to go after the wedding tackle is exactly that defense reaction. The time to just move a leg a bit to block the attackers hand/foot/knee/elbow/whatever is so much shorter that even trained it is hard to do.
    That said my teacher commented that the best way to win a fight is to make use of opportunities when they present themselves.

    P.s.: the main form I’ve learned if Aikido/jutsu so most attacks/defenses are directed at the opponents upper body.

  18. #18 IanW
    November 9, 2010

    If you feel it’s a problem, it’s a problem. The only thing you did wrong was wait so long to report this, but since you’ve nailed that down now, hopefully things will start looking up. It’s also important (given that you’re a blogger) that you blogged about this so that others can learn and be emboldened. Thanks!

    We hear so much bad stuff about the cops from Ed Brayton that it’s nice to see them not only doing something right but getting blogged on it, too!

    The only unresolved issue in my mind is that, given that alcoholism isn’t a crime per se, we still don’t know what he “did”. Are we to understand that he was at the halfway house not as a consequence of some past criminal behavior, but as a step back into society from some recovery program? If so, it seems that someone failed, somewhere along the way and it wasn’t you!

  19. #19 BeamStalk
    November 9, 2010

    Smart move, let the cops handle it. Stay safe, if you feel threatened, even slightly, call the cops.

    Jen, you are also high profile, even if you just sit at your computer all day. Pay attention and be careful also.

  20. #20 Optimus Primate
    November 9, 2010

    Abbie, I’m so sorry to hear about Speckles. If the story’s not too hard to tell, what happened? *hug*

    PS: I’m glad you didn’t try to drag Stalker Dude into the boxing ring. While I would have paid good money to see that, you totally did the right thing.

  21. #21 Cain
    November 9, 2010

    Well this sucks, I’m glad you’re OK and you have Arnie around to keep you safe. Did something happen that finally convinced you to go to the cops?

    Sorry to hear about Sparkles but Yippie! to the (maybe)vaccine. Fifteen years til we can (maybe)stop a continent from dying and consequence free sex!

    //The Shepard Book canonical back story finally came out.
    http://tinyurl.com/2dqlu4l

  22. #22 Prometheus
    November 9, 2010

    Did you set a VPO hearing on Don’s docket?

    It is quasi criminal and since VPOs were designed with domestic nexus in mind, yours is a close call as regards qualification under the statute and established residences within the prohibition zone. I suggest a private attorney for moral support if nothing else.

    Let me know if you want me to send in the troops. I can get you half a dozen names by this afternoon.

  23. #23 J-Dog
    November 9, 2010

    Good report – and stay safe – we need you to keep on battling the Evil Sweater and Unibrow Empire!

    And BTW…you just kind of snuck that future Noble Prize for You in there at the end, so after your nap, you should work on your acceptance speech, and blog about what you’re* up to for all your Happy ERV Blag Followers.

    * That thing by the end of the word is called an Apostrophe :)

  24. #24 daedalus2u
    November 9, 2010

    *Hugs* try and deal with the stress and let it dissipate before doing much else. You don’t want to compel your physiology to do remodeling to cope with chronic stress of this type, that ends up giving you PTSD.

  25. #25 FrankenFish
    November 9, 2010

    Please be careful.

  26. #26 Ethan Siegel
    November 9, 2010

    Abbie,

    You’re awesome for dealing with this the way you did, and your police department was awesome, too!

    Good on you for demonstrating the importance of valuing yourself and your security. Look at you, being a great role model! And stay safe.

  27. #27 R2
    November 9, 2010

    “And I might have just invented something that will be The HIV Vaccine(TM) (in like 15 years).”

    Am I the only who focused on that? I’m just surprised because you are usually ‘nothing works, we’re all gonna die!!!!’. And, even if it doesn’t turn out to be It, it still sounds exciting!

  28. #28 Thomas T
    November 9, 2010

    Hi Abby,

    Sorry to hear about the stalker. That really sucks. My Mom had one of those a long time ago. So I know how you feel. It is scary to think your normal routines are in jeopardy from a brainless mind-flunker.

    This may explain why I haven’t heard from you yet about the section in my book I wrote with you and “DR” Jackson in Yukon last March 2009. But when you get around to it.

    I am going to be at the Skepticon II if you are there I will try to meet with you. In a nice way of course. But I understand that you cannot reveal information to strangers and goo for your parents wisdom too!!

    Thanks,
    Thomas True

  29. #29 the backpacker
    November 9, 2010

    Well I did not get anything like that accomplished. You should explain the vaccine thing when you get the chance cause science is cool. And next time call the cops sooner let them sort the whole thing out, it is what they are paid for.

  30. #30 ERV
    November 9, 2010

    WOW. I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER NOW.

    So I went to the OKC Police this morning. They took me seriously, but werent exactly concerned. Not a high priority, but they were on it. Sent a detective out to try to interact with the guy.

    They called me ASAP: “Ma’am, you need to be careful. We arent joking, ______ is insane. Im talking to the DA right now about pursuing charges. You need to be careful.”

    FANTASTIC.

    This guy creeps out professional detectives on contact. Yeah, no, Im not TERRIFIED AT ALL.

    Mother FUCKER.

    Prom, could you send me an email?

  31. #31 Gabriel Hanna
    November 9, 2010

    This guy creeps out professional detectives on contact.

    It’s a very good thing you acted when you did. And you might have saved another woman’s life, not just your own.

  32. #32 Prometheus
    November 9, 2010

    Numbers sent to gmail.

    Wish I knew at 2:00 p.m.. I was swapping jokes with the D.A. in the Oklahoma County Courthouse elevator.

    The Bride just informed me to have you call her on her cell tonight.

    She is bouncing between counties tomorrow then the court houses are closed Thursday.

  33. #33 Robert Bruce Thompson
    November 9, 2010

    Hi, Abbie

    You’re right to be concerned. Until you know this guy is locked away, from someone who used to teach self-defense classes for women, a few practical suggestions:

    1. Obviously, keep your doors and windows locked at all times.

    2. Keep Arnie nearby whenever possible. I don’t know if you can take him to work with you, but if you can, do.

    3. Creeps like this consider women prey and men threats. Forget the PC crap. Ask guys to escort you to and from your car. I’d imagine that most guys in your apartment building would be happy to help, as would those at work. Tell them you’re being stalked by a guy the PD considers a real threat, and you’ll have more volunteers than you need.

    4. I’m a shooter, but those who are advising you to buy a gun are giving you bad advice. A gun in the hands of an untrained person is worse than useless. Even if you train to achieve basic competence, there’s a huge difference between being good at punching paper and being mentally prepared to use deadly force.

    5. Anyone who tells you to buy pepper spray, Mace, or a similar product is giving you bad advice. These sprays work for cops, because cops have backup. In a real confrontation, they can be counterproductive. They may enrage an attacker and make him decide to hurt you badly. I’ve been sprayed with the best of them in demonstrations, and they are not disabling.

    6. If you want a weapon, buy a collapsible baton and take a short training course. Make sure the baton has a physical lock. Used properly, a baton can break bones. The key is to strike as soon as you know a threat exists and keep striking until you disable the attacker.

  34. #34 Mind Over Spaltter
    November 9, 2010

    Wow! What a day. I’m really sorry about the dog, really hopeful about the vaccine (TM), and I hope that protective order does it job. Creep-B-Gone.

  35. #35 Scott Hatfield, OM
    November 9, 2010

    Abby, sorry to hear about your day. I think the advice to have a buddy escort you is good advice.

    I rarely post, but I love your blog. You make me laugh, sometimes howl, even when you’re bagging on theists like me. And, from time to time, I learn stuff here.

    So, stay safe and keep up the good work.

    Best wishes…SH

  36. #36 dmab
    November 10, 2010

    richarddawkins.net/discussions/543672-inhertitance-of-acquired-behaviour-adaptions-and-brain-gene-expression-in-chickens

    atheists, we’re gonna cut off your heads…

    THE HIGH PRICE OF REVOLUTION
    youtube.com/user/xviolatex?feature=mhum

  37. #37 Emerson
    November 10, 2010

    Do not like! I’m sorry to hear about it.

  38. #38 RBH
    November 10, 2010

    Robert Bruce Thompson wrote

    6. If you want a weapon, buy a collapsible baton and take a short training course. Make sure the baton has a physical lock. Used properly, a baton can break bones. The key is to strike as soon as you know a threat exists and keep striking until you disable the attacker.

    Writing as one who did a bunch of hard-style martial arts decades ago, the problem is that without long and thorough training, the average person’s threshold for even realizing that “a threat exists” right now is way too high in virtually all people in a street encounter. Unless one’s situational awareness and the response to it are automated by thorough training and lots of practice they’ll be too slow in most situations to do any good. And lacking that speed of perception and response, carrying the weapon only gives one false confidence.

  39. #39 Ethyachk
    November 10, 2010

    Robert (33) hit the nail on the head in terms of self defense. I only want to add one thing: run away. If you really feel threatened, run away, run fast, and run to a public place. I’ve studied the martial arts for two decades and basically every instructor agrees that it’s better to run than to fight. Stay safe.

  40. #40 LanceR, JSG
    November 10, 2010

    Ugh. Creepy psycho stalkers… never a good way to spend time. May I echo the advice from Ethyachk? I spent years training in various martial arts, and the most effective one I ever found was the ancient art of Runlikehell. Throw whatever you may be holding at his face, and run like the hounds of hell were on your heels. Get to a public place and scream your lungs out.

    Good luck, ERV. And YAY on the HIV work!

  41. #41 Robert Bruce Thompson
    November 10, 2010

    Yes, absolutely. Run and *scream* and keep screaming. Get to somewhere with lots of other people. Draw attention. Creeps hate all those.

    I’m 6’4″ and 240 pounds, have a black belt in Shotokan, and am usually armed (and a former combat pistol competitor), and that’s what *I’d* do if at all possible. Anyone who fights when running is an option is a complete idiot.

    I stand by my advice of a collapsible baton. With minimal training, anyone can use one of these with fearful effect.

    And, as I used to tell my classes, if you do get grabbed, body fluids are a real turn-off. Vomit on the guy, piss yourself, shit yourself. The vast majority of attackers will be so disgusted they’ll just run away. Periodically, one of the girls/women would comment that she couldn’t do that on command. My reply was always, “Trust me. You won’t have any problem doing it in that situation.”

  42. #42 steve
    November 10, 2010

    Carry a big needle with “HIV” written on it. You could even put real HIV in it. If you slip, you can just cure yourself later.

  43. #43 gf1
    November 10, 2010

    Good to hear the police are being helpful and moving forward with things.

    This sort of harassment is exactly the sort of worry that can end up excessively dominating ones thoughts. While I’m sure some of the weapons and self-defense advice will be useful, I’d also recommend chilling out in a hot bath and playing with some bubbles.

    One of my mates worked in mental health, and had one of her patients begin to debate the merits of raping her with the voices in his head, and hanging around the center to meet up with her outside of appointments. She said she felt intellectually calm about the risks of actually being attacked, but emotionally terrified. There’s probably a fairly strong evolutionary impetus to pay attention to any possibility that you’re being hunted – stalked!

  44. #44 Prometheus
    November 10, 2010

    Update:

    ERV is safe in a bunker, in an undisclosed location with Arnie, a bottle of Baileys and a blunderbuss that shoots angry bees.

    She is covered and will probably post soon but she can’t give us any details until it is wrapped up with a bow on it.

    Let us all not pray for her.

  45. #45 steve
    November 10, 2010

    Does she have the vaccine with her?

  46. #46 Prometheus
    November 10, 2010

    She is the vaccine!

    *knocks over chess board*

    How many points do I get for “Omega Man” references?

  47. #47 ERV
    November 10, 2010

    The TV show ‘Community’ is, hands down, one of the best written shows I have ever seen. In the history of ever.

    Their Halloween episode spoofed zombie/monster movies. In addition to the bromance version of the Leia/Han ‘I love you./I know.’ scene (GENIUS!!), they gave a nod to the cliche that one person is immune to the plague/zombies. “NOBODYS SPECIAL!”

  48. #48 Alan Kellogg
    November 11, 2010

    In an odd sort of coincidence I read a scene from Bob Heinlein’s The Cat Who Walks Through Walls in which one Gwen tells her husband, Richard why she was late to fetch him. Seems some clod decided to cut into a line she was in, so another person shot and killed him. Right then and there an inquest was held, Gwen got to be a witness at that inquest, and the finding of the inquest was “Homicide in the public interest.”

    Let’s hope your situation doesn’t get that bad, but be prepared to defend yourself however you feel necessary.

  49. #49 Hu
    November 11, 2010

    I’m so sorry to hear you have to go through all this. Robert’s and others’ advice sounds very good, although I can’t really judge it. I just wonder if carrying a compressed-air horn with you would make sense. It’d certainly help draw attention, and I’d imagine it might also briefly distract the creep.

  50. #50 windy
    November 11, 2010

    Wow. Best wishes. We had to put the old family cat (16 yrs) to sleep last week, as well.

  51. #51 Blake Stacey
    November 11, 2010

    Belatedly chiming in with the redundant advice here. . . stay safe!

  52. #52 ERV
    November 11, 2010

    I really have to leave a comment to thank the OU-PD. They have been absolutely fantastic. I really cant thank them enough for all they have been doing.

    Also– adorable story time to help restore peoples faith in humanity: I was telling my boxing trainer about what was happening and we were working out various ‘strategies’. One of my classmates, an adorable 13 year old boy, overheard my plight. He took me aside and got real serious “Do you need some help?” hehehehe I dunno whether he meant he would beat up this guy for me, or he was going to ask his mom if I could stay over for a while, but I thanked him and said the police were taking care of it for me :) And this adorable boy? Hes an atheist. **CUTENESSEXPLOSION!!!!**

  53. #53 Azkyroth
    November 11, 2010

    Seems some clod decided to cut into a line she was in, so another person shot and killed him. Right then and there an inquest was held, Gwen got to be a witness at that inquest, and the finding of the inquest was “Homicide in the public interest.”

    What a world that would be :3

    Hmm. The comment earlier about pepper spray being nondisabling is surprising given everything I’ve read and the actual experience of putting doses of capsaicin that are about four orders of magnitude lower in my mouth.

    What about small bottles of hairspray and a lighter?

  54. #54 HP
    November 11, 2010

    Keep us all updated in future posts from your secure location. Sunlight is still the best disinfectant.

    I remain certain that this will all be resolved without ninja skills or McGuyver devices.

    Look at it from the cops’ point of view. How often do they get to do something morally unambiguous? They eat this shit up.

    Do the job, go home, go to sleep. That’s candy for cops.

  55. #55 denature
    November 12, 2010

    For an easter egg on this week’s ‘Community’, look at the white board for the quote attributed to Pierce. Relates to evolution and a foreshadowing of the conclusion of the episode.

  56. #56 The Chimp's Raging Id
    November 14, 2010

    Wow. I’ve arrived too late to say much that hasn’t already been said. I’m glad the cops are taking this seriously and that you are out of sight. Keep your head down whilst this is resolved and focus on…

    I might have just invented something that will be The HIV Vaccine(TM) (in like 15 years).

    Stay safe! Your blag readers and an entire continent need you.

  57. #57 Brian
    November 18, 2010

    I knew I would see it one day… The six leaf clover… ERV using an apostrophe… I know I’m pretty late here, and you were definitely stressed when writing that, but “Ma’am” counts. Seriously though, I hope everything turned out OK.

  58. #58 Cielsky
    November 19, 2010

    Life is strange. Perhaps if you hadn’t been stalked, had your neighbor pass away and do all the other awesome things you do, you wouldn’t be closer to discovery of the HIV vaccine. – when you coming back to Alberta?
    Hope you continue working without all the distractions!
    Bye – Super Awesome Girlfriend.

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