Andrea’s Story: “…never have I been that scared.”
This happened when I was 17, I’m now 22 but I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was moving so me and my friends were having a party at my apartment. My older brother ran out of cigarettes and me and my guy friend Christian decided to go with him to the store to grab something to eat. None of us had a car so we decided to skate there. It was only about 3 blocks away. Half way there, my brother realized he forgot his wallet. Him and Christian were in the middle of a conversation I was not a part of and I was on the quickest board so I volunteered to skate back and grab it. I had no trouble getting back. I ran in and out within 30 seconds and took off back toward my brother and friend. I had my head phones blasting music and was cruising at a slower speed than normal, just enjoying the cool California night air. I lived in a less than great area but I have always lived in the more crime ridden areas so I felt comfortable in my knowledge of how to avoid the cat callers or gropers. I had long hair at the time but I always wore baggy shirts and pants so I figured in the dark, I might just look like a shorter guy with long hair.
Then I noticed the headlights from a car behind me had been shining on me for longer than normal. They did not dim as I skated away as if the car was parked and the car never passed me. So I looked back and noticed a car driving slowly, keeping pace right behind me on the opposite side of the road. I’m used to it so I just started skating a bit faster thinking they would lose interest like usual and move on if I did not respond to them. Then a van passed me and I realised the lights were still on and behind me so I looked back and the car had pulled over to let the van pass it and was now picking up speed to be even to me. I could hear someone yelling at me over my head phones but the music was so loud I could not hear exactly what they were saying.
I started skating as fast as I could. There was a small drive way that dead ended into a fence surrounding a field under construction and I figured if they tried anything, I could jump the fence and run the rest of the way to the gas station where the fence was open. It was only about another block left. As I was getting to the driveway, the car sped ahead of me, did a u-turn and parked directly in front of the sidewalk I was skating on so I was facing the passenger side of the car.
That’s when I noticed there were two men in front and one in back, I could hear them yelling to me but from past experience, I knew it was best to ignore them so I kept my headphones in. With them blocking the drive way and sidewalk the only thing I could do was get off my board and walk around them or try to skate around the nose of their car. And I was not about to get off and try to get around them on foot. The man in the passenger side had his window all the way down, his arm hanging out and motioning to me. Thank god my long board was loose because I simply carved the board off the curb, around their car and skated faster than I ever could. I heard their car peel out with them yelling and I was calling out for my brother and friend. Luckily they had been standing near the road waiting for me and had seen the car pull in front of me so they were walking toward me.
They thought it might be a friend talking to me out of their car while it followed me but when it pulled around and they saw me skate around it, they were hurrying toward me.
I was so scared I skated right past them the last couple of yards into the gas station lights. It was one of those gas stations where you cannot come in at night so I stood outside and we all three watched the car slow down because they saw me pass my brother and friend, so I ran back and hugged Christian and the car peeled out again. 30 seconds later, as we were leaving as a group, the same car drove past the station at about 20 miles per hour then take off. We saw it circle the block a couple times just on the way home, but normal speed limit.
As I’ve said, I’ve been followed, yelled at constantly and hassled but never have I been that scared. I jumped and avoided certain streets for the last weeks there every time I saw a car similar to theirs. I’ve always lived in places considered not too safe but never has someone taken to following, trying to cut me off, screaming at me and coming back over and over to see if I’m alone before. So even though I’ve been followed and harassed countless times, after that, I carry a taser.