At 9:15 this morning I stopped by the Dicks sporting good store at my local mall to pick up a new shirt. When I arrived, I drove by the front of the store to check to see if the store opened at 9:00 or 10:00.
While I knew the store opened at 9:00, there was a question in my mind because there were two “youts” that looked like thugs milling around outside the door. They both took notice of my Jeep and watched my drive by (this is normal, so I didn’t think anything of it at the time.)
I parked away from the building and walked in. As I approached the door I saw them watching me and assumed that they were going to hit me up for a dollar, so while keeping track of them with my peripheral vision I avoided making eye contact to reduce the opportunity get my attention. The decision was a mistake.
After making my purchase I left the store and the “youts” were gone. But there was a mall security guard that happened to be between me and my vehicle, innocently I asked him a question about some cones in the lot and he paced me back to the Jeep talking about them.
About 10yrds from the Jeep I spot the “youts” on the far side (drivers side) and they look surprised to see the security guard with me. At this point I felt pretty sure this wasn’t coincidence and made hard eye contact with each of them and addressed them in a strong tone. They immediately averted their gaze and began walking away.
If I have handled the initial approach differently they might have chosen a different target.
While it is possible that they just happened to be near my Jeep, based on their quick demeanor change I do not believe that is the case. I think they saw my reaction to them when I was walking into the store as a sign of weakness and targeted me for a theft (car or money) and then staged themselves to ambush me near my vehicle.
I do not know if the security guard saw this and decided to escort me or if he just happened to be close, but they two “youts” we’re visibly uncomfortable about his presence with me… although only one of us was armed.
How would you have handled this situation? Would you have done anything differently.
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