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Armed robbery

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by NavyStyles, May 3, 2004.

  1. NavyStyles

    NavyStyles Senior member

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    I figured this would be the best place to put this, since it happened after I left a party Saturday night...

    Interesting night, last night. And it wasn't over until 6:00 this morning, against my will.

    So, three of my friends threw an end-of-the-year "Party on the Roof." One has "adoptive parents" here through the Catholic Center, and they live in an apartment in the Warehouse District. I got pulled in to call up some friends and invite them, which I did. Most of them were staying in because of rain. Though, it turns out, maybe it was better the girls decided not to come.

    The party was, as you may have already guessed, on the roof of the apartment. It offered an incredible view of the Central Business District (CBD + French Quarter = downtown). The weather turned out to be nice, as well. We got a keg beforehand along with some other drinks. The party started off with about 10 people or so. After a while, more people showed up, and I called a good friend of mine and his girlfriend to come over. All in all, about 30 people showed up. It was a good time, though -- the entire night -- I kept having second thoughts about being there.

    So, after my good friend and his girlfriend had been there for about 2 hours, we were getting hungry. Another friend decided she was also ready to go. The four of us decided we might as well go to Cafe du Monde or some all-night diner, since we were so close to the Quarter. We went downstairs and outside the entrance, which was protected by a passcode and cameras. We were only two blocks away from Poydras Street (which is always well populated), so we walked instead of worrying about finding a parking spot and paying a fee.

    We started walking down Commerce in the direction of Poydras Street. As we got on Commerce and started walking, we noticed two black males turn from a side street and parallel us on the other side of the road. We all figured that they were coming from a bar a block over that had a band that night. As such, I figured the worst we'd have to worry about were their drunken cat-calls at the girls. I wish.

    After walking half a block, there was a dumpster on their side of the street. We didn't notice until later, but one of the guys went behind the dumpster while the other guy lingered at the far end of it. Once we got to the other end (almost at the end of the block), the guy who had gone behind it reappeared wearing a goofy Halloween mask and toting a shotgun. He yelled, "Get down. Take your wallets out, and empty your pockets." After that, he cocked the shotgun that was now pointing directly at me from only 5 feet away. We crawled to the ground, and took out our stuff. Luckily, I noticed they were rushing things and really only cared about getting a couple of things, so I kept everything but my wallet. Everyone else lost cell phones, keys, and purses. Because I was able to keep my phone, we could get some help. We all didn't care about the cash we lost, and if they had taken just credit cards, we cancelled those, anyway. The most annoying thing is shutting down accounts and opening up new ones. Basically disabling everything you have going, getting a new driver's license (which has my social on it), accomodating for no Tulane ID (which I need to get into dorm/cafeteria/fitness center), changing locks, and all that crap.

    After they collected everything on the ground, they ran off in the direction we'd just come from. We started to stand up to run away towards Poydras, but one of them yelled "Stay down." They then got into a car and drove back by us. When they got close to us, they slowed down and rolled down their windows. They threw one of the girl's car keys on the ground near us and drove off, but the license plate was hidden, so it was obviously planned. We immediately went to my friend's car (thankfully, she had been pleading for her keys while we were facedown on the ground). From there, we drove straight to the 8th District Police Station. After being there for 3 hours and retelling this story to a detective and the file officer, we finally got to go back to campus.

    It's really frustrating to have something like this happen. If you have any faith in mankind, lose it. Humans aren't capable of reaching any type of perfection. Yes, I know we're lucky to have our lives. I'm just pissed off that these scumbags get to keep theirs unscathed. I keep rethinking every little thing and how I could've done it differently. But there isn't any use. It's over. And the bad guys won.
     
  2. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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  3. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    You're alive, and not even hurt - you did everything perfectly.

    I certainly understand why you're pissed off. But consider that these were most certainly the acts of desperate people. This is not in any way to excuse what they did - my point is -- they'll get their just desserts. The road they're on leads only to death or jail, while you are headed in a much different direction.

    Glad you're ok
     
  4. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    navystyles, trust me. what happened to you was agood thing. it's very humbling to be robbed like that and to feel helpless. every one of my guy friends has been mugged once. i was mugged once. i think for the rest of your life you'll be more aware of your surroundings, especially at night (though i was mugged in broad daylight).

    learn from it and the experience won't go to waste, but don't be paranoid either, and don't stop trusting people. listen to your instincts.
     
  5. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    I feel for ya man. You did the right thing.
    A similar thing happened to me, I was with my GF in her car. We were parked in a semi-residential neighborhood (Hancock Park, just outside of K-town in LA). Black dude walks up to the car, and points his pistol at us through the sunroof. Having anything pointed at you is scary as all hell...NavyStyles, I would have sh.t myself if it was a shotgun. He asked for our wallets, I gave him all my cash through the sunroof and he left. Whew. Could have been much worse...even if he hadn't shot/abducted us, we had many more things of value. If he had asked for my Omega, I would have been heartbroken, not to mentioned my GF's Prada purse filled with loot (sitting in the front seat), her car, and her diamond necklace.
    I've replayed the situation over and over and over. There really isn't anything you can do, just remember that you got off lucky. I know it's hard though, but have faith.
    I called 911 immediately, it was busy the first couple of times, then was put on automated hold... After waiting 10 minutes, I hung up and went home. That's LA for ya.
     
  6. ken

    ken Senior member

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    Happened to me once (although your situation sounds more severe). Happened to my brother once, too. The difference between us is that my brother started double locking everything and carrying mace and fearing for his life and just all-in-all became a victim. Don't become a victim. That's how you win.

    Next time somebody's pointing a shotgun at you (hehe) and they cock it, it probably isn't loaded. Generally, so long as you put a round in the chamber, cocking an undischarged shotgun will lose a round. Bad guys cock their weapons because it scares the hell out of people, but not many of them have the guts to load them.

    You could try this, too (for anybody that's reading): when you're being held up, don't do exactly what the bad guy says. He's not going to shoot you if you don't lay on the ground or put your hands up or whatever. So long as you're getting your money out, he'll be happy. I felt a little bit better after some uncompliance because it made me feel more in control (and yes I'm going to keep thinking that).

    Sorry it happened, but the sooner you can start laughing about it the better. Don't live your life any differently than how you lived it before. Those kind of guys don't live for too many years before they get in serious shit for how they act.
     
  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Sorry, Navy, that sucks. Just out of curiousity, how many of you guys are white. Seriously. I know a handful of white guys who've all been mugged, and plenty of black dudes who've been on the other side, being harassed by cops for DWB, but I've never heard of an Asian dude getting into this type of (potentially violent) trouble, yet (knock on wood.) On the other hand, I was pickpocketed in Barcelona.

    I ask because I'm wondering if there is stereotypes are brought into play when a mugger chooses a victim. (I'm pretty sure I was targetted in Barcelona because I was alone at the time, and clearly not a native.) You know, they see a bunch of reasonable well dressed, young (you are college age, right?) non-threatening bunch of white guys, and the automatic response might be "these are the busters we're gonna rob."

    I would really be interested in knowing whether there is a study about this. A simple statistical study could say a lot. For example, we could look at whether a disproportionate number the victims of armed robberies (not including store robberies, and the racial mix of a neighbourhood would have to be accounted for) were of a particular race.
     
  8. NavyStyles

    NavyStyles Senior member

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    New Orleans, LA
    Thanks for the words of encouragement and kindness, fellas. Matador, One of the things that really upsets me is that I pride myself of always keeping my wits about me. But the other night was just not my night, it seems. Ken, I am happy that I didn't do everything the guys were yelling. I refused to take anything out of my pockets when I noticed they seemed to be rushing things so they could get away. So, I only lost my wallet and its entire contents, which are still a pain to replace. I just wish I had thought more and taken out the cash and wrapped it around a library card or a gift card (to give the appearance of credit cards). I'm trying to remind myself that this could've happened anywhere -- not just New Orleans. LAG, All four of us are white and in college. Two guys, two girls. The robbers were both black males in their early-20s (which describes almost every blue-collar criminal in Orleans Parish). I'm sure that we were prime targets, because we were dressed relatively well (looked like two couples) and we probably represented some general oppression -- even if we weren't personally a part of it. If you find any studies on the matter, I'd be interested to see them.
     
  9. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    two of my friends are white. one was mugged in l.a. and the other in new orleans, both by black men. another one is cuban and the other is sicilian--both mugged in l.a.--by black men.

    my cousin was mugged in mexico, by some mexicans, in broad daylight (he's mexican like me.) i was robbed by some black guys here in l.a.

    if i were a mugger i'd go after people who look rich or are well dressed. i don't see many black people who look rich and i see even fewer who are well dressed.

    i've known plenty of guys, from different ethnicities, who carried a gun either on their body or in their car. i've never known a white guy who even owned a gun. so if i were to go out mugging, i'd feel safer picking on white guys.
     
  10. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    Wow - what an evening.

    Glad to hear that you are ok Navy.

    Take care,

    Bradford
     
  11. vero_group

    vero_group Senior member

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    I was mugged by three drunken white rednecks in a pick-up truck once, just half a block from my parents home in North Dallas. Granted, it was 2 AM and I was walking home from a friend's house after we had gone to a Night Ranger concert (I know, I know -- this was, like, 1984 or something). They threatened me with a big heavy chain and demanded my cash -- about $16. They just wanted beer money and saw a scrawny, pimply-faced teenager walking by himself at 2 AM. Easy target.

    My only other opportunity to claim my own victim status was when a pickpocket stole my camera in Salzburg, Austria.

    Life goes on....

    Navystyles, I am sorry to hear about your ordeal though. It's very frustrating to be powerless looking down the barrel of a gun (Depeche Mode reprise). To be honest, though, I personally don't know of anyone who has gone to New Orleans and NOT been a victim of some crime. That city is out of control from a petty crime standpoint.
     
  12. FCS

    FCS Senior member

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    Matador, doesn't seem to hold true in the South and to most NRA members.
     
  13. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    Wow Navy, glad you are okay. That's scary but you seem to understand it's only money you lost and that's about the best outcome of such a situation. Hopefully you will take away the idea to be more aware of your surroundings at all times without being paranoid. Read up on Cooper's Readiness Conditions and just get into the mode of being careful. It doesn't have to become an obsession or lead to your carrying a gun or anything but it could save your life. As you said you noticed things afterward that you could have done differently (before they actually jumped you) and if you had it to do again you might take those signs more seriously. It doesn't sound like you're the type to get obsessed with this or anything, so I feel safe pointing you in this direction. [​IMG] ... Speaking of white guys with guns, one time my friend and I were out shooting in a rural "informal recreation area" and these three redneck dudes pulled up behind us. I had just assembled and loaded my rifle and turned to face them holding it low but ready (like how you see soldiers walk around with their rifles in Iraq on TV). They all had their hands in their pockets and were looking pretty shifty. This was out in the middle of nowhere 10 miles from the main road and if they had wanted to rob us it would have been easy. After we exchanged hellos and I answered the "lead" guy's questions (yep, just out shooting, etc.) and didn't continue the conversation there was a good 15 second pause where the guy and his friend kind of looked at each other and back to me. Then they left. I was 90% sure looking back on it that they wanted to steal our stuff and probably my car and they could easily have done it and gotten away with shooting us too if they had wanted to. Luckily I was holding my rifle about 1/2 second from being able to totally blow their asses away, and they knew it. I still think if I hadn't had it I probably would be missing it, my other gun, my friend's gun, some gear and my car, and possibly our lives. This led me to create some principles I always follow when out in the middle of nowhere or somewhere I don't feel safe and also to simply avoid stupid situations like that if I don't have to be there or can't bring enough people to do it safely. Maybe they were trying to be friendly to some strangers (my BMW looks conspicuously out of place parked in a mud puddle on the side of a country road) but I doubt it. And I consider myself lucky and with a lesson learned. So matadorpoeta, now you know one. Be careful who you pick on. [​IMG]
     
  14. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I plan on purchasing a handgun when I turn 21. I believe that home defense is important. I don't live in a high-crime area at all, but there are a few hundred murders in my city each year, and it's good to be prepared to defend yourself if the situation calls for it.

    A guy I know went to a gun show a few days after his 18th birthday. For $375, he purchased an AK-47 (not full auto), a 10-round clip and two 30-round clips, and 250 rounds of piercing ammunition. He bought it mostly for show, but enjoys shooting it on occasion.
     
  15. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

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    Jesus christ - say what you will about New York, but we have some of the strictess gun laws in the country and I'm safer for it.
     
  16. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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  17. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    I plan on purchasing a handgun when I turn 21. Â I believe that home defense is important. Â I don't live in a high-crime area at all, but there are a few hundred murders in my city each year, and it's good to be prepared to defend yourself if the situation calls for it. A guy I know went to a gun show a few days after his 18th birthday. Â For $375, he purchased an AK-47 (not full auto), a 10-round clip and two 30-round clips, and 250 rounds of piercing ammunition. Â He bought it mostly for show, but enjoys shooting it on occasion.
    Jesus christ - say what you will about New York, but we have some of the strictess gun laws in the country and I'm safer for it.
    Yeah, but the criminals or 'bad guys' are going to get their hands on a gun no matter how strict the laws are.
     
  18. NavyStyles

    NavyStyles Senior member

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    I could see the fact that fewer white guys actually carry the guns they own than other ethnicities as true. Oddly enough, my best friend, who keeps a handgun in his car (and has better aim than anyone, because of his frequent hunting trips), was visiting me the day before this happened. And he was supposed to be with me on Saturday night, but he left early. Granted, since we were walking, it probably would've gone down the same way. j, thanks for the link. I appreciate it, and I don't think I'll go too psycho. Versace, I also plan on purchasing a gun (around the same time I purchase a house). And I think if I had displayed one of those four guns during the robbery, the tables would've really turned: I think I would've "gone Medieval on their asses."
     
  19. j

    j Senior member Admin

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    ...or you could have gotten shot. It's always fun to think about but if you don't avoid a situation like that it's unlikely you will be able to shoot your way out of it. More likely you could escalate the situation to a worse outcome. I have considered carrying (and actually have, a couple of times) but I don't have the training necessary and I don't feel responsible enough to do it safely.

    As sucky as it is to say, even the tame city I live in has its dangers. Some guy got stabbed to death down the street from me on Easter, and apparently two cars were racing down my street around the same time shooting at each other. You never know... and if something comes up I'd rather be the one left alive.

    If you are considering buying a pistol for carry, I suggest looking into the Kel-Tec P3AT (.380). It looks like a toy, it's tiny and plastic but apparently it shoots well and is small enough you will actually carry it all the time.
     
  20. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Interesting theory, LA Guy. Â Here are some possible explanations I came up with: 1. Mugger worried that potential Asian target will "Jackie Chan" his ass. 2. Asians are studying too much to have a paying job and spending money. 3. Karaoke bars, sushi restaurants, and bo-bo tea houses are generally in good parts of town. 4. Why walk two blocks through a sketchy neighborhood when you can drive and circle around the block for a half-hour looking for a parking space while showing off your souped-up Acura Integra blasting New Order's "Substance"? I can make these stereotyping comments because I'm Asian. Â [​IMG] Seriously, NavyStyles, I second the thoughts of the other posters -- I'm glad you're okay. Â Unfortunately, as the other posts indicate, it seems like what happened to you comes with the territory of living or going to school in a big city. Â A college friend was mugged in the street behind our dorm. Â All this kind of gives me pause as to whether I really want to move into the city from the 'burbs.
     

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