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  1.  (9434.1)
    I witnessed a breaking and entering the other night...

    I live in the top half of a duplex, and this gay guy lives downstairs from me (I say gay guy because it actually pertains to the story later). He's had a few boyfriends/roommates living with him since we moved in back in August, and a lot of traffic in and out at all hours, day or night. I don't know what he does for a living; landlord said something computer related and left it at that. Because the kid's scared of a break-in, he installed numerous CCTV cameras all over the outside of the apartment, along with motion detectors and flood lights. I had told him some time ago that burlgar bars would do him much better, but he ignored me. We've often wondered if there was something illegitimate going on down there, but since our only real problem with them is that they play techno dance music a bit late in the middle of the night, we pretty much leave them alone except for a few random knocks on the door to tell them to turn it the fuck down for christssake.

    So, Sunday night, around 8pm, me and the lady are watching a movie, and we hear something break downstairs. A door slams loudly. Twice. Three times (Thrice). People yelling. We assume (and I know it's not pc) that it's just a couple gay guys slapping the crap out of each other and that it's nothing too serious. I tell my girl to hold off calling 9-1-1 while I check it out. I unlock my gun safe, but on second thought I leave my pistol in the safe because I don't want to appear too threatening. Besides, it's just a lovers' quarrel, right?

    I knock on their door, and the door swings open. I see into their living room, and some guy is ripping a flatscreen TV off of a wall. A folding door lies broken in the kitchen doorway. One roommate is standing there looking clueless. I yell at the TV thief, "What the fuck are you doing? Get the fuck out of here!" I step into the apartment, and down on the hall to my left, one guy is kicking in a bedroom door. Another man is standing behind him holding a tire iron.

    In not one of my more intelligent decisions, I step forward, yelling, "Hey, get the fuck out of here, I'm calling the cops!" The guy with the tire iron raises it above his head and charges at me. Somehow, I ducked a blow to the head, and the tire iron hits the wall above me. I run like a bitch back to my apartment, Mr. Tire Iron right behind me, and I just barely manage to lock the door behind me. I yell up the stairs for the lady to call 9-1-1 after all, and I grab my gun.

    I look out the window and see all three hopping into a pick-up truck and get the hell out of Dodge.

    On one hand, I feel stupid for going down there unarmed. Not a bright move. Had I gone in armed, though, I would have shot Tire Iron Guy. I surprised the burglars, according to the downstairs neighbors, and when I took off, they said something about the cops coming and they dropped everything and ran. Only two people had any injuries, and they were minor. Nobody had to go to the hospital, and nothing got stolen. There was minor property damage.

    I don't feel as though I saved the day, far from it. I am glad that no one was hurt, and in the end, I think this ended the best way possible. I write this here, to, I dunno, get it off my chest, and to feel better about walking into something I wasn't prepared for. It's times like these where you are made very aware of how much of a badass you are not. I can't, unarmed, fight a guy with a tire iron. In the fight or flight world, I ran like a mother fucker. I am glad that I wasn't packing, that I wasn't put into a position where I may have had to shoot someone. I have not been put in that spot professionally, though I have been trained for it, and I have never looked forward to it. I can picture clear as day how it would have gone down, and I am much more satisfied with the way things turned out without having my weapon. But I am buying a baseball bat. Just in case. There's a middle ground between my pistol and being unarmed, and I'll take fucking someone up with a bat over killing someone any day. Especially if they're swinging a tire iron at my face.
  2.  (9434.2)
    Glad you weren't hurt!!
  3.  (9434.3)
    Thanks, Root, me too!
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2011
    That was a brave thing you did. That was also a kinda stupid thing you did. Sometimes, "brave" and "stupid" are so close together, it's hard to tell them apart. Bravo and kudos to you. Glad you weren't injured, also doubly glad you didn't have to shoot somebody. You're one of the good guys.
  4.  (9434.5)
    I seriously believe my downstairs neighbors are up to no-good, and now they are in violation of their lease. I think we'll just convince the landlord to let them finish their lease & not let them renew. While I was dodging blows to the head, I caught brief glimpses of their apartment and it seems much nicer & bigger than ours, with a better and more updated kitchen and a nice backyard w/patio. Would it be too mercenary of me to get rid of them so I can steal their apartment? (After of course, he has the place fixed up inside)
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2011
    It often strikes me that violent situations are much more complicated than we tend to assume. I'm glad you're okay, govspy, and I'm also glad that you didn't bring your gun.

    But looking at a story like this, my culturally acquired habit of looking for a moral lesson is grasping at thin air. The best I can come up with is that we ought to change tires with something floppier.

    Glad you were in good form at the ancient art of getting the hell out of there.
  5.  (9434.7)
    Honestly, the most important thing that I think people should learn is, that it is not okay to sit back and watch or listen to anyone be attacked. I know of too many instances where, in public, in front of witnesses, people were assaulted, or even raped or murdered, and not only did anyone intervene, no one even bothered to call 9-1-1. I did both, and yes, while I put myself at some risk, three young men did not get beaten like they would have if no one had stepped in. We have a responsibility to protect each other. I understand that to many people here, bringing a firearm seems like an unnecessary action, but when you are dealing with violent irrational criminals, sometimes it is required. Common sense and a heavy understanding of what you're doing also is required. If any of those young men had been seriously hurt after I left, I would be feeling very responsible right now. Everyone involved (even the criminals) are quite lucky at this point.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2011
    A combination of bravery and stupidity, yes, heroism generally is.

    Well done Mr Spy, you made a difference and one that mattered. I am glad that no one got shot, i doubt if that would have improved things. The US is a very different place to the UK, i find it difficult to understand the attitude to firearms there and am rather glad i don't have to.
  6.  (9434.9)
    Well, here's what I'm saying: I'm glad I had the opportunity to get out of there. But, if my only two options were to be beaten with a tire iron (or let my neighbors be beaten with a tire iron), or shoot the guy, I'd choose shoot the guy. I don't want to shoot anyone, period, but I even more want to not be beaten with a tire iron. If that's hard to understand, then I apologize for my American crudeness (and I don't mean that in a sarcastic way; I actually mean that).

    Also, if it wasn't for my job, my experience with firearms, training, and a sense of duty, I don't think I'd feel the same way. If I was just some guy in Texas that owned a pistol, I wouldn't feel right talking about running into trouble and meting out justice or crap like that; I'd sound like every other gun nut that drives me crazy.

    That being said, I appreciate the kind words, and... well, the comfortable honesty that everyone has calling me stupid. Strange, that I can accept my actions being called stupid far better than anyone calling them heroic. Right now, I think lucky is far more accurate.
    • CommentAuthorroadscum
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2011
    American crudeness? Hah. You should see it round here. You have nothing to apologise for there. There do appear to be a great many firearms in the US, that doesn't really make for a quiet, peaceful nation as far as i can see. We don't have quite so many guns here and society is rather different, still rather brutal and violent at times and in places, though possibly a little less lethal.

    People here also tend to keep walking and not get involved. Problems don't solve themselves, be they in the flat downstairs or in the world in general, i really do wish more people would wake up and pay attention to the state of things around them.

    Lucky or not, you did well there.

    It's past my bedtime and i'm beginning to sound like a mad old git again, i'd best be off.

    • CommentAuthorjoshdahl
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2011
    You did the right thing going in there, and you did the right thing running out of there.

    You should be proud. I hope that i would have the courage to do the same thing.
      CommentAuthorJohn Skylar
    • CommentTimeJan 24th 2011 edited
    I'm glad that this turned out as it did, and it sounds like you made decisions that led to that happening. Someone(s) could have gotten a lot more hurt if you hadn't stepped in, but meanwhile, I'm also glad that no one needed to be shot in order for this situation to be resolved.

    I also especially like what your thought process was; you were rational but at the same time not crippled by overthinking. Meanwhile, after the fact you're reflective and aren't convinced you did everything right (even though I kind of am!).

    Govspy, I continually find myself wanting you to become the law enforcement professional that other cops want to be like. Is there an election for that? I'd vote.
    • CommentTimeJan 25th 2011
    Glad you didn't get hurt. Thank you for trying to do more than just call 9-1-1.

    Am afraid the neighbors are more than up to no good. They have become trouble magnets. So until they're really gone - please make sure both you and your lady friend are protected.

    Please stay safe. Many here worry.
  7.  (9434.14)
    @Skylar Thank you very much. That's a compliment that really means something to me. Personally, (and I've said this before) I found myself getting into law enforcement almost by accident, and it wasn't really something I wanted to do. At the time, I really just needed solid employment to provide for my child. That has continuously been the main reason I retain a position in law enforcement. Occasionally, fringe benefits have been enjoyed by myself and my family (other than the obvious of insurance and stability, more like some odd union benefits, deals at hotels and occasionally Gamespot discounts).

    @everyone else Really, thanks for the kind words, positive motivation (and constructive criticism). Of course, I will look out for me and my lovely lady, I'll update on how this all develops.

    Begin Rant: By my reasoning, I have come to the opinion that people who desire to work law enforcement should not be allowed to work law enforcement. I haven't completely decided how I think that would work; like a rotating local lottery (exluding people that definitely should NOT work law enforcement) or possibly that every law enforcement officer should be able to be voted in and out of office by the public. The logistics of this still elude me, but the general idea is that the people who really, really, as their utmost desire in all the world, wish to be cops, should be banned from the job. This is not a position that gung-ho-ness (I don't know if I just made that up or not, it's possible someone in Vietnam said it long before me) should be desired.

    Don't get me wrong, I know I work with some people who love their job and actually do good at it, but there are many more that love their job for all the wrong reasons, and run right up to the edge of being able to be criminally charged for what they do to people. I need to work on my ideas a bit more, but I think you follow me.
  8.  (9434.15)
    Spoke to a Detective Sgt. today regarding the break-in. Actually, a very well-spoken and easy-going cop (imagine that!). Apparently my neighbors have made absolutely no follow up attempt in the investigation, and since the cops will only be as interested as the "victim" there has been no action taken. However, the Sgt. was very interested in what I had to say, and has asked me to note down any suspicious activity and pass it on to him personally. He definitely agreed with me that it sounds like my neighbors are involved in something shady, but there's no hard evidence of that yet.

    I've come to the conculusion now that my neighbors need to show me exactly what kind of business they are operating in the apartment below me, and prove it's not an illegal enterprise. Right now, I could ask the landlord to evict them because they've already violated the terms of their lease and my lady doesn't feel safe with them living there. We haven't done that yet, because we feel that would be a last resort. So I feel like asking to see what kind of business they're running down there isn't asking all that much.

    I think there are a few possible outcomes:
    1. Their business is completely legit; I'm over-reacting, and they had a mad ex-roomate send some goons over just to be a douche.
    2.They are running some sort of illegal operation, being drug related or otherwise, and a screwed over ex-partner wanted some cash or product and sent goons over as muscle.
    3. They are running a legit business, but without the proper level of security neccessary to protect their property, and that's just as dangerous as running a drug or otherwise illegal business.

    If it's anything other than me being overly sensitive, I want these people gone.

    (Edited: Had I gone in there ass-kicking and name-taking, I think it would've been awesome to see it drawn up as a short comic book page. Hell, even with me dodging the tire iron and running like Hell, it still might)
    • CommentTimeJan 28th 2011
    @GovernmentSpy Mosey over to the neighbor and explain you're not his security. Secondly, inform him that they need to get some.

    I've thought about it, you're safer job-wise not knowing what they're doing. Maybe, a police presence would get them to break their lease. The landlord should ask for an inspection.

    We had some loons do 1.5 million dollars of damage because they really overwatered their secret pot farm hidden as a prop house at one of our industrial parks.

    I'd consider contacting the IRS' CID because drugs mean tax evasion if they flimflam the landlord.
  9.  (9434.17)
    So... update: I think my neighbors are growing weed. And I mean, like a lot of weed.

    Last night, I'm coming home from work, and I stop outside the front door to talk to my girlfriend, who's smoking on the front porch. The electrical box is on the outiside wall, just around the corner from the front door, and it starts sparking electricity. As I'm about to call my downstairs neighbor to ask him if he's done work on the box, he comes outside. He feigns ignorance, but obviously someone has removed the cover and taped over the breaker with duct tape. Genius.

    Anyway, as he goes back inside, I notice that the front bedroom windows are all blacked-out (they've been like that since the neighbors moved in) but that one corner has come undone, and blacklight (UV light) is coming out from the corner of the window. Anyone here know of any other reasonable explanation for having a blacked out room with blacklight?

    Normally, I wouldn't give a shit if someone's growing weed. Well, mainly I wouldn't care if someone is growing for personal use, or something like that. But #1, voilent crime has already happened as a result of... whatever the hell they're doing down there. #2, they're being stupid about whatever they're doing down there, #3, with my job the last thing I need is for people to find out illegal marijauna growers are living underneath a clueless Federal law enforecement officer, and make me look like a fucking idiot (that's really at the bottom of my list, but it's still on the list).
  10.  (9434.18)
    Just to post an end to the story.

    After I dropped an anonymous tip, the police decided to perform some routine traffic stops in the area. Friday night the leaseholder got pulled over, and the cops found out he had several warrants from another county. At that point, they obtained a search warrant for his apartment. They found crystal meth, marijuana, and GHB. The other roommate had a clean record, and appeared uninvolved. I was told to bail the one guy out of jail would cost $20,000, which to me means a $200,000 bond, no small potatoes. Regardless of what they were doing downstairs, the guy must have had some massive warrants to earn that kind of bail.

    They had changed the locks on the apartment without the landlord's permission, and I had to get the key to let the landlord in. The landlord let me walk through the apartment with him, where I found several bongs and meth pipes, along with small baggies with what I assume was GHB residue. They had kinda messed the place up, but then again that could have happened during the police search. At the end of the day, I realized they had the bigger apartment and newer appliances, bigger kitchen, plus the backyard & patio. My girlfriend eyed the place hungrily.

    So, although it wasn't my intent to get rid of my downstairs neighbors so that I could be a vulture and take over their apartment, now that my girlfriend has officially moved in (along with all her stuff) my place is a bit overcrowded, and man, does the downstairs place look appealing. I feel slightly guilty swooping in like this, but I feel that my motivation was purely to have a safe living environment, which was not going to happen with these people downstairs.

    I feel like "crisis averted," and although it's not a happy ending for everyone, it's enough for me. Case closed.