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Kitchen Sink

It Never Quite Goes Away, Pt. 5

August 28th, 2008

Part 1 Here.

Part 2 Here.

Part 3 Here.

Part 4 Here.

 

 

A man and a woman, they asked me what happened, surveyed the destroyed door, and wrote on their pads of paper. There wasn’t any sympathy, which I didn’t expect, but found curious. I hoped that this latest incident would put my stalker away for good, but my heart sank when I heard the male cop ask me irritably, “What did you do to make him so obsessed with you?”…”

 


I responded with indignation. I didn’t care if I suffered from stereotyping, this guy was a typical spiky-haired, clueless goombah, who seemed to truly believe that the woman was the problem. His partner tried to save his gaffe, but I just walked away in disgust. From that point forward, I only answered her questions for the police report.

 

I was tired. So tired of this crap. I told her how “my stalker” had broken in a few weeks earlier, had hid under my bed, had thrown a rock through my window, vandalized my office, slashed the tires of some guy in my apartment, called me at all hours and now this. THIS. I wanted to tell the policewoman everything, plead for protection, ask what to do next, but she was just there for the report. Soon, both of them left. My apartment manager, who’d silently listened the whole time, told me there was nothing he could do about the door now. He’d have to install a new one. But I plain didn’t care. I packed a few things and left the splinters and the hole and the warped nuts and bolts and left for my friend’s house.

 

The next morning, I returned to my apartment where the damage looked far worse in the daylight. The door seemed made of paper, and the only part of it still attached to the door frame was one jagged sliver. I’d asked my apartment manager to escort me upstairs, just in case, and we both gasped as we walked inside and saw, strewn across my bed, flowers, cards, and letters. I knew the stalker had left them. He’d come back and had the complete gall to walk through the busted door he’d kicked in and leave me this further detritus.

 

Sure enough, the assorted cards — there were dozens — bore his signature. The letters rambled, but not one contained an apology or an acknowledgment that what he’d done was deranged. I gathered the bundle and kept them to show the police. Next I walked to my neighbor’s place and knocked on his door. He answered quickly. I gave him a flyer I’d made that morning, with my stalker’s photo and physical description, and asked him if he’d heard the ruckus last night. He paused, then admitted that he had heard the door knocked down and my scream seconds later. For a second, I couldn’t believe my ears, then asked why he hadn’t called the police. His answer — that he didn’t want to get in the middle of it — seemed pathetic, but de rigeur. I wondered who else had heard, but not done anything. I later found out that the couple just below me also opted not to call the police after hearing me scream and the pounding on their ceiling.

 

Deflated, I made plans to move out. I could not, would not, stay there anymore. Obviously, I had no protection and I needed to go somewhere unknown to my stalker. I felt completely alone and vulnerable. Luckily, my parents planned to arrive later that day to help me and to stay with me in my apartment until I could move.

 

As soon as I’d picked my mom and dad up from the airport, we started looking for new apartments. I found a couple that might work, but they weren’t available for weeks. Still, we’d made progress, and I felt a little better. It’d been a long 24 hours, so after dinner that night, the three of us returned to my apartment with its new door and settled in for the night. I’d given my parents my bed, and I slept fitfully on the couch.

 

It was early when I heard the rustling. Maybe 5AM or 6. It took awhile for me to register that someone was outside, trying to get in. I screamed for my dad, who hopped up from bed in his underwear. We all ran to the patio door and saw my stalker, clad in a white tux, attempting to open the sliding glass door. Since there wasn’t a balcony, he balanced on my downstair neighbor’s thin windowsill while he pushed at the door.

 

My dad could not open that door fast enough. I picked up the phone to call the police as I watched my dad try to pull my stalker into the apartment. I hoped the cops would get there before that happened. Luckily, for some reason, the screen door stuck, and as my dad yanked on it, my stalker kept telling him, “I want to marry your daughter!” I want to marry your daughter.”

 

If not for the seriousness of the situation, I would have burst out laughing. Years later, my dad did imitations of that ridiculous morning, which put us in stitches. But it’d be a while yet before any of us laughed at anything that happened that day. The police promised to come right away and I focused on pulling my dad away from the door. The stalker kept losing his foothold, and when my neighbor opened her window below, she grabbed his feet. He dropped to the ground, rolled, and took off.

 

A long half hour later, the police arrived. There wasn’t anything they could do, they said, as no crime had taken place. The stalker didn’t gain entrance to the apartment, so according to the police, there wasn’t anything to report. Still, at my insistence, they filled out an incident report, and left.

 

The apathy on the part of the authorities surprised my mom and dad, although I was pretty numb to it by now. Even later, as we drove to look for new apartments and saw the stalker making his way down my street with an armload of just-picked flowers and a new bundle of cards, the police refused to come, saying he was free to walk anywhere he wanted.

 

My parents left a few days later, and I never spent another night in that apartment. I broke my lease, for good reason, I thought, although the property management company disagreed, and held me to the contract, forcing me to find someone to sublet the apartment. After I moved, all stayed quiet. The stalker must have moved to Europe as I received several international deliveries at work — furry dayplanners, flowers, food.

 

Years passed, I moved a couple of hundred miles away, and didn’t think about my stalker for a long time. At least until I received a letter from a credit agency telling me that I owed money to an L.A. property management company. Turns out my old apartment manager charged me for breaking my lease and put it on my permanent record. Just before the statute of limitations on that kind of thing ran out.

 

I fought back. I wrote letter after letter, made phone call after phone call. In the end, I contacted the LAPD for copies of those police and incidence reports they filed all those years ago. Surely, there was a stack of them in the archives. But no. As I waited on the phone, a sheriff came back on the line to tell me that not one report had ever been filed. There was no record. Not one policeman or woman ever officially documented any of the things that had happened four years prior.

 

I hung up the phone, more sad than disgusted. And I wondered about all those women out there, who suffered far worse than I had from domestic violence, a stalker, a predator. And I hoped to God that they’d be all right.

 

« « It Never Quite Goes Away, Pt. 4    |    Here He Is » »

On August 28th, 2008, matteroffactmommy said:

wow. just wow. at least your neighbor finally “helped” by making him fall to the ground. what a psycho! i have never experienced anything like this ever in my entire life.

is there a conclusion? because this is “only” part 5. ;)

On August 28th, 2008, Momma Mary said:

It is TERRIBLE that they didn’t file the reports. I think that in the future, if anyone comes to me with similar situations, I will recommend that they get copies of the reports for their own record.

On August 28th, 2008, Simply Shannon said:

That is really sad and disturbing. What on earth is it going to take for people to take that sort of thing seriously?
I am very happy that nothing more serious happened to you. It would be terrible had you ended up as one of the statistics.

On August 28th, 2008, vodkamom said:

I agree. sad and disturbing.

I had a friend who was stalked, and didn’t know it, and survived 18 stab wounds. 18!!! She fought him off, is alive and well today with a family of her own.

scarred on the inside, and outside, for life.

On August 28th, 2008, Steph said:

I want to rage and scream and hit things. Also? I want to make this go away forever for you. {{{{Deb}}}}

On August 28th, 2008, Csquaredplus3 said:

The stalking laws are terrible. I had a stalker about 13 years ago. I’m fine – he was “put away” – long story. Laws need to be reformed. Glad you’re okay too…

On August 28th, 2008, deborah said:

Photos of the guy. Big photos. We need photos and a name and to really hope that this psycho sees it, or one of his friends sees it and passes it on to him.

This was a horrific experience and I can only hope that putting it out there in all its gory detail was cathartic for you.

On August 28th, 2008, Jenn @ Juggling Life said:

That is truly terrible. I guess it is a lesson to all of us to always ask for copies of police reports.

I’m glad you’ve been able to work through this, but it is no wonder you have anxiety issues.

On August 29th, 2008, ilinap said:

HOLY SHIT! I had a stalker once too (though not NEARLY to this extent), and the police did nothing for me. I was a 21 year old living alone at the time, and the police were totally blase. What a sad state of affairs. Truth is always better than fiction, no?

On August 29th, 2008, KD @ A Bit Squirrelly said:

I am just speechless at the way the police handled it all…So much for protecting the innocent.

On August 29th, 2008, Lori said:

How terribly, truly awful. ANd to be brushed aside by the police too. I know that some places have recently changed laws bc of this very thing. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this, though.

On August 29th, 2008, we_be_toys said:

It’s typical behavior, on the part of the police – they can do nothing until someone is dead, or nearly so. It drives me crazy.

I can’t get over the complete apathy of your neighbors in this – like it couldn’t happen to them?

Stupid apartment managers – any way they can take it from you – sheesh!

Honey, I hate that you went through this, that you were unable to get the help you needed. It is a too common complaint, unfortunately. I feel sure if men were stalked the women are, it would change fast enough. I admire your courage, both in the face of danger, and in retelling this. Let’s hope that idiot stalker stepped out into the autobahn one day and was never heard to bother anyone ever again.

On August 29th, 2008, mami Jen said:

WOW is all I can say. Where have all the good guys gone.

On August 30th, 2008, Da Goddess said:

Despite the gains made in stalker laws and such, too few people take the threat seriously. The police have gotten better (how could they not when they’ve had women murdered on courthouse steps or as they tried to make their way into a police station?), but there’s still lots of work to be done. No one should ever have to live with that sort of fear. Ever. EVER.

On August 31st, 2008, She said:

How terrible! Gives me chills!

On September 1st, 2008, Jennifer H said:

This whole story has given me goosebumps. Horrible, all of it.

It was a jackass thing for the property manager to make you pay for the broken lease, especially after witnessing the damage your stalker did. Would he have preferred that you wait it out, and have it turn out much worse?

On September 4th, 2008, Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said:

Sometimes the God Complex people in law enforcement can get makes the system look bad.

On September 6th, 2008, mommypie said:

Wow. Just wow. SO glad your parents were there. You could’ve totally been a Law and Order episode.

He obviously has no idea where you are now??

On April 12th, 2010, Chelsea @ Someday I"ll Learn said:

Geez, people are sick. I really hope that the system has changed and continues to make better efforts to protect victims. And I can’t believe that cop asked what YOU did to “make him” obsessed! Ridiculous.

On February 10th, 2012, Jennifer said:

I am horrified. It’s 2012 now. Have the laws changed at all?

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