During the past month, I have had four events where persons have uncomfortably targeted me for handouts, or other related “charity”. Typically, this may happen once or twice per year. I might expect it if I dressed like somebody out of the Duggard family in “20+ Kids and Counting”, but my general attire is generally a pretty grungy skater/snowboarder look- not exactly Mr. Moneybags.
Event #1- My father-in-law passed away in Eastern South Dakota last month. The kids and I drove a one-way rental back to Denver while the wife stayed with her family for an extra few days. We stopped for gas in Mission, SD on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation. I had been at the pump for about one minute before a rather disheveled Native American man approached the rear of the vehicle asking for money and who knows what else. After I repeated direct commands to “Move away from my vehicle!”, he finally got a clue and moved on to another truck. I realized after the fact that I saw him walking on the road towards the gas station as we pulled in. A word of advice- if you ever have to travel US Hwy 83 between Nebraska and South Dakota, make sure and stop for gas in either Valentine, NE or Murdo, SD, and skip Mission.
Event #2 - My family went to the best Mexican Buffet in the Denver area for a Sunday lunch. Given that the restaurant is on East Colfax near Peoria, you know that the area is a little gruff around the edges. As we were entering our car after eating, a Hispanic “gentleman” approached and unleashed a whole series of statements in half-English/half-Spanish about money and other crap. Once again, the “Move away from my vehicle!” command series got the desired result. This one I kind of expected to happen given the location.
Event #3- This event is detailed in another thread ("Interviewed" while walking the dog?), but generally consisted of a 40’s Caucasian man asking me for money while I was taking my dog for a late night walk in a low traffic area of my neighborhood.
Event #4- This happened just yesterday. My son and I were leaving the Home Depot parking lot on Wadsworth and 52nd Ave. As we were waiting the turn right on to Wadsworth, a 50’s or so African American male left the nearby McDonalds parking lot and was making a bee-line for my driver side door yelling a bunch of unintelligible gibberish. Once again, I deployed the “Sir, Do not approach my vehicle!” tactic. Fortunately, before anything could occur, we were able to pull onto Wadsworth and simply drive away.
My main question for events 1, 2 & 4 is why was I targeted for these exchanges when there were plenty of other people around to confront???
Thanks for your comments!