Strangers Who Attempt To Flag You Down

Strangers Who Attempt To Flag You Down

This is a discussion on Strangers Who Attempt To Flag You Down within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; How do you people handle this.We live in a small city,about 5 miles from a much larger city,connected by IH-10.Yesterday,about 3 p.m.,my wife and I ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Strangers Who Attempt To Flag You Down

    How do you people handle this.We live in a small city,about 5 miles from a much larger city,connected by IH-10.Yesterday,about 3 p.m.,my wife and I were returning to our city along the IH-10 service road.A suv was stopped on the side of the road.About 200' ahead of the vehicle a female was walking east along the side.When we approached,she jumped into the right hand lane and started waving and jumping like an N.B.A guard.We did not stop because the woman looked very rough and I saw nothing that appeared to be an emergency.I thought of calling the police,because she was in the roadway doing her dance,but a car behind us stopped to talk to her.Today,about 5 p.m.,same section of road,a 4x4 was on the side of the road,3 men walking East.As we approached,one man started waving and jumping trying to stop us.I kept going,I saw no injury or emergency.A truck behind us did stop.My question is,at what point do you call 911 or a non-emergency police number?I do not want to burden the 911 system because somebody needs gas,etc.I do know that I am not risking my life with people I don't know.I will say this,my gut told me all these people were trouble.How many people in our day and age cannot afford a cell phone?Who jumps near the center line of a road and attempts to stop you?
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    It depends on my read of the situation. I have stopped to help in the past. Many other times I just drive on by.

    If it's a woman by herself I'm much more likely to help. If I do give a person a ride I put them in the back of my pickup truck. I have never had a person in need ever complain about having to ride in the back.
    oneshot likes this.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    VIP Member Array Civil_Response's Avatar
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    Sadly, if nothing is obvious I don't stop. Even for women, they can be armed as well or have a man with a weapon hiding in the 'broken down' vehicle.

    Like mentioned, who doesn't have a mobile phone these days?


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    Senior Member Array Super Trucker's Avatar
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    I am very disappointed at how thoughtful some people are. I sure hope that if my wife or daughter need help people don't ASSume she has a phone.

    I would like to know where to buy one of these cell phones that has a battery that never dies and has service in every square inch of the country, and also where to get one that has automatic "fix my car service" when you are on a business trip hours away from family?
    Once Bitten likes this.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    i personally always call non emergency police number and let em know about a moterist in distress. atctimmy, your in more danger with them in the back than in the front, in front you can see their hands and react faster than if they grab you from behind. I only put people i know well in my back seat and at work noone but me rides in the patrol car
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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    There is NEVER a reason not to call 911 if there is someone trying to flag down vehicles. Just because someone looks "rough" doesn't mean their evil, not everyone can always look like a fashion model. Even if you do not stop, call. If you do stop make sure your head stays on a swivel until you are safely on your way again and even consider calling while you're stopping and having 911 on the line as you do. If you get bad vibes leave immediately but ALWAYS call.
    BugDude and oneshot like this.

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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    I think you just hafta read the situation. As you said, she looked "rough", and that ususally just means trouble, or at the very least a pain in your butt. Stinkin' up your car, wanting you to take them for gas, oh but they have no money when you get there, etc.

    But most folks should be saavy enough to be able to "read" it. If it's a 75 year old woman, with an elderly man in the vehicle, obvious flat tire, later model vehicle, nicely dressed folks, younger girl--all by herself, well-kept, you get the drift...

    Of course there are ALWAYS exceptions, but I do believe in "profiling". 90% of the time, people that don't care enough to keep themselves well-groomed, well-dressed, and prepared for breakdowns and running out of gas, tend to drive old junkers with blacked out windows, and never have a job or any money, are just TROUBLE with a capital "T"! Trouble just seems to follow them around, due to the way they conduct their lives. Every time I've stopped for one of these bunch, I have ususally almost regretted it, although they were never violent or anything...just a pain. I've known people like this, and they can be nice, certainly "easy" company, but there is little to gain from them. My wife has a weakness for these types which scares me a little. She always says, "such and such would give you the shirt of their back" and I reply, "yeah if they had one--if they did have one, it would be the one we loaned to them"

    If it is someone that doesn't fit that profile, then they probably have a real problem, and might really need your help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by INccwchris View Post
    i personally always call non emergency police number and let em know about a moterist in distress. atctimmy, your in more danger with them in the back than in the front, in front you can see their hands and react faster than if they grab you from behind. I only put people i know well in my back seat and at work noone but me rides in the patrol car
    Dude? They ride in the back (bed) of the truck, outside. Not inside with me.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    Many years ago, when I was a teenager, I was driving past the local cemetary on my way home late at night. I wasn't going fast; the speed limit is 25 there. I was shocked and surprised to see a young girl run up to my car, cloths torn but not exposing, obviously crying and scared. She banged on my window screaming, "HELP ME!" Being young and surprised, I didn't know what to do, so I floored it to get the heck out of there. I've regretted that every day since. What if someone was trying to hurt her? What if she was genuinely scared for her life? Or, what if it was a set-up to rob me or steal my car?

    My dad also had an experience like the OP did. He was on Interstate 10 driving back from Baton Rouge to home near Lafayette, Louisiana. While on the Atchafalaya overpass, he saw a car on the side with the hood up. As he got closer, he saw a young lady leaning on the car, obviously distraught. Unsure of what to make of the situation, he kept going. About a mile up ahead, he saw a man walking alone. Dad stopped and asked the man if he had anything to do with that car back there. The man said it was his wife and he was going to the nearest gas station to buy some gas. Now confident it was a legitimate stranding, my dad offered the man a ride. As soon as they left, the man told my father to bring him to Houston. My father informed him that he thought he was bringing him to the nearest gas station and he was stopping in Lafayette. He has no plans to go past Lafayette. The man told my father again that he will drive him to Houston or he's gonna shoot him. Now my father realized his grave error. Unsure of what to do, Dad sat in silence, driving westward. Suddenly, the man said, while pointing to Dad's wallet on the dashboard, "How much cash do you have in your wallet there?" Dad said, "I only have a twenty dollar bill." Then the stranger told him that if he gives him the 20, he'll get out right there. Dad immediately pulled over, handed the man the $20, and let him out. Before the man could close the door behind him, Dad had already put the accelarator to the floor.

    To this day, he refuses to stop and help strangers.
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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    My boss and I spent a work break laughing at some youngish (20-somethings) who were on the side of the interstate trying to loosen their lug nuts on their newish SUV. We both declared that changing a tire should be a mandatory requirement for getting a DL. At the very least, I'd want my kids to practice tire changing BEFORE they were on the side of the interstate. Of course, there is a gas station as close to the interstate as our store is, if they had wanted to get out of the road they COULD have.

    For those who think cell phone batteries die too much, I would recommend a car charger.

    But I agree you'd have to read the situation. I gave a guy a ride once. Probably not the smartest thing in the world, but it was raining and I knew the house he wanted to go to (I delivered pizza there a lot). He seemed ok, and he was.
    As far as I've known, walking a little bit never hurt anybody. I'd rather see somebody walk and TRY to help themselves, than just sit there and wait for someone else. Since I live near town, there's an exit and a gas station every mile marker so I doubt too many people here are in such a dire situation that they can't get themselves to one of them. Now if someone were out 20+ miles from the next stop, it would be a little different story.
    Also note, if you're driving keep track of those exits and mile markers especially in unfamiliar territory. If you just passed one at the 120, and broke down at the 121 you don't want to start walking the other direction unless you know there's something closer.
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    Years ago, I stopped one night in the rain to offer assistance to 2 young women with a disabled car. They were arguing and 1 took me up on the offer for a lift. A couple of miles down the road, we came to her house. Upon pulling into the driveway, we were met by an angry boyfriend who waved a revolver in my face. I tried to calm him and explain to him that his car was stalled, but he insisted on hitting my partially rolled down window with the handgun. I wound up stuffing my .38 onto the end of his nose, disarmed him and quickly got his attention. I repeated my story to him and offered to leave his weapon beside the stop sign at the highway. I could tell he was no BG, just distraught and a hot head. No more will I help stranded strangers after that mess.
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    VIP Member Array JoJoGunn's Avatar
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    First of all it is highly dangerous to stop for any stranger, female or other. There are too many scenarios of getting attacked, robbed and even killed by this "person in distress" situation. Like the predators who want to snatch children and wander around with a "looking for lost dog" story. Too often it is just a set up needless to say and is best avoided at all cost.

    If you have a cell phone, just dial 911, report the situation and beat it. Our urge to be a Good Samaritan has now been taken advantage of by the evil in folks and has changed my mentality on stopping for anyone. It's sad, but you just cannot trust people these days because of it.
    mr.stuart likes this.
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    I had a freind 30 years ago, Would NOT let you pass a stranded prson on the road man or women. He was a good ole boy that worked at a filling station, We never had a problem as two guys (Rednecks) But we did have a few decline offer ; )
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    i would only help if i thought that i could take out the person i was there helping. multiple dudes should be no problem....J/K
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    Distinguished Member Array morintp's Avatar
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    Back when I was in high school, two of my friends and I were driving home from work one night during a nasty thunderstorm. We saw a car pulled over on the side of the interstate less than a tenth of a mile from the exit. We pulled over and found out it was two ladies. One about 50 years old and the other lady was her mother. Their car had lost all electrical power and this was before cell phones were popular and cheap so they had no phone. The lady didn't want to leave her mother alone in the car, and I don't blame her for not wanting to walk in that storm. We did what we could under the hood checking for loose wires and anything obvious that 3 non-mechanics without any tools or decent lighting could find. We ended up pushing their car with my car up the exit ramp and to the gas station right next to the exit. One of my friends rode with them and steered their car while I did the gentle pushing with mine. I do have to add here, that neither car was damaged or even scratched by doing this. We were all quite happy with our mad skillz. They offered us money, but we refused and left them at the gas station after they had gotten in touch with the daughter's husband.

    We thought that was the end of it. We went on with our lives and didn't bother telling anyone. Then one day at school, over the PA they started reading a letter they had received talking about a dark and stormy night. As they went on, we realized it was about us and being teenage boys this wasn't quite the kind of stuff we were trying to broadcast so we tried to hide. Of course that didn't work. At the end of the letter they asked the three of us to go to the office to pick up letters for our parents. Apparently my friend had gotten chatty with the ladies and given up our names and with a little detective work, they tracked us down.

    Not much of a point other than to say that some times it really is people that need help and not criminals you see on the side of the road.
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