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So I am currently on vacation and on the way to South Carolina I got "interviewed." My trip from Nebraska to South Carolina is about a 22 hour trip. I tried to get as much space covered on the first day to make the second day a little easier on me and my old dog who is along for the ride.

So around midnight I end up at a rest stop in Tennessee. It is fairly well lit and there are some people moving about. I relieve myself, let the dog out and walk him around a bit and then I got his food and water bowls out and let him have some nourishment. While my dog is eating/drinking I too had a bit of food.

So there I am, at a rest stop and eating a yoghurt sitting on my back bumper with my hatchback open with my dog on his leash. I was dressed in just t-shirt, shorts and sandals and in my relaxed attire I may have looked like an easy mark. I was about to finish my yoghurt and when a trashy looking white guy starts to approach me from the main rest stop building. I stood up at which point my old dog rises too. While still a good 20-25 feet away I say to the guy "what's going on." He starts mumbling about road trip, running out of gas etc. He gets closer to my dog when he asks, "does he bite." My quick response back was just, "he might."

All this time my right hand is in my pocket gripping my LCR knowing that if this guy starts getting any closer to me or my dog all I am going to say is "LEAVE ME ALONE, I WILL DEFEND MYSELF."

He then explains that he is trying to get money and wants to know if he can sell me his pocket knife. Yeah, that sounds great, this guy can have a weapon at the ready to get at me as he pleases so he can "sell" me a pocket knife.

I told him I don't carry cash and have a good night. He shuffled off and that was that.

Lessons learned/pounded home. Keep up your SA. I saw this guy coming a mile away and was ready to adjust my position/defense. My dog is peaceful as all can be but if people ask if he will bite and its not a kid or nice old lady, my answer is "he might." Be polite but firm with panhandlers and be prepared to shoot them at a moments notice. I may have looked like an easy mark at first but just changing my body language, a dog on a leash and my hand in my pocket may have been enough for this guy to know to move on to target someone else.

Little does he know how close he came to becoming the victim.
 

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Another lesson to be learned: don't stop at rest areas. I was an over the road truck driver for 15 years and that is the ONE place I will never go. IMHO, that is one of the "stupid places". If you don't travel much, you may not realize how bad they can be.

Go to a truck stop. There are good ones and bad ones, your SA will let you know almost immediately which is which. If it's clean, well lit and there are no lot lizards, you can reasonably assume that it is OK.
 

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Another lesson to be learned: don't stop at rest areas. I was an over the road truck driver for 15 years and that is the ONE place I will never go. IMHO, that is one of the "stupid places". If you don't travel much, you may not realize how bad they can be.

Go to a truck stop. There are good ones and bad ones, your SA will let you know almost immediately which is which. If it's clean, well lit and there are no lot lizards, you can reasonably assume that it is OK.
:yup:

^ Ditto this recommendation.

My preference: an extremely busy Pilot truck stop, well-lit, lots of people milling around, preferably one with a restaurant attached. Have yet to feel those little hairs rising on the back of my neck at one of those, no matter the hour of night. Park in the open, under the lights, as near to the doors/cameras as possible.

I've lost count of the times where, at a general-purpose rest stop, I had some nefarious sort of person give me the once-over in an attempt to gauge whether I was "fresh meat" or not worth the trouble.
 

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We used to call them pickle parks, because of all the wierd guys hanging around. As you get older I think your bladder shrinks hard to pass to many of them:) good thing me an my wife carry we kind of cover each other as we use the rest rooms.
 

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Agreeed...roadside rest area's are a no-no...yet can't believe how many non-trucker type's I see in them passing by....,major truck stops and well lit busy major oil company fuel stations are the only places I would stop also......
 

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Ditto on the Pilot or Flying J truck stops. Always well lit and crowded and usually have security walking around. Union 76 and Truckstops of America used to be good, but not so much anymore.
 

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I had a similar instance back in the late '70s just after my wife and I married. I was traveling to Mississippi from Houston and stopped in a roadside park after dark. My wife had just returned to the car where I sat with my dog, when a guy aproached asking for a ride. Of course, I refused him, but he kept approaching. I raised my voice and said "no" again as I raised my shirt and displayed the butt end of a Colt .45. He looked right at me some fifteen feet away and said, " I understand" and turned to walked away in another direction.

I have never stopped in any road side park since.
 
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OP you did good. I will also suggest truck stops as a preferred stopping point. Most truckers are great people (I had the pleasure of calling one of them Dad) they've got strange senses of humor but generally good people. Not saying there aren't bad ones. I'm not sure about dogs and truck stops so maybe the rest stop is more dog friendly as opposed to having to leave your best bud in the car alone. The important thing is you may have stopped at a less than ideal place but you were armed, prepared, and smart.
 

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He gets closer to my dog when he asks, "does he bite." My quick response back was just, "he might."
or
Q-"does he bite?"
A-"Yes.....at my command".


I told him I don't carry cash and have a good night. He shuffled off and that was that.
I like that, a non-confrontational way of ending the conversation. That's the safe/smart way to do it.

IIRC, I've had an attempted "interview" a couple of times in New Orleans....... it didn't work out very well for them.
 

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Never had an issue at a rest stop. I think some folks attract while others repel. I'm in the repel camp.
 

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The only thing i would question is your footwear. When i carry, i never wear anything i cant run or move quickly in. That means no flip flops, sandals or high heels :)....especially if they dont match my carry gun

Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
 

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Ditto on the Pilot or Flying J truck stops. Always well lit and crowded and usually have security walking around. Union 76 and Truckstops of America used to be good, but not so much anymore.
I agree with Lionround. A few years back a family got murdered in the Greenville, Tennessee by some late teens/early twenty year olds who formed their own "vampire cult". (Lionround - do you remember that one?) They ended up closing that rest stop down because of that incident. When I was on patrol it seemed like the Tennessee Highway Patrol was getting calls there regularly.
 

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I agree with Lionround. A few years back a family got murdered in the Greenville, Tennessee by some late teens/early twenty year olds who formed their own "vampire cult". (Lionround - do you remember that one?) They ended up closing that rest stop down because of that incident. When I was on patrol it seemed like the Tennessee Highway Patrol was getting calls there regularly.
I do remember that. That was Natasha Cornett and I think two others. You can Google her. She was a devoted Satan worshipper, not vampiress, but the result was the same.
 

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The only thing i would question is your footwear. When i carry, i never wear anything i cant run or move quickly in. That means no flip flops, sandals or high heels :)....especially if they dont match my carry gun

Sent from my DROID4 using Tapatalk 2
agreed. in fact, one of the things i love about all the security videos of BGs suddenly being shot at by armed "victims" is the way they run right outta their shoes trying to get away. hilarious!
 

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Anytime anyone ask me if my dogs will bite i say to them "She has Teeth" that just about says it all. People come up to me all the time i'm not sure what it is or what my wife thinks its funny . I guess i smell good .
 

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I seem to have people avoid me. But I am 6'2", a bit over 200 lbs. I think people keep looking for someone they think will be an easier target. Just proves the thing we all know, criminals and punks are cowards, if the target isn't easy, they aren't going to try.
 

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I try to avoid being on the road at that hour. With that out of the way, at least during daylight hours the TN I-40 rest stops have appeared pretty safe to me, and I agree with the comment about going to truck stops. There are however often many truckers
at the rest stops and sometimes cops as well.

I'd absolutely interpret the comment about wanting to buy a knife as a very very veiled threat --- "implying give me money I have a knife." And I do like your response in terms of "no cash on me," having your hand on your weapon, and
of being vague about whether or not the dog bites.
 

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Another lesson to be learned: don't stop at rest areas. I was an over the road truck driver for 15 years and that is the ONE place I will never go. IMHO, that is one of the "stupid places". If you don't travel much, you may not realize how bad they can be.

Go to a truck stop. There are good ones and bad ones, your SA will let you know almost immediately which is which. If it's clean, well lit and there are no lot lizards, you can reasonably assume that it is OK.
I have to disagree. I understand what you are saying, but living life is not about avoiding everything that can jump up and bite us. The OP needed a break, he took one in a rest stop. The same thing could happen in your local Kroger store, so do we not go to the grocery store? IMO the OP handle the situation well, and everything ended well.
 

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I've been using rest stops on cross country trips for decades and have never had a problem or potential incident. The older I get, the less inclined I am to travel at night and most rest stops are pretty well populated during the day. I figure I'm no less safe there than I am in a Walmart parking lot.
 

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But But He's not my ...

Reminds me of an old Pink Panther movie " Does your Dog Bite " Reply No...The dog then bites him ....The guy that got bit says Hey you said your dog does not bite ..Reply " He's not my Dog " :rofl::rofl::rofl:




I like that, a non-confrontational way of ending the conversation. That's the safe/smart way to do it.

IIRC, I've had an attempted "interview" a couple of times in New Orleans....... it didn't work out very well for them.[/QUOTE]
 
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