View Full Version : The Incident In Portland

Charlie Pecos
19th October 2012, 21:39
Hello All,

I would like to share an experience with you, something that happened this past June in Portland, Oregon. My family and I took a vacation out to the Oregon Coast, my wife and daughter plus my parents. It was a driving vacation with us staying in a different place each night. (I will not be doing this again, will just drive straight to Newport and lock the car until we leave).

On the 3rd day of our trip, we found ourselves in Portland, a city I had gone to school in, in the early 90's. I had fond memories of the Japanese Garden there and wanted to share that experience with my family. We set out that morning and parked in the parking lot below the gardens.

Much to my dismay, there were signs posted that warned of thieves and not to leave valuables in the vehicle. Well, there were only a few other cars there and it was a monday morning so we decided we were probably safe, besides, we were in transit- it's not like we had anyplace to put our belongings and I was determined for everyone to see these magnificent gardens.

We had arrived a half hour before they opened, so we walked down the hill (This city park is called Washington Park and is situated on the side of a hill) to the Rose Garden where we walked around and admired the beautiful roses, rhododendrons and azalias in full bloom.

When it was time for the japanese gardens to open we walked back up the hill towards the parking lot where our car sat. We needed to put the dog back in the car as they are not allowed in the Japanese Garden. As I ascended the concrete steps to the parking lot, I noticed that the nearly empty lot was now quickly filling up, and there was a lot of activity with people gettting ready to leave their vehicles and enter the park.

One man stood out, he was standing directly in front of our car and he had this weird smile on his face. I then noticed two other individuals lurking in the background. These three people were not doing what everybody else was doing, there were remaining in the parking lot. I thought perhaps they were waiting for someone but made a mental note to watch them. This man never left the area immediately surrounding our car.

We locked the car (a brand new Olsmobile Enclave, my parents had just bought it- yeah it looks ritzy) and ascended a small rise up to the entrance to the park. I stopped short of the entrance and stood behind some bushes and a tree that overlooked the parking lot. I watched the three individuals as they closed in on our car. My wife was standing by me watching what I was watching. She said to me "I think you better go get your laptop", which was in the car. At that exact same moment, one of the men pulled what appeared to be a handgun out of a green back pack. He cocked it, raised his arm and fired the weapon at what appeared to be the side window of our car. I lost it. I started screaming and yelling and running towards these guys.

I stand 6'3'' and weigh 275, I'm a BIG GUY. I ran up on these guys like a freight train with stickum, screaming at them to get the F away from my car. I was running so hard that when I got to the lead guy, he had both arms extended saying whoa, whoa, whoa.
I think he thought I was going to demolish him. I'm yelling at these guys to get away from the car, and this guy tells me "there's nothing wrong with your car- look!" I looked, and the window was not broken. This confused me and disarmed me, I didn't know what to do, but I know what I saw. One of the men walked away from us announcing to the crowd watching "what does he think he saw?" His two buddies go on the offensive, telling me what did I think I saw, what is wrong with me, was I mental? There was quite a crowd that had gathered and was paying attention to the situation, something the lead man made sure to point out. But the crowd was at least 50 yards away from me, I took a quick inventory of my surroundings and horrifyingly realized I was alone against three experienced criminals. This was not good. I began using a tried and true tactic from the days when I was bullied. I demured, I apologised to them for upsetting them, I said it was my imagination. I don't even remember everything that was said, but I remember the two of them being up in my face, challenging me. It would not have taken much on my part to get jumped by all three. In the end, I got them to walk away, I really don't know how- I had given my power away. I think that with the other members in my group now approaching and telling them to leave they really had no choice but to give up. I got very lucky that day. I had turned white as a sheet and I could not catch my breath. It took quite some time for me to calm down, I realized just how close I came to something very terrible happening to me.

My family stood there comforting me as I briefed them on what had just happened. We stood next to the car talking for about 10-15 minutes, then two of them came back. The one who had walked away when the confrontation began decided he needed to be a big man in front of his buddies and was challenging me as he walked to his car. We told them to just leave. My daughter told me she had seen him peek around the corner of the bushes down the hill from where we stood, he then waived his buddy, the ring leader, off. From this I gather they were waiting for us to leave but then decided we might be waiting for the cops, so they had better leave.

It would be easy to claim that I am a victim, that these were bad men. I do not see it that way. I believe that everything that I experience happens for a reason. This was a good experience and I am grateful for it. I did some things right, and I made a few mistakes.

The first and biggest mistake I made was not getting everyone in the car and leaving as soon as I noticed the lead man standing in front of my car. He was clearly not there to "look at f***ing flowers", as he had so boldy stated to me. All three were suspicious from the time I first laid eyes on them. They were completely out of place for the setting.

We can get so focused on what we desire, what we think we need or have to do, we don't recognize the signs that are being given to us that plans need to change. The moment it is easiest to avert disaster or a hard lesson, is when we first notice that something isn't right, something does not add up. We are then given more opportunities to change our mind, to change our course, although the lessons and the pain get more severe the longer we continue to ignore the signs. Eventually, we do learn to notice these subtle hints, when we have had enough of the hard knocks.

Barring leaving, I should have called the police- reported a suspicious person. I should have told my wife to call the police when the one man pulled out a gun. I should never give away my power, no matter how dire the situation or how imminent the personal injury. I could have reached into my waist band and made them think I had a gun, maybe that would have made them back down.

I have a responsibility to those around me to keep them safe when I notice there is an issue. In that regard, I let them down. Luckily, nothing bad happened, no one was hurt. I am pleased that the "bad guys" walked away unharmed and empty handed.

I did do a few things right, I brought forth my power and momentum. I created a scene, drew A LOT of attention to myself. When I felt the situation escalating, I did my level best not to add to it. This may very well have saved my life.

I can monday morning quarterback till disclosure happens, but in the end no one was hurt and I learned a lot.

No one ever does anything bad, considering their world view. I am sure these men feel they have a right to steal from others, to harm others, in order to surive. I am certain they have done it before and I am most certain they have done it since. But perhaps one awake and aware individual gave them something to think about that day. They were invisible to everyone but me.

19th October 2012, 22:29
Glad that you and your family are safe. Thanks for sharing.

19th October 2012, 22:37
Holy Cow Charlie- That took some guts!!! Kudos- Very good advice to climb across that web as soon as the spidey senses go off.... Amazing story, Im really glad everrything went the right way.

19th October 2012, 22:47
thanks for telling your story. I wish our police were crime fighters instead of LAW ENFORCEMENT . the police should make their presence see and felt and little **** bags like those would not stand around in places that are supposed to be serene and beautiful, out of work nuckle heads just go around making trouble for decent folks simply cause they are bored. I tell punks like that you better call 911 and get an ambulance on the way cause the cops won't get here fast enough to save you from me, I'm a maniac when it comes to my darling bride ... I can be one mad indian .... I'm a short small guy but a whole snake full meaner than anyone cause I have to be .... everyones bigger than me . I have absolutely no fear of anything .

20th October 2012, 00:40
I doubt the Police would have even came if you called them, after all nothing had happened. You will have to keep thinking about safety e.g. don't park in badly lit areas at night...