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Admirer or Stalker?

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Today I came to realize that my local law enforcement wants me to be physically endangered and/or assualted in some way before they would attempt to help protect me from someone who I consider to be my stalker at this point. Apparently, it is MY job to prove I am in danger and the way to do that is to keep being the bait (!?!). They say there is a legal difference between an admirer and a stalker, though they failed to offer any satisfactory description of this distinction. Does anyone out there know what they're talking about? Do I have no right to seek help when I feel I am in danger? Or is it my job to be the detective?

Maybe a bit of background information would help someone out there possibly help me make sense of this whole mess.

A little over a month ago I was dumped by my boyfriend of several years. I was devastated but took the experience as an invitation to work on my life for a little bit. When I met for my initial consultation with my career consultant (who I decided to hire as part of this "me" process) at a fancy sandwich shop, an attractive man came up to my after my consultant had left and started up a conversation about the reading I had out: The Fountainhead (my fourth time through, now). He, too, was a Rand fan and seemed well versed in the philosophy of Objectivism. He claimed to be an engineer, was well dressed, spoke intelligently, and, well, just had a way of looking at me that was enchanting. He asked for my number, which I did not give to him. I explained I wasn't ready to date anyone right now, and didn't feel comfortable just giving out my number anyway. I say this like it makes me sound smart; here I thought I was playing it safe by not giving out any personal information, but you'll see where I screw up on this front in a moment. So he then asked if we could just meet somewhere then, for dinner or lunch over the weekend.

I agreed and we ended up meeting at a restaurant for a late lunch several days later. We talked for nearly two hours, and in that conversation I talked about both my jobs and places of employment (not safe!). He seemed pleasant, but I was not looking for any kind of romance from the situation and I even bluntly explained that more than once. He said he was fine with that, which made me feel comfortable. I have always gotten along better with boys than girls, so I felt like I was gaining a new friend. We then went for a walk on the trail that runs along the river behind the restaurant. it was a beautiful day, and it's a public trail, so I felt no need to feel scared. It was a long walk, filled with more conversation, but when we were about a half mile (maybe less, I don't know) away from getting back to our cars he attacked me and very nearly raped me. It was horrifying. I was able to run away, losing my shoes in the process, but I made it back to my car and then back home with my body and dignity still intact. I was so confused. Did he really try to rape me or was he trying some sort of Howard Roark bit? He didn't chase after me (though I had hurt him badly in a vulnerable area that may have prevented that) but I just decided not to think about it. I was okay and "hadn't" given him any personal information.

But then he turned up in the background at a restaurant where he knew I would be meeting with a group. I didn't notice him until I was walking out, but I was nervous as hell walking back to my car and driving the long drive home. I didn't notice him following me, and I made it home okay, so again, i started to let myself feel safe. Just a coincidence, maybe he wanted to see me again to explain himself, I don't know. I didn't stop to find out.

And then the roses started showing up on my car's windshield. One red rose at a time, for a total of four now. They've shown up twice on my car while I was at work in my school, and once on my car while I was at my night job. In our conversations that we had had, he had said how he loved to surprise women with flowers when they least expect it and that red roses where his favorite. Okay, I thought. I shouldn't have told him where I worked and I started being VERY, VERY aware of my surroundings at all times. I never saw him or his car anywhere. I don't think he wanted to be seen. So he knew where I worked-- that means i knew where I had to be careful. The roses never show up at my home or anywhere else, right? Right... until today.

I came out of Sears carrying a huge box with a new work bench thing I bought for my dad, and I noticed that 4th rose on my windshield almost as soon as I walked out the exit of the store. I froze in my tracks. He had no way to know I was going to be there unless he had followed me there... and how could he have followed me if he didn't know where I lived. Uh-oh.

I drove straight to my local police and explained the situation and was SHOCKED when they explained there was nothing they could do. I had no proof it was him; they suggested it was my ex. I told them my reasoning behind why that couldn't be and what this new guy had said but again, they said I had no proof. Leaving roses for someone isn't a crime. Well, duh. But what about following someone!! I have a name for this man, but I have no clue how to spell it. I don't even know if that's his real name. What if he's a criminal and has a whole list of aliases. I have a description, too. But the cops said that even if that is his real name, I can't charge him for anything I don't have proof of. I can somewhat understand that they can't just go after anyone for anything simply based on someone's accusations, but couldn't they at least take me seriously. What about the fact that he tried to rape me, I said? Attempted rape is difficult to prove, they said, followed by the words, and I quote "he's probably just an admirer." !!!!!!! My tax dollars pay these men to tell me these things!!!! ahh!?! I proceeded to say a lot of angry things and walked out in disgust. I feel like they want me to be completely raped, completely assaulted or catch him on video stalking me before they will even offer me a word of advice let alone do anything.

Am I right to feel extemely peeved? Or are they right to say that they can't do anything unless I have proof? Is it my burden of proof? Where does the law draw the line on this matter? I feel like the answer may hinge on the legal definition of a stalker, and I'm hoping someone can offer some clarity. I just want to feel safe. I realize I could buy a gun to help with that, but is it right for me to have to take the situation entirely into my own hands? And by hoping for the law to help me, am I stepping outside the objectivist understanding of the proper confines and responsibilities of law enforcement? Isn't my body my property?

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There is one thing you need to do as soon as possible. Go get yourself a gun and learn how to use it without being afraid of it, if you haven't already. Your local gun shop owner should be able to tell you where a local shooting range or club is, and they should be able to help you get out on the range and become familiar with your weapon. Not only will you have some way to defend yourself against this moron, but maybe if he follows you to the gun shop and gun range, he'll think twice about approaching you? (The police may have some resources for you too. They probably don't like offering it, but might be worth asking.)

If I were you, I would also try to use the buddy system. Whether it's a trusted neighbor, coworker or friend, have them meet you at your car, have them stay at your place or stay at theirs. Whenever possible, ask a security guard to escort you to your car, etc. Do this until he chills out, or you can get your gun and learn how to use it and feel comfortable with it. I think you're smart to realize you may be in danger.

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Having been accused of being a stalker before, I'd say just confront the guy. Leave a note on your car or something and tell him you want to talk, in a public place with lots of people around. Bring some mace and an AK-47 if you feel unsafe. The best thing you can do is allow him to explain himself and see if he really is a threat or just socially maladjusted.

Seriously, you might make the sitaution worse if you misjudge his advancements. If he is trying to be nice and show you he is sorry and you ignore him and act like he is out to hurt you, it might just piss him off and make him actually want to hurt you.

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Roses as a follow-up to getting popped in in the nuggets? He didn't even try to explain his outrageous behavior, he just continued with his romance fantasy? This guy has some serious issues.

Since you know this guy is leaving roses under your windshield wiper, I would start by leaving a note under your wiper telling him you are NOT interested and if he does not cease the law will become involved. Be direct, let him know you are serious.

I don't think a face to face is a good idea unless you have someone with you.

As far as your personal safety, you might want to get some pepper spray initially. Find out if there are any gun shops/specialty stores in your area that stock it.

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Mammon,

Reread what 4reason wrote. She's _already_ indicated being physically assaulted i.e. her pursuer has already crossed that line. She absolutely should not approach that man.

4reason,

As I've been victimized with direct physical force several times, you certainly have my empathy. I also specifically appreciate your legal and ethical questions, and you appear to have a pretty good perspective as far as those concerns go. I don't have a background in law or police enforcement, so I can't speak to those specific issues as an authority.

Given my experience, the police tend to simply do what they are ordered. As much as I might complain about specific incidents, I think American police have a pretty good track record in general. The real problem is in legislation, and that stems from Modern philosophy. If anything, my experiences make me _much_ more adamant that Ayn Rand was correct. Likewise, I've come to take other intellectual's opinions less seriously.

The solutions which you personally look for as well as what America needs will take a lot more time. As for you, I would say that in the near future, there are some things that you can do. As K-Mac indicated you can purchase a gun (keeping in mind that there is at least as much of an intellectual investment in learning how to properly handle the thing.) You can also get pepper spray though even those types of defensive weapons are regulated as well. In the longer term, you might want to take classes in general self-defense and/or Krav Maga (which government agents actually use for themselves.)

Believe me, I know first-hand how disheartening it is to consult with police only to find that they ultimately won't help in the manner we might want. In the meantime, people need to be more aware of their regional laws as well as being more pro-active in terms of self-defense. At least, all of this information can be researched on-line, so you might want to locate websites which specifically represent local law agencies, victim advocacy groups, criminal news aggregates, etc.

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What about the fact that he tried to rape me, I said? Attempted rape is difficult to prove, they said, followed by the words, and I quote "he's probably just an admirer." !!!!!!! My tax dollars pay these men to tell me these things!!!! ahh!?! I proceeded to say a lot of angry things and walked out in disgust.

"Hard to prove", "easy to prove" is not the point and the police officers know this. You have a right to file a complaint with the police regardless of what they think the likelihood of obtaining a conviction is.

First, go back and tell them (politely of course) that you want to file a complaint. Emphasize the physical assault but put in all the details you shared with us. Keep in mind that you want to give every possible fact that would establish that this guy is the one putting the roses on the car. If the officer(s) you speak with refuse to take a complaint, you can see your city's District Attorney. Actually, you will probably see an Assistant District Attorney or one of the investigators that work directly for the DA. (Given your previous experience with the police, you may want to start with the ADA.)

You can go to your local Justice of the Peace and apply for what (here in Texas) is called a Peace Bond. The basis for a Peace Bond is a fact-based concern/fear of physical assault or damage to property. Like the complaint, you swear to the particulars in a form the JP court will provide you. A constable will "serve" your application for a Peace Bond on this guy. The Court will require him to post a bond (in Texas, it can be as high as $5,000) to guarantee that he will not approach you or your property. (The Peace Bond will spell out the specifics, but check it carefully.)

If this guy approaches you or roses appear on your car, you immediately 1) report this to the JP Court and 2) the police/ADA. A constable for the JP Court will haul him before the Court where he will likely be held in contempt (for violating the Court's order via the Peace Bond), will forfeit the amount of the bond he had to deposit with the Court and may face jail time for his disregard for the Court's order.

(In some states, the police are authorized to write tickets that order a person to stay "x" number of feet from a person or property. If that person violates the order, he is subject to arrest. I do not know if your state grants the police such authority but it is worth asking about.)

Once he violates the JP order, the police/ADA will likely be more motivated to get involved: the police hear, and sometimes become indifferent to, the numerous complaints from people claiming to be harassed or stalked. Sometimes officers will take a violation of a court order more personally than a complaint from a "civilian".

Now an obvious point: whether you get a Peace Bond or a ticket issued to this fellow, they are only pieces of paper. K-Mac made a couple of excellent suggestions regarding personal protection. If obtaining a gun and a concealed handgun permit is too much, you can still purchase a pocket-sized container of mace or pepper spray.

If you have the time, please let us know how it goes with filing the complaint and whether you were able to obtain a Peace Bond.

Dan

Edited by dbc
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In my opinion this guy is a stalker. This is creepy.

I think you're right, he tried to pull a Howard Roark but it was a terrible call. He messed up and he needs to move on, instead he is being a creep and following you around.

If he really wanted to apologize he could have left a note. I think the best way for you to solve this is to go the place you met him, with friends, a big male friend, and confront him. Tell him to cut it out, you've talked to police, and he needs to stop.

Also get some mace and a taser.

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Or are they right to say that they can't do anything unless I have proof? Is it my burden of proof?

In a word, yes. If you want to charge him, or anyone, with a crime, you must have some proof that amounts to probable cause that the guy is breaking the law.

Others have given you various types of advice on how to handle him, but I'm going to focus on the legal aspect. First, do you know what the law in your jurisdiction says about Stalking? What legal requirements must be met to be considered Stalking? One such requirement may be that you have to make some concerted effort now to tell him you don't want him to contact you any more for any reason. This should be clear and unequivocal communication. One such method may be sending him a certified and/or notorized letter. Alternatively, approach this person at his work place with someone you know and trust and advise him verbally. Your friend can be a witness.

Second, have you tried to go directly to a magistrate instead of the police? In my jurisdiction, a person can go talk directly to a magistrate and explain their problem. The magistrate may give you a warrant for some other charge that you may not be aware exists.

Third, I would start carefully documenting dates, times, locations of his contacts, as well as the nature of the contact. Keep in mind, the police or the magistrate are looking for direct evidence that HE is the one doing these things, not simply it sounds like or seems it could be him.

If you accumulate a lot evidence like this that directly points to him as a "stalker", and the police/magistrate still won't help you, you may contact a local media source and tell them your story. We have "10 On Your Side" for people who can't seem to find any help for their alleged injustices. Keep in mind that if you do this, you better present factual information that you can prove because you are getting into the realm defamation of character if you "tarnish this guy's reputation" and you can't back up your accusations.

Do you have any questions about this? Do you find this information may be helpful?

Edited by RationalBiker
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Seriously, you might make the sitaution worse if you misjudge his advancements. If he is trying to be nice and show you he is sorry and you ignore him and act like he is out to hurt you, it might just piss him off and make him actually want to hurt you.

She owes this guy nothing. If he's a psycho, it doesn't matter whether she misjudges his advances or not. He's still going to be a psycho either way. So what it sounds like you are advising is; go meet with him to clarify if he is a psycho or not. I don't see that as a winning scenario.

The rational response to someone ignoring him is not for him to get pissed off and try to hurt that person. As it already appears he is behaving irrationally, based solely on what she's said, I would not suggest that she give him the power of giving him what he wants which is another social contact.

Any contact she has with this guy at this point should be a very clear and unequivocal communication, preferrably remotely, that she does not want to have any further contact with him, period.

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"Hard to prove", "easy to prove" is not the point and the police officers know this. You have a right to file a complaint with the police regardless of what they think the likelihood of obtaining a conviction is.

If by "filing a complaint" you mean making a police report, you are probably right. However, if by "filing a complaint" you mean securing a warrant for arrest, I disagree. She does not have a right to get an arrest warrant for any possible allegation she makes. She only has a right to get an arrest warrant for complaints that actually contain probable cause that a crime has been committed. The vast majority of police officers well understand the concept of probable cause whereas most citizens do not. So their consideration of the likelihood of conviction is entirely relevant if they are basing it on whether or not probable cause exists based on her evidence and what their jurisdictions code says on the matter.

The basis for a Peace Bond is a fact-based concern/fear of physical assault or damage to property.

This may be helpful, IF her jurisdiction has such a legal tool. Not all jurisdictions have Peace Bonds (or restraining orders) implemented in the same way. In our jurisdiction, such a restraining order is only issued pursuant to the prosecution of a crime and at the order of a judge, not a magistrate. Again, I'm agree this may be a good avenue to pursue, but she needs to be aware that how it works in Texas may not be how it works in her jurisdiction. The important thing is for her to find out if this is a viable option based on the laws of her jurisdiction.

Edited by RationalBiker
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First, do you know what the law in your jurisdiction says about Stalking? What legal requirements must be met to be considered Stalking? One such requirement may be that you have to make some concerted effort now to tell him you don't want him to contact you any more for any reason. This should be clear and unequivocal communication. One such method may be sending him a certified and/or notorized letter. Alternatively, approach this person at his work place with someone you know and trust and advise him verbally. Your friend can be a witness.

For all the information I mistakingly gave him about me, I did not get a lot of personal info about him from our conversations; just vague allusions. I think sending a notorized note would be a great way for me to tell him definitively, clearly, and legally I do not want anything to do with him... but I am still highly suspicious he fed me a fake name.

As to all this nonsense about confrontation, there's no nice way to say it, but I think that is crazy. I'm all of five feet tall and about 110 lbs, and he's got to be about twice that weight with about a foot plus to add in height. There may be some martial arts out there that would give me a chance to defend myself against someone like him, but unfortunately I do not know any martial arts. Martial arts is not a bad idea, but I'm a little too worried about the near distant future to let a long-range defense training program be my immediate solution. Pepper sprat seems like my best bet for the immediate future; I'll look into that tomorrow, as I will also look into buying a gun. It's been several years since I've even held a gun in my hand, so I'd have to start over knowledge wise there, too.

I do not know for certain what his intentions really are, but I do know I am getting extremely creeped out. I also know I am not going to gamble my personal safety in some confrontation to try and figure out what his intentions are. If anyone's intentions are that unclear, you shouldn't have anything to do with that person. I just don't think it's worth the risk. I'd rather be safe and have potentially cast off a well-meaning but poorly executed attempt at love, than risk that safety only to find out the guy truly does mean me harm.

And it doe ssound like I need to do some research on the legal requirements of stalking. I have two situations at my school that require constant documentation, so I'm getting quite good at that. I will start doing that for this situation as well.

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I think the best way for you to solve this is to go the place you met him, with friends, a big male friend, and confront him. Tell him to cut it out, you've talked to police, and he needs to stop.

No way, Dorian. The best way for her to solve this is the advice of RationalBiker, and also trying to file for a complaint against a person. There may be various court orders that could be placed upon this guy, like EPFA's that could take him to court and could turn into a PFA, especially protection from physcial abuse. But even being scared of this man, I thought was grounds to possibly get an EPFA... but it would help if she had more information about him... If you do know is name, you can find information about him, just from that. Be aware of your surroundings too. Perhaps you may notice him in a vehicle somewhere and can have more information to go by...hell, you may even know what he drives, where he works perhaps, I'm not sure. Personal protection, as what Kelly had suggested, and a buddy system are the ways of dealing with this after following RB's advice. Guns are easy to get, they do quick background checks, and you can have one moments after picking one out, I know I did.

I've had trouble in this area before, but I took care of it in the divorce papers when I divorced my wife. I have protection written into it for my daughter, that I couldn't get any other way, since "nothing actually happened" when she was around certain relatives. There are 5 that I listed, and the judge signed off on them. If my daughter is near any of these people, there's big trouble for my ex. When someone crosses me, like she did, I made sure I got what I wanted: my daughter to be safe. My entire life has drastically changed because of the measures that I had taken at that time, but all I care about when I look at the garbage I sometimes have to eat, the holes in my shoes, my furnitureless apartments, I know I did the right thing, for her, and for me.

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I also know I am not going to gamble my personal safety in some confrontation to try and figure out what his intentions are. If anyone's intentions are that unclear, you shouldn't have anything to do with that person. I just don't think it's worth the risk. I'd rather be safe and have potentially cast off a well-meaning but poorly executed attempt at love, than risk that safety only to find out the guy truly does mean me harm.

Yes, definately the best thing to do in regards to that.

And it doe ssound like I need to do some research on the legal requirements of stalking. I have two situations at my school that require constant documentation, so I'm getting quite good at that. I will start doing that for this situation as well.

Well, you said he attacked you and very nearly raped you. Try filing an EPFA if you can. Paper trails, make paper trails. When you go to the police, they should, or you should make sure that they document it somehow. I have them document when I had gone there, sometimes twice in one day... If I were you, when you find roses and so forth on your car, perhaps call the police to the scene, don't go to them. Go back inside, or go to where there are people, until they arrive on the scene. Their presence is important, esp. if he sees that, if he is still around.

But the cops said that even if that is his real name, I can't charge him for anything I don't have proof of.

EPFA's you don't need "proof" that's what the court can decide when you get an order against him, if it's possible to get either.

Edited by intellectualammo
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I definitely sympathize with anyone in this position of being stalked and harassed; and telling your story to the police and them telling you, "Well, you don't have any evidence," can make one feel all that more vulnerable. It happened to me a few years ago, and after a while, it can really wear one's nerves down. I seriously thought about getting a gun, and letting them know it in no uncertain terms, but one has to be careful with brandishing a weapon, which could land one in jail. Besides, I didn't really know who the good guys were and who the bad guys were, so I didn't want to just come out of my apartment shooting like crazy.

I don't really know how it all started, but one summer I found myself getting cryptic comments via email or spoken to me about things that I was doing, saying, and writing (on various forums). They eventually broke into my computer and somehow recorded what I was writing, even though I wasn't sending it to anyone. Like me writing on this message board edit page -- they would know what I was writing and would comment on it. I began to get cryptic emails regarding sitting outside of my work place and smoking. People would walk by my apartment and yell things at me just as I was dozing off to sleep. They even began to broadcast messages across my car radio. I'd be walking around in the mall, and guys would walk by making comments that were obviously related to what I was doing, saying, or writing.

I'm not easily frightened and can handle myself in most situations, but this spooked me so much that I began to have severe emotional problems, which they thought were unmanly of me and poked fun at.

The crazy thing is that I think it all started when I began to respond to cryptic anonymous emails that sometimes would direct me to cryptic websites. I mean, they didn't make any sense over all, but some parts of them were obviously comments on what I was doing, saying, and writing.

At first, I went along with them, because it was intriguing and they implied that a woman I wanted to be with was involved, and that this was some sort of "guess where I am" game, and she would be the prize. I know it sounds strange, but I figured there couldn't be any harm in it. WRONG!

DO NOT reply to anonymous emails, and most certainly don't get into any pseudo-agreements with people that you don't know; because there are evil people out there who will take everything you say and do the wrong way intentionally or try to twist it into something you never meant, and will then harasser you about it, presumably because you agreed in some fine print somewhere that you didn't think you had to check out or that wasn't clear because you clicked on a little floating thingie on a website, just to see what would happen.

I didn't go to the police right away, because I thought it was a harmless game, and then they convinced me that I had agreed to receiving their comments via some sort of contract that I didn't even sign that said that. And then they implied that due to my comments I was the one in trouble with the police. They even implied that they had bugged my apartment and had bugged my place of work (which they did, because they played back a recording of something I did at work).

I felt hopelessly trapped, and there was no way out of the situation. I kept telling them to stop, that I didn't have this in mind, but that just made them do it all the more. And there seemed to be about twenty of them who would rotate, which I think was one way they got out of a harassment charge.

Besides, I didn't know who they were, aside from maybe one or two voices that I thought I recognized (and I have no idea where they live); so when I finally went to the police, they asked me who those people were. Well, I didn't know. I thought that was your job. And like 4reason, I was told that without any of that evidence they couldn't do anything. So, I told them to use the parking lot close to my apartment as much as they wanted to for keeping an eye on things in the neighborhood, and that seemed to quite the harassers down to some extent. This went on for a very long time -- weeks to months, and still happens occasionally, when I'm out with friends.

They hide behind anonymity and they are evil.

I mean, if that guy was really interested in you romantically, then he should have left his phone number and a note with the roses; someway you could contact him. And I think this girl with me should have done likewise. Otherwise, I think it is stalking, even if it doesn't match the strictly legal law of stalking or harassment.

And, since they may still be reading what I post: It takes one hell of a moral coward to send someone anonymous emails, night time yelling, saying things right behind their back, and otherwise popping up all over the place to be a nuisance.

Have the courage to tell me who you are, so I can throw your butt in jail!

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Someone asked me privately what the whole incident with me and my stalkers was all about and how it got resolved.

I don't really know what it was all about, as they never came out and said it in so many words. As I said, most of it was done cryptically. I don't know why anyone would do that and remain anonymous throughout unless there was something illegal about the whole operation. Sort of like those email spams going around, many claiming to be Nigerian, saying that you have $8 million dollars in an abandoned account and all we need is you total identity package and it is yours. Definitely don't reply to those.

The reason I thought this woman I loved was involved was that I had sent her some emails and these cryptograms were coming to me with the exact same subject headers. I couldn't figure out why she was doing it that way, but that's why I went along with it. That was a big mistake.

Like I told my parents, I was chasing skirt instead of paying attention to what I was doing, because at one point it was suggested that she wanted a chaperon, so I basically said sure no problem, and that's when the bugging started. If I wrote down half of what happened in a novel about the incident, I don't know if it would be believed; like at one point after they bugged my place of work, these people showed up, presumably related to picture framing, and began discussing terms with me cryptically, with someone across the radio telling me things and making comments on what I was doing. Evidently they wanted to buy something from me, I guess, but they wouldn't come out and say what they wanted. It was kind of like what you see on TV about drug dealers using pseudonyms for the drugs and not coming right out and saying, hey man I want to buy some cocaine from you. But why they would be that way and why they insisted on me communicating with them anonymously is beyond me. As to what they wanted from me, I don't know.

It seemed to be very well organized and coordinated, so someone went through a great deal of effort, evidently because they thought I had something of value and they wanted a piece of it. By why they wouldn't just come out and say this is what we want and for these terms, like a rational businessman using explicit facts and figures, I don't know.

I don't consider it to be over, even though the harassments have toned down quite a bit and I don't think anyone is following me around everywhere like they were.

It won't be over until I find out who was involved and what they wanted from me.

Before this incident, I thought that the stalker stories, like on television, were just people getting scared over nothing; but not any longer. I grew up in some very rough neighborhoods, but at least I knew what I was dealing with.

I don't know what I was dealing with in this incident, but I intend to find out.

So, it isn't over; not by a long shot.

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I printed Colorado's criminal code on stalking that Rational Biker posted (thank you!), and will clip it under my windshield wiper for at least the next week. That seems like the least confrontational thing I can do right now to let him know I am NOT interested and to leave me alone. Hopefully that will work. I have had no "incidents" since Friday and am hoping this clipped note will prevent me from having any more.

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Although I know that some of these points have already been stated, I think a full reiteration will do best in this circumstance.

Before I begin, however, I will say that I have been where you are before; when my ex-boyfriend and I broke up about 5 years ago, he became obsessed with me. He began following me to school, work, and to my friend's houses. He would sit outside of my window at night while I slept. Unfortunately, I did not find out about the majority of this until the day he pulled a handgun on me and tried to end my life. After he was unsuccessful, he ended his. In this case, I can say I am quite fortunate; I have finality and closure.

The following pieces of advice ended up being very useful to me, and I have added a few of my own:

1. Try not to be alone in vulnerable situations. If you are at work (you mentioned a night shift), see if a coworker can walk with you to your car. This will give you a witness in case anything happens.

2. If the harassment keeps up, installing a dashboard camera/video camera is a good idea. You would then have pictures of him in the act, which would give you proof.

3. Always let someone know where you are going. I have found that it's best to be cautious when dealing with irrational people, especially those who are posing as rational.

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So, it isn't over; not by a long shot.

One possibility is a Trojan horse on your computer. If one got through a hacker might be able to set up a server on your computer, especially if you have a fixed ip, then they could root around in your computer for info without you knowing, if you leave it online, that is.

But, if you're certain all of this is happening, then you might set a trap for them, perhaps a surveillance camera at a strategic location, or a listening device. I don't know, it depends on the specifics, but you might come up with something like that.

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She owes this guy nothing. If he's a psycho, it doesn't matter whether she misjudges his advances or not. He's still going to be a psycho either way. So what it sounds like you are advising is; go meet with him to clarify if he is a psycho or not. I don't see that as a winning scenario.

The rational response to someone ignoring him is not for him to get pissed off and try to hurt that person. As it already appears he is behaving irrationally, based solely on what she's said, I would not suggest that she give him the power of giving him what he wants which is another social contact.

Any contact she has with this guy at this point should be a very clear and unequivocal communication, preferrably remotely, that she does not want to have any further contact with him, period.

My reasoning here is that, if she never confronts him and then all the sudden the police show up and hand him a restraining order it might make him angry and more dangerous.

He might just be attempting to apologize. Meeting him in person, with protection of course, and letting him say his piece might get him to back off and leave her alone. If he is crazy and the police come, he might get angry and then actually go through with raping her. That's sort of the mentality. He wouldn't have anything to lose at that point, the attempted rape or whatever would already be on his record. It's also not like a restraining order is going to do anything to stop him if he really is a pyscho as everyone is painting him.

I'm not saying she shouldn't go to the cops again and do something. I'm saying, give the guy a chance to settle this peacefully and on his own before bringing the cops back into it and make sure he knows that if he does mean to harm her, the cops will get involved.

But, 4Reason I wanted to bring something else up. You said this...

It was a long walk, filled with more conversation, but when we were about a half mile (maybe less, I don't know) away from getting back to our cars he attacked me and very nearly raped me. It was horrifying. I was able to run away, losing my shoes in the process, but I made it back to my car and then back home with my body and dignity still intact. I was so confused. Did he really try to rape me or was he trying some sort of Howard Roark bit? He didn't chase after me (though I had hurt him badly in a vulnerable area that may have prevented that) but I just decided not to think about it. I was okay and "hadn't" given him any personal information.

You said, "very nearly" raped you and you are confused if he was trying to or not.

Why is that? What did he do exactly? Did he hit you, or push on the ground or something? Because you need to be able to recall that in full to the ADA or whoever you are going to see. Because, looking at the way you presented the story it seems like the details are really vague and usually cops use that as a way to indicate that your are lying about it, or aren't telling the full truth.

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Mammon,

I'm basing my advice on 22 years experience as a city cop, having dealt with people who were stalkers and people who were not. According to your first post, you are basing your advice on the fact that you were accused of being a stalker before. I'm not going to inquire about the details of why you were accused, but personally speaking, I'm do not think most people would find that to be a comforting foundation for how to handle a potential stalker, particularly since they don't know the facts surrounding your situation.

If he is crazy and the police come, he might get angry and then actually go through with raping her.

Your advice seems to ignore this scenario... if he's crazy and she goes to meet him to settle this peacefully, he may actually go through with raping her this time in a second attack. Your advice seems to ingore that he already attacked her once and that he's demonstrating signs of someone who may well be unstable.

A rational man does not attack you on the first 'date'. Heck, they weren't even on a date, the were just walking and talking together. When you meet someone and in one day they attack you and then put roses and notes on your car, that's a clue.

You don't seem to understand that if he is likely to behave irrationally, which his previous actions indicate he is, he will do so regardless of whether she takes the most protective action against him or if she goes to try to meet him.

The least probably outcome here is that a rational man will react violently when told legally not to have contact with someone (who is essentially a stranger) who does not desire to have contact with him. IF he is not a rational man, then she is in a lose-lose situation. IF she goes to him and he's crazy, she risks violence and is with him as a ready target. IF she gets a restraining order and he's crazy, she risks violence but does not open herself up to it immediately. However, in the latter case, she has demonstrated that she will stand up to him.

Your bet in this race relies on appeasing someone who is unstable.

Your advice seems to suggest that a rational man will suddenly become being irrational just because she didn't allow him to apologize. That would not be the behavior of a rational man. And if she goes to let him "apologize" and finds out he is irrational, then what?? The most probable safest route for her to take is to not have contact with this man again.

She does not owe it to this guy to find out if he is unstable or not. A rational man served with a restraining order will abide by the restraining order. Yea, a rational man may get mad, but he would realize that he has no right to become violent towards someone who is essentially a stranger. "Hmmm, a stranger doesn't want to have contact with me anymore.... okay, no big loss there."

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Based on what 4reason said about her incident, I wouldn't necessarily want to paint the guy out to be someone who is unstable (not in the psychological sense). He could have just been a passionate guy. BUT if she told him to back off, then that is what he must do. I've been there -- been very passionate about a girl only to have her tell me to back off over a misunderstanding -- and it's difficult for a guy who thinks he is in love to end it on a misunderstanding. In his case, however, it seems that at a minimum he went too far with her, and she doesn't want anything else to do with him. He's going to want to explain himself and maybe even make up for it, BUT if she doesn't want to do that or give him that opportunity, then it's over; and he needs to put his passion aside and move on.

I related in another thread how a girl's mother called the police on me one time because she was a foreigner and she didn't want her daughter dating an American. It wasn't a big deal. I talked to the police for a few minutes, as did she, and then we went on to enjoy ourselves together. The police never bothered me after that, as they normally don't get involved in "domestic disputes" unless there is violence or the threat of violence (which is one reason they are not getting involved in 4reason's incident). So, if the police talked to this guy and got his side of the story, he could explain himself, apologize and move on. Will it make him angry? Well, maybe, but he should realize that she is protecting herself, and that she has the right to do that -- and back off when he is asked to back off.

Regarding my incident, most of it took place during the summer of 2005, and I have no indication that they are still bugging where I am. Evidently, that incident at my place of work is what they were after, whatever it was, and they haven't gone through that kind of effort since. They do occasionally yell at me in the middle of the night, like they did last night, so I called the police on them. If there is some sort of misunderstanding here, then all they have to do is send me an email with their name, address, phone number, and email address with a brief note telling me what they were up to. That they aren't doing that and continue to harass me at inconvenient times leads me to me to think that they are up to no good.

Given what they did to me, I am considering them to be evil until proven otherwise.

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Based on what 4reason said about her incident, I wouldn't necessarily want to paint the guy out to be someone who is unstable (not in the psychological sense). He could have just been a passionate guy. BUT if she told him to back off, then that is what he must do. I've been there -- been very passionate about a girl only to have her tell me to back off over a misunderstanding -- and it's difficult for a guy who thinks he is in love to end it on a misunderstanding.

Thomas, you have got to be flippin' kidding me! Based upon what 4reason said, this guy is a nut!

1st date.

He made significant physical advances after she has already explained she wasn't interested in a relationship. And left her running away with out her shoes!!!

His follow up has not been to try to clear anything up, but rather to continue his advances is an incredibly creepy, "anonymous" fashion.

He (and you) may think he's a "passionate" guy, but he clearly is disconnected with the reality of the situation.

It may be difficult for a "guy" who thinks he's in love to end on a misunderstanding, but it is not at all for a gentleman to do so. There is an inherent contradiction in anyone's thinking who chooses to press a "misunderstanding" more than an attempt or so to clear it up:

a. If you value her, and the misunderstanding doesn't clear up after an attempt, then you respect her judgement. To press the point is to disrespect her at the same time you're claiming respect for her.

b. If the relationship proceeds on the basis of an attraction to another's sense of life, and you clear up the relationship at the expense of her seeing you in that light (i.e. losing your appeal for what she now sees in your sense of life), the relationship still won't go anywhere because she'll lose her attraction to you. She'll still think you sort of "creepy". So pressing the point, and winding up with her thinking you're an ok guy but a bit creepy isn't going to work either.

Regardless, this guy is neither a "guy" or a gentleman, but rather a kook.

4reason, listen to the cop's advice.

Edited by KendallJ
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Based on what 4reason said about her incident, I wouldn't necessarily want to paint the guy out to be someone who is unstable (not in the psychological sense). He could have just been a passionate guy.

Let me say for the record, I gave 4reason advice based on how she describes the event. It could be that she is witholding information, that she has misinterpreted things, or something along those lines. If I were the police investigator or magistrate actually considering legal sanctions, I would of course require more information before issuing such processes. That said, this statement;

It was a long walk, filled with more conversation, but when we were about a half mile (maybe less, I don't know) away from getting back to our cars he attacked me and very nearly raped me.

does not lead me to think she was dealing with a rational, passionate man.

I ask any passionate, rational male in this forum, would you attack a woman and try to rape her on your first encounter with her? Can someone provide me a context in which this would be the rational course of action?

I'm thinking that if you think maybe he's just a passionate, over-anxious man, you are assuming that 4reason's brief statement that she was attacked must be inaccurate or misunderstood in some manner. My advice assumes that she relayed that brief information accurately, but does not want to elaborate on all those details over the internet. I actually think that is a good idea until any further investigation(s) and/or legal options are exhausted.

The advice I offered to her also takes into account that before she can actually do anything legally to this guy, she's going to be talking to someone else, an investigator, a magistrate, a judge, etc., who will ask those further questions that are thought to be unanswered here. Those folks have resources greater than we have on this forum to examine her claim and investigate the incident. Thus, if she is required to describe the actual "attack" in more detail, they can better determine if what he did amounted to a real assault, sexual or otherwise (not to mention the stalking issue). I haven't asked her about the incident in any more depth because I'm also (somewhat) considering it from the point of view of what her own attorney might advise her... let's examine the legal options before we spread more of this over the internet.

Now I will grant that something in the neighborhood of 40-50% or reported 'rapes' are detemined to be false once investigated. This has to do with a number of circumstances, not the least of which are victims who are unclear or give exaggerated details about the incident. Alternatively, many cases are brought into question because of the ambiguity of whether consent was there or not. Either way, I think the best advice is to point her in the direction of those folks who can look further at her claims rather than back to the 'suspect' who has already seemingly demonstrated he does not have her best interests in mind.

4reason is free to pursue the advice that she thinks best suits her circumstances, especially since she should have a much fuller recollection of the details than anyone else here, myself included. Given time and separation from the event, she may examine what happened with a clearer head and realize either; 1) this isn't as bad as I first thought, or 2) this guys seriously tried to hurt me.

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