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Careful In Sugar Land/E. Fort Bend Area


bmil128

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Below is the text from an email I sent to friends and coworkers. This happened yesterday in the parking lot at Nick's Italian restaurant on FM 1464 north of Safari Ranch. The getaway car was waiting at Safari Ranch. The moral of the story is to always be aware of your surroundings.

I must live a charmed life.

As if having Corinne diagnosed with leukemia wasn't enough to have a bad 2008 we had a close brush with danger yesterday.

A not so nice looking fellow tried to carjack us in broad daylight in a restaurant parking lot in Sugar Land. I had seen this fellow walking along the shoulder before I pulled into the lot and thought nothing of it. As Jen & her cousin Lori were getting Corinne out I heard him yelling jibberish and thought he was just inebriated. Jen yelled through the car to me that he had a gun, sure enough as he came around to my side he was waving what looked like a .45 revolver but I could not tell if it was real. He was not pointing it directly at me and was speaking incoherently but when he said "Give me the ------- keys" I did not tempt fate as my first thoughts were about my family and threw them in the seat and said have them. As we backed away w/ Corinne, Jen's dad had seen the whole thing from the lobby and had already called 911. When Lori realized he had the keys and was not just robbing a purse, she insisted the gun was fake and her adrenaline must have kicked in as she bravely yet crazily went back over to the car. Opening the door and claiming to get a bottle for the sick baby, she then wrestled him for the keys as he could not get them in the ignition, he tried pulling the trigger but the hammer was not cocked, and he got scared and ran away down the road. One of the waiters chased him to the next parking lot where he got in a waiting car and sped off. This was @ 5:45 PM yesterday and all happened in less than a minute. All of us are safe & OK; I think Corinne only got upset because she saw her mother get upset.

The sheriff we filed the report with said this was the second attempted carjacking in the area yesterday and was probably the same crew. The license # from the waiter was incomplete and could only say it might have been an old light blue Merceedes. I don't expect much to happen but you never know.

Though I am happy I did not have to deal w/ stolen vehicle reports, claims, etc; and am glad to still have our car, and admit that a girl ended up keeping our car from being stolen, I do not condone trying to take on an assailant unarmed. I don't care how expensive your watch is, your handbag is, or your car is, they are only possessions and are replaceable. Your life is not replaceable, your safety and that of your family is what is most important. Always be aware of your surroundings and of those around you. I certainly did not expect this during the middle of the day and am usually pretty aware of what is going on around me, but will be moreso from now on. Please do the same.

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Not sure I see the editorial, unless you are offended that they printed "dark complexion" rather than "Hispanic or Black male". If that is your gripe, I would suggest that your vague description is no better than the Chronicle's. In fact, the Chronicle's approach of putting less emphasis on ethnicity is actually BETTER, since written descriptions tend to cause potential witnesses to fixate on the characteristic given. For instance, a description of a unique scar or tattoo will cause people to take notice of tattoos. A description of a distinct limp will cause people to notice the walk of a potential suspect. However, a description of a "Hispanic or Black male" might as well say "every male who is not Caucasian". It is of virtually no use whatsoever. In other words, THIS is useful: "early 20s with tattoos on both arms. He was described as about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds. He has short dark hair and a thin mustache and walked with a limp. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and long dark blue shorts." THIS is useless: "a Hispanic or black male." Better that witnesses concentrate on the readily identifiable characteristics than the vague and confusing ones.

And, yes, I am in the business.

Edited by RedScare
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Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but..

I agree that compared to the way you wrote your initial post, the Chronicle's write-up made more sense - whether it was correct or not.

I do disagree about the use of the term "dark complexion". So now we're either on the look out for a black guy with tattoos and a limp, a hispanic guy with tattoos and a limp, or perhaps even a well tanned white guy - again, with tattoos and a limp. Lets narrow it down already.

Edited by Jeebus
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Well, I wasn't going to say anything, but..

I agree that compared to the way you wrote your initial post, the Chronicle's write-up made more sense - whether it was correct or not.

I do disagree about the use of the term "dark complexion". So now we're either on the look out for a black guy with tattoos and a limp, a hispanic guy with tattoos and a limp, or perhaps even a well tanned white guy - again, with tattoos and a limp. Lets narrow it down already.

Apparently, the complainant could not be any more specific than that, according to the Fort Bend Sheriff.

http://www.co.fort-bend.tx.us/news.asp?sit...95&id=22443

In a situation where the witness cannot be any more specific than that, the better practice is to not draw attention to that vagueness. Again, if one's goal is to actually identify and apprehend the suspect, as opposed to highlighting the race of the suspect, you leave descriptions vague when the witness is vague, and highlight characteristics when the witness is specific. Since the witness has actually posted here, I'll leave it to him to say whether he was able to ascertain the ethnicity of the assailant with specificity, but the Sheriff's press release certainly suggests that he could not.

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Apparently, the complainant could not be any more specific than that, according to the Fort Bend Sheriff.

http://www.co.fort-bend.tx.us/news.asp?sit...95&id=22443

In a situation where the witness cannot be any more specific than that, the better practice is to not draw attention to that vagueness. Again, if one's goal is to actually identify and apprehend the suspect, as opposed to highlighting the race of the suspect, you leave descriptions vague when the witness is vague, and highlight characteristics when the witness is specific. Since the witness has actually posted here, I'll leave it to him to say whether he was able to ascertain the ethnicity of the assailant with specificity, but the Sheriff's press release certainly suggests that he could not.

And thats fine, seeing as how the three people there, who all had interactions with the assailant, couldn't even tell his race. Which, by the way, is a very curious aspect of this incident.

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I admit that is curious, given the otherwise quality description of his features and clothing, but that is all the more reason not to ruin an otherwise good description with an assumption on the race.

The other curious part is why the witness made accusatory comments in the Chronicle comments, when he is the source of the vague description.

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Glad the episode turned out without injury for you or the family.

Ditto, and thank original poster for alerting the public... period. You all could have saved more lives just by telling of this unfortunate event. Thats what really matters. :)

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What you said is so true about being aware of your surroundings. Here is what i do that i believe can prevent crime directed towards you. When you notice someone suspicious looking around. Try to look directly at that person with a suspicious look yourself. Make sure that person sees you as your look directly at him/her. Chances are, they're not going to target you and will try to leave asap. I do it all the time. If you go minding your own business and not pay attention, most likely you will be targeted.

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What you said is so true about being aware of your surroundings. Here is what i do that i believe can prevent crime directed towards you. When you notice someone suspicious looking around. Try to look directly at that person with a suspicious look yourself. Make sure that person sees you as your look directly at him/her. Chances are, they're not going to target you and will try to leave asap. I do it all the time. If you go minding your own business and not pay attention, most likely you will be targeted.

I agree. If you look them in the eye - let them know that you see them and are checking them out. They most likely will not target you. I heard from a friend that she takes a picture with her cell phone of suspicious people...Just a thought.

I am so glad that you and your family are safe.

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