An unsettling encounter
I had a rather unsettling encounter on my bike this morning while riding east on Penn just before Aiken and wanted to report what I could on here. As I was riding, a pickup truck came alongside of me, choosing to travel at the same speed, even holding up a couple of cars behind him. Then the driver made gestures like he was trying to talk to me, and pulled in front of me into the U-shaped lot of The Children’s Home, 5324 Penn. I kept my eye on him and stopped as he was pulling out at the other side of the U. I thought perhaps he was going to point out a concern about my bike or ask me for directions. Instead, he started out, “That’s a pretty dangerous thing you’re doing there riding a bike, don’t you think?” I told him I was aware of the dangers of cycling and am careful. He asked my name to which I stupidly responded truthfully, not thinking much at first about this interaction. He then invited me to come closer and shake his hand, but I stayed put, just giving a small wave. He then went on commenting on my appearance and said he wanted to take me to dinner. I declined, telling him I had a boyfriend, and he then made a really degrading sexual remark to me that I am having difficulty shaking. I peddled off and then became frightened that he’d run me down or something (probably flashing back to my experience of getting hit by a pickup of the same color about a year and a half ago), so I jumped off my bike and started to quickly walk it on the sidewalk. I was just so shaken up I didn’t know what would be best. Still not sure what would have been best, but I’m upset with myself for not having enough composure to write down his info. The truck was relatively new-looking, black colored, I *think* perhaps a Yukon. The driver was around age 50, a little on the bulky side, white male. This happened at 7:30am today. I thought it was too early to be that creepy I haven’t yet, but suppose I should call in a report even though I don’t have license plate numbers, or really much info at all.
Damn. I’m glad nothing happened. But don’t be upset at not getting the information. You did the right thing just getting the hell away. If that was on a regular route of yours, think about changing routes for a while, or if you have to go that route, pool up with someone. It’s a good idea in general not to fall into too many predictable patterns, think about things you do that you might repeat everyday. Certainly wouldn’t hurt to report the incident, you never know what other incidents the police might have that this might connect to.
Be wary. Gdamn creeps never sleep.
+1 on calling 911 and making a report. I’m glad you had the wits to just get going.
add another to the “file a report” pile. they may have other incidents, or it might happen to someone else in the future, and you may be able to identify him.
Indeed. I just spoke with an officer and filed the report. He informed me that a man of the same description has been reported a few different times recently in attempting to pick up women and children.
Yikes! Be careful, and dont hesitate to act on your instincts (fight, flight). Hopefully someone will get a pic of this jerk so the cops can put a stop to him.
Driver: “Don’t you think riding a bike is dangerous, little girl?”
Saltm513: “I’ll show you dangerous.”
*lights a lighter*
*sets kerosene hula-hoop on fire*
*attaches kerosene container to hoop*
*swirls flaming, off-balanced mass around her hips*
*Twirls flaming hoop up to the end of her upraised, outstretched hand*
*begins to ride towards miscreat SUV*
Saltm513: “BEGONE, PERVERT!”
*Driver flees from vehicle*
*Saltm513 hurls flaming mass at black Yukon, which bursts into flames*
*Saltm513 picks up hoop from the edge of the conflagration, shakes last bit of flame loose and casually rides off to complete her commute*
So sorry to hear about this. Glad you weren’t physically harmed. If this would happen to me, I wouldn’t be so nice. But thanks for the warning. I will be on the lookout and keep my phone’s camera app running so that if I see someone that fits this description, I will snap a pic of the license plate
What a creep. I hope he is caught soon. It’s never a good idea to get within arm’s reach, and I’m glad you didn’t. Sounds like your instincts kicked in to get you out of harm’s way of a sick individual.
Thank you for posting the description.
@Saltm13: Sorry to hear about this, and happy that you got away.
Can you say a bit more, if you can, about the man? For instance:
– approximate height
– hair color
– facial hair, if any
– clothing type
– watch, boots, anything else distinctive
Not to worry if you don’t remember. But it would probably help the rest of us to identify him.
That sucks to hear, but it is good nothing happened. Have you developed a plan if something like this happens again? These situations suck, but if you have something to fall back on they can go much better. Also having that plan in place allows you to be more alert to other things such as plate numbers and other identifying traits.
Mick: haha, love it!! O, yes- that is just as it played out… well, or perhaps should have anyhow! As for further descriptions of the man, it’s hard for me to determine his height since he was seated in a truck, but I would imagine that he was perhaps 5’10… something sort of average seeming. Gray hair, no glasses, clean shaven. Hmm… can’t say I noticed anything else that was too distinct about his appearance or apparel.
When I win my lottery and buy everyone on this board a helmet cam, the first one goes to saltm513. I figure most of its use will be videoing hoops revolving around it, looking out. Doing bike vigilance would be its side job.
Or, you could buy her a silver plated six shooter and a quart of the finest highland scotch…
Did someone say scotch?
Seriously though… saltm513, I’m glad to hear you’re safe. So sorry that happened. I know that I’d be shaken up.
saltm513 – I bike Penn Ave to downtown (from Stanton in Highland Park) around that same time in the morning. Bikepool?
@mick, your description made my ungodly early morning!
Glad you’re ok salt! I’ll keep my eyes peeled for creepy guys in trucks. There were reports of a stalker type here on the South Side a year ago, and they ended up catching him, so report these things folks.
GOSH! Sorry to hear that Stef Glad that you are ok, though.
I will keep my eyes peeled for the creep! I ride that route to work now…. but damn
Since we are sharing, I have to ride through Phoenixville to get home, and ride through it late at night. I’ve had far too many people come up to me on my bike for comfort. I’m slow and borderline disabled. If someone wanted to harm me, I wouldn’t be able to outride them or offer much resistance. Saltm513, I’m sorry that happened to you, and I admire your bravery.
Thanks, nochasingiguanas! If that were a regular route of mine, I’d totally take you up on it! As it is, those specific travels and times were just for a couple days this week, going about some things for a friend who was out of town.
Any chance it was a Black Saturn SUV? People around Highland Park are reporting someone taking pictures and stopping people. I believe it had been reported to 911.
The only thing I’ve heard is that he was a middle aged white male in a black Saturn SUV. Someone mentioned that he was taking pictures along Jackson and along Stanton. Apparently he stopped to ask a young woman on a bike a question and spoke to her from his car too, that’s why I thought it could be related.
Yea I’ll be keeping my eye out. Since saltm513 said it may have been a Yukon, Saturn made an Outlook which was their larger SUV which could be similar in size.
I say, send Stu out in that bridesmaid dress, a helmet cam, and a purse with a u-lock in it. Get that sucka.
Amazing idea, edmonds. LOL. I saw that come by on the HP listserv, and thought it might be related. I don’t know, but I know that vehicle was not the same… I am super lame on catching car makes and such, but in my instance it was a pickup truck. Not to say he couldn’t have multiple vehicles, but I’m thinking it’s probably just as likely to have multiple creepers. O well.
*shudder* Puts a new spin on the “Jeepers, creepers, where’d you get those peepers” song?
Been lurking here – glad you’re ok and will keep an eye out. Thank you for reporting it.
I am a man (not feminine looking or gay), and I had something similar happen to me, several years ago. The actor was another man and the event occurred on a rural road. I had the same feeling that he might double back and there I was, unarmed in the middle of nowhere. I rode about 8 miles before coming to a town and spotting a police car. I did report the incident. But, as this was in another part of the country and I was just passing through, I never did hear anything more. They are out there and I really don’t know what the answer is. I suppose we are all lucky that we haven’t been victimized. But I’ve been bicycling for nearly 40 years and I don’t plan on letting the criminals of the world stop me.
This evening I attended an event sponsored by the Pittsburgh Marathon that was designed to train women in some safety techniques that they could use while running.
At the request of several folks here, I’ll be posting some of my notes in the near future.
The tips that this safety expert (former cop) shared are mostly also useful for cyclists and others. First and foremost, the observation was that space buys you time (to react, to escape, etc.) Even just a half a step can make a big difference.
I am really glad that you are ok. But, next time you think someone might be trying to tell you something helpful, make them talk loudly, from a little further away. And don’t let them near enough to grab you or the bike. They can point to a mistrued wheel, or a loose cable. They don’t have to get close enough to touch it.
This won’t save you from crude language or their salacious comments, but it might keep you free from physical danger.
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