Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Be Careful Out There

Sunday evening, two female Ann Arbor joggers were the victims of assault and attempted kidnapping. This was big-font front-page news in yesterday's paper.

Don't think the possibility of this happening to me hasn't crossed my mind from time to time. I spend a lot of time running on deserted country roads or when there is little to no light. I tense up every time a vehicle slows down beside me. I'd like to think I could fight off an attacker or sprint away given my superior fitness ("See if you can catch me NOW, fuckhead!") but if someone is truly determined I might not have a chance. Neither of these women were prepared; they were taken totally by surprise.

It saddens me that I have to think of every suspicious vehicle with a lone man behind the wheel as a potential threat, but there it is. I know there are a lot more good people in the world than bad, but there's no way to tell the difference. The person who stops and asks for directions because he's lost might be the one who pulls a gun on me and orders me into his vehicle. I know men aren't excluded from becoming victims of violence, but we women have to be so much more alert and careful.

I think it's time I got myself a wee little canister of pepper spray.

14 comments:

Wendy said...

I heard about this! I saw some pepper spray-ish type cans at the running store the last time I was there. I think I'm going to have to get one now.

Stay safe out there!

Jess said...

Hadn't seen this, but thanks for passing it along.

People laugh at me because I refuse to run on a trail by my house because it creeps me out even though lots of people use it...yea that is the exact reason why!

tfh said...

Just remember: even if the gun is pointed at your head, NEVER get into the car.

Stay safe. For me the happy part of this story is that both victims escaped unharmed. But yes. Pepper spray and maybe a Doberman.

Viper said...

whoa ... be careful!

somebody needs to make a runner friendly mace carrier.

and maybe running shoes need steel toes or spikes for groinkicks!

not that I'm inviting groinkicks ...

Vava said...

My wife is scared of running on a trail near our house, and I wish there was something I could do to make her more comfortable when we can't run together (unfortunately, with two little kids, solo runs are the status quo). She is not the pepper spray kind, but I'll ask... I have no idea what can and should be done to allow people to run in safety, but wish there was a solution. Even I (6'4" man who normally intimidates others without meaning to) sometimes get creeped out, so I can't imagine what those of smaller stature, and female, must feel. Good luck, stay safe, and run hard!

Big said...

I'm glad they women managed to escape unharmed. While I love the solitude of running alone, I admittedly don't worry about such things. It's sad that such precautionary measures are mandatory just to return you help ease your mind while running.

chia said...

Speaking of safety... anyone find creative ways to carry your cell phone?? I'm having a pickle of a time finding a place to shove my blackberry.

Nitmos said...

Yes, stay in a populated area or get yourself some hand held spray. And, of course, the odds are way against anything ever occurring but better safe...

bunnygirl said...

What tfh said. NEVER get in the car. The likelihood they'll shoot is slim and the likelihood they'll hit you is slimmer still. Run in a direction that will minimize the perp's ability to shoot or come after you. This would usually be in the direction the car was coming from, since they aren't likely to shoot over their back seat and they would have to turn the car around to drive after you, thus giving you a head start.

If you carry pepper spray, be sure to practice with it! I bought some recently because of dangerous feral dogs in the neighborhood and even though I thought I was upwind and being cautious, I still got a little blowback on the cayenne and had to go inside the house and put Benadryl on my face.

Be careful out there!

Danica said...

Good call on the pepper spray. Way to call attention to the safety of running.

Steve Stenzel said...

WOW! Be safe out there!!!

Emma Steinfeld said...

As much as I hate to say it because I know how much walkers and runners love the company of music (myself included), earphones are not a great idea because they inhibit your ability hear what's going on around you (cars or footsteps approaching from behind), sirens, horns, or even people just calling out "passing on your left."

Stay alert and keep some kind of weapon (pepper spray, stun gun, knife, collapsible/expanding baton, etc.) with you. Chances are you won't need it, but, you know, better safe than sorry.

RazZDoodle said...

wow. Hope they catch the people and soon. Keep your head up and be careful!

webbjray said...

I would recommend the Asp Key Defender. It was recommended to me by several cops because it's compact and unlike cans of pepper spray you can't accidentally spray yourself in the face. You can keep it on a keychain or just carry it while running. I bought one for my mom and sister.

Stay safe.