Esther 4:14b

"...and who knows whether you have not attained royalty for such a time as this."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Johnny Get Your Gun

Hubby and I closed on our house on August 28th! Woohoo!! We're now officially the owners of a house needing a lot of work in a city that needs a rebirth.

My parents came out for Labor Day weekend to help us, and the boys immediately got to work on getting all the moldy stuff torn out of the basement and mom and I set out to clean, scrape paint off spindles, and jot down all the floor plan dimensions.

The neighbors are fantastic. We had so many people stopping by just to say hello and they were loaning us tools and coming over on their day off to spend hours helping us on the house. It was so great. We even got invited to the neighborhood pool party on Saturday night at this gorgeous house!

The only downside to the whole weekend was that we learned that while our neighborhood is great and the houses are beautiful and well protected, this also makes the neighborhood a target for crime from the less desirable areas around us. Case in point:

On Friday the 29th we were having our dumpster delivered so my dad & hubby would have a place to put all of the moldy items they were pulling out of the basement. In order to do this, we had to dismantle the fence off the alley in the backyard so the truck could get in there. Well, later that afternoon, my dad decided to go back out and start putting the fence back up so we would be able to park our car in there at night and lock it up. A neighbor across the alley from us loaned Dad a shovel and told Dad to just leave it on his back porch and shut his gate when he was done.

At about 4pm, my Dad finished and was walking over to return the shovel. As he was coming out of the gate, this nice Mercury Marquis starts backing up slowly down the alley towards him. Seeing how he met some of our super friendly neighbors earlier, Dad just assumed this was someone else wondering who this stranger was coming out of so-and-so's yard. Well, when he saw the gun pointing out the window at him, he quickly realized this was an armed robbery and he was the victim! They asked for his wallet and he told them he didn't have one, but he handed them the thing that held his driver's license and credit cards. The kid got in the car and passed this on to the driver. The kid then gets back out of the car, points the gun at my dad again and starts circling my dad while patting him down, looking for his wallet. When he realizes my dad really doesn't have a wallet on him, he demands his cellphone. So, Dad gives them that, the kid gets back in the car, and they drive off throwing my dad's license and credit cards out the window as they leave. He quickly picks it up and makes a dash for our backyard.

Hubby & I are upstairs trying to call the gas company so they can connect the gas and we can take hot showers instead of cold (which never did happen for the whole weekend by the way!) when we hear my Dad start yelling for us. At first we thought he was just joking about the asbestos in the basement or something, but then he tells us his story and I look at his cellphone holder on his hip and realize it really is empty and I yell for hubs to call 911. It was so surreal.

After we call 911, we call the neighborhood "Flashlight Mob" coordinator (now we know why they have one of those!) who gets the neighborhood security guy there ASAP. Good thing he got their fast because it took the cops an hour to respond to an armed robbery! Turns out the security guy saw the car parked in the neighborhood earlier in the day and wrote down the license plate number because it was a car he hadn't seen in the neighborhood before.

The cops finally arrived and they said they got the call 15 minutes before they got there and they were mad when they found out we had called it in 45 minutes before they got the call. As they're calling in my dad's description of the car, we hear back over their radio that they kids stole the car earlier in the day and that in addition to my Dad, they also robbed someone else. Thankfully, two hours later, the cops come back by to let us know that they found the car and caught the kid (we don't know if they caught both of them, or just the one that had the gun) and asked my Dad to come to the police station that night to identify the kid.

So, we go to the station that night and learn that they probably have my dad's cellphone in evidence, they take his story again, and they ask us to come back the next night. Needless to say, the three of us (Mom wasn't in town yet because she was working a trip still) didn't sleep that soundly that night as we kept hearing strange noises.

The next night we go back to the police station and my Dad identifies the kid in a photo lineup and i.d.'s the car and the kid's clothes. Then we learn the crazy way of the courts in this city. That is, if my dad doesn't return to court this week and identify the kid in court, the kid walks. How crazy is that? They catch the kid in a stolen car (the one my dad identified nonetheless), with my dad's cellphone, and my dad id's the kid in a photo lineup, but if he doesn't purchase another airline ticket, get a hotel, and take time off work to go back to court, the kid walks! I have never heard of a more messed up judicial system in my life!!

Anyway...the good news is that my Dad is safe and still here with us. It could have been an entirely different ending to this story. Hubby & I have signed up for our gun permits and are starting to look at handguns.

For those of you who know me personally, though, please don't let this story discourage you from visiting us because this was a random act of violence. We just learned that we won't be living in the country anymore and need to be a little more on guard. There are other crimes in the neighborhood...and these crooks have guts (as we saw another one in broad daylight trying to steal a car from across the street while 6 of us were outside working on our house)...but we learned to sleep soundly by the last couple nights once the home security system was hooked up.

Most importantly, we are still feeling God is calling us to this place. All this event did was open our eyes to how much this city needs hope. We're praying that God will open our eyes and prepare our path to be his hands and his feet to those desperately needing Him in this city.

Pictures of all our work will come in a future post.


  1. Wow! It sounds like quite the adventure. I can't wait to see pics of all your work!

  2. That is crazy! I can't imagine how shocked your dad must have been. Thank God he is okay. I have to ask, is he staying for the trial? That's real nice, he has to take time off work, pay for a ticket and he was the one who was robbed! It can only get better...

  3.'s a crazy system. I guess all the crooks should just hang out by the motels since people most likely won't comeback to put them away.

    My dad is planning on going back whenever the cops call and say the trial date is set. Hopefully he'll be able to get off work and find a ticket and all that stuff.

  4. Is your new house in Washington DC because that totally sounds like something that would happen here! I hope you are doing well and I like keeping up with you on your blog! Check out Hannah's blog if you haven't already.

  5. Brie,

    Yikes! As if you didn't have enough going on already!

    Can't wait to see pix of the house.


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