Scary


In case you didn’t realize, throwing random crap off overpasses can seriously injure or even kill someone. That idiocy killed a woman in July 2003 who was riding in a car on Interstate 680 in Omaha — thanks to neonattack, I got enough info to find a forum post with a related article pasted in it. Very sad story.

We had a rash of that overpass-throwing going on in Johnson County, and it could still be happening. Read our brief about it here.

I’ll also include an e-mail The Gazette received from someone who actually experienced this. For the love of Peter, if you know who is doing this stuff, turn them in. Please.

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Hi,  I wasn’t sure where to send this request, so I am hoping you can help to get some light shed on the following problem.  Very early this morning (Feb.1), at 1:45am, my husband and I were driving North on highway 218 and had just passed under the Poweshiek Road overpass when a person/person’s threw an object off of the overpass into the windshield of our van.  We saw people on the overpass, but it was dark, so we could not tell if they were kids or adults.  Everything happened so quickly.  Luckily no one was seriously injured, aside from being sprayed with pieces of shattered glass from the impact of the object hitting our windshield, which was heavily damaged.  The Johnson county sheriff eventually arrived on the scene and told us this was the 3rd or 4th time in the last couple of weeks that this has happened in the same area where we were at.  We went back to the scene this morning.  While we didn’t find any possible items that could have been dropped to the highway below, we did find about 40 paint balls laying around….who knows what they were doing with those.  Exactly what are people thinking when they do something like this??  Someone is going to get killed…even the sheriff said that.  If this is something that has happened on several different occasions, can some light be shed on the situation to make people more aware that they need to drive with extra caution in that area?  Or maybe the police can step up patrol in that area?  Our situation could have had a much more tragic ending than it did…we were lucky.  Someone else might not be.

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I got an e-mail from a coworker, who got an e-mail from a friend, who got a bunch of e-mails from women who wanted everyone to know to be careful because people have tried to get in the passenger side of their cars.

I’ll leave you with a few of the tales (these weren’t reported to police, fyi), and just a reminder to stay alert to your surrounds. Also, lock your doors as soon as you get in your car. I’ve been saved a few times that way, myself:

Yes,  a couple weeks ago I stopped at the ATM machine by the Spring House off Center  Point Rd. (my new car automatically locks the doors when I get in and put it  into drive) Thanks goodness! A young African American male came up from the  apartment side of the driveway and tried to get into my passenger side of the  car. He pulled on the door and then banged on my window to let him  in. I was close enough to the ATM machine that I didn’t feel that he would come around to the other side  but I still panic a bit. SCARY!!!!

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I had just been in Kmart across from Lindale Mall,  and I just got into my car & started it. when this guy (a black  male, about 35 yrs old, about 5’8) ran up to my car & got right up against the passenger’s side door  & tried to get in! He was telling  me to open the door, and I couldn’t see if he was pulling on the door  handles, but I’m assuming he was. Luckily, my doors lock automatically  when I put it into gear, because when this happened, everything went into slow motion & I got really flustered & couldn’t find the lock… So anyway, I couldn’t drive forward, because I was blocked by cars, so he just stayed there trying to get in & trying to get me to open the door. Finally I got a break in cars, and moved forward & he followed me for a bit, but  then ran away. I was parked far out in the parking lot, that last car in the line, so that probably wasn’t a great idea, and something I’ll never do again when I’m shopping alone.

So- I have no idea if this guy wanted to rob me, ask me for money, ask for a ride, or if this was his weird way of trying to hit on me? No clue what this was, or what could have happened, if anything, but I’m just glad nothing happened and I’m glad it didn’t end up as a news story.

But, it was scary! I was really shaken up about it. It just left me feeling less safe. I’ve never really had something that bizarre happen to me in CR. So, I want all my girlfriends to be extra careful when they’re out shopping alone this Christmas season, or anytime! Because you just NEVER know!

The story of poor Tara Sloan is enough to make me never want to date again.

The 29-year-old Cedar Rapids woman was called, e-mailed, text messaged and otherwise harrassed by her ex-boyfriend, Guy F. McDonald of Platte City, Mo., dozens of times between July and September, Cedar Rapids Police investigator Justin DeMoss reported in court documents. Several of the 42-year-old man’s e-mails detailed some of her daily activities, like receiving a massage, visiting a hair salon and having a doctor’s appointment. Two warrants were issued for his arrest, but he never came to Cedar Rapids to have them served on him.

Around 11:30 p.m. Oct. 18, though, McDonald’s harrassment of Sloan took a sinister turn. Police were called to Sloan’s house at 3622 E Ave. NW because he was trying to break down her front door.

Sloan and her boyfriend, Dane Harris, told police they were inside the house when they started hearing the doorknob jiggling. McDonald had a key and unlocked the door, but was stopped by a chain lock. Harris confronted the man with a baseball bat and tackled him in the front yard, holding him there until police arrived.

In McDonald’s car, police found a gun, ammunition, duct tape, a police scanner, flashlights, gloves, a spotting scope, binoculars, computer printouts, a GPS and a digital camera. You can just imagine what he was planning to do. Now THAT’S scary.

Police are examining two flash drives found in the man’s pocket, as well as the camera and his cell phone, for evidence of stalking to see if more charges can be filed.

There is a man, whose name I don’t have, who’s been creepin’ all over town.

I got this e-mail from an editor, who got it today from an observant reader:

We have several SE side parents in our department and we got to discussing the guy known by Washington High School students as the “creeper.” He’s a man in his 20s with his face painted white, wearing a long black trench coat.

 

 Apparently he was hanging around Washington this week when several teams were practicing. The story goes that he eventually yelled at security “I’m going to kill you,” and he was taken down. Police were called and he was taken away.

 

 This, of course, is all second hand. I will say that I saw him loitering at a strip mall on Collins Road Sunday, staring into cell phone store. I drove by an hour later, and he was still there. This week I spotted him walking across the Rockwell Collins parking lot.Kind of a scary Halloween story.

 

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The Cedar Rapids Police Department agrees. Sgt. Brian Been said Thursday that their officers are aware that this guy is hanging around, although he was not arrested — he WAS given a warning that if he is found trespassing near Washington again he will be arrested. He said the man hasn’t done anything except be creepy, basically.

“Halloween really brings the characters out,” Been joked. Let’s just hope “The Creeper” stops being so creepy soon…