Social Question

MissAusten's avatar

What would you do if, late at night, you heard a scream somewhere outside your home?

Asked by MissAusten (16052 points ) August 20th, 2009

A few minutes ago, I was sitting in the living room near an open window and heard someone scream outside. Not in my yard, but down the street. Two screams, and then nothing else. I’m here alone with the kids in bed, so I’m not about to go investigate (it’s almost 11:30 pm). Would you call the police? Brush it off as kids goofing around? We do live near the high school, and school hasn’t started yet so older kids could be running around still.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

42 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It doesn’t seem like it would hurt to call the Desk Sgt at the local precinct (as opposed to 911) and just tell her or him what you heard.

eponymoushipster's avatar

was it a “fun” scream or a “someone’s stabbing my head” scream?

mistered's avatar

CALL THE POLICE

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

If you’re concerned, call the police.
Don’t be one of those who heard a woman being assaulted and did nothing .

Likeradar's avatar

I don’t know what I would do but what a person should do is call the police. Call the police!!! Tell them exactly the situation. If it’s nothing, no worries. But you could be really helping someone.

jonsblond's avatar

You could call the police. The worst that could happen is some children being told to go home because it’s past curfew. The best… you saved someone.

gailcalled's avatar

Here, it is usually a coyote or owl eating a rabbit. Not very pleasant, but if the sounds were human, I too would call the cops.

MissAusten's avatar

I don’t know what kind of scream it was—it sort of shocked me, made my heart pound a bit, woke my five year old up, and after I changed him (wet sheets), I finally had a chance to think about it.

It’s not unusual for us to hear kids messing around at night. But, I’ll call the police so they can at least send someone by. I think I try too hard not to be paranoid.

Likeradar's avatar

@MissAusten Good job. :) Let us know what happens, if you find anything out.

YARNLADY's avatar

We have a “non-emergency” number to reach the police, and I have often used it when I hear what sounds like gun shots on the block. They sometimes drive by just in case.

MissAusten's avatar

OK, I called and they said they would send an officer by. I doubt they’ll get back to me. I sure hope they don’t stop by my house because I’m in my pjs.

dpworkin's avatar

Good going.

MissAusten's avatar

This is so funny—the cops actually came here to tell me what had happened. Apparently, there was a maintence man at the nearby school, and he fell down a flight of stairs. He was screaming for the other maintence guy to come and help him. He’s fine, but that’s what the commotion was.

I hope the cops didn’t tell him that someone called to say they heard a girl screaming. He must be feeling rather embarassed right now.

jonsblond's avatar

@MissAusten You are a good neighbor! Just think what would have happened if he was the only person there and nobody called for help. :)

Likeradar's avatar

@MissAusten You did the right thing. :) The maintenance man must be happy to know that someone will be looking out for him on the nights he’s there alone.

YARNLADY's avatar

Thank you for the update.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@MissAusten way to go, it never hurts to be overly paranoid or to think that maybe some one needs help. Better to be sure than to assume anything in this day and age.

augustlan's avatar

Way to go!

Jack79's avatar

Generally I’d like to check it out. This has happened twice so far (not including the thousands of times I’ve heard kids obviously goofinfg around as you describe, or drunken tourists fighting under my window).

The first time we were on a trip with many young kids, which were all supposed to be in bed, and we heard a girl scream and ran out with flashlights to see what it was, fearing for the worst. We never found anyone or anything, and assume it was just some of our own kids that had sneaked out a window and did it as a joke, then sneaked in again.

The second time was recently, and I still don’t know if it was for real. I was with my mother in hospital, on the 4th floor, and there was a guy calling for help down in the street. It sounded very dramatic, but perhaps too dramatic, he was saying things like “please don’t kill me! no! no! don’t shoot!”. I looked out the window, but couldn’t see anything, and I was too far to get there on time anyway. My guess is that he was also just fooling around with some friends.

Glad it was nothing bad in this case MissAusten.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I would be glad it wasn’t coming from inside the home as usual. Toddlers.

XOIIO's avatar

i would pjone the police, then, after grabbing my biggest knife or baseball bat ( aluminum of course) and my 35 led high intensity flashlight and go out to see whats happening. if someone is being attacked they need all the help they can get, and id go beat the heck out of that rapist/ murderer/ mugger/ you.

cheebdragon's avatar

Honestly? I probably wouldn’t do anything.

CMaz's avatar

Take my gun out from under my bed and investigate.

wundayatta's avatar

Screams? Gunshots? Teenagers? Murders? Thefts? Prostitution? Manhunts ending in my back yard?

Boy, my block has had everything over the last twenty years or so. And it’s one of the nicer blocks in my part of the city.

The manhunt, btw, had over 50 police cars and several ambulances and fire engines participating. I went out, afterwards, to see what the fuss was about, and counted 25 police cars just at one end of my block. I’m guessing there were at least that many at the other end of the block. The guy crashed into something a couple blocks away, and got out and ran. My daughter says she saw him run right past our dining room window. Police followed. Flowers were stomped on. Passive voice was employed.

Blondesjon's avatar

I’d wonder who unlocked my dungeo…er…storm cellar.

CMaz's avatar

Wow, over 50 police cars and several ambulances and fire engines participating?

That is about right in my town, when you get pulled over for going 5 miles an hour over the speeding limit.

XOIIO's avatar

5 miles an hour over the speed limit is enough to send a little old lady on a walker around 20 feet, trust me.

cheebdragon's avatar

@daloon we must have been neighbors.

wundayatta's avatar

I guess this kind of thing is much more common that one would hope.

MissAusten's avatar

When I was a kid, we lived in a very quiet, close-knit neighborhood. Our house was at the circle end of a cul-de-sac. I remember one day, when I was in grade school, my brother and I were playing in the yard with some other kids when we heard a lot of yelling at the end of the street. We stood there and stared as this teenager from down the street came sprinting up the sidewalk, closely followed by a police officer. The kid made it to the end of the cul-de-sac before the officer tackled him, cuffed him, and dragged him away. My brother and I must have looked so funny, standing there with our mouths hanging open. I guess they’d gone to his house to arrest him for something (my mom never told us what), and he ran for it.

Stuff happens everywhere, I guess.

mattbrowne's avatar

I would wait for a second scream and make a decision then.

MissAusten's avatar

@mattbrowne There actually were two screams, separated by about three seconds. Even now that I know what happened to cause the screams, remembering what they sounded like creeps me out.

mattbrowne's avatar

@MissAusten – Hmm… how about waiting for 2 screams which are at least 15 seconds apart?

MissAusten's avatar

Next time it happens, I’ll get out my stopwatch. ;)

mattbrowne's avatar

I just love numbers… can’t help it ;-)

XOIIO's avatar

@MissAusten what caused the screams?

MissAusten's avatar

@XOIIO I can’t tell you. It’s a matter of national security. Or you could scroll up a bit to find out, just don’t tell the CIA I talked.

XOIIO's avatar

you mean this?

When I was a kid, we lived in a very quiet, close-knit neighborhood. Our house was at the circle end of a cul-de-sac. I remember one day, when I was in grade school, my brother and I were playing in the yard with some other kids when we heard a lot of yelling at the end of the street. We stood there and stared as this teenager from down the street came sprinting up the sidewalk, closely followed by a police officer. The kid made it to the end of the cul-de-sac before the officer tackled him, cuffed him, and dragged him away. My brother and I must have looked so funny, standing there with our mouths hanging open. I guess they’d gone to his house to arrest him for something (my mom never told us what), and he ran for it.

Stuff happens everywhere, I guess.

Because i can’t see anything else.

MissAusten's avatar

No…this:

This is so funny—the cops actually came here to tell me what had happened. Apparently, there was a maintence man at the nearby school, and he fell down a flight of stairs. He was screaming for the other maintence guy to come and help him. He’s fine, but that’s what the commotion was.

It was a little farther up!

XOIIO's avatar

Oh OK LOL thats funny!

Meanwhile…

Hello…. KGB? I haff some invormation forrr you…

smile1's avatar

thats funny what actually happened.

normally, if im not alone, and hear some scream, I would go with my buddy out to see what happened. and if i dont find anything, i would go back inside, lock my doors and call 911.

if im alone, i would lock my doors and call 911 or that “non-emergency” phone number that my community supposedly has which i really dont know if we do haha

smile1's avatar

and of course, in your case, if youre with kids, stay home, keep them safe and call the police!

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther