General Question

nebule's avatar

Would like advice on a potential stalker problem...

Asked by nebule (16439points) July 14th, 2009

I am being totally serious here…

Recently I’ve started trying to lose weight and therefore have started to go for walks with my son ( who is 2 and half) about 8am just round the back country roads near my house. (I live in a small town of about 40,000 people, very near the countryside!).

One morning a car pulled up and it was chap i used to know from a distance when I was drinking in the pubs years ago, He’s probably in his late fifties, early sixties, He was always very quiet and drank with his wife and used to say a courteous hello when he saw me but nothing more.

Anyway, he pulled up in his car and started talking to me, asking me how I was, asking about the “littlun” (my boy)..“he’s growing up isn’t he!” type of thing…

The next time he pulled up was a few days later and I asked him if he was off to work and he said that he was retired now…so no…We exchange the general pleasantries and he went on his way. Anyway… that was that. I’ve seen him a couple of other times too once where has pulled up and talked to me and another where he was on a main road so just drove past and beeped his horn.

ANYWAY: this morning, I was walking back form dropping my son off at nursery and he pulled up next to me even though I was on the other side of the road, didn’t say anything, just handed me a yellow boiled sweet…and then drove off….

Now don’t you think that’s a BIT weird??? That’s like five time now that he’s “bumped” into me and then to hand me a sweet??? Whether it was intended for me or my son…I’m not sure but either way… hmmmm

Or am I just being silly and over-protective and paranoid. He just gives me the creeps… It’s not like he used to be friendly… (incidentally I had a boyfriend back then who I used to drink with…) I don’t know… Over to you…

sorry it’s so long! thanks for reading if you managed to get through it all!

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29 Answers

RandomMrdan's avatar

creeeeeepy. I’d suggest just switching up your walking schedule…hopefully he won’t bump into you as often if you do that.

Or you can simply ask him how’s the wife at home, or the miss’ or however you want to phrase it. Maybe he’ll get the hint or something, that you think he’s coming across as hitting on you. Lets just hope they’re still together (ha)

Whether the yellow boiled sweet was for you, or your son…it’s kind of weird.

Saturated_Brain's avatar

You could always try being upfront about it. Of course I can see how awkward that would be. Maybe the subtle hints will work..

nebule's avatar

yes I think so too… good idea about the change of walking…will definitely do that (and that shouldn’t be too difficult either as my son is on his summer holidays from next week so we won’t be going for walks that early…

and I like the idea of asking about his wife too!! good point!...but I have to say I haven’t seen her for a while.. we used to work together in one of the local shops… will have to check that out…

nebule's avatar

@Saturated_Brain yes, I’m a bit feeble in that respect… I mean…I took the sweet off him, when all I wanted to do was say “urr…NO thanks!” I’m so pathetic… time to go and find some balls perhaps!

Saturated_Brain's avatar

Next time he offers you anything, reject it until you’re sure of what it means. And if you must take it, just say something along the lines of, “Thanks, (insert your child’s name here) will love this so much!” Then see his reaction.

RandomMrdan's avatar

@Saturated_Brain haha, nice I like that suggestion…good one.

Lupin's avatar

It could be the guy is just lonely but if his actions creep you out then you have to do something.
1) Walk a different place or skip it for a day. If he mentions he missed you or where you were, casually mention doing something with a boyfriend. (true or not)
2) Also you can comment on the sweet by saying kidding about how far you’d have to walk to loose that many calories. After all, you did say you were trying to reduce. Say “My friend and I will split it.”

Jack79's avatar

Yeah well he’s probably a stalker in the sense that he doesn’t have anything better to do with his time and likes watching people, and maybe he likes you and tries to “bump into” you. But the way you describe it, it doesn’t sound as if he’ll be tapping your phone or creeping into your bedroom in the middle of the night to watch you snore.

He probably does like you, but then again who wouldn’t? ;) but he doesn’t sound dangerous. I can imagine that he could get annoying though, had a girl “stalking” me like that once, she always used to show up wherever I went and it just got on my nerves, that’s all. In the end I’d just have to hide when I saw her coming.

You could always tell him that you’ve got a boyfriend ;)

basp's avatar

Like others have said….....I’d switch up your walking routine. Steer clear from him. Sometimes it pays to listen to your gut.

nebule's avatar

thanks all x will definitely take your advice on-board..

@Jack79 you cutie! ;-) x

MacBean's avatar

I have nothing constructive to add to the advice, because everyone else has said what I would have. I just wanted to say that “a small town of about 40,000 people” made me laugh. The BIG town around here has a population of less than 4,500.

Edit: I just googled and found that the population of the ENTIRE COUNTY that I live in is, as of the 2000 census, is only 48,195. haha!

nebule's avatar

@MacBean I just googled my town too…and apparently it has only 7,600 people! hmm I’m obviously not great on estimates!

marinelife's avatar

@lynneblundell Great advice from everyone. I want to add a couple of more things. I hope the guy is harmless, but don’t fall into the nice trap. Trust your instincts. If you feel creeped out there is a reason.

Also, is there anyone in town (preferably a woman) that you trust who you could ask about this guy, and if there are any issues about him or rumors?

Finally, this may be paranoid, but what about checking registered sex offender databases to make sure he is not there? When you have a kid, you can’t be too careful.

Good luck. Keep us posted.

SirBailey's avatar

I would definitely change my walking patterns. Never take anything from him. Tell him the doctor says you can’t eat stuff like that. At some point, if his accidental rendezvous continues, confront him about it (in a joking way. He may just be a lonely old man).

Deepness's avatar

Everyone here pretty much summed up the same advice I’d give you.

I don’t know what yellow boiled sweets are but they sound pretty

gottamakeart's avatar

Start walking with a friend or even a group maybe that will intimidate him enough to stay away. I wouldn’t eat anything someone that acted strange gave me either.

This DOES sound kinda disturbung, best to discourage it before he is peeking in your window or some other wacko move.

I have been in a similar situation and actually quit my campus job and gave up studio space because of it. I had to take measures to limit contact, especially where I might be alone.

Jack79's avatar

@lynneblundell where on earth do you live? Church Stretton?

nebule's avatar

lol…It’s called Coppull, Lancashire… pop by for a brew if you fancy! although it’s a bit of a trek from Dresden…or wherever you are this week ;-)

nebule's avatar

—just realised that; that response ^^^ could look a little silly placed on this thread – all things considered…(me inviting strangers round to my house! lol) However I think we all know that Jack79 is pretty harmless… don’t we???

eeeeeek

Seriously though everyone Thank you… I told my mum about it and she told me not to be silly, and not to worry, It will be completely harmless… but you know…hopefully it is… but my instincts say…. weirdo… so I won’t take any chances…

Furthermore… I used to go into a local pub and chat with the manager, who was a lovely fellow, very friendly, very kind, honestly so nice and you wouldn’t have suspected anything… Then last year he was imprisoned for having thousands of pictures of children on his computer. So you never can tell….

Jack79's avatar

@lynneblundell I’m actually even further away than that this week I’m afraid…you think I’d be within just 1000 miles of Coppull, Lancashire and not look you up? (trying to find Coppull on the map with a magnifying glass)

Especially since the place is so small, I think the guy’s just being friendly. Which is not to say he doesn’t want to get into your pants. It’s just that he probably won’t try and force it on you unless you’re interested. And in such a small town, he’ll probably bump into you even if he doesn’t mean to.

Yes, you never can tell with some people, but I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt or else I’ll go crazy. There’s more harm in suspecting everyone than in exposing yourself to the danger of that 1% who actually are weirdos.

As for me being “pretty harmless”...lol…I’ll take that as a compliment. I actually am pretty harmless, though it’s funny you should pick me of all people as an example. I’ve spent the past year being chased around Europe by Interpol for supposedly distributing weapons, drugs and child porno, kidnapping children and beating up people. Luckily for you, it was all lies. (And luckily for me they were easy to prove).

nebule's avatar

Ok… so I went out at 11am this morning… my usual route (but because it’s a different time and a couple of weeks since I last did it…I didn’t think it would be a problem) and lo and behold I got to the same spot along my walk..which is not too far from home and his car pulled up…again! He again stuck his hand out of the window and offered me a sweet (a red one this time), so I turned around and said..“I’m alright thanks – I’m on a diet!” and he said “oh go on – they’re good for you” and then threw it at me.. (in a kind of tossing fashion!) and then drove off rather slowly… very odd indeed!

Now then:

If it was a coincidence why did he pull up at exactly the same spot as he has done several times before… this indicates to me that he knows when I leave my house…. However, he can’t possibly see my front door from his house (which is round the corner…so…odd!)

and If it was a coincidence why did he turn up at a completely different time of the day…on the same route…that I haven’t walked in weeks…on the day that I do choose to ealk that route… the odds of that have got to be pretty slim….

I’m a little freaked out….

Jack79's avatar

Ok answer to the first question is freaky-I don’t know where his house is, but it is possible he can actually see you leave through some weird angle from some back window, using binoculars or cameras or whatever.

But the second point makes me think that he’s probably just driving aimlessly all day long, with bags full of sweets which he offers to whoever passes by. Because there’s no way he would have waited there for two weeks for you to pass by.

Either case, the solution to your problem is me coming over and punching him in the mouth (assuming he’s not big and fat and doesn’t have too many teeth to start with). Or we could just walk in front of him hand in hand ;)

nebule's avatar

ooh the thought about cameras and binolulars put shivers up my spine! urgh!!

your second point doesn’t really put me at ease…the guy is still therefore a freak isn’t he…if in that case is what he is doing…

…lol…and I don’t think he was waiting there for two weeks lol!!

Which leaves me inclined to think he has got a camera….shudder shudder

anyhow you seem to have come over all protective Jack which is very sweet <blush> although he is about 6’3’’ and quite stocky, (and just to add effect: a deep booming voice too!)..but I’m not sure about the teeth… I think the hand in hand thing is a good idea though ;-)

I think I’m going to go again tomorrow morning at 10.17am to try and catch him out…!

basp's avatar

This is more than coincidence. I would alert local law enforcement.

Jack79's avatar

Are you sure there’s no way he can see you? for example on the reflection of some other neighbour’s window? If you live that close there are always some weird angles that one could see you from, and in any case I guess there are people with nothing better to do that drive around the neighbourhood.

There is this guy I ALWAYS bump into when I go to get my car. He usually parks his bike nearby, and sits there for hours on end talking to himself. No matter what time of day I go there, I always see him. This is not even a coincidence, since he spends several hours in the exact spot where I can usually find parking space.

Luckily he’s never offered me sweets though.

nebule's avatar

@basp do you really think so? my mum; when I told her the development laughed at me again… I wonder what her problem is?

@Jack79 It is possible that he could see me walk past the school railings (We both back onto a school playground and if you can imagine it…a big square..we live on adjacent sides of the square near one of the corners and a bit further up on my side the houses stop and there are railings onto the playground…that’s walking away from my (and his) house…so technically he could see me out of the back of his window walking past the railings of the school…

hmmmmm

basp's avatar

Lynne
Yes, I would notify law enforcement in a non emergency manner. Just let them know what is going on and that it makes you uncomfortable. Chances are, there will be nothng they can do based on your me report but if they continue to get other reports, this will establish a pettern and then law enforcement can act.
If it is making you uncomfortable, then it is worth reporting.

nebule's avatar

Thanks Basp x

icyflame's avatar

Maybe he keeps doing that in hopes that you would ask him to go do something with you. Why don’t you try that to set up a time for you and him to go do something of course letting people know where your going and with who, and maybe someone you know to follow you 2 everywhere you go just in case. Then you will know if he just is afraid of rejection because he likes you so much.

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