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Should I have called the police?

(110 Posts)
FluffyPingPong Tue 05-Aug-14 12:50:51

Apologies in advance - long post!
I spent the day in Bristol yesterday, a totally unfamiliar place to me. Husband had a work meeting, it's a few hours drive away but as I am on maternity leave with 10month old, thought I would tag along and have a browse around the shops.
Time was getting on and at about 5 o'clock I was in a small shopping mall on the top floor with not many people around. I went to get the lift down to the ground floor (had buggy so couldn't take the escalator). As I was waiting I became aware of man standing behind me but thought nothing of it. Lift opened & 2 women with 3 children got out... They realised they were on the wrong floor so got back in again. I could have squeezed in with the buggy but didn't want to be like sardines so thought I'd just wait. I turned to the man behind me and said "I don't think I'll fit with the buggy, but you can go ahead" to which he replied that he would wait, and said some remark about ending up on the roof or something that I didn't quite catch. I didn't really think anything of it at the time, but looking back now it seems clear he wanted to get in the lift with me alone. As I was waiting for the lift to come back up I took out my phone and was text a friend. When I put it back in my bag he took a step towards me and asked "did you take a good selfie?", I was a bit confused and said "sorry?". To which he relied "did you take a selfie? On your phone?". I said "oh no. I was texting my husband" and then pressed the lift button again, thinking that would make it clear I wasn't interested in conversation. He then continued to try to talk to me asking if I ever took selfies, and I just shrugged, shook my head, and looked the other way feeling very uncomfortable. I should point out here that he seemed like a presentable man, probably mid 50's, but something about him just didn't sit right with me. I am only 24, and with a baby in an unfamiliar city, there was nobody else around and the time and I suddenly felt very vulnerable.
Luckily the lift came then, so there were no more awkward selfie questions. Then I had a horrible feeling in my gut that I shouldn't get in the lift alone with this man. I did not want to be rude, and simply said "you can take this one, I'll wait for the next" was this unreasonable?
He said "don't be silly, get in, I'm right behind you" to which I replied "honestly I'd rather wait for the next one, you can take this"
And the then said "why?!" in an aggressive tone. Before I had a chance to answer he said "fine I'll take the f***ing stairs you little b*tch" and began to walk away, turning around to shout at the top of his lungs "f***ing stupid little f***ing b*tch!!!"
I should also point out that there were no stairs, it was escalators which were about 10 metres away. I broke down crying as I was absolutely terrified to get in the lift incase he was waiting for me at the bottom. I've been unnerved ever since and didn't sleep very well last night as I couldn't stop thinking about it.
I keep re-playing it in my head, feeling like it's my fault for being rude and refusing to get in the lift with him, which caused him to react the way he did. But then I question whether he was lurking there to get in the lift with me alone so he could attack me and was angered when his plan failed. Am I being a drama queen? I'm worried that I should have reported it to the police in case he was being predatory and went on to attack a different woman? What do you all think? Should I ring the police? Or is it now too late?

Vitalstatistix Tue 05-Aug-14 12:52:42

It's never too late.

I think your instincts were good.

I'm sorry that you had such a fright. xx

FluffyPingPong Tue 05-Aug-14 12:54:13

I'm just worried about wasting police time incase he was a perfectly innocent man who just wanted friendly albeit a bit weird conversation?

Vitalstatistix Tue 05-Aug-14 12:55:19

oh - and it was NOT your fault.

His aggression was ridiculous and not caused by you.

Vitalstatistix Tue 05-Aug-14 12:56:47

Well he didn't, did he. He was verbally abusive and you felt at risk.

The police won't think that you are wasting their time. They are there for things like this.

Possibly it's just a bloke who was being a twat.

Possibly it's a piece of a puzzle.

You should never feel that you can't report something that has upset and frightened you.

thornrose Tue 05-Aug-14 12:56:50

First of all, it was NOT your fault. You were NOT rude and you didn't cause him to react that way. thanks

I think you were very wise to follow your instincts and not get in the lift with him. The way he reacted confirmed that.

OnGoldenPond Tue 05-Aug-14 12:57:14

It's definitely odd behaviour and I would report it in case there have been other incidents. On its own there us not enough for them to speak to this man, but there may have been other more serious incidents you don't know about.

Hope you are feeling a bit better now. You are not being silly this must have been very upsetting hmm

thornrose Tue 05-Aug-14 12:58:42

A perfectly innocent man would not have reacted like this! He became verbally aggressive when he was rebuffed.

mignonette Tue 05-Aug-14 12:59:29

Hi Fluffy

Advice from the late and great Diana Lamplugh whose seminar on personal safety I once attended-

Never ignore your instincts for they are what keeps living creatures alive. Humans have evolved to the point where we think we do not need these 'primitive' harbingers of threat. We do and whenever I meet somebody who reports having had something unfortunate happen to them, then more often or not they mention having had a 'funny feeling' which they overrode"

I, myself, would report because this person may or may not have had maleficent intentions and this may not be an isolated event for him.

Well done for following your instincts and how frightening for you to have experienced this.

puntasticusername Tue 05-Aug-14 12:59:31

Eek. He sounds like a proper creep. Definitely report it to the police. I doubt they'll think you're wasting their time and even if they do, personally I'd rather report it and wish I hadn't, than not report it and later have some reason to wish I HAD IYSWIM.

AnAirOfHope82 Tue 05-Aug-14 13:00:41

Ring 101 and report it so they are aware in case something happens in the future or has happened.

Good instincts and good on you for listening to them. You did everything right (((hugs)))

OhYouBadBadKitten Tue 05-Aug-14 13:01:15

Good listening to your instincts. You did very very well.
I would call the police on the non emergency number, it wouldn't be a waste of time.

Nicola19 Tue 05-Aug-14 13:03:43

Definitely report. CCTV will be everywhere in the mall. He has not committed a crime of course but it might be of accumulative interest to someone, so do report.

SaucyJack Tue 05-Aug-14 13:05:39

He wasn't perfectly innocent or friendly. I don't know how likely it was that he was going to attack you- I find it rather more likely like he was the sort of arsehole who thinks young women exist purely to entertainment. IM(unfortunate)E there are a significant amount of men out there who become sneery and aggressive once you make it clear you're not interested in their "friendly" conversation.

mignonette Tue 05-Aug-14 13:06:16

Also the police do maintain awareness of local people and if for example he did have MH issues or some antisocial problems (disinhibition or other symptoms can manifest aggressively in a few people) they can warn his care team (if he has one) that he needs some attention.

They may well be aware of other reports of antisocial approaches to women so will welcome your report to add to their bigger pciture.

WhoDaresWins Tue 05-Aug-14 13:06:47

You should congratulate yourself - your instincts are functioning correctly, and most importantly, you were confident enough to act on them. How many people would've got into the lift out of politeness?

Do the police have email? I always feel that means they can get back to you in their own time, depending on how important they think it is, and you feel less like you're clogging up their phone lines unnecessarily.

TheFairyCaravan Tue 05-Aug-14 13:06:57

Aww you poor thing. He was the one at fault, not you.

Ring 101 and let them know what happened.

I'm disabled and walk with sticks but am too scared to go in a lift on my own! I went out with DS2 on Friday, I had to leave him somewhere on the first floor, but rather the risk the lift I hobbled down the stairs. blush completely daft I know!

Fairenuff Tue 05-Aug-14 13:13:26

The man become aggressive because you wouldn't get in a lift with him.

You absolutely did the right thing OP. Good instincts and well done on listening to them.

Do report, much of it will be on cctv and he might be known to them already.

tweetypot Tue 05-Aug-14 13:14:09

I would definitely report it to the police via 101. They may be aware of him already in the neighbourhood if he has mental health issues and it's best they are fully informed.

LittleMisslikestobebythesea Tue 05-Aug-14 13:16:19

Just remember you didn't do anything wrong. He was very rude and you were right to follow your gut.

Please do report it, he was verbally abusive to you and there was no need for his behaviour.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 05-Aug-14 13:16:59

Yes absolutely let them know. Plus it may help you sleep at night.

wrapsuperstar Tue 05-Aug-14 13:18:37

Ugh, hideous, creepy, nasty man. Huge well done to you for taking your instincts seriously. You were more polite than his weird, intrusive behaviour merited and you did not deserve to be verbally abused for not doing what he wanted!

Please don't blame yourself for not being 'friendly enough' to a complete stranger who crossed boundaries and then got aggressive when you didn't play along. It's not too late to log this. Hope you aren't too shaken. flowers

greenfolder Tue 05-Aug-14 13:19:05

gut instincts are there for a reason. you should always listen to them. i think I would have "forgotten something" and walked round the block. it might be worth calling the police now- no harm done if you do and they dont do anything with it.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 05-Aug-14 13:19:10

Any 'normal' man would not have stood behind you, not have tried to engage you in conversation about 'selfies', and would have gone down the escalator and definitely would have appreciated you not getting in a lift with him.

Aeroflotgirl Tue 05-Aug-14 13:19:35

Yanbu at all always trust your instincts, they were right. I would rather be rude and safe, then put myself at risk just to be polite. An innocent man would not have reacted that way, I would call 101.

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