Gut Feeling

I am a retired lieutenant with the County Sheriff’s Department…

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I am a retired lieutenant with the County Sheriff’s Department in a town in Georgia. During my 21 years of law enforcement there have been times when my instincts have told me to do something that I would have thought to be out of the ordinary, but each time I have followed my instincts and each time the reason has been revealed to me.

Many people have told me over the years that your instincts will never betray you or cause you any harm. That “gut feeling” is like your silent partner. It’s always watching out for you and it will never steer you wrong.

Keeping that in mind, one cold, rainy night in January I was coming home from my girlfriend’s house. When I got to the security gate at my townhouse, suddenly my instincts told me to back my car into my parking space instead of driving straight in. I couldn’t understand it at the moment, but as I came up to my parking space, my arms seemed to have a mind of their own and I found myself spinning the steering wheel around to back in. As I wheeled around to back in, my headlights caught a figure coming across the parking lot toward my car. I could see it was a male, dressed in all black, a hooded jacket over his head, and both hands in his pockets.

As he got closer to my car, I reached into my inside-the-pants-holster and retrieved my pistol and laid it across my lap. As the man got closer to my car, I put the window down just a crack and asked, “What do you want, man?” He sheepishly inquired if I had $1.75 to loan him to catch the bus. I promptly told him I couldn’t help him. He inched closer to my car, then his eyes got big as hubcaps. He then jumped back and said, “Don’t shoot, man, I’m alright!” Then he beat a hasty retreat into the darkness. As I looked down into my lap, I saw that, from the position my car was sitting, the light from the parking lot shone directly across my lap, giving the stranger a good, clear view of my gun, a view he would not have had if I had pulled in straight like I had intended to.

Also, if I had parked straight in, this man would’ve been behind me as I parked and could’ve gotten the drop on me before I could draw my gun. I don’t know what the man’s intentions were but I do believe he was going to carjack me as soon as I parked. I found it hard to believe a stranger who didn’t live on that complex would be legitimately soliciting bus fare. Fortunately, my instincts knew ahead of time there was going to be trouble and put me in a position to protect myself. After the stranger left, I hurried into my apartment with my pistol in my hand, constantly watching to see if I saw him again. He was nowhere to be found. I didn’t bother to report this, being there was really nothing to report. The stranger did not make any attempt to commit any crime. I was just glad I had the means to protect myself if need be.

As I said before, always trust your instincts. They are your best friend. They have your best interest at heart and they will never do you wrong.
— AS, GA

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