Tis true. It's been almost 2 years since that wretched night. I'm really surprised I haven't already shared this story on here. I think the trauma got to me and I was too scared to really talk about it then. But it's time to tell my grand story. Gather round....
Almost 2 years ago, my sister's family and my mom decided to make a surprise visit to Utah. My sister spent most of the time with her in laws around SLC, so I got to spend lots of time with my mom. One night my mom and I decided we wanted to hit up IHOP for a late dinner. We were seated towards the back next to the restrooms. Keep in mind that it's cold, snowy winter weather. About half way through our meal, I noticed someone (with a huge puffy jacket pulled up over there mouth, and a beanie on), walk past us towards the restrooms.
Thinking how creepy that person was, because I had no idea if it was a man, woman, or teenager, and I couldn't see their face. As soon as they walked past me, I never thought anything of them again.
We finished our dinner and right before we left, I decided to use the restroom. Let me draw you a mental picture real quick. There are two stalls in the ladies room. One handicap stall, and a regular stall. They sit in an L shape. I walk to the bigger, handicap stall but realize it's locked. Not hearing anyone when I came into the restroom, I was a little curious and peeked to see if I could see her feet. Nothing but a glove and some papers. hmmm....ok. Went into the next stall. Well just as I'm doin my thang, the creepy, jacket and beanie wearing MAN starts sliding on the floor, out from under his stall, and under mine! As soon as he makes eye contact with me, he immediately starts sliding back through his stall. (I'm getting incredibly shaky and nervous just typing this, FYI)
I've always thought to myself that if I were in a self-defense type of situation, I would do this move or do that move to get away or injure the other person. I was in shear shock. I could barely move. I quickly ran out of the restroom and back to our table. I was in such shock, that for a moment I second guessed if it was actually a man. I thought maybe it was a younger boy or something...??? I told my mom I wanted to leave right away. When she asked me why, I told her someone had tried to peak/come into my stall. When she asked me who, I had nothing to say. And then he walked out of the restroom, passes us, and heads towards the door. As if nothing ever happened. After telling my mom that was him who just walked by, she turned on her super mom mode and ran after the creep. He denied he ever did it, and had no idea he was in the ladies room. He walked away! Just strolled on down main street!
We got in our car to head home and I called the police. It was amazing to see the cops show up in less than 2 minutes. Dogs and all. It wasn't until I got home that I cracked like an egg. It was completely terrifying.
A little while later I was subpoenaed to his hearing. That was also completely horrifying, being in the same room with him as he's shackled up with a bunch of other crazy inmates. Some of the little details were left out, so I made sure to let the judge know. I'm really glad I went (with Straton of course) and let my voice be heard. Two officers on that case who were there when they arrested him, talked to me outside the court room and thanked me for actually showing up. Apparently most of the victims don't show up. The officers were really comforting and really stuck up for me.
He was put away in jail for a little while. And you know what's even more disgusting? He was a registered sex offender at the age of 11. 11 years old!! Sad world....
So there's my story. I learned a lot from that incident. I still have a hard time being in a public restroom by myself. I actually came close to tears when I went into an empty, 2 stall restroom and found one of the stalls locked.
Although it was a scary experience, I'm actually really thankful it happened to me. Who knows what would have happened had it been a little girl!