I want to share my story with you today because I feel that by sharing this story I will somehow help someone who reads it. I had read stories on the news about fake police stops and even received the chain email that warned women about it. That chain email actually moved me to read some safety tips, so it wasn’t a waste after all.
I was driving down I-95 in Georgia when I saw a marked police car driving next to me. I was driving at the speed limit and the kids were on board strapped in, so I wasn’t worried about the police car that seemed to be watching me. Three exits passed and the police car was still next to me, and I began to think “What in the world, is this cop trying to catch me doing something wrong to give me a ticket? I haven’t slept for hours maybe I was swerving somewhere back there and he thinks I have been drinking, but I have been keeping the car steady and in the lanes ever since I noticed him watching me, so that can’t be it either. Maybe he will get tired of following me since I am not doing anything and see all the cars in the left lane speeding and follow one of them instead”.
After three more exits the police officer slowed down and drove behind me instead of next to me, but continued to follow me. It was almost the last exit in Georgia when the sirens went off and the lights started flickering, it was day time so I didn’t think safety concerns because everything that I had read on the internet was about night time stops. I pulled over on the side of the road and remember thinking “man I don’t need this right now, as if I am not tired enough driving from Pennsylvania”.
The police officer was looking at the inside of my car, I am going to say he was scanning it and gathering information. He asked me for my license and registration which I handed to him. He was reading the documents and once again scanning the inside of the car. He wasn’t saying anything just looking at the documents, so I said “officer, why did you stop me? I wasn’t speeding”. He answered “no, you were not speeding”. I said “what did I do, then?”. That is when he asked me to step out of my car, it was day time and even though a red flag went up in my head I stepped out of the car. He told me to walk over by his car and told me to stand in a spot where the police car was covering me from being seen by the passing traffic. I followed his directions like a robot, I felt like I left my body and was just watching this happen.
He started asking me questions about where I was going and something felt so wrong and I just remember thinking “I have to get out of here”. That is when I asked him “sir why did you stop me?” and he had no answer. He looked over to my car as if scanning it to make up an answer and he said “you have too many packages in your car”. I said ” I will take them out, we can drive to the next rest stop and I will put them in the garbage so that I am not littering”. He stood quiet and was looking at my license and then up at me and back to my license, then he said “you are very sexy, you know that?” as he looked me up and down licking his lips. That is when time seemed to freeze and I scanned him, first looking for his name badge and when I didn’t find that noticed the pen in his left pocket and observed the position of his gun and night stick. I remember thinking if he makes a move, go for the pen and drive it right through his neck, then go for the gun.
All of a sudden I was back to reality and just said “are you going to give me a ticket or what? My parents are waiting for me at the next exit, I was just speaking to them on the phone telling them my location and I don’t want them to worry, so just give me a ticket if you are going to give me one”. He just stood there looking at me and that is when I noticed movement from the corner of my eye and turned my head to the left and he turned to look where I was looking as well, it was another police car that had pulled up. He gathered my papers nervously and handed them to me while grabbing my hand in the most eerie way, as he held down my thumb. I looked up at him but couldn’t see his eyes through his gold sunglasses, all I could see was my reflection and he said “take care of yourself out there my lovely”. I pulled my hand away and rushed to my car, and as I was doing so I heard the other police officer ask “is everything OK?” and he answered “yes, she was just asking for directions”.
Nothing happened to me, but why if this man is out there lurking and his hobby is targeting lone women travelers? I would feel horrible if I didn’t speak up and heard something on the news. I am not writing this to scare anybody, I just want to raise awareness about staying safe on the road. I rushed home and looked up some safety tips and read about rights people have when being stopped by police.
Safety Tips When Being Pulled Over:
- Put on your hazard lights, this will indicate to the officer that you are aware you are being stopped
- Drive to a well light public area, such as a gas station.
- Call 911 and explain you are a lone traveler and are being stopped by police and wanted to make sure it was a real officer stopping you.
- Ask the officer for ID, and say you ask because you are a lone traveler and have heard stories of fake police stops.
- Ask the officer why you are being stopped and tell the officer that you have called 911 to verify that you are being stopped by a real police officer.
- While you wait for the officer to come to your car window, call a family member or friend and tell them your location and that you are being stopped by the police.
Stay safe friends : )