Tuesday, June 26, 2012

DRIVE-BY SHOOTING CAN HAPPEN TO A N Y O N E ...

Hi all,

Well today's post is a real shocker. WE all hear about drive-by shootings on television and in the news, BUT did you ever think it would happen to YOU? Well, I never did until last night.

I live in one of THE most dangerous cities in the world: Chicago, IL. and this didn't happen there. This, my friends, happened in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Yes, the same town Tony Nelson and Jeanie of I DREAM OF JEANIE lived for many happy years.

As I walked my usual nightly walk down Ocean Beach Blvd, by the Pier, I turned and headed for home. I have done this at least sixty times or more at this hour; around 10:00 pm. The rain had finally stopped and the tropical breezes were in full force.

My iPhone played happily on as I kept in step with the tempo. A rumbling sound from a dilapidated truck had just passed. As it slowed, I had noticed the peeling paint on a door that had suddenly opened. Shots pierced the silent night as a round of air riffle pellets whizzed their way toward me. The riveting sounded tinny, very much like that of a toy gun. I didn't think much of it until I got hit in the mid back.

Sweat poured out of my body as my legs tore at the ground.  Headlights illuminated the street from an on-coming truck. Taking no chances, I dived into the nearest bushes for shelter. Three terrifying minutes later the truck passed: not the same one.

Real gun shots flashed through my mind as I thanked God this was just an air riffle. I decided to continue home on a busier street, so I managed to make it to A1A which had more traffic and lighting.

Sweat continued to pour, soaking my t-shirt. My heart raced so fast I couldn't keep up with it. All I could think about was to get home and off the streets. Never had I ever been afraid to walk any street at any hour. Hey, I am a born and raised New Yorker, nothing gets to us .... but this did.

My keys fumbled in my hand as I tried to open the front door thirty or so minutes later. Trembling finger dialed 911, the moment I had caught my breath.

Even now, hours later, I still can't believe it happened to me. The police had several reports of shootings in the area, but only took my name down. I had felt less than helpful. I only hope the catch the people responsible for this.

Imagine all this happening in a resort area. You never know. Remember everyone, ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. I was very lucky. Thankfully it was most likely the high jinks of bored kids ... imagine the alternative. I do and it terrifies me.

Will I continue my evening power walks? You bet! Only now I will do them before dark. They can get me once, but I will NOT give them the opportunity for a second shot.

The mark left is an unusual one (an dented hole the size of a quarter) that will heal in a few days, but the mark that was left in my soul will last a lifetime.

Stay safe everyone and have a WONDERFUL Tuesday. I know I will. The beach awaits for me to enjoy, during yet another stunning sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean.


34 comments:

  1. Michael, thank God you're all right! Yes, stick to walking in the daylight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just glad you're OK, buddy! How scary is that? Random acts of violence happen, well randomly, and your story should be a reminder to everyone.

    As you say, always keep an eye on who and what is around you. Never get so comfortable with an area or routine that you stop being cautious. And it's not just for the other people that might do you harm. Cars, animals, weather, etc. can all do a lot of damage if you're not looking out for them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How terrifying! I am happy you're okay, and I hope the police catch them. Air rifle pellets or not, they could have killed someone.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm up the road a ways in Jax. and we have a high crime rate. Drive by shootings happen too many times. People die. It's too bad it's such an unsafe world. Guns make it so easy for any moron to kill someone. Too bad.

    ReplyDelete
  5. How terrifying! I'm so thankful you didn't get more seriously hurt.I love your courage about continuing your walks. That is a healthy way to help you mentally heal. ((hugs))

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my God! Thank goodness you're okay.

    I do keep a look out since I travel so much. And because our neighbor next door likes to shoot squirrels and snakes.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow! That's scary! Glad it was not worse!! You be careful over there now, you hear?? Dumbasses are everywhere. ;)lol

    ReplyDelete
  8. You could have lost an eye to one of those pellets. I am so happy you are all right. Mind your surroundings'

    You have the right idea: walk in the daylight. The world is getting to be a dangerous place. I remember when a car pulled up to my blood van as I waiting for a rare blood drop off in a closed gas station. A man got out of the car, pulling a car from inside his jacket.

    Luckily, I had the car running for the heater. I shifted in gear and tore out of there. He followed. Until I drove into a crowded convenience store parking lot. Almost got car-jacked then. Brrr.

    The world is looking for unsuspecting prey, Michael. Be on the lookout always, Roland

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a horrible thing to happen! My brother-in-law drove a shuttle van for a big hotel chain in Steamboat Springs, CO many years ago. A group of drunk college guys dragged him out and beat him so badly, he had to have his jaw wired shut. When they found the guys the next morning, they didn't even remember doing it. :(
    erica

    ReplyDelete
  10. Terrible! So, so glad you are alright, Michael. When did our world go so wrong? Please take care and yes, keep to bustling areas with more people and walk before dark.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm so glad you are okay! I'm afraid of the dark as it is, I couldn't imagine what I would do if that had happened to me. I'm glad you are safe and walking when it's lighter out.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My heart is racing as I read this, imagining how that must have felt for you. Glad it wasn't real guns but just the same, the attack itself was very real.

    ReplyDelete
  13. That is terrifying. Glad you're all right but you're braver than I would be to continue to walk in the same area.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm glad you're all right!

    That must have been a very scary experience.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Michael, what a shock! I'm glad it wasn't real bullets! Brings back memories of my daughter's boyfriend from Montreal, Quebec. Her boyfriend and his restauranter friend were sitting on a bench outside the restaurant when a car zoomed past and shots rang out. Benoit looked and his friend was slumped beside him, dead. Wasn't random, though. It was to do with extortion as the restauranter wouldn't pay protection money.

    I hope to get to Montreal to see Benoit one day (he's like a son, even though my daughter broke up with him). I'll be on the lookout.

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  16. OMG I am so glad you're okay! This is terrible! What is wrong with people?! I would give you a big hug if I was there Michael just to let you know I'm glad you weren't hurt or worse. And I am sending some nasty vibes to the evil 8expletive deleted* who did this, may they rot in hell.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I can only imagine what you felt while this was happening. I have friends who are into airsoft and I've seen the guns used. They are incredibly realistic, even close-up.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Nothing safe about Florida. Get home soon.

    ReplyDelete
  19. It is a traumatic event. I'm glad you are okay. I too live in Chicago and unfortunately it happened here to me...a few times. Desensitization is crap. You never get used to it.

    ReplyDelete
  20. That sounds traumatizing. I don't know if I'd have the courage to go out and walk again. Just hearing you talk about this experience terrifies me.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Michael, that is terrifying. Of course, you expect a Florida resort area to be safe! I am so sorry this happened to you. I keep wondering, "Can there be peace anywhere?" I don't understand...

    ReplyDelete
  22. Holy crap! to put it mildly. I'm glad it was only an air rifle bullet. Still, that's really scary. Glad you are okay!

    ReplyDelete
  23. How awful. And completely scary. Yes, I'd think you'd be more likely a victim of this sort of crime in NYC or Chicago. Thank goodness it was only an air rifle though.

    Too freaky that it happened at all though.

    ......dhole

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi all World historical events,Android apps tamil news,World news on android Breaking news for iphone

    ReplyDelete
  25. Michael I am so, so glad you are okay. That must have been absolutely terrifying but I'm equally proud of you that you are not going to let this incident change the way you live your life.

    You, my friend, are inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  26. OMG! Michael, what a horrible, terrifying experience! That is the worst thing I've heard all day! I'm so glad you weren't hurt physically worse, but I hear you about the psychological scars. You think it was dumb kids playing a prank? I sure hope they get caught, too. ((hugs)) to you. :o| <3

    ReplyDelete
  27. Michael! That's so scary! So sad that we have to get reminders that any whacko can do anything they want at any time. Chicago's been having a violent summer. :(

    I'm happy you're okay - be safe!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Oh my gosh! That is so horrible. Teenage hijinks? If this is hijinks those teenagers make me so mad I could spit! I really hope the police catch whoever did this, too, and Michael, KEEP TALKING about it. A trauma like that has to be worked through. Sending hugs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Glad it wasn't a real drive-by. What dumb things kids do and what real fear this kind of stuff strikes. I'm glad you're not going to let this get you down and keep you from taking your walks-- they're obviously too important after your struggle with gout. <3

    ReplyDelete
  30. Oh my word! I'm so glad you're alright!

    There are some twisted creeps out there, but I just can't believe that people go out on the streets just to hurt people they don't know.

    And yet, they do.

    Good on you for not letting them affect your walking routine.

    Stay safe!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thank goodness you're okay! How terrifying. Stay safe
    Laura x

    ReplyDelete
  32. Oh my goodness, Michael! Thank God you're okay. :/

    ReplyDelete
  33. Goodness, Michael, I'm glad to hear you're okay.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Michael! I'm a little slow in the blog world right now, but I'm really grateful you're all right. How scary! I hope you're doing well now!

    ReplyDelete