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Drama With Friends - Want Some Feedback From Others

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Okay, this is an odd one and I figured I would put it to the test of my eNotalone forum friends. I have a close friend who lives in L.A. and we keep in regular touch. For the sake of keeping it simple I'll call this friend "J". J called this morning kind of upset about something that happened and asked my advice about something that happened to her


J walks her kids to middle school every day and then walks home from there since it's close to her house. Usually there are plenty of people and kids around, but on this particular morning most kids had already entered the school and the parents had gone. J was walking home and had gone a block away from the school when she witnessed a man on the sidewalk stop one of the female students, a pretty teenager, who was obviously running a little behind schedule-wise. J observed this man start talking to the girl and then she notices there are no other adults or students nearby and she feels something is just "off" about the whole thing. Whatever he was saying it was keeping the girl there talking to him instead of going on to school. J knows the neighborhood, recognizes most of the parents and kids even if she doesn't know everyone by name and she told me she'd never seen this guy before. So J walked up to the two of them and tells the girl, "Hon, the warning bell just sounded. You're going to be late for school." The girl didn't say anything, but turned and hurried off to school. J then calmly asked the guy, who was leaning up against a wall what he was doing there. He claimed then that he was waiting for a job interview at a local nearby business and had asked the girl if he could draw a picture of her for some money and that she agreed. J became more suspicious, because while the guy was holding a clipboard with some paper there was no sketchpad or other usual tools that sketch artists who do street portraits typically have on them. J then observed him looking past her at another lone female student coming down the street towards the school and so she started talking to the guy, keeping his interest on her and basically she stayed with him until every kid was inside the school. He was nasty at first, answering every one of Js questions with his own question back at her. He then told J "How do I know you're not a child molester?" which she thought was a weird comment given that she hadn't said anything. She told the guy she was a parent volunteer and just wanted to make sure everything was okay. J said the guy calmed down then and they continued to chat about politics while she stayed with him to make sure he didn't approach any other students. At one point the guy told J he sort of knew what she was doing and she asked, "Do you blame me?" and he kind of shrugged and said she was being nosy. He finally left and J watched him go before feeling it was safe to leave the area. She called the school and the local PD and reported the matter.


Then an hour later J got a call from a mutual friend of ours, "L", who wanted to know why she was in some guy's face since she drove past J and the guy and observed J looked angry and the man too, but she didn't stop the car to find out what was going. J told L what happened and L proceeded to scold J for harassing an artist who was just trying to make some money! Then L told some other friends about it and they all kind of jump on L's case about it too, telling her she should have minded her own business and that she was out of line. J called me in tears to talk about the matter and I personally am siding with J on this one and have told L she is the one that's out of line. L doesn't have kids, I do and the idea that anyone could get access to my kids by just walking up to them and asking to draw or photograph them freaks me out. Especially when they are clearly walking to school, in a school uniform, and are an underage minor. We aren't talking a beach boardwalk or a shopping mall where sketch artists like this typically do approach people offering to draw them for money. And the girl in question was wearing a school uniform and clearly looked underage, at least according to J. I am siding with J on this one and saying she did the right thing in speaking up about it.


Of course L and I got into a fight about it too, because my own thought was L should have pulled over and come to J's defense against the guy as well. Not just driven past then scolded J later taking some stranger's side who was approaching an underage girl in a school uniform by herself asking to draw her portrait for money. !!!!

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Shame there was all this drama between friends. I think What J did was the correct thing to do, making sure the man in the street here was not doing anything untoward. Even if he was innocent I don't think he should have approached girls in this way or perhaps should even be doing this. If he does want to draw teenage girls perhaps he should ask parents whom he knows better. As for all your friends, well perhaps they need to sit down and talk about this. Everybody is jumping on everybody and they need to calm down. Perhaps the least said the soonest mended. Everyone needs to apologise to each other and explain their actions and try to rebuild their friendships. I think that is the important thing, rather than who is right or wrong.

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All of J's friends are absolute morons. Go order J a gift basket or something and in the note say "For having common sense that God gave a fly. Too bad there apparently wasn't enough to go around."


Street artists are a pain in the ass and should be treated as such. They're essentially beggars and nothing more. And when it comes to stopping kids for their BS, it should be a crime.

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Thanks guys. L calmed down after the school campus police and local P.D. called my friend J to thank her and urge her to continue doing a good job. The officer told J this is one more wrinkle in the whole "can I take your picture/put you in my movie/photo-shoot" scam that apparently they've gotten complaints on before. As they pointed out to J legitimate artists always make sure to get a signed waiver from an adult first before doing anything with a minor. So I called L and told her that and she backed off and apologized for causing drama in the first place.


I told J she did a good thing and more people should be alert to weird crap like this.

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If he wanted to make money, he should go to a street festival and get a booth. Approaching middle school children who don't have money or only get small allowances makes no sense. This guy clearly is not on the up and up, and that was awesome of J to be vigilant. If she sees him again near the school, she should get his license plate.


I don't believe EVERYONE is out to steal kids, but L clearly has their head in the sand about this being normal behavior. If L doesn't want to be friends any more over it, it is no loss. Maybe L knows a lot of struggling artists, etc, so that is why she feels that way -but totally not the right venue to look for subjects.

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L is a bleedin' idiot and shame on her and all her fellow hens for beating up on J. I'm surprised that with their stupidity the none of them have ended up dead in a ditch somewhere because they would have fallen for this.


The classic, sketchy "let me paint you or take your photograph" is a classic rouse to either get money from someone or try to molest them. Jeffrey Dahmer did it. It's been around for a long time. Real artists would never do this. Only con people do.


I hope for future's sake, L and anyone with her clear lack of sense ought to end up infertile... because I'm pretty sure their kids would end up abducted or dead with bad advice like that. Sorry to be harsh but that's how I feel. I loathe people who birth kids only to screw them over by not protecting them from the real world.

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I'm surprised that with their stupidity the none of them have ended up dead in a ditch somewhere because they would have fallen for this.


OMG Fudgie, did you overhear my conversation with L? Because I blasted her and told her nearly the same things, that I was actually scared about what might happen if she ever ran into a Ted Bundy-type character and her kids should she have any. As it turns out once L heard from J about the fact that no less than three law enforcement/school officials had called her to gather full details and praise J for her eagle eye and willingness to step in when she saw something wrong L backed down. I called the other ladies and scolded them too and they all admitted they'd been wrong. Especially after I and J both pointed out the weirdest thing of all--the guy had no sketchpad, artist pencils or any other materials that a typical street sketch artist has on him. Sketch artist my tushie. I told J, L and our other friends my only regret was not being there with my cowboy boots on.


Seriously, in today's world I am just always freaked out by how trusting and incredibly dumb people are about things sometimes. I nearly ended up attacked myself as a college student, because I stupidly walked out to some guy's car at a party after he asked if I'd help him bring more party supplies in. I didn't know him and as it turns out nobody there did, he'd just sort of showed up and schmoozed his way in acting like he knew people. He tried to toss me in the back seat and drive off with me and only the fact that I dropped to the ground and clung to a nearby bush for my life screaming until friends drove up and chased him off saved me from probably being one more statistic. The cops never found him and to this day I worry about who else might not have been as lucky as I was. I learned it all that night--if you have never met this person before don't go off with them or let them get you alone. Both my sons were enrolled in self-defense and martial arts classes early in life and my one rule for them was "you do not get to drop these classes until you are a black belt AND you know how to handle yourself and others in bad situations." So far my oldest son has saved a male friend and two female friends from serious bodily harm, so I think I did good there.


Sometimes my friends call me paranoid and my reply to that is, "Maybe yeah, but I'm still alive and breathing, so I think that's something I'm not going to change any time soon."

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Reminds me of a female friend I have who managed to solve an assualt carried out by two junkies, one kid in my home town was seriously beaten up by two junkies, a male and a female who robbed him for drug money. nobody in the neighbourhood wanted to help or do anything, but she stuck at it and finally managed to catch up with them and managed to get them to confess, record it and called the police who came out and put those two away for years and gave her a commendation. She did this all on her own, despite friends, family and her husband refusing to help her and calling her crazy to get involved.

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Lol. That's something I say quite often. It annoys some people. When I see someone I know, male or female, about to do something dumb, I do usually say something like "You know that's a quick way to end up dead in a ditch, right"


I do think there needs to be a balance. Some may think I'm paranoid. Whatever. I'm 23 and you won't catch me out at bars past midnight. At night in the city, I don't walk alone ever. I don't give money to beggars. My motto is "Nothing good happens on the streets past midnight". Unless I'm at an event.... nope!

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Right on Ayami and good for your friend's persistence in getting justice.


I had another friend whose preteen daughter was being stalked by a pizza delivery guy. She was with her friends, gave the local pizza place her cell phone and the guy saw her when the mom at her friend's house opened the door. He started sending very frightening texts and nude pics to the girl. My friend persisted and clawed her way through several layers of cops telling her it wasn't a crime--it is--and that nothing could be done until and unless he went after the girl in person--again not true. But she kept at it, finally got a special victims unit that did not have the same "it's no biggie attitude as the rank amateur idiots she'd first talked to. Turns out the guy was a major sex offender who went after children and preteens, boys and girls, but also had a sexual assault record with women too. He's now doing 50 years in prison and if he makes it out of there alive his butt is getting deported back to his country of origin. I've always thought justice is for the persistent more than anything else.


And Fudgie I'm with you on the common sense approach. Just being smart and observant can go a long ways towards avoiding trouble in the first place.

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I had a sex offender hit on me and try to go out with me when I was a teenager. I had a bf at the time he FLIPPED out a the guy but I honestly wouldn't have gone anyway because he gave me the creeps. He's in jail now for some assault on another girl.


I use my state's sex offender database a few times a year. I track it to see if offenders move near me. If someone does, I make a mental note of the address and the face and if I see that person (I have) I make a point to avoid any contact. They could have their car stuck or lost their pet and if I recognize them from the database, I won't help.


I have AAA because I won't accept help from strangers if my car breaks down. I lock myself in my car and call AAA.


There are just too many bad people out there. Everyone needs to be careful. Men and women.

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Yikes Fudgie! That's scary and glad to hear you didn't become another statistic. And yeah, I use the sex offender database too just to keep an eye on things. I am not a vigilante, I'm not going to hassle anyone if they are following the law, but if they aren't then yes I will speak up. One doesn't have to look very far in the media to see stories that make you realize it's just best to keep ones eyes open and stay alert.


As a teenager I and my friends always had older men hitting on us. I was very protective of my friends even back then and I got pretty fierce a few times with older guys. At the time I sort of shrugged it off as just one more thing I had to deal with as a woman, but that was in the same era when I was told a nice white girl like me shouldn't be friends with certain other kids, because of their skin color. And so I got into a few more fights since my viewpoint has always been that I was and will be friends with whoever I want to be. Not such a big deal now, but back in the late 60s my family was considered pretty radical and a bit troublesome by most of the small town families where we lived. My parents always taught my siblings and I to stand up for ourselves and others, so I guess it comes sort of naturally. It's one of the reasons J and I have remained friends since although she's very soft-spoken and looks like a whisp of wind would blow her away she is equally fierce when it comes to protecting those around her--even strangers.

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Yes, she was the only one that would not give up and even the police commended her for her approach. Those two she caught out spent a lot of time in jail and she probably saved a lot of people getting hurt. But a lot of people warned her off and tried to stop her from getting involved, graffiting her home, dodgy phone calls ect, but she dug her heels in and pursued them when the cops had all but given up and shamed the local police into putting more effort into solving the crime.

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She should be so proud. It all sounds very suspect.


A lot of serial killers and rapists were and are very charming guys who use the old 'do you need a life' or 'I just want to take your picture' a lot them seem harmless and that's how they get victims.


I am pretty paranoid on safety as I've done a lot of research into serial killers, the psychology of them etc. I would NEVER walk home alone. Don't like getting a taxi alone. Lock all the doors if I'm inside a car waiting for my boyfriend or something. Might seem loopy but hopefully I won't end up dead in a ditch

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I'm so happy to hear others are as safety conscious as I am. My older sister actually turned down a ride from none other than Ted Bundy one night. She said he was cute and seemed nice, but something about the way he stared at her just made her feel creepy and so she went back inside and asked the security guard where she worked to come out and tell him to get lost. The guy chased him off then my sister had her BF come pick her up. Of course we all freaked months later when he was finally caught and my sister recognized him as the cute, but creepy guy who offered her a ride home one night from the restaurant where she worked. So yeah, I have some firsthand knowledge of just how close to home that stuff can hit.


J was even happier she spoke up when I reminded her of that story. I showed her the responses to what she did and she wanted me to tell everyone thanks for your input and words of encouragement.

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