☆ November 10, 2010
My best friend has always said that I get the “shrapnel version” of events. The bombs in her life tend to go off right in her lap, whereas the bombs in my life leave me with shrapnel here and there rather than blowing me to bits.
On a Saturday afternoon, an email came in from the stalker. “I have to see you. I’m packing a bag and driving up there…. If you don’t want me to come or if you’re going to tell the Sheriff’s department, just email me and tell me so.”
The last time I had responded to his emails was exactly one month prior, when I had said, “Stop, or I will get law enforcement involved.” He, of course, had continued, sending me hundreds of emails, to which I did not respond but had forwarded to the Sergeant who had taken my case.
When this email came in, my immediate urge was to write back and say “NO! What part of NO don’t you get???” But instead I called Dispatch. The Sgt. was not in but I was transferred to the Lieutenant on duty, who knew the details of my case as well. She said, “Don’t write him back. He will only interpret that as contact, even if you are saying, ‘don’t contact me.’ If he emails you again with his whereabouts, call back. I’m working an event tonight and dispatch will patch you through. If he enters the county, he enters our jurisdiction and we can take him in. If he shows up at your house, call 911.” At this point, I knew what the stalker looked like and I knew what he drove. I was remarkably calm, thanks to the internal transformation described in Part III, and went about my day.
Mike came down at dusk. He had a holstered pistol slung around his shoulder with baling twine, the twine fuzzy from years of use.
“I dusted off my ol’ .44 Magnum,” he said.
“Bailing twine?” I asked.
“Yeah,” he said. “This thing’ll stop a grizzly bear, but you got to keep it close to your body.”
Mike spent years guiding pack trips in the mountains surrounding Cody, an area rife with grizzlies. “If a grizzly shows up and there’s a horse wreck on the trail, and you fly off and your horse runs away, your gun does you no good if it’s tied to the saddle. Gotta keep it on your body,” he said, patting the holster at his ribs.
“May I see it?” I asked. I had seen it before but had paid little attention. He unholstered the gun for me. Black, heavy. His initials were engraved in the handle.
“I don’t ever want you to have to shoot this gun,” he said. “The recoil would probably break your wrist. Shoot a guy in the leg with this, and he’ll fly back thirty feet.”
Mike and I played with Charlie and Chloe, then walked Daisy & Co. down to the corrals and tucked them in for the night. When we got back to my place, I checked my email. I grabbed my phone and was patched through to the Lt in seconds, and read her the email that had just come in. “I’m at the motel in Ten Sleep, room XX. I need about an hour to freshen up and then we can meet.”
This is what I mean about the shrapnel version. I still can barely wrap my head around the cocktail of insanity, narcissism, and stupidity that swirled through this guy’s veins and brain. He pretty much served himself up on a platter, but ONLY because I had done my due diligence in the steps I had taken with law enforcement.
“We’re on the way,” she said. “Sit tight, stay safe, I’ll be in touch.”
Mike and I sat outside. It got dark. Headlights approached and we could tell from the starlight that it was one of the deputy’s trucks. He drove slowly past the driveway. We could hear his radio crackling but couldn’t make out what was said. “Is he lost?” Mike wondered aloud. Just beyond the driveway, his truck squealed in a tight U-turn, sending gravel flying. “Apparently!” I said. But he didn’t turn up the driveway; he sped back towards town at full speed. “Something’s going on,” I said, looking at Mike, who was looking at me.
Fifteen minutes later, the Lt. called. “We got him,” she said. “We arrested him at the motel on stalking charges and we’re taking him in. Call the prosecuting attorney Monday morning, he’ll tell you what happens next. Make sure you ask him to set a high bond. [the Sgt’s name] and I will be back Tuesday.”
Part V is HERE