Back That Thang Up

Couldn’t help myself with the title. ☺ But this is actually a serious post.

Last Thursday, I received a forwarded email from a friend that she received from her neighbor…very close neighbor (she is the wife of the victim). It reads as follows:

He came home late from work tonight (about 10:45). He pulled his truck into the garage, and was getting out of the truck as the garage door was closing. A man ducked under the door and approached [name] with a gun. He told [name] to “just put it down in front of you”. [Name] put his hands in his jacket pocket to give the guy his keys and wallet, and the guy suddenly said “never mind” and turned and ran. We are not sure what changed his mind, but it was at that same time that I was calling [name]’s name from inside because I thought [name] was calling to me. Perhaps he didn’t want to deal with two people. Who knows…[Name] estimated that that he [perpetrator] was about 16 years old.

If you’ve lived in Atlanta for at least 17 years, you probably know the name, Sarah Tokars. Yes, it turned out that this was no random act, and I’m not even sure a garage door played a part whatsoever. Some accounts say that she was approached in her driveway. But at age 11, a garage was what I could relate to, and I pictured men sneaking into the garage as she returned home, so the story instilled fear in me for quite a long time. At that age, it doesn’t matter if the crime is random or not. Violence is violence, and it’s scary. BUT I took comfort in one small fact:

Growing up, ever since I can remember, my mother backed into the garage, even before this incident. I have done the same since I started driving 12 years ago (which is how I hit the house – I have yet to live that down). I learned from a very early age, especially when sensors made their way on the scene (forcing the garage door to lift upon sensing any object), to watch until the garage door hits the very bottom when driving away. And regardless of how cool it is (it was cool when garage door openers made their debut) to open the garage door from around the corner, it’s not safe. Anyone can be waiting for you.

None of these precautions, of course, guarantees 100% safety, but at least when you’re backing into the garage, you’re able to see if someone does attempt to sneak under the door. I would even be willing to bet that you decrease your chances of becoming a target if you do back in, because the perpetrator would know that he’s lost the element of surprise.

Just something to think about the next time you go home…

“Back that thang up” ☺
(For those who don’t know, this is the title – the “clean” title – of a 1999 hit single by Juvenile.)

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