Carjacked or how St Pete has finally pushed me over the edge (Updated)

Stop me if this sounds familiar.

Saturday night (10/18/08) I borrowed a friend’s scooter to go out downtown since the Rays game had all of the parking tied up. I went out to the Independent bar for a drink and had burritos at the Burrito Boarder afterward. Everything was going fine, I left on the scooter and as I was getting near my street when a silver-ish four door sedan cut me off and slammed on it’s brakes. I didn’t really think anything of it other than, “what a bunch of assholes”. And I turned into my neighborhood a few blocks early.

Just up the road I noticed headlights coming up on me very quickly. I thought they were just going to mess with me for a few minutes and tire quickly with their game so I zipped up and down the neighborhood, as fast as you can zip on a 50cc scooter. It became apparent quickly that this was going to go very badly for me.

They kept chasing me for what seemed like five minutes. I decided to head out to a more major road and try to brake hard and make a fast U turn to evade them… Bad choice. They cut me off and blocked me in so that I’d have to back the scooter up. As I was trying to back the scooter up, the passenger (a black male) jumped out of the car with a shotgun and started charging at me. I dropped the scooter and ran as fast as I could into a nearby alleyway. I hid behind a garage and called 911 while I watched them drive off on the scooter.

I feel so badly for my friend who’s out of a scooter until the insurance company gets around to replacing it.

I feel so very angry. I cannot believe that this happened to me barely two months after I was mugged and beaten. Seriously, what are the odds that both my brother and I get beaten up and mugged in the same city and now this?

St Pete, I love you… but you’re bringing me down.

I’m not necessarily a reactive person but I’m so fed up with being the recipient of the increase in violent crime here in St Petersburg, FL. I’m getting my concealed weapons permit.

Update: the scooter was just recovered during a traffic stop in Gulfport, FL.

Update 2: I met with the SPPD Detective handling the case. We discussed the perpetrators and the weapon they used. He said the kid (16 yeas old) that they picked up on the scoote, while he did just get done serving 22 months for multiple counts of grand theft, he did not match my description. But my description did match that of two people who have been robbing local convience stores and restraunts, including St Pete Diner (while it was full of customers).

12 thoughts on “Carjacked or how St Pete has finally pushed me over the edge (Updated)

  1. The Matt says:

    Goodness Christ. That is pretty messed up. Im glad that your ok and that atleast you go to keep your camera this time.

  2. Alexis says:

    Oh my god James, I can’t believe that! I’m so glad you escaped this incident without the physical violence you had to endure 2 months ago. Jeez how F’d up is that we have to be GRATEFUL that you ONLY got jacked and not beaten! …and I was thinkin about getting a scooter

  3. Anonymous says:

    no offense or anything but what the heck is a concealed weapons permit (which only allows you to carry a handgun) going to do against a shotgun? are you sure you wanna play that game and take those odds? live by the gun, die by the gun. you’re safe today because they had no reason to have to shoot you. get a gun and whip it out next time to try to defeat their plans with their shotgun and what, you think they’ll just turn around and run? you’ll back them into a corner then and then they’ll have no choice but to pull the trigger. i’m a stranger so you can think what you want about this comment but all i’m saying is i’ve been there, and i felt the same way you did, i wanted to go kill the motherfuckers. but in the grand scheme of things it’s just not worth it. i’ve had guns pulled on me quite a few times yet still i believe firmly in never carrying one. the crime rate around these parts is raising intensely these days and more guns isn’t going to solve the problem. just my .02

  4. Man, I’m glad you’re alright. Glad the scooter was found, and I’m increasingly disappointed with the level of violence in this area. One thing we should remember is that violence is a symptom of a much more serious situation. There is a definite correlation between unemployment, poverty and violence and crime. And it seems that poverty is built into our system and people are fighting against it in unlawful, violent ways out of desperation. I’m not suggesting the guy who robbed you should be excused, or that his actions are at all justified, just bringing to light that need, rather than greed may have been the motivator.

    Glad you’re ok though, I’ll see you around soon.

  5. @Anonymous: I agree that violence is not the answer to this situation but at the same time there is a time and a place where you may have to defend yourself. In both of the situations where I was the victim of these violent crimes it was not possible to have any other outcome other than what came of them given the circumstances. And as Sean pointed out above, if I’m out after midnight then I have a) most likely been in a bar, b) had at least one drink. Which both preclude me from carrying a firearm.

  6. Krag says:

    Dude, that’s seriously fucked up. Forget the peaceniks, if you are going to be walking or riding am open vehicle you need a piece. Obviously you don’t want to shoot it out with someone, you did the right thing by giving up the property and fleeing. But what if they come after you? Thats when you need a gun. Springfield XD compact in .45 or 9mm. Hopefully you’ve had your turn and that’s the last time. Watch your back…

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