At 11:35 PM on Wednesday, 4-19-2017, I parked my car on 49th Street between Hamilton and Caldwell Streets, next door to the apartment building I live in. (No space was available in the building's parking lot.)
Before I could shut the ignition off, a man in his twenties or thirties approached me. I went ahead and rolled my car's left front window down.
First thing he asked me: "Do you have a cigarette?"
"No," I told him. "I don't smoke."
"Do you have a cell phone that works?" he asked me.
"No, I don't," I answered.
This same man then pulled a gray semiautomatic handgun, pointed the gun at me, and asked me for my car keys. After I turned the ignition off and relinquished the keys, he instructed me to "Run down the street. I won't try to hurt you."
He pointed toward Caldwell Street, and I ran down Caldwell...for a few seconds.
I then turned around and saw him speed up 49th Street before he made a right turn to Hamilton.
After that, I jogged (and eventually walked quickly) toward home.
At 11:45 PM, I called the Omaha Police and reported the theft. About a half hour later, two officers and, later, a detective stopped to interview me about the carjacking.
This incident DOES have a happy ending:
At 1:57 AM that Thursday morning, the police phoned me to let me know that my vehicle was found...in a parking lot at the 3000 block of South 104th Plaza.
Two more OPD officers stopped by outside the apartment building I live in to deliver my car...and I was able to drive it again at 2:56 AM that Thursday morning.
The car was left intact.
In fact, the thief not only left $2.14 in change in my 2006 car...he also left a Black & Mild cigar band inside the car (as well as the cigar's wrapper).
I LUCKED OUT!!
Even so, the second-guessing already has begun: A loved one told me that "I would've just rolled the window back up and driven off."
With my luck, I would've been shot and killed for rolling the window back up.
This is why I've felt reluctant all these years to tell loved ones about personal troubles. When I make a move to try and change all that, this is what I get: "I would've just rolled the window back up and driven off."
Things just AREN'T that simple!
This morning, a reporter from one of the local TV stations interviewed me about the incident as part of that station's report tonight about local carjackings.
I originally intended to tune in...but because of tonight's second-guessing by this loved one, I won't watch tonight.
I mean, it's not enough that the last 94 hours have been ruined because of this carjacking.
It doesn't matter to that second-guesser that I'm safe and that I got my car back.
Here's my question for the second-guessers out there:
"With all that I've been going through these last sixteen months, how would you feel if this carjacker had gone on and shot and killed me?
"Who would you turn to next to dump on? HUH?"