This one is a doozy. I don’t know how I keep getting involved in these situations, between the multiple cone disputes and now a full-on litterer, but maybe I need to take a step back.
Yesterday, a car was parked illegally in front of our shop. She was ticketed. When she came back to her car and saw the ticket, she got in her car and threw a bag of trash out her window on our sidewalk right in front of our building. We noticed the trash right away and I checked the front camera to confirm who did it. Clear as day, it was her.
As I went outside, she began pulling away. I picked up the trash and ran to her car which was stopped, she was texting. I knocked on the passenger-side window, she rolled it down, and I tossed the trash back into her car and said some snarky comment like “You forgot this“ and walked away.
A moment later she’s out of her car walking towards me yelling. I want nothing to do with this. I tell her to go back to her car, but she keeps coming. As she gets closer, she’s reaching into her purse, which is obviously trouble. I run inside as she pulls out mace and tries to spray me. We lock the door and she maces the door, then kicks it a few times.
She’s immediately on the phone calling who knows and yelling at us to come outside. We call 911, tell her there’s a crazy girl who tried to mace us and give them her car / license plate number. As this is happening, she starts banging on our office window and breaks the glass while telling us we messed with the wrong person and her dad is going to come and do god knows what. This is getting ridiculous.
The police show up a couple minutes later and start talking to her down the street. A few moments later they come to us and ask what happened. We explain, show them the video of the trash, the mace, the broken window, yadda yadda. They ask if we want to press charges for the broken window. We say no, we just want her to go away forever. As we’re speaking to the police she’s constantly trying to get closer to us while they’re telling her to go home and she’s shouting insults at me like bitch and pussy.
Eventually, they get her to leave, the police leave, we board up the window, and then we go home for the day.
What’s the Moral
When you see litter on your sidewalk and no one is around, you think “man, I wish I saw who did this“. When you finally catch someone in the act, you’re not expecting it to escalate like that. She did a 2/10 by littering. I did a 3/10 by throwing it back in her car. Then she did like an 8/10 trying to mace me and breaking our window.
The logical moral would be “don’t mess with people, they might be unstable with nothing to lose and your life is too good, it’s not worth it“. This woman littering is not worth the situation that followed. If I knew she was willing to go to that level, I wouldn’t have thrown the trash in her car. God forbid she came back today with someone. I suppose someone willing to litter the way she did is an indicator that she may not be the most rational person in the first place. If she had a gun I think she literally would have killed me.
But I like justice. When I see videos on Reddit of someone littering and another person throwing it back in their car, I think to myself “hell yeah, fuck that person, put them in their place” not “wow that was dangerous“. Do we let everyone get away with everything all the time because “it’s not worth it“? My level of retaliation in life is pretty low. Most of the time I choose no conflict for that exact reason. But when the injustice is so blatant and the opportunity is right there, it felt like a reasonable thing to do.
I suppose I could’ve run up to her car and said “Excuse me, you just littered on our sidewalk, will you take this back and dispose of it properly?” In hindsight, maybe that would’ve been a better move, but in the moment, it’s hard to see that. Honestly I didn’t know what I thought would happen. I figured I’d throw it back at her and she’d just take the L.
It also makes me wonder how she makes it through life. Any slight and she goes full freak out. Maybe she was just having a bad day and pissed about the ticket, but there was no self-reflection on her end of “maybe I shouldn’t have littered” or “this isn’t worth getting the police involved over“. 30 minutes after it happened she was still pressing forward trying to… attack me? It feels like she’s a ticking time bomb. Those are people you don’t want anything to do with I suppose.