Show Notes: Our Hosts Talk About Being Victims of Crime, Talk Self Defense

This show, “Michigan and other Mayhem”, is a sort of factual, slightly comical, always earnest podcast about interesting stuff in Michigan and around the world. It is done by two sisters-in-law (Ali and Jenn) that like to talk about random interesting stories.  Expect cults, mysteries, murder, fast talking, and a couple of mental palate cleansers… and cuss words.  Those happen on this show, a lot.

Episode 33: Jenn and Ali tell personal experiences with almost being abducted as kids, being mugged, and having their house broken into; self defense –  *Explicit. Contains Strong Language throughout podcast*

Click Here to Listen to Episode 33

*Explicit. Contains Strong Language throughout podcast*

Alerts:

  • Pretend podcast music because Jenn likes it.
  • Ali has a weird laugh. It is often loud.

Today we decided to get drunk and tell you about our personal traumas.  Both Jenn and Ali had brushes with men trying to abduct them as children.  Both Jenn and Ali were mugged.  Ali was mugged twice, but Jenn was mugged at gun point, which is like being mugged twice. Ali had her house broken into, while Jenn had her car broken into, as well as her apartment. Ali was almost carjacked.

Jenn has also bought a camera so they can blog.  Ali is unhappy as she thinks this means she has to brush her hair.

Jenn’s Near Miss As A Child

Jenn lived in Milan, MI after her family left Ohio. To visit a friend, she had to walk four or five houses down and cross the street. One day while walking, Jenn made it to the corner and was about to cross the street when a car pulled up. It was some type of sporty car, like a red Camero.  The driver asked Jenn if she wanted some candy.  In response, Jenn began screaming and ran all the way home.

Her mom was home, but she was cleaning and listening to music really loud. She didn’t hear Jenn right away.  Jenn guilt-tripped her mom at the time, but she is sorry now. They never caught the guy.

Jenn couldn’t walk by herself afterward. She had to go to counseling.  The family moved to Ypsilanti and between her therapist and her family, they forced Jenn to walk by herself.

Ali’s Near Miss As A Child

Ali (I)  grew up in Wolverine Lake, Village. There is a Dairy Twist at the corner of Glengary and Benstein. When I was in elementary school, my mom let me, and my sister Poppy, walk up to the Dairy Twist alone. It was a special treat. It seemed like a long walk, but it was about ¾ of a mile.

A man was driving down Glengary, in the same direction that they were walking.  He beeped his horn, I did a dance, and he turned his car around. Now he’s on the same side of the street and he pulls over to get us to talk to him. I am 100 percent sure that if we got anywhere near the car, he is going to grab us.  Poppy steps closer to hear him and I grab her arm, thinking that I’m saving her life.

It was an old car (from the 60’s or 70’s), it was gold with a white vinyl roof. It had a bench seat. The man was balding, and he had a bottle of liquor sitting next to him, with a folded-up newspaper.

All a sudden a woman runs screaming out of the laundromat a little distance up from us.  As soon as the man heard her, he took off. Ali’s first thought was “We’re in trouble, and now I’m not getting any ice cream.” The woman escorted us to the laundromat so we could call our mom to come and get us. She kept saying, “I saw everything!”

My mom did not take us for ice cream.

Later, when the police came to our house, they asked us if it was a convertible. It wasn’t. Poppy told on Ali, but Ali should have known, because that’s what she did as a child.

Jenn Was Mugged At Gun Point

Jenn was driving into her apartment complex, pregnant with her son, Brandon. It was around dinner time, and she noticed a SUV behind her.

She parked and walked up to the door at the entrance of the building. She didn’t hear her robber approach her, until the gun was to her head.  Jenn was having a ‘everything is shit’ pregnancy day before the robbery.

He demanded the purse, but she didn’t want to give it up, because she needed her keys. The purse only had pennies and maxed out credit cards in it. Her focus was her key ring. She said “Shoot me. I’m pregnant. I had a bad day.” And tells him all her troubles.

The whole time she is talking, he is yanking on her purse and she’s getting out her keys. The strap broke and he took the purse. She was just holding the strap. The police came. She had no idea where he came from and the cops were giving her a hard time about the direction she thought he was coming from.

The purse was found later but the change was gone. They left the credit cards and her ID in the purse.

Ali Was Mugged

The first time Ali was mugged, she was in Pontiac, at the corner of M-59 and Crescent Lake Road. There used to be a movie theatre there. There was a pay phone we stopped at to ask some friends if they want to see a movie. They didn’t.

As we were pulling away, some guys pulled up next to us to talk. There are four guys in the car, but two never get out of the backseat. I was in the backseat of my sister’s car, our friend Heather was in the front passenger seat, and Poppy, who was the driver, got out of the car.

One guy opens the driver’s door of our car, leans in and tries to eject the cassette tape we were listening to. Heather is fighting him, but he gets it out. He reaches for our cassette holder, but Heather wins that fight.  He then grabs Poppy’s purse, and Heather is fighting over that, but the strap breaks and he has Poppy’s purse.

Her purse was open, and everything fell to the pavement. I got out of the car, because my sister is now out there alone. I’m watching Poppy pick her stuff up when I get punched in the face.  It was a hard hit, but I had fist fought a lot before.  Poppy punches like a man, way harder than that guy.  I turned and gave him a dirty look.

The guys just stared at me.  They didn’t realize I could a hit and not cry or go down.

While we were out of the car, one of the two guys kept trying to grab us by our vaginas, which is criminal sexual conduct. One guy spit on Poppy, which was assault and battery.

They all jump into the car and drive off slowly. They aren’t worried about me writing down the license plate, as the car belongs to the mom of one of their girlfriends.

Cops in Waterford still found them. We immediately called the police from the pay phone we used earlier. They were able to trace the car to them.

I found out that the guy that punched me in the face had a previous attempted murder charge on his record. I wasn’t even called during the trial.

Ali Was Mugged, Again

It happened again in the 1990’s (around 1996) but this time I was in Ypsilanti. I was a broke college student and I had walked to Frog Island to swing on the swing sets. I had taken my shoes off.

A bum walked up to me, he was about 6’4”, thin and dirty. He tells me, “I’m going to rob you.” I keep swinging because I don’t have any money or even any pockets. I laughed. He then told me he was going to take my shoes.

He also says, “I’m going to beat you up.”

I can see another man in the park, down by the Huron river. I tell the bum that I am going to call for help.  I call to the other man, “Can you help me? This guy is robbing me.” And in response, the man got up, looked at us, and walked in the opposite direction.

I looked back at the bum, and he smirked at me.

I’m trying to get the swing to stop as he is putting my shoes on. I want to be able to defend myself or run away. Of course, they don’t fit.

He tries to grab me, but I run around him and toward the entrance of the park. There is a pay phone there. I quick call the cops, but he’s gaining on me, so I hang up.  Across the street I can see a man mowing his lawn.  I run up to him and say, “This man is chasing me. Can I please stand in your yard?” He turned off his lawn mower, walked in his house, and closed the door.

Abandoned by the second man in one day, I can see the bum getting closer. I felt so unsafe.  I took off and ran home. I lost some faith in humanity that day.

(Side note: One of Jenn’s cars has a tape deck. Her newest car has a CD player.)

Yelling fire helps you, not because someone wants to help you, but because they are concerned their stuff might get hurt in a fire.

Jenn’s Car Broken Into, At the Same Complex as Her Robbery

She believes it was someone she knows. She had an ex who put a speaker system in her car. This is during a time when people had giant subwoofers. Jenn had a baby seat in the back.

One morning she woke up to a smashed car window. Someone had taken out the subwoofers and put her son’s seat back. It wasn’t until Jenn turned on the radio that she knew something was missing.

Jenn’s Apartment Broken Into, At the Same Complex as Her Robbery

Someone had shattered her sliding glass door. They did steal her old sewing machine. They also dragged their hand across all the clothes in her walk-in closet, wiping blood on them. Jenn threw out all the clothes. Nothing else was missing.

Ali and Her Cousin Are Almost Carjacked

My mom has seven siblings.  I have so many cousins.  For this story, the cousin with me will remain anonymous.

We were in Detroit, trying to buy weed. It was around 1997. It was a cold and rainy night. As we were driving around a corner, a man got into the backseat of our car. I believe he fully intended to rob us, but we were very nice to him.

As soon as he got in my cousin and I look back at him. My cousin said, “Hey buddy, you need a ride somewhere?”  I was, “Can we help you? I know it is a bad night out there.  Need us to go somewhere?”

He sat there quietly, and about a block later, asked us to let him out. I don’t think we was ready for us to have that response.

Ali Has Her House Broken Into

When I divorced my first husband, I had less than no money. The only place I could afford to live was in this beat-up trailer that I bought. The back door on this trailer was the hankiest backdoor ever built. I had to nail it to the wall to keep it in place.

While I was working at the hospital, I had to back the system up.  It would take about 16 hours or so. I had to change physical tapes at the hospital. That night my daughter was with her dad, so I asked my sister if I stay at her apartment, which was only a mile from the hospital.  I changed the tapes multiple times through the night.

The next day I am at work again and my best friend/neighbor, Homer, called.  (He was the most wonderful person. I loved him until he died, and I love him still.  He was in his late 70’s when I met him.) Homer told me that someone noticed my backdoor was laying in the lot next to my house. It was a 90% abandoned trailer park; nothing was next to my house but grass.

Homer goes into my house and calls me back and tells me someone was in my house. I drive home and the back door is in the next yard. I am pissed.  My heat has been running all night and it was cold. I’m a broke single parent, and it is right before Christmas. I might as well as throw money out of the window.

The second thing that made me mad was the robber had opened my fridge and freezer and left them open. I had to throw out all of that food and buy more. I was so mad. My fridge was running all night.

They stole a giant bag of loose change I had for Arianna. He had moved my mattress.

That Christmas, gold jewelry had gone one sale for 75% off, so I bought stuff for my mom and sisters that was gold. Everything was in bags, because I don’t wrap gifts.  Everything but the gold fell out of the bags when he dumped them. He stole the DVDs I had bought my ex-husband from my daughter.

My former father in law owned a mobile home parts store. He brought me a new back door.

I was all indignant on the cops. Canton cops did not care that a trailer was robbed. At one point I called as was all righteous, “Sir, I understand that due to my current socioeconomic status, I live in a trailer park. I assure you I deserve as much attention as the richer people. I am a fine citizen of this state.”

Self Defense Techniques

Fight to stay in place: Do not allow yourself to be taken to a secondary location.  The chances of you surviving through a location change is very low.  Should someone try to pull you into their car, one thing you can do is wedge yourself in place while you fight. With their car door open, facing the hood, lock an arm over the car door and another over the windshield.  Kick backwards at the person trying to pull you in the car while screaming to draw attention.  You can also lock your arm around the window frame.

How to get out of a bind: Should someone try to bind your hands together with zip ties or duct tape, try to keep your hands in front of you.  Also, try to make sure the inside of both your wrists are touching. When you are bound like this, you can break the zip tie or duct tape by swinging your hands down and hitting yourself in the leg if you’re sitting, or your stomach if you are laying on your back. The force of the hit will rip the tape or break the tie.  You can use the same technique on your legs if you clasp your hands together a swing them like a club at the tape, while pulling your legs apart as hard as you can.

Escaping a car trunk:  In fall of 2001, it became mandatory to install glow in the dark pull handles inside of car trunks.  Pull this to escape, if at all possible.  Should that device be disabled, you still have two options. You can try to locate the spare tire jack at the bottom of the trunk, under the carpet.  The jack can be used to pry the trunk open.  Or you could try and kick out a break light, and signal for help to someone behind the car.

Five Vulnerable Points on a Human

  1. Eyes: I’ve said it before, go for the eyes.  It is incredibly painful to be poked in the eye.  It can be disorienting. Also, someone being poked in their eye will jerk their head back as an automatic response, this will all an opening for you to attack another vulnerable place.
  2. Nose: It only takes nine pounds of pressure to break someone’s nose. As someone who has broken her nose (Ali) it will also cause your eyes to water, making it hard to see.
  3. Throat: Hit them in the throat with either a closed fist or the blade of your hand. You can also form your hand into the shape of a C and grab their trachea. Either of these techniques will cause damage, and enough force will crush their windpipe.
  4. Groin: A groin kick hurts men and women.  I played soccer in high school and was on the receiving end of a groin kick.  It hurt and left a bruise. Try to hit a man as directly as possible, because enough force can burst one of his testicles.  This will give you time to run away and get help.
  5. Lower Body Joints: A kick to the front of the knee cap can dislodge it, causing your attacker too much pain to follow you as you run off. Should you struggle to reach their knee, try stomping or kicking their feet and ankles with the heel of your foot.

For women, remember that your legs are stronger than your arms.  Should you try to do something with force, use your legs if possible.  Also, use your elbows to strike in close quarters.  Your elbow is strong and is less likely to break than a bone in your hand.

Don’t wait for them to strike or grab you.  Start planning your fight the moment you sense you might be in trouble.  Run.  Always run.

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