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Am I being stalked?

Old 06-23-15, 10:56 AM
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bruce19
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Am I being stalked?

Not sure where this should be posted but doing it here because this is my "go to" crowd. This just happened. I was out in the car doing an errand. As I came off a highway off ramp that goes in a big circle I came to the place where it merges into a local road. Both the off ramp and the local road are two lanes in the direction I was going. There is no merging, it's two lanes into two lanes. There was a small SUV on my left and. because I was on the inside, as I came onto the local road I was a couple car lengths ahead of the SUV in the left lane. I was about 1/4 mi. from having to make a left so I checked my side view mirror, accelerated a bit and went to the left. The SUV driver apparently did not like this because he accelerated hard and rode up on my bumper with horn blaring. This was not an "iffy" move on my part. I knew exactly where he was and had accelerated to keep from jamming him up. But, he decided to make it a problem. OK no big deal. Except he then started riding up on me. At a traffic light the light was changing to red. Normally I would stop. But, to lose him, I accelerated. He ran the light and stayed on me. I decided I better not turn into the store to run my errand. Only bad things could happen. So, I kept going and hit another light turning red. I went through and he ran the red again. So, I went down a couple miles and took a right onto a road that would take me away from the commercial area. He followed. Now I know that if I have to stop the chances are this guy is coming out of the car. I have a permit to carry and am armed. This can come to a bad end quickly if I stop. So, I call 911. The State Police Dispatcher asks me what my emergency is. I tell her what is happening. She asks if I have his plate number but I can't read it. Partly because he's too close. During this whole episode it seems to me he is also on his cell phone. Now the dispatcher suggests that I pull into a gas station and keep my window rolled up. WTF? I tell her that if I do that and he starts pounding on my car we will have a problem. I tell her I had intended to drive to a local PD. BTW, I do not tell her I am armed because I have no intention of it coming to that and I don't want her thinking I'm threatening. Which, I am not. I tell her where I am and she says she will contact a trooper. Just at this point the guy turns off. I tell her this. And, I tell her where he's going in hopes there will be a trooper in the area. Now here are my thoughts and a question. I'm thinking that it is possible that this guy could run my plate and find out who I am and where I live. And, I'm wondering if there's a way to run my own plate to see if anyone else has run it. I have no idea. I do have friends who might be able to access that info if it exists. Anyone know if that's possible?
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Old 06-23-15, 11:09 AM
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I'm assuming one must hack the DMV to access plates and info. I surely hope that info is secure. Scary situation. I hate that kind of adrenaline flow. Good thing you pack.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:14 AM
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Stalked no, little road rage yes.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:15 AM
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just because you are paranoid, does not mean they are not out to get you.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:16 AM
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You can get anybody's plate info. (name, home address, etc.) online from certain sites. Usually you have to pay a small subscription fee.

Just take solace in knowing that this hot headed driver will run up against a bigger A-hole than he is sometime and will wind up either getting a good pounding or shot.

Here one:

Check People Driving Records in US - PeoplePublicRecords.org

$5 for 7 day access.

Last edited by KJK; 06-23-15 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:24 AM
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Sounds like you did the right thing. Driving to local PD was a good plan.
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Old 06-23-15, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Sounds like you did the right thing. Driving to local PD was a good plan.
+1
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Old 06-23-15, 12:03 PM
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Did you do any erratic turns? Loops? It does sound like road rage... but... perhaps the other driver was just a bad driver. Or, perhaps they were on the phone with the police complaining about a seemingly drunk driver that had just about run them off the road, then proceeded to drive through two read lights.

A couple of years ago while I was still driving... I changed my route from the freeway to home.. which sent me onto a secondary freeway exit and around several seemingly random corners on low volume roads.

Somehow I found myself "following" another car around 4 corners after dark through a moderate industrial area. Eventually the car pulled into a dead-end, turned around and stopped at which point I passed by.

It was odd enough that I'm sure the car thought I was following them. But, it was simply a route that I was quite familiar with since I had been riding it by bike since I was about 10.
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Old 06-23-15, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Sounds like you did the right thing. Driving to local PD was a good plan.
+1

Scary situation. I don't know how I would have handled it ... probably no different than you. This is one of those situations where I really think a video camera comes in handy. People tend to behave when they know a record is being made.

The irony is that I would wager that he was probably on his phone, calling someone to report a cyclist riding erratically and running red lights.
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Old 06-23-15, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
+1

Scary situation. I don't know how I would have handled it ... probably no different than you. This is one of those situations where I really think a video camera comes in handy. People tend to behave when they know a record is being made.

The irony is that I would wager that he was probably on his phone, calling someone to report a cyclist riding erratically and running red lights.

I was in my car not cycling.
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Old 06-23-15, 01:20 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by KJK View Post
You can get anybody's plate info. (name, home address, etc.) online from certain sites. Usually you have to pay a small subscription fee.

Just take solace in knowing that this hot headed driver will run up against a bigger A-hole than he is sometime and will wind up either getting a good pounding or shot.

Here one:

Check People Driving Records in US - PeoplePublicRecords.org

$5 for 7 day access.
I happened to run into a State Trooper at my Town Hall about an hour ago. I was there to pay a tax bill. I asked him if it was legal for DMV to give out my personal info based on plate number. He said they cannot do that. So, how a private, on line company can get that info is beyond me. I asked him if I made a request to local law enforcement to run my plate and tell me if someone had run it, would they do that. He said he could not tell me who did it if, in fact, they did. So, I said, "But, can you tell me if it's been run since around 11 am this morning?" He said he could and he did. No one had run it.
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Old 06-23-15, 01:26 PM
  #12  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Did you do any erratic turns? Loops? It does sound like road rage... but... perhaps the other driver was just a bad driver. Or, perhaps they were on the phone with the police complaining about a seemingly drunk driver that had just about run them off the road, then proceeded to drive through two read lights.
No. I simply made a right turn as did all the cars at that point. He was definitely chasing me. I made some turns one would not ordinarily take and he followed me for 5 miles. This was totally road rage.
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Old 06-23-15, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by KJK View Post
You can get anybody's plate info. (name, home address, etc.) online from certain sites. Usually you have to pay a small subscription fee.

Just take solace in knowing that this hot headed driver will run up against a bigger A-hole than he is sometime and will wind up either getting a good pounding or shot.

Here one:

Check People Driving Records in US - PeoplePublicRecords.org

$5 for 7 day access.
From the website: "Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: DUI and DWI records, criminal records, arrests, court records, warrants and more."

I do not think that DMV records are "public records" per the FOI. But, I am going to follow up on that. The Trooper said that the only thing DMV could divulge was whether a plate number was "in use" or not. He said that was for the purpose of knowing whether you could get a particular vanity plate. With regard to FOI requests, at least in CT, you have to apply for the info.
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Old 06-23-15, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
From the website: "Under The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Title 5 of the United States Code, section 552, any person has the right to request access to public records: DUI and DWI records, criminal records, arrests, court records, warrants and more."

I do not think that DMV records are "public records" per the FOI. But, I am going to follow up on that. The Trooper said that the only thing DMV could divulge was whether a plate number was "in use" or not. He said that was for the purpose of knowing whether you could get a particular vanity plate. With regard to FOI requests, at least in CT, you have to apply for the info.
Your instincts are correct in that. Some states (California) are more strict about it than others, but even in general a cop could get in big trouble for running plates for some personal reason, let alone for someone else.

When tied to a person's name it's personal identifying information, unless it's in public record somewhere or has been made available by the individual, and therefore can't be published. Or even used for personal reasons. Law enforcement is a different story.

If that site can "run a plate" I suspect that it's information from some public record database. Traffic tickets maybe, that sort of thing.
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Old 06-23-15, 07:41 PM
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There are enough emotionally ill people in the world that you're bound to run into one now and then. Every once in a while I think to myself that I should be packing. But then, I might end up doing the wrong thing in a trying situation such as what you experienced.
You just had an unlucky day Bruce.
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Old 06-23-15, 08:41 PM
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If you do a little googling on that license plate lookup website you'll see that those who have tried it are quite unhappy with the results (scam is a word that is repeated many times).
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Old 06-23-15, 09:17 PM
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If you were being "stalked".... there would have been a note on your windshield when you left work. And when you got home... a message on your home answering machine.

I'd guess that you just ticked off someone with anger (pronounced: fear) issues. It ended when he turned.
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Old 06-23-15, 09:36 PM
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Just a minute here... people in the very liberal state of Connecticut are 'packing'?
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Old 06-24-15, 01:44 AM
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Road rage, on the phone to his girl, wife. splitting up and probably drunk.
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Old 06-24-15, 02:18 AM
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Where was you bike at this time?
Were you wearing kit?
Maybe he thought Bruce was a cute name?

PS.. don't run stoplights! Now you are endangering others.
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Old 06-24-15, 03:29 AM
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At least you had a car surrounding you. Similar thing happened to me one time 35 years ago. I was on my Peugeot. On it, not in one.
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Old 06-24-15, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Where was you bike at this time?
Were you wearing kit?
Maybe he thought Bruce was a cute name?

PS.. don't run stoplights! Now you are endangering others.

I didn't run a red light. I went through twice on the yellow. I also made sure there was no other traffic coming through. The lights were at entrances to commercial areas. What I did was time it so that I could get through but he would have to stop or run the red light. But, yes, it is not something I would ordinarily do. The alternative of having to confront this guy was, I thought, more problematic.
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Old 06-24-15, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Cutter View Post
If you were being "stalked".... there would have been a note on your windshield when you left work. And when you got home... a message on your home answering machine.

I'd guess that you just ticked off someone with anger (pronounced: fear) issues. It ended when he turned.
I suspect you are right.
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Old 06-24-15, 05:53 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by NVanHiker View Post
Just a minute here... people in the very liberal state of Connecticut are 'packing'?
We are considered to be "Liberals" but it doesn't mean the majority want to do away with private ownership of firearms. It is more like wanting laws that advance the idea that only responsible people can own them. I've had a permit to carry for about 15 yrs. My son teaches the course to get a permit and is also an armorer. FWIW, I don't take your comment as being provocative but it did make me think of how we all have been taught to put labels on each other. I have to tell myself not to do that now and again.
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Old 06-24-15, 06:13 AM
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Scary. A lot of people carrying weapons would stop because of the false sense of invulnerability/security they foster. You showed remarkable good sense in avoiding that impulse. As you say, nothing good could come from it.
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