I was in Van Nuys and the front of my crappy Saturn car was just plowed over by a moving truck. The driver exchanged information with me and asked if I was ok. I was on a lit cross street. I nodded. "I am fine." They left me there and I called AAA.
A man crept up the sidewalk out of the shadows. "Come with me, we can have a drink? You want a cigarette? You want money? You want a car? Whatever you want, I can give it to you if you come with me," he insisted.
What do I look like, a four-year-old with a sugar craving. "No!" I said.
He took my cell phone very casually out of my hand and sat inside my car. Facing me, very calmly he said, "If you don't come with me, I will smash in your face."
That is when I was scared. My legs started shaking. He caressed my hair and let his hand glide up my inner thigh. In that minute, a tow truck turned the corner. AAA arrived, instructed me to lock myself inside the cab of their truck and chased the man off.
Everyone on Facebook kept encouraging me to file a police report. It seems like the practical thing to do, and with my friends and acquaintances cheering me on, I went to the Van Nuys police department the next day.
"Why didn't you call the police?" an officer asked.
"He had my cell phone," I said. And honestly? I knew AAA would be there faster, anyway.
"Why didn't you run?"
"There was only a strip club and a liquor store across the way. I am not stupid," I said.
"Why didn't you file a report last night?"
"Because my friend gave me a valium," I said.
"Well, you didn't. Now what do you want me to do?" he asked.
"File a report. There is a dangerous person out there. Don't you want to find him?"
"Why am I supposed to believe you?" he said. "What if you are lying?"