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ToddH

1st experience with Vandals

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Soooo... everything has been going great this year, being my real 1st year doing a light show for the Holidays. Had the news come, did a great bit on ABC "The List", tons of screaming kids and adults alike, thanking me for putting on a great display for them to enjoy..it goes one...well that ended last night.. My wife was upstairs painting our bedroom and I had the outside music turned off, just was broadcasting it....anyway I was downstairs and I hear her Yell and start cursing...she comes running down stairs and says I think someone just destroyed our Hanukkah bear. (I got the 11ft blowup bear that holds a Dreidel) SO many complements on it from everyone... anyway we go running outside and the bear is starting to slope and deflate... She said she hear a bang, she looked out the window, saw some kids running and got into black 4 door sedan and went down the street...Well a bit of history about me...in the fight or flight theory I have always been the fighter...so I jump in my truck and head down the road, and about a block away I see a black 4 door sedan...not knowing if it was them or not I just sped up really really fast and got behind them with brights on, saw about 6 heads in the car...so wasn't sure until they peeled off...well I followed them, getting more in-raged as we went on.

They turned down a main street then to an off street that I knew was a dead-end, once they did they tried to back out and I blocked them and sat there...and then I realized [Foul Language Used]....I don't have my cell phone... The driver got out, musta been 17 or 18 year old and another got out of the backseat, he was probably about the same but stood about 6'6 about 300lbs and started walking to my car... adrenaline kicked in and I have a double sided machete in the car from when I used to have my landscaping business I used it to cut palm leafs. and I just start going off and tell them to get back in the car...once they saw the blade they started freaking out, one was like Im calling the cops, I said please do, and let them know you acted in a hate crime...

So yes I know, i over reacted but again to me it was the fight or flight... anyway I confront them extremely aggressively esp being that there was 6 of them an one of me...and tell them that I have a video of them performing the act and driving away with the license plate...they insist that i am mistaken and it was not them...I say we will let the cops figure that out..I go back to my truck and pick up my GPS and act like its a cell phone :)lol start talking and making comments all a while my window was open and I knew they could hear me, after about 3-5 minutes I said hold on and rolled my window down and said, "you have one more chance to come clean before this gets really ugly for everyone", the big guy in the back stood up and said "sir, it was me sir, I threw the rock sir, I am so sorry...what can we do to make this right sir?", I said if you have cash on you can pay me now for it..they all took a collection from everyone in the car and gave me $130.00

I said I would not press charges and we can just caulk this up to bad choices...well apparently one of the kids calls 911 and I heard him say that that the cops are coming, I was not worried and said that is only going to be bad for you guys, we can wait for them or just move on, they choose to move on...well as we were baking out of this dead end, 4 cop cars show up, they come out guns drawn an all, started yelling at me to get down, show my hands, where's the sword... lol, long story short, after they cuffed me and put me in the back of the car and told me that I created 2 felonies (one holding them against their will and assault with a deadly weapon with threat to cause bodily harm)... They get the story from me, and being that I am Jewish and have had a history of having to fight off idiots who are disrespectful...they understood the reaction but gave me the pep talk of what if they are armed...I then told them to look in my glove box, I have my license in there and my S&W P99 9mm. He kinda grinned and thanked me for not drawing that out when confronting the kids...they said they admitted to them everything but swore it was not due to it was a Jewish symbol but that it was just the largest thing on the property, and the officer said he believes them, he stated 2 of the boys were in tears and that besides me scaring the ever living life out of them, when they found out it was a Jewish Bear and the officer told them it could be a possible hate crime they freaked out... anyway the officer took the money from them, gave it to me and told me to go home...whew that would have sucked if they took me in...but figured I would share an exciting evening with you all :) But now we are looking in putting up some cameras with nigh vision around the house after this event.

I looked at the damage and thankfully the hole that they created is right in the seem of the neck, so looks like it can be fixed up, just need to find some parachute thread or something.

Merry Christmas all :)

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Guest wbottomley

Holy ^%$# Todd. It's a sure bet those kids will think twice before vandalizing anything again. What a story!

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Holy ^%$# Todd. It's a sure bet those kids will think twice before vandalizing anything again. What a story!

Holy ^%$# Todd. It's a sure bet those kids will think twice before vandalizing anything again. What a story!

I hope so...for a few years the neighbors have stated every year someone goes around and vandalizes others displays, but they never catch them...but this night, with the keen hearing from my wife and my insanity, I bet you are right, that these kids will never do something like that again ;)

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Way to go Todd!! Since I have met you, I can see you doing that. And by the way, the GPS for a phone, great idea.

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Guest Don Gillespie

Way to go Todd, you and I are alike, the best part is you probably scared them enough that they will always think twice before they ever try that crap again.

Merry Christmas.

And by the way, you may need to talk to DonG about how to handle things. Here is his post.

http://forums.lighto...es/#entry240177

I am taking notes right now Shfr26, I definitely want Todd on my team.

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Way to go Todd, you and I are alike, the best part is you probably scared them enough that they will always think twice before they ever try that crap again.

Merry Christmas.

Right, you smile and say Merry Christmas, he chasing them and scares the [Foul Language Used] out of them, :P

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Here's a link to the Machete I have and what they saw...Forget Crocodile Dundee...NOW THIS IS A KNIFE! :)http://budk.com/cata...roductId=157330

I can see how that could be mistaken for a sword. It sure comes close.

And you're lucky those kids still admitted to their little endeveor, if they had changed their story and denied it, the outcome of your experience would have been completely different.

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I can see how that could be mistaken for a sword. It sure comes close.

And you're lucky those kids still admitted to their little endeveor, if they had changed their story and denied it, the outcome of your experience would have been completely different.

I thought about that, and still in the end it would have sucked but those boys lives as well as their parents would have changed forever. Just think about ... I call the producer for the show ABC "the list" who was at my house this year, in fact just a week ago and tell her about a hate crime...it would have been a media frenzy and would have been a very very ugly experience for them more than for me, but again, glad it didn't have to go that route.

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I probably would have pissed my pants if I saw you with that! Great job!

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i just caught someone on video running over my sign the other day. called the cops. same result, kids being stupid.

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Big Difference with what kids do now adays compared to what we used to do as kids.. I was no angle growing up in NYC, but we never destroyed anything. I think the worse thing we did was at a place up in Westchester County, was at about 2am we went on the roof of one house and re-arranged the deer and Santa to make it look like they were having sex... to us it was funny...esp cause they left it like that for a few weeks! But to down right destroy someones stuff...never.

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:o I wish more cops were like that. My generation and the next think everything is about fun and games. BTW - That is one scary machete dude!

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Todd, you were a bit lucky that you did not get to spend a little time in the graybar motel before it was sorted out. However it does sound like it all worked out in the end.

Having the video to back you up can come in handy. Last night when I got home from work my son (who regularly grumbles about why on earth I put in security cameras in our "good" neighborhood), asked me to take a look at the video. Turns out that someone had stolen a backpack belonging to one of my son's friends that had been left unattended on a chair in the driveway about 100 feet in from the street. Sure enough, I found the girl that grabbed the backpack. Showed the video to my son and he knew who it was. All of a sudden, he has a much better appreciation for the cameras...

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As a LEO i can say you are very lucky. Glad it worked out for you tho. Might look into anger mgt classes lol.

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Security Camera's all the way. My neighbours scowled when I installed 4 1080p IP camera's and an NVR system (with remote connection through iPhone & iPad. Then we caught 2 kids breaking into our neighbourhood mailbox and the video was used to convict them, now all the neighbours have the app on their phones and are pricing adding a camera to their house to record to our system to increase the net. Our one neighbour lost his inflatable "Frosty" 2 weeks ago and the guy taking thought he was forward of our camera (didn't know about the second one that caught him full frame (plus his truck and licence)). Cops wanted nothing to do with it until we showed them the video. Easy bust so they acted right away. Turns out he had a truck load and was putting them on eBay.

By the way, when I was young (just after University and football), I approached a car load of punks who had done me wrong. I slowed down a bit after they unloaded 2 x .38 rounds into my guts. I think the camera system and a bit more of a "Canadian" attitude might lower your personal risk. I'm pretty sure that had there been a gun in the other vehicle, the blade you were wielding might have yielded a different result (the whole knife-to-a-gun-fight argument).

Glad you are ok, glad the display lives on, glad those kids got schooled. Truth is, I would have probably jumped into the passenger seat of your truck with you in the heat of the moment and gone looking!

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glad it worked out for you, cant say that i wouldnt do the same thing. as we all see in the news, you just dont ever know. i am a firefighter and was sicken by what happened on Christmas Eve in NY

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