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Not Backing Down
January 8, 2013 - Heather Ziegler
Maybe they didn't mean to scare the bejeevers out of me, but they did. For a split second or two, I was afraid. I left work shortly after 11 p.m. and was heading to my car when two women approached me from the south. We made eye contact, I said hello and I kept walking, briskly to my car.
Suddenly I heard their footsteps running up behind me. I whirled around and asked what they wanted. I think I frightened them as much as they did me. I don't know what they were up to -- you can draw your own conclusions -- but they were both obviously high or drunk.
You can tell such things staring into someone's eyes as you are quickly sizing up a situation. One of these young ladies said "sorry, sorry, nothing," when I asked what they wanted. I stood my ground for a split second more and then got into my car. They moved on down the sidewalk and when I last saw them, they were standing at 16th and Main streets.
They appeared a bit confused or agitated. You can surmise that they were just out of sorts and meant no harm, but then again, I did not know what they were up to.
THEY are the ones who should be concerned. Anyone you meet on the street these days could easily be carrying a weapon, legally or illegally.
I make it a practice to avoid confrontation. Yet sometimes it just happens. I can tell you that once I got into my car, I did not wait to heat up the engine. I locked the doors and drove home. Only after I got home did my knees shake a little at the thought of what could have happened. People say things have changed and youáre not safe anywhere. I don't believe that. I have never been afraid to walk the streets of downtown Wheeling. I grew up in Wheeling and have always enjoyed its many benefits. I believe the good outweighs the bad. The quality of life has not changed here, only the quality of some of people who bring it down. It makes me more cautious, but I refuse to be too afraid to walk on Main Street. Drugs are a bigger problem than most people know and are the catalyst for many of the petty and larger crimes in the area.
I am happy to know there are more cruisers on the streets to deter criminals. I wish the police chief and his officers well in this new year.
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