I must apologize to my “flock”…

Hey Everyone – some of you know already and some of you have not heard but I had a pretty crazy incident go down this past Wednesday – here is an online article (I’ll copy & paste as well in case it eventually becomes a dead link)

This is from the Thursday, April 1st edition of “The Augusta Chronicle” and NO it is NOT an April Fool’s Joke.

READ STORY HERE – you will have to scroll down about midway on page to the section titled “Badge ‘seller’ robs visiting minister of $14,400”

Here is the actual Text:

Badge ‘seller’ robs visiting minister of $14,400

A man was robbed of $14,400 in cash after he arranged to meet with someone who promised him eight Masters badges, police say.

Neal Alligood, a minister from Smyrna, Ga., told Richmond County sheriff’s deputies he set up a rendezvous Wednesday at a BP gas station on Wheeler Road.

The “seller” got into the car with the victim, talked a bit, then pulled a gun out of an envelope and demanded the money, a report states.

When the victim handed over the cash, the robber grabbed the keys to the car and fled into the woods behind the station.

Attempts to find the robber using a police tracking dogs were unsuccessful.

— Kyle Martin, staff writer

Okay to get the FULL EFFECT you gotta read the COMMENTS SECTION –

People were killing me about this – here are my favorites highlighted: (My responses for clarification in RED)

Sojourner Thursday, Apr. 1 7:58 AM

I think I’d question what the congregation is paying a minister who has $14,000 of disposable income. I wouldn’t expect him to live in poverty or anything, but that’s a bit much.

First off it wasn’t MY MONEY – I was helping out friends who run a legitimate business and was just making a pickup for them.  But I love how they added “I wouldn’t expect him to live in poverty or anything, but that’s a bit much” ha ha ha – I LIVE IN THE BASEMENT OF A FAMILY OF FIVE AND DRIVE A PIECE OF CRAP CAR ha ha ha ha – and I love how this person gets to decide how much “disposable income” a minister should or should not have.  So then do ministers get to determine how much disposable income the people in their congregation should or should NOT have????

themaninthemirror Thursday, Apr. 1 8:27 AM

sojourner- He was probably one of those television evangelists that are always begging for money.

This was a GREAT ONE – how sad that stupid “television evangelists” have ruined it for legit guys – and again “IT WASN’T MY MONEY” (see answer above) – but YES I am always begging for money since I have to fundraise!  TRUTH HURTS A LIL yikes!

themaninthemirror Thursday, Apr. 1 8:33 AM

The minister should have known better. It is not like they were making an illegal drug deal. I would have told the man to meet me in a motel lobby or some where there would be people around. Even a busy parking lot would have been better. The minister should have at least gotten out of his car to complete the transaction. I bet the thief would have thought twice then.

Okay at least this guy is on track – YES I should have known better – and yes the plan was to meet elsewhere – BUT IT WAS IN A CROWDED PARKING LOT next to a MAJOR ROAD so there were lots of people around.  Also I DID GET OUT OF MY CAR – but for anyone that has done this sort of transaction you get out and meet and then sit in the car to count out money & tickets – it is totally the norm.  But I will agree meeting in a bank or other “guarded” spot would have been more wise.  So Kudos to this “commentor” for thinking it through – wish you had been there with me on Wed!!! ha ha ha

disssman Thursday, Apr. 1 7:35 PM (oooo this guy was killin’ me!)

The minister should have left the cash where he found it = in the collection dish of his church. I wonder if his flock can afford thousands for a golf tournament?

(Again see answer above about whose money it was)  But I guess here is my “official apology” to “my flock” – sorry that we are unable to afford thousands for a golf tournament, that I paid nothing for, that I am not attending, that I have not really had anything to do with except that one incident.  I hope that you all will forgive me even though it seems that most of these fine people commenting on “The Augusta Chronicle” are unable to do!

NOW EVERYONE – IN ALL SERIOUSNESS:

Yes I did go to Augusta to help some friends out with getting tickets to the Masters’ Tourney, yes I did meet a guy and it ended up being in an unwise place (not where we had originally planned but it did not seem like there was any question to me about his legitimacy).  I will say it was a busy eating establishment @ 11 AM in broad daylight with major traffic all around.  With building with surveillance systems all around – so I just never assumed the worst.

I got out of the car and met the guy – he got in my car (which is normal when dealing with tickets & money so you can count everything out) and we pulled into a parking spot in the front of the establishment surrounded by lots of cars and people.  I started to give him the money to count & he reached in his big envelope to take out what I thought was tickets – but it was a pistol.  Then I proceeded to give him the money, then he asked for the car keys (he did not “grab them and run” as indicated in the news story). (side note I was driving my friends car – he didn’t want me to take the Camry due to how much it breaks down – but if I HAD been driving the Camry I would have told the dude if he is taking the keys he HAS TO TAKE THE CAR ha ha ha ha) The story also left out the guys BEST LINE – He told me that when he gets out of the car to “count to 100 before I do anything” ha ha – I wanted to ask if after I counted should I shout out the window “READY OR NOT HERE I COME” but I figured he was not in a joking mood.  He got out of the car with keys, cash, gun – he walked quickly to the back where there were some woods.  Then disappeared down a path.

I called my friends to let them know about the robbery & called 911 to report everything that happened.  Cops showed up – I gave a report and now the case is being worked on.  It TOTALLY SUCKED to have this happen & I feel HORRIBLE about losing the money for my friends.  I also felt horrible about having to sit at the eating establishment (which only serves outside – no indoors service) for the next 6.5 hours waiting for a second set of keys to be brought from Atlanta so I could drive the car back home.

I did end up with NO PHYSICAL HARM (well not counting the ridiculous “farmer’s tan” I got from sunburn from having to stay outside all day), the car was intact, I did get to keep other money I had on me & my own wallet (which had like $1 in it).  So all in all it was a crazy and bad experience BUT could have been MUCH WORSE – I guess this was another case of the Lord watching out for those of us who sometimes do STUPID THINGS.  We all definitely learned some lessons about how to not allow things like this to take place again and who knows what will come of the guy who robbed me & the money he stole etc etc.

If nothing else I have another CRAZY STORY to add to a long list of others – and I am very thankful for my friends and family who are supportive and that nothing happened to me in the way of physical harm.  So now it’s time to move on & look back on this as a lesson learned.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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1 Comment

Filed under My So Called Life, Road Trips

One response to “I must apologize to my “flock”…

  1. Do I need to come down there and take care of you?
    I am glad you are okay but am so sorry this happened.

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