1) I go sometimes to a neighborhood where no one has ever even been rude to me, but it is still a n'hood that is somewhat poor and where most would say I have a higher than average chance of being mugged.
Being a man, I have fantasies that I will either see an armed robbery and knock the guy over with my car, or on really fantastic nights, that I will overpower the mugger. Bear in mind that I'm 60, have never been in a fight, and I'm overweight and not even in good shape these days. But I can dream, can't I?
But after I hurt the muggers, then comes the problem. The police show up, and I don't want to tell them my name or address because I'm afraid of retaliation, either for its own sake or because I'm going to be a witness at their trial. I want to give them an address where they can reach me, but I can't give them a friend's because that will endanger the friend. I think about lying outright and then correcting it in a day or two, after the newspaper articles have all been printed -- I fantasize that this is a big enough event that it makes the news -- muggee defends himself -- but only for one day -- and I can't help thinking that even if they don't get mad at me for lying, it will ruin my credibility before the jury.
I have a unique name in this city, and I have my name but not my address in the phone, mostly so friends won't drop by without calling, and for decades, including after the web existed and 411.com etc. I couldn't be found, but a few years ago, an obnoxious webpage using utility records or driver's license records or something that they must have bribed an employee to get, or worse yet the utility or DMV sold me out, now one who tries well enough can find my address.
So I"ve been meaning to learn more about this but haven't yet. I've been going to this n'hood occasionally for 20 plus years and at least twice a week for two years, and like I say, no one has ever said a rude word to me or given me a hostile glance. And some people are quite friendly.
2) Most of what I have in this post that is phrased as affirmative statments, as opposed to questions, is from what I've learned in the past, but I have a personal interest in this too. I have a neigbhbor with a slightly smaller than average pit bull and the entire family routinely walks it with no leash. Once in a while they leave it outside alone with no leash.
I've complained to her once or twice, and I've also called animal control, and was disapointed to find out that she was right, that in this county, she can leave the dog unleashed as long as it is on her property, even though she has no fence, and even though her front yard is about 25 by 25 feet. I've seen the dog leave the property also, and seen another dog on a leash bark at it, and once when I was walking my visiting 11-year-old dog, I was only 40 feet away when I saw it was outside without a leash and I yelled at the person to take it inside, but she was typicall unconcerned and only did so slowly.
It turns out if one complains, they come out and look at the dog and then walk over to the complainer and talk to him or put something in the mailbox. I don't want the neighbor to know I'm the complainer, and the woman on the phone said if I ask them not to come to my house, they'll write me instead. I'm sure I can count on that, NOT.
There are at least half a dozen neighbors who don't like this dog and who want to have the n'hood fine them (which we may not have the authority to do no matter how bad they are, but they've gotten away with stuff like this in the past, on n'bors who don't know much.)
But unless one of us starts carrying a camera, I don't think the county will be much help. Even if they fine them once, that won't discourage these people. And one son can be nice, lending me his lawn mower when I couldn't get mine to start. Although he also walks the dog a lot. He's one half step better than the rest, in that he carries the leash even though he never puts it on. Maybe when the dog has its jaws clamped on a little girls arm, he'll put the leash on. I think next time I'll ask him why he never puts it on. They say it plays with kids and isn't hostile, but that's usually the case before something bad happens.
What's interesting is that these n'bors live in what I call the haunted house here. Every person or family in this house since it was built has had something wrong with them. One couple were just selfish and got divorced, and in another case, the man left her with no money even to buy food and the doorknob so looose on the door you could see in to the house through a half-inch opening.
And this family who for years never said hello to me even when I said hello to them. Who I once had a bunch of Bazooka bubble gum and would give a piece to their 6 year old girl and her friends if they were there, for 150 pieces, and when I eventually ran out of gum and told them I had no more, the little girl never said a word to me again.
And finally I was told there was a murder in this house before I got here. That's probably why all the owners who have followed have been sorry cases. grin.