(long time reader, first time poster. Sorry if my story is a little rambling)
I've grown up and spent my whole life here in Alaska, but moved around to several parts of the southcentral part of the state.
I'm female and 19 now, but this story takes place when I was in 6th grade.
I grew up in Palmer and other parts of the Matanuska valley,
which is filled with open carry enthusiasts who always help another Alaskan in need (I have spent several hours in the winter especially digging peoples cars out of the snow because they try taking
a Toyota corolla onto a dirt road in 3ft of snow...) I remember when I was younger it being very safe in Alaska, but recently our crime rates have skyrocketed.
This year alone has been the most deadly on record. I think the news of the serial killer this year made it to national news, I'm not sure though.
Anyway, that's not really important to the story, but when I was in 6th grade I moved to Alaska's largest city, Anchorage.
I was really shy growing up, and usually kept to myself and the few friends i did have.
A few months before this story took place my mother had passed away so I was more secluded and shy than ever.
I would take the bus to school every day, and the bus stop was only a short walk down the street from my house.
My brother and I would walk together, but this day he was listening to his Ipod and didn't realize he had left me so far behind (like 100 feet about).
I hadn't noticed he had left me since i always walked with my head facing the ground at that age.
He had split away from me as we reached the hill we walked down to reach our stop right at the bottom of it.
Since I was looking down at the ground I hadn't noticed a small gray car speeding towards me, and I didn't look up until it had come to a screeching halt next to me.
I looked up to see a middle age guy, maybe his late 30's, sitting in this beat up gray toyota corolla looking car (I didn't know much about cars at the time,
but looking back with what i know now I'm pretty sure it was something similar) He was staring at me very intently and was leaning over the passenger seat through the open passenger window,
and he said, "Hey it's raining do you want a ride to school? Hop in i can take you."
I didn't really understand what he was attempting because this was the first time something like this had happened to me.
It also confused me because not 100 feet away from me was a large group of other kids my age obviously waiting for the bus at 7:30 in the morning.
I guess it was so ingrained in my head by my parents to never talk to strangers or accept ride from them that I immediately replied with a stern but polite "No thank you,
I'm walking to the bus now."
"No it's ok, just hop in, I can give you a ride, it'll be faster." He sounded very insisting, like he didn't want to give up quite yet.
"No, I don't need a ride, sorry" I had started walking again, but he put his car in reverse and was rolling down the hill beside me.
"C'mon just get in I'll take you to school, it's ok."
Here is when I got annoyed/angry and took a step back to look into his window. I stared at him angrily and said, "No! I do NOT need a ride.
" He mumbled something and sped off, and it hit me that he probably wasn't going to take me to school and my gut sank.
I whipped around in hopes of seeing his plate but he had already driven over the hill. I texted my dad and told him that some guy had just tried to pick me up on my way to the bus.
He immediately called me and asked where i was/are you ok/etc. I told him I was fine but freaked out. He got off the phone with me and called the police.
A female officer met me at my school and took down all the details I could give her.
Afterwords she told me how a man matching the description had been driving around anchorage and hitting them with his car outside parks or hangout spots.
He would hit them as to not hurt them badly, just knock them over, and jump out and offer to take them to the hospital.
Most girls were wary enough to not get in the car, but others who weren't as suspicious of him got in. I think two girl had gotten in his car but had escaped.
Luckily the two main hospitals in Anchorage are in the hearts of the city right next to several airports and colleges,
so these girls were able to quickly realize they were not heading that direction and jumped out of the car. One girl even broke her arm jumping out as he tried to pull onto the highway.
I'm very glad that my parents constantly warned me about strangers growing up, and I'm very glad that these two other girls were able to escape from this guy.
I never found out if they caught the guy, or if any other girls disappeared, but I really hope he's not still prowling the streets here in Anchorage..