A quick shout-out to our pavilion guest from the New Nelius Bapts Church for the wonderful lunch they brought to us. You can see from the below pic that Judy really enjoyed the meal.
The normal Sat. winding down routine changed at 9:40 PM when a car with a well dressed couple and a less than matching female passenger in the back seat pulled up to window. Judy raised the drive-thu window to help them. She did not see a park pass and asked how she could help them. The woman in the front seat explained that she and her husband picked up the woman walking on the road a couple of miles from the park and the woman ask them to bring her to the park. Judy did not recognize the passenger and told the couple she could not come into the office. The Good Samaritan (GS) lady said the passenger kept telling them that she could not wake her boyfriend up. Judy turned her attention to the passenger, asking her if her BF was camping here. Judy eventually determined that the passenger was talking about the day use area of the park. I told Judy I would drive to the day use area in our CRV to see if anyone was there. The couple parked their car in the office parking lot to wait. The reason Judy would not let them into the office was because she was in the process of closing out the day’s business.
The day use area is located about a ½ mile from the office in a remote area. The paved access road forks into a circle about a quarter mile down the access road. Keep in mind it is very dark. Once at the fork I took the right branch and proceeded very slowly with the high beam lights and flashers on. As I traveled around the light beams illuminated a vehicle backed into the trees, not parked on the side of the road. Once I got closer I could see a person slumped over the steering wheel. This was not what I expected to find.
I called Judy on my cell to let her know what was going on. I got out of the car and approached the truck and tried to get the person’s attention but it was obvious he was not conscious. I didn’t know if he was dead or passed out as result of drugs or alcohol. Then I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, the back door on the driver’s side opened slightly. I was keenly aware at that moment of the potential for this situation to go south. The door was only opened a couple of inches and I could not see the person but I now knew there were multiple people in the truck. The person was saying something to me but it was incoherent. The girl had not mentioned that anyone else was in the truck with her BF. The door slowly closed and I began to back up to increase my distance.
I quickly took inventory of the new situation and returned to my CRV and positioned myself about 150 feet from the truck. I got Judy on the phone and instructed her to contact the Harris County Sheriff’s office. I continued to analyze the situation and determined that I could be vulnerable if the person in the back seat of the truck slipped out without me observing him. It would be possible to be flanked because of the cover provided by the trees and darkness. To prevent this possibility I moved back up to the intersection of the main park road and the day use access Rd. Now I could watch the only way out for the truck and have a stronger measure of safety. It would be a waiting game from here until the law enforcement officers arrived.
The deputy sheriffs arrived at the park about twenty five minutes later. The amount of time it took for them to respond did not give me a lot of comfort. They stopped at the gate and questioned the girl. The GS couple asked them to take the girl so they could leave. After questioning the girl, the officers asked Judy if she could now sit in the office with her while they came to the day use area. Judy reluctantly said yes. The officers met me and I told them what I observed. We all drove down and I pointed the truck out. The person was still slumped over the steering wheel. An ambulance was now on the scene. The man in the back of the truck was pulled out by the officers and ordered to lean on the front of the truck while they searched him. The man was mildly belligerent while the officers interviewed him. Eventually the man behind the wheel started coming to and the officers got him out. After about 45 min to an hour the officers had completed their investigation and determined the men were just massively drunk. Neither of the two had any outstanding warrants. They decided the woman was ok to drive so she got behind the wheel of the truck and the officers followed them out of the park.
I was thankful that the event came to a close. I learned from this experience that I will never approach a vehicle after dark in a secluded area. I will be calling the pros.!
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