E-mail Warning Lubbock Women To Be Watchful: Fact or Fiction? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/14/08

E-mail Warning Lubbock Women To Be Watchful: Fact or Fiction?

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An e-mail is circulating to hundreds, possibly thousands, of Lubbock in-boxes, warning women to be watchful when alone. NewsChannel 11 has taken several phone calls and dozens of emails asking if this warning is true. So on Wednesday NewsChannel 11's Julia Bruck tracked down the source of this email, to sort out fact from fiction.

The subject line reads "important!"  The body is a reminder to women to be watchful of their surroundings.

"It was between 5:30 or 6:00 o'clock," Lubbock Resident Patricia Gonzales said.

Gonzales sent the e-mail to several of her friends Tuesday morning, and within 24 hours it had popped up in hundreds of in-boxes across the Hub City. Moreover, as the number of receivers reached the thousands, this message left many wondering if it really happened.

"What caught my attention, that I knew he was watching me, was that he never got out of his vehicle," Gonzales explained.

Gonzales says it started with the feeling that someone was watching her as she walked out of United Supermarket on 82nd and University Monday evening after picking up dinner.

"He was parked right here by the fire zone," Gonzales said. "I walked in this direction (toward her car) on the side of his truck and just passed by and that's when I started to fill eyes on me," she added. 

Gonzales says she then put the groceries into her car. "When I came back around I saw him pulling up to this parking lot right there (one space away) Gonzales said.

However, Gonzales could not drive off because she needed gas.

"I come to the gas station, and when I get out of my vehicle I walked behind I just kinda looked up and he was actually at the last pump," Gonzales said.

Gonzales says she reached for her cell phone. However, it was dead.

"I pushed the call button and the attendant answered," Gonzales said. "I told her that he's been following me since I left the store. I'm about to leave if he follows me please call somebody," She added.

"We had two mangers from inside the store respond immediately and I think the perpetrator immediately took off," Eddie Owens, Corporate Communications Director for United Supermarkets said.

Owens says surveillance cameras captured images of the alleged suspect and the mid 1990's red Ford pick-up he was driving.

"It's my understanding that this person has done this at two other stores, our stores, and as well as Wal-Mart here in town," Owens said.

Lubbock Police Department Captain Greg Stevens said, "We've been made aware of the e-mails going around of some situation of some individual following or stalking women. We've not had a single report made to us yet."

Owens says surveillance images show no illegal actions, so they did not call the police. However, Gonzales says she felt she needed to warn friends. Therefore, she wrote an e-mail that now serves a reminder to hundreds that she has never even met.

"It can happened to anybody even when you least expect it. Even at the grocery store in mid daylight."

Police tell us if someone is following you to drive to a public place and call authorities or you can drive straight to police department.

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