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Letters to the Editor published March 3, 2010
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Answering door to a stranger can be risky

Editor, Ceres Courier,

Answering the door when a stranger knocks can come at a price.

We live in a nice neighborhood where kids play in their front yards, solicit us with school fundraisers, and go door-to-door for treats on Halloween. So, when two males came to my door, nicely dressed and clean cut, I thought nothing about opening the door and finding out what they needed. Although I had never seen these men before, I did not suspect there would be any problems with them. I opened the door and walked outside to greet them.

Shortly after answering the door, one of the males started making numerous, erroneous accusations, and became increasingly agitated and verbally abusive. He started shouting obscenities and expressing threatening body language. I spoke up hoping to get him to realize that he had the wrong house. My friend and I tried to reason with him and to get him to calm down, but in retrospect know he came to my door only to be confrontative.

At some point, he took off his jacket, and said, "Come on!" He held up his fists to imply that he wanted us to fist fight. (I later learned that his trying to incite a fight with us can be considered a crime.) When his belligerent behavior continued, I was caught off guard. I was afraid to turn my back on these men out of fear that they may attack us from behind.

I told the men that I was going to call the police. My friend asked me not to react to their request to fight and we stayed near the door of our house. The male doing the harassing, threatened us further with, "You don't know who I am connected with. Do you know who you are messing with? This is your last warning!" We didn't question his intention, so in a firm voice and in no uncertain terms told the two men for the second time that we were calling the police.

As we waited for the 911 operator to answer, I reiterated something that we said earlier, "You are trespassing! Get off my property." One of the men said, "Go ahead! Call the cops!" The two men finally backed up toward the public sidewalk when they realized my friend was actually speaking to the police.

Among other things, the 911 operator verified my address, and asked for a description of the men and what they were wearing. She instructed us to get into the house and lock the door, and that she was sending a patrol car.

My friend and I were lucky. If we would have gotten embroiled in a fight with these men, we could have been physically harmed and legally liable. If we would have reacted with our fists, the results could have been financially crippling to us. According to California law, since we had the opportunity to walk away from the situation, we needed to do just that. Fortunately, we made the right choice.

I am sharing this account with the public because I learned that the police can only help us if we ask for assistance and are willing to confide in them. If someone is on your property and showing appalling behavior, you need to tell them to get off of your property, right away.

The 911 operator gave us clear, practical advice. The responding officer did his job. The non-emergency operator was polite. And, the sergeant that we spoke with after this incident listened and was helpful. We thank them all, for their professionalism.

Name Withheld on Request,


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Observations on a recent trip to Pismo Beach

Editor, Ceres Courier,

As I started down Interstate 5 on a trip to Pismo Beach, I was shocked at the speed of all the cars. I traveled 70 mph all the way to Kettleman City and I don't think I passed one car on the whole trip. Coming home the next day, it was even worse with some cars passing us like we were going too slow for them. I know some of them were going at least 90 to 100 mph. It was really scary for an old guy like me, but I guess I don't drive the freeways much anymore.

Also on our trip I saw a lot of signs saying "Congress Caused the Dust Bowl" and "No Water No Jobs and No Water No Food". Somebody better wake up and help these farmers that are trying to make a living and feed our country.Some people in the government better wake up soon or we're going to have a big dust bowl south of here.

Then we went on to Pismo Beach and it was beautiful weather and there were many people on the beach. We strolled on the beach for a few hours and had good lunch and dinner meals. The only thing that bothered me was all the beautiful girls that we saw had so many tattoos on their arms and legs and all over their body that I thought it took away all their beauty. Sorry to say there were just as many men the same way. I guess I'm not keeping up with modern day stuff. If that makes them beautiful, I guess this old guy don't get it.

Bud Wallace

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Letters to the editor will be considered for publication but must be signed with the author's name, address and telephone number. Letters should contain 250 words or less and be void of libelous statements. Letters may be sent to The Ceres Courier, P.O. Box 7, Ceres, CA 95307, or emailed to