I was 19 and I living in my first group home near the downtown area of San Jose, California, a city of about 800,000 people. I had just gotten diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.The area was pretty wild at the time, before they cleaned it up a several years later. There were sex shops all over, there were streetwalkers walking around, and lots of Mexican gang members prowling around (they called them “Cholos” back then) and lots of shady characters just hanging out and drinking on the street.
A 17 year old girl in the house who liked me invited me to her boyfriends house where he lived with his father. So we walked ten blocks and when we got there she introduced me to her boyfriend and his father.
Now at that time, I always wanted to do some cool thing just for the sake of experience. So I was talking to the father and when he asked me if I wanted to go bar-hopping with him that night I eagerly said, “Sure” and he told me he would pick me up at the house later that evening.
So me and the girl went home and a few hours later I was laying on my mattress on the floor. ( I had no bed for entire year I stayed there) and the girl comes to my room and told me the father was waiting for me down the street about half a block away.
A tiny, little red flag went up in my mind, just briefly. Why didn’t he pull in front of the house to pick me up?
There was plenty of parking. But I came out and walked to the car which was a Rivera, a very popular car back then in 1980. So I get in and he takes of towards downtown. We were cruising down the main drag and he was driving super slow to catch all the green lights on the many stoplights.
Another red flag went up, just a little bit bigger than the previous one. The car had power windows and the guy rolled mine up but left his own down. A bigger red flag went up and I was panicking inside of myself.
I didn’t know this guy from Adam and he actually looked a little sleazy. We passed a lot of bars but he didn’t stop and than he headed towards the last street that takes you out of town to the mountains. Now a huge red flag went up.
I was thinking, “This guys up to no good”. I didn’t know if he was going to rape me or some other act or rob me or beat me up.
I was panicking even more and my mind was going furiously. I knew that once we went on this street it would be a desolate barren road.
So we’re driving about 40 miles per hour and we are just pulling out of town and I saw two strange girls who were walking down the street. I thought fast and I said to the guy, “Hey, I know those two girls, lets pick them up”.
Well, he slowed down to about 35 mph and then I made my move and I opened my door and jumped out of the car in one smooth motion. Now 35 mph may not seem like much but it was still at a good clip, so when I jumped out, I hit the pavement hard and I rolled down the street about 4 times.
I jumped up and without looking back, I ran the entire 12 block down the street without stopping until I reached my home. I was scared sh*tless. The 17 year old girl was there and I ran up to her and I said, “Your boyfriends father is a big pervert” and I told her what happened.
She tried to play it off like it was no big deal and she didn’t believe the guy had any ill intentions. Anyway, I never saw that guy again and I learned a good lesson about trusting people.