Letter: A disturbing encounter in East Asheville

Graphic by Lori Deaton

This is a warning to people who live in Beverly Hills.

Beverly Hills does not have sidewalks, and many yards do not have walking areas near the curb, so dog-walkers often have to walk in the streets.

On [a recent Sunday morning], I was walking my dog at East Hawthorne and stopped at the corner at Beverly. [An] SUV was stopped at the opposite corner at the stop sign. In the vehicle was a big man, not wearing a seat belt. He was looking down at his cellphone, so he didn’t see me.

Behind him was a big dog. The window was rolled down, not far enough that the dog could jump out, but enough so that it could stick its head out and bark. I was afraid if the two dogs saw one another, mine might react — yanking on her leash and possibly causing me to fall.

I did not want to startle the man, so I waited a bit before I called to him. “Hi, there,” I said, indicating my dog on the leash, “Could you please move on?” In response, the man screamed, “I can stay at a stop sign as long as I want! Go the other way!”

By this time, terrified, I remained at the corner and tried to explain that I was headed this way in order to go home. More screaming. I didn’t move. “I hope a car will come by and hit you so I could watch you die!!” the man screamed several times. I remained where I was — I could not risk walking past the open windows of his vehicle. Putting his seat belt on, he sped away up Beverly toward Swannanoa, screaming out the window, “Die! Die! Die!” I was so shaken I could barely walk home.

No one else saw or heard this incident. No photos. No license plate number.

Nothing like this, to my knowledge, has ever happened in the 20-plus years I’ve been walking dogs in Beverly Hills. So the incident is shocking. Most of my neighbors were supportive and lovely, some offering to accompany me on my walks. Others accused me of lying — go figure.

In any case, the police officer I talked to told me to let the neighborhood know what happened — and that the police would patrol the area more often. Thanks, APD!

Be careful out there, folks.

— Marcianne Miller
Asheville

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23 thoughts on “Letter: A disturbing encounter in East Asheville

  1. Lou

    The Trumpers are emboldened by the Imperial Wizard-in-Chief. I am seeing this kind of behavior more and more.

    • Richard B.

      More likely, emboldened by the increasingly accepted norm that “I feel like doing this…don’t care if it infringes on your rights or not….it’s my right to behave and act out my feelings….I’m a victim and you are privileged, so get out of my way….etc., etc.,” as currently espoused by Liberals everywhere.

      • dan margulis

        “”I’m a victim and you are privileged, so get out of my way….etc., etc.,” as currently espoused by white nationalists everywhere.”
        There – fixed it for you.

        • Richard B.

          Thanks.
          Just wondering…..are there more White Nationalists in our country who are beating up whoever is not of the Caucasian Race, or are there more Antifa types beating up anyone they deem to not be carrying the Liberal banner?
          Or is our Liberal Main Stream Media getting it all wrong with all the reporting on violent behaviors by the Antifa crowd?

    • Walter S.

      Personally, I dislike Trump. However, he has nothing to do with this incident. Why do you feel the need to post a comment that will serve only to create acrimony?

    • Gregg

      Lou, can you please explain the evidence or facts that enabled you to make that leap? Just curious.

    • Mike

      Wizards are benevolent. I think you meant necromancer.

      I hope the driver is ok too. He’s probably having a struggle we know nothing about. More attention to mental health!

      Letter writer, that’s awful. So sorry.

      • Lou

        Oh Mike, you know exactly what I meant. Thanks for playing though.

  2. Dave

    It seems like you should train your dog and stop expecting people that are simply minding their own business to cater to you.

    • Lulz

      At least she wasn’t pushing a stroller with the dog in it lulz.

    • bsummers

      When you’re operating a vehicle on a public street, you’re not just “minding your own business”. You have an obligation to other motorists and pedestrians. Would you sit patiently if you were stuck behind this guy at that stop sign while he diddles on his phone? No, you’d toot your horn at him. The lady had just as much right to ask him to move on.

      • Jason

        Wrong. He was not physically impeding progress. If progress is impeded due to emotional reaction that is not drivers fault in this circumtance. That said, driver is a dick.

  3. Jim

    The man sounds like a jerk, BUT The man was behaving responsibly by staying STOPPED while messing with his cell phone. If your dog can become sufficiently excited by another dog confined in a car to make you fall, I imagine the sight of a squirrel or cat nearby on the ground can do the same thing. If true, I would recommend a smaller dog.

    • Lou

      His over-the-top, maniacal response is the issue here. He is obviously unbalanced and personally, I don’t think he should have the privilege of driving.

  4. Big Al

    In this age of mass shootings and random violence, you should count yourself lucky that only your feelings were hurt.

    • Lou

      The truck driver probably has mental problems. He shouldn’t be allowed to drive, let alone carry a gun…which he probably does. Screw gun rights, I have the right to feel safe walking my dog on in my own freaking neigborhood.

  5. Peter Robbins

    If folks were allowed to text-message while riding the bus, they wouldn’t be forced to block intersections with their SUVs. Think outside the box, people. There may be a way out of this mess yet.

    • Richard B.

      I think that you just penned a nearly perfect example of an apples to oranges juxtaposition. Now, it may be that folks should have no restrictions on texting while riding an ART bus, which I will assume is the case, given your mention of it.
      It certainly doesn’t make sense to me to impose this seemingly silly rule.
      However, what do you believe the odds are that the SUV driver who was rude to the senior lady would even consider stepping foot on a bus.
      He would walk first.
      Perhaps a way out of it in the future would be for the lady to walk her dog in the opposite direction for a minute, then back, and likely within that time the offending dog and it’s driver in the SUV would have gone on their way.
      Which would also satisfy your request that we think outside the box in these situations.

      • Peter Robbins

        No, here’s the way out: If our SUV Man doesn’t like to ride the bus (and take advantage of the texting-friendly and other mind-calming amenities), he should stay home and play with his dog. Whenever it is he wants to go, I’m sure no one will be disappointed if he never gets there.

  6. Marcianne Miller

    Letters to the editor have to be short so I left out the fact that I did go the other direction for a while. When I came back to the corner the driver of the bright red SUV was still on the phone. I’m asthmatic and the streets in Beverly hills, well, they’re hilly, they take more breath power to negotiate than regular flat streets. [Which is why really physical fit people are always running up and down the neighborhood streets.] I’d walked enough, I needed to get home. I was perfectly nice to the man. He could have easily moved on. There’s no reason to blame me, or my dog, or my 40+ years of dog-walking experience for what happened. I wrote the letter to warn people of this man’s behavior– which was not normal. No matter how long you want to stay at a stop sign you don’t scream at someone that you hope a car comes around the corner and hits them so you can watch them die. So far nearly 4,000 people have read the letter, so I think I accomplished my goal. And I’m sure the police officer who advised me to let people know will be pleased. Be careful out there, folks.

    • Lou

      People are insane…especially in the last three years. Lots of anger, hatred, and little tolerance…as is to be expected with the megalomaniac in charge.

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