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Fellow Con Goer Horror Stories This includes glompers, drunks, and etc)

#1 User is offline   mindue 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:19 PM

Is there anything we can really do about inconsiderate Con Goers? My 2nd year at ACEN I had a guy pick up 20$ I had put on the table to pay for a asian top, and paid for his item(I was 16 and didn't know about IRT at the time). That year I also had a TON of older guys glomping me and asking me for hugs(being the naive 16 year old I didn't realize they were asking for hugs to feel up my boobs..). My third year when I was 17, I had creepy drunk guys asking me to come up to their hotel room for a "party" on my way back from the rave. I also had a few girls, whom I suspect were on some kind of drug, feeling me up and saying "Come dance with me...". My fourth year, while on a elevator, I had some guy bump into me hard and the front half of my paper clay armor fell to the ground in pieces. He didn't offer to pay for, fix, or do anything. He just simply said oops and walked away. Then last year, while standing in line, a group of five girls decided to sing at the top of their lungs disney songs for 4 hours. One in particular was a in character pikachu, who decided every 5 minutes to say "PEEK A CHU!" Here's the thing, this was a Thursday and the con hadn't started, she wasn't in costume, and it was 4 HOURS! This group of people were so annoying the IRT and Staff watching the fiasco, as well as other con goers, felt sorry for us.

#2 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:34 PM

I'm sorry but this blows my mind. If someone violates you in any way why would you not tell someone? It doesn't matter if this happens at school, work, ACen, the grocery store, or in your home why would you not yell/tell them to back off/find an adult/find help?

PSA TIME: If someone ever touches you wrong, makes lewd gestures towards you, make suggestive comments, or generally harasses you whether sexual harassment or not SAY SOMETHING TO SOMEONE! Find an adult or authority figure and report them immediately.

If this happens at ACen give their badge name and description to a member of IRT and explain in detail the problem. You will help to keep ACen a safe place for everyone.
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#3 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 07:52 PM

View Postmindue, on 04 March 2012 - 07:19 PM, said:

. Then last year, while standing in line, a group of five girls decided to sing at the top of their lungs disney songs for 4 hours. One in particular was a in character pikachu, who decided every 5 minutes to say "PEEK A CHU!" Here's the thing, this was a Thursday and the con hadn't started, she wasn't in costume, and it was 4 HOURS! This group of people were so annoying the IRT and Staff watching the fiasco, as well as other con goers, felt sorry for us.


Hi, welcome to acen! We have weeaboos. Really , they are everywhere... I mean at my college there's a whole floor with them and you can hear them screaming, singing, and god knows what else...

But on a more serious note, these things have been discussed in the past. I recommend finding an IRT or other staff member if you have a situation , use the buddy system when around secluded areas of the con, and generally most idiots will respond to simply being stern. Tell them that it bothers you, be serious, and chances are they may go into tears because they rarely get confronted ( I'm not saying get into a fight, ^_^;; just, ya know, be honest... )
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#4 User is offline   EndlessKey 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:09 PM

Like lin said, there isn't much you can do about the peek a chu thing other than putting some headphones on and ignoring them. As for the innapropriate touching and such, don't be afraid to just yell BACK OFF. Even if for some reason none of the IRT in the area hear you, i'm sure some other con goers will easily step in to help. While yeah, some people at the con get drunk and act like an idiot, a majority of of con goers are good people :)

On a side note, im not 100% positive, but isn't there some kind of IRT number for situations that get out of hand? If there is, make sure to save it in your phone :)

#5 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:15 PM

View PostEndlessKey, on 04 March 2012 - 10:09 PM, said:

As for the innapropriate touching and such, don't be afraid to just yell BACK OFF.


This times a million. If you are the victim of something completely inappropriate like that, stand up for yourself. Do not just shrink away and allow people to treat you like that. If what they did is wholly inappropriate and/or against the law, get IRT involved ASAP; they will treat it very seriously. If it's illegal and/or inappropriate outside of the convention, it sure as heck is illegal/inappropriate inside the convention.
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#6 User is offline   Nikku 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:21 PM

Push come to shove, Get one of your larger male friends to act as an escort....and give him permission from you to play big brother. Not alot of perv's have the guts to mess around with a girl when a guy "is he her boyfriend...brother....father?" Hovering near by like a golem awaiting to crush an intruders skull. ....Mmmm terror.
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#7 User is offline   Gabichox 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:36 PM

You guys.... While I understand and advocate your advice of reporting someone or yelling back off... You have to remember that sometimes stuff happens on the fly when people are least expecting it. While you may want to yell "back off!!" sometimes you can't get past the initial surprise and disgust that overcomes you when it happens. I'm speaking from experience [though not from this con]. Especially, ESPECIALLY if the person is a coward and quickly flees the scene once it happens. It's hard to remember a face, badge name, what have you.
Simply saying "stand up for yourself" kind of implies that those that are violated have no courage to report someone. It's not that simple and can't be applied to every situation :/ I'm not trying to accuse anyone of thinking that... It's just that's how you may come off to people who have been harassed before.
Also... at acen a lot of that touchy feely stuff happens at night when it's dark. It's hard to remember a face when you can hardly see well. One of the reasons I never feel safe walking around by myself or even with a friend DDX I need a group with me.... It'd be nice to have more IRT monitoring the sidewalks at night looking for potential personal space violators instead of barking at us to move two steps to the left.
And of course I am saying this all for things that happen quickly. Fly-by perverts if you will. If someone is persistently bothering you then yes report them.

As for my own personal stories... I always get accosted while walking around at night from teenagers trying to hug me. But I just put on my best angry face and they back off... Though not without yelling insults first. :[
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#8 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:51 PM

View PostGabichox, on 04 March 2012 - 10:36 PM, said:

You guys.... While I understand and advocate your advice of reporting someone or yelling back off... You have to remember that sometimes stuff happens on the fly when people are least expecting it.


I have a very personal reason for advocating that people report harassment incidents especially sexual harassment. If the victim can't remember the badge name, face, etc they should still report it to make staffers aware it happened and that it could happen again to someone else. There is no reason not to report an incident in which you were made uncomfortable by someone else by their actions or remarks. I have zero tolerance.

Yes, I have been in a bad situation before and I didn't say anything. I regret this now that I am older. If I had the courage to speak up back then I would have, but I was scared and confused when it happened, and unsure of what to do. I should have yelled back off, but I didn't. :< I don't want anyone to make the same mistake.
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#9 User is offline   The Fujoshi 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:04 PM

I have a lot of con horror stories, a lot of them are from tumblr/CGL when I did used to lurk on 4chan. (Haaaa I don't anymore.) I can give you some if you want?

All I can say is be aware and pay attention. Also treat others how you want to be treated and if you know you drink and act crazy then don't drink or get some help if you can't control yourself. Also don't use drugs at a con or leave your drink anywhere. If something happens tell staff/IRT/someone and get their badge name, description, etc. everything.

EDIT: There is a IRT hotline; use that when it happens.

This post has been edited by The Fujoshi: 04 March 2012 - 11:05 PM

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#10 User is offline   Gabichox 

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:35 PM

@DavenEvanXaviour - Yeah I was going to add that DX They should still report to someone that SOMETHING happened. But in my tl;dr rant I forgot that point.

I see and just like you, I don't want people to make the same mistake :/
But you have to realize that just as you said, people can be shocked and confused as to what just happened to them. Simply hounding them to shout may not help because when it comes to that situation, you sometimes lose all abilities to. I've always been told to shout and yell when something happens but when it did, I couldn't even process what had just occurred until it was too late to say anything. You have to sympathize a bit and remember what it's like DX

I wonder, is IRT at all prepared to handle situations like this? What do they do when someone reports an incident of harassment?
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#11 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:12 AM

View PostGabichox, on 04 March 2012 - 11:35 PM, said:

@DavenEvanXaviour - Yeah I was going to add that DX They should still report to someone that SOMETHING happened. But in my tl;dr rant I forgot that point.

I see and just like you, I don't want people to make the same mistake :/
But you have to realize that just as you said, people can be shocked and confused as to what just happened to them. Simply hounding them to shout may not help because when it comes to that situation, you sometimes lose all abilities to. I've always been told to shout and yell when something happens but when it did, I couldn't even process what had just occurred until it was too late to say anything. You have to sympathize a bit and remember what it's like DX

I wonder, is IRT at all prepared to handle situations like this? What do they do when someone reports an incident of harassment?


Trust me, I do remember what it is like and I still can't believe that I didn't say anything. I was raised with this teaching, and as a little kid I do remember yelling when a situation arose. Odd that when I got older I got shyer and I didn't do something when it happened to me. Also, I have known a family that never taught their children this... 18 years of abuse and my friend never said a word because no one told her what to do when someone is inappropriate. This is why I advocate this really hard. There are some people who were never taught and would never think to say something. It burns me up to think this could happen, especially for such a long time, without one word or one cry for help. No one knew, and no one could have known until they said something.

IRT should be prepared for this, and in my experience as a con-goer I've always noticed a small police presence in and around the con. I think ACen should also drop a postcard sized flyer in each welcome bag this year with the IRT hotline printed in bold numbers on the front. Someone else brought up another good idea in another thread to post the number on the walls around the hotel and con area. I'm sure it'll be somewhere in the brochure, but from reading past threads this hotline need to be made aware to people so that incidents don't go unreported and IRT can be more effective and aware of problems that may arise throughout the weekend.

This post has been edited by DavenEvanXaviour: 05 March 2012 - 10:13 AM

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#12 User is offline   Gabichox 

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:19 AM

^ Ah when you put it like that then yes I definitely see where you are coming from. In a perfect world everyone would be prepared for situations like this but sometimes it just doesn't come up when people are teaching their kids.

Yes!!! A postcard would do and signs. I didn't even know there was an IRT hotline since I hardly look in the program book. They need to seem as if they are always readily available to deal with incidents so people are more apt to report them. And not just seem either. They need to be ready to help someone. :/
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#13 User is offline   mindue 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:12 PM

The reason why I didn't report the inappropriate touching thing was because like I said I was very naive at the time and simply though "oh they're just excited about the character I'm cosplaying". Also at the time I was very shy and didn't really stand up for myself as much, and trust me this has changed :D. As for the pikachu thing, at one point we had our phones blasting music to drown out the in character pikachu and her group, and they simply decided to drown that out as well. Also I REALLY LIKE the idea of having IRT along the sidewalks at night for conventions. I personally don't go out by myself at night at conventions, but it makes me nervous about the possible person walking at night to their hotel. When I was approached by that creepy guy walking back from the rave I still had my brother and his friends watching my back. Some person may not be as lucky, and that worries me.

#14 User is offline   -JUNK- 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 07:22 PM

Ive walked back to my hotel numerous times with out a problem, but I may just be lucky.
But Ive heard a story on how one of my friends got mugged before the con and what not.
There as some pretty low people out there which is why I try and look angry >=D but it doesn't really work.
But I agree with everyone up there that you do report things like groping/grabbing sexual harassment.
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#15 User is offline   chainedbyroses 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 09:53 PM

For those asking about the IRT hotline number, take it from my signature and copy it into your own.

The only way the word will spread is if people see it ALL. THE.TIME. Bludgeon people with the same big bold signature thing long enough and they'll A) recognize it, B) usually remember what it says, even if just in part -- remembering that there IS an IRT Hotline is better than not recalling that at all, even if they forget the actual number. It's all about the awareness.

----
Regarding not reporting things done, statistically, on college campuses only some 5-15% of sexual assaults & rapes get reported, and if I recall, the study(ies) in reference found the odds of being raped at college to be somewhere in or above the 60th percentile I want to say (I'll have to dig out them old articles & link 'em if requested). If colleges have such a high rate of occurrence and such a low rate of reporting, and ultimately, charging, it shouldn't surprise that ACen has limited reporting in general too.

As for freezing, not screaming, not getting help, not reporting right after, etc etc -- you can't tell how you'll react in a situation until you're in it, and you may not even react how -you- think you will. Having been in sexual assault situations more than once (unfortunately), I can vouch for the "think you'll do XYZ, but really you just freeze and scream in your head" as a for-real thing. After the first incident I swore I'd kick, yell, scream, bite, gouge out eyes, do anything to get away ..... in reality, you can't control your body's sudden, automatic catatonic state any more than you can control the wind. The best you can do is fight your brain inside your brain and try to force your body to listen to your screaming instincts to run, fight, get away. Maybe it'll work; probably not.The honest answer to "why didn't you fight? why didn't you run?" is really very simply "my body wouldn't let me". (After, reporting it is not really the first thing you're thinking - you're really so numb or shaken or [insert adjective], you're really just in your head, pretty much not feeling right, and/or feeling guilty/to blame, or there's no point, or [insert in-head reason here], or think that no one will believe you, or worse, say it was justified and blame you/look down on you. It's a bad place to be in.)

First and foremost let me just say you are not at fault for a creeper creeping, a stalker stalking, or a rapist raping. No one is responsible for that person's actions but that person alone. (Pre-emptive reply for those who say "well just don't put yourself in those situations dummy" - It has been studied and found time and again, assault is not about sex, it's about control and exerting to over another person. How do we know? Straight from the horses' mouths if you will, as seen on specials of Dateline/Nightline Oprah et al. Victim blaming gets nowhere, is really d*ckish and insensitive, can't fix anything and resolves nothing.)

I'm no expert, I'm no cop, I'm no lawyer, no anything -- I'm just a long-time attendee who's seen it (almost) all. I can't offer much, but I can share experience, as well as handling tactics that have worked for myself and friends. I can't guarantee they'll work for you too (every situation is different), but I can at least share. For those times when people are getting really touchy or creepy and you're either alone, secluded, separated from friends, inside the "not technically a rave though it acts like it is", or just in general have no way of grabbing a staffer, an IRT, hotel security, or a RPD officer's attention, there are a few things you can do to get out of the situation. First and foremost, try to get calm. It will be hard, but try to keep cool and collected.

- If a person's getting overtly friendly or touchy-feely, in the past I've known a slow, icily said "Touch me again and I'm calling the cops." to be an instant stopper: touching you is suddenly not worth their trouble.

- If the creep is lurking/following you, make a bee line for nearest bathroom, assuming there is one, or the nearest better-populated (or less wall-to-wall people if in the "not a rave"), assuming you're inside. As you move on the way there, approach the first person you see of your same gender (at least in case of the bathrooms) or who looks not-completely-engrossed in something, and go "OH MY GOD [INSERT NAME]?! HOW ARE YOU I HAVEN'T SEEN YOU IN AGES, GIRL/BRO! *in lower tone/whisper: "I'm sorry, that person over there is creeping on/following me, please help me out a minute until I can find staff/IRT to report, please! Just pretend we're old friends!" *loud deliberate laugh designed to make creeper think you're laughing at an inside BFF thing* -- It sounds cheesy, but it's helped get me out of bad spots some 3 or 4 times at con in the past. (Note: bathrooms tend to only have one exit, so unless you know it's chock full of other people, like you've seen them just go in, don't /actually/ go inside it. Things could go from bad to beyond worse, unfortunately.)

- If you're outside, alone, and someone is following you, you need to make a snap decision here. Can you get into the nearest building very quickly (doesn't matter which, as all are staffed at all hours at con)? Are there any nearby groups of people you can barge in on and ask help from (an individual might be more risky)? If you were to shout for help, is anyone near enough to hear? Can you summon friends to appear in under a minute, maybe two max? If not, call IRT or 911 and report there is someone following you, where you are, what you are wearing, the direction you're heading, and if calling IRT and relevant any badge names might help. If you feel truly frightened and feel in imminent danger, forego the IRT line and just dial 911. DO NOT STOP MOVING. Look like you're heading somewhere specific, look determined, look like you'll fight back - with a little luck you can maybe keep them back enough til help arrives, or have them give up because you're now a "challenge" target. Most importantly, stay calm (or at least aim for "scared/panicky but focused").

- If they have a convention badge, and if you have an opportunity, take it and GET THE NAME. I know that's the last thing on your mind in a bad situation, but for the con, it can be one of the most crucial. Actions can't be taken, attackers/stalkers/creepers can't get the heave-ho unless it becomes known who they are (all their personal information is in the system tied to their badge name, very helpful if law gets involved). The simplest thing might just be to ask them, though even in movies that rarely works. I can't say particularly how else to get it, but if you can without putting yourself at risk, try. At the very least, remember their appearance, drill it into your brain, so you can describe them to a T for security, IRT, & RPD to look out for. Simply being observant and remembering can help protect another person and prevent another crime.

(*** Note: While it IS perfectly legal to have pepperspray in Chicagoland, it's not exactly practical in a convention setting. You'll more likely hit yourself or another than your target, and the risk of crowd panic at said spray is greater than the odds of subduing an attacker. Outside and upwind would be really the only "safe" place for that, though wind here is...unpredictable & tempestuous at best.)

- In regards to the mugging story, I try to avoid keeping money or anything of value in my wallet/bag, instead opting for more secure spots like in my shoe or a sewn in pleat to a gothy skirt, or funky hollow necklaces, or [insert odd place here], so that if my bag and wallet are taken, at the least I'll have some money on me. I'd not recommend inside a bra because it gets hot sweaty and gross in there, and the con merchants will be trying not to look on in horror as you retrieve it to pay (witnessed this twice over the years at con, and more than I'd prefer locally). Can't really say about phones or other little things as I tend to favor pants with pockets inside of pockets that could hold a small army and never let it on...


If I think of more advice, I'll make a separate post, since this one is already looking to be might long once posted.
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#16 User is offline   TwilightDucky 

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Posted 06 March 2012 - 11:44 PM

my first year at Acen my husband and I were walking at night back to our hotel, it was around 10 or 11pm, my husbands cell phone had died from using it to much at the con and i had left mine in our hotel room earlier but we thought nothing of it.. and there were small groups of con goers scattered about the street so its not like it was dead quiet or anything (THANKFULLY) anyway we were walking, laughing quietly and talking about our plans for the next day, when i felt some one suddenly come up behind me, next thing i knew i was shoved into the street by a very dirty, drunk, quite possibly homeless man who mumbled "outta the way freak" and then something about his town getting over run by "a bunch of damn freaks" he was walking at almost a jog and before i could compose myself to stop my loving husband he was yelling ahead to the drunk man to 'watch where the hell he was going'...this guy wheeled around and started SCREAMING at us...it was honestly gibberish...something about how he fought for his country and we should respect our elders and he didnt get no respect and had to put up with freaks like us over running his streets and then something about our president and oatmeal and i think maybe purple giraffes...he was screaming and clearly drunk....so now my husband and him are in a screaming match and he keeps trying to get around him to presumably shove me back into the road or yell at me also or whatever....i stood their shocked...this was my first Convention and i had been worried something like this might happen but i figured i was being silly.....i usually worry over nothing...but here we were in the middle of the night being bitched out by a crazy homeless man who we had done NOTHING to provoke other than i guess... walking on HIS side walk??...all i could think was "dear God please dont let this psycho have a knife on him" ... at this point a small group of guys who had been walking a ways further behind us caught up and surrounded us and asked what was happening and if we needed help (yay fellow con goers looking out for each other!) i shakily said yes and tried to explain what had happened... they started yelling at the guy to just walk away or they would call the cops...the drunk started screaming at them at which point one boy stepped forward and held a little black box up in the air "this is not a cell phone mr. you need to WALK, AWAY. NOW." (or something to that effect) :D at that the drunk cursed loudly, wheeled around, and took off down the street yelling incoherent nonsense...i thanked the guy who had stepped forward and he smiled and said "this isnt my first con" and then he sparked the handy little taser and laughed! we al laughed at that point... My husband and i were both grateful to the group for having stopped and made sure things were alright...i'm pretty sure one of the other boys had called and reported the incident to either IRT or the cops but honestly it was so nerve wracking i dont really know....the guys laughed about there being a few crazies and calmed us down abit then they said their good byes and headed off to their hotel....to this day i have so much love for those guys, things really could have turned pretty bad...never the less we did not let it spoil our con, we actually look back at it with a laugh... we have returned for two years now and no other problems to speak of :) moral of the story? try not to walk alone at night ANYWHERE but especially at something that can attract alot for bad attention like a big convention, and remember that most of the time your fellow con goers will not hesitate to help you, so dont hesitate to ask for help! they is good peoples! :D and avoid drunken bums in dirty camo pants O_o AVOID THEM!
Acen 2012 Cosplay:
Himeno as White Pretear (Pretear) 40% complete
Ciel Phantomhive (black butler) 5% complete
Quarian (Mass Effect) 10% complete

"somethings i'll never know...and I had to let them go.."

#17 User is offline   Sapphy 

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Posted 07 March 2012 - 08:33 AM

I've had someone follow my group back to our hotel before (at Otakon in Baltimore); it's pretty frightening. People outside of the convention looking to take advantage of tourists will be looking for "easy targets", which can be anything from someone looking lost or unfamiliar with the area down to them simply having their convention badge out in plain sight.

When I'm not on convention grounds (walking back to the hotel or walking to lunch somewhere), I hide my badge either under my shirt or in my purse. It also helps to walk with confidence and purpose--head up, eyes ahead, with a purposeful kind of walk. Even if you're not positive where you're going, make it look like you are. That alone can deter a lot of people! Ladies, if you do have a purse and you've got money in it, don't make yourself an easy target. Keep it closed, the opening secured, and slung diagonally across your shoulders to make it harder for someone to slip a hand in and grab your wallet, and harder for someone to snatch it from you and bolt.

Rosemont is a pretty safe city, generally speaking. My only other con has always been Otakon, and Baltimore has never ceased to make me nervous (heck, one year someone got shot outside our hotel mere minutes after we'd left for the airport). But that doesn't mean people should let their guard down as it is still a large city. Stay safe. :)

This post has been edited by Sapphy: 07 March 2012 - 08:35 AM

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