I Had To Call 911
Seeing as I have only parked in campgrounds MAYBE 30 nights or less while living in my RV in my three years, already having had a REALLY BAD incident that includes calling the cops at one of them proves a point. You probably already know my disdain for campgrounds, and not that I was going to ever change my mind, but if you thought that “there’s a chance” like Dumb and Dumber, there’s no way now!
Unless you somehow didn’t read the part about campgrounds sucking in the title, or in my other posts, my bet is that you would guess that I had to call 911 while I was way out in the middle of nowheresville, boondocking.
You’d be wrong about that one.
I was in a campground only out of necessity. I was still dry camping. However, I was IN A CAMPGROUND. I was not in the middle of nowhere, nor was I really boondocking. I was just outside of the greater Los Angeles metropolis, a little north of Santa Clarita, Ca at Oak Flats Campground. (An unmanaged National Forest campground.)
I have always preached how you will be safer “out there” way in the boonies than you will be near a city. This is one perfect example of what I am talking about- I have been on the road for almost 3 years, almost exclusively boondocking without a single “event”. I stay in a CG, near a city, and BOOM- instant trouble. 😐
Let’s Begin, Shall We?
Here It Is- The World Premiere Of Hey Look, I’m A Drunk A**hole!
I had just left Los Angeles to catch up with a crew of friends. They chose to wait for me at this CG just north of Santa Clarita- not too far of a drive, free with an America The Beautiful pass, and we all had small enough rigs to park there. There was really no boondocking within a decent drive from LA, so they were stuck picking a campground.
Seemed decent enough. No reviews on Campendium, so it was a little bit of a gamble. (There’s a review now, Ha Ha Ha)
They arrived, set up, and all was well for the most part. All other campers were car or tent dwellers, and there weren’t many of them at all. Still, nice views and it seemed quiet.
I arrived the next afternoon. I thought “decent ‘for a campground'”
I set up. Got back to work. Socialized with my buddies. Went to bed. Slept.
The Lovely Campground Neighbors, AKA -The Reason For This Post
The next morning, I got right on my computer, working like a maniac. At around 10:30 there was QUITE a ruckus- it sounded like a very loud motorcycle coming into the CG. I didn’t bother looking, but this got our group chat buzzing.
At first, when reading the chat, I thought that calling him, or them “dicks” was a bit severe. I thought it was just a revving motorcycle or something. What I DIDN’T hear was the same a-hole (Later lovingly referred to in our messages as “DA” for “Drunk A**hole”) yelling earlier in the day, at the top of his lungs, to the whole campground “WAKE UP EVERYONE, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, B**CHES!!! (Because of course, we would all be sleeping, naturally, at 10:30 in the morning) He must have done this away from me and closer to my cohorts. Hence, the “a-hole” comment from “eleven cents”.
Don’t these campground neighbors sound lovely already? (Oh, it gets wayyy better.)
So DA and his girlfriend (later referred to by everyone as DG for “drunk girlfriend”) left for the morning. Maybe they wouldn’t return. Yay.
The natural order of things settled back into place.
Too Good To Be True
As one might fear, they came rolling back in a little later. I didn’t hear them so at first, I only knew about it because of our group chat. Everyone was inside their own rigs and at 2:58pm, this message came through, and I jokingly replied to it.
Again, I thought the drama was over for good.
Then, I didn’t really start hearing them (him) again until around 4:00. Shortly after that, it was getting 100% apparent that this was not just a drunk person talking loudly. He was YELLING intentionally so the whole CG could hear.
Literally, yelling. At the top of his lungs. (audio below) It was becoming a situation.
By this time I had to have a look at what this ringmaster looked like. NO WAY in HELL I was going outside! It was dead quiet other than the idiot.
I couldn’t see them unless I opened a window and popped my head out, which I was also hesitant to do. I mean, NOBODY at the campground was outside. Even all the little ground squirrels had suddenly disappeared. I did eventually take a look. Let’s just say he fit the typical profiling of a drunk, trashy a**hole.
He shouted quite a few things about us (the other people in the CG) not being “white”. I suspect the dude is a bit of a racist as well as a a**hole. It was so bizarre.
He wasn’t slowing down, and it was getting really bad.
The Hyundai SUV they were living in LITERALLY sounded like the worst contractor generator ever when idling (and lucky for me, they were closest to ME) and DA found it fun to rev the thing up as loud as he possibly could.
At this point, I didn’t quite realize how bad it was so I was laughing because of how ridiculous it was. If you don’t listen to any of the other audios, listen to this one of him revving the engine. Holy cow.
Ok, so we were messaging back and forth because this was clearly getting to be a concerning event. DA was escalating, shouting things like “WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DOOO???? I’LL SIGN THE TITLE OVER TO THEM, WHAT’S YOUR NAME??? WHAT’S YOUR NAAAAME???” (Looking our way, screaming at us, the “intruders” as if we had ANYTHING to do with them.)
The girl (DG) seemed to be concerned that us “Strangers” in the campground were going to steal or “cut” their tent if they left. Guess they weren’t used to super suspicious weirdo RVers like us up in “their” campground. (You can hear her mumbling “I don’t knowww who these people arrrrreeeeeee” in one of the audios)
This went on for a time, and finally, I started realizing that this wasn’t ending anytime soon, and dark would be falling in no time, and we might be stuck here with this very unstable person.
Getting increasingly uncomfortable, we started debating if we should leave. Debating if we should call the cops. If we left, it would have to be when it was light out and I MUCH preferred for cops to be there for our protection. At this point, this guy was clearly off his rocker, and none of us knew how much more out of control and agitated he might get.
The Turning Point
Dude made the choice for me about calling the cops. He went too far when he started screaming about shooting up the neighbors (us) with his BB gun. 😳
That was the final straw for me. Oh hell no. Since becoming invisible isn’t one of my superpowers, I was left with no other recourse. I called 911. This is only the second time in my life I have had to call the number. Thanks, campgrounds.
Now, as I was on the phone with the Sheriff, more message updates were coming through our group chat as everyone was obviously super nervous at this point.
The Moment That Should Have Been The Moment I Crapped My Pants
THEN, right after I got off the phone, THIS wonderful news comes through…
Things just got REAL.
Was this guy about to start shooting up the campground??
The sun is completely in my eyes trying to look at them through my booth window so I can’t really see well enough to see what he’s holding. I debate calling 911 AGAIN to let them know it’s now URGENT.
We didn’t figure out whether it was a rifle or not because they then got in the SUV and drove off, but left some of their stuff.
Meantime, we were trying to figure out what to do.
Turned out they didn’t go far- just over to the entrance of the camp to get firewood. Seemed to quiet down a bit with a ‘job’ to do.
Full of nervous energy, I took this time to do a quick recap:
Then they came back. Naturally, the yelling commenced.
The ACTUAL Moment I Crapped My Pants A Little
FINALLY, the good old boys in blue arrived! It was a relief to see them pull up.
My excitement didn’t last for long.
The cops, upon arrival, ALSO thought he had a GUN, so they both got out of their vehicle, guns drawn, aggressively yelling at the guy to drop it! It was the full monty- a real-life COPS episode happening right in front of my eyes. Was a shootout about to begin?????
Yes, this is when I think I crapped my pants a little.
I was freaking out, in total disbelief that I was possibly about to be in the middle of a shootout! I was prepared to hit the floor, wondering if my little cardboard walled house might stop any stray bullets. I remember also being pretty ticked off about that possibility. Seriously, CAMPGROUNDS!!! 😡
This was not what I was planning for my afternoon. This was NOT going to be how I was going to die!
Thank god, the cops settled when they realized that he only had an ax. (BIG whew!)
I went into the bathroom to change my pants. 😂 J/K, I didn’t crap my pants.
Then, I started the camera rolling again and got this footage of what seemed to me at the time, them suddenly making friends. Did they know each other? I wasn’t very happy about this, either!
However, it was the cops just doing their job… most of the time idiots such as this one get very reactive instead of complacent. They were trying to keep him calm and keep him from escalating. Luckily, this guy got complacent. FAST.
His total change in behavior and attitude in the video is day and night. Suddenly he was a “nice, regular, innocent guy”. 😂
Meantime, we were still debating what to do. I went outside to start packing my solar panels and I started towards one of the cops to ask him if they needed to talk to me since I had called. He sort of waved me off and said, “Give us a few minutes”.
So I proceeded to pack up. Then:
WOOT! Yes!! The cops got him because he had an outstanding warrant for his arrest anyway. (domestic violence, I believe?) That’s why they were all chummy with him and talking him up. Stalling while they checked his records.
“So, hey DA- you know there’s a warrant out for your arrest (likely), and you still act this way?” It never amazes me the idiocracy of most criminals. Doing things like this or other attention-drawing things such as driving too fast when they know they have a warrant out. Well, I’m GLAD that this guy had one!
One of the cops nicely showed us a few places where we could stay if we wanted to move on.
So we felt safe to stay since he was carted away. The DG stayed, too. We weren’t too worried about her. Still, we kept our eye on her because she had a lot of friends who stayed there, and she was on the phone with people a lot, so we just… kept our guard up. Also- DA might have gotten out of jail that night (though it was 80 miles away) and we worried he would come back, pissed.)
We all hung out at my place that evening, feeling the need to “huddle up” for a bit of fake security! Then everyone went their own way.
The night came and went without incident. Until…
Well, it wasn’t an incident, thankfully, but DUDE. That car. She turned it on periodically in the evenings and the mornings. SO freaking loud and disruptive. She stayed until we left. She never did put the tent out again. She slept in the car. 😂
Why I Don’t Like Campgrounds
Why do I not like campgrounds? This is a prime example folks. No, it’s not a common occurrence, I totally get that. But it happened! In a campground. Zero issues while boondocking so far.
However, this is icing on the cake mixed in with so many other things I don’t like about them, so it just proves a point. Like I like to say, “Why would I PAY to have rules, noise, power, and neighbors??? I can have free accommodations, free power, water is usually free, and I can pretty much choose to have neighbors (which means noise) or no neighbors when I am boondocking. I much prefer to have my own choice.
Yep, I’m still a happy boondocker here!