When a woman’s social media warning went viral, most people dismissed it as a hoax. However, once the cops were involved, they issued a frightening warning to the public, which everyone must see.
Rock Hill cops send serious warning to the public after an unnamed South Carolina woman said she was inside of her car at the Newport Walmart parking lot when two men drove up to her car and turned on their high beams, the lights blinded her. Sitting alone blinded and confused as to what was going on, the men hopped out the car and tried to pry open her doors, as reported by NBC News.
Scared, the woman sped off. She was so shaken, she left the state to be with family. After the terrifying incident, a friend of the victim posted a warning about it on Facebook. The victim asked not to be named. As the warning quickly went viral, some social media users began to claim it was just another hoax. But, after it drew the attention of the Rock Hill police, they began investigating, and they were soon issuing a warning of their own.
After their investigation, the Rock Hill police said they not only believe the story is true, it raises serious concerns for them. Now, they want the public to know that criminals are using high beams to blind and attack victims who are alone at night, especially women who are in a stationary car in a dark parking lot.
“Someone turned on their high beams and she looked up and she can’t really see anything,” the victim’s friend told NBC Charlotte’s Savannah Levin after asking the outlet to protect her identity for her own safety. “And, then, all of a sudden, she heard two men on both sides of her car, the passenger and the driver side,” the unnamed friend explained.
“As she was pulling away, they were still trying to get in her car. They were wearing hoodies and they had the hoodie part down past their eyes. Thankfully, she locked her doors. It was just too close to home, and I wanted people to be aware,” she added. “Who knows what would’ve happened if they had gotten her car and she didn’t lock the doors?”
According to Mark Bollinger, the Rock Hill Police Department’s public information officer, the victim decided not to call 911 at the time. But, her friend’s viral post eventually drew their attention, leading them to launch their initial investigation which led them to believe her story is legitimate.
Authorities have encouraged anyone who may have information or who may have witnessed anything to call Crime Stoppers at 1-877-409-4321. The investigation is ongoing, but police do not have a suspect or a vehicle description at this time. They are working to gather surveillance video from the Walmart parking lot, and investigators are also attempting to determine the motivation of the men.
“It could’ve been someone trying to entice her to get out of the car,” Bollinger warned. “If you ever feel like you’re in an unsafe situation, don’t think you’re bothering us,” Bollinger pleaded with the public. “That’s what we’re here for, we’re here to help.”
After this incident, Officer Bollinger said people should avoid sitting in their cars, especially alone and when distracted. He also urged, if anything suspicious happens or if you feel as though someone is trying to tempt you out of your vehicle, always call 911. “Stay in your car and call us or leave that spot,” Bollinger said. “If the car starts to follow you, go to a well-lit convenience store or the nearest police agency.”
There’s another warning to be had with this story. Very often, social media does perpetuate “fake news.” However, before you disregard something as false, use a little critical thinking or do some research. If you see a warning, don’t just dismiss it. Ask yourself if it could happen and whether the information could be helpful. If the answer is yes, like it was in this case, there’s no harm in educating others about the possibility. In fact, you could actually save a life.