(Flickr pic by Clinton Steeds.)
Our friend Jamile sent us this dispatch from her friend, Mary, who encountered quite a scare in Griffith Park last week. Here's her tale, via her MySpace account, of seeing and hearing gunshots, IN the park:
today's shoot out in Griffith Park..just thought I would share a blurb from life today...
robot and I are resuming our regular hiking schedule (which has been on hiatus during the winter/illness months..)
Robot, the ever-punctual one, was waiting for me at our usual meeting spot; the upper merry-go-round parking lot at Griffith Park. He had a few minutes, so he relaxed in his car, listened to Neko Case, and had a bite or two of his power bar. Suddenly, he heard several pops, like firecrackers.
He turned the music off, looked out his window for the little hoodlums he thought must be lighting off firecrackers. Instead, he saw 6 men with guns, 1 van, 2 cars. The two cars were blocking his exit from the park. The 6 men were firing at each other, and were ducking and hiding behind cars!! Robot hit the floor of his car! He peeked out to see what was going on...one of the men saw him.
He thought for sure that he would come kill him (he would be a witness). The firing at each other continued. He frantically began thinking of many things; me driving into the line of fire, his possible escape route, his imminent death, etc. He reached for his cell and called the Ranger station to report the shoot out. The Ranger was alarmed and wanted to know his location. They put him on hold while they checked things out. The Ranger returned to the phone and informed him that it was "just an LAPD training maneuver."
At that point, Robot looked out again and saw that the combatants were done trying to kill each other and were now hanging out, socializing! He, of course, was foaming at the mouth with his adrenalin at its zenith. He was the only civilian in the parking lot when all this went down. He was then approached by some vehicle marked "police" (fake like in the movies). He asked them what the hell they were doing...(having a gun battle in a public place). They denied being part of the division that planned this training session and took off.
This is about when I arrived. It was amazing...Out of the lower lot (near the bathrooms and playground which WAS filled with children playing) came a procession of governmentt vehicles: 2 Suburbans filled with SWAT officers in full garb still poised with their weapons and about 7 unmarked police cars crammed with cops in plain clothes.
They all pulled up and lined up behind Robot's car (they must have gotten calls that there was an unnotified and frantic civilian caught up in the middle of their shenanigans and wanted to get a look at him). They pulled up, stopped, stared at both of us for several minutes, and then drove away to convene about 100 yards away. They watched us for a while, gathered their buddies, then they took off.
Oh, and we saw a scary, slithery, slimy rattlesnake 10 minutes into our hike up the hill. That's when I began to foam at the mouth. But we survivied all the drama.
Yikes... have any of you encountered something like this before? Sounds like Mary and Robot still deserve an explanation...