It involved the SWAT team and frogmen searches in the lake. Here’s how it all began.
We pulled into the RV Resort in League City, Texas, (review to follow after we leave) following a long drive from Robertsdale, Alabama. It was dark and Mike had to search for our spot, which, of course, was not well marked. Mike got Margie, the name of our RV, backed in and parked. He started the hookups, and a lady from a neighboring fifth wheel came out to talk to him. After the introductions and niceties, she whispered, “Watch that kid next to you. He’s a crack head or meth head or something.”
We surveyed the park in the daylight the next day. We met the “kid” in question, but our neighbor turned out to be a grown man in his early 30s. He worked locally and had recently bought the travel trailer he was staying in. His conversation was rational and cohesive, so we thought the lady might have been exaggerating or simply gossiping. Over the next two weeks, he was quiet, waved when we were out, and was a good neighbor.
As I exited the RV yesterday to take Lexie for her morning constitution at sunrise, the gentleman from next door was near the pet area pacing beside the surrounding RVs. He was slightly fidgety and took off behind the travel trailers near the lake as he heard me approach. After a few moments, he strolled back through the pet walk and did a little startled jump when he saw Lexie.
“Oh, she’s a big dog,” he said. He had seen Lexie several times over the last two weeks, so I thought it was strange he was suddenly scared of her. He walked to his trailer at a fast clip mumbling to himself. I walked Lexie along the side of the lake in front of our RVs. I saw our neighbor furtively glancing out his door at me and he would quickly shut it when I looked back at him.
At noon, there was a knock on the RV door. Mike answered it. Our neighbor was in an excited state. “Man, can you come out for a sec?”
Mike went outside to talk to him. Our neighbor was very animated and said, “Last night the SWAT team was out here and they had my trailer surrounded.”
“Really?” Mike asked. “I didn’t hear a thing. How in the world did I miss that?”
“They were swarmed all around and they were laying on the ground with their guns pointed at me. I woke up because someone was drilling the outside of my RV under my bed. When I came out to see who it was, they were all out here. The cop van was parked over by the pull-through lot and there were frogmen in waders searching the lake.”
“Did you ask them why they were here?”
“No. I was terrified. I went back inside. A few minutes later the cop cars left with sirens and lights. I went back outside and…” His conversation ended as one of League City’s finest drove up in his patrol car.
Our neighbor shook the policeman’s hand and said, “Officer, you got here fast. What was going on last night?”
The patrolman asked him to elaborate. The neighbor started in on his story and the cop listened intently.
When he got to the part of the story where he left off with Mike, the cop interrupted and said, “Sir, we did not have any calls out here last night. Not a patrol car and definitely not SWAT.”
“Officer, I saw them. When I came outside after all the cops left, there were still men out wading in the lake. They saw me looking at them. Then the man in a giant hamburger suit walked by.”
At the mention of the hamburger man, the cop’s demeanor changed. “Sir, the police were not here last night.”
“I know it sounds like I’ve been smoking crack,” the neighbor said. He was making full eye contact and was sober as a judge.
“Have you been smoking crack? Or taking meth?” The cop asked the neighbor.
“No, man. Nothing like that. I haven’t taken anything.”
At that point in the conversation, Mike bowed out and came back inside. The policeman walked with our neighbor along the undisturbed lake and grounds. Our neighbor went inside his trailer and the cop was returning to his patrol car. Mike flagged the officer down and asked him to come inside our RV so the neighbor would not overhear our conversation. I told the officer about the gentleman’s strange behavior that morning.
“I think he might be coming down off a pretty good high. He’s not a danger to himself or others at this point, so there isn’t really anything I can do. If you notice something disturbing, please call 911 and we’ll come back out.”
There were no strange incidents that afternoon, but things escalated when darkness hit. Mike was running an errand, and I could hear our neighbor pacing around his travel trailer talking to himself. When Mike got home, the neighbor gestured, “Come see them, I’ll show you. You can see them clearly now. See? Right there. The frog guys are in the lake.” The lake was calm and the streetlights were reflecting off the undisturbed surface.
“I know it sounds like I’m crazy,” he told Mike. “I swear they are out there.”
“Maybe you should get some sleep and try to relax a bit,” Mike said. “If I hear or see anything strange, I’ll call the police. We’re neighbors, we’ll watch out for each other.” Mike shook his hand and our neighbor went to his trailer.
We listened for the man next door over the next couple of hours, at this time concerned about his mental health. Blue lights started flashing through the windows around midnight. Mike went outside and the officer was in the process of putting our neighbor in the patrol car with his hands cuffed in front of him. Mike inquired about the gentleman.
“He’s having some sort of mental breakdown and we’re taking him to be evaluated. He’s not hurt.”
Our neighbor has not returned and we haven’t had any updates. I can’t help but wonder his whereabouts and feel concerned about his welfare. Up until the hallucination incident, he was very pleasant and friendly. He was so sincere relaying what he was seeing, but it has been quiet since his departure.
We are careful going out in the dark–we don’t want to run across a dangerous man in a giant hamburger suit.
What type of memorable characters have crossed your path lately?
With love, Dawn