The Charlie Bravo Story

The Story I never wanted to have to tell

In the beginning of Charlie’s saga, the unexpected death of Stevie Mae presented me with a huge quandary: as Charlie’s page was meant to be a refuge from the negativity on social media, should I share this sad story on Charlie’s page? Ultimately, I’m the dad of the Casa, and sometimes dads have to take action so that others don’t have to. In Stevie’s case, it was to put a hard stop to endless speculation as to “what if”, as well as to explain Stevie’s absence should they come for a visit.

Well, once again, I find myself being the dad.

No way to put it nicely: my daughter was raped yesterday morning. At gunpoint. Unknown intruder, home invasion. And that’s where the details end, unless she chooses otherwise. Any further questions or speculation will be dealt with very unpolitely on my part, so don’t even consider going there, as it will get ugly. No warnings, just scorched earth and hurt feelings.

But as horrible as the situation is, I could not be more proud of her; less than twenty-four hours after the fact, she is already responding as an advocate instead of a victim. Due to her incredibly fast thinking while under the gun, the perpetrator has already been arrested, and late last night we were at the police station where she identified him out of a line up.

A panic button that she installed some time ago helped save her life, but a tool is only as effective as the person’s prescence of mind to A: devise a plan to get to it, and B: to effectively use it. She did both, and as a result, saved herself. She’s a scrapper, my daughter.

I cannot say enough good things about the North Little Rock Police Department during the last 24 hours. When Mom physically survived me breaking every traffic law on the books enroute from the Casa, we pulled up to the scene to find what looked like half of the force had beat us there. And Detective Ashley Noel? If you’re reading this, please know that you have our undying gratitude for your professionalism and compassion: on the scene at 0700 and still at the station at 2200 is the very definition of going way above and beyond the call of duty as I see it.

If we have anything to suggest as a life lesson, get a panic button installed. Buy three cans of wasp and hornet spray; keep one each by the front and rear doors, and the third beside your bed. You can blast an intruder in the face, and then you can amuse yourself by repeatedly tasing his twitching body while waiting for the police to arrive. Purchase a home defense weapon, but more importantly, train to get to it and use it under duress; the best ability is availability.

But the best weapon is situational awareness, to keep your head on a swivel when those around you are losing theirs. That’s exactly what she did, and I couldn’t be more proud; you go, girl…

So there you have it; before anyone decides to throw me under the bus for posting this, know that I’m putting this out there at my daughter’s request, and only after she gives her approval.

After all this, I’m a bit afraid of her now…

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