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Lasting first impressions

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Rebecca Cooper, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Rebecca Cooper, Arts Editor

While growing up, my mom always told me to never underestimate the power of a first impression. When my fiancé first moved into a gated apartment complex, and I met his neighbor, I knew something was up. From her I got the vibe of someone with issues and maybe a prostitute, but I was only partially right – she did have issues, but she was a retired stripper, not a prostitute. From her thug friends I got mixed vibes, but from a few I got the vibe of a group of druggies.

On New Years Eve, they proved me wrong again – according to the police they were drug dealers and kidnappers.

Because of these people, I had the most interesting New Year’s Eve of my life.

It all started at about 7:30 a.m. I never wake up that early unless I have something important to do.

I guess in the back of my head I knew something was up. The day seemed normal enough. I woke up and read the news online, and then I cooked up a little breakfast and talked to my fiancé, his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend.

I also played with their pit-bull puppy, Zeppelin, which they had illegally stashed in their apartment.

At about 8 a.m., we heard a knock on my fiancé’s bedroom window. We all assumed it was one of his friends trying to wake us up, but when we looked out the window we were shocked to see a man in complete camouflage, face painted and a cocked rifle in his hands. When you are faced with a man like this, you do whatever he says. He told us we had to immediately evacuate the apartment, because of the interesting neighbors.

Apparently she and her friends had participated in some illegal activities, so we had to leave our apartment while the SWAT team entered theirs, just in case some shots were fired. Because my fiancé’s apartment door was near hers, we had to climb out his bedroom window at the back of the apartment. We were then escorted to the leasing office where the police questioned us.

No, we did not hear any more noise than usual. No, we didn’t hear any screaming. Yes, there were strange people there, but there always are.

After they questioned us and some other neighbors, they explained the situation to us. While they explained it to us, 30 SWAT members passed us with battering rams – talk about freaky!

After they finally got the neighbors out of the apartment and cleaned up the mess they made, we were finally allowed back into the apartment after 6 p.m. and got absolutely nothing done that was supposed to be completed.

At about 8 p.m., we started barbecuing to ring in the New Year. The policemen who were serving the search warrant next door decided to join our barbeque and told us the full story of what happened. Apparently the neighbor and two of her male friends decided to kidnap, rape, rob and carjack a female “friend” of hers, because she owed the men money.

New Year’s Eve proved to me just how right first impressions can be.

Rebecca Cooper, a junior journalism major, is arts and entertainment editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at

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