Testimony in the aggravated robbery trial of Christopher Blanton in Nacogdoches indicates some adults need reminding about the rules of 'Stranger Danger'.
Nicole Holmes was home alone when she got a knock on her door. On the other side was Blanton, a man she had never met, yet she agreed to loan him her cell phone. Holmes had her reason why. "If someone's in need I think you just need to help them."
Blanton left, but returned saying he was going to be jumped by a gang. Nicole let him inside. Immediately she had second thoughts. "It was really like an uneasy feeling, so I didn't think it was the best thing I have done," admitted Holmes.
Nacogdoches Police Officer Greg Sowell couldn't agree more. Safety is his job. "Do not open the door to anyone you do not know." Sowell warns you to be aware of your surroundings. "A criminal will attempt to get a person off guard. They'll attempt to play on their confidence. They'll attempt to play on their sympathy. The urgency of the situation," warned Sowell.
Sowell suggested if you do want to help a stranger in need that you still don't open the door, but offer to make a phone call for them. If they appear in trouble call the police.
Sowell also said it's a good idea to have strong dead bolt locks on all exterior doors. Another 'Stranger Danger' rule is not to put your full name on your mailbox or in the phone directory and never leave your schedule on the answering machine.
Now when there's a knock on the door, Holmes checks to see who it is through a peep hole. "I wouldn't ever answer my doors, especially if I didn't know them. I would just act like I wasn't even home. Just be aware of who is coming to your place," said Holmes.
Holmes wasn't harmed by Blanton, but she thinks about the what if's. Blanton also faces charges for another aggravated robbery, burglary, aggravated sexual assault and attempted aggravated sexual assault.