Susan Luzzaro 4:30 p.m., Dec. 11
A Bully is A Bully is A Bully
Maybe every town has one, but in Julian, California, ours is active. He was always tormenting someone while I was there and everyone knew it. I had heard that he was trouble but didn't care as I didn't mix with him.
One day, that changed. He was in a verbal exchange with one of the local teenagers. She was a big girl and as soon as I heard him say, “shut up you fat bitch!,” I had to step in. I'm a teacher and I've seen how bullies operate but he was in his 60s and she wasn't even an adult.
I stepped right between them in front of Jack's on Main Street, looked him in the eye and said, “Why don't you pick on someone your own size?” I then became his target.
“Trailer trash” was his favorite thing to yell when he saw me in town. Two European tourists that I visited with told me that he said I was a prostitute. There was no stopping his wrath once he had chosen his target and each time, his target was a female.
After a few months of verbal harassment, I finally went to Julian's Officer McNamera and said there was an issue with this man that I couldn't resolve. Big mistake. That lit the bully up like a torch.
He looked for me. He stalked me. He sat at the top of my driveway smoking cigarettes and watching my house. In town, he swerved at me and yelled “Whore!,” every time he saw me. Others said to ignore him but that became difficult in such a small town.
Somehow, he learned the name of my two cats and swerved his truck at me one day and yelled, “Say goodbye to Smokey and Bug (it's actually Byug which means 'little one' in Gaelic.') He then made the motion of hanging by his neck and said “They'll be hanging from your trees when you get home tonight. Hahaha.” It shook me up to the point that I was actually shaking.
I panicked because I do love their furry faces and they had become my companions. Into a cardboard box they went and I drove them to my friend's house. I asked if I could please store them in his garage until I figured out what to do. Imagining my pets being killed was making me sick from the stress.
My friend agreed to keep them and even bought some milk as a welcome. Then, he did what I had not planned. Being from Texas, I am used to seeing a bully called out but I did not expect my friend to confront this bully. We don't tolerate them back home. The stronger stand up for the weaker and that's just how it's done.
He walked right up to that bully in the middle of town and told him if anything happened to me or my cats, he would be answering to him. Bully barked back and my friend knocked the hell out of him. Police were called. Charges were filed. Bully claimed he was an innocent victim who was attacked for no reason.
Bless the judge that heard the story in court. In addition to the 8 prior restraining orders that had been filed against this man, the judge ordered another which demanded that he stay away from me and my pets for at least 3 years. Later, the alleged assault charges against my friend were dropped when the story was told in an El Cajon courtroom. Bully's faced burned red when the judge told him to be quiet and sit down.
Today, the bully still does his damage. Before I left for Texas a month ago, he had an altercation with a man that he verbally defamed for his sexual preferences. No one seems safe from his wrath.
His name is...I can't... to say it would bring damage. . Just know that terrorists work on the premise of fear. Fear of harm. Fear of being defamed. Fear of the unknown.
In our little mountain community of Julian, our bully is known and watched. He won't get away with his madness there and for that, I am grateful.
No one should be bullied and no one has to be if people stick together, share information and keep a watch on the predators so they can do no harm.
With love for Smokey and Byug, I am, SherryD