ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An uncomfortable situation during a shopping trip has sparked conversations between Abilene women on social media who are encouraging others to stay aware and take action.
The conversation opened up after an Abilene woman says she was touched inappropriately by a stranger while she was shopping.
The woman, Hannah Rechy, says she was shopping at the Goodwill near Ridgemont Drive early last month when she noticed a customer talking loudly to others around him.
“I kind of got an off vibe from him, but I kind of brushed it off because everyone else was talking to him and everyone seemed fine, so I just ignored it,” said Rechy.
Rechy says she continued shopping until the man approached her and started a conversation in the checkout line.
After a few minutes of conversation, she says the man reached to touch the tattoo on her chest.
“I was looking around at people like, ‘This doesn’t feel right, this is making me really uncomfortable,'” said Rechy. “[I was] looking for any kind of sign or signal from anyone else and nobody gave me any kind of warning sign.”
She says in the moment she thought she was overreacting, so she just brushed the situation off, but Abilene police say it is not something to be overlooked.
“If you feel like you’re in a situation where you can be in danger, don’t hesitate, don’t think that it’s not the time or the place to call,” said Sgt. John Ramirez.
Ramirez says calling 911 is important even if you’re questioning the situation.
“We’re here to help and serve,” said Sgt. Ramirez.
The Abilene mom says looking back, she feels bad about initially brushing off the situation and wants others to be aware if found in a similar instance.
“I was unprepared for the situation and I did not listen to my gut instincts, and that is so important and it’s so important to teach our kids and to go with what we know, because those instincts are there for a reason,” said Rechy.
The man was cited for Offensive Physical Contact by the Abilene Police Department.
Goodwill-West Texas echoed Rechy’s call to action about safety, issuing a statement that reads in part:
“The safety of our customers and our staff is of the utmost importance to us. Once our Administrative offices at Goodwill-West Texas were made aware of the incident that occurred at our Ridgemont location by the Abilene Police Department, we immediately turned over surveillance footage from the day of the event. We are cooperating with APD in any way that would assist them with their investigation. The male individual associated with this investigation is not allowed in any of our stores or on our properties.” – Rick Waldraff, CEO for Goodwill-West Texas.