My husband and I were bantering about the ipad…. again…all the cool things it does and what’s going to happen with the stock etc., etc.,our usual conjecture.. when we pulled up to The Whole Enchilada in Diamond Bar, CA I know, I know…Diamond Bar.. that should have been our first clue.) Now I’ve been told, but I didn’t listen… The saying is, NEVER , but NEVER, go to a restaurant where the name of the joint is a goofy play on words because It never ends well. You’re either quickly contributing to the sewer psi or you’re way to the local CVS to get some over-the-ounter concoction that could be used to tackle rotovirus (if it was packed in a wee-bit larger dose that is.) We chose TWE because the confines of this certified boring town have not afforded us anything palatable, challenging or just plain interesting. The Whole Enchilada is a virtual hotbed of authenticity (i lie), but comparied to El Torito…(just go with me here)…it is. Basically it’s not as ‘huero” if you know what I mean. We wanted some semblance of real mexican food. This place ain’t exactly Tarahumara fare complete with tsguino, which I have been itching to try, but certainly good enough for our suburban corralled selves that night. We were fed up The Karaoke singing warbling denizens of El Torito, whom paraded their Evo’s and smeeevo’s and whale-tailed this and that, around for their ‘Snookie’s in half shirts, and eyelashes that seem to need cherry pickers to lift them once they chanced a flirty flutter in some Diamond Bar Bro’s face.
Their dangly mirrored earrings did not bother me not because of the style (they rather soothingly reminded me of the Solar Power facility out in Kramer Junciton as a matter of fact.) Actually, they were so shiny that you could use ’em in the Sierra Madres to signal a fellow bandido that invaders were trekking too close to your pot farm! We were also tired of dodging boys in plugs and Testy trucks with lift kits high enough to help set the new tiles on my roof! I reasoned, If I got run over, would anyone know?
Anyhow when compared with El Torito, The Whole Enchilada just plain smacked of down home cooking! Not!!!…. but as I said, go with me. Remember I said ‘compared to’ that’s key. So Fan-Boy and Fan-Girl (myself and my partner in grime – Steve)… sit down with iphones out, and start checking out the stats on on our blogs. We check for email from clients and the friends that pursue them.
The lanky waiter that sat us takes our drink order and saunters off to seat another couple. I notice a bit of perfume, and then a man’s cologne as a sixy something couple is led to the booth right behind my husband. The smell of chips and the lemon slice that I am drizzling over it overwhelms me in my mad rush to expeditiously slather the chips with Tapatio and lemon I spill my coke, but not badly. It’s that kind of spill that is a gray area. I begin to salivate upon smelling the lemon and hot sauce…and even before I’m done as I think about the acidic pleasure I am about launch down my gullet. I look up from my voracious preparation at the sound of, “Honey…what am I going to eat? I mean you just killed all of the chips with acid and Tapatio!” Coming back to my regular table manners I remember that my husband does not like alot of salt, lemon OR Tapatio on his chips! Yes I was being selfish. I was hungry, talking, thinking, and well, just on ‘automatic pilot’ actually. “Sorry honey..I’ll call the waiter and get more, sorry.” While I am looking at my husband trying to explain my inappropriate food zealousness, I notice that the older man who was sat just behind Steve is staring at me. I mean really staring. Did he have a sensual penchant for the lemon drizzled atomic warhead flavored chips? Did he think that I was Gillian Anderson? Oh god please…I thought, not that again. He kept on staring. I looked away, then back again and yep…he was still there…staring. ‘Okay, this is weird, but I really want to enjoy my ‘close to real, sort of in a Diamond-Bar-huero-sort-of-way- food. I ignored this guy the stock power of Mecha Mook, for he had Laser Vision. He had real glowing eyes of doom. My hubby and I meandered through tons of different subject matter, we sort of approach conversations in a sort of free association way and nothing of off limits. It’s really fun, creative and never boring being with him. This time I tried to stay on the subject we were talking about but just couldn’t! Mecha Mook was done staring at me and was looking behind me creepily intent manner. We aren’t talking the type of looking that some people do. Looking to see who’s around, check out your surroundings, look to see or hear a smattering of what people are talking about in general. Some of us just look to take in our surroundings in general. Blasts of heat were coming form Mecha Mook’s eyes Now he had turned in his seat and was staring at the sides of two young girls’ heads.
I looked just beyond Steve at Mook’s wife and saw her bantering away about what sounded like some sort of “work issue” (this person said this and that person said that to supervisor so and so)… and Mook continuously nodded but continued to stare even craning his neck a bit to get a ‘better view’ of the girls, and later whatever was behind me. All the while I was listening to my husband, adding to our confab but stealing away small investigative glances at Mook and his wife. I knew something was askew and like a meerkat I was on task! I was gonna find out. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, but I was collecting the data! I was doing this because something was out of the ordinary and I am a gifted multi-tasker… (thanks ADD!!!! ) I finally fessed. ‘Honey..’ I recognize that guy behind you… WAIT!!! don’t look! …don’t turn around!!!…I am not sure if he’s been at the kids’ school…or if he lives on the street going up to our house…or what!…maybe I’ve just seen him in the grocery store…i’m not sure…but he was staring very intently at me when we first sat down and now at someone or something behind me.’ “Christina, you have probably seen him in one of the local grocery stores, or the bank…don’t worry about it.” “I don’t know, I know I’ve seen him somewhere…and here’s the weird thing, he just turned entirely to the side in his seat to stare of the two young girls in the booth across from he and his, I assume, wife.” “Oh, hell, maybe he’s one of those pedophile guys on that app that I downloaded on the iphone! Steve laughed, half kidding but with a glint of a ‘what if’ situation playing on his face. He was half expecting to be wrong. ‘Let’s see…wouldn’t that be weird if it was?…but i doubt it.’ he said. Steve pulled up the app and asked rme for his approximate age and general description
“He’s caucasian around 64 or 65 white hair, prominent chin, thin eyes and slightly droopy eyelids, hid eyes look blue. He doesn’t look especially nefarious, looks harmless really, so I really doubt he’s one of those guys.” Steve filters the app for our local area and spins the phone over to me. “Is this the guy? cuz you know I can’t turn around, it would be rude.” “Nope, not at all.” I begin to more closely describe his features. Another spin of the phone and my throat tightens, my eyes get wide and I know immediately, that I am staring right into a carbon copy of the face that is sitting right behind Steve! I want to scream “THAT’S HIM! OH MY GOD, THAT’S HIM!” but I say it quietly, quite expeditiously. and after the first word I am in control of my voice. I keep within a talking / whisper as I exclaim ‘THAT’S DEFINITELY HIM, RIGHT BEHIND YOU.’ Steve is believes me I can tell, but still doubts a bit too. It can be easy to mistake such a person as this due to his common face, his common eyes, but no, not that chin in conjunction with those eyes. The lids the irregularities of his face were noted and I knew in my gut that it was the same guy. “Does he have this prominent chin? these slanty eyes? this salt and pepper mustache ? says Steve. “Are you sure?” “YES, YES…” “Well then as soon as they finish and he gets up we should make the wait-staff aware. and yes. The restaurant has the right to refuse service to whomever they choose.” I wondered about the rights of someone who had done something as heinous as what Mook here did. Mook was and is “Headly, James E Headly to be exact. He was convicted of Lewd and lacivious acts wtih a child under fourteen years of age.
Our app did not specify whether it was male or female that he molested, but that shouldn’t matter. When I say molested, I mean it in the most literal form of the word, “to bother.” James R. Headley was convicted of “Lewd or lascivious acts with a child under fourteen years of age.” I can construe that he probably did not rape his victim, but that leaves a multitude of other just as agregious acts that can fall under the lewd and lascivious category. Knowing this caused my stomach to turn. My mouth could no longer eat, my hands were shaking in anger, surprise and yes fear. Fear for the young girls that he had turned ninety degrees to stare at as they ate their albondigas soup and tortillas. They chatted about boyfriends and the android phone and he stared them down with lust as his lady friend (wife?) ignored his behavior which was at the very least rude to her. Did she know his past? Had she forgiven him? I can think of no possible innocuous situation that could land one in prison for these acts with a child. It’s reprehensible and knowing that any person man or woman would make these decisions to use his or her power, body and mind in the control and abuse of a child. And it’s very hard to sit near someone who has made these decisions to cause intentional, immense, mental, physical and life-long harm to a child. My husband called the waiter over and showed him the photo and listing on our phone via the App. Our waiter confirmed to my husband immediately that the man in the booth that had been sitting behind him was indeed the man on the screen. “YES! that’s the man! he’s a regular here! he always comes in!” “I can’t BELIEVE IT!” he continued. Clearly the waiter was a caring and responsive individual. I could see an anger beginning to run through his body. He began to move faster, talk faster. He said, “Oh my god, I’m sorry.” I told him..”It’s not your fault, it’s not the restaurant’s fault.” “I couldn’t eat my food, and I had a weird feeling about him, so we checked it out because he was just staring down all the women sitting in this area. You know not just glancing or even like a guy who was you know…enjoying looking a women in an innocent way, but in an angry, deep, staring uncomfortable way.” The waiter said he would tell the manager and they would decide what to do. Steve and I left and wondered what should be done.
While logic tells me that someone who has ‘paid their debt to society’ should be allowed to go out into society, I find it a hard pill to swallow. These people will forever combat the fear that they have generated in the society. To prey on anyone is agregious, unfogiving, but to target children is just worse. These are our protected spirits, our little loves. Our babies. The shunning attitudes that sex offenders encounter everywhere they go as their crime becomes known is just something they will have to deal with. That shunning, that anger, those reactions are a but one small consequence for the actions that were committed. I have children. We know the statistics about re-lapsing felons. By now we know that know that this Mr. Headley lives in our community. I was struck by how ‘average’ he looked. By looking at him I would not have pegged him as pedophile, which leads me to wonder how well our preconceived notions serve us. I was clued into this guys abnormal behavior, his movement, and that caused me to further scrutinize him. Finally I asked questions.
Since we had downloaded an app called “Offender Locater” by GoVision2020.com (available on the iphone and the ipad), we were able to recognize this man and have information at our fingertips about his past felonious behavior. Just think about how helpful this ap would be for children who walk home from school! Or who are at a newly independent age! I am all for giving our children the tools and resources to spot people who have a history of abuse and might pose a potential threat. Maybe educating our kids in self-defense isn’t enough. Maybe every kid should have an offender register at their fingertips. I am interested in hearing what you have to say about “The Man on the Screen” (The Pedophile at the table next to you.”) what would YOU do? Would you go back to the establishment if they decided that they would not bar him? Would you have confronted the man and shown him his data on the app? (My husband wanted to do this, but I thought it could’ve potentially started a fight)…Would you have simply moved your seat and not be bothered, thinking, ‘he paid his debt?’
I am an emotional thinker and a staunch believer in children’s rights and their welfare. Children should have protection in our society so that they can grow and become who and what they will be. That is one of our most important jobs in our society. This incident was traumatic for me. By the way... the person that James E. Headley was using his Mekarra Beam on was a small blonde fourteen-ish year old girl soccer player innocently having dinner with her family. Thanks for your comments. ~ Chrissylong.