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How To Handle A Person On Your Doorstep Claiming To Be In Trouble

11:23 PM, Jul 15, 2013   |    comments
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High Point, NC --  If a person comes knocking on your door claiming to be in trouble, what would you do? How do you help without hurting yourself?

One couple in Florida found themselves in that situation when a naked woman knocked on their door. They opted not to open the door. Instead they called 911 but they're taking a lot of heat for their decision.

Listen to the 911 tape here: Nearly Naked Rape Victim Left Outside As Frightened Homeowners Call 911

Captain Mike Kirk with the High Point Police Department says the first thing you should do if confronted with this situation is take a minute and think.

"Don't be afraid to take just a few minutes and look at the situation, let them know that you've called 911, let the people at communications know that you're in contact with someone at the door," said Captain Kirk.

No matter what, you should always call 911. Also, let the person at the door know you're calling 911. Then, watch their reaction. If they don't want you to call police, they might not be in real danger. You have to use your own judgment and only do what you're comfortable with.

"I think most people if they're home alone, they feel a little more uneasy about opening the door and letting the stranger in and I think they should. That's my opinion. Again, I would assess who it is, what are they asking for, the time of day, what are the circumstances that I find myself under," added Kirk.

Other questions you should ask:
- Ask the person their name
- What do they need? Were they assaulted or did they just run out of gas?
- Do they need police or EMS?
- Always call 911 and follow the dispatcher's instructions

WFMY News 2's Liz Crawford talked to a woman whose mother had this happen to her in Greensboro a few years ago. A woman showed up at her doorstep in the middle of the night. She claimed she was being beaten. When police showed up, she didn't press charges and wanted to leave. To this day, she doesn't know if it was a set up.

WFMY News 2, CNN

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