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Conversation with Damian L. Peters

Peters, Damian
Means, Jamila
Date of Interview: 
Relationships with People and Places; Childhood Adventures; Stories and Storytellers
Damian Peters talks about his childhood fears and the story of an alleged rape of a neighborhood child.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Jamila Means interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
DP (Damien L. Peters): All right. I learned this story, you know, probably was about, I was about 12 years old, 12 or 11, somewhere around there, you know, elementary school, about the time when Mom let you walk home from school, or, you know what I'm saying, you have a little bit of freedom on your own, you know. So the story, uh, was told to me by some of the older guys in the neighborhood about somebody that it happened to when he was our age. It was during the summer, probably, let's see, yeah, it was 1986 'cause I played football that year, the summer of 1986. I remember 'cause I wore number 86. And, uh, the story was about Mr. BHD, that's what we called him. And the reason why I got confused with the man in the black hat was because the man in the black hat was BHB. The BHB is the Butt Hole Bandit and you know what I'm saying, it all started from the time where, you know what I'm saying. And we'd be walking home from school and we'd see some man. I, I guess, you know what I'm saying, somebody wore a black hat just looked creepy that you'd never seen before. So we were just like, "There goes the man with black hat." Then come to find out that during that same summer, this guy that played on our football team had, supposedly was walking through the park, Briarwood Park on, um, Plaza. The same, uh, elementary school that we went to. He was walking home from the basketball court and he supposedly got raped by this dude. And, you know what I'm saying, it was real gross because they went into details about him having to have stitches and all this stuff by this dude raping him. He was supposedly this old man in a black hat and he walked around from neighborhood to neighborhood trying to follow kids. And so we started right then calling, so we started right then calling him the Butt Hole Bandit.
JM (Jamila Means): [Laughing]
DP: So, you know what I'm saying, from then on, you know, for one. The dude that, uh, supposedly gotten raped had disappeared, you know what I'm saying, I mean he didn't disappear he had just like left town and so we really didn't know the truth. We really didn't know if it really did happen, we couldn't ask him. You know being kids, most likely we would have asked him, you know what I'm saying, but during that summer, he had disappeared. He and his family had left or something like that, so we just stayed up in the air whether it had happened or not. So all the older guys and everybody was just like, "Man, watch out for the guy with the black hat. Watch out the for the BHB, the Butt Hole Bandit." So any time we saw people walking down the street that look didn't look familiar, 'cause we had a pretty close knit community, so we had people walking around the neighborhood or whatever, you know what I'm saying, that looked funny, everybody would be scared. Everybody'd go run in the house. And we were some bad kids, too! I'm talking about we was bad I'm talking about throwing rocks at buses and doing a lot of stupid stuff but when it came to the BHB--
JM: [Laughing]
DP: For real! We watched out, you know. And we always played in the park, used to run around the park or whatever, but when it got dark nobody was out as far as by themselves, and if you was out you better be in shape 'cause you're running. I can remember running from, it had to be at least a mile 'cause I ran through the woods from Orr Road to my house. Orr Road, right over there like going to UNCC, to Hampshire Hill through the back way. I had to go through the little, sorry park in our neighborhood. And I remember running the whole way and I wasn't even, I wasn't in shape or nothing. But it was just for the fear of the Butt Hole Bandit. And, you know what I'm saying, so then on, you know what I'm saying, just like I said, you had people looking for the people with the black hat and then anybody that came in our neighborhood. We would just razz them. And I remember one time, we were picking on this dude who wanted to fight, you know what I'm saying, we thought we were the stuff 'cause nobody could catch us on our bikes. This dude was walking through our neighborhood and we started calling him the Butt Hole Bandit and whatnot and he started chasing us and he was saying he was the Butt Hole Bandit--
JM: [Laughing]
DP: But he probably just saying it-- [Laughter] You know what I'm saying, to scare us even more. So you know what I'm saying, he, he really scared us--
JM: [Laughs]
DP: And from then on, you know what I'm saying, as we got older we still like right, right when you know what I'm saying. I was, was asked to tell the story you know what I'm saying, I asked my boy and he had so many stories about the Butt Hole Bandit. He used to talk about how he's almost still scared of the Butt Hole Bandit cause nobody really knows, you know what I'm saying, what happened to the little kid who supposedly got raped. Well, you know, ain't nobody still seen him to this day but most likely probably, if that did happen to him, he's probably so embarrassed to come back around or whatever they probably moved away. But, I mean, you know, the Butt Hole Bandit story was, was one of the biggest ones and it was the man in the black hat. And you know kids, we was playing sports, always out at night being bad, so you know what I'm saying, so anytime the Butt Hole Bandit came up everybody got tense. Everybody was ready to go home. Everybody was ready to go in somebody's house stay in or whatnot. You used to purposely spend the night over to people's house cause you scared to walk home. And say if it was like, say eight houses down street either you were going to run or we were going to have our mom pick us up. So, you know what I'm saying, it was just really shook a whole bunch of us kids. I mean that and I mean it probably, probably didn't even happen at all. It's like one of them little urban legends of, of a man who went somewhere and did something bad and just really messed up the minds of all these kids but probably helped us, you know what I'm saying. We didn't need to be out at night anyway. But, uh, that's about it.