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Thread: Bar fight

  1. #1
    Regular Member cowboyridn's Avatar
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    Bar fight

    I went fishing at a bridge in Pakwaulkee Wisconsin the other night for catfish around 1:00 am and near the bridge was a bar. As I was getting set up for fishing two females came out of the bar punching each other. Everyone in the bar came out to watch the fighting both females were literally throwing punches at each other out on the street.

    I got on the cell phone and called 911 and reported the fight. I had my firearm at my side and contemplated breaking up the fight and detaining the two until police arrived, however I didnít, turns out their boyfriends broke up the fight all of which took place in about 5 minutes.

    Iím a retired Federal Law enforcement officer and have a concealed carry permit under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety act and looking back on it would I have had the authority to act and detain the two females? What would you have done under these circumstances; neither female was in any life threatening situation other than they were both fighting and it was broken up quickly.

    Before the cops showed up the two females left the area and only a few guys were hanging around the street. Iíd like to think I handled the situation appropriately, however, I wonder if I should have or had the authority to intervene and detain the two until police arrived.

  2. #2
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    you should have tried to break the fight up and got a few broken ribs in the process.

    MYOB in these situations is the best advice ...

    And no one likes a tattle-tale.

    If neither is screaming for help then watch or don't pay attention ...

    Why dial 911 if neither is asking for assistance?

    Sounds like it was a mutually satisfying fight. I've seen hundreds.

    I see nothing wrong with two people wanting to duke it out to be allowed to do just that.

    what were they fighting about? Now if they were scaring the fish away....

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyridn
    Iím a retired Federal Law enforcement officer and have a concealed carry permit under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety act and looking back on it would I have had the authority to act and detain the two females?

    What would you have done under these circumstances; neither female was in any life threatening situation other than they were both fighting and it was broken up quickly.

    ... I wonder if I should have or had the authority to intervene and detain the two until police arrived.
    Since you're no longer a LEO, you have to behave like a citizen (other than your special privilege of having a self-defense tool wherever you go).
    No, you couldn't detain them.
    Find out under what conditions normal citizens are allowed to make an arrest. IMO if they'd tried to rob a bank or kill someone or kidnap a child it'd be legal to stop & detain them, but I haven't researched the laws.
    [976.03(14) says that a citizen may arrest someone they think is wanted for a felony in another state, but I'm not finding anything about crimes in WI]

    And since they didn't appear to you to be in a life-threatening situation, you couldn't use deadly force.
    OTOH, people have been killed by one blow to the head.
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth
    MYOB in these situations is the best advice
    And no one likes a tattle-tale.
    Why dial 911 if neither is asking for assistance?
    Because assault is a crime where the victim(s) are coming to bodily harm,
    and not reporting such a crime is in itself a crime, esp. since he was able to summon aid in complete safety to himself.
    In fact, causing "substantial" bodily harm or "great" bodily harm is a felony in WI.
    Surely brain damage or death would come under those headings, and people have died from one blow to the head.

    940.34 Duty to aid victim or report crime. (1) 
    (a) Whoever violates sub. (2)(a) is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.

    ...
    (2) 
    (a) Any person who knows that a crime is being committed and that a victim is exposed to bodily harm shall summon law enforcement officers or other assistance or shall provide assistance to the victim.
    ...

    Reporting criminal behaviour is not being a "tattle tale" (how kindergarten of you).
    It is helping to uphold order in society.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 08-18-2013 at 11:25 AM.

  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyridn View Post
    I got on the cell phone and called 911 and reported the fight.

    Iím a retired Federal Law enforcement officer...........
    The law was being broken and you did your Civic duty by reporting it to the local LEOs.

    You are retired, as in "not on the job!". If you want to continue to serve, get a "live" badge and enjoy.
    As a "fed" did you do a lot of domestics? If the girls did not kick your (alone) butt, the boyfriends would have. It does not matter who is fighting who, when they see You, You will be the new target.
    Sorry mate, I agree with MKEgal, you do not need to add a weapon to an already volatile engagement.
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    As a retired LEO the feeling of needing to help is strong but one has to resist it.

    No authority to act, no commutations or limited, no back up can't tell them police stop. No intermediate weapons spray , baton, taser no hand cuffs

    Even a off duty officer would be in a tough situation. You did the right thing reported and other wise and didn't interfere.

    Fighting drunks do not like to listen to uniform officers let along some one out of uniform interfering in there life.

    But I understand the I want to help, take action because that what we did for a long time but as a retired LEO that part of are life's is over.

    You did the right thing another situation one might take action but this wasn't one of them.
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    The only other scenario comes from the CCW FAQ PDF. But the situation you encountered was not the same:A person is privileged to defend a third person from real or apparent unlawful interference by another under the same conditions and by the same means as those under and by which the person is privileged to defend himself or herself from real or apparent unlawful interference. 939.48(4)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Law abider View Post
    The only other scenario comes from the CCW FAQ PDF. But the situation you encountered was not the same:A person is privileged to defend a third person from real or apparent unlawful interference by another under the same conditions and by the same means as those under and by which the person is privileged to defend himself or herself from real or apparent unlawful interference. 939.48(4)
    But then if you take that Milwaukee scenario where one CCL held up a guy who was beating up a girl on the sidewalk and called 911. I suppose it would really depend on the DA to subjectively determine if you did the right thing. But to prevent death when you are the only one there to prevent it....... "Help me out experts."

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    Regular Member anmut's Avatar
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    Bar fights... nope, no reason to get involved unless it's a one-sided beat down. Let the drunks punch themselves and the drunks friends watch. I would have observed but not interfered and that would be it.

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    Are you running some kind of charity?????

    Next time go up to them and offer them each $100 to stop fighting. that'll stop the assault and make all parties happy. Offer cash on the spot.

    It's much cheaper than wading into the middle of a situation without full knowledge or backup/witnesses and ending up with a $250-$500K civil or criminal liability (defense costs + damages) when you have to shoot your way out...just ask George Zimmerman.

    Save the use of your sidearm for when you have to save YOUR life (or a family member) and there's no time for negotiation.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CT Barfly View Post
    Next time go up to them and offer them each $100 to stop fighting. that'll stop the assault and make all parties happy. Offer cash on the spot.

    It's much cheaper than wading into the middle of a situation without full knowledge or backup/witnesses and ending up with a $250-$500K civil or criminal liability (defense costs + damages) when you have to shoot your way out...just ask George Zimmerman.

    Save the use of your sidearm for when you have to save YOUR life (or a family member) and there's no time for negotiation.
    Thanks for the good, practical advice.

    Sincerely.

    You will probably end up with the bartender and others, getting you a free drink. Perhaps a cute lady, will stroll up and say "I really like smart men with money." ... who knows?
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  12. #12
    Regular Member cowboyridn's Avatar
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    Bar Fight

    A lot of different opinions on what I should have or should not have done. I believe considering the circomstances, I acted approperitaly. One other thing to add to the cinario is that the men in the croud began to threatin eath other which could have let to an all out brawl which is one of the reasons I called the police instead of getting in the middle of it all and getting into a situation where the croud turned against me.

    I really thought that there was going to be more fighting in the croud. In all I thank you all for the feedback and probably based on the advice of others would not ever get invaulved with trying to break up a bar fight while armed, alcohal, drugs and firearms donít mix well and I could end up shooting someone defending myself needlessly resulting in a possible charge to defend myself in court, a mess Iíd rather avoid.

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    Regular Member Motofixxer's Avatar
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    I agree with most of the replies. With the unjust justice system we have nowadays it's better to look out for your own first. It's not worth the risk getting involved in an unknown situation. Remember the situation may not be as it seems. And especially in the given scenario you would be severely outnumbered. That is not a good situation to be in. Your number one duty and responsibility is to yourself. Especially when you possess a firearm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motofixxer View Post
    I agree with most of the replies. With the unjust justice system we have nowadays it's better to look out for your own first. It's not worth the risk getting involved in an unknown situation. Remember the situation may not be as it seems. And especially in the given scenario you would be severely outnumbered. That is not a good situation to be in. Your number one duty and responsibility is to yourself. Especially when you possess a firearm.
    I think we can coin a new term out that: the injustice system.

    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

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    Chances are, if you hadn't been there...the fight still would have happened. You'd have read about it in the papers the next day over your Cap'n Crunch and not batted an eye.

    Don't let the accident of "mere geography" (i.e. being there) guide your decision to intervene in a situation that would not affect you otherwise.

    I realize it's cold, but it's better to practice and think about responses before you have to decide on the spot. Get your people to safety, let the professionals deal with the aftermath.

    If people want to protect themselves, they would educate, train and license themselves the same way you have. They've all got the right and most have the ability. Don't let their refusal compel you to act.

    I'm not saying I would let a pure innocent go down before my eyes (child, store clerk, cop, etc.) but the OP's situation is a prime example of when to NOT intervene.
    Last edited by CT Barfly; 08-24-2013 at 05:02 PM.

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    Regular Member BROKENSPROKET's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboyridn View Post
    A lot of different opinions on what I should have or should not have done. I believe considering the circomstances, I acted approperitaly. One other thing to add to the cinario is that the men in the croud began to threatin eath other which could have let to an all out brawl which is one of the reasons I called the police instead of getting in the middle of it all and getting into a situation where the croud turned against me.

    I really thought that there was going to be more fighting in the croud. In all I thank you all for the feedback and probably based on the advice of others would not ever get invaulved with trying to break up a bar fight while armed, alcohal, drugs and firearms donít mix well and I could end up shooting someone defending myself needlessly resulting in a possible charge to defend myself in court, a mess Iíd rather avoid.
    Hey Cowboy,

    You did the right thing. For me, whenever alcohol is involved, I do my best to not get involved. Alcohol makes people stupid and highly unpredictable. Unless on eof the women was getting her head kicked in, call the police and stay out of it. I would have gotten closer, just in case.

    In another setting, it would be a lot more appropriate to get involved.

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    Regular Member Have Gun - Will Carry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I think we can coin a new term out that: the injustice system.

    Too late, I've been using that term for years! Ever since my wife & I became victims of that corrupt system years ago. It is so fitting!
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