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Thread: How would you handle this

  1. #1
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    What would you have done in this situation?

    Last night, my wife and I dropped our two kids and two friends at a local theater. She and I then went across the maindrag for dinner to celebrate her new job. After dinner and a decadent dessert, we went back to the theater to pick up the kids.

    The movie hadn't let out yet so we happened upon a proper parking space in front of the main doors. The passenger side was towards the theater doors. We had about a 20 minute wait until their movie let out. We were minding our own business and passing the time listening to the radio, talking, and playing cell phone games.

    Another movie had let out and people were leaving with some groups of "friends" gathering at various points in the parking lot. I was pretty situationally aware (at least in the theaters direction) since were waiting for the kids and are a little over protective.

    A group standing outside the main doors were talking with some people in a car along the curb. All of a sudden, this young girl (15-16ish) starts cussing and telling this guy to leave her alone. The guy is trying to grab her arm and is verbally berating her. No one in the group (maybe 8-10 total including 3 in car) responded or tried to stop it -- well, maybe 1 girl said something.

    I sat watching for maybe 30 seconds while this transpired and after the guy appeared to try to grab the girl by the neck, I got out of my SUV and interceeded. In a loud, authoritative tone, I yelled "hey" two or three times before anyone acknowledged me. I told the guy to stop what he was doing and leave the girl alone. He attempted to further disparage the girl and I cut him off saying "I don't care" and "you need to stop and leave the area now." He said something like "whatever" under his breath and got in the front, passenger seat of the car.

    I backed up to the island next to my SUV but did do anything to mark my vehicle. At this point a theater employee on a smokebreak came up and told all parties they needed to leave now or he was calling the cops. The theater employee had witnessed the whole event, including the build up, from 15-20 feet away (my 10:30 relative to the group). They left or moved out of my view and the world returned to normal and I returned to my SUV.

    When I first started exiting my SUV, my wife tried to stop me or something but I didn't fully hear her. At one point, the girl did thank me for stepping in. I don't remember acknowledging her. When I re-entered the SUV, my wife said I did the right thing. I did have the gitters for a few minutes afterwards.

    Bear in mind, I was unarmed except for a a small pocket knife. I didn't contact the Sheriff's department.
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    I think you did ok. I have also done similar actions with a lack of arms. I'm glad no one was hurt.

    ProguninTN

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    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
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    If the situation looked like it was going to turn violent I wouldn't hesitate to intervene. I wouldn't be able to look myself in the mirror if I didn't. Can't stand by and watch some ass bag beat up his girlfriend, ex-girlfriend or whatever the case may be.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    Sounds like you did the right thing to me, good job...

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    How would the situation change if this man was armed? I would be very leery of stepping into a situation like this if I was armed, especially if open carrying. If I was armed and witnessed this, I would call the police, unless a third party was under threat of death or grave bodily harm. Any other thoughts? I have often thought about this because I share vaopencarry's philosophy of not being able to just sit by and watch someone abuse a woman. I also constantly remind myself that while I carry a firearm for defense, I am not a police officer. So, how does everybody else think a OC/CC firearm would change this scenario?

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    I should have mentioned, I am talking about the man intervening being armed, not the aggressors.

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    Thanks for the responses and reassurances. I've never thought about a situation like this before. But like others, I could let something bad happen.

    Reviewing it, I approached too closely to the group and aggressor regardless of being armed or not. I was in front of the car (which the agreessor entered) slightly to the passenger side -- maybe 2 feet from its front bumper. I would have immediately had to start retreating had the agressor turned on me. I could have been poking a hornets' nest with a stick.

    Following novaccw's line of thought: If I was armed, I most likely would have been OC'ing since I just left a restaurant with an onsite ABC license. My approach would have placed the gun in plain view assuming my normal right side/hip carry position. My current carry setup is a black holster OWB pancake with thumb break and a XD-9SC. I had on lighter blue jeans and an off-white polo. The setup would stand out.

    I presume the sight of a holstered gun would make the group think I was a LEO and back down as such. I would not make any indications or implications that I was a cop and would respond appropriately if asked.

    Replaying what I saw in my mind, this definitely wasn't a guy playing with the girl.

    My last thought: Think thru a situation like this and know what you should and shouldn't do.
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    hlh wrote:
    "rlh2005", I'm not second guessing you and I can't say you did wrong, but I would have called the police or got the local security folks involved. Maybe I'm being selfish.
    Not at all. In his situation I would have done the same, but had I been armed I would have dialed the police so fast it could have caused friction burn:P.

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    HLH, I forgot to add the part about "personal" protection in my original post. I have made the decision that unless I know with 101% certainty what is going on in a situation, I will not get involved, but will call the police and let them handle it...after all...to quote whomever started it, "I'm just a guy." Massad Ayoob talks about this in the book In the Gravest Extreme. I know there are a lot of conflicting opinions about Ayoob, but I think he gets it right when he talks of the difficulties of knowing exactly what is going on in a situation. I am not second guessing you either, rlh2005, you made a decision and you stuck with it. It is good that you put it up here so that others can think through it so they can make the right decision when/if it happens to them...thanks for the good post!

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    You did good, the little tyrant who was venting his frustrations on the teenage girl was confronted, and it was made known by you that his behavior was unacceptable and would not be tolerated.

    I would have done the same thing, armed or not (if so, I would have had the police called), but I certainly agree that there would have been nojustification for the use of a weapon, or even drawing attention to the fact that I had it unless the situation got REAL ugly. Being this was a teenage boy-girl spat (involving a real scumbag, apparently), standing up and challenging him was all that was needed.

    Kudos!

    molonlabetn

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    I think you did the right thing as well. But this is an interesting topic. I agree with those of you who said that they would not intervene and would dial the police if armed. It probably seems counter-intuitive to anti-gunners who think it's guns that cause crime, violence, and evil, but I would be less likely to intervene if armed (especially openly). Regardless of your intent as soon as it's known that you armed, whether known by the scumbag or by LEOs that may respond from someone else's call, the whole dynamic ofthe situationchanges. I can only imagine terms like "brandishing" or even "vigilante" being tossed about.

    There was a story in a VCDL update a while back that detailed an incident in theFredricksburg Rail station.A VCDLmember was CC'ing when hegot into a verbal argument with someone. When the other person started after him, he unzipped his jacket and in his words freed his arms in case he had to defend himself physically andNOT to draw his weapon. The act of unzippinghis jacket was enough to scarethe would-be assailant into leaving and getting the police. I don't know how the rest of it turned out, but I think the VCDL member *may* have been in some legal trouble. This story definitely made me think about how I would react in similar circumstances. I tend to be more tolerant of rude behavior when carrying and am less likely to get into arguments with anyone.

    At any rate, rlh2005 good job on scaring that little puke away.

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    Great thought novaccw. Carrying and OC in particular would change my actions some. If I was OC'ing I would leave the gun in my vehicle. Another reason to carry pepper spray.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    There was a story in a VCDL update a while back that detailed an incident in theFredricksburg Rail station.A VCDLmember was CC'ing when hegot into a verbal argument with someone. When the other person started after him, he unzipped his jacket and in his words freed his arms in case he had to defend himself physically andNOT to draw his weapon. The act of unzippinghis jacket was enough to scarethe would-be assailant into leaving and getting the police. I don't know how the rest of it turned out, but I think the VCDL member *may* have been in some legal trouble.
    I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not, but I recently read in a VCDL update of a situation where a gun owner is in trouble forkilling someone withhis legally carried weapon when he was in a confrontation. If I remember correctly the situation was a man with a dog approached and the gun owner felt threatened by the dog.

    He drew his gun and I don't remember if he shot the dog, or just what. I just remember thinking that he got in a lot of trouble because he drew his gun in a non life-threatening situation.

    We have to be so careful with this freedom. All it would take is for the media to get hold of 1 or 2 stories of legal gun carriers causing alarm and we will lose this freedom as fast as the fickle legislature could draw up the legislation.

    Remember, what congress giveth, they can take away. The constitution is only a convenience item for them to use when it is politically expedient.

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    Even if you had been armed, how you handled it is how it should have been handled. No one in the other vehicle displayed or brandished a weapon and it seems to me that no one's life was ever in any danger. I wish more armed law abiding citizens would intercede in this manner in situations like these, just to show the antis that most law abiding gun carriers aren't the trigger-happy hotheads they try to portray them to be.

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    presbyreformed wrote:
    There was a story in a VCDL update a while back that detailed an incident in theFredricksburg Rail station.A VCDLmember was CC'ing when hegot into a verbal argument with someone. When the other person started after him, he unzipped his jacket and in his words freed his arms in case he had to defend himself physically andNOT to draw his weapon. The act of unzippinghis jacket was enough to scarethe would-be assailant into leaving and getting the police. I don't know how the rest of it turned out, but I think the VCDL member *may* have been in some legal trouble.
    I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not, but I recently read in a VCDL update of a situation where a gun owner is in trouble forkilling someone withhis legally carried weapon when he was in a confrontation. If I remember correctly the situation was a man with a dog approached and the gun owner felt threatened by the dog.

    He drew his gun and I don't remember if he shot the dog, or just what. I just remember thinking that he got in a lot of trouble because he drew his gun in a non life-threatening situation.

    We have to be so careful with this freedom. All it would take is for the media to get hold of 1 or 2 stories of legal gun carriers causing alarm and we will lose this freedom as fast as the fickle legislature could draw up the legislation.

    Remember, what congress giveth, they can take away. The constitution is only a convenience item for them to use when it is politically expedient.

    Not the same issue...the one I'm talking about had nothing to do with a dog and happened at a train station in Fredricksburg.

    At any rate, I think a lot of people on thisforum will disagree with your assertion of "what congress giveth..."

    Congress doesn't give rights; it can only take them away. In addition, Congress didn't give us the second amendment,2A predates them as its was guaranteed by our founding fathers as a result of the consitutional convention. This may seem like a minor point, but too many people think freedoms have to be expressly given by law. Just the opposite is true. We need to keep in mind the right premise regarding freedoms. Laws generally only take away rights. Congress doesn't give me the right to free speech -- the first amendment only states that the federal government may never pass a law to infringe upon that right. There's a difference....OK, let me get off my soap box.


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    GlockEm wrote:
    At any rate, I think a lot of people on thisforum will disagree with your assertion of "what congress giveth..."

    Congress doesn't give rights; it can only take them away. In addition, Congress didn't give us the second amendment,2A predates them as its was guaranteed by our founding fathers as a result of the consitutional convention. This may seem like a minor point, but too many people think freedoms have to be expressly given by law. Just the opposite is true. We need to keep in mind the right premise regarding freedoms. Laws generally only take away rights. Congress doesn't give me the right to free speech -- the first amendment only states that the federal government may never pass a law to infringe upon that right. There's a difference....OK, let me get off my soap box.
    I stand corrected, and thank you for making that clarification.

    In my defense, I was speaking from a standpoint of what congress thinks of themselves, and of what so many of the sheep think. I think we all agree that the arrogance of most lawmakers gives them the idea that they dole out our freedoms as they see fit. When you read about the goings-on in DC on Capital Hill you easily see that the press and the congress see themselves as the defender and distributor of our freedoms. As I said, they see the Constitution as a convenient tool to use when it suits their needs. They don't see the Constitution as the guiding policy document of our nation. They pass laws with no regard to the constitutional bounds, and no regard to right and wrong. Congress believes they have the power to take away our freedoms in the pretense of "protecting" us or "righting" some imaginary wrong in our society. The net effect for us is that congress really does dole out our freedoms, even though it is unconstitutional for them to do so!

    I know my rights and freedoms given in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I am a volunteer with the Constitution Party of VA, and have helped to develop several planks of their platform. I am a strict constitutionalist and long for the day when we can see our government doing what the Founders intended it to do and nothing more.

    In short, we agree with each other.

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    presbyreformed wrote:
    There was a story in a VCDL update a while back that detailed an incident in theFredricksburg Rail station.A VCDLmember was CC'ing when hegot into a verbal argument with someone. When the other person started after him, he unzipped his jacket and in his words freed his arms in case he had to defend himself physically andNOT to draw his weapon. The act of unzippinghis jacket was enough to scarethe would-be assailant into leaving and getting the police. I don't know how the rest of it turned out, but I think the VCDL member *may* have been in some legal trouble.
    I don't know if we are talking about the same thing or not, but I recently read in a VCDL update of a situation where a gun owner is in trouble forkilling someone withhis legally carried weapon when he was in a confrontation. If I remember correctly the situation was a man with a dog approached and the gun owner felt threatened by the dog.

    He drew his gun and I don't remember if he shot the dog, or just what. I just remember thinking that he got in a lot of trouble because he drew his gun in a non life-threatening situation.

    We have to be so careful with this freedom. All it would take is for the media to get hold of 1 or 2 stories of legal gun carriers causing alarm and we will lose this freedom as fast as the fickle legislature could draw up the legislation.

    Remember, what congress giveth, they can take away. The constitution is only a convenience item for them to use when it is politically expedient.
    The case with the dogs was in Arizona. The man #2 had dogs running loose (in the woods I believe). Dogs were aggressive in the vicinity of man #1. Man #1 shoots into the ground to scare off the dogs. Man #2 gets violent (possibly thought one of his dogs had been shot). Man #1 shoots man #2 and ends up in jail.

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    I think that had it had been me who witnessed what was going on i would have walked up (And OCing) i would have just stood a lil off to the distance and watched for a second, making my gun perfectly visble to him, and if he didnt stop just by looking at me i would have just politely said "hey", "Quit it", and at that point he probably would have looked up and noticed the gun. He doesnt have to know if your an LEO, he can think whatever he wants, but i think that most people who are in the middle of something like this will stop what they are doing when they notice someone who has a gun is watching. Had he of changed his mind about the girl adn came after me, well then i would be protecting myself. If he just ignored the gun and kept doing what he was doing i would have called the cops, and let them know i was there and i was armed (not as in "Hey can i play cop tonite?" but as hey if you guys get here dont think the guy with the gun is the bad guy as some people might assume). But i would just have stood back away adn made sure he could see that i had a gun. Any opinions as to this scenario? What are the laws in defending someone else who was getting violent with someone else? at what point can you draw? when he hits her? smacks her? pushes her to the ground? Id like to hear what ideas you guys have.

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    rlh2005, i think you handled the situation just fine!

    PackininVB, as to your questions, in VA, an innocent third party can also be defended with deadly force (assuming of course that the innocent third party was in danger of being killed or greviously injured.

    I was involved in a situation in 2000 (before I carried a weapon) similar to the one that rlh describes. I was at the Urbana Seafood festival on a Friday night and toward the end of the night out of the corner of my eye I saw a man verbally berated a woman about 30 ft from where my group of friends were standing. I didn't think all that much of it until I saw the man give the woman a few small shoves and started grabbing her by the arms really tightly. WIthout thinking, I walked up to him, pushed him backwards a little bit, grabed him by the shoulders and very politely told to cut it out, his actions were making him and the male species as a whole look bad. He was quite intoxicated (and much taller then he looked from my original vantage point ). Unknown to me at the time, 3 of my other friends had followed me over there and were now standing a few feet behind me. THe guy mumbled something and then said whatever and he walked away, the girl following him within a few seconds. As we were leaving a short time later, I noticed the couple partaking in a passionate kiss. Would you believe that believe that when they both noticed me again, I actually heard the woman encouraging him to come over and kick my A@# for putting my hands on him earlier.

    My point, the question "At what point can you draw" can only be answered based on the exact situation at the time and your own personal beliefs/risk assessment methods. Think about the situation that I just described above but add the guy getting a little more violent and me having a weapon. To illustrate my point, lets say he backhands her twice and she falls to the ground and kicks her once while shes down at which time I draw my weapon and instruct him to step away. When the police show up, whats the guarantee that the girl isn't going to say that they were just standing there minding their own business and I drew a weapon on them. Yes i understand that in my scenario there were plenty of other witness but my point is still the same.



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    That's a good point, badboy. When it comes to domestic dispute stuff, the woman who needed you to step in may very well kiss and make up and change the story around by the time the cops arrive. You have to be very careful. In the case of rlh at the start of this thread, there were many witnesses who could back up his story, including his own wife and presumably some of the girl's friends, and having witnesses or better yet video may be the difference between getting into trouble or not.

    I think it's instinct to want to help out the girl before she becomes a victim, and provided you act deliberately and think first, never losing your cool, I don't see anything wrong with responding the way rlh did. Just remember that in a situation like this, you'd better be ready for a fist-fight or to run like hell at any moment, depending on what happens next. If you are not prepared for that you may wind up having a bad day.

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    rlh2005 wrote:
    What would you have done in this situation?

    Last night, my wife and I dropped our two kids and two friends at a local theater. She and I then went across the maindrag for dinner to celebrate her new job. After dinner and a decadent dessert, we went back to the theater to pick up the kids.

    The movie hadn't let out yet so we happened upon a proper parking space in front of the main doors. The passenger side was towards the theater doors. We had about a 20 minute wait until their movie let out. We were minding our own business and passing the time listening to the radio, talking, and playing cell phone games.

    Another movie had let out and people were leaving with some groups of "friends" gathering at various points in the parking lot. I was pretty situationally aware (at least in the theaters direction) since were waiting for the kids and are a little over protective.

    A group standing outside the main doors were talking with some people in a car along the curb. All of a sudden, this young girl (15-16ish) starts cussing and telling this guy to leave her alone. The guy is trying to grab her arm and is verbally berating her. No one in the group (maybe 8-10 total including 3 in car) responded or tried to stop it -- well, maybe 1 girl said something.

    I sat watching for maybe 30 seconds while this transpired and after the guy appeared to try to grab the girl by the neck, I got out of my SUV and interceeded. In a loud, authoritative tone, I yelled "hey" two or three times before anyone acknowledged me. I told the guy to stop what he was doing and leave the girl alone. He attempted to further disparage the girl and I cut him off saying "I don't care" and "you need to stop and leave the area now." He said something like "whatever" under his breath and got in the front, passenger seat of the car.

    I backed up to the island next to my SUV but did do anything to mark my vehicle. At this point a theater employee on a smokebreak came up and told all parties they needed to leave now or he was calling the cops. The theater employee had witnessed the whole event, including the build up, from 15-20 feet away (my 10:30 relative to the group). They left or moved out of my view and the world returned to normal and I returned to my SUV.

    When I first started exiting my SUV, my wife tried to stop me or something but I didn't fully hear her. At one point, the girl did thank me for stepping in. I don't remember acknowledging her. When I re-entered the SUV, my wife said I did the right thing. I did have the gitters for a few minutes afterwards.

    Bear in mind, I was unarmed except for a a small pocket knife. I didn't contact the Sheriff's department.
    I would have handled it as such:

    I OC everywhere I can legally do so (since I don't have my permit yet) so I would have OC'd at said situation. I would have said "stop" from about 30 ft away and if they continued, I stand there and call the fuzz right in front of them. At that point, they have 3 choices:

    1 - charge towardme "mad with anger"

    2 - actually stop

    3 - continue on as if I wasn't there

    Choice 1 would have led to "charger" getting shot as I would "fear for my safety". Choice 2 everyone should have a happy ending. Choice 3 I would just call the fuzz and observe the situation until they arrived.

    But seeing that I'm a black man with a gun :what:, who knows what would have happened.

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    danbus, You might want to re-think action #1. You can't legally shoot someone that is unarmed and basically just wants to kick your ass. Generally speaking, to shoot an unarmed person you need to show "disparity of force". Meaning multiple attackers or you are 5' 8", 140 lbs and the attacker is 6'3" 270 lbs.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

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    hahahaha I understand

    However I dont know if they are TRULY unarmed and what they are capable of. I wouldn't want to find out AFTER I got my ass kicked that said person was on drugs or martial arts expert (as unlikely as it my be).

    I also carry a extend baton for those encounters where pulling isn't necessary. I'm not sure if their illegal, but I like to think of it as having a mini-bat with me.

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    A baton AND a pistol? That's too much for me. I carry one pistol, usuallywith no extra magazines, because that's convenient and comfortable. If it's comfortable, I carry more often, and that's the idea. I also don't want to look likethe plumberwalking around with all that junk on my belt. Some guys like to carry all kinds of stuff, spare magazines, flashlight, Leatherman, on and on. Looks like Batman. Fine if you do, just not the image I want to convey.

    In any case, if I'm carrying a gun in an encounter, I'm not going to stand around for a close-in fight. I'm either gonna draw on the guy, or if possible, retreat while facing him, in which case I have the option to draw or run for it. The very LAST thing I want to do is have to deal with shooting someone.

    Nor do I want to get into a grappling match or a fistfight while carrying; if I lose the fight I could lose my gun or even be shot with it.

    One thing I've learned about myself since I started carrying: I'm a lot less likely to lose my temper than I was 10 years ago. I don't gesture to people in traffic, I cross the street if I think there's trouble ahead, I try not to raise my voice, etc. I keep my distance from possible trouble to increase the chance that I'll have more time to react. If trouble starts, it'll be looking for me, not the the other way around, and I want it to be clear that I did not provoke it.

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    I dont mind carrying the baton as it's small and I can fit it in my back pocket. However, I would like to purchase a small fixed blade knife, instead of the baton. I did purchase a pen that has atiny

    LOL, it would be nice to carry my katana...but I would have concealment issues.:P

    Even before I started to carry, I was never a "angry" person. I make it my business to avoid conflict, and I don't look threatening at all, so trouble has to work extra hard to find me. In the event trouble should find me, I'm sure I can run faster than the other person.

    In a nutshell, everyone situation is different and a major part IMO is BG vs regular joe that wants trouble. A BG would get shot in my world and a regular joe would get tired of chasing me.

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