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Thread: Bystander arrested after breaking up fight with gun. Vigilante faces gun charges. DE News Journal

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    http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/p...D=200880117025

    PostedThursday, January 17, 2008at10:32 am

    A Wilmington man faces multiple charges after he brandished a gun to try to break up a fight outside a Brandywine Hundred shopping center.

    Gregg N. Lynch, 58, was charged with three counts of aggravated menacing, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

    He was arraigned and released on $20,500 unsecured bond.

    The incident began Wednesday afternoon outside Dicks Sporting Goods in the Brandywine Towne Center, when two teens, ages 16 and 17, got into an argument with a 27-year-old man, said state police spokesman Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh.

    When the argument grew physical, a bystander, whom police later identified as Lynch, allegedly pulled out a 'Glock' 9mm handgun and ordered all three to the ground, Whitmarsh said.

    The teens complied, but the 27-year-old fled to his vehicle.

    When state troopers arrived, they arrested Lynch and searched his vehicle. They found two more handguns – a revolver and a .22 caliber pistol – and eight boxes of ammunition, Whitmarsh said.

    Lynch told the troopers he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, but he could not produce it at the time of his arrest. State police investigators are still looking into that claim, Whitmarsh said.

    http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/p...=2008801180338

    PostedFriday, January 18, 2008

    What started as a road rage incident ended with the arrest of a 58-year-old Brandywine Hundred man on gun charges after he got involved in a fistfight between three men and ordered them to the ground at gunpoint, police said.

    Gregg N. Lynch, of the 100 block of Murphy Road, was released on $20,500 unsecured bail Wednesday after being charged with felony aggravated menacing, possession of a firearm during a felony, carrying a concealed deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.

    The three men involved in the fight were not immediately charged, Cpl. Jeff Whitmarsh of the Delaware State Police said.

    "It's still an active case under investigation," Whitmarsh said Thursday.
    It all started at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot outside Dick's Sporting Goods in the Brandywine Town Center, where the occupants of two cars each claimed the others cut them off.

    The three occupants -- two teenage boys and a 27-year-old man -- stopped and got into an argument that turned physical.

    Shoppers called state police.

    Before troopers could arrive, Lynch pulled up in a pickup, brandished a Glock 9 mm pistol and ordered the trio to "get to the ground," police said in court records.

    One of the victims got on his cell phone and told the gunman he was calling police.
    Another asked if "he was a police officer and if he had ID," according to court records.
    "I have every right to have a gun," Lynch replied, according to the records. "I don't have to show you anything."

    Troopers who arrested Lynch said he didn't have that right because his life was not in danger.

    Troopers said they found the unloaded Glock, an unloaded 9 mm Baretta pistol and a loaded .22-caliber revolver during a search of his truck.

    Lynch said he had a permit to carry the weapons, but couldn't produce one, Whitmarsh said.

    "If you're going to carry a concealed weapon, you're required to keep your paper with it," he said.

    Lynch was arrested last year on charges of aggravated menacing, but the charges were dropped, court records show.

    Whitmarsh said a woman who witnessed the incident was left shaken.

    "The witness was clear that Lynch pointed a gun at the victims and ordered them to the ground," he said. "Lynch claimed he never pointed the weapon at the victims."
    Whitmarsh said Lynch's brandishing of a gun implied he was going to use deadly force.

    "If he's threatening someone to comply or face deadly force, then he himself has to be threatened with serious bodily injury or death, or be in fear that someone else will face seriously bodily injury or death," he said.

    Lynch never claimed that he was making a citizen's arrest and made no mention of holding the men at bay until police arrived, Whitmarsh said.

    http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/p...=2008801210328

    PostedMonday, January 21, 2008

    The case of vigilante justice at a shopping mall last Wednesday afternoon is a good example of why taking criminal matters into your own hands is a dangerous idea.
    The harrowing episode involved a pistol-wielding passer-by's attempt to break up a fight between strangers feuding with road rage.

    In the parking lot outside the Brandywine Town Center occupants of two cars, who claimed the other car cut them off, began physically fighting.

    Shoppers called police but before troopers could get there, a 58-year-old man brandished a pistol and ordered the trio to "get to the ground," according to court records.

    According to police he told his "suspects" he had every right to have a gun and did not need to prove he was a police officer or show identification as one of them requested.

    It turned out that the weapon was unloaded. The owner could not produce a license for a concealed weapon, a requirement of state law.

    Even if he produced a license and the weapon was loaded, he still faced no immediate threat from the fighting suspects. So it was not a case of self-defense.
    Police arrested and charged him with felony aggravated menacing, possession of a firearm during a felony as well as carrying a concealed deadly weapon and disorderly conduct.

    Despite his good intentions, the passer-by took a serious gamble with the lives of the shoppers and others in that parking lot. Suppose his enraged "suspects"were armed as well. He had no way of knowing.

    For all of its immediate satisfaction, vigilante justice can be much more life threatening than many would-be citizen-policemen dream.

    The decision to charge the do-gooder in this case was lawful and necessary to avoid copycats whose intentions turn out much worse.


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    Agreed!!

    "Troopers who arrested Lynch said he didn't have that right because his life was not in danger."

    "Despite his good intentions, the passer-by took a serious gamble with the lives of the shoppers and others in that parking lot. Suppose his enraged "suspects"were armed as well. He had no way of knowing."

    "For all of its immediate satisfaction, vigilante justice can be much more life threatening than many would-be citizen-policemen dream."

    "The decision to charge the do-gooder in this case was lawful and necessary to avoid copycats whose intentions turn out much worse."


    A fist fight would not require the use of any deadly force from a guy not being attacked.

    When he pulled out his gun.. there is always a chance that he could accidentally shoot one of the men. And over a fist fight!!

    He may have had good intentions.... but heended up being the biggest threat in the parking lot when he pulled out his gun and pointed it at unarmed people.

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    "The witness was clear that Lynch pointed a gun at the victims and ordered them to the ground," he said. "Lynch claimed he never pointed the weapon at the victims."
    Whitmarsh said Lynch's brandishing of a gun implied he was going to use deadly force.


    What victims? 3 guys fighting. This word victim is becoming a meaningless word.

    Not that I agree with Leo 229 all the time, but in this case this guy should not have a CCL. According to the report, Lynch drove up, jumped out and interfered. This Lynch guy is a LEO want to be. The Bell Curve applies to LEOs as well as citizens.

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    The distribution or the book?

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Whats wrong with calling the police, being a good witness, and only getting involved if a life was actually in danger?

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    That is what the guy should have done!!

    Call, report what you see, and if someone is about to be seriously injured or killed.. then step up and save a life.

    When you draw your gun... it means you justified in shooting someone or you could be charged with brandishing since there is no self defence involved.

    He used his gun as nothing more than a tool to try to stop the fight.

    I hope the other members on this board learn that this is NOT the time to draw down on someone.

    That is the problem with America now-a-days..... always having to bring a gun to a fist fight!!! :?

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    I believe "Lynch" would have been charged regardless of drawing or not. This is the problem with America. You can no longer help (defend)your fellow man or women without being charged with something. Sure you can say it was none of his business. But, that is not how it used to be.

    If someone was getting beat by more than one person right in front of me. I would be hard pressed not to intervene. More so if it is someone I know. Of course if I did I would expect charges. Regardless of the gun. say I never draw and just use fists. There ya go -- assault and battery (what with intent to do harm).Ridiculous if you ask me.

    It was a no win situation just as soon as he got out of the car. Does not matter the type of forceused. I hope the judge lets this guy off.

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    I fully agree that this was very excessive and dangerous. Like others said, he should have called police and waited.

    NEVER intervene in a situation you don't fully understand. Even if you do think you understand it, unless there is an imminent threat of innocent people being seriously injured and/or killed you do not have the right to threaten lethal force. If everyone in the fight is in it by their own choice then you REALLY don't need to intervene.

    Perhaps one could intervene if people were "stomping" someone on the ground, but that's not the case here.

    In fact, I must agree with color of law,

    Not that I agree with Leo 229 all the time, but in this case this guy should not have a CCL. According to the report, Lynch drove up, jumped out and interfered. This Lynch guy is a LEO want to be.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Agreed!!

    "Troopers who arrested Lynch said he didn't have that right because his life was not in danger."

    "Despite his good intentions, the passer-by took a serious gamble with the lives of the shoppers and others in that parking lot. Suppose his enraged "suspects"were armed as well. He had no way of knowing."

    "For all of its immediate satisfaction, vigilante justice can be much more life threatening than many would-be citizen-policemen dream."

    "The decision to charge the do-gooder in this case was lawful and necessary to avoid copycats whose intentions turn out much worse."


    A fist fight would not require the use of any deadly force from a guy not being attacked.

    When he pulled out his gun.. there is always a chance that he could accidentally shoot one of the men. And over a fist fight!!

    He may have had good intentions....* but he*ended up being the biggest threat in the parking lot when he pulled out his gun and pointed it at unarmed people.
    I agree he overreacted, but what if he pulls 'citizens arrest' as a defense? Does one NOT have the right to protect oneself from a potentially dangerous situation much as a sworn police officer would? IF it is agreed that what the man did was dangerous (and stupid, IMO) then why should he not be able to protect himself?

    Everything that you said 229 can be applied DIRECTLY to law enforcement, so why is it that law enforcement gets a 'get out of jail free card', when the average citizen is looking at 15-20? I can't count the number of times I've seen guns pointed at unarmed subjects, you never hear 'oh, but the gun could have gone off'...on NUMEROUS occasions there HAVE been accidental discharges by officers,some resulting in death, yet no charges are ever filed... Double standard?



    I think this guy is dumb for doing what he did, don't get me wrong, but 'others' make mistakes all the time and aren't called on it... Doesn't make it right, but I find it ironic that those who are sworn to uphold the law are arresting a guy for what they do on a daily basis..
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    TechnoWeenie wrote:
    I think this guy is dumb for doing what he did, don't get me wrong, but 'others' make mistakes all the time and aren't called on it... Doesn't make it right, but I find it ironic that those who are sworn to uphold the law are arresting a guy for what they do on a daily basis..
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    I'm calling bullon most of these comments here especially from leo229.

    The story about the guy who stopped a robbery by pulling on the robber got kudos from just about everyone. Yet this guy was not in iminent danger himself. The clerk was. Judging by what some of you have said the guy should have just stood in the back of the store and waited for the clerk to get shot.

    The fight situation isn't much more different. Yes no weapons were involed, just fists. But anyonewho says you can't get seriously hurt or killed in a fist fight is lying to themselves.

    Who knows who attacked who first? Who cares? We do know that it was two on one. Sounds dangorous to me.

    If the criteria for introducing a firearm to break up a fight is a person being in danger of serious harm or death how do you make that determination? Maybe wait until a guy is lying on the ground not moving with blood coming out of his ears and ass?

    Also, how does this count as "Vigilante Justice"? No one was incarcerated, shot or hanged by the citizen. Only detained until police could arrive.

    I suppose that to some of you, if your wife or girlfriend were being raped, would want the citizen walking by with the means to stop it to keep on walking.After all, they weren't in any danger.
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    The gun should not have left the holster. I also seriously doubt, given the information at hand, that a police officer in that situation would have drawn a weapon. They would have broken up the fight and taken appropriate action from that point on. This guy was driving by and jumped in the middle with a threat of lethal force. AND he didn't have his license with him. Like it or not, it is a legal requirement and failure to do so risks your ability to legally CC in the future if not possibly also to even own a firearm depending on the situation. Not worth the risk and a stupid risk to take.

    Also some guys arguing and getting into a fist fight is not at all the same as someone being raped, robbed or mugged. The story doesn't specify, but the tone of it indicates that this was a mutual confrontation leading to a scuffle. If both of the guys attacked the other guy and started beating on him then using a firearm to stop it to prevent imminent great physical harm may be necessary. A bloody nose though doesn't rise to that standard. And while it is true that a single blow in a fist fight can kill someone, it is very very rare otherwise nearly every boy who grew up prior to the wussy 90s would have been killed in a school yard fistacuffs.
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    The story about the guy who stopped a robbery by pulling on the robber got kudos from just about everyone. Yet this guy was not in iminent danger himself. The clerk was.

    Exactly. The clerk was. The clerk was in IMMINENT DANGER.

    Which of the three fist fighters was in imminent danger? Here's the question: Out of the three fist fighters, which one was safer by having a firearm pointed at him? So the person who was threatened with a fist is now safer by being threatened with a gun?

    You can't argue that the guy who jumped out of the truck was safer with a gun because before he VOLUNTARILY entered the situation, he wasn't even threatened. Yet how can he save someone who is only being threatened with a beating, by threatening to SHOOT them?

    If you see me getting my butt kicked, please don't point a pistol at me for my safety.


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    Superlite27 wrote:
    If you see me getting my butt kicked, please don't point a pistol at me for my safety.
    I'll second that. It sounds like the guy should have stayed out of it, or tried to break it up without the gun if he was really interested in protecting anyone. Gun shouldn't have left leather, not to mention ass shouldn't have left car seat. I'm going to be honest, if I knew none of the parties involved in this situation, I would've picked up my phone and called the cops and kept my eyes opened. I wouldn't have intervened. Just me.

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    I don't think a police officer would have grounds to pull their weapon either to break up a fist fight, come to think of it. This case has nothing to do with the police being able to do the same thing yet have a get out of jail free card.

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    Superlite27 wrote:
    The story about the guy who stopped a robbery by pulling on the robber got kudos from just about everyone. Yet this guy was not in iminent danger himself. The clerk was.

    Exactly. The clerk was. The clerk was in IMMINENT DANGER.

    Which of the three fist fighters was in imminent danger? Here's the question: Out of the three fist fighters, which one was safer by having a firearm pointed at him? So the person who was threatened with a fist is now safer by being threatened with a gun?

    You can't argue that the guy who jumped out of the truck was safer with a gun because before he VOLUNTARILY entered the situation, he wasn't even threatened. Yet how can he save someone who is only being threatened with a beating, by threatening to SHOOT them?

    If you see me getting my butt kicked, please don't point a pistol at me for my safety.
    Nowhere does it state that he threatend to shoot anyone. The article also states that the guy claims he didn't point the gun at anyone.

    And don't worry if I see you getting your butt kicked I won't do a damn thing. We'll just wait for the police. And if by chance you get seriously injured or killed I'll just say, hey, it wasn't my fight. I'm sure your loved ones would understand.
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    Yet this guy was not in iminent danger himself. The clerk was. Judging by what some of you have said the guy should have just stood in the back of the store and waited for the clerk to get shot.

    What did I miss exactly? I didn't see anything about a clerk being threatened. This was a road rage incident it said, outside of a Dick's sporting goods store.... Two teens in one car, a 27 year old in the other.


    Nowhere does it state that he threatend to shoot anyone. The article also states that the guy claims he didn't point the gun at anyone. And don't worry if I see you getting your butt kicked I won't do a damn thing. We'll just wait for the police. And if by chance you get seriously injured or killed I'll just say, hey, it wasn't my fight. I'm sure your loved ones would understand.


    They seem to have all VOLUNTARILY participated in this fight. They pulled off the road for the explicit purpose of FIGHTING for goodness sake. Nobody needs to threaten violent force upon them at that point. If he "didn't point it at them," why did he have it out? That, in and of itself shows he was being irresponsible. If he knew he didn't need it, why did he attempt to show he was willing to use it to force them to comply to his orders? That really is just taking things into your own hands when it's not necessary. If he wanted to break it up all he probably had to say from the safety of his running vehicle, in an open parking lot, when talking to unarmed individuals, two of whom were teenagers, was probably "Hey guys, the cops will be here in a minute, I just talked to them."

    You do not have an obligation to pull out a gun on them, nobody's life was in imminent danger. This was outside, did not involve weapons, and did not involve clerks, store interiors or robbers.

    Nobody here is saying don't prevent a RAPE or a MURDER or a senseless brutal BEATING, but this was an argument and at most a minor scuffle, and both parties were in it by their own choice. Nobody made them stop there and get out to fight. If they aren't about to have their head stomped in, and they're still able to leave on their own free will, yet they choose to continue to fight, you don't need to intervene! Honestly, why would you risk your life to save a bunch of people who instigated a fight?

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    ChronoSphere wrote:
    I don't think a police officer would have grounds to pull their weapon either to break up a fist fight, come to think of it. This case has nothing to do with the police being able to do the same thing yet have a get out of jail free card.
    You are right....

    This is where mace or the taser would be used instead.

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    I'm taking the middle ground on this one only in principal. Breaking up the fight is noble but drawing your weapon and using lethal force when no one’s life was at risk is brainless at an exponential level. Guys like this give the anti-gun/anti-carry crowd ammo to throw at us folks who have common sense. I hope this dumbass gets it through his thick skull the overwhelming responsibility he takes upon himself by exercising his right to self defense.

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    The thing that amazes me is that he pulled over and got out of his truck with an UNLOADED gun to try to stop the people in a fight. It sounds to me like he wasn't carrying on his person, but stopped to show off when he grabbed his pistol. It looked like this also was not his first round at doing this according to the news articles he had been to court on this before.

    When the officers searched the vehicle, all three pistols present were unloaded including the one he was holding to stop the fight.

    What is the reason, unless you had absolutely no other choice, of brandishing an unloaded gun?

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    I agree 100%, he definitely knew he didn't need it. Like I said in my previous post:

    If he 'didn't point it at them,' why did he have it out? That, in and of itself shows he was being irresponsible. If he knew he didn't need it, why did he attempt to show he was willing to use it to force them to comply to his orders?


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    I can applaud his willingness to step up and try to be helpful.... Not many people do this anymore.

    But he had no clue who was fighting and why. So which one do you help when you break it up?

    If he had watched them while calling 911 he could have eventually received more information to help decide if he needed to get involved and who needed his help.

    Men have been fist fighting since the beginning of time.... It was actually better for them to be fighting then to be shooting at each other like kids do today.


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    Superlite27 wrote:
    The story about the guy who stopped a robbery by pulling on the robber got kudos from just about everyone. Yet this guy was not in iminent danger himself. The clerk was.

    Exactly. The clerk was. The clerk was in IMMINENT DANGER.

    Which of the three fist fighters was in imminent danger? Here's the question: Out of the three fist fighters, which one was safer by having a firearm pointed at him? So the person who was threatened with a fist is now safer by being threatened with a gun?

    You can't argue that the guy who jumped out of the truck was safer with a gun because before he VOLUNTARILY entered the situation, he wasn't even threatened. Yet how can he save someone who is only being threatened with a beating, by threatening to SHOOT them?

    If you see me getting my butt kicked, please don't point a pistol at me for my safety.
    when seconds count....... Oh thats right... you know the rest.....



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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Men have been fist fighting since the beginning of time.... It was actually better for them to be fighting then to be shooting at each other like kids do today.
    >> I agree with this.
    I can applaud his willingness to step up and try to be helpful.... Not many people do this anymore.
    >> And this

    But he had no clue who was fighting and why. So which one do you help when you break it up?
    >> That is why you stop the event.
    If he had watched them while calling 911 he could have eventually received more information to help decide if he needed to get involved and who needed his help.
    >> A delay could have costsomeone their life.

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    coltcarrier wrote:
    The thing that amazes me is that he pulled over and got out of his truck with an UNLOADED gun to try to stop the people in a fight. It sounds to me like he wasn't carrying on his person, but stopped to show off when he grabbed his pistol. It looked like this also was not his first round at doing this according to the news articles he had been to court on this before.

    When the officers searched the vehicle, all three pistols present were unloaded including the one he was holding to stop the fight.

    What is the reason, unless you had absolutely no other choice, of brandishing an unloaded gun?
    From the second article posted/linked in the OP:

    Troopers said they found the unloaded Glock, an unloaded 9 mm Baretta pistol and a loaded .22-caliber revolver during a search of his truck.
    I don't think that necessarily really matters to the issue. Just pointing it out to keep the facts straight.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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