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Thread: strang encounter - you tell me what it was

  1. #1
    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    strang encounter - you tell me what it was

    I am a night time worker who typically gets home around 3am. A few days ago I got home from work, changed my clothes and put my gun on my hip and went back out to my car to go grocery shopping. I had remembered that I had forgot to check my mail that day so instead of going to my car I started to walked down the hill to my mailbox. I live in a nice apartment complex with fairly good lighting outside the buildings at night. As I started to round the corner to start the walk down the hill I began to walk past one of the dumpsters. We have large dumpsters approximately 5-6 feet tall that are all enclosed in a metal chain link fence with a gate also approximately 5-6 feet tall, don't ask me why. As I started to walk past the dumpster I slowed from a normal walk to a slow walk, I could not tell you why but something looked out of place inside the dumpster's fence. The gate was closed and I could see that the lids where down, the streets lights where casting shadows inside the dumpsters fence like it always dose but for some reason it just looked darker to me than normal. I got that creepy feeling as I looked at the dumpster but could not find anything wrong with the situation other than I felt like something was out of place. I kept walking and once my back was past the dumpster I herd the loud beat up fence open.

    I stopped and turned around and watched as a man dressed in all black with a hoodie pulled over his head stepped out of the darkness. I could not see his face only a cigarette burring in his mouth. We stared at each other both of us motionless and quiet for probably only a few seconds but it felt like for ever. As the man took another step towards me me lowered his head so as he stepped into the light I could not see him. Feeling treated once he took the first step towards me I put my hand on my gun but did not draw it and asked in a not so polite manner what he was doing. He only got one step towards me before my hand touched my gun, the very second I touched my gun he stopped and put one hand in his pants pocket. The man said nothing and after a few more seconds of us both staring at each other he lowered his hoodie. It was a man I recognized from our apartment complex. I do not know his name, he never seems to cause any problems just pace around our lot and smoke. I have never had a problem with him but always got the be on guard feeling when he is around. You might think its wrong to stereotype people but he has search warrant written all over him, dirty want to be blood appearance

    After a few more seconds of us staring at each other I asked him again what he was doing, again no response. I could see his eyes look me up and down and and after a few more sounds he turned around and walked away. I did not move until I saw him disappear into his apartment unit

    Soooo...... there you have it I'm not really sure what to call it or if you think I handled it appropriately just thought I would share it with everyone
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

  2. #2
    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    That was a strange encounter. Keep aware, even if he is a thug I doubt he'll target you, he is very well aware now that you take your personal security seriously.

    ON a lighter note maybe his girlfriend threw his belongings out and he was just searching for them....
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    of their respect for what only appears to be a law, are cunningly coerced into waiving their
    rights, due to ignorance." (Paraphrased)

  3. #3
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Well, here's my take:

    1. Lurking inside the dumpster fence at night - creepy
    2. Wearing an all black outfit with hoodie - creepy
    3. Not talking when addressed - creepy
    4. Putting his hand in his pocket when you showed your HG - stupid
    5. Taking off his hoodie so you could ID him - lame/stupid

    Let's hope he doesn't report you to the mgmt of your apt as brandishing. You might consider talking to them preemptively. Mention you carry responsibly and didn't unholster, perhaps. It's a bit like the 'first person to call 911 is the victim/good guy'.

    Good luck.

    PS, good on you for the spidey sense and taking heed of it.
    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 07-15-2011 at 09:45 AM.
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  5. #5
    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Very strange. I would have been very concerned when that hand went into the pocket. Glad you are safe.

  6. #6
    Regular Member cpgrad08's Avatar
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    That does sound weird. Glad your safe and the situation didn't escalate.

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    good reason to EDC

    ...a flashlight, too.

    I keep an iTP A3 EOS in my pocket all the time - one AAA battery with a twist-on/off 80 lumen flood, or (even better, but bulkier) my camping pocket light, a Meritline AA battery flood/spot flashlight that'll light up dark corners from a good 100' or greater.
    Given them to all the important folks in my life, because sometimes just being able to see trouble before you get too close is enough to avoid it.
    link: http://www.meritline.com/focus-zoom-...--p-44806.aspx

    *not connected in anyway, but very satisfied - and that is the lowest price ($9) I've ever seen them at... usually around $11 each

  8. #8
    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    I saw the guy the next day he apologized for scarring me and then gave me a grin I'm really not sure how to interpret. I still am not sure if putting my hand on my gun was justified but I did feel in danger at the time. He had made a conscious effort to shield his face as he walked into the light and he had no reason to walk towards me because on this coroner I had my back to the end of the property and a tree line, other than to interact with me there was no reason to walk towards me. And like I said I could see the lids where closed on the dumpster so I know he was not just taking the trash out. I was in my mangers office today and they said nothing and honestly doubt the man said anything. There are a lot of middle aged military officers that live my apartment complex with a few firemen and police officers so seeing someone walk around with a gun on them is some what of a normal thing.
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

  9. #9
    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    going to ready condition was VERY much justified in this situation. look at the facts

    after 3am.
    blacked out hooded man steps out of a darkened place and approaches you
    when he gets to lighting he purposefully turns to shield his face in shaddow
    he can clearly see you are armed and advances anyway.

    those right there are VERY good reasons to place a hand on a weapon. i might even go as far as unsnap holster, or actuate draw mechanisim and flip off any safety you may have.

    that is a situation we all fear because in the next 2-3 seconds you may have to make the choice to draw and fire. something none of us ever wish to do.

    sounds like this guy has some mental issues that need serious help.

    good job on how you handled it.

    i would also reccomend carrying a flashlight. a Streamlight LT2 is around $60 , its 180lumens, runs off one 3v battery and has a strobe feature that will temporarily blind an attacker. and fits in the palm of your hand.
    i would rather run out of blood, breath and life. and die fighting. than run out of ammo , and die with my pants down -Tom Scantas

  10. #10
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    You came out of the encounter unscathed and that is a good thing.
    As suggested a good Tac Flashlight would have been of great help in these situations.

    As suggested he may have been up to no good and on the other side of the coin, could he have mental issues, who knows.

    You did not mention of how close he was to you when he started to approach you but he is very lucky things did not go farther then they did when he put his hand into his pocket all could be considered a furtive movement and an imminent threat.
    I am not advocating to go ahead and shoot in this situation though be aware that the threat need not be real danger as long as you can articulate the threat.

    WPIC 17.04. --Actual Danger Not Necessary
    A person is entitled to act on appearances in defending [himself][herself][another], if [he][she] believes in good faith and on reasonable grounds that [he][she][another] is in actual danger of injury, although it afterwards might develop that the person was mistaken as to the extent of the danger. Actual danger is not necessary for the use of force to be lawful.
    NOTE ON USE

    Use this instruction with WPIC 17.02, Lawful ForceóDefense of Self and Others, when appropriate.
    Do not use this instruction when self-defense is asserted in the context of resisting an unlawful or excessive force arrest. See the Comment to WPIC 17.02.01, Lawful ForceóResisting Detention.
    Use bracketed material as applicable.
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  11. #11
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    Scary situation. Ready position definitely warranted. Glad you're ok.
    "If you don't want to be shorn, don't be sheep!"

  12. #12
    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    You did not mention of how close he was to you
    Valid point I really wasn't measuring but a rough guess is right at or just in 21 feet, we all know what that means. If nothing ells I just want to call this a perfect example of why we should all always be aware of our surroundings. Put your cell phone away, get your face out of Facebook and be looking around if you are going to chose to carry.

    Also what is WPIC? Are theses something I should be failure with and how do they relate to RCWs?
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    ...........Also what is WPIC? Are theses something I should be failure with and how do they relate to RCWs?
    WPIC= Washington Pattern jury Instructions Criminal (there is a separate WPI for Civil)

    They are a set of " standard instructions" that courts give to juries.

    If I remember correctly they are written by a committee that is appointed by the Supreme Court of Washington ?
    Last edited by END_THE_FED; 07-16-2011 at 11:01 AM.
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  14. #14
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    What a strange encounter! Glad you are okay. Thank God you had the presence of mind to put on your gun before you went out; things could have turned out much differently. I think what you did was VERY warranted; I would have done the same, especially after he put his hand in his pocket, then refused to answer your questions. People have been shot by police for such an action. I agree with those who said get a tech flashlight. I carry a Surefire Defender. Pricey, but worth it to me. It has a beveled edge around the bulb and can be used as a weapon. It sounds as though this guy enjoys scaring people or he is mentally unstable. It sounds like it's a distinct possibility that at some point in the future, he will be the recipient of a Darwin award!
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  15. #15
    Regular Member fire suppressor's Avatar
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    I have never herd of WPIC before now I'm going to have to look into them. Thanks to everyone ells who commented I wanted a second option on what happened sounds like we are all on the same page. Other peoples children...
    "Fight like you train, train like you fight"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDave View Post
    You came out of the encounter unscathed and that is a good thing.
    As suggested a good Tac Flashlight would have been of great help in these situations.

    As suggested he may have been up to no good and on the other side of the coin, could he have mental issues, who knows.

    You did not mention of how close he was to you when he started to approach you but he is very lucky things did not go farther then they did when he put his hand into his pocket all could be considered a furtive movement and an imminent threat.
    I am not advocating to go ahead and shoot in this situation though be aware that the threat need not be real danger as long as you can articulate the threat.
    I'm going to +1 bigdave's idea on a flashlight. I carry a surefireG2 myself (Shameless plug here) and in this situation I may have shed a little light on the situation before he stepped forward. IJS

    You lived, you didn't have to draw, and no one got hurt. I'd say you learned much from your encounter.

    Word to the dude: Why say nothing unless you swallowed your tongue looking for your common sense, or that white stuff that accumulates in the corner of your mouth when you're really thirsty?

    EDIT: I just read dave's comment about mental problems; this could be valid too. Either way, YOU LIVED! Live and learn. When you reach a point in life when you don't strive to get better, you can only go down from there.

  17. #17
    Regular Member amzbrady's Avatar
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    What if he had whipped his hand out of his pocket very fast, he would have had the draw on ya.

    Here's a what if... What if you pissed him off and in the dark did not see your firearm, (badeyes, high, whatever), and he started coming towards you saying "I'm going to kick your ass"? If he started at 21 feet, how many feet before you draw, and how many feet before you fire on an unarmed person? Now a change, instead of "I'm going to kick your ass" what if it was "I'm going to kill you"? Does the distance of draw and fire change? Do you have to let them hit you first so it is self defense?
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  18. #18
    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    What if he had whipped his hand out of his pocket very fast, he would have had the draw on ya.

    Here's a what if... What if you pissed him off and in the dark did not see your firearm, (badeyes, high, whatever), and he started coming towards you saying "I'm going to kick your ass"? If he started at 21 feet, how many feet before you draw, and how many feet before you fire on an unarmed person? Now a change, instead of "I'm going to kick your ass" what if it was "I'm going to kill you"? Does the distance of draw and fire change? Do you have to let them hit you first so it is self defense?
    This comes down to, is the amount of force reasonable? As stated in the Jury Instructions "the force is not more than is necessary.]
    The person [using][or][offering to use] the force may employ such force and means as a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar conditions as they appeared to the person, taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances known to the person at the time of [and prior to] the incident."

    In this instance using a firearm would have been outside what a jury might consider reasonable when it comes down to a similar person of size and strength engages you.
    I am not saying that placing your hand on your self defense weapon was the wrong move, but pulling that weapon and using it may be beyond the scope of the RCW's, so be prepared to establish the threat with your attorney if so charged.

    I do subscribed to the idea, our self defense weapon is a choice of last resort, that is when nothing else can be done to save your life or limb.

    RCW 9A.16.020
    Use of force ó When lawful.


    The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:

    (1) Whenever necessarily used by a public officer in the performance of a legal duty, or a person assisting the officer and acting under the officer's direction;

    (2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;

    (3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;

    WPIC 17.02 Lawful ForceóDefense of Self, Others, Property

    It is a defense to a charge of __________ that the force [used][attempted][offered to be used] was lawful as defined in this instruction.
    [The [use of][attempt to use][offer to use] force upon or toward the person of another is lawful when [used][attempted][offered] [by a person who reasonably believes that [he][she] is about to be injured] [by someone lawfully aiding a person who [he][she] reasonably believes is about to be injured] in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against the person, and when the force is not more than is necessary.]
    [The [use of][attempt to use][offer to use] force upon or toward the person of another is lawful when [used][attempted][offered] in preventing or attempting to prevent a malicious trespass or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in that person's possession, and when the force is not more than is necessary.]
    The person [using][or][offering to use] the force may employ such force and means as a reasonably prudent person would use under the same or similar conditions as they appeared to the person, taking into consideration all of the facts and circumstances known to the person at the time of [and prior to] the incident.

    The [State][City][County] has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the force [used][attempted][offered to be used] by the defendant was not lawful. If you find that the [State][City][County] has not proved the absence of this defense beyond a reasonable doubt, it will be your duty to return a verdict of not guilty [as to this charge].
    NOTE ON USE

    Use this instruction in any case in which this defense is an issue supported by the evidence.
    Use bracketed material as applicable. Use this instruction for any charge other than homicide or attempted homicide. If homicide is involved, use WPIC 16.02, Justifiable HomicideóDefense of Self and Others.
    With this instruction, use WPIC 16.05, NecessaryóDefinition. Also use, as applicable, WPIC 2.13, MaliceóMaliciouslyóDefinition. If there is an issue whether the defendant was the aggressor, use WPIC 16.04, AggressoróDefense of Self, or WPIC 16.04.01, AggressoróDefense of Others.
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  19. #19
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fire suppressor View Post
    Feeling t[h]reat[en]ed once he took the first step towards me I put my hand on my gun but did not draw it and asked in a not so polite manner what he was doing. He only got one step towards me before my hand touched my gun, the very second I touched my gun he stopped and put one hand in his pants pocket.
    Very interesting moment, when he put his hand in the pocket. You did nothing.

    Overall, you did very well, since the man did not reasonably appear to have been a threat to your life or limb.

  20. #20
    Regular Member waterfowl woody's Avatar
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    late at night a man is dressed head to toe in black.... ummm do you have issues with car prowlers in you apartment? having lived in aprtments for a couple years of my life I have found vehicle break ins being a huge deal. the sounds of it the garbage fenced area is a great place to hide and case the area. you may want to inquire about breakins.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Whitney's Avatar
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    Something Very Wrong Here

    My gut says you (or perhaps someone else) were targeted, call me a conspiracy theorist if you want but there are a few things that do not add up for me.

    1. (Time of day) He could have stayed under cover of darkness and avoided you but chose not to. (WHY??)

    2. (Confrontational) Saying nothing he closed the distance between the two of you. (hair standing up)

    3. (Furtive) He was clearly being secretive and avoided you noticing him. (Leads me to believe guilty conscience)

    The next day he recognizes you and concedes he did not mean to scare you.

    This character bears some close watching in my book.

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  22. #22
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterfowl woody View Post
    late at night a man is dressed head to toe in black.... ummm do you have issues with car prowlers in you apartment? having lived in aprtments for a couple years of my life I have found vehicle break ins being a huge deal. the sounds of it the garbage fenced area is a great place to hide and case the area. you may want to inquire about breakins.
    Hey, maybe the guy just finished a smoke and he went in there because he didn't want anyone seeing his crack pipe.
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  23. #23
    Regular Member ColeMD17's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amzbrady View Post
    What if he had whipped his hand out of his pocket very fast, he would have had the draw on ya.

    Here's a what if... What if you pissed him off and in the dark did not see your firearm, (badeyes, high, whatever), and he started coming towards you saying "I'm going to kick your ass"? If he started at 21 feet, how many feet before you draw, and how many feet before you fire on an unarmed person? Now a change, instead of "I'm going to kick your ass" what if it was "I'm going to kill you"? Does the distance of draw and fire change? Do you have to let them hit you first so it is self defense?
    For me, it depends on how dangerous this person is while unarmed. I'll go ahead and duke it out with Robert Pattinson, but I'm not gonna bet my life on a fistfight with John Cena. If he says he's going to attack me, he gets a double tap to the chest... Okay, well, if I judge that I am able to do so in the situation, I'll draw on him and give him a very forceful spoken warning first... but only after he has threatened me.

    Let's just say our Deepthroat here is a pretty big guy.

    Shadowy Suspect: (starts towards me.) I'm gonna kick/kill your puny ass.
    Cole: (draws gun, points it at hostile) No, you're not. Go away right now.

    At this point he will A: Back down and go away. B: Stop, but try to preserve his toughness by continuing to taunt me, or C: rush me.

    if A: The problem is solved. (at least for now.) I reholster, keep my head on a swivel and my hand on my gun while I quickly go get my mail and move on with my life.

    if B: THIS is a TENSE SITUATION, let me tell you! It could go south at any moment, both he and I are walking on eggshells in a minefield on thin ice here. I need to get out of there. I keep my gun on him while I head back to my apartment, the entire time, I'm a broken record, communicating to him "Let's not do this, man, just leave me alone, I don't wanna do this, I don't wanna shoot you, just let me go..." If i get all the way to my apartment, I lock myself in and call the police.

    if C: and 1: I have enough distance, (>21') I move away or diagonally away, gun still on him while yelling "STOP! STOP!" at which point he either stops and we revert to scenario B, or he gets to 2: (<21') and I shoot him.

    good system, or no?
    Last edited by ColeMD17; 07-24-2011 at 07:25 AM.
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