Sounds like everything ended well. Tough to tell what his intentions might have been. Glad things didn't escalate further.
Thread: Near draw in Denver
We have friends from out of state at the moment. Today we learned they had never been to Casa Bonita, despite having lived here for a significant amount of time before moving out. We had planned to go to the Denver museum and then meet up with another friend who was in town by sheer chance after being abroad for a few years. It was the first time we'd all been together in around 10 years.
I had planned to wear my kilt with my friend wearing his to Pint's Pub for dinner, but he had run out of space in his luggage and since we were going to be out all day, I didn't think it was going to be comfortable. Secondarily, I counted off West Colfax, City Park, and downtown. Yeah, no way I was going to skip carrying for sake of wearing my kilt.
We went to Casa and no incident. We got there later than intended and the line was longer than expected. We decided to spend time there and skip the Museum for today since it was closing at 5. We left (in two vehicles) and DW wanted to stop at Starbucks to get a mint something or other to clear out the Casa taste and help digestion. We stopped at the one at Colfax and Santa Fe. I pulled in and she went inside while I waited in the car with the two DDs. I rolled down the window for air while we waited.
A man approached and said "Hey Buddy". I said "Howdy" and glanced at my peripheral staying in yellow. I moved my hand along the arm rest toward my .357 in a belly band. He asked if he could wash my windshield and I said "No, thanks" and subtly lifted the back of my shirt, keeping my hand near. He crossed past "respectful distance" and continued to engage me until he got within arms' reach of my door. As he did, I went to red, locked eyes with him, and gripped my gun. I let it rest there and said "No, thanks" again, a bit more assertively. I am positive he saw my last move and switch to red because he immediately backed THE. EFF. UP. He said something about trying to raise money with his girlfriend and wandered off. I looked around and went back down to low orange until DW came out. As we left the parking lot, I pointed him out to her and related the story.
Thinking back, a lot of things bothered me. Number one, I do *not* like agressive panhandlers. Another night on Colfax when I said "no" to someone getting in my face they tried to stand in my way and flashed a box cutter at me. They backed off after some exchange, but that's another story. I'm charitable, but coming up to my window like that is rude, agressive, and just a bad idea. Many others would not have given the second "No, thanks". I certainly hope my wife wouldn't. The angle he approached at didn't allow me to have the passenger's side and particularly not the backseat where my daughters were in vision and I had to rely on my ears. I'll need to work on that. I was able to keep the drivers mirror in peripheral vision, though.
Also, he really just looked too "clean". His shirt was brand new. Not like he got it at a secondhand or something. It was a "Go Army" Tshirt with a pocket crest logo. It wasn't worn at all except for a couple of washings. His shoes and shorts looked like normal wear. His complexion and hair were sunworn, but not unhealthy/malnnourished. He really looked like he could have stepped off a construction site or other outdoor labor job. He may have been legitimately just raising money, but he wasn't starving.
We all decided to go to Cheesman Park to kill some time as there was a kids' play area there. I noted to my friend that whereas at Casa we let the kids have pretty much free reign so long as they were staying together and we checked in with them every few minutes, at the park it was "swivel head " with "left, right, distance, count the kids, left, right, distance, count the kids". She said, "Yep, constant vigilance" and I relayed what had happened on the way over.
Sounds like everything ended well. Tough to tell what his intentions might have been. Glad things didn't escalate further.
Last edited by thebigsd; 07-24-2011 at 12:55 AM.
"When seconds count between living or dying, the police are only minutes away."
Luckily time was the only thing you "killed" that night. XD
One of the many reasons I'll stay out of Denver. No open carry, CCW permit or not.
If a weapon is openly carried in the car, the guy could have seen you were committed as you reached for your weapon.
This may have ended the encounter more rapidly, plus discouraged him from bugging anybody else.
The next person he approached (and surely he did) might not have been prepared for such an encounter.
Nothing says "No thank you" quite as powerfully as your hand resting on your pistol!
Concealed sorta shorts out that visual warning.
My CCW is still pending, but when it comes, I expect I'll still carry openly. And I'll likely continue to avoid Denver.
i had a drunk panhandler come to my window one night at the kings on 6th and peoria. i told him that his method of trying to get money is likely to get him shot in the face. he looked bewildered and told me that i was rude. then he fell down.
Last edited by M-Taliesin; 07-24-2011 at 11:06 AM.
My brother's friend learned that the hard way. Three of them were trick or treating at around 14 years old and another teen brandished a knife and demanded their candy. The one had a samurai sword as part of his costume. He said, "This is real". The attacker said, "Whatever" stabbed him, and made off with the candy. (Not fatal, FYI.)
I agree OC is a deterrent, but that's not the same as using the firearm as a warning. If someone can already see my firearm, they're not going to be deterred by me putting my hand on it as a warning. If the threat level is escalating that much, it's time for red alert readiness to, gods forbid, do what you have to do. Even OCing in the car (which is legal in Denver) is not always visible. He was within arm's reach, but I don't know if he would have been able to see into my Vue to my strong side hip. If I'm carrying at a higher readiness in the car, I'll put my gun in the door panel or center console.
He was being far more agresseive than is polite or smart, but hadn't made a direct threat. His hands were full of his window cleaning stuff, but he may have been getting close enough to see what he could reach in and grab. I imagine if he hadn't backed off the way he did when my voice went assertive, barring any threatening motion my next move would be to fully ready my hand for draw with "GET AWAY. FROM THE CAR." IMNSHO, not obeying that is a direct threat and absolutely time to draw and ready for fire. Any threatening motion before then is as well. He was WAY too close within the 21' zone to be able to get to a weapon if he had nefarious intent and FAR, FAR, FAR too close to my kids.
I tell you though, it felt good to be familiar with my weapon and know every bump of the texture on the grip.
DW was relaying a story of a friend of a friend who was stopped at a light. Someone said to her, "Your daughter is so cute. She looks just like Caylee Anthony. Is she up for adoption?" I told her IMO, that is 100% time to stick a gun in someone's face and say "GET THE **** AWAY FROM MY KIDS." You don't. Threaten. My kids. Period.
As to OP, be careful about pulling a gun on a panhandler unless he is armed. You do not have the right to use deadly force, generally, so it would be aggravated assault if you threatened it. Uncovering the pistol so he can see it is even iffy. Especially in the PDR of Denver. Glad it worked out for you, though.
Last edited by Gunslinger; 07-24-2011 at 11:51 AM.
"For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V
Of course, I wasn't there, didn't know what type of car you drive, and didn't have your perspective on the situation as it unfolded.
I drive a Subaru and it is easy enough for somebody to see my weapon even at a distance. (assuming I have it at the 3 o'clock position.
Having my hand resting on the grip alerts a nefarious character that I am armed and ready to defend without pulling the weapon from my holster and possibly finding myself accused of "brandishing".
Going back to the notion of a home invasion scenario, it really depends on how events unfold.
I hope not to fire my weapon if it can be avoided. I am less likely to use a voice command than I am to rack my Mossburg 12 ga. It is the sort of sound that really sends a statement. Any nefarious type will, if they have a brain, seek safer harbor elsewhere because the next sound is likely to be BOOM! If they run for their lives, so much the better. If not, they got all the warning they're gonna get. Ain't nothing sounds like a 12ga being racked. If I don't have to fire, I don't have to spend the rest of the night talking to police about the shooting incident. No interlude with the city attorney, no entanglements with the legal system, no massive outlay of cash to defend my right to defend my life by shooting an invader. And the badguy lives to tell his friends that he damn near got shot while violating my home.
Crooks tend to look for soft targets. One of the reason I carry openly is to send that message that I ain't one of them. Not only am I armed, but am prepared to use my right to self defense. Not too many crooks are likely to go after somebody with a gun, when they can knock over some little old lady who just cashed her Social Security check. The little old lady ain't likely to return fire. Crooks are not generally known for courage. They tend to be cowardly types who prey upon the weak. I don't need to speak a single word. They can see my weapon, observe my demeanor, and understand the warning that I won't be set upon. I travel in "orange" alert whenever I'm out in public. Seldom do I escalate to red, but when I do, I keep my powder dry until the threat is obvious and action absoluteley necessary.
Going back to the scenario, one of the reasons I carry is because our local grocery store has a parking lot that seems to attract panhandlers and unsavory types. I've had them come up on me unexpectedly back when I wasn't trained and spent far too much time complacent. Last time I went there at night, one approached and I told him "Come no closer! Move back and away from my vehicle." He looked surprised, but also nefarious with his hoodie on and all. I didn't have a gun at that time, but he didn't know that. I walked in and reported his presence to the security officer inside. The security officer had a gun, I did not. The problem got resolved. Now I travel armed, and in that same situation, I'd have stepped out of my vehicle and he would have seen my weapon. Odds are real good he'd have hot footed himself away without any additional intervention.
One of the good things about open carry, a certain number of folks just assume you are an LEO. I do not try to impart that perception, but if they assume it on their own, so much the better. If a bad guy thinks the same thing, even better still.
The best encounter for me is the one that never happens. Unfortunately, they will. How you respond, or I do, may differ. The only really important aspect is the favorable outcome. The more often bad guys run into people who carry, the less secure bad guys will feel about accosting citizens. The more citizens who make abundantly evident they will not submit to victimization, the more likely bad guys are to consider a different line of work. The more that get shot invading homes, the fewer homes will be invaded. The more that get shot trying to assault citizens, the fewer citizens will be assaulted. The more people who open carry, the less sure the crooks as to whether you're an LEO. The more that get CCW permits, the less sure the bad guys are as to who might be easy prey.
I am delighted to learn that women are getting CCW permits in record numbers. Women are much more likely to be confronted with a criminal than men, and the more of them who are prepared to defend themselves, the less comfortable bad guys are with which women they might set upon.
If somebody approaches my car, and sees my hand move to my weapon, they'll get the message. Yes, my voice and demeanor will change with the escalation in threat, but until an actual threat appears, drawing the weapon isn't the best solution. Letting him know I'm prepared to draw should end the encounter with anybody still in possession of any sense whatsoever. And I haven't brandished. That's my opinion anyhow.
Unlike the knife presented during trick or treating, the threat was obvious and imminent. That's the time to draw the samuri sword and use it. Not the time for warnings. In the given scenario, I didn't see a specific threat apart from being inside your comfort zone. I don't see cause to draw in that situation. But a firm warning, yep! Sure enough. But again, that's my opinion and I wasn't there.
This brings up a point for consideration. We never know how we will react, any of us, until a situation presents itself. When it does, we must rely on our common sense, training (if any), and spidey senses to guide us. Whatever course we choose, we must also be prepared to deal with the repercussions of that action we ultimately choose.
Thank you for an interesting discussion, pardner. I hope you understand that I am not arguing your stance, but offering my own perspective on that situation from a different perspective. I should also mention that I don't have kids to fret about either, so can't relate to your sense of alarm as pertains to protecting your young. I ain't got that experience. That's another thing that makes it tough to evaluate the situation for me. But you did what you did, and the ultimate conclusion was a positive one where nobody got hurt. A good outcome with positive result. That's all anybody can really ask for.
Agree on the passenger seat. The glove box is too far in an emergency. I prefer the door panel or, I've clipped a holster to the center console.There is no good place to OC a pistol in a car. The last place I'd put it is on the pass. seat. Sudden stop, there it goes. Console or glove box if I'm not carrying makes the most sense.
Yeah, I kept it "covered" so as not to tip my hand nor get into a brandishing grey area. I moved my shirt up, but leaned back against the seat. Same with when I gripped it. The seat was covering my hand and gun so, for all he knew I was scratching my back or bluffing. He got the point, but it wasn't my intent to threaten him. I just knew by his reaction that with my voice, body language and hand motion, I had telegraphed my readiness.As to OP, be careful about pulling a gun on a panhandler unless he is armed. You do not have the right to use deadly force, generally, so it would be aggravated assault if you threatened it. Uncovering the pistol so he can see it is even iffy. Especially in the PDR of Denver. Glad it worked out for you, though.
I in no means intend to use deadly force unless I have to. I've had panhandlers start things before though. Some of them, there is absolute "reasonable man" defense that there is enough of a threat that the panhandling will turn to robbery with the "serious bodily harm" that makes deadly force in defense legal. Drawing if he hadn't backed away the second time would probably be a grey area but one I was willing to tread into. Another tactic I use in situations like that is to be ready to slam the door into someone getting aggressively too close to me. Things were escalating too quickly for that.
There's another factor though. My kids were in the car and there windows were down. It was doubtful someone could reach in, get them out of their carseats, and squeezed out the window, but making any motion that way starts crossing to a kidnapping threat. In CO, deadly force is justified to stop a kidnapping.
Anecdotally, if you were to get to the cops first and head off the MWAG accusation, the system is on your side. The cop might even chastise you for not firing.Having my hand resting on the grip alerts a nefarious character that I am armed and ready to defend without pulling the weapon from my holster and possibly finding myself accused of "brandishing".
My voice is quicker and moves independantly of my trigger finger. See the case in Denver about the guy who unfortunately had to shoot the kid pointing a gun at the homeowner.I hope not to fire my weapon if it can be avoided. I am less likely to use a voice command than I am to rack my Mossburg 12 ga. It is the sort of sound that really sends a statement. Any nefarious type will, if they have a brain, seek safer harbor elsewhere because the next sound is likely to be BOOM!
If you're within the Make My Day guidelines, I doubt you'd have to deal with the legal system. It's just not prosecutable. IMO, any lawyer asking you for $5000 retainer is chasing an ambulance. Dealing with the emotional aftermath, however, that's a given.No interlude with the city attorney, no entanglements with the legal system, no massive outlay of cash to defend my right to defend my life by shooting an invader.
I agree, hence why I didn't draw. Continued behaviour like that is threatening, though. Especially that close to my kids.In the given scenario, I didn't see a specific threat apart from being inside your comfort zone. I don't see cause to draw in that situation. But a firm warning, yep! Sure enough. But again, that's my opinion and I wasn't there.
Yeah, I'm actually thankful to the gods for giving me thesse "practice sessions".This brings up a point for consideration. We never know how we will react, any of us, until a situation presents itself. When it does, we must rely on our common sense, training (if any), and spidey senses to guide us. Whatever course we choose, we must also be prepared to deal with the repercussions of that action we ultimately choose.
Certainly.I hope you understand that I am not arguing your stance, but offering my own perspective on that situation from a different perspective.
The last time I was approached by a total stranger after dark, I seized control of the encounter by firmly saying: "That's close enough!" The approacher stopped at the command. It turned out he just needed some help with directions. Given his exact demeanor, and a map, I moved closer and helped him to the degree I could.
Emphasis here on the first command: "That's close enough." Or, maybe: "Stop, don't come any closer."
I am convinced a social person will 1) be caught off-guard a little bit, startled, and 2) stop. Social people just don't approach someone who has made it clear they don't want to be approached. They will respect a person's wishes. Whereas a criminal with criminal intentions may very well ignore the assertion because he doesn’t respect people, nor their wishes.
I can't stand when pan handlers or anyone for that matter approaches my car while I'm sitting there strapped to a seat. Especially when the kids are in the car with me. I usually take the offensive as soon as I realize they are approaching. A stern "What do you want" usually stops them.
As far as OC in the vehicle goes; I OC while driving all the time. I carry a Kel-Tec PF-9 now as a BUG. While driving it gets wedged into the passenger seat. If I have a passenger I put it under my thigh.
My threat meter starts dinging at about 25 feet if I do not know a person. Even if I don't perceive a threat, 5 feet is close enough. When someone breaks my barrier I have no bashfulness about telling them to back off. Usually as politely as possible the first time and NOT politely whatsoever if I have to repeat.
I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.
Politicians should serve two terms, one in office and one in prison.(borrowed from RioKid)
I have a comfort zone and it includes as far as I can see. I will scan 360 to see if anybody is nearby. Along with that, I check to see if anybody is look at me. Those will get my attention first. For example, as I approach a parking spot, I am checking out anybody in the vicinity before I actually pull into a space. Before I turn off the engine, I've scanned everyone within visual range. I WILL NOT park beside a windowless van or big SUV with tinted windows. Once I am parked, I check around me to see if anybody is coming in my direction. If they are, I don't unlock the doors and the window is only cracked an inch or two.
In fact, I might mention that I lock my car doors everytime I get into the car, and require my wife to do likewise. Carjackings happen because the bad guy walks up and yanks the door open, usually taking the driver by surprise as they are grabbed and pulled out of the car. Best way to avoid that, travel with doors LOCKED!
Anyhow, I'll see somebody approaching from some distance (why I won't park beside an SUV. Too easy for somebody to come around from the other side of the vehicle already too close for comfort.) I have told people approaching to keep their distance when it is obvious they are looking at me. At that point, my hand goes to my weapon and the retention strap comes off. I don't draw, but am ready if something untoward should be emerging. I have a pretty good set of pipes and do not generally speak quietly. The first command to stay away is firm. The second command is much more assertive.
I don't like to park beside any vehicle that blocks my view, or affords an opportunity for somebody to trap me between a larger vehicle and my car where I don't have a ready route of retreat. And while opening my car door next to a van with a big side door, it is too easy for that van door to be thrown open and an attacker to jump out from behind me.
We try to anticipate trouble in order to avoid it. When parking my car, I prefer to walk a little farther if I can get a spot without any other vehicle on either side. But none of us can anticipate every possible scenario that might conceal threat. One of the reasons I open carry is for others to see that I am armed and ready, and if they hope to victimize somebody, it won't be me.
In my case, I have an IWB cheapo Uncle Mike's with an open top (no retention)
that fit's perfectly sandwiched between the center console and the passenger seat
and holds either one of my 1911's or my full size H&K.
My overall problem when driving is that I am a lefty.......which is why I also practice
shooting right handed. The nice thing there is that under most circumstances, if I had
to shoot with my right hand, it would probably be a very close distance. Just my .02.
Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. – P.J. O'Rourke