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  • Your vehicles is blocked at the intersection by a group of thugs

    This scenario played out in St. Louis, MO. twice in the past two weeks. One instance ended in a fatality when the driver exited his vehicle and was attacked by several thugs swinging hammers. They beat him to death.

    The second incident involved a woman. Once stopped, she was intimidated by one of the thugs who showed a gun. They pulled her from the car, beat and kicked her, robbed her, and left her injured on the street.

    Driving at night in urban areas has always come with certain risks depending on what part of the city you are in. In consideration of events lately, this risk should be considered in out-lying areas as well, even in daylight. What would you do to avoid this situation, and what measures would you employ if you found yourself blocked at an intersection or parking lot? (I never pull straight into a parking space. I always back in.)

    My own preparations would first include staying informed as to any activity that might be occurring in my area that would present a risk to my safety and avoid those areas if possible. It would be my preference not to travel alone or late at night. I would be armed and have my weapon where I could access it easily while seated in my vehicle. (beneath a thigh?) My traveling companion would also be armed. I would seriously consider wearing concealable body armor, depending upon where I needed to go. If stopped/blocked at an intersection or parking lot, I would NOT exit my vehicle or lower a window. I would dial 911 if I could and not hang up, but leave the line open in order for a dispatcher to hear and record background noises. If the vehicle is attacked or a gun is shown, I would stomp on the gas and drive over/through the crowd. A vehicle weighing several thousand pounds makes a good defensive weapon.

    So, where have I gone wrong, here?

  • #2
    Sounds like a very good plan, Jez. I would agree with you 100%.

    The only thing I could add would be not getting caught in the mess. If I saw a mob near an intersection I might try to back up or turn to go another direction before I was trapped. Thoroughly agree!!! 1000% do not lower a window or get out of the car.

    Very sound advice.
    The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds good but what defense measures do you use between your locking the car door. (1) thing I always do after getting into my truck; and pulling out your firearm and shooting the attacker.

      What you need to consider is "The Law Enforcement Scale of Defensive Measures" :

      (1) stand tall in defensive stance (Give presence)
      (2) give commands in loud voice
      (3) use pressure points to force individual to obey commands (Hand on)
      (4) use pepper spray on attack to force individual to obey commands
      (5) use baton on attacker (Self Defense)
      (6) use stun device on attacker (Self Defense)
      (7) use firearm (Deadly force)
      (8) use your vehicle and ram attacker (Deadly Force)

      The way you want to do things; is use your weapons, and vehicle (Deadly Force) with no other way of getting out of the situation. What will happen:

      The prosecutor in your case will take it to a grand jury, and you will end up in a court defending yourself for at least man-slaughter if not premeditated murder. (Having weapons at the ready inside the car)
      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      What you should do is start with (2) talk loud giving commands to stay away. If they come close use (4) pepper spray to face. If they continue
      use a (6) tazer if so equipped. If they do not stop drive away which you can do at any time, back up and get out of there.


      Just some things to think about.

      Comment


      • #4
        Rich-

        You are referring to the "Use of Force Continuum", which is standard to all law enforcement. The scale was developed for trained personnel with the rule of backup. Although a good measure to use, a civilian has more legal precedence when defending himself and others.

        Jez -

        All states have common laws written that if you are being threatened with bodily harm, with a "Dangerous" weapon, you can defend yourself using physical force. If you are being threatened with a "Deadly" weapon, you can defend yourself with deadly force. A dangerous weapon is any object that can cause harm to an individual, that was not necessarily made to cause harm. (IE a hammer, a bat, a piece of wood, a pocket knife). A "Deadly" weapon is any object that was made to cause physical and deadly force. (IE, a firearm, a Bayonet, a sword, Etc.)

        Now, the laws get sketchy with certain items, like an "Ice pick" or a "Bowie knife" and even a "Hammer". Although they were not invented for the specific action of causing harm to a person, they have been used in that fashion. Case law has proven the intent of deadly force with lots of things.

        The premeditated application of the use of physical and/or deadly force is your personal belief that you are being threatened with physical force or deadly force, NOT that you are in the process of having these two legal definitions used against you. A lot of people do not know this.

        The two scenarios you have given would have given BOTH the guy and the lady legal justification to use deadly force. Period. There would be no jury in the world, even with these stupid "Race" issues going around, that would rule on a civilian that was scared (Articulated) and protecting him or herself or others in the instances given.

        Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six (Coffin).

        -Buggy
        I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

        Comment


        • #5
          I know it can be a bit expensive but you may want to consider getting a defensive and offensive driving course. A quick J turn can get you moving away from trouble much quicker than a three point turn. I agree with RICHFL's assessment of how a prosecutor may try to turn a case on you for the weapon, but if you have a holster mounted on or under the dash for quick access, that eliminates that possibility.
          Best bet is to avoid the situation if at all possible as doing anything (gunfire, mace, pepper spray, etc.), around a mob has to many ways of turning against you in this day and time.

          Dale

          Comment


          • #6
            Just to be sure that everyone understands, I'm not talking about driving into a riot. In both of the incidents I mentioned the drivers had stopped at an intersection - maybe a traffic light or STOP sign - and a handful of thugs took advantage and came off the sidewalk or the shadows and attacked the vehicles/occupants. Maybe the thugs simply walked out into the street and the drivers both stopped.

            In such a scenario I wouldn't be too concerned with any continuum of force escalation. I would only be concerned for my safety and the safety of my passengers. Should the thugs begin attacking my vehicle all bets are off. Its stomp on the gas and what happens happens. Hopefully no injuries occur. But if in the process of protecting my person from severe injury or death one of more thugs become road pizza, then thats just the way it is.

            As for a firearm, for those of you who carry you know how difficult it can be accessing a holstered handgun on your person, especially in colder weather when extra layers of clothing is the norm. Sitting in a vehicle amplifies the difficulty. I remove mine and lay it where it can be accessed without much delay when I'm driving or sitting in the vehicle somewhere. Should I have need of it for the reason I carry in the first place, thinking of what some prosecutor may attempt to portray it as (if they would ever know in the first place) would not be of concern to me. Others may think differently, and thats OK.

            "Table topping" scenarios has its benefits. It get the brain working and may help in putting a plan in place for some event you may not have considered previously, but do to changing circumstances may be more of a risk than at some time before.

            Comment


            • #7
              Just remember, the more "trained" you are, the more a defense attorney can use it against you.

              Jez -

              I agree totally with you a person hitting the gas and driving away. I was just given you a legal option in case you need it.

              -Buggy
              I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have never had a case where a civilian was trying to get away in a vehicle and hit an aggressor. I have had plenty of cases, where I testified in court about an innocent civilian protecting him or herself, two cases that were fatalities.

                Most of the cases, the civilian was yelling, crying, shaking, pacing, bent over, eyes not focused and so forth when I arrived on scene. This went in my report and I testified to it in court and was used in any civil dealings later. The civilian always won their cases.

                I had one case where an ex-military-contractor beat a guy with a bat who was burglarizing his home. When we arrived on scene, he was calm, had his arm crossed and was smiling over the unconscious burglar. He wasn't charged with anything, but later went to civil court and ended paying the crook's medical bills. Partly because of case testimony, but mostly because he was cocky when HE testified in court. The lawyer asked him point blank - "You have the skills and training, my client was 50 Lbs lighter than you, why did you just grapple with him instead of using a bat." His reply was stuttering and no answer.

                -Buggy
                I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another case..not mine, but I was involved:

                  A woman and a guy were driving home from the bar. Both drunk and the man driving. They get into an argument in the vehicle and start throwing punches. The man pulls over, gets out, opens the door and throws the woman out. He drives off. She sits and cries on the side of the road. A few minutes later, the guy returns gets out and goes over to her. She pushes him into the brush, gets in the car and drives away to our police station. Since it happened on a highway, we called the state police. They came and guess what they did?


                  They arrested the woman for driving drunk and filed the domestic violence case. Yes, thats right! She went to jail.


                  The law....it's interesting.


                  -Buggy
                  I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I knew a guy who had a horrible relationship with his neighbor who lived across the road. In fact, I think the neighbors wife and the guy had something going on. The "guy" had killed two people previously in two different incidents that both were adjudicated to be self-defense. One evening the guy was riding home on his Harley when the neighbor dropped in behind him, tail gating. The guy pulled over and stopped. The neighbor stopped behind him in his truck with his wife as a passenger. The neighbor got out with a gun and threatened to kill the guy. His wife got out and pleaded with her husband not to shoot. While the neighbor was distracted, the guy pulled a revolver from his saddle bag and shot the neighbor six times in the chest. At trial, the guy showed no remorse. He was arrogant about what happened. As a consequence, he was convicted of murder in the second degree and spent many years in prison. Attitude is everything, as you pointed out Buddy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      With the slight change in scenario I would agree Jez. Pedal to the metal, and let the chips fall as they may. I would say "traffic permitting". I'm not going to drive into oncoming traffic and endanger others. Both of the St. Louis situations, from what I have read, the driver could have hit the gas and left the scene.

                      One thing I keep in the front seat, Driver's console, is a can of wasp spray. I have heard it is more effective than pepper spray. If nothing else it makes my wife feel better. I have my doubts about any kind of spray. Is it going to hit what is outside of the car or what is inside of the car? Any thoughts?
                      The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.

                      Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the reason is you are stupid, and make bad decisions.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jezcruzen View Post
                        I knew a guy who had a horrible relationship with his neighbor who lived across the road. In fact, I think the neighbors wife and the guy had something going on. The "guy" had killed two people previously in two different incidents that both were adjudicated to be self-defense. One evening the guy was riding home on his Harley when the neighbor dropped in behind him, tail gating. The guy pulled over and stopped. The neighbor stopped behind him in his truck with his wife as a passenger. The neighbor got out with a gun and threatened to kill the guy. His wife got out and pleaded with her husband not to shoot. While the neighbor was distracted, the guy pulled a revolver from his saddle bag and shot the neighbor six times in the chest. At trial, the guy showed no remorse. He was arrogant about what happened. As a consequence, he was convicted of murder in the second degree and spent many years in prison. Attitude is everything, as you pointed out Buddy.
                        Jez -

                        I would say that this is a perfect example of not having situational awareness. Sad.

                        -Buggy
                        I'm not a fatalist. I'm a realist.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Jez,

                          I misunderstood where you were coming from. I get it now and know of the incidents that you mentioned. If someone threatens me or mine, I do the same thing as you. Whatever it takes. Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

                          Dale

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Morgan, I also have heard that wasp spray works better than pepper spray. I keep a couple of cans near by but never thought about in the car. The can says it will spray up to 20 feet, but we will have to check that one out. As for an intersection, I have had the police tell me that if it is at night and no one is coming to go through the red light if safe to do so. He said it is not good to sit at an intersection at night if nothing is coming from other directions and if no one is around. I took him up on it and I do it if need be. I try to stay out of those situations as much as possible, but you never know.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The notion of using anything sprayed from a pressurized can as a defensive measure is likely easier to talk about that actually do from a sitting position inside a vehicle. The can would have to be immediately accessible. You would have to roll down your window. (Probably not the best idea.) And, you would almost certainly spray yourself in the close confines of a vehicle compartment, especially since you would be under a lot of stress. Instead, just hit the gas and leave it behind you.

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