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pdmoderator
August 28, 2002, 08:52 AM
You're walking along a tree-shaded suburban street at about 3 PM. School has just let out and you see kids walking home here and there.

A car pulls up to a little girl. The driver yanks her into the car.

You have your CCW and your cell.

What next?


- pdmoderator

No4Mk1
August 28, 2002, 09:31 AM
Clearly an extremely difficult situation with lots of variables to consider. It also presents two very clear dilemas:

1) No clear idea if this is an abduction, or a parent/relative picking up a wandering child.... (my mother had to do this to me more than once....)
2) Lots of innocents, including the potential abductee, creating a very risky environment should armed confrontation occur.

Having said that, I would take the following approach:

1) Call 911 to report the potential abduction and provide Police with as much information as possible including vehicle description, plates, direction of travel, description of potential abductor, description of potential abductee.
2) If possible approach the vehicle and try to determine what is going on in a non-confrontational manner. Inquire of both the driver and child what is going on. Try to delay as much as possible their departure from the scene without creating confrontation.

The risk of harm to others in this situation is too great to take a course of action that might agitate an unknown threat.

On the flip side, if you defined this differently, as in someone pulls up in front of my yard and yanks my daughter into a vehicle, I might have a very different answer for you.

There go my thoughts. Now let's hear what the experts have to say.... :rolleyes:

HL.

Blackhawk
August 28, 2002, 11:00 AM
Definitely going to try to stop the car. Not going to use or display my CCW.

Cars with sane drivers can usually be stopped by getting in front of them and holding up your hand, but you want to leave yourself room to get out of the way.

If it doesn't stop, it's 911 time: license, then make, then color, then body style, then license again.

If it does stop, ascertain if the adult is the parent by asking the child including perhaps having the child get out of the car. There's no telling what an abductor will tell the child to get submission and scare the child into lying to me. The child's likely to be crying. Be calm because an armed parent might think I'm some kind of nut, and I don't want to get shot or end up shooting momma or daddy!

In any event, I'd call the police to report the incident before momma drives off. Don't want a mad momma making up something to tell them, and if I'm worried enough to get involved, the police need to know about it, and they need to know that the reason I thought there might be a problem was because the child was yanked into the car, apparently unwillingly. If momma calls the cops on me, I want her to explain to them why she yanked her child....

Real tricky situation as hlmcfa pointed out, but I can't NOT get involved.... :eek:

C.R.Sam
August 28, 2002, 11:09 AM
hlmcfa and Blackhawk make good points.

Would like to add, note description and plate as soon as the situation is noticed. If it is a real abduction and you try to converse with the driver, driver likely going to split fast. That is not the time to be figuring out make, model, color and plate.

Sam

David Scott
August 28, 2002, 01:51 PM
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A LAWYER AND THISIS NOT OFFERED AS LEGAL ADVICE. It's just one guy's opinion.

Do NOT try to stop the car -- you're asking for a hostage situation. Get on the call, call 911 and follow the car. Give the cops make, model, license, anything else helpful, plus tell them what you're driving. If the car flees at high speed, do not give chase. If you're not a cop, you are either untrained for it, or don't have the legal backing to deal with the aftermath of a crash, or both. If he doesn't flee, and you stick with him, break away once the cops are on his tail. Let them do their jobs.

wingnutx
August 28, 2002, 04:37 PM
Follow the car and relay description to police via cellphone.

More than one abduction has been stopped by a 3rd party merely showing that they were actively interested. Since this kid is already in the car, it won't work like that, but it might.

Blackhawk
August 28, 2002, 05:26 PM
Do NOT try to stop the car -- you're asking for a hostage situation. Get on the call, call 911 and follow the car. David, I'm on foot in a school zone where parents are picking up kids. About the only way I could follow the car is by hijacking some parent's car.

I'm talking about getting in front of the suspect car if possible so the driver stops instead of running over me. If that works, fine. We have a talking situation. If it doesn't, there's no harm done situationally because I'm just a clumsy guy who got in the way.

Don't understand what you mean by a hostage situation developing, but how is a hostage situation worse than a kidnapping, anyway?

Odds are that it's a cheesed out parent anyway, and if you start acting like Dick Tracy, you're liable to start a car chase allright. The parent is going to be driving recklessly, dialing 911, and screaming about this weirdo stalking her and her kid in a car chase.

Blackhawk
August 28, 2002, 08:01 PM
Erick, you're on foot. What now?

David Blinder
August 28, 2002, 08:50 PM
S.A.L.U.T.E.

That's an acronym for:

size
activity
location
uniform
time
equipment

In layman's terms, give all the relevant information you can.

David Roberson
August 30, 2002, 01:42 PM
Blackhawk wrote:

"Cars with sane drivers can usually be stopped by getting in front of them and holding up your hand, but you want to leave yourself room to get out of the way. ... If it does stop, ascertain if the adult is the parent by asking the child including perhaps having the child get out of the car. ... Be calm because an armed parent might think I'm some kind of nut, and I don't want to get shot or end up shooting momma or daddy."

Interesting thread, particularly in these times. But I strongly question the wisdom of this type of intervention. If a guy stops me on the street in this manner and asks my little girl to get out of the car, I am not going to respond cheerily no matter how calm he is. I think getting a good ID, calling the cops, and following if possible is the best advice. By trying to coax a kid you don't know out of another adult's car, you risk arrest, and much worse.

gryphon
September 2, 2002, 09:00 AM
I would get all the information needed(make, model, color, lisence plate, driver description and passenger description). If I thought that it was a kidnapping, I would call 911 and follow them as long as I could.

The only tiem I would physically interviene would be if I saw the kidnapper trying to kill, mame, or rape the child. Hopefully, you have followed the kidnapper long enough and called the police soon enough that they have taken over the persuit or already have stopped the 'napper.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot, in case things go south, you might want to tell the dispatcher your description and that you have a CCW. Nothing worse than getting yourself shot trying to be a "good guy" when the police don't have a clue who you are.

gryphon
September 2, 2002, 03:39 PM
Yes, Erick, you are correct. In any scenario this is important and something that I think a lot of people forget. It's always good to be reminded.

LawDog
September 2, 2002, 03:48 PM
CYMBAL

Colour. What colour is the car? Two-toned? Multi?
Year. If you don't know the exact year, a rough guess is good.
Make/Model. Ford? Chevy? General Motors? Japanese? If you know vehicles, is it a Mustang? Crown Vic? Pinto?
Body. Two-door? Four Door? Hatchback? Pickup?
Anything else. Dent on rear quarter panel. Bondo patches. Shot out rear window.
License plate. Number and/or state.

LawDog

Long Path
September 3, 2002, 02:02 AM
'Way back in June of '99, Anthony posted Playground Strategies (http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=44787&highlight=park), which evoked some good discussion.

Matt N
September 5, 2002, 09:25 PM
Interesting post for me as I found myself on the receiving end of situation similar to the one outlined.

My wife and I were shopping at a large upscale home improvement store a little too long for our two and a half year old. Nap time had come and gone by at least half an hour. The loss of a baloon to the ether triggered the predictable response - a belicose tyrant in complete berzerker meltdown. We made our way to the bathroom to try and calm our little one and succeded until she spied another childs baloon as we walked to the car.

The Berzerker returned.

As I was carrying her to our car (red faced, embarrassed and annoyed with myself for letting things get this far) an elderly lady inserted herself into the situation, asking if "everything was all right, becasue she was a teacher and knew that kind of crying and screaming meant something was wrong". :eek:

After counting to ten, turning four shades brighter red and taking a deep breath, I told her, "yes, our little one was going to be OK". I guess she didn't like the way I looked or something because she persisted. Isn't there something she could so, etc. Getting a little tired of her interjecting herself in our family matters, I explained that as a teacher she would probably remember that at this age children are constantly testing boundaries and control, hence tempertantrums and generally acting unsocially at times.

The lady backed off, I thanked her for her concern and then sat in the car with our little one as Mom calmed her down. That took another five minutes. The lady and her husband sat in their car the whole time.

I had several thoughts while sitting there. Could I have diffused the situation better (aside from not being there at the wrong time of day - very avoidable)? And... where the police on the way? As the area we were in is not CCW and very abritrary regarding knives, I wasn't looking forward to explaining my nominally legal folder. I was also thinking, I'm glad there are still people around that would take notice and ask as much as it embarrassed me. I would definitely inquire in some manner as well. Quite a day.

The unintended benefit was a shopping hiatus for a while. :D

pbarrick
September 24, 2002, 10:07 AM
Much like the incident with the lady in Illinois who was videotaped by store security hitting her child, the best course of action (armed or unarmed) is to get as much of a description of the car, the child and the "abductor" as possible so that you can alert the authorities through 9-1-1.

Lawdog's CYMBAL acronym is an excellent mnemonic device for that purpose. To quote from his post:

"CYMBAL


Colour. What colour is the car? Two-toned? Multi?

Year. If you don't know the exact year, a rough guess is good.

Make/Model. Ford? Chevy? General Motors? Japanese? If you know vehicles, is it a Mustang? Crown Vic? Pinto?

Body. Two-door? Four Door? Hatchback? Pickup?

Anything else. Dent on rear quarter panel. Bondo patches. Shot out rear window.

License plate. Number and/or state."