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View Full Version : Weird incident last night - raises questions..what would you have done?


FirstFreedom
July 13, 2006, 03:43 PM
OK, about 11:30 - midnight time frame, 3 of my dogs go crazy in the backyard barking. The back fence of my backyard is adjacent to a parking lot of a commercial building. After a couple of minutes of this barking, I realize that it's more intense barking than usual, and so I grab a flashlight and a pistol, place the pistol into my right front pocket of my shorts, and walk outside, and sit down in a chaise lounge chair right near the back door, up against the house, and watch. My dogs quit barking and come up to me looking for attention. Through the slots in the cedar fence, I can see that there is a security guard car with its headlights on, facing toward my fence, not 5 yards from the back of the fence. This is security for the commercial building. Then, a male voice says something, and the car screeches off at a high speed. Then, a couple of seconds later, a flashlight appears from the left rear corner of my yard, where the rear back privacy fence meets the neighbor's rear back chainlink fence, and our shared side chainlink fence in the middle. So this is some 13-15 yards away from me. Flashlight points and me and loud voice says "Let me see you hands!!" I assume of course that it is security or LEO, and turn my flashlight on, but don't point it at the person, and show my hands, while holding flashlight in my right hand with just thumb and forefinger, so remaining fingers are showing "nothing else" in my hands, other than the flashlight, to this person. Well he quickly realizes that I am not the suspect he is looking for, of course - not dressed anything alike, etc. And I walk to him and quickly learn from him that he had just been in a scuffle/fight with a 'vagrant', right behind my back fence, who had started running when asked by the security guard what he was doing there; and the guy had apparently gone over the fence to my next door neighbor's backyard; his shoe was still on the ground there. Anyway, didn't find him, and no harm done, but this raises a couple of important issues.

The first issue, which is pretty common I'm sure, is that this security guard failed to identify himself as security or LEO to me - all he said was "lemme see your hands!". And he should have IMO. But he thought initially that I was the suspect he was looking for. And further, since I had seen the security guard car, I knew that he was likely security or leo with that combined with his authoritative order. But he should have realized that a homeowner might come out to investigate dogs wildly barking. But in any event, I can't keep some screwhead from shooting me when he ought not to - that's mostly out of my control. Plus, and this brings up the issue below, what's to keep a BG from lying and "identifying" himself as security or LEO?

So, the major issue that has me wondering is "How do I know it's not a crook/home invader whose MO is to emulate LEOs by barking such LEO-type orders?", such as "lemme see your hands", in an authoritative way, in order to get compliance from a victim? Hell, all I saw was a flashlight - no uniform or anything. I'm sure that it's pretty RARE that a bad guy will use leo-emulating orders, but my question is, I suppose, is does anyone know of any documented case where a crook has used such a ruse to effect compliance/disarmament of their victim? For a moment I considered saying "lemme see YOUR hands, muthahumpa, and who the heck are you!?", while drawing my pistol.

But as it was, I never even pulled my pistol out, and the security guard never saw it, I'm quite sure - nor did I see any reason to mention it, once we got to talking about the suspect he was looking for. Anyhow, this numbskull probably would have shot me had he seen me with a pistol and asked questions later, being the cowboy type that that building always employs. But *that question* of numnut security agencies (and their liability for screwups for triggernappiness) aside for the moment, what about this idea of crooks purpsosefully using leo commands.... "stop; police", etc., to gain control - ever happen?

I have heard of documented cases where complete LEO impersonation occurs on out on the highway, in a fake car, with fake uniform, fake badge, in order to abduct women and such. But any documented cases at HOMES of burglarly/home invasion scenarios?

Well, probably never should have stepped outside to begin with? But I was worried about my dogs...

spacemanspiff
July 13, 2006, 03:52 PM
Its a possibility. I think I'd watch from concealment. Maybe stay inside. I'm guessing this was armed security? Someone points a gun at me, and they don't identify themselves might find themselves looking down a gun barrel as well.

FirstFreedom
July 13, 2006, 05:10 PM
I think I'd watch from concealment.

Yes, I'm thinking that's what I probably should have done - just peered out the door or window perhaps. Yes, it's armed security. Thanks.

mete
July 13, 2006, 06:07 PM
You should have stayed inside since you really didn't know what was happening. An armed guard/police etc could have started shooting at seeing you. You're immediate job is to protect yourself and family. Your home is a very good defensive position yet you left that to go out and face something , you didn't know what !!

5whiskey
July 13, 2006, 06:13 PM
Even a security gaurd or police officer has no right on your property without prior consent. IMO, in that situation when asked to show your hands you should have replayed with "who the hell are you and why are YOU in my yard". You were right to make no motion for your pistol, just liable to get you shot at this point.

Watching from concealment would have been smart, along with calling the cops. Now if you're outside of YOUR property, then that complicates matters. Best to do what your told if everything looks/feels ligit.

Epyon
July 13, 2006, 07:07 PM
I know that officers can't go on a person's property without a reason, what if they are pursuing a BG who committed a serious crime, and the criminal runs into residential property? Would the police be able to then tresspass in order to stop this dangerous person?


Epyon

delzo
July 13, 2006, 07:31 PM
You bet,,,, an officer can pretty much go anywhere he needs to in performance of his duty. "Trespass" is not even an issue when trying to perform the duty required of them. Besides, for the district attorney to accept charges for trespass, there has to be previous notice that entry is forbidden. Posted signs rarely meet the requirement. I cannot picture a time when a DA would even discuss such in this scenario.

Seriously folks,,,, if chasing a bad guy,,,, someone here would have a problem with security or police checking or running across your property?
If so, it sounds like you have deeper issues to worry about!!!

razorburn
July 13, 2006, 08:29 PM
The LEO might be a different story, but as I understand it, a security guard is just an agent of a private business and has no more LEO powers than any other citizen. You may well get them for trespassing.

Doggieman
July 13, 2006, 08:40 PM
you need taller fences

Raptor5191
July 14, 2006, 12:08 AM
Uhhh...doesn't matter if it is "private Property" if a LEO is investigating a possible crime. Common myth. Go ahead and try to stop us...we are looking out for the good of the public...including you.

However...that was HORRIBLE tactics by the security guy. If you were a bad guy you would have had him dead-to-rights.

Ace On The Line
July 14, 2006, 07:49 AM
Never go looking for trouble, you may find it. Arm yourself, secure your family and let them come to you. Whatever is going on outside your home cannot hurt you or your family as long as everyone is safely secured inside. Find a tactical position to observe the area and call the cops.

dev_null
July 14, 2006, 09:56 AM
Stay inside and observe, phone in one hand, weapon at the ready.

Otherwise (e.g., you're already outside at the time):

Voice: "Lemme see your hands!"
Me: "Identify yourself! Do it now!"

Chuck Dye
July 14, 2006, 11:11 AM
Some nice 500(+) watt floodlights can be had, mounted, and wired in for relatively little cost. A radio remote is cheap, too.

"Let me see your hands!"

*click*

:eek:

skeeter1
July 14, 2006, 05:23 PM
Well, you already have the first best line of defense -- dogs. BGs generally don't want anything to do with a residence with dogs.

If that was a legit LEO, he should have identified himself properly, and your actions were proper.

I have a fairly low opinion of private security personnel. I went to my brother's police range once when the range officer was training private security personnel. A perfect score on the Practical Police Course is 600. My brother, who's a life-long LEO shot a 560 that day, and I managed a 480. Some of the security guards struggled to get above 100.

Jager1
July 23, 2006, 08:41 PM
But any documented cases at HOMES of burglarly/home invasion scenarios?

Happens here in Phoenix quite a bit. BG's impersonating police to initiate home invasions and other crimes.

http://www.policeone.com/policeone/frontend/parser.cfm?object=News&operation=full_news&id=86982

http://www.officer.com/article/article.jsp?id=18327&siteSection=1

http://www.knxv.com/news/morenews/index.asp?did=12870

http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=3771999

http://www.lineofduty.com/blotterstory.asp?StoryID=79174

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/printDS/46595

dkb2003
July 23, 2006, 09:29 PM
You Did That Right Thing There I Think....but If He Got Stupid...what Would You Have Done???...stick Is What That Was

VUPDblue
July 23, 2006, 09:49 PM
Sorry for the hijack, but my BS sensor is blinking again... DKB2003 started a thread just today about a *similar* situation. His message: ...NEVER EVER GO INSPECT...THANKS.... Now he praises FirstFreedom for going to investigate? Something fishy here...:rolleyes:

Anyway, FirstFreedom, I think you did the right thing. It's easy for everyone to "armchair quarterback" what you did, but I have to be honest, I wouldn't have done things much different. As for LEO impersonators, what the security did was stupid, but not the usual MO of an impersonator. Generally impersonators seem to be more direct/authoritative to better emulate someone with authority, and they react like a deer in the headlights when they think they may be caught. ie: if he was an impersonator, when he saw you on the other side of the fence, he would have probably moved on.

Northern Sod Breaker
July 23, 2006, 10:15 PM
As said above, You should have stayed in the concealment of your house. I would have watched through a window but with the lights out and drapes partialy drawn.

Double Naught Spy
July 23, 2006, 10:32 PM
The first issue, which is pretty common I'm sure, is that this security guard failed to identify himself as security or LEO to me - all he said was "lemme see your hands!". And he should have IMO.

Had you been in a scuffle and were searching for the person with whom you just had scrapped, you would not be identifying yourself, "I'm First Freedom. Show me your hands!!"

If you don't like how the guard acted, complain to his security company.

tegemu
July 24, 2006, 08:11 AM
I would observe with vigilance and dialed 911.

springmom
July 24, 2006, 10:42 AM
This was a great time to call 911. As things played out, one of you could have ended up dead. Glad everyone's okay, though, and yes, I would complain to the security company.

Springmom

azurefly
July 24, 2006, 01:34 PM
But as it was, I never even pulled my pistol out, and the security guard never saw it, I'm quite sure - nor did I see any reason to mention it, once we got to talking about the suspect he was looking for. Anyhow, this numbskull probably would have shot me had he seen me with a pistol and asked questions later, being the cowboy type that that building always employs.


Fact is, he probably would have missed; and you would have owned yourself a security guard company. :D

Just imagine how a jury might view a security guard (NON LEO!) firing on a homeowner who is sitting in a chair on his own porch in his back yard!


-azurefly

Knotthead
July 28, 2006, 09:58 AM
A recent incident in my state involved someone impersonating a firefighter investigating a gas leak.

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15026310.htm

john in jax
July 28, 2006, 10:22 AM
A big ditto on watching from inside and an even bigger ditto for improving your outdoor/security lighting.

skeeter1
July 28, 2006, 04:40 PM
I'll second that. I've got a pair of 150-watt floodlights on an IR-motion sensor in the back yard, and occasionally they're a pain int the butt (a bunny is all it takes to turn them on), but when they DO go on, I turn on all of the outdoor lights and take a look... from inside the house.

Doggieman
July 28, 2006, 10:19 PM
Had a friend who had a friend who mouthed off to a security guard and refused to leave private property. The sec guard pulled out a gun (which he was not licensed to carry nor allowed to by the security company) and shot the friend in the hip. He had to have a pin put in but sued the security company which paid for the medical expenses plus $250,000.

kymasabe
July 29, 2006, 05:10 PM
It's time to install motion-sensitive security lighting.

The Texican.
August 3, 2006, 10:46 PM
Always play it safe. Call 911, but before you do this again, call your local police force and find out what their average response is for prowler on premises is. A lot longer than for someone to break into your house and harm your loved ones.

When I go outside to see about noises and the dogs, the wife is armed and ready in the house. Never present yourself as a target, keep to the shadows. Use a flashlight only when you have to for it gives your position away. When in place, chamber a new round, for that sound will cause all but the crazies to run. A shotgun at night is a better choice than a pistol for the first weapon. The second weapon needs to be a pistol. For those that need more security, make the third weapon a kbar. Do not forget to pickup the round.

BillCA
August 4, 2006, 12:09 AM
+1 on staying inside as much as practical.

That said, we all make decisions based on the perceived threat level. If you think the dogs are barking because of activity on the far side of the fence and presume that activity has not yet migrated across the fence-line, then sitting on the back porch isn't unreasonable.

My advice would be to invest in a good SureFire tactical light or a small bright flashlight to keep ready in the home. In these situations you can pretty well light up most back yards to identify your suspect. A cordless phone with a headset is a big plus since it keeps your hands free.

And there's nothing wrong with turning on the back yard lights before you go outside.

I know that officers can't go on a person's property without a reason, what if they are pursuing a BG who committed a serious crime, and the criminal runs into residential property? Would the police be able to then tresspass in order to stop this dangerous person?

As previously said -- you betcha! Anyplace they see the bad guy go, they can go too. That means if the bad guy runs into your house the cops can follow (whether that's really a good idea or not is another thing). If the cops have a "reasonable belief" that the BG may have gone from a neighbor's yard into yours, expect --at the very least -- flashlights over the fence if not an officer entering your yard to investigate. Special note from experience: Be alert for plainclothes officers in these situations! Sometimes they are pressed into service during a pursuit and forget they're not in uniform.

Re: Command Voice
The use of a command voice (i.e. "Let me see your hands! Do it now!") often works, regardless of your LEO status or not. Back in the 70's we learned that assuming the role of authority often worked and many people/sheeple responded accordingly. In a situation where you can't see the person behind the voice a response of "Who are you?" is a first step. It allows the voice to identify themselves and to be aware that you can't see their uniform or "badge of office". If the response is "Police" or "Police officer" the wise move is to comply carefully but to ask "How do I know that?" Police officers will generally issue further orders to secure their safety and then identify themselves in due course. A BG who is "faking it" will probably get flustered and give themselves away.

Remember that security guards are "normal citizens" with no police powers. If they give orders, you can calmly and without offering any threat, walk away from them (into the house of course). Of course if the voice is very nervous and sounds like Barney Fife going through puberty, it'd be a good idea to say "I'm going inside to call the cops" first.


A perfect score on the Practical Police Course is 600. My brother, who's a life-long LEO shot a 560 that day, and I managed a 480. Some of the security guards struggled to get above 100.

Sadly, depending on the company, some security guards have trouble tying their shoes. I did security work to help put me through college when armed guards weren't rare. Out of 66 armed guards, the lowest PPC score allowed was 420 otherwise you didn't carry. Eight of us competed for top shooter and the scores ranged from 588-596 and twice I lost with a score of 594 based on the number of "X's".

packa45
August 4, 2006, 10:48 PM
When I go outside to see about noises and the dogs, the wife is armed and ready in the house. Never present yourself as a target, keep to the shadows. Use a flashlight only when you have to for it gives your position away. When in place, chamber a new round, for that sound will cause all but the crazies to run. A shotgun at night is a better choice than a pistol for the first weapon. The second weapon needs to be a pistol. For those that need more security, make the third weapon a kbar. Do not forget to pickup the round.

Never really bought into the "rack the slide and scare the bad guy" theory especially if you already have a round in the chamber. You've just handicapped yourself and who knows that one round may be the one that would have saved your life. I prefer to face a situation that involves a firearm with the gun ready to fire and my finger off the trigger but close. You close with don't forget to pick up the round but what would you do with it? Pocket it? Or are you saying pick it up and reload it? The latter brings up a slew of problems with readiness. I do agree with the rest of your post however.

YellowLab
August 5, 2006, 01:47 PM
Night vision is cheap.... may not work in urban settings but still worth a look.

I would have probibly gone out, at least on the porch....

If someone from the other side of the fence simply yelled 'show me your hands' with no other identification I would have given then the finger and ignored them :D

Unless the side of the car said 'Blackwater' on it fudge them.... low life mall commando's.

Mannlicher
August 5, 2006, 01:54 PM
glad you did not shoot anyone.