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View Full Version : Would you interupt an apparent kidnapping?


jfrey123
January 27, 2008, 04:34 PM
(TYPO: Option 2 should read "Gun ready")

Hey folks,

This is a response to two threads, one going in this forum about interrupting a robbery in progress, and one in the general discussion regarding a woman with children being forced at knife point into her vehicle.

I voted in the robbery posting, and my stance is to be ready but not interfere until the BG showed a true hostile intent by actually shooting, preparing someone for execution, etc. I just overall feel that it's not my place to end life if the BG's true intent was money only and not life, and I know quite a few shared my opinion which caused quite the disruption in the other post.

I don't intend to turn this forum into a million "what if" scenarios, but I am curious about the CCW'ers on this forum regarding a direct threat to life.

Take the scenario from usconcealedcarry.com: Upon exiting a restaurant, you see in the parking lot a woman with children being harassed at gun point by two assailants. She is obviously panicked, and you surmise this is some sort of abduction attempt. What do you do?

Note: I changed it from a knife in the original story to a gun, because I believe that may cause those out to protect numero uno to think a little bit harder before answering.

jfrey123
January 27, 2008, 04:45 PM
To play my own game, I voted for option 3. I don't think I could live with myself if I didn't make an attempt to save her. Especially if I hear on the news later she was found victimized and/or murdered. People important to me know my feelings regarding 'the indifference of good men'. :cool:

benny27
January 27, 2008, 04:50 PM
If I was packing of course, if I wasn't I would get in my car and follow the vehicle if I was close enough to mine. If I couldn't follow him/her I would get on the cell phone and call the police.

Playboypenguin
January 27, 2008, 04:50 PM
I was wondering if anyone would make this distinction and ask the question in this manner.

A kidnapping or assault situation is completely different than a robbery scenerio.

Robbery is a property crime, as long as they get the money and belongings they are after, statistically speaking, they seldom do physical harm to the victim.

Kidnapping is completely different as far as motivation goes and the odds swing the other way.

I would definitely do everything I could to try and stop the persons involved from leaving the scene (in as safe a manner as possible). Even if it turned out to be a misunderstanding I would still request they stay until police arrived. Just to be sure because a victim will sometime be coerced into saying it is okay even when it is not.

Sigma 40 Blaster
January 27, 2008, 05:32 PM
I'm with Playboypenguin here, a robbery is a slightly different animal from a kidnapping.

First thing would be to dial 911 before reaching for a gun. If there's a cop a block away I'll let them worry about approaching armed people with innocents at gun point. Either way I want the police to know what's happening and who I am and what I look like before anything else happens if I have ten seconds to spare.

If I can either approach or stay in a doorway and see how many BG's there are I'd have to vote for taking out the BG's in order of who poses the most threat to the innocents...see who you can hit, see where the guns are pointing. If I am behind cover I figure to have at least three to five seconds (arbitrary numbers) to act before the BG's react, find me, and start dumping.

3-5 seconds may not sound like a long time but anyone who's shot competition knows you can let a lot of lead fly in a fairly well aimed direction, assuming you've been training and working on your skills. I have to think high center of mass or headshots would be the shot of choice here...distance, position, and the "backdrop" would influence that choice.

I think what's more important than your action is that you assess the situation, your skills, and make a decision that will place the innocents in the least amount of harm. Is being held at gunpoint dangerous? Yes. Is kidnapping in the best interest of the innocents? No. Is being held at gunpoint while someone is shooting at the guy holding the gun even more dangerous? I would think so.

Know your abilities, understand the situation, and act accordingly. Oh yeah, also know what you are willing to risk your life and your freedom for before you leave the house armed.

RJay
January 27, 2008, 06:17 PM
Unless a small child was involved, I would back off and and get the information for the police. How do you know it's a kidnapping and not a lovers spat?? I'm not a LEO nor am I empowered to uphold the law nor do I have the legal right to detain someone at gun point in an unknown situation such as this. Now if a small child was involved, all bets are off.

Playboypenguin
January 27, 2008, 06:20 PM
A very large percentage of abductions that end in fatalities are of grown women...and often by ex-lovers.

Perldog007
January 27, 2008, 06:41 PM
I would not try to interrupt unless it was my wife/kid. Pretty well trained for a SO, but that is beyond my level of training. I would have to be forced into being involved.

My first course of action would be to try and make myself a good witness. Get all the relevant information and pass it on to LEO. If I am the one being kidnapped going to fight like a retarded skunk on meth. No two ways about it.

If a LEO was being grabbed I might be more inclined to try to help as this is pretty clear cut.

Once I collected a bail skip for the money. I can see how somebody may have thought that was a kidnap if they walked up on it. I drove into west philly with the courtesy van from a rent a wreck place called just 4 wheels. Wearing civvies kicked in the guy's door and hauled him out in cuffs covered with a blanket and put him in the van, secured him and drove off.

Glad nobody thought it was a kidnapping and tried to intervene. I was unarmed at the time. :cool:

From that experience I would have to be very comfortable with knowing what I was seeing to do anything but observe and report.

SIGSHR
January 27, 2008, 08:11 PM
I recall reading one of Chuck Taylor's columns where he said "You see a woman struggling with a man in a parking lot. How do you know: 1-It's not a
lover's quarrel? 2. She's not a whore who tried to rip him off?"
Were I to play the Cavalry to the Rescue I might try a shot or two at the
BG's vehicle, don't think they'll go too far with flat tires, a punctured gas tank, a punctured radiator, broken headlights, etc.

Lurper
January 27, 2008, 08:45 PM
Last time I checked, robbery was a crime against persons. Burglary is a crime against property. Robbery is using force or the threat of force or implied force to obtain something from another. That something can be property like money, wallet, car or not; like ATM pin for example.
Robbery is a serious crime.

The real question you should be asking is:
How do I know this is a _______________ (insert your favorite crime here) in progress? Usually, you can't. Unless you've seen the scenarion unfold or the guys with weapons start injuring people, you are best to sit back and call 911. Or, wait until the scenario becomes obvious if it ever does. You have nothing to lose by watching, following, calling 911 or any other witness action. You have a lot to lose if you get involved and find out you were wrong.

One of the true stories we use in our instruction:
A man was walking through a park after dark. He saw a woman being tied to a tree by a man who was obviously going to sexually assault her (her pants were off). He heard her saying "no, no, stop!". Carrying his legal firearm, he intervened and held the man (woman too) at gunpoint until the police arrived. Turns out the man and woman were playing out a sexual fantasy. They were so incensed, they demanded that the would be good samaritan be arrested. He was.
You need to know the entire situation before you act unless it is blatantly obvious that someone is about to die.

bclark1
January 27, 2008, 09:06 PM
i mis-clicked :(
next version of vBB needs to allow vote changes.

ZeSpectre
January 27, 2008, 09:10 PM
I feel like there is a need to clarify something here.

Theft - can be a property crime. I.E. someone breaks into your car and steals stuff while you are away. You come back to find the evidence of the crime but you were never in any direct danger nor were you threatened.

This is a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT animal from direct assault type crimes.

Robbery (by force) - The old "give me your money or else" (the rest of the sentence is I'll hurt or kill you). This is a DIRECT THREAT to your person and must always be treated as such.

Kidnapping - The same, it is a direct threat and must be dealt with. Back when I worked LE we used to refer to "going with the criminal" as the "Doom Ride" because once they took you to the site of their choice they would be free to do with you as they pleased.

Now of course all due observation and deduction MUST come into play to be as sure as possible that the situation is what it appears to be, but I would have a very tough time standing by while witnessing a kidnapping.

tony pasley
January 27, 2008, 09:44 PM
I would do what I could to stop it. I have 2 daughters, and would protect other women as if they were my daughter and pray some one else would be willing to protect my daughter. I am not rich or poor but things don't ammount to a daughters life. As has been said in these pages things can be replaced but life cannot.

Playboypenguin
January 27, 2008, 10:39 PM
You guys are talking about what is involved or damaged in the crime.

Psychologically speaking crimes are based on money or power (sexual or physical). In a robbery people are involved but the motive is property.

When a badguy has a clear goal of obtaining items of monetary value it is alot different than a crime against a person where the goal is revenge, to injure someone, or sexual based. The later is much more dangerous.

akr
January 27, 2008, 10:48 PM
There isn't anything much more dangerous than walking in on a burglary in progress. The burglars can switch from wanting property to wanting your life pretty quickly.

M14fan
January 27, 2008, 11:17 PM
Kidnapping requires immediate intervention. I will defuse this situation as quickly as possible. If small children are involved they will remain with me till police are on scene. I will be dialing 911 even as I arm myself to intervene. Hopefully this will not result in exchange of fire.

TexasSeaRay
January 27, 2008, 11:30 PM
A man was walking through a park after dark. He saw a woman being tied to a tree by a man who was obviously going to sexually assault her (her pants were off). He heard her saying "no, no, stop!". Carrying his legal firearm, he intervened and held the man (woman too) at gunpoint until the police arrived. Turns out the man and woman were playing out a sexual fantasy. They were so incensed, they demanded that the would be good samaritan be arrested. He was.

I would've had the arresting cop's ass for breakfast and picked my teeth with what was left of his badge afterwards.

All such "let's see if we can trick unsuspecting civilian CCL students with one in a million scenarios" do is reinforce the concept that nobody matters in this country or world but you.

And the more that attitude/fear prevails among decent society, the greater in numbers and greater in strength the wolves among us grow.

The good samaritan had every reasonable, prudent and responsible reason to believe that not only was a felony in progress, but that an innocent women stood a better than even chance of ending up severely beaten at best, dead at the worst. Her little fetish having her pants down around her ankles only gave greater probable cause for the good citizen to act as he did.

Any cop who saw and heard that story and STILL arrested the good samaritan doesn't have the common sense nor judgement nor MENTAL ABILITY to stand behind a badge.

Period.

Jeff

benny27
January 27, 2008, 11:43 PM
I love these "what if" situations..:D, The chances of some of these things happening have got to be worse than winning the lottery. Just use common sense folks, you'll know what to do if and when the situation arises. It's all about helping out your fellow neighbor in a time of distress, if that calls for lethal force so be it, if it calls for a call to the police then so be that, every situation is unique.

Dwight55
January 28, 2008, 12:06 AM
Far more years back than I would care to enumerate, . . . I was taught that the best training is force on force or man on man training that is as fully realistic as is possible in the place/time/equipment constraints.

The instructor then used for second best: mental practice, scenario drills if you will. Not a substitute for the above, but a real means to eliminate the decision making from the scenario, . . . relying on muscle memory, . . . going first to training then later to explanation of what happened/when/where, etc.

In that case, . . . I long ago made the decision that no one, especially children will be taken from my presence if I have any half baked ability to stop it. The bg or myself are going to take lead, . . . no doubt, . . . no question, . . . no quarter, . . . end of story.

In the scenario where it is one woman, one man, and he has a Glock looking weapon, . . . I would hesitate just long enough to try and ascertain if indeed this is a bond bail grab or a plain clothes cop doing a noisy arrest. If the perp has a big butcher knife or one of them shiny nickel plated sissy pistols, . . . I will probably close the distance to where I feel comfortable on taking the shot and then just doing it: no warning, no verbal command, if he doesn't hear the safety going off on my 1911, . . . tough banannas.

Cold? . . . Nahhhh, . . . 99% safe, . . . and even better odds for her to survive the encounter. At 63, I've had a good life, . . . and figure that a little sympathy on the juriors' part might get me off if the 1% came through.

Anyway, may God bless,
Dwight

Lurper
January 28, 2008, 12:23 AM
You guys are talking about what is involved or damaged in the crime.
No, I'm talking about legal classification. Burglary in and of itself is usually a misdemeanor (unless at night or an occupied structure), a crime against property-hence does not justify lethal force. I robbery is a crime against a person, so lethal force is justifed.

I would've had the arresting cop's ass for breakfast and picked my teeth with what was left of his badge afterwards.
Umm, no you wouldn't and neither did he. He clearly violated the law. The couple tried to explain it to him before the police arrived, but he would have none of it. They insisted on pressing charges and did. IIRC he ended up either pleading to or being convicted of Criminal Trespass (a misdemeanor).

The good samaritan had every reasonable, prudent and responsible reason to believe that not only was a felony in progress, but that an innocent women stood a better than even chance of ending up severely beaten at best, dead at the worst. Her little fetish having her pants down around her ankles only gave greater probable cause for the good citizen to act as he did.
No he didn't. He saw no one getting beaten, he saw no one in danger of death or serious bodily injury. A CCW or gun is not a hero waiting to happen badge! That is exactly the type of attitude that will get you in jail when you think you are doing the right thing. It comes from making a decision based on emotion and not fact. That is the whole point: IF YOU DON'T KNOW ALL OF THE FACTS, YOU SHOULD NOT GET INVOLVED! Unless and until someone is clearly in danger of death or serious bodily injury and you have no other way to stop the assault. You can preach from your pulpit of moral righteousness all you want and it don't mean a thing because we are not talking about morality, we are talking about legality. You can take your moral justification and let it keep you warm for the twenty five to life you get incarcerated for when you involve yourself in someone else's situation that you have no clear understanding of.

Not getting involved doesn't mean turn your back and walk away. It means call 911, be a good witness and if you see someone in danger of death or serious bodily injury (like someone getting stabbed), then take action. How do you know that the woman is not being arrested? You draw down on two cops, then what? Part of being a good witness may involve moving closer so you can hear the dialog. Or, following their vehicle until the police arrive or any number of things.

Just use common sense folks, you'll know what to do if and when the situation arises. It's all about helping out your fellow neighbor in a time of distress, if that calls for lethal force so be it, if it calls for a call to the police then so be that, every situation is unique.
Amen to that!

Playboypenguin
January 28, 2008, 12:28 AM
No, I'm talking about legal classification. Burglary in and of itself is usually a misdemeanor (unless at night or an occupied structure), a crime against property-hence does not justify lethal force. I robbery is a crime against a person, so lethal force is justifed.
I am not talking legal classification or what is involved in the crime. As I said, I am talking about the psychological motivation for the crime. In a crime motivated by personal gain the criminal will seldom want trouble. They simply want the money. In a crime motivated by more violent desires the need for action is more immediate. :)

TexasSeaRay
January 28, 2008, 12:59 AM
The couple tried to explain it to him before the police arrived, but he would have none of it. They insisted on pressing charges and did. IIRC he ended up either pleading to or being convicted of Criminal Trespass (a misdemeanor).

Well THAT was not included in your original scenario. Would definitely change the situation entirely.

Is that same part ("couple tried to explain it to him") part of your instruction curriculum--because if not, you're intentionally duping your students.

Not sure which state you're in, but I'm having a hard time understanding how a citizen can/could be convicted of Criminal Trespass in a public park without either A) a written RO from a judge or JP, B) a previous convinction in which the terms of parole/probation include staying out of such public places or C) the park was closed, locked and had signs clearly stating something to the effect of "no guests after dark under penalty of . . . "

AT which point the couple acting out their fetish would also had to have been charged.

False Imprisonment? Yep, I'd buy that charge with no problem.

No he didn't. He saw no one getting beaten, he saw no one in danger of death or serious bodily injury. A CCW or gun is not a hero waiting to happen badge!

Several things, and these are from the perspective of a guy who toted a federal badge around for a good number of years and worked with dozens upon dozens of local, regional and state LE agencies and departments.

What the good samaritan saw was a sexual assault taking place. It wasn't until both man and woman agreed it was consensual that the problem began.

The CCW has nothing to do with the man's actions--he could've just as easily been Chuck Norris and dropkicked the fetish man's butt right off the planet before Mr. and Mrs. Fetish had a chance to explain that they were just havng a little fun in a PUBLIC PLACE.

Had the good samaritan backed off after seeing it was two consenting adults, chances are extremely high that there would have been no hit, no foul.

That is exactly the type of attitude that will get you in jail when you think you are doing the right thing. It comes from making a decision based on emotion and not fact.

FACT--the good samaritan had every reason to believe the woman was being sexually assaulted. She had her pants off, and even later admitted they were acting out a "fantasy."

The samaritan's problem is NOT with intervening, but failing to break contact once it was ascertained that they were two consenting adults. Rare is the attempted rape victim who will defend her assailant.

That is the whole point: IF YOU DON'T KNOW ALL OF THE FACTS, YOU SHOULD NOT GET INVOLVED! Unless and until someone is clearly in danger of death or serious bodily injury and you have no other way to stop the assault.

Sorry. If I see a woman tied to a tree, clothing off or torn, screaming as a man is pawing at her in a dark, isolated park, I'm not going to sit and deliberate whether or not they're acting out a fantasy or if they're trying to break into internet ****.

Nor am I going to wake up my attorney to see what probable/possible prison stretch I'm looking at.

I am going to have my weapon zeroed on the would-be assailant's head and screaming at him to get his blankety-blank blanking hands in the air or I'll blow his blankety blank blanking head off. I've shouted that more than enough times in my life to do it with absolute credible and believable authority.

Your training scenario is a one-in-a-million scenario, and what's more, serves to confuse rather than confirm.

And I state that as my opinion as a combat vet and former federal lawman who's been on both sides of such situations in which I was either shot at, or forced to shoot. Furthering that is my stint as a firearms instructor teaching new agents at the academy "shoot/no-shoot" situations. We were also schooled on that earlier in my life at the JFK center at Bragg.

Not saying it can't be tricky--it can be bad tricky. And I have zero arguement that CCW is NOT a badge & credentials. But what would've been the difference if the good samaritan had charged in with an asp baton or baseball bat or samurai sword?

Result was the same--he thought he was preventing a sexual assault. Good. Found out they were two consenting adults and continued to press the issue. Bad.

You can preach from your pulpit of moral righteousness all you want and it don't mean a thing because we are not talking about morality, we are talking about legality. You can take your moral justification and let it keep you warm for the twenty five to life you get incarcerated for when you involve yourself in someone else's situation that you have no clear understanding of.

Two final thoughts:

1. Just how many CCL holders are warming themselves in prison because of situations like the one above you refer to versus how many acts of violence are STOPPED or PREVENTED because of a responsible CCL holder intervening?

2. The day we place a greater value on legality over morality when it comes to defending innocent victims and lives is the day we are finished as a society.

Jeff

chris in va
January 28, 2008, 01:37 AM
As I always say on here...

You won't know what you'll do until you're in the situation.

Powderman
January 28, 2008, 03:11 AM
I would've had the arresting cop's ass for breakfast and picked my teeth with what was left of his badge afterwards.

All such "let's see if we can trick unsuspecting civilian CCL students with one in a million scenarios" do is reinforce the concept that nobody matters in this country or world but you.

And the more that attitude/fear prevails among decent society, the greater in numbers and greater in strength the wolves among us grow.

The good samaritan had every reasonable, prudent and responsible reason to believe that not only was a felony in progress, but that an innocent women stood a better than even chance of ending up severely beaten at best, dead at the worst. Her little fetish having her pants down around her ankles only gave greater probable cause for the good citizen to act as he did.

Any cop who saw and heard that story and STILL arrested the good samaritan doesn't have the common sense nor judgement nor MENTAL ABILITY to stand behind a badge.


And THAT (IMHO) is the best response in this thread so far.

If I were the responding officer, I would have thanked the CCW licensee, made sure I had his name right to put in for a civic award, and cited and/or arrested the couple for lewd behavior, indecent exposure and public indecency. But, that's just me.

And I think the CCW responded EXACTLY in the right way. Sure, you're hearing what they're saying--but what proof do you have? All that you know is that you stepped in the middle of what looked like a serious crime, and stopped it. That's called acting in good faith.

Erik
January 28, 2008, 02:20 PM
I have responded to a kidnapping in progress and was thankful for how the situation played out:

The reporting party followed the van approximately 15 miles while talking law enforcement in via the 911 operator. It is unlikely the van would have been promptly located without the help. Given that particular scenario, an armed response on the part of the reporting party would not have been appropriate.

Every situation is deffient though, which makes these types threads so frustrating to many.

revance
January 28, 2008, 02:56 PM
IC 35-41-3-2
Use of force to protect person or property
Sec. 2. (a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against
another person to protect the person or a third person from what the
person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force.
However, a person:
(1) is justified in using deadly force; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to
prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the
commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be
placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the
person or a third person by reasonable means necessary.

Here in Indiana if you see a woman tied to a tree with her clothes taken off screaming for help, it is reasonable to believe the man is using unlawful force. It is also reasonable to believe that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to a third person and to stop the commission of a forcible felony. That last highlighted part is important... it means not only can they not file criminal charges against you, you are protected from civil suits too.

Th0r
January 29, 2008, 05:48 PM
Well if it was definitely a kidnapping I would call the police and then make an attempt to stop the kidnappers. It depends on the situation aswell, the time, the place etceteras. If it was in a place and I had a gun on me and the place was crowded full of inoncent people going about their lives it would have to be exceptional like a family member. If I pull my gun and they pull their guns there is a good chance that anywhere between 1-5 people could die or be seriously injured.

Is that a risk I want to take?
No.

If it was on a road and there weren't many people about, within close proximity of the kidnappers I would certainly make an attempt to stop them.

Once again I think its another topic that boils down to whether you're in the right place at the right time or the wrong place at the wrong time.

Playboypenguin
January 29, 2008, 06:07 PM
If it was on a road and there weren't many people about, within close proximity of the kidnappers I would certainly make an attempt to stop them.
I assume by "attempt to stop them" you mean that you would give them a sound beating with trusty Mjolnir. :D

Th0r
January 30, 2008, 01:06 PM
I assume by "attempt to stop them" you mean that you would give them a sound beating with trusty Mjolnir.
Very good Mr. Penguin ;)
"Attempting to stop them" would have to be the most appropriate action to stop them.