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pfch1977
May 18, 2008, 06:09 PM
This was a great read on Wikipedia. I learned a few lessons and here they are:

- Do not underestimate the effectiveness of a 5-shot .38.

- A 5-shot revolver can be deployed and shot fast enough to be effective (the article states it took Goetz 1-2 seconds to deploy 5 rounds. 4 of the rounds were able to reach their target.

- The result was a good result. All of targets were incapacitated, but none was killed. I would say that this was a successful self-defense shoot in that the shooter shot until the threat was neutralized. (Although if he had more bullets, he might have killed all 4.)

- Goetz had trained with his weaponry. The proper training can make most any pistol effective even a 5-shot .38 revolver.

Now with that said, my question to the group is that if you had 4 targets and a semi-auto capable of holding 10+. Would you try to place two bullets on each target or one bullet on each target? My thought is that two bullets on each target might waste time. That half-second of time might give the targets enough time to squeeze off a round on you.

How would you react in a situation with 4 robbers who are less then 20 feet from you. Lets say you had a 5 shot revolver? Lets say you had a semi-auto with 12 bullets? Lets also assume that there was clear-cut reason to shoot. Goetz did not appear to have that reasoning I must admit. The man was only asking for 5 dollars, but was not an actual threat to Goetz. Lets say the men had knives in their hands and were coming at Goetz in a threatening manner.

"After the second demand or request for money, Goetz rose from his seat, and from beneath his blue windbreaker fast-drew a .38 Special five-shot Smith & Wesson revolver and fired five shots with speed shooting. (Speed shooting is a very fast technique, primarily effective at close range, where the shooter initiates trigger pull prior to the sights being aligned on the target.) In media interviews, Goetz, who had prior firearms and target shooting experience, described how he discharged all five rounds in less than 1.6 seconds. (Some eyewitness testimony stated all shots were fired within one second.)"

"The first shot hit Canty in the center of the chest; the second shot struck Allen in the upper rear shoulder while he was turned about 90 degrees from Mr. Goetz. The angle of the bullet suggested that Mr. Allen was ducking[1]; the third shot hit the subway wall just in front of Cabey; the fourth shot hit Cabey in the left side, severing his spinal cord and rendering him paraplegic; the fifth shot went through Ramseur's arm and lodged itself in his left side. Goetz then immediately looked at the first two men to make sure they were "taken care of." Goetz then saw Cabey moving on the bench and confessed to approaching Cabey and saying, "You don't look too bad; here's another," and then attempted to shoot Cabey again in the stomach, with an empty gun. Cabey, who was briefly standing prior to the shooting, was sitting on the subway bench during all attempted shots. In his subsequent police statement, Goetz explained, "If I had had more [bullets], I would have shot them again, and again, and again." In a 2008 interview, Goetz denied having actually made the statement "You don't look too bad, here's another" in the subway car, but said that he did try to shoot Cabey again, after which he knew he was out of bullets[2]."

LanceOregon
May 18, 2008, 06:32 PM
- The result was a good result.

To me, a "good result" does not mean having to endure a criminal trial, and also having to live in poverty the rest of your life due to a $43 Million dollar civil suit.

Goetz clearly made some mistakes in judgment.

.

ISC
May 18, 2008, 06:52 PM
His biggest mistake was living in NYC

Dismantler
May 18, 2008, 07:15 PM
His biggest mistake was turning himself in. He went to the Concord, NH Police after riding around for hours, and turned himself in and confessed. I do not endorse illegal gun carry. But it seems to me that Geotz could have handled this differently.

In a city the size of NY, he could have avoided using the particular subway line that he was on, in case anybody could identify him by sight. After a short cooling off time, he could have told his employers and friends that he decided to move to Miami. (Those cold winters in NYC, you understand.) There are so many unsolved shootings in major cities that he could have pulled it off.

Unfortunately he panicked, fled NYC, did not have a plan, and ended up in jail in NH, from where he was whisked back to NYC.

He obviously never gave a thought to what he may have to do after a shooting...especially since he was carrying illegally.

Rob Pincus
May 18, 2008, 07:49 PM
While I haven't read the wikipedia entry, I have studied the event extensively.

Before glamorizing his accomplishments with the .38, keep in mind that there is a very strong possibility that he was looking for targets and not truly caught off-guard. Had he truly been ambushed by a person (or persons) intent on doing him harm, things may have turned out differently...

pfch1977
May 18, 2008, 08:33 PM
The real scenario with Goetz was the following from what I have read. Correct me if Im wrong:

- There were 4 loud and rowdy black teenagers who were fooling around on a train.
- The other passengers on the train had purposely sat far from these youths. There were about 15-20 passengers on the train. There was an obvious perception on the train that these teenagers were up to no good.
- One of the teenagers asked Goetz for 5 dollars. Goetz ignored the guy the first time. On the second request, Goetz gets up and opens fire.
- The teenagers never touched or assaulted Goetz. They were simply loud, fooling around and one had asked Goetz for 5 dollars. There was never any physical contact.
- Some of the teenagers had criminal records and one had admitted in a newspaper interview that they planned on robbing Goetz.

I don’t believe the above scenario would qualify as a good defense for deadly force and I bet that in many courts around the nation Goetz would have served serious time in jail.

Goetz could have walked away from the incident. Simply moved to the other side of the train with the 15-20 passengers who were on it. Maybe he could have pulled the train’s emergency cord to create a diversion or he could have simply given up his wallet or the 5 dollars that was requested. However, he made a decision against 4 teenagers. These teenagers were far from the innocent type though with criminal records for violent crime.

Goetz’s actions after the incident make me believe that he thought he was not acting appropriately. He escaped off the train and fled to another state. These are not the actions of a person who believed that they were 100% in the right.

I’m not certain if I can say I would do the same thing and draw a gun on the youths and fire. This is an area of grey. You have 4 rowdy teenagers that can overpower you who are requesting for your cash. If you do not pull your gun, then the result might be you getting hurt and your wallet stolen. They might even turn the weapon on you.

In any event, the youths were acting foolishly by provoking people.

wayneinFL
May 18, 2008, 09:13 PM
It is kind of surprising to know he was acquitted in the shooting, given what we have seen on T.V. and read in the papers. Apparently, the evidence that was available to the jury cast a reasonable doubt.

chopz
May 18, 2008, 09:40 PM
i don't have an opinion on goetz's innocence or guilt one way or the other; i don't feel i'm informed on the incident enough. it's between him and his Maker.

regarding the original question, i believe the rule of thumb when confronted by multiple attackers is to turn and run. if they pursue you the odds are pretty slim they'll reach you at the same time. in this way you can deal with them one at a time - whichever one is the fastest runner first. and if they don't pursue you then you avoid the conundrum.

Dwight55
May 18, 2008, 09:59 PM
Back to the original question: in a multiple assailant scenario, . . . I long ago decided to deal with each one who moves forward into the fray once I have unholstered.

I am 63, just finished a bout with open heart surgery, . . . I'm not running, and I'm not just going to roll over and play dead. As another poster likes to quip: everyone gets firsts, before anyone gets seconds.

Yes, . . . seconds and even thirds will be served if in fact a bg decides after the first round that he wants to continue his aggression. I will continue to fire until the threat is no more.

I would, however, prefer to get behind cover once the first round of shooting has ended, . . . and await LEO arrival.

May God bless,
Dwight

ISC
May 18, 2008, 10:00 PM
yes, just some honest urban youths steadfastly looking for work. The screwdrivers were because they were on a public works mission and they were going to fix some public property that had a loose screw.

Really, if he had really felt threatened there is no reason that he couldn't have avoided it by running away or offering them sex in exchange for their protection.

It happens all the time in prison, and NYC is just a big prison anyhow, right?

hogdogs
May 18, 2008, 10:23 PM
Run? Not me! Just can't fathom out running several youth of any color! Why waste that precious 21 feet running?
Am I the only one who thinks the Goetz case may have made some deviant youth consider the possible affects of preying on honest society?
I also seem to remember (I was but a youngster than) he had been targeted by NYC's deviant youth prior to arming himself. He had reason to flee as he was illegally armed as were most of the armed New Yorkers. 'Twas a rough era to try to live honest up in that Armpit of America.
Brent

BikerRN
May 18, 2008, 11:16 PM
I look at multiple targets as multiple single targets.

What that means is, each target gets shot at once. The targets that need a second shot are then shot a second time. After that, it's one shot per target, of those remaining targets that need to be shot again.

Chances are, and I think Goetz's shooting showed this to a degree, when you start shooting back, badguys tend to turn from the fray and try to vacate the area. Goetz's shooting of a guy turning proves this to me.

I will not comment on Goetz's legality, plans or fleeing the scene as I was not there and have no investigative knowledge of the incident. I will say, shoot each target once and repeat as needed.

Biker

Rob Pincus
May 19, 2008, 10:48 AM
Sorry, if I set things off track... I wasn't addressing the appropriateness of his mindset or his actions, merely the effect his mindset might have had on his physical performance.

We know that the brain focuses the mind and body on something/one that threatens us as a natural survival response, therefore under real ambush-stress, we are forced to deal with the fact that we are confronted/startled by one person at a time and would need to go through multiple recognition phases while dealing with other threats (hence the emphasis on assessing the environment ("scanning") after a shoot to help break the focus on the original threat). When we are stalking we are much better able to plan a "multiple target" response (such as in competition or with a plate rack in front of us) as opposed to having a survival imperative to address the most obvious/first stimulus and then (hopefully) respond to other threats as they become apparent.

-RJP

HKuser
May 19, 2008, 11:17 AM
Maybe he could have pulled the train’s emergency cord to create a diversion ...

This only exists in the movies.

threegun
May 19, 2008, 12:37 PM
According to Goetz, the four men gave signals to each other, and shortly thereafter Canty and Barry Allen rose from their seats and went over to the left of Goetz, blocking Goetz off from the other passengers in the car. Canty then calmly said to Goetz, "Give me five dollars." According to the young men's testimony, Canty was panhandling, although eyewitness testimony given at Goetz's criminal trial generally agreed that the four men were aggressive and threatening.

They moved to block him from escape and according to witnesses were aggressive and threatening.............in this scenario I'm forced to draw and fire. However once they start to scatter I'm done (unless they have guns).

If you read Goetz's confession he was intent on shooting and an obvious murderous wackjob who should be in prison next to the scum he shot.

Goetz admitted to police that he "snapped" and that his intention at that point was to "murder them, to hurt them, to make them suffer as much as possible." At the criminal trial, Goetz's defense attorneys, Barry Slotnick and Mark Baker, claimed that this and other extreme statements by Goetz were the product of an overactive imagination.

After the second demand or request for money, Goetz rose from his seat, and from beneath his blue windbreaker fast-drew a .38 Special five-shot Smith & Wesson revolver and fired five shots with speed shooting. (Speed shooting is a very fast technique, primarily effective at close range, where the shooter initiates trigger pull prior to the sights being aligned on the target.) In media interviews, Goetz, who had prior firearms and target shooting experience, described how he discharged all five rounds in less than 1.6 seconds. (Some eyewitness testimony stated all shots were fired within one second.)

The first shot hit Canty in the center of the chest; the second shot struck Allen in the upper rear shoulder while he was turned about 90 degrees from Mr. Goetz. The angle of the bullet suggested that Mr. Allen was ducking[1]; the third shot hit the subway wall just in front of Cabey; the fourth shot hit Cabey in the left side, severing his spinal cord and rendering him paraplegic; the fifth shot went through Ramseur's arm and lodged itself in his left side. Goetz then immediately looked at the first two men to make sure they were "taken care of." Goetz then saw Cabey moving on the bench and confessed to approaching Cabey and saying, "You don't look too bad; here's another," and then attempted to shoot Cabey again in the stomach, with an empty gun. Cabey, who was briefly standing prior to the shooting, was sitting on the subway bench during all attempted shots. In his subsequent police statement, Goetz explained, "If I had had more [bullets], I would have shot them again, and again, and again." In a 2008 interview, Goetz denied having actually made the statement "You don't look too bad, here's another" in the subway car, but said that he did try to shoot Cabey again, after which he knew he was out of bullets[2].

simonkenton
May 19, 2008, 12:38 PM
Two of those kids had sharpened screwdrivers in their pockets. This is a way that thugs legally carry a knife-type device in New York.

threegun
May 19, 2008, 03:28 PM
Two of those kids had sharpened screwdrivers in their pockets. This is a way that thugs legally carry a knife-type device in New York.

Agreed but three of the 4 tried to flee after the first shot. A sharp screwdriver holder running away isn't much of a threat IMO. I don't have a problem with him shooting the first 2 guys. The other 2 he should have stopped. He's a scumbag because he tried to murder the first guy he shot but was out of ammo.

ajohnny50
May 19, 2008, 03:51 PM
Looks to me that he handled the situation as well as he could have, given what he had and what he planned to do. He neutralized all of his opponents in a quick and effective fashion.

Unfortunately, it seems as though what he planned to do did not match up with the realities of the situation. Asking for money is not a reason to be shot, thug or not - legally or not. He viewed his "opponents" to be direct and immediate threats to his life, and they were not. They might have become such at a later time, but at the time of the shooting, I don't believe he had justification to do such.

It appears that he gave no warning, took no precautions, and simply opened fire on a group of people (one who was seated while the confrontation took place) with no warning and no life or death justification. Some of his alleged comments after the incident further provide evidence that he was out of line.

Take what lessons you will from this incident, but I wouldn't glorify his name nor put him in the category of purely self defensive shooters.

Socrates
May 19, 2008, 04:14 PM
Shows how words are overvalued. In those situations the bad guys use words to distract, while they setup doing what they intend to do, rob, murder, rape, whatever. What the felons said had NOTHING to do with what they were after.

From a negative reading of the facts, it's pretty clear the badguys have confined Goetz to a small area, kidnapping when added to the fact that they attempted to rob him. I don't know if New York has a felony murder rule, but confining someone to a small area, then murdering would give you a real good shot at the death penalty in Kali. The restraint doesn't have to be long, and, it doesn't have to be 'reasonable' in the mind of the victim, just that he's restrained, and can't leave.

From the later records of the guys who lived, it's real clear these were NOT NICE PEOPLE, and, Geotz perception that he was likely to be seriously hurt or killed was totally validated by their later criminal acts.

I guess I might be slightly prejudiced, since I had three guys assault and batter me in a similar way, in a bathroom, except they hit me over the head with a Walther PPKS.

I've also watched a couple gang bangers try similar tactics
when trying to rob a gun store. THAT was really funny. The guy was whining about the store owners, who had both just uncovered their Glocks, loaded, in holsters, and the guy was whining that it was illegal in Kali to do that. He had also tried to distract them but, they knew the guy wasn't going to buy anything, and figured it out early on.
Weird part was the giant rott wasn't even bothered, but, the guy hadn't done anything but talk...

All I had was pepper spray, and never more vivid was the phrase,
"Don't bring a knife to a gun fight!"

What does come out of this is in any situation, if you have to shoot someone, talk to NO ONE but your lawyer.
It appears the media, and the District Attorney's put out enough misinformation on their own to convict him, and, the DA's should have been disbarred.

David Armstrong
May 19, 2008, 04:37 PM
To me, a "good result" does not mean having to endure a criminal trial, and also having to live in poverty the rest of your life due to a $43 Million dollar civil suit.
Well said! Goetz would have been far better off if he would have just given the thugs the $5. Another example of how failing to understand the typical dynamics of a situation can lead to far greater loss of resources.

His biggest mistake was turning himself in.
Maybe, maybe not. If he hadn't turned himself in he would have lost the mantle of "honest citizen" that helped him so much during the trial (Flight = guilt).

As for the original question, my suggestion is to shoot 1 BG at a time until he is no longer a problem, then go looking for the next target. Why give up being locked in on a threat that may still be a threat?

.300H&H
May 19, 2008, 04:49 PM
A 6 shot .327mag would have given him more lethal energy than the 5 shot .38.:cool: and a little more insurance in terms of not needing a reload.


Just a thought.

Socrates
May 19, 2008, 05:18 PM
Well said! Goetz would have been far better off if he would have just given the thugs the $5. Another example of how failing to understand the typical dynamics of a situation can lead to far greater loss of resources.

One more time: words by a bad guy, in the act of committing a crime are worthless. The 5 dollar request is to distract, or, to get your wallet out. Do you REALLY think these scumbags,

wait, it just dawned on me, you don't know what wonderful folks these guys were. Here, from the same Wikpedia article:

At the time of the incident the four young men had a total of fourteen criminal bench warrants, although only Cabey had been charged with a felony, armed robbery. All of the men were either 18 or 19, and had reached the legal age of majorit

Goetz had on two prior occassions brandished, and not shot. I believe his perception of the group attacking him was correct:
once in the mid 1970s while with friends returning to a Harlem subway station, Goetz was mugged yet again in 1981 by three men and sustained injuries from the assault. Though he had prior target shooting experience earlier in his life, it was this second violent mugging that prompted Goetz to begin carrying a gun. Goetz did apply for a permit to carry a handgun, which was denied as are most such applications in New York City. Goetz bought the gun — a five-shot, alloy J-frame Smith and Wesson "Airweight" revolver with a shrouded hammer — out of fear for his safety. Goetz had brandished the pistol on two occasions prior to the attack on the subway in order to frighten away would-be robbers. It was this firearm that Goetz used to shoot the four men who confronted him on the subway in 1984.

Those in the second camp tended to believe the version of the incident as told by the four men, that they were merely panhandling with neither intimidation nor threats of violence. This latter view of events was later substantially discredited when one of the four men admitted that they planned to rob Goetz.

This second indictment was later dismissed after two of the shooting victims were arrested on separate rape and robbery charges, and a third shooting victim stated in a newspaper interview that the other members of the group decided to rob Goetz because he looked like "easy bait." Independent eyewitness statements were still withheld from the media.

Pretty sure that the bad guys didn't have finger prints in the system. As soon as they acosted Goetz, prints go into the system, and, they start matching up for unsolved robberies and rapes...

BillCA
May 19, 2008, 06:32 PM
In the idealistic world of true 2A rights Goetz would not need to worry about being charged with illegally carrying a firearm.

I do, however, have a problem with Goetz's mindset. His statements of intent "If I had had more [bullets], I would have shot them again, and again, and again." seem to indicate a desire for revenge or vengance and one seemingly out of proportion to the incident.

In short, I think the Goetz case is a poor example of self-defense in a legal sense.

With regards to the thugs, "Give me five dollars" is not a request or a plea, but a demand. There's little doubt that a negative answer might very well have resulted in a beating, stabbing or other serious injury. Words are not necessarily worthless, as a previous poster indicated. Had the thug's words been "Could you spare five dollars for me?" the words themselves might have indicated simple panhandling. It could have muddied the waters a bit more for Goetz to establish intent.

As far as the OP's question, it's very likely that in a similar situation, armed with a 5-shooter, the first or closest antagonist will get one round and we then proceed round-robin style until all subjects have been hit. The remaining shot is awarded to the first subject displaying a need for a follow-up shot. Also note that the subjects wounded in the side or back should not be viewed as "fleeing" or showing "proof" that they were disengaging from the conflict. Turning to take cover in such a limited area would result in similar injuries. And it's doubtful that a turn would have been perceived by Goetz as a "retreat" in such CQB in time to hold his fire.

Socrates
May 19, 2008, 07:26 PM
Goetz had been mugged twice before. It is possible this was the same group that got him one of the first times...
They were NOT nice people.

I also don't trust the press reporting, at all.

Wonder if the appellate case has a statement of fact?
Go here:
http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/cover.htm
then search for trial name, and you'll get the appellate case, and statement of facts.
Can't get the link to work to the actual case.
People v. Goetz, 68 N.Y.2d 96 (Jul 08, 1986)

After reading the statement of fact from the case two things become clear:

Goezt should NEVER have talked to the police without council present. From his statement, at least looking back at it now, maybe he was insane, or at least that's what you must think to have told the police such stuff.

It certainly gives a clear point for directional pepper spray prior to using a gun...

http://wings.buffalo.edu/law/bclc/web/nygoetz.htm

LanceOregon
May 19, 2008, 11:58 PM
I think that many of us are aware that Goetz was twice brutally mugged. After all, he did not even get the handgun after the first mugging. He only obtained it after he was mugged yet a second time.

And I think that everyone agrees that these men that tangled with him were no good trash. Heck, charges were even dismissed at one point against Goetz, because some of these men committed further crimes after this incident.

Goetz's biggest mistake was making so many racially charged statements to people after his first two muggings. Referring to black people as "******s", and saying how much you hate them, is not going to look good at all if you later then shoot a black person. Your words then come back to haunt you.

Perhaps Goetz was not like that before his muggings, as all the statements cited in the civil case took place after he was beaten and robbed those two times.

Goetz clearly was a victim. But some of his actions really made life difficult for him.

.

Socrates
May 20, 2008, 12:47 AM
Goetz statments are a pretty good argument for diminished mental capacity...

pfch1977
May 20, 2008, 01:44 AM
There is a lot to be learned from this incident and that’s why I posted the thread.

One thing that I took away from it was Goetz’s statements to the police. The statements he made to the police made him look very bad. However, we have to look at this realistically.

It has been my experience that police officers use pressure tactics to coerce statements from the tax paying citizenry. On a traffic stop, for example, they shine bright flashlights in your face, use aggressive sarcastic tones and their hands are always on their pistols. When an officer questions someone in an interigation room its not that much different. Every police station has a little windowless room with a bright light overhead. They usually have the suspect wait in this little windowless room for hours and then an aggressively sounding foul mouthed detective comes in to question you. Sometimes they turn the heat up in the little room or make it extra cold. They do whatever they can to make it uncomfortable for you.

So were Goetz’s statements to the police unusual? I would have to say no. I would believe that the police probably used coercive interrogation tactics. They probably sat him in an uncomfortable chair in a small hot windowless room for hours handcuffed and with an aggressive fast talking detective and bright lights overhead. Under the circumstances, he was probably very nervous and just babbled on and on not really knowing exactly what he was saying.

Another thing I have learned about police is that they have selective hearing. They will hear one thing that you say and note it down, but other things that you say are not noted down or considered.

The one golden rule about police is that they cannot be trusted under any circumstances. When they are around, you never say a word to them. If they ask questions, then you kindly state that you would like to exercise your right of silence. They will probably attempt to use coercive tactics with flashlights and aggressive tones. This is to be expected.

Whenever you use your weapon, then the prosecutor and police will find anyway they can to charge you with a crime no matter what the circumstances might be. That’s disappointing considering that there are stipulations in the U.S. Constitution stating of the right to bear arms and protect one’s self. My opinion is that the government has selective reading when it comes to that document where they will follow one part of the Constitution, but side-step other parts.

Knowing that the police and prosecutor would probably place you in jail for some type of charge, would you have turned yourself in if there was a good chance you could get away?

There are 2 million Americans imprisoned by the government with many who were wrongfully placed behind bars and DNA evidence being used to release them everyday. If I shot 4 men in self-defense, then I would surely not turn myself in and become another byproduct of a system and join the hundreds of thousands of victims of the US criminal justice system. Would I receive a fair trial? No I wouldn’t. In fact, I believe that if I were in Russia or Iraq, then my actions would be understood and no trial would occur, but in the US you get jailed and probably convicted for defending yourself. That’s how it works here.

Socrates
May 20, 2008, 02:13 AM
One thing that one certainly gets from Geotz, and the appellate court:
"No comment"
is VERY hard to change into racial slurs, false statements, etc. A good attorney would never have allowed him to say one word to anyone on the issue, for the rest of his life. In fact, if he hadn't shot off his mouth, the first grand jury would have stood...

You notice the appellate 'facts' don't list the reasoning behind throwing some of the charges out, that in fact, the 'boys' had, once finger printed, been tied to rapes and robberies...

It is REALLY clear that a facist-liberal view of the event can clearly turn the facts of the case on their head, ignoring facts, and exculpatory evidence, and making the case in the way they want it made. It's also quite clear the court was pandering to racial pressure...

When was Rodney King?

buzz_knox
May 20, 2008, 07:51 AM
If you read Goetz's confession he was intent on shooting and an obvious murderous wackjob who should be in prison next to the scum he shot.


Goetz fabricated quite a bit of what he claimed motivated him after the fact. He wasn't the most stable of individuals, so when the police declared the shooter to be a mad animal, he took that to heart.

There are lessons to be learned, including not running and keeping one's mouth shut. If he'd done those two things, Goetz might have been a textbook case for the necessity defense to a charge of illegally carrying a weapon.

bds32
May 20, 2008, 08:58 AM
It has been my experience that police officers use pressure tactics to coerce statements from the tax paying citizenry. On a traffic stop, for example, they shine bright flashlights in your face, use aggressive sarcastic tones and their hands are always on their pistols. When an officer questions someone in an interigation room its not that much different. Every police station has a little windowless room with a bright light overhead.

Sounds like you're a man of experience. I guess you've been in that room a time or two.

Although I agree you should talk to a lawyer before you speak to police, negative blanket statements about all police amount to whining and usually reflect somone with a personal bone to pick.

Keltyke
May 20, 2008, 09:49 AM
"They moved to block him from escape and according to witnesses were aggressive and threatening.............in this scenario I'm forced to draw and fire."

And you might be looking at murder charges, too. In SC, you can NOT draw and fire to stop simple assault. You MUST be in fear of your life, another's life, or GRAVE bodily injury. Since the youths were showing no weapons, Goetz can not say that.

Whether the shooting was legal or not has been determined in the courts. Whether Goetz went "hunting" will never be known, unless he talks truthfully.
Whether he rid the community of some pond scum is not arguable.

buzz_knox
May 20, 2008, 10:10 AM
Since the youths were showing no weapons, Goetz can not say that.


The concept of disparity of force allows a person faced with multiple assailants to argue there was a legitimate threat, even if no weapon was visible.

Besides, Goetz knew that there was at least one firearm in the mix, namely the one he was carrying. Assailants with no visible weapons can reasonably be anticipated to be intending to physically assault you, and that can easily lead to discovery of the weapon.

threegun
May 20, 2008, 10:32 AM
And you might be looking at murder charges, too.

Perhaps. However I don't base my self preservation on what I might face criminally or civilly. If I am in fear of death or serious bodily injury I will defend myself. IYO what is the difference between aggressive panhandling and robbery? How many attackers are needed for you to be at risk of great bodily injury? How could you retreat from the danger?

IMO they are attempting a strong armed robbery with the threat of what amounts to potential great bodily injury or death and I have no way to escape. Thus I have no choice but to comply or defend myself. Since I have no delusions of being able to beat 2 men at a time much less 4 men, I will be beaten down (great bodily injury).

Goetz was correct in his assumption that they were going to rob him as one of the yoots said that they planned to rob him. Lets not forget the signal they gave each other before they blocked his escape. That alone tends to support what Goetz feared.

ClassicSWC
May 20, 2008, 11:22 AM
It's amazing how many tough guys there are in the world who would fault Goetz for being in fear of his life in that situation.:rolleyes:

The standard is, was he in fear of his life. In a given circumstance, that is going to be different for a 90lb., 75yr old woman vs. George Foreman.

Although it is illegal, I can't fault him for his trying a "coup 'de grace" on the one scumbag. If the roles were reversed, how much mercy would they have given him? IMO, when the shooting starts, all bets are off. Sort of like when Paul Newman wants to get the rules straight for the knife fight. "Rules? In a knife fight?" Gimme a break.

bushidomosquito
May 20, 2008, 12:39 PM
"43 million dollar civil suit"
Screw that. Time to move to mexico and start over.

threegun
May 20, 2008, 02:09 PM
It's amazing how many tough guys there are in the world who would fault Goetz for being in fear of his life in that situation.

Classic, I don't know if its tough guy syndrome or just a lack of understanding as to what 4 adult males can do and how fast they can do it. Folks see a bruce lee flick and think that their green belt should allow them to fight off 3 or 4 guys no problem. Even highly trained fighters would have their hands full with more than 1 adult male in a confined space.

I can't fault him for his trying a "coup 'de grace" on the one scumbag

This is a joke I hope.

Socrates
May 20, 2008, 05:42 PM
The REAL problem with this case was the Goetz running off at the mouth, and filing appellate briefs, in retrospect, were a serious mistake. It often happens that a lower court will give the person a wrist slap sentence. When appealed, the case comes back, and, the sentencing is ordered to comply with the guidelines in law, that the sentencing judge may have ignored, figuring the case would not ever go to the appellate court.

When the appellate court sends it back, it CHANGES the ruling on reasonable belief that your life is in danger. Prior, it was totally based, real or not, on the belief of the person being attacked. With the Goetz case, they add an
'objective', after the fact component. In other words, the court gives itself the right to throw the defense out, if, while sitting in their comfy chambers, the judge, or judges feel the victim over-reacted.:rolleyes:

I've been in a similar spot, cornered by 3 huge, and I mean 6 3 and above, 250 pounds and above black men, in a bathroom, by myself. Simply coke and alcohol, making them want to beat up the white guy, since they think he's a friend of the manager that just threw them out of the bowling alley. I survived, with about 15 stiches, from getting hit over the head with a Walther PPKS. My martial arts training saved me. Wonder how many others here would have simply been dead or beaten to a pulp in the bathroom? I REALLY don't like the Monday morning quarterback stuff, since you have to make a decision based on the initial event, being cornered, and how you are going to deal with it. That choice is instantly changed when the guy whips open the coat, and you see the gun. It happens in under a second...

Goetz made his decision, based on prior experience, and, from subsequent testimony, he was right: the guys intended to rob him, and rob has a component of physical violence. 4-5 on one can maim and kill you, if the guys know what they are doing, very quickly...

vox rationis
May 20, 2008, 05:59 PM
I agree with Socrates:

I think that the $5 dollar request can be called "the interview" and this is where the thugs size you up and distract you to see what they are against. It is also an intimidation tactic and a "set up", especially in this scenario as there were lots of them against one. Once Goetz produced his wallet they would have assaulted him with a boot party and stolen the wallet, or perhaps,if they were especially sadistic, with a truly life threatening stomping. If Goetz said, "sorry I don't have $5 dollars" then that would have given the opportunity for the thugs to get feelings of "indignation" and establish the grounds for the assault that was coming.

I also think that when 4 or 5 guys coalesce around you in an obviously threatening manner, and this was Goetz's call based on his experiences and on being there in person, one can become extremely fearful for one's safety, and perhaps even life. Disparity of force issues should definitely be considered here.

Ultimately it is hard to second guess whether or not Goetz did the right thing or not. He was there and he chose his course of action based on the cards that he was dealt. Now perhaps Goetz should have waited for the assault to begin in earnest before drawing the gun to shoot, but on the other hand then he'd be one strike away from being knocked out and then at the complete mercy of the thugs. They could just have easily then stomped him on his way to death.

I'm not sure what the "perfect" way to have handled that situation would have been. Maybe brandishing would have made the scatter, but then again, maybe not, and in close quarters against multiple assailants at arms reach, he could just as easily been disarmed (mall ninjas please refrain from telling me how you would have done the double secret weapon retention move at this point).

So, given those circumstances it seems to me that it is reasonable that Goetz, if afraid of being seriously maimed and once he made the commitment to shoot to defend himself, once he drew the gun, might have felt that, tactically, there was no other choice but to shoot.

But obviously he really complicated matters by issuing his terribly misjudged comments after the shooting.

p.s. here's an interesting site about the dynamics of violent crime
http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html (click on the individual 5 stages of violent crime for some interesting reading)

dawg23
May 20, 2008, 06:02 PM
Would you try to place two bullets on each target or one bullet on each target?


This question gets asked on these boards all the time. And people often offer definitive answers. I say it isn't a "black & white" issue.

If your follow-up shots require two or three second, yeah - give every target one shot before transitioning to other threats.

But if your splits (shot-to-shot times) are more like .17-.18 seconds, you may well be better off getting a second (or third) bullet into each threat before turning your attention to the next one.

Socrates
May 20, 2008, 07:16 PM
Seems the .38 worked just fine in this situation...

Very fast shooting, and, adequate penetration...

thrgunsmith
May 20, 2008, 08:29 PM
You can not run away on a moving subway train, even being carefull
subways in the 80's were very dangerous.
Those thugs were out for blood, at that time young black men simply mugged white people for sport. For entertainment.
I hung out with a mostly black and Latino "crew" @ the time, one time a black guy in his thirties had a beef with one of us and all 10 guys I was having a beer with jumped him, I almost got jumped because I didn't join in!
They didn't "fight fair" they pummeled the guy into unconcisious for enjoyment.
They went overboard and didn't stop until the guy was knocked out, with teeth missing and probably broken bones.
They laughed about it for weeks!

"You got 5 dollars?" depending on how you say it, it can be very threatening, it was absolutely a set up, surround the guy and no matter what he says or does co operates or not , he gets stomped.
It was called "vicking" not mugging by the guys that did it all the time (from victim )

Goetz was doing what every newyorker, black or white wanted to do to the thugs roaming the streets and subways in those days.

As for plugging the thug after the threat stopped, thats the law of the urban jungle, what goes around comes around.
If you live by the sword and all that, Goetz had enough, if you're constantly beat down and NEVER GET ANY JUSTICE from the "system" you might just snap.

I really enjoyed the lull in harrasment when Goetz was on the run, you could ride the damm train without getting mugged and beaten up on.

Socrates
May 20, 2008, 08:52 PM
THRGUNSMITH:

Now you see why the court ruling, which allows Monday morning quarterbacking on such situations is so dangerous.

We have posters here that can't remember, or conceive of places or situations like that. Think of how hard it's going to be for a judge, or prosecutor, that never faces those situations, living in their high income, ivory towers.

Are New York Appellate judges in for life? From reading their opinion, it's really clear they had no idea what goes on in the subways at that time...

FrontSight
May 21, 2008, 12:24 PM
thrgunsmith & Socrates:

I am a native New Yorker as well, and ANYONE who criticizes Bernie for his actions has absolutely NO IDEA of what it was like back then, or even today for that matter. You are sheltered beyond belief, and have no clue of how lucky you are to not know what life is like when you face animals like those "kids" day in & day out.

These were not innocent kids, just having a fun time & nicely & politely asking for handouts.

These were not normal high school students, just out for a stroll and accidentally running into a mad man at the wrong place and at the wrong time.

These were vicious, ruthless, criminal thugs, out for blood and mayhem, period.

I saw part of his interview, and he said it exactly as it was: "When they asked me for the $5, I looked in their eyes and I knew exactly what their intentions were."

Believe me, I have been faced with this exact scenario a few times myself, both on the bus and on the subway, and things are 100,000 times better today than it was back then. Each time I was lucky when I fought back (I consider a bruise on the back of my head from a punch and shaken nerves for a few weeks to be lucky compared to getting stabbed). And believe me, not a juror in the world would have convicted me if they had been in my shoes and I had had a gun & shot them.

One of the times, I was 14, surrounded by about 20 animals like these on a city bus, when one tapped me on the shoulder and told me to give him my leather coat. Another one blocked the exit door, another one stuck his hand in my right pants pocket (my money was in my left, hahaha), and another punched the back of my head.

If I had a gun, I would have shot them, no doubt, for I was in fear for my life. I still don't know to this day how I scared them enough (or made them respect me enough) for the one blocking the door to move out of the way, and for the first one I mentioned to let go of my coat tails as I exited and growled "GET THE F*CK OFF MY COAT!!!" because he was grabbing it and trying to pull me back onto the bus, or at least to keep my coat..

This was in the days of Koch as Mayor, when NYC was a cesspool of filth and violence and robberies and muggings and all kinds of indescribable acts against law abiding innocent victims. Hookers on every corner, pornshops as far as the eye can see, day in and day out unending predation on the innocent. Most of you have probably never even seen what the subways looked like back then...inside & out was one giant graffiti covered outhouse. It was the territory of the animals, and they ran it with impunity. It was so bad that the Guardian Angels were formed to try to do something to potect people.

Bernie knew very well what these animals were planning on doing, and thanks to him at least one of these turds won't ever hurt anyone again. In fact, subway crime went down immensely after this shooting, so he is a hero to many.

Years later, one of these thugs was re-arrested for something. They were predators, plain & simple. Before, during & after that day.

thrgunsmith
May 21, 2008, 04:51 PM
Thank you for articulating what I was trying to convey, its one of the reasons I won't return to NYC until we win back the 2nd Amendment.

Socrates
May 21, 2008, 05:10 PM
Actually I deal in situations like that way more then I would like. My job as a bball ref takes me into some places I shouldn't go, and, Oakland and Richmond are a couple of murder capitols of the world. I also teach in any area with a huge transplanted thug population. Today I was going to the office, and, on my way out a Mexican kid said something very much like what we are talking about:

"He asked me....and before I could answer, his friend punched me."

Blood was all over, streaming down his face from a very bad bloody nose. He was lucky.

BART is used by the Oakland drug dealers to go into San Francisco area and peddle, since you have a better then even chance with a jury of being acquitted on ANY charge.

Have one friend's mother that was attacked by a guy using a knife. The guy got a directional cane of pepper spray in the face, and was picked up by the BART police.

Whatever. Goetz was right, but should have been quiet about it...

The Tourist
May 21, 2008, 05:35 PM
The biggest problem with these debates is not with the shooters, but with us, and our perspective.

I'm at home right now. My wife is cooking dinner. The mutts are at my feet. I have a verylight work load for tonight. Ahhh, life is good.

How can my opinion possibly take into account the abject fear, terror, the law, being shredded by the press, jail time, etc,...

I'm at home, warm and safe.

My guess is that most of you are in the same position. However, if I surrounded you with four guys I ride with, and they taunted you, and convinced you that injury was eminent I'll bet some of you would make Goetz look like a choir boy.

An equal number of you would run like a little girl.

Mr. Goetz's actions derive from a singular event when he was in a singular state of mind. Insane or not, it is my belief, from my safe home, that he got hosed.

FrontSight
May 21, 2008, 05:40 PM
Yep, if you haven't experienced it first hand, to know what it is like to always know that at any given moment, 24 hours of every day, that you can be assaulted, robbed, stabbed, raped, etc. etc. then you have no right to judge him; you are not his peers.

Live with that REAL fear every minute of every day, wondering if every time you leave your house, you may not come back in one piece, and not just because you heard a story here & there, but because you witness it day in & day out, have close friends & family members go thru it, see the animals all around you on every street you walk on.

Truly, truly walking thru the valley of the shadow of death. Not in your paranoid mind, but in reality.

Spend every moment of your life like that, learn firsthand exactly how they operate, see it starting to happen to you, wonder with good reason if you are going to die in a moment, and then tell me you would not shoot every last one of those bastards.

That was his reality.

The Tourist
May 21, 2008, 05:51 PM
That was his reality

There's that word again, "reality."

I've been scared so bad at times I'm lucky I could hold onto my bowels. I've been so mad at other times that I really saw red, like the room was bathed in red neon. I cannot switch it on or off. It's just fight or flight.

The mind is an odd thing. As I told Playboy, I shut the computer off this afternoon. I was a bit miffed. About twenty minutes later I was going axle to axle with crowded Interstate traffic, mirrors within inches of my elbows--and I exhaled in total relaxation.

How come a man seethes at a computer screen and calms down amid spinning Kenworth wheels?

I hope I never have to face the scenario that Mr. Goetz faced--either way. If I ran like a little girl, I would disgrace myself. If I stood my ground I'd be in court--both criminal and civil--for months on end, and well into bankruptcy. If I screamed an epithet in anger I would be branded a racist forever.

Nobody should have to face that.

vox rationis
May 21, 2008, 06:16 PM
yeah I remember reading about the terror on the streets of New York caused by all of those low life criminals..and to make it against the law for good people to have a weapon to defend oneself, especially in that type of environment, is akin to a human rights abuse

David Armstrong
May 21, 2008, 09:17 PM
One more time: words by a bad guy, in the act of committing a crime are worthless.
On the contrary, words by a badguy in the act of committing a crime are usually quite indicative of what he wants/expects. And Goetz would have lost nothing in the overall context of the event if he had given them the $5 (other than $5).
wait, it just dawned on me, you don't know what wonderful folks these guys were. Here, from the same Wikpedia article:
First, Wiki is far from a reliable source on lots of stuff, but even given the Wiki, perhaps I missed it. Had they stabbed, shot, beaten or such any other victims of their robberies??? Or perhaps there was a nice long history of successful actions just like they did with Goetz? Let's face, asking for $5 is more typical of the minor panhandling gig than a violent attack.
As soon as they acosted Goetz, prints go into the system, and, they start matching up for unsolved robberies and rapes...
So what you seem to be suggesting is that these guys had some strong incentive NOT to push an attack on somebody, given all the witnesses on the scene that could ID them.

Look, the badguys were badguys, but given Goetz’s own actions and statements he wasn’t much of a good guy either.

Socrates
May 22, 2008, 03:32 AM
Close as I can put it is, Goetz sounds like someone with post traumatic stress disorder, and fools that don't recognize it, judging him... I would never talk about our members that way, so, you know I'm talking about DA's, and judges, never living that life, and passing judgement.

Does that sound familiar to any of the posters here?

Dr. S

buzz_knox
May 22, 2008, 08:40 AM
So what you seem to be suggesting is that these guys had some strong incentive NOT to push an attack on somebody, given all the witnesses on the scene that could ID them.

Criminals routinely get linked to unsolved crimes when they are arrested for current crimes. Fear of being linked to one crime is not and has never been a deterrent to commiting another crime.

As for judging people, it's great to recognize that most of us haven't been in situation A or situation B. It's great to acknowledge that we are arm chair quarterbacking.

It's important to acknowledge that both of those facts will apply to any judge or jury (and even many investigating officers) who will do the same thing if we are ever in such a situation.

Stevie-Ray
May 22, 2008, 08:00 PM
regarding the original question, i believe the rule of thumb when confronted by multiple attackers is to turn and run. if they pursue you the odds are pretty slim they'll reach you at the same time. in this way you can deal with them one at a time - whichever one is the fastest runner first. and if they don't pursue you then you avoid the conundrum.Or you may just catch a bullet in the back. They've already proved themselves too lazy to work, why shouldn't you believe they're too lazy to chase you?

I've never had a problem with Bernie. Personally I think he was railroaded. To you native New Yorkers, best of luck getting your rights back. As for me, I live too close in proximity to the same type of thing. I don't plan to be here forever. But I will also always do my best to protect myself and mine. My neighborhood has already twice had to take our streets back. I'm sure it will happen again.

chopz
May 22, 2008, 08:19 PM
lol. i guess you missed my point. the point is:

1) it's easier to deal with 4 people who are, for example, all south of you than 1 each on your north, south, east and west sides

2) the more distance between oneself and multiple attackers, the narrower the field of sight one will need to maintain in order to watch them all

3) if moving out of the center, they can't all be closest, so presumably the one closest will pose the most immediate threat, and should be dealt with first.

anyway, i know nothing about such things, so i'm just talking out my hat.

TEDDY
May 22, 2008, 08:44 PM
sounds like most have no idea about criminals and what its like to be on a subway car now a days.I used to carry my balsa wood airplains to meets in boston.would I now?are you crazy?the gangs that prowl the public transportation are animals.most of you would be killed,armed or not.because you would hesatate and think about the results as you were dying.gun men used to just want your money.now they kill you and then take your $2.:rolleyes:::(

Socrates
May 22, 2008, 09:10 PM
How about just in a pizza place?

http://www.trutv.com/video/shows/most-shocking.html

Go to "COUPLES THERAPY"

Sweetheart, I cut off this man in line for pizza, and he didn't like it. Will you beat him to a pulp for me, baby?

Chui
May 23, 2008, 05:46 AM
One guy did have an ice pick or some sort of weapon on him. I think that his mistake was to "gloat" during his emotional statements to the NYPD.

I wasn't there but to think that they weren't a threat to him is ludicrous.

I believe his ordeal stemmed from POLITICS - racial (don't cry racism on this one because I'm "Black") and otherwise. His statements which I recall didn't assist him either.

The shooting: the human startle response will produce a pause or paralysis response to those not accustomed to gunfire. So they were stationary for perhaps two or three shots before they would attempt to flee for cover or return fire.

I don't know how I would have proceeded; probably just has he did. It's very difficult to predict. One could say, "Road House Rules": everyone gets one before anyone gets two. Well, if they don't move that may be true. I cannot provide you any meaningful response here.

Watch your 6

ssilicon
May 23, 2008, 02:21 PM
I'm just curious, but doesn't the bad guy seeing your gun and running away count as neutralizing the threat, at least as it pertains to self defense? At least one of those he shot was in the back if I recall correctly.

In war, letting them run away is not good because they will redeploy to fight you again later. But in SD, it is usually considered a taboo to shoot someone in the back who is running away from you.

LanceOregon
May 23, 2008, 03:27 PM
Close as I can put it is, Goetz sounds like someone with post traumatic stress disorder, and fools that don't recognize it, judging him...

Good luck in getting off on a shooting by claiming PTSD. That is indeed a most difficult defense to make.

I don't think that many here are judging Goetz to the point of making him about to be a bad person. It is not a matter of whether he was "good" or "bad".

I think it is more that Goetz hurt himself by some of his own actions. Certainly talking so much with the police was a dumb move on his part. I know that if I am ever in a self-defense shooting, I am going to get a lawyer immediately. That is the smart thing for anyone to do.

Likewise, making those racial slurs years before was very dumb also. Just look at how the words of Mark Fuhrman were used by OJ's defense team in his murder trial. It diverts attention from the central issues, and raises concerns about whether the person's real motivation was racial.

If Goetz had never made the racial remarks, and had immediately demanded to have a lawyer, he would be better off than he is today.

Remember that during his confession to police, Goetz made this statement about himself: "I was a monster".

And his second shot into Darrell Canby certainly is difficult to defend. That second shot is what cost him dearly in the civil lawsuit, as it was the one that struck him in the spine.

And he shot two, not just one, of the criminals in the back.

.

Socrates
May 23, 2008, 04:06 PM
I don't know about that. I've been in the middle of two fights in two days, after getting the police to walk me to my car...and last night couldn't sleep...

Problem is, I don't think people realize the stress such situations put you under. I had kids in San Francisco that had to go across 4-6 other gangs territories to get to school.
With the adrenal dump they would get just trying to survive getting to school, and home again, it's a miracle they learned anything. Some of them would just pass out, and go to sleep, and you couldn't really wake them up.

I think this is part of the keep your mouth shut problem Goetz had...

Also, Goetz shot so fast, when he started to shoot, I'm sure all of the guys were coming at him. However, once commited, and getting off 5 shots in less then 2 seconds, the possibility that a target started facing you, and, is going to react to the blast and turn is highly likely. Similar stuff happens in police shootings, and everyone understands it, except people that haven't interviewed officers after shootings, or been through such stuff.

Socrates
May 24, 2008, 02:56 PM
Not a police mistake. The booking DA should have looked at all present evidence prior to filing the case. If there was one thing I learned, look at the evidence...

Running Gunfight
July 28, 2008, 05:20 PM
I know this thread is old, but I wanted to make a point.

Society needs to get over this "innocent teenager" mythos. I am not speaking specifically about this case, but it is a good example.

A group of unarmed teenagers can easily present a deadly threat. Heck, one big teenager can easily present a deadly threat. 6'2" 210 is 6'2" 210.

Deadly force consideration must include the totality of the circumstances, however...

If I am confronted by 2 or 3 or more "teenagers", armed or not, you can bet that I would be very concerned for my safety. If my wife is with me, that concern goes up a notch. I am not as fast or strong as I used to be, despite my training, and I know it, and my wife never has been.

If I am responsible for her safety, then the stakes are higher and my assessment will be adjusted accordingly.

A group of unarmed teens attacking or threatening to attack (encircling, blocking escape, lanquage, posture, attack cues, etc.), as in a robbery, could easily constitute a threat that would place the reasonable person in fear for their life or in fear of serious bodiliy injury.

http://m.wkyc.com/detail.jsp?key=50133&rc=lo&full=1

http://wcco.com/crime/beating.death.Duluth.2.359381.html

http://www.wtopnews.com/?sid=1421090&nid=25

These "teens" are known at times to beat people stone-cold-to-death.

R1145
July 30, 2008, 02:26 AM
...especially if you can use someone else's to your advantage.

Goetz clearly had some issues, making this a flawed case, but it's a good example to consider in case any of us find ourselves in a similar predicament.

Obviously, Goetz was about to become a victim, and the group of men were up to no good.

Goetz was carrying illegally. It's a personal choice, and I understand his rationale. I guess that's the first lesson: When you put yourself into this position, you need to be prepared for the consequences. Merely on that basis, he should have not displayed the weapon until absolutely necessary.

When the guy asked him for money, I think he should have made a neutral but direct statement (that would look good in court later): "Please leave me alone", for example.

I would retreat if possible, but in this case, I don't think he had anywhere to go. Nowadays, I guess you could get out the cell phone and dial 911 (again, looks good in court...).

If (or rather, when...) faced with a dramatic escalation involving force or at least overt threat, then I think I would make the decision to shoot. I don't believe in brandishing weapons. I would only pull it out when I felt my life was threatened, and that I needed it out to be ready to use it.

I don't think there was much problem with the actual shooting. He shot fast, and removed the threat. Even the debatable point of whether he shot them in the backs is arguable, because it happened so quickly.

Of course, he should not have fled the scene. He should have stayed, cooperating fully with the investigation, but making no statements without a lawyer present ("My name is....those men attacked me...I'm very upset and want to have an attorney present before I answer any questions...").

Even with the mistakes in the shooting, fleeing the scene, hiding evidence, imprudent statements, etc., Goetz almost avoided prosecution, in New York City!!