PDA

View Full Version : Mugging assault


hangglider
January 9, 2012, 09:37 AM
I'm guessing this question has already been answered elsewhere--but I couldn't find it--so here's my question:

I live in an area where large roving gangs of gang-members are very common--and assaults, fighting and shootings are common. I recently got a CCW--but one of my biggest fears is that because I would not want to draw absent "immediate threat of serious injury or death" I could be physically assaulted and possibly have my firearm removed and used against me. What tactics are legal in a scenario like this?

CowTowner
January 9, 2012, 10:13 AM
Sounds to me like you might want some training and a conversation with a lawyer in your area.
A lawyer familiar with your state/local gun laws and use of deadly force should be able to explain exactly what you can and cannot do.
The training aspect should be obvious. IMHO, we can all use training every now and then.

hangglider
January 9, 2012, 11:24 AM
I was hoping for a little pro bono here. :) I find it hard to imagine others have not faced the same legal-implications dilemma with the same question--though I get the drift that it may vary from state to state. thanks.

csmsss
January 9, 2012, 11:32 AM
It's not clear what you're asking here. Are you asking what you should do if you think you are being mugged but aren't in fear for your life?

Tom Servo
January 9, 2012, 12:00 PM
Hangglider, it's hard to say what the laws are since we don't know where you live. It's great that you hold us in such high esteem, but relying exclusively on legal advice from an internet forum, especially on something so potentially dire, is not a good idea.

Since this is more about training than it is about Law or Civil Rights, we're off to Tactics & Training.

mehavey
January 9, 2012, 12:13 PM
Let's do a boundary-value problem here:

"Officer, [the individual I perceived to be a Gangbanger] looked at me and I felt threatened so I shot him...."
- (Prediction: That ain't gonna fly.)

"Officer, the guy got into my face, his friends punched me to the ground, yelled Gang threats of how they were now going to kill me and pulled guns ...so I shot them...."
- (Prediction: That would probably result in no charges at all.... except in New York, Massachusetts, Chicago, San Francisco, etc))

"Officer, the guys [who later turned out to be 13-14 years old] with red baseball caps came up to me, told me to get out of their territory, reached into their pockets and pulled out [what later proved to be a pellet guns] so I shot them..."
- (Prediction: You're definitely going to jury trial and you'd better be able to convince the a panel of people who've just come from Starbucks w/ their Latte's that you were in reasonable fear for your life from kids w/ toys.)

BOTTOM LINE: You need to go take a self-defense class where most of the course work emphasizes the legal issues and lots of case studies/examples. You also need to have thought all this out ahead of time -- and you are still going to be rolling the dice.

MLeake
January 9, 2012, 12:14 PM
Legally... your state may or may not have a "Duty to Retreat." You will want to consult a lawyer, ideally; at the least, consult a certified concealed carry instructor, and ask for paper copies and/or links to applicable regulations for your state.

At a more general level, most places require you to establish that a reasonable person, given the knowledge you had at the time, and placed in the same situation, would have done what you chose to do. Most places require you to establish that you feared death or great/grave bodily harm, and that the assailant(s) had the ability, the opportunity, and the active intent to harm you at the time you took action.

You asked about gangs. Disparity of force can be established when there are multiple assailants. (It could also be established by young person vs old person; adult vs child; healthy person vs crippled person; male vs female.)

That can take care of the "ability" aspect.

But again, you really should either consult an attorney, or at least get a competent trainer to point you at the applicable regulations.

Now, on a tactical level - getting into a shootout with a gang is obviously something to avoid, ideally by avoiding the gang in the first place.

If you can't avoid the gang, and can't avoid a confrontation... it might be wisest to hand over a wallet. (Some people carry spare wallets, with some throwaway cash and useless items in them, just for this purpose.)

Otherwise, hopefully A) You've trained at dealing with multiple assailants; B) the gang decides to leave when you draw, or, failing that, when the first gang member is hit; and C) You are prepared to move somewhere else, shortly thereafter, because gangs often hold grudges, and tend to have a lot of members who don't really worry about collateral damage when they decide to get back at somebody.

So, I'd focus on awareness and avoidance, and I'd only draw on a gang if I thought it was truly the only viable option.

YMMV.

And check with an attorney or instructor in your area.

MLeake
January 9, 2012, 12:21 PM
mehavey, I disagree with your last example.

There have been plenty of cases where criminals have used pellet guns or toys, made to look like real guns, and have been shot. Indictments are often not issued, if charges are pressed in the first place.

There have also been plenty of cases of deadly assaults by 13 year olds. Ditto.

I do agree that being able to concisely explain why you thought what you did could be critical. "They came at me and started circling me; two were threatening me with baseball bats and demanding money; the third one reached for something in his pocket and came out with what looked like a gun, saying he was going to kill me."

Obviously, don't describe something that did not happen. Don't give some cliche line you got off the internet, either. Just be able to clearly and concisely say what behaviors you saw that made you fear for life and limb. (Do not try to say what their state of mind was, stick with actions and stated intentions.)

kraigwy
January 9, 2012, 12:44 PM
I agree one should never seek legal advice on the internet.

I agree one should seek all the training he can, its never ending.

But I would like to see a law that when some one comes on the internet and ask questions, they should first list their locations.

Rules for a big city vs. middle of no-where Wyoming are bound to be different as are training requirements.

ltc444
January 9, 2012, 12:49 PM
Another point of attack which is often used by prosecutors is the reason you were at the location.

I went to the store to get diapers and formula for my baby girl. Is a good reason.

I was picking up beer or some other negative item may be used to show you were at fault for attracting the attention of the BG(s).

Your immediate statements will be used against you. Bernad Goetz's immediate tramatized statements were what nearly convicted him of murder as a results of the Long Island Railroad shooting.

Keep your mouth shut about the shooting. Do not refuse the interview but wait to make a statement at a later time and date with your lawyer present.

Staying cool in the aftermath of a shooting is as important as remaining cool when you are engaged in the lethal encounter.

Skans
January 9, 2012, 01:53 PM
You need training. All of the advice you get on the internet won't even scratch the surface of the practical information you would get from real training. This reminds me - I haven't done any serious handgun training (other than shooting paper targets) in about a year, I'm probably due for some more.

hangglider
January 9, 2012, 02:38 PM
OK--let me get some more information on the table and maybe that will help.

While I think "requiring" location on an Internet post crosses the line in terms of privacy--I've already revealed in other posts that I live in Chattanooga, TN. Violent crime, shootings and murders have reached epidemic levels here, mostly related to gang activity--but not always. Roving gangs are very common in my neighborhood, and I do have dogs which I have to walk several times a day. Kinda sucks if you feel the "prudent" thing is to stay indoors and never go anywhere for fear of provoking an attack.

Up till now I've been mostly "smart-mouthed" and I am NOT a confrontational person--I am the chicken that's going to always walk or run away if at all possible--so my real question was not exactly "what if I draw and blow a guy away" during a gang encounter.

However--unless you've encountered these kinds of people and seen what they can do very quickly, you may not really appreciate what I'm asking.

I'm really wondering if I'm making my situation worse by carrying at all--because my inclination would be to not draw unless faced with deadly force. Given that, I could see being "swarmed" by a gang, disarmed of my carry and then God knows what.

I'm not questioning that additional training is in order--though even that is hard to figure--do I need to become a black-belt martial artist or chapion-level boxer? (I'm actually a pretty old, moderately out-of-shape guy who just doesn't have the time or money for extensive committed training)

MLeake
January 9, 2012, 02:46 PM
If you think it likely that you would be disarmed, you might be better off not carrying.

Training could help, and is always recommended, but the mindset would also need to change for carry to become a good option.

JerryM
January 9, 2012, 02:59 PM
Your instructor should have covered such situations. I have CCW licenses in several states, and in each and every one the criterion for using deadly force is if you fear death or serious bodily harm.

Disparity of force is a factor. If one is attacked by a gang, of any age, the disparity of force would be justification if you feared for your life or great bodily harm. So I just do not worry about such things in any state I go to.

If you have doubts go to your instructor, the agency who issues the license or a lawyer.
In my state I sometimes help the instructor who did my instruction, and is a personal friend. He covers all such stuff and the state and federal laws that are germane. Sometimes the laws are 'kinda boring, but I do not think anyone would ask such questions if they had taken his class.

I am convinced that most CCW instructors need instruction themselves.

Jerry

C0untZer0
January 9, 2012, 03:25 PM
For free pro-bono training and advice I would suggest you watch Death Wish I through Death Wish V (The Face of Death).

A lot of good FREE training pointers in there.


.

Frank Ettin
January 9, 2012, 03:25 PM
And one difficulty with these sorts of discussions is that there is no kind of cookbook approach. It's not a matter of "if he does this, you can/should do this." There are just too many variables.

I agree that the best start would be education -- one or more good self defense class where you can learn about both the law and the use of your tools. This (http://www.useofforce.us/) is a good discussion of general, non-state specific, use of force law.

And think about --

How you can use your situational awareness and social skills to recognize when things might be getting dicey and then consider how to avoid or evade those situations. The first line of defense is recognizing and getting away from possible trouble.


Think about possible situations and how, if you choose to respond with force, you would be able to convincingly articulate why you reasonably believed yourself to be at risk of immediate death or grave bodily injury -- and therefore needed to use lethal force in self defense.


Improving your proficiency with your gun.

C0untZer0
January 9, 2012, 03:36 PM
Another point of attack which is often used by prosecutors is the reason you were at the location.

I went to the store to get diapers and formula for my baby girl. Is a good reason.

I was picking up beer or some other negative item may be used to show you were at fault for attracting the attention of the BG(s).


Paul Kersey: I'm going out for some ice cream... this is America, isn't it?




.

mehavey
January 9, 2012, 03:55 PM
mehavey, I disagree with your last example.

There have been plenty of cases where criminals have used pellet guns or toys, made to look like real guns, and have been shot. Indictments are often not issued, if charges are pressed in the first place.

There have also been plenty of cases of deadly assaults by 13 year olds. Ditto.

'Didn't say [you] might not/wouldn't eventually be exonerated, but did say you'd be desperately explaining it [potentially to a jury] if it happened simply because of the pressure from "...but it was just a child..." bleeding hearts. No matter what happens at that point, your very expensive [and very needed] lawyer probably owns the 2nd mortgage on your house and your childrens' college savings.

Killing someone -- even in the most defensible of circumstances -- opens all sorts of change in your life.

pax
January 9, 2012, 03:57 PM
hangglider,

fiddletown posted the link I would have posted if he hadn't: www.useofforce.us Go read that!

After reading the pages behind fiddletown's link, I suggest you also check out Marc MacYoung's pages at www.nononsenseselfdefense.com, especially his Five Stages of Violent Crime (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/five_stages.html) page, his page about Robberies (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/robbery.html), and his information about not backing down (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/bullies.htm) (which every young man should read!)

That might help you get a more realistic picture of what you need to know in order to stay out of trouble.

Hope this helps.

pax

Skans
January 9, 2012, 04:39 PM
But I would like to see a law that when some one comes on the internet and ask questions, they should first list their locations.

YIKES! I don't think I want to live in that country.

Chattanooga is a pretty gun-friendly city. Lots of folks cc in Chattanooga. But, you don't want to screw up. And, you you want to be prepared.

Ok, here are a few suggestions:

1. Carry whatever you think you will actually carry on you most of the time.

2. Get a decent holster that permits you to carry and draw from concealment as easily as possible.

3. Practice drawing from concealment at home (unloaded of course). Do it from a standing position; from a sitting position; lying on your back - practice with friends if possible. Just being able to quickly draw your firearm is an accomplishment and is something you can practice at home. Do this a lot, over and over and over.

4. Get some snap-caps and practice squeezing the trigger.

5. Don't put any gadgets on your gun like lasers, lights, fancy sights, etc.

6. Practice "situational awareness". Parking lots, atm machines, coming in and out of stores, places of business - constantly evaluate your surroundings - gangs don't just mysteriously appear out of nowhere. Think about escape routs - I make this into a game, it's fun!

7. Bottom line - if even sense that a gang has targeted me, or is even eying me with bad intent. My hand will be on my gun while it is still in concealment, ready to deploy at any moment. I would not wait for someone to start beating on me.

Example: 9:00 pm coming out of Home Depot. I was unarmed, but my gun was in my car glove box. I saw a car full of "hoods" nearby. I noticed a man standing right next to the driver's side door of my car - didn't know what he was doing. I unlocked my car, reached in the passenger side door and retrieved my gun from my glove box. Turns out the guy was peeing - gun was down by my side and ready to go, if needed. I kept my distance, but was able to see what he was doing. I simply let the guy finish - keeping distance between he and I and he just left.

That made me realize the necessity of carrying most, if not all of the time. If you are aware and carrying, you'll know when to pull that gun out. Normal folks just don't cross certain lines, and you'll know when personal boundaries are being intentionally crossed.

MLeake
January 9, 2012, 04:48 PM
Pretty sure he was being facetious about the requirement location, although his point was that location and jurisdiction will sometimes result in very different answers.

MLeake
January 9, 2012, 04:57 PM
mehavey, you said Prediction: You're definitely going to jury trial and you'd better be able to convince the a panel of people who've just come from Starbucks w/ their Latte's that you were in reasonable fear for your life from kids w/ toys.

Definitely going to jury trial is hardly the same as you'd be desperately explaining it [potentially to a jury] if it happened simply because of the pressure

So, for one thing, that's quite a fallback. For another, it's still not necessarily so. Such cases do not automatically go to a jury, or even a grand jury. Some jurisdictions (such as Oklahoma, for recent example) do not require a DA to take a case before the grand jury, if the DA thinks it is not a good case.

Now, in your follow-on post, you say, No matter what happens at that point, your very expensive [and very needed] lawyer probably owns the 2nd mortgage on your house and your childrens' college savings.

Aside from the fact that this is more or less unlikely, depending on where you are (and whether the shoot was obviously good, notwithstanding the decedent's age), there are ways to deal with that potential problem.

My way, and here's a plug for senior member Marty Hayes, was to join the Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network. In the event, God forbid, that I ever have to shoot somebody, then so long as the shooting appears good to ACLDN's investigators, ACLDN will front the legal bills, to a variable upper limit; additionally, I will be guaranteed expert representation, most likely by Marty. Additionally, since I've completed a MAG course with Massad Ayoob, I have Mas' guarantee that he will act as expert defense witness if he thinks it's a good shoot.

ACLDN: http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/

Massad Ayoob Group: http://massadayoobgroup.com/

Consider it legal insurance. The training was good, too, both with Mas and Marty.

hangglider
January 9, 2012, 05:05 PM
Thank you Skans, MLeake and Kathy--useful suggestions that I can reasonably action on is what I was hoping for.

One other thing: I've spent more than the last 20 years living in "inner city" high crime areas--due mostly to work and/or contractual obligations. I've successfully evaded more than one potential mugging and shooting encounter in that time--so I'm not as naive about this stuff as my first posts might make me out to be.

What I see going on down here in Chattanooga is a game-changer. These gangs are more pervasive in the community (meaning from children to adults) and in some cases connected to larger crime organizations and cartels. Arms, tactics and brazenness of gang related violent crime has escalated to the point where the city (Chattanooga is more of a "big town" than a real city), IMO, does not have either the resources, the will, or the ability to contain the accelerating rate of violent crime. I've seen these guys in action--often in groups of a half dozen or more working fast to beat police response times. All you have to do is read the daily news here to see that they often will shoot without hesitation--in fact predatory sniping is all too common.

I never felt this way even when I lived in downtown Washington DC when it was the murder capital of the USA.

Skans
January 9, 2012, 06:12 PM
Hanglider, I'm sorry to hear that about Chattanooga. I spend a considerable amount of time there right downtown and haven't ever had a problem with any of this. I like to jog and see lots of joggers around the river when I'm there. I really like Chattanooga.

Just curious, what part of town are you seeing all of the gang trouble? It would be good for me to be on top of this.

hangglider
January 9, 2012, 06:39 PM
South and east side. I live in Alton Park The city does a fair job in keeping the north side and touristy part of downtown relatively secure (though there was that gang-related club shooting downtown on Christmas when 9 people got shot). For a better idea where to be and not be, check out the "right to know" page of the local paper and scroll down to the crime map: http://www.timesfreepress.com/content/right2know/

Also this map does not include attempted or random shootings--which I know occurs in excess of what's on the map--so draw your own conclusions--but definitely use common sense when visiting here.

mehavey
January 9, 2012, 07:06 PM
MLeake, it engenders quite a false sense of security to imply anything other than life-changing legal issues, both criminal & civil, after a shooting regardless of circumstances. I'm not going to parse words, mince words or dice words -- or even fall back in words. Too many of my fellow grads are in the legal & the police game and we've gone around this problem for many years.

Advice to HangGlider: First, stay out of those situations where the Reasonable Man might expect to need a weapon if all all possible. Second, flee if at all possible. Third, give what the BG's might want -- unless it's reasonably clear that you should fear harm even after giving over. Fourth, if your gun comes out, use it center mass -- no fiddling around. Fifth, give the cops the basic facts.

Sixth, get a lawyer on retainer no matter what.

MLeake
January 9, 2012, 07:27 PM
mehavey, I am not suggesting it is not a very serious proposition. I am suggesting that your "you will definitely" go through a jury trial is an inaccurate statement.

It is also inaccurate to say a lawyer will probably own all one's stuff, unless you are in a very unfriendly jurisdiction, or unless the shooting looks suspicious.

In places like FL and GA, in a clearly good defensive shooting, not only should one not be charged, but one is indemnified against civil suit by the BG and his family.

Otherwise, I think your advice has been pretty good. (And the parts I disagree with do become more likely to go your way in some other jurisdictions.)

Shooting should be the last option.

mehavey
January 9, 2012, 07:40 PM
PAX ... we are in violent agreement where it counts most. :D

Hook686
January 10, 2012, 01:27 AM
Disparity of force is a factor. If one is attacked by a gang, of any age, the disparity of force would be justification if you feared for your life or great bodily harm. So I just do not worry about such things in any state I go to.


I do not think this is true in California. The fear must be the fear a reasonable person would feel in similar situation. The jury will decide if the fear reached that level. As pointed out, a different decision is most likely in San Francisco than in Dallas under similar conditions.

hangglider
January 10, 2012, 04:06 AM
How would you react? Here's what happened to the police just up the street from where I live--though probably not a gang related action. http://www.nooga.com/151312/track-29-patrons-assault-police-on-opening-night/

Skans
January 10, 2012, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, Hanglider - that's information I really need to know.

hangglider
January 10, 2012, 09:22 AM
You're welcome Skans.

federali
January 10, 2012, 03:35 PM
If someone is attempting to disarm you--what are the consequences if he succeeds? In my opinion, you are justified in shooting someone attempting to get your gun in most instances. The cops do it all the time. Now, if you are 6'4" and 260 pounds and your assailant is 14 years old and 105 pounds, then please disregard the second sentence.

Dwight55
January 10, 2012, 07:14 PM
Just a personal decision, . . . since I am 67, have some physical limitations, and really don't plan on being someone elses victim, . . . I would probably be a bit more prone to go for my 1911 than many others.

Any perceived life/death threat or approaching scenario wherein I see it unfolding, . . . my 1911 is coming out of it's holster, . . . that is why I carry it.

When I do, it will be done by turning so it is away from the threat, . . . and may never be seen by the other person. There are any number of scenarios I can envision where I would have the weapon out, . . . and nothing happen other than my putting it away.

I made my mind up early in this that if necessary, . . . I'd much rather be charged with a "brandishing" charge, . . . than visit my local undertaker. That is MY decision, however, . . . and may very well not be good for everyone.

May God bless,
Dwight

Skans
January 11, 2012, 08:49 AM
If you reasonably feel that your life could be in danger from threat of an attack, then either 1) get ready to draw your gun from concealment or 2) draw your gun from concealment and have it ready to fire. The circumstances, distances, number of potential attackers, etc. will dictate which action to take.

It's really not that complex.

I was at a gas station last night pumping gas. Its in an area known to for the occasional hold-up (not a real bad area of town, but stuff happens there). I get gas there from time to time and have seen "hinkey" people hanging around. Several guys on motorcycles (I have nothing against motorcycles, I've got one) pull up. I'm standing at the pump, just observing them, all the while my hand is in my pocket resting on the butt of my LC9 while I'm waiting for my tank to fill up. I'm just standing there, so I run some scenarios through my mind - just good practice to do this. As usual, nothing happens and my gun remains concealed. But, I know in my mind that I was prepared if something were to happen.

For me, being prepared for a potential attack is a way of thinking. It's like playing chess: what moves can your potential attacker make; how can you counter; what will be the possible reactions; what are your options; what outcome do you want? In the game of life, I'll go for a stalemate every time.:)

Crankgrinder
January 14, 2012, 12:05 AM
large roving hordes of gang members was the ops original post.
and we all know what gangs and gang members are known for. I certainly am rolling the dice on this one but it has been brought to my attention quite a few times at least here in Texas that any more that three (3) individuals behaving violently constitutes gang violence and also Texas is a no retreat state if someone is threatening you you have the right to plant your boots where you stand. There have been too many instances where one was mugged, complied and was shot anyway, there have also been gang initiations where people have been shot at random with no provocation. If i were mugged by a gang of individuals, armed as usual with the same number of shots i might take my chance that a couple might be pretty mean, the rest just prospects put up to the job to prove themselves, i might also take the chance that they are not combat vets and when they see a head or two come apart theyll remember that they dont want to die.

Mello2u
January 15, 2012, 02:10 AM
hangglider,

There are some NRA courses that you ought to read up on.
http://www.nrainstructors.org/CourseCatalog.aspx
Use the above link and read the course descriptions of the three listed courses below.

You might want to progress through those three. The "Basic" course is a prerequisite for the "In the Home" course, which is a prerequisite for the "Outside the Home" course.

NRA Basic Pistol Shooting Course
NRA Basic Personal Protection In The Home Course
NRA Basics of Personal Protection Outside The Home Course

Both the "In the Home" and the "Outside the Home" courses have an hour taught by either a lawyer or a LEO who is competent to teach the relevant legal issues pertaining to the two courses.

Once you have completed all three courses, you have been exposed to the many factors which you should consider before venturing forth armed in your jurisdiction.

These courses are not meant to be training like you get at Gunsite or Thunder ranch. Actual range time for all of the three noted NRA courses is a small portion of the courses.