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Old August 14, 2009, 10:25 AM   #1
Sparks2112
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Hit and Run, Thoughts?

So, today (about 20 minutes ago actually) I witnessed what could have been a horrible thing.

A very pretty blond girl, couldn't have been more than 18, is standing at a corner with a German Shepherd on a leash, waiting for the crosswalk to turn green.

This is a three way intersection, and I'm at the bottom of the T waiting to make a left hand turn, which also happens to be the side of the road she's wanting to cross. So the light turns green, and I edge out about a foot or two as she starts to walk across the road. From my right I catch movement that's too fast, and turn my head to see a car blowing through the red light. Everything slows down, and I actually remember thinking to myself "I hope the dog blunts the impact enough so that this doesn't kill her" as she was walking the dog on the side that this car was coming from.

Luckily the girl was paying enough attention to jerk the dog back on his leash, and jump out of the way. It's fun what adrenaline does because the dog had to weigh maybe all of 10 pounds less than she did, and she yanked it off of it's feet pulling it out of the way.

Driver of the car flipped her off, and screamed something out the window at her as he drove past. Well dressed middle aged guy. Real winner I guess.

What I was wondering was this. Assuming he had hit her, but had stopped after, would I have been justified in removing him from his vehicle? If I tried to do so and it looked as if he was going to attempt to drive off, and looks like he may injure someone further in doing so, is deadly force warranted? He's already demonstrated at that point he's willing to run 1 person over, who I assume would still be in the possible path of his car. Not to mention any bystanders that had since gathered. What if he hadn't stopped? Follow while on the phone with 911?What are everyone's thoughts?
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Last edited by Sparks2112; August 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM. Reason: cleared up some muddy language
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Old August 14, 2009, 10:42 AM   #2
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I'm glad that young woman was paying attention -- good for her!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
Assuming he had hit her, but had stopped after, would I have been justified in removing him from his vehicle? If I tried to do so and it looked as if he was going to attempt to drive off is deadly force warranted? He's already demonstrated at that point he's willing to run 1 person over, who I assume would still be in the possible path of his car. Not to mention any bystanders that had since gathered. What if he hadn't stopped? Follow while on the phone with 911?What are everyone's thoughts?
In this order:
Get the license number of the car, and a description -- if the guy bails, the chances are he can be found, if this information is available.
Call 911.
Give first aid to the victim, if you're qualified to do so. (Everyone should have basic Red Cross first aid and CPR certification, IMO.)

You're not a cop, and the welfare of the victim should be the first priority in this situation. Use deadly force if he looks like he might drive off?? NO. The fact that you have a gun doesn't mean that it's the solution to this particular problem; it's not your job to act based on what the driver might do, and certainly not to use deadly force on that basis.
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Old August 14, 2009, 10:48 AM   #3
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Quote:
Use deadly force if he looks like he might drive off?? NO.
Obviously, though my original question was phrased poorly.

My question was whether or not to use it if he seemed about to Re-run the victim over, or myself, or a bystander.
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Old August 14, 2009, 10:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
What I was wondering was this. Assuming he had hit her, but had stopped after, would I have been justified in removing him from his vehicle? If I tried to do so and it looked as if he was going to attempt to drive off is deadly force warranted? He's already demonstrated at that point he's willing to run 1 person over, who I assume would still be in the possible path of his car. Not to mention any bystanders that had since gathered. What if he hadn't stopped? Follow while on the phone with 911?What are everyone's thoughts?
Where is this fascination with playing cop lately coming from? Several threads this week have dealt with these kinds of scenarios. Deadly force against someone for trying to leave the scene of an accident? Are you serious? You would really leave somone on the ground hurt while you follow the car that hit them?

If you want to help, get the tag number off the car, or better yet a picture with your camera phone. Then give the victim whatever medical assistance you can, call 911, stop other traffic from hitting her, etc. If you were to truly to have witnessed this girl getting hit, your first priority should be helping her, not playing cop. Move your car to block traffic so she doesn't get hit again. Call 911 and give her whatever assistance you can until help arrives.
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Old August 14, 2009, 10:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Deadly force against someone for trying to leave the scene of an accident?
I phrased my original question poorly. It's stated a bit differently now.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
I phrased my original question poorly. It's stated a bit differently now.
I see that, I was typing as you guys posted.

Umm, if he was about to re-run over the person (meaning this wasn't a hit and run, but a murder), I suppose deadly force would be justified in preventing that action. If it was you or a bystander, it would be fairly easy to get out of the way. What kind of people do you hang around with, anyway?
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:05 AM   #7
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Before I had my CHL, I actually witnessed a hit and run where the driver hit the person, then ran off the road. When he backed up to get back on the road and drive away he hit the now injured person while they were laying on the ground. That's why I ask.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:07 AM   #8
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In most cases, if you attempt to restrain him, you've committed an assault. Possibly kidnapping and illegal detainment, too. Carrying a concealed weapon gives you ABSOLUTELY NO police powers, including restraint, detainment, and/or arrest. What if you pull him out of the car and he pulls a gun on you, and yours still in the holster? NOW you're FUBARed. If you force him from the car at gunpoint, in SC, you've already "used deadly force". Your next action should be to get a GOOD lawyer - you'll need him.

Leave policing to the police. Get a description and license of the car, and a description of him, if possible. Note which way he left the scene. Render first aid to the victim, IF you're trained in that.

There is a "third party defense" in most states that can get you into a LOT of trouble in court later.

You wanna play cop? Join an agency and do it right.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
Use deadly force if he looks like he might drive off?? NO.
Obviously, though my original question was phrased poorly.

My question was whether or not to use it if he seemed about to Re-run the victim over, or myself, or a bystander.
What you wrote seemed quite clear... but the answer to your new question is the same. Your priority in this situation is to help the victim and be a good witness. "Seemed about to run someone else over?" How would you know until he started moving and aimed the car at someone?? The only way you'd likely be able to use your gun in that (very improbable) scenario is if it were already in your hand, and it shouldn't be. A gun isn't a useful tool in every emergency.

Quote:
Before I had my CHL, I actually witnessed a hit and run where the driver hit the person, then ran off the road. When he backed up to get back on the road and drive away he hit the now injured person while they were laying on the ground. That's why I ask.
And the victim now needed first aid even more urgently.

You are not a police officer.
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Last edited by Vanya; August 14, 2009 at 12:23 PM.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
The only way you'd likely be able to use your gun in that (very improbable) scenario if were already in your hand
Really? I disagree there.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
Before I had my CHL, I actually witnessed a hit and run where the driver hit the person, then ran off the road. When he backed up to get back on the road and drive away he hit the now injured person while they were laying on the ground. That's why I ask.
Doesn't sound like the driver was using purposely using his car as a murder weapon in that case. Hit the person, backed up to get back on the road, hit the person again, took off. Truly a horrible situation, but you can't use deadly force to prevent an accident. Now, had the driver said something like "Hey mind spotting for me, I need to be sure I hit this person again, as I am trying to murder them with my car", then you might be justified in using deadly force to stop that crime, if you had no other option.

Lets all remember something when thinking about getting involved in situations that we aren't directly involved in, especially with a firearm - our only duty is to be sure we get home at the end of the day to our wife and kids, or family (or cat, in my case) and that we remain able to provide for them. If you do run across some savage car-murderer ala "Christine", tend to the wounded if you can and be a good witness.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Doesn't sound like the driver was using purposely using his car as a murder weapon in that case. Hit the person, backed up to get back on the road, hit the person again, took off. Truly a horrible situation, but you can't use deadly force to prevent an accident. Now, had the driver said something like "Hey mind spotting for me, I need to be sure I hit this person again, as I am trying to murder them with my car", then you might be justified in using deadly force to stop that crime, if you had no other option.
Is it bad that I chuckled at the "mind spotting for me." bit?

I would argue that under Ohio law, once I saw the individual backing up in a manner that might cause further injury to the victim, I would be justified in using deadly force. I don't think the intention of the person causing injury to the other person is really the deciding factor there?
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:46 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
The only way you'd likely be able to use your gun in that (very improbable) scenario if were already in your hand
Really? I disagree there.
That's fine... you know your own skill level better than I do, and perhaps that would work for you, in terms of motor skills. But that isn't really the point. Your first impulse in the situation you've outlined seems to be to focus on the driver as a potential criminal: should you try to pull him out of the car or otherwise detain him? Would deadly force be justified if he "looked as if he was going to attempt to drive off, and looks like he may injure someone further in doing so?"

All I'm saying is that none of this is the first priority here. You're describing a situation that is not a hit and run, at the moment: it's a nasty accident with an injured pedestrian on the ground and the driver who hit her sitting in his car. It would be fine if you walked up to the car, said "Are you hurt?" and then acted accordingly. But if I'm that driver, sitting there shaking and realizing that one of my worst nightmares has just come true, and some guy comes up and tries to pull me out of the car and/or waves a gun at me, I am going to be really scared, followed by really angry. And I will be pressing charges for assault, later on.

Your priority in this situation is to help the injured and be a good witness, not to assume that it's going to develop into a situation in which deadly force is called for.
Quote:
I would argue that under Ohio law, once I saw the individual backing up in a manner that might cause further injury to the victim, I would be justified in using deadly force. I don't think the intention of the person causing injury to the other person is really the deciding factor there?
Umm... I think yelling "STOP!" and moving the victim out of the way would be a better response. It's still not a hit-and-run until the guy leaves the scene.
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Old August 14, 2009, 11:55 AM   #14
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Post # 13

Well put, Vanya.

The original question has been rephrased, but my reaction is still the same as Dr. Strangelove's first: "Where is this fascination with playing cop lately coming from?".

I think some people who put on a gun in the morning need to repeat several times "this is to protect me and mine, and only if absolutely necessary as a last resort. Otherwise it stays concealed."

Several times, each day, until it sinks in.
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Old August 14, 2009, 12:04 PM   #15
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Thanks, Oldmarksman...
Quote:
I think some people who put on a gun in the morning need to repeat several times "this is to protect me and mine, and only if absolutely necessary as a last resort. Otherwise it stays concealed."
Well said, right back at ya. So far in this thread, Sparks is being a bit of a poster child for my sig line...
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Old August 14, 2009, 12:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparks2112
I would argue that under Ohio law, once I saw the individual backing up in a manner that might cause further injury to the victim, I would be justified in using deadly force. I don't think the intention of the person causing injury to the other person is really the deciding factor there?
I'm not following you here. If the intention to cause injury isn't there, then you don't have a crime in progress. You can't use deadly force on a person to save another's life if there is no crime. Say you and I are working on a roof, I start to fall, to land on a toddler or something. You can't shoot me to save the toddler's life. If I say, "Hey Sparks, I'm fixin' to swan dive off this roof and kill that toddler", then you possibly have an opportunity to use your CCW.
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Old August 14, 2009, 12:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
I would argue that under Ohio law, once I saw the individual backing up in a manner that might cause further injury to the victim, I would be justified in using deadly force. I don't think the intention of the person causing injury to the other person is really the deciding factor there?
Maybe you could reference that particular Ohio law. I'm not sure I have ever read a law anywhere that allows the use of deadly force by a private citizen based solely on the belief that someone "might" cause further injury.
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Old August 14, 2009, 12:50 PM   #18
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Quote:
I would argue that under Ohio law, once I saw the individual backing up in a manner that might cause further injury to the victim, I would be justified in using deadly force. I don't think the intention of the person causing injury to the other person is really the deciding factor there?
Well, you might so argue, but I do not think you will get very far with it.
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Old August 14, 2009, 01:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMarksman
Quote:
I would argue that under Ohio law, once I saw the individual backing up in a manner that might cause further injury to the victim, I would be justified in using deadly force. I don't think the intention of the person causing injury to the other person is really the deciding factor there?
Well, you might so argue, but I do not think you will get very far with it.
Indeed. And quite apart from that, shooting at the driver of a moving vehicle isn't going to stop the vehicle itself. (It's only a bullet, and physics is physics.) So it's now rolling, out of control, with a dead or injured driver whose foot may even be jammed on the accelerator. And this has improved things how, exactly?
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Old August 14, 2009, 02:01 PM   #20
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Sparks2112,

Ponder this for a while.

...Winning a gunfight, or any other potentially injurious encounter, is financially and emotionally burdensome. The aftermath will become your full-time job for weeks or months afterward, and you will quickly grow weary of writing checks to lawyer(s). It is, of course, better than being dead or suffering a permanently disfiguring or disabling injury, but the "penalty" for successfully fighting for your life is still formidable. ... -- http://www.defense-training.com/quips/2003/19Mar03.html

I don't know the laws in your state. You might, but I strongly suggest you go down to Superior Court or the equivalent in your county, and sit in on a couple of felony trials. It's a good, free education on what goes on for people who do get subjected to the tender mercies of the legal system.

fwiw,

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Old August 14, 2009, 02:40 PM   #21
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Point taken everyone. I feel I'm not expressing this fully, but honestly if I have to try that hard I'm probably wrong anyway.
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Old August 14, 2009, 08:14 PM   #22
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Time to close this one down. Good food for thought, but nowhere to go from here but in circles.

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