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Old January 25, 2006, 02:38 AM   #1
Ronny
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It happened to me.

It's been several months since this happened and haven't heard anything back from the police department, so I think I can finally tell others about it.

Fall of last year, Tampa FL:
After the evening Worship service I drove to my friend's apartment who had invited me over for dinner. She lived with her boyfriend in a two-story town house near the projects. After parking just in front of their building I noticed that the blinds in the second-story window of the adjacent apartment were shaking violently. They would shake then abruptly stop, then shake again. I ignored it, put on my coat, closed my car door and started walking to the door.

Suddenly, the blinds were torn down completely and the window shunted open throwing the screen out on the pavement below. Out comes a screaming woman in torn clothing leaping from the second story window and falling into the hedges. She recovered quickly and began running towards me screaming for help.

My hand goes to my phone and as I'm dialing 911 a large, shirtless man bursts through the door of the woman's apartment. He sees her, looks at me, and runs toward us.

Quickly, I scramble back to my car while the woman takes off down the parking lot. He chases her, pins her to the hood of a truck and starts punching her repeated in the face.

I'm talking to the operator over the phone at this point telling them my location and the situation while I run over to my friend's door and bang on it. My friend opens the door, sees what's happening, and runs inside to get her boyfriend. He comes to me, knife in hand and says, "Let's get this f**ker."

I hand my phone to his girlfriend, push them both back inside the apartment and yell to the man that we are calling the police.

"We are calling the police -- stop what you are doing!"

The woman is bleeding profusely all over her face. The man stops beating her long enough to make eye contact with me. He's easily my superior in stature -- about 300lbs, over 6 feet in height. He gives her one more punch that sends her sprawling over the hood and on the ground and starts walking towards me.

"Don't bring the police into this!" he yells at me.

My friend's boyfriend is egging him on at this point with is knife -- so I push him back into the apartment. His girlfriend is hiding behind the refrigerator. Once we were all inside, I drew my weapon.

The man came right up to the door, stopped when he saw me aiming for his head and started badmouthing again.

"What, you gonna shoot me muthafu*ka?! Do it!"

I said firmly, "Don't come any closer or I WILL shoot you."

There was an awkward lull -- neither of us making a move or saying anything. Then he thinks better of it. He curses at us some more, runs to his car and peels out. My friend, her boyfriend and I take the woman he was beating into the apartment, put a blanket over her and wait for the police.

When they finally arrived some 8 minutes later (I timed it), I told them everything, wrote a statement, showed them my weapon and my permit. It turns out the woman was being sexually assaulted when she finally overcame her attacker long enough to leap out of a window. Who would have thought something like this would have been happening right next door to where we were going to have dinner. And if she didn't overcome him, we'd have only found out in the evening news the next day.

It's been more than 6 months since this has happened, and I've had a lot of time to think about it. Never heard from the police about it ever again. I don't have a blog of my own, and I don't have people shooting at me all the time like Sir William.

All I know is I am a civilian; a lawful citizen of the United States. And no law abiding citizen should have to wait 8 minutes for help to arrive. Nothing against the local PD, but I thank the Lord every day that I have a means to protect myself and my family always.

Oh, and the woman -- I never got her name. She didn't even thank me she was in so much shock. But I'm sure wherever she's goes, I'm sure she thinks about "that guy in the dark grey suit with a cellphone and a gun" once in a while.

I've tried to stick with just telling it how it happened, with few interjections on my thought process. I'm writing this in hopes that by sharing this experience, others may learn from it. Specifically, that this sort of thing could happen to anyone at any time. I'm not looking for a "grade" because you don't get "A's" for this sort of thing. Just know that it happened. In life, all that matters is what happens. Not what could have been.

And now, back to that caliber war thread I was reading...
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Old January 25, 2006, 02:50 AM   #2
stratus
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Give me a few hours to absorb that and I'll think of something to post...

...man...

Yeah, I'm the keyboard equivalent of tongue-tied.

That's crazy.

You kept your head about you, that much is clear. Good job.
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Old January 25, 2006, 03:53 AM   #3
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Your firearm, your life and your decision. This is exactly the situation that an armed citizen should become involved in.
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Old January 25, 2006, 04:18 AM   #4
stealthmode
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scary thought

i wonder if the bag guy has your name and address from the police report? if he was arrested or questioned he can easily get access to the police report and come after you.
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Old January 25, 2006, 08:01 AM   #5
DavidJBlythe
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i wonder if the bag guy has your name and address from the police report? if he was arrested or questioned he can easily get access to the police report and come after you.
He already knows whats waiting for him if he tries.
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Old January 25, 2006, 08:12 AM   #6
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"Shoot Him" - didn't you hear me screaming that from here in the UK!
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Old January 25, 2006, 08:57 AM   #7
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I hope if I'm ever in a situation like that I can perform as well as you did.
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Old January 25, 2006, 09:30 AM   #8
Mikeyboy
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Well I guess you realized like I did with my situation. You have a 6 ft 300lb guy who can commit assaults with no weapons, just brute strength, if you were not there with your handgun and your freind tried to take on this guy with just a kitchen knife, unless your friend is bigger and had some training, this guy would have killed both of your friends too. I never want to get stuck defending myself or my loved ones with something less than a gun.
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Old January 25, 2006, 10:13 AM   #9
nscale
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Amazing

Ronnie,
That is an amazing story and I agree with the other posters, I would probably not have been as calm and would have shot the guy. If ever I found myself in a life or death situation, I would hope the citizen standing with me was you.

But I have to say, while I know in the heat of the moment 8 minutes for the LEO's to show seems like a long time, it would take much longer where I live.
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Old January 25, 2006, 10:21 AM   #10
20cows
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I am not saying you did anything wrong. Nor am I saying what I think I would do is more correct.

I would have had a hard time not "ending the threat" as he beat her on the hood of the truck. He appears to be causing "serious bodily harm" at that point. I don't think I could let that continue if I had the means to stop it.
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Old January 25, 2006, 10:36 AM   #11
EBF
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As others have said, I think you showed great restraint and kept a level head throughout the ordeal.

One thought that crossed my mind was the victim was one tough lady. To have survived the assault inside and then the beating outside, plus you said this was a big guy......she was obviously pretty damn tough.

I'm in Tampa.......what area/appt complex was this?
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Old January 25, 2006, 12:43 PM   #12
Ronny
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Thank you all for your kind words, but my appearance of "calm" is actually the result of many hesitations.

In retrospect, I didn't draw my gun on him not because of self-control but because I really didn't want to shoot him. I wanted the police to get there and so I went for my phone. If he had come after me instead of the woman when he emerged shirtless from the apartment, he'd have gotten me. And then I'd have been on the ground groping for my gun while my face was being punched in. I hesitated, and should have drawn on him the moment I saw him emerge from the apartment: weak hand on the phone, strong hand pointing my gun.

As for my friend's knife wielding boyfriend. He had the knife, but didn't seem to have the nerve to actually run up to the BG and eviscerate him. So he just stood there taunting and waving the knife around. I pushed him into the apartment not because I was afraid of him getting hurt, but because he was between me and the door. I wasn't thinking, he was just in the way of me and a safe place.

In all honesty, I forgot I even had my gun until we had all retreated into the apartment and I knew for sure that the BG was coming for us. Then, fear for my own life and theirs set in and I felt that bulk on my side, realized what it was, and grabbed it. All this from start to finish happened inside of a minute, and my mind was whirling.

What does this all mean? I need more training, I was just lucky, the Lord took mercy on me, and I wasn't prepared for this at all.

Quote:
I'm in Tampa.......what area/appt complex was this?
I don't think it would be wise to answer this in full. It was one of the decrepit ones on the poor side of Bruce B. Downs road.
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Old January 25, 2006, 01:56 PM   #13
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Good Job. You made out of their without you or your friends getting hurt. If I was in that same position I'm not sure how I would have acted. Your talk of getting more training definetly reminds me to find a course to take in the next two months.

I like how you went immediately for the phone. It shows you have a clear head on your shoulders instead of running in like John Wayne to the womans rescue. Just wish the response time was faster for police in rough neighborhoods.

Stay safe and good luck.
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Old January 25, 2006, 02:11 PM   #14
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I'm not one to judge another man who has been through this kind of encounter. You did good. You survived, he survived, she survived. You really could not ask for more, and the end justifies the means.

If you want an in depth critique, I do not think I can give you one that is better than the one that has been buzzing in your head since this incident.

Good job Ronny.

One thing.......that friend with the knife..........he ain't no friend. He's a Class A idiot that you need to ditch. You could put him between two slices of bread and call him a trouble sandwich.
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Old January 25, 2006, 02:15 PM   #15
NavyLT
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Something else to think about

What about the consequences of allowing the perpetrator to escape? The criminal, especially in this case, will not hesitate to victimize another person.

Florida statute 776.013 section (3): "A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

Personally, I would have drawn my weapon, sighted in on the perpetrator, approached close enough to ensure accuracy so as not to harm any other person, and shot to kill him without any verbal warning to the perpetrator. Not only would you be ending the victimization of this person, but also the future victimization of others.
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Old January 25, 2006, 02:26 PM   #16
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As for my friend's knife wielding boyfriend. He had the knife, but didn't seem to have the nerve to actually run up to the BG and eviscerate him.
As well he shouldn't.

There's nothing wrong with what you did. Having a cwl doesn't make you guardian of the weak and downtrodden, and if you weren't prepared to shoot an attacker to stop a third party from being seriously hurt, you were right not to do so.

Quote:
My friend's boyfriend is egging him on at this point with is knife -- so I push him back into the apartment. His girlfriend is hiding behind the refrigerator.
That is to me the best part of the story, no matter why you did it. Whether through subconscious action or by fate, you did the right thing, and you've evidently learned from it.

Ditto on the boyfriend being an idiot. Maybe he learned from the experience, but I don't think people like that learn from their emotion-driven mistakes very often.
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Old January 25, 2006, 02:41 PM   #17
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"Shoot Him" - didn't you hear me screaming that from here in the UK!
+1

Has it occurred to anyone that the woman took one hell of a beating...
and might have died from it...

While you and your "gun" cowered in the doorway??
You didn't bring the gun into play until YOU were threatened!

At which point, you were "willing" enough to shoot the swine.

I (and my gun) could not have "watched" that scene take place, and let it continue one damned second longer, without at least trying to stop that 300 pounds s**t-bag.

What the hell were you thinking?

Quote:
There's nothing wrong with what you did. Having a cwl doesn't make you guardian of the weak and downtrodden, and if you weren't prepared to shoot an attacker to stop a third party from being seriously hurt, you were right not to do so.
If you aren't "willing" to defend "the weak and downtrodden" it makes you very, very, low in my estimation.

And there is, most certainly, something wrong with it.
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Old January 25, 2006, 02:51 PM   #18
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Sounds to me like you did just fine. I don't see what more you could have done. You stopped the assault and made yourself available as witness afterward.

If you are really curious, I would go ask the agency which responded what happened. It's not unusual for a case of this type to not come to trial for a year or more AFTER the bad guy is coralled. Could be he's been nabbed and plead out, too...

Don't think I would judge the response time of your LEO's too harshly. Remember first they have to get there before they can deal with the situation. I can't even tell you how many times I'm personally aware of, where officers crashed running lights & siren to a call. This is not good on several levels. I work in a town of 8,000, and it takes me 2 minutes (I've timed it) to get from one end to the other, and that's if everything goes my way.

BTW, NEVER underestimate edged weapons! To be honest, I don't always carry my Glock off duty, but I NEVER leave the house without my Gerber Gator, honed shaving sharp, at my side.

After all my years on the street, I've learned to be more afraid of a bad guy with a knife than I am of one armed with a handgun. Most veteran LEOs I know share this view. A bad guy has to have some semblance of skill to effectively employ the bellygun, with the knife, all he has to do is get close. If you manage to survive an edged weapon attack, you will most likely be maimed for life...
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Old January 25, 2006, 03:00 PM   #19
Ronny
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I (and my gun) could not have "watched" that scene take place, and let it continue one damned second longer, without at least trying to stop that 300 pounds s**t-bag.

What the hell were you thinking?
You're right, I should've shot him. But I didn't want to shoot him because:

1). He was on top of the woman and both of them were thrashing around. No room for a missed shot.
2). There was a guy waving a knife around yelling next to me.
3). He never forcibly entered my friend's apartment.

Part of me says that I should've killed him that night, but I'm glad I didn't. I don't think the law would've justified me in that action. I'm not a cop; I can't make that split second decision of taking a life and having the department back me up legally. The man didn't have a weapon, and my party was not assaulted physically. By the time I had a clear shot, he had ceased attacking the woman and, furthermore, fled the scene. No... I don't think the law would be on my side if I killed that man that night.

It's puzzling, our legal system today. In the early years of our great country, evil men died for lesser things.
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Old January 25, 2006, 03:32 PM   #20
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Nobody can say sitting behind their computers that you did anything wrong, especially not having been in the same situation, or actually anything close to it.

I do not currently have a CCW permit. But when I do I am going to ensure a few things about myself:

1. I will look up the state laws myself and understand them fully to the best of my ability. All the Florida law says is that you have reasonable expectation that a perpetrator is going to kill anyone, cause serious bodily harm to anyone, or forcibly commit a felony and you can shoot them.
2. I will try to put the welfare of others over my own welfare. Do I feel the responsibility to defend all law abiding citizens whether or not I know them? Yes I do, otherwise I wouldn't remain a member of the military after 21 years now. My home was invaded by a perp who kicked in our dead-bolt locked front door while my wife was at home alone. Our three dogs chased him out, thank God. We both have our handguns now and will shoot the next person who enters our home forcibly for the equal reasons of protecting ourselves, our family and any other future victims whom the criminal may attack.
3. I would practice enough (and I do, currently twice a week) to know the limitations of my shooting ability. You're right, a shot at a perp sideways in close contact with the victim is very hard, but I would hope to have the bravery and coolness of thought to quietly approach with my weapon drawn close enough to guarantee an accurate shot.
4. Never shoot at someone without the sole intent to kill them.

But, it is very easy to write this in the safety of this office not ever having faced a situation myself.
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Old January 25, 2006, 04:27 PM   #21
Pointer
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Ronny

You have me wrong...

I'm don't mean you must shoot him...
I mean you must do SOMETHING...
If shooting him is REQUIRED then shoot him...

But, in many cases like this, you can stop the perp's beating on the woman, by simply shouting for him to stop or you are going to shoot him...

Two guys... one with a knife and one with a gun, could VERY likely have ended the assault on the woman much sooner simply by "intimidation" and at least delay the beating until "backup" arrives... LEO's do this everyday!

The majority of the time... it is UNECESSARY to do more than that.

IF, in the event, the intimidation fails to work... then try something else...

And shooting may well prove necessary...
In that event, you must convince the perp that you mean what you say and you must NOT hesitate.

Live and learn... DO NOT LET this one incident screw with your head... You must be OK with yourself so the the next time you have a similar experience your head will be "in the right place" for it... and you won't go off "half-cocked" and shoot someone you don't have to shoot.

BUT YOU MUST TRY! NOT JUST FUMBLE AROUND WITH YOUR FINGERS IN YOUR EARS...


LIKE A LIBERAL...
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Old January 25, 2006, 04:29 PM   #22
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A bad guy has to have some semblance of skill to effectively employ the bellygun, with the knife, all he has to do is get close. If you manage to survive an edged weapon attack, you will most likely be maimed for life...
Amen to that! One of our officers was working a side job as security for a supermarket a few years back when he tried to stop a shoplifter. He never even saw the knife that slashed his abdomen, and the &#$% manager jumped in front of him when he went to shoot the SOB. He was on the floor with his guts hanging out when we arrived. He did survive it, but has trouble to this day. Don't ever underestimate someone with a knife!
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Old January 25, 2006, 04:33 PM   #23
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Ronny,

very well done. I'd love to live in your neighborhood. Thanks for bringing up the courage.

Stay safe.
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Old January 25, 2006, 06:01 PM   #24
brett23
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Ronny,

If you don't mind telling me, where exactly did this happen? I don't live far from Tampa and I'm curious of the location.
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Old January 25, 2006, 06:43 PM   #25
Powderman
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What does this all mean? I need more training, I was just lucky, the Lord took mercy on me, and I wasn't prepared for this at all.
Absolutely no reflection on you, friend, but you are correct. And believe me, I don't mean that in a bad way.

Way too many people feel that when they strap on a gun, it automatically makes them the most cool, ubertactical, gun savvy person on the planet! Jeff Cooper could take lessons; to them, Clint Smith is a serious wannabe.

This feeling permeates, and seems to become more entrenched as time passes....

Right until the first time that they have a REAL encounter.

I'm not saying that you did this, or had this mindset at all. Remember this, though, and remember it well:

YOU WILL FIGHT THE WAY YOU HAVE TRAINED.

Train the same way that you will fight; and fight as you have trained.

Under stress, you will revert to reflexive movements. It takes roughly 3,000 repititions to engrave something into muscle memory.

Your firearms training should be done in three phases, inclusively:

1. Legal considerations. This is by far the most important part. Learn the laws of your jurisdiction as they pertain to self defense, concealed carry, and permits. Contact your local prosecutor, ask lots of questions. Learn when NOT to shoot, when you CAN shoot, and when you'd BETTER shoot.

2. Marksmanship. Bluntly put, if you can't hit a 5" circle at 25 yards 100% of the time, within 3 seconds, train until you can. With either hand.

3. Tactics. Here is where most pistoleros fall short.

Practice shooting. Training in marksmanship is one thing; training for armed combat is another.

NEVER practice shooting while standing still. Fire two rounds, move; evaluate. Repeat as necessary. Practice shooting from retention, point shooting, Bill drills, Tueller drills, etc. Practice strong and weak hand reloads and shooting. Shoot from your right, left, cross body, sitting, on your back, from the prone, etc.

Use the "El Presidente" drill to evaluate speed and accuracy.

And above all, train. Train, and train again. Over and over again.

That being said, you did well. Of course, there were some things I would have done differently--but it doesn't count, because YOU were there, and I was not.

Thanks for standing up. We need more people like you.
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