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Old July 13, 2006, 03:43 PM   #1
FirstFreedom
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Weird incident last night - raises questions..what would you have done?

OK, about 11:30 - midnight time frame, 3 of my dogs go crazy in the backyard barking. The back fence of my backyard is adjacent to a parking lot of a commercial building. After a couple of minutes of this barking, I realize that it's more intense barking than usual, and so I grab a flashlight and a pistol, place the pistol into my right front pocket of my shorts, and walk outside, and sit down in a chaise lounge chair right near the back door, up against the house, and watch. My dogs quit barking and come up to me looking for attention. Through the slots in the cedar fence, I can see that there is a security guard car with its headlights on, facing toward my fence, not 5 yards from the back of the fence. This is security for the commercial building. Then, a male voice says something, and the car screeches off at a high speed. Then, a couple of seconds later, a flashlight appears from the left rear corner of my yard, where the rear back privacy fence meets the neighbor's rear back chainlink fence, and our shared side chainlink fence in the middle. So this is some 13-15 yards away from me. Flashlight points and me and loud voice says "Let me see you hands!!" I assume of course that it is security or LEO, and turn my flashlight on, but don't point it at the person, and show my hands, while holding flashlight in my right hand with just thumb and forefinger, so remaining fingers are showing "nothing else" in my hands, other than the flashlight, to this person. Well he quickly realizes that I am not the suspect he is looking for, of course - not dressed anything alike, etc. And I walk to him and quickly learn from him that he had just been in a scuffle/fight with a 'vagrant', right behind my back fence, who had started running when asked by the security guard what he was doing there; and the guy had apparently gone over the fence to my next door neighbor's backyard; his shoe was still on the ground there. Anyway, didn't find him, and no harm done, but this raises a couple of important issues.

The first issue, which is pretty common I'm sure, is that this security guard failed to identify himself as security or LEO to me - all he said was "lemme see your hands!". And he should have IMO. But he thought initially that I was the suspect he was looking for. And further, since I had seen the security guard car, I knew that he was likely security or leo with that combined with his authoritative order. But he should have realized that a homeowner might come out to investigate dogs wildly barking. But in any event, I can't keep some screwhead from shooting me when he ought not to - that's mostly out of my control. Plus, and this brings up the issue below, what's to keep a BG from lying and "identifying" himself as security or LEO?

So, the major issue that has me wondering is "How do I know it's not a crook/home invader whose MO is to emulate LEOs by barking such LEO-type orders?", such as "lemme see your hands", in an authoritative way, in order to get compliance from a victim? Hell, all I saw was a flashlight - no uniform or anything. I'm sure that it's pretty RARE that a bad guy will use leo-emulating orders, but my question is, I suppose, is does anyone know of any documented case where a crook has used such a ruse to effect compliance/disarmament of their victim? For a moment I considered saying "lemme see YOUR hands, muthahumpa, and who the heck are you!?", while drawing my pistol.

But as it was, I never even pulled my pistol out, and the security guard never saw it, I'm quite sure - nor did I see any reason to mention it, once we got to talking about the suspect he was looking for. Anyhow, this numbskull probably would have shot me had he seen me with a pistol and asked questions later, being the cowboy type that that building always employs. But *that question* of numnut security agencies (and their liability for screwups for triggernappiness) aside for the moment, what about this idea of crooks purpsosefully using leo commands.... "stop; police", etc., to gain control - ever happen?

I have heard of documented cases where complete LEO impersonation occurs on out on the highway, in a fake car, with fake uniform, fake badge, in order to abduct women and such. But any documented cases at HOMES of burglarly/home invasion scenarios?

Well, probably never should have stepped outside to begin with? But I was worried about my dogs...
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Old July 13, 2006, 03:52 PM   #2
spacemanspiff
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Its a possibility. I think I'd watch from concealment. Maybe stay inside. I'm guessing this was armed security? Someone points a gun at me, and they don't identify themselves might find themselves looking down a gun barrel as well.
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Old July 13, 2006, 05:10 PM   #3
FirstFreedom
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Quote:
I think I'd watch from concealment.
Yes, I'm thinking that's what I probably should have done - just peered out the door or window perhaps. Yes, it's armed security. Thanks.
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Old July 13, 2006, 06:07 PM   #4
mete
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You should have stayed inside since you really didn't know what was happening. An armed guard/police etc could have started shooting at seeing you. You're immediate job is to protect yourself and family. Your home is a very good defensive position yet you left that to go out and face something , you didn't know what !!
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Old July 13, 2006, 06:13 PM   #5
5whiskey
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we are talking on YOUR property, right?

Even a security gaurd or police officer has no right on your property without prior consent. IMO, in that situation when asked to show your hands you should have replayed with "who the hell are you and why are YOU in my yard". You were right to make no motion for your pistol, just liable to get you shot at this point.

Watching from concealment would have been smart, along with calling the cops. Now if you're outside of YOUR property, then that complicates matters. Best to do what your told if everything looks/feels ligit.
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Old July 13, 2006, 07:07 PM   #6
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Someone from LE please clarify...

I know that officers can't go on a person's property without a reason, what if they are pursuing a BG who committed a serious crime, and the criminal runs into residential property? Would the police be able to then tresspass in order to stop this dangerous person?


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Old July 13, 2006, 07:31 PM   #7
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You bet,,,, an officer can pretty much go anywhere he needs to in performance of his duty. "Trespass" is not even an issue when trying to perform the duty required of them. Besides, for the district attorney to accept charges for trespass, there has to be previous notice that entry is forbidden. Posted signs rarely meet the requirement. I cannot picture a time when a DA would even discuss such in this scenario.

Seriously folks,,,, if chasing a bad guy,,,, someone here would have a problem with security or police checking or running across your property?
If so, it sounds like you have deeper issues to worry about!!!
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Old July 13, 2006, 08:29 PM   #8
razorburn
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The LEO might be a different story, but as I understand it, a security guard is just an agent of a private business and has no more LEO powers than any other citizen. You may well get them for trespassing.
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Old July 13, 2006, 08:40 PM   #9
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you need taller fences
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Old July 14, 2006, 12:08 AM   #10
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Uhhh...doesn't matter if it is "private Property" if a LEO is investigating a possible crime. Common myth. Go ahead and try to stop us...we are looking out for the good of the public...including you.

However...that was HORRIBLE tactics by the security guy. If you were a bad guy you would have had him dead-to-rights.
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Old July 14, 2006, 07:49 AM   #11
Ace On The Line
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Never go looking for trouble, you may find it. Arm yourself, secure your family and let them come to you. Whatever is going on outside your home cannot hurt you or your family as long as everyone is safely secured inside. Find a tactical position to observe the area and call the cops.
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Old July 14, 2006, 09:56 AM   #12
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Stay inside and observe, phone in one hand, weapon at the ready.

Otherwise (e.g., you're already outside at the time):

Voice: "Lemme see your hands!"
Me: "Identify yourself! Do it now!"
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Old July 14, 2006, 11:11 AM   #13
Chuck Dye
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Some nice 500(+) watt floodlights can be had, mounted, and wired in for relatively little cost. A radio remote is cheap, too.

"Let me see your hands!"

*click*

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Old July 14, 2006, 05:23 PM   #14
skeeter1
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Well, you already have the first best line of defense -- dogs. BGs generally don't want anything to do with a residence with dogs.

If that was a legit LEO, he should have identified himself properly, and your actions were proper.

I have a fairly low opinion of private security personnel. I went to my brother's police range once when the range officer was training private security personnel. A perfect score on the Practical Police Course is 600. My brother, who's a life-long LEO shot a 560 that day, and I managed a 480. Some of the security guards struggled to get above 100.
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Old July 23, 2006, 08:41 PM   #15
Jager1
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Quote:
But any documented cases at HOMES of burglarly/home invasion scenarios?
Happens here in Phoenix quite a bit. BG's impersonating police to initiate home invasions and other crimes.

http://www.policeone.com/policeone/f..._news&id=86982

http://www.officer.com/article/artic...&siteSection=1

http://www.knxv.com/news/morenews/index.asp?did=12870

http://kvoa.com/Global/story.asp?S=3771999

http://www.lineofduty.com/blottersto...?StoryID=79174

http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/printDS/46595
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Old July 23, 2006, 09:29 PM   #16
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You Did That Right Thing There I Think....but If He Got Stupid...what Would You Have Done???...stick Is What That Was
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Old July 23, 2006, 09:49 PM   #17
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Sorry for the hijack, but my BS sensor is blinking again... DKB2003 started a thread just today about a *similar* situation. His message:
Quote:
...NEVER EVER GO INSPECT...THANKS....
Now he praises FirstFreedom for going to investigate? Something fishy here...

Anyway, FirstFreedom, I think you did the right thing. It's easy for everyone to "armchair quarterback" what you did, but I have to be honest, I wouldn't have done things much different. As for LEO impersonators, what the security did was stupid, but not the usual MO of an impersonator. Generally impersonators seem to be more direct/authoritative to better emulate someone with authority, and they react like a deer in the headlights when they think they may be caught. ie: if he was an impersonator, when he saw you on the other side of the fence, he would have probably moved on.
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Old July 23, 2006, 10:15 PM   #18
Northern Sod Breaker
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As said above, You should have stayed in the concealment of your house. I would have watched through a window but with the lights out and drapes partialy drawn.
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Old July 23, 2006, 10:32 PM   #19
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Quote:
The first issue, which is pretty common I'm sure, is that this security guard failed to identify himself as security or LEO to me - all he said was "lemme see your hands!". And he should have IMO.
Had you been in a scuffle and were searching for the person with whom you just had scrapped, you would not be identifying yourself, "I'm First Freedom. Show me your hands!!"

If you don't like how the guard acted, complain to his security company.
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Old July 24, 2006, 08:11 AM   #20
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I would observe with vigilance and dialed 911.
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Old July 24, 2006, 10:42 AM   #21
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Agree with tegemu

This was a great time to call 911. As things played out, one of you could have ended up dead. Glad everyone's okay, though, and yes, I would complain to the security company.

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Old July 24, 2006, 01:34 PM   #22
azurefly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstFreedom
But as it was, I never even pulled my pistol out, and the security guard never saw it, I'm quite sure - nor did I see any reason to mention it, once we got to talking about the suspect he was looking for. Anyhow, this numbskull probably would have shot me had he seen me with a pistol and asked questions later, being the cowboy type that that building always employs.

Fact is, he probably would have missed; and you would have owned yourself a security guard company.

Just imagine how a jury might view a security guard (NON LEO!) firing on a homeowner who is sitting in a chair on his own porch in his back yard!


-azurefly
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Old July 28, 2006, 09:58 AM   #23
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A recent incident in my state involved someone impersonating a firefighter investigating a gas leak.

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/15026310.htm
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Old July 28, 2006, 10:22 AM   #24
john in jax
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A big ditto on watching from inside and an even bigger ditto for improving your outdoor/security lighting.
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Old July 28, 2006, 04:40 PM   #25
skeeter1
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Security lighting

I'll second that. I've got a pair of 150-watt floodlights on an IR-motion sensor in the back yard, and occasionally they're a pain int the butt (a bunny is all it takes to turn them on), but when they DO go on, I turn on all of the outdoor lights and take a look... from inside the house.
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