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Old July 12, 2009, 11:05 AM   #26
BlkHawk73
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Get yourself away from the situation. Great, you're armed but once it's brought into play, the situation is escalated. Much better to not have that happen and have things occur that can't be changed. Just because you're armed doesn't mean it's a duty or expectation to stand and fight. Best to avoid and remove yourself from the event.
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Old July 12, 2009, 01:52 PM   #27
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Skydiver3346 wrote:
Quote:
Uh, this dirt bag has threatened this man numerous times to do grave bodily harm to him...
You must be familiar with case because the OP NEVER said that. All he said was:
Quote:
You have been assaulted by a 30 year old weighing about 250 lbs. 6'2".
Maybe you can give us more details on this case so we can give the OP a better answer.

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Old July 12, 2009, 03:09 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Original Poster
You have been assaulted by a 30 year old weighing about 250 lbs. 6'2".

You have a restraining order on him not to approach you or contact you in any way.

<snip>

He has threatened your life verbally and to do great bodily harm many, many times and then he finally assaulted you and you had the restraining order invoked.
You should have kept reading the original post, scottaschultz.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:11 PM   #29
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Scott, you apparently missed this part:

Quote:
He has threatened your life verbally and to do great bodily harm many, many times and then he finally assaulted you and you had the restraining order invoked.
I think it's pretty clear that the OP would have great reason to be concerned should the man approach.
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Old July 12, 2009, 03:49 PM   #30
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My reasons for disagreeing with the recommendation to command the person to "get on the ground" are as follows:
  • I seriously doubt that in most places, a civilian would have any authority to give such a command under the circumstances, or that the other person would have any duty to comply; and I do not know the criminal and civil liability that I might assume by doing so.
  • Where I live, a civilian who is not in his domicile or automobile may only produce a weapon when it is necessary to do so for lawful self-defense--when the danger is imminent. Might my having had time to tell him to get on the ground indicate that the danger of death of serious bodily harm had not actually been imminent?
  • Should the use of deadly force prove necessary, I don't think I want to have any part of my statement (made later with the benefit of counsel) used out of context to give the impression that I had fired because the person refused to comply with my command that he get on the ground, rather than in lawful self defense per se. I would rather have simply explained that I had been accosted, that I had tried to disengage, and that ultimately, I had had no choice but to defend myself.
  • Should a shooting take place, I don't think I want to have any chance at all of forensic evidence indicating that I had fired at somone who was getting down, down, or getting up and was possibly not in the act of attacking me.
  • Since I cannot use deadly force to enforce such a command, he might well refuse. Might that not then lead to his believing that I would not use deadly force should he attack me, increasing the likelihood of a shooting?
  • I do not see the point.
Surely I do not need to explain why I disagree with recommendation to use deadly force in the event that the person were to refuse the third QUICK command to get on the ground.

Using deadly force when immediately necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm is something else again, but I do agree with those who have suggested trying to disengage, and frankly, I would do so even if I lived in a "stand your ground" state.

After that, the less-than-lethal option would come into play.

I hope this appears less argumentative than my previous post and that it proves more helpful.

Last edited by OldMarksman; July 12, 2009 at 04:20 PM.
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Old July 12, 2009, 04:51 PM   #31
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I'm sorry if this is a repeat reply. I haven't read the whole thread. Honestly, I would tell him to stop and stay exactly where he is. If he did, then I would follow with "if you really want to talk and it's serious, then I can meet you at the police department tomorrow". If he does not stop, get in the car and drive away while calling 911.


I mentioned the option of actually talking to him in front of LEOs, well, because I assume you know this man to a degree. Know him as in former friend/relative. If he's a neighbor that you don't know well but started a bunch of crap, I probably would still give him a chance to talk if there is a pleading tone in his voice. If there's been some kind of fued (which could lead to him threatening you like he did), he could honestly be sorry and coming to apolagize. If that's the case, I'd let him do it IN FRONT OF LEOs. Even if he apologized, don't let that change anything between you. He's threatened your life. Forgive him, but don't trust him and move on.


In the sweet by and by, at the original encounter during your first post... I would tell him to stop, if not then I would've went back to the car. If he started to chase me, then I would definately begin to resort to the firearm if I thought there was a SHRED OF A CHANCE THAT HE CAUGHT ME BEFORE I COULD GET AWAY. Otherwise, keep the fact that you're carrying low-key and try to handle it without the use of the firearm, but have a plan to draw and be ready.
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Old July 12, 2009, 06:09 PM   #32
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OK, duly noted!

But that doesn't change my opinion that guns in the hands of civilians are for personal protection, not to uphold or enforce the law.

Scott
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Old July 12, 2009, 06:43 PM   #33
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Quote:
But that doesn't change my opinion that guns in the hands of civilians are for personal protection, not to uphold or enforce the law.
I don't think any of us are disagreeing with you on that. (Well, I'm not.) But there may be some clarity needed about where the line is between personal protection and enforcing the law.

I understand the objections to telling the guy to get on the ground; that makes sense. But howabout yelling, "STOP! DO NOT COME CLOSER!" IF he fails to stop and you can't just get in the car and drive away (by far the preferable option), continue with, "YOU ARE VIOLATING A RESTRAINING ORDER. IF YOU COME CLOSER, I WILL DEFEND MYSELF!" If and only if he continues to approach after this, draw the gun and shoot or use the pepper spray or employ whatever other less-lethal means of protection you might have.

I think that is focused completely on the self-protection/safety issue and gives the guy more than adequate warning that you view his approaching you as a threat for a compelling reason (the restraining order and, by implication, the events that caused there to be a restraining order) and will react accordingly. If the disparity in age and size is as extreme as the OP indicated, I don't believe that a judge would consider your acti0ns unreasonable, although I am not a lawyer.

What do the rest of you think?
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Old July 12, 2009, 08:31 PM   #34
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I understand the objections to telling the guy to get on the ground; that makes sense. But howabout yelling, "STOP! DO NOT COME CLOSER!" IF he fails to stop and you can't just get in the car and drive away (by far the preferable option), continue with, "YOU ARE VIOLATING A RESTRAINING ORDER. IF YOU COME CLOSER, I WILL DEFEND MYSELF!"
Sounds reasonable to me, but that's a lay opinion.

Quote:
If and only if he continues to approach after this, draw the gun and shoot or use the pepper spray or employ whatever other less-lethal means of protection you might have.
OK. Bigger, younger guy, "approaching", but apparently not armed, and has made no threats at the time--just said he wants to talk..

From what I've learned, shooting at that point might get you in a lot of trouble. A lay opinion won't help here, I think.

You back away, he keeps coming, then what? Less than lethal option?

And if that doesn't work...

If you do end up using deadly force, I think the issue will be, what evidence can you produce to convince others that said force was immediately necessary to prevent death or serious bodily harm.

Some ideas:
  • Prior threats and assault, and restraining order.
  • Bigger, younger guy, who should not have been there.
  • Forensic evidnce that you tried to evade.
  • Evidence of your use of less-than-lethal force before shooting.

Thoughts?
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Old July 12, 2009, 09:13 PM   #35
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Id be wondering how i shrunk 6'' and lost 100 pounds., But seriously id not engage unless he attacked me physically.
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Old July 12, 2009, 09:14 PM   #36
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You might not be under any authority, but the point of a restraining order is for someone to not be near you for your protection. If this person violates that, it is an attack. The given history of the situation would call for a slim to none chance that this person only wants to "talk"
Quick is relative. A quick "Get down on the ground" takes 1 second to say fully. Repeating this should at least make the guy stop if not back away. If not you have a problem. If a person who has such an order ignores you while you have a gun then you have a bigger problem. No one in the right mental state would ignore a person pointing a gun at them.
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Old July 12, 2009, 09:23 PM   #37
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Quote:
A quick "Get down on the ground" takes 1 second to say fully. Repeating this should at least make the guy stop if not back away.
Well, do you want him to get down on the ground, stop, or back away?

You certainly want him to stop. I should think you would also want him to get away. What is the point in the "quick 'get down on the ground' "?

Wouldn't telling him to get away be more likely to get the desired result?
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Old July 13, 2009, 04:56 AM   #38
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I agree with the folks are suggested defusing situation by moving away from the hostile.

HOWEVER, if he gets you by surprise and you are armed, knowing that he has threatened to physically hurt you previously, SHOOT HIM. Let the chips fall where they may.

Nothing is more precious then your life, atleast that is the prevailing principal we beleive in.

I also suggest that you start carrying a non-lethal bullets or a stun gun to avoid this mess, but if push comes to shove use your weapon. After all, it is for SD not a paper weight you carry all day.
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:23 AM   #39
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rmocarsky ~

I would recommend a quick walk through www.useofforce.us for an overview of the "rules of the road" for when you can legally fire your weapon.

I'd also (strongly!) recommend that since you do have this significant level of concern with a true threat, that you immediately get some training from a qualified professional firearms instructor. This whole "get advice off the internet" gig really sucks, even on a good forum like TFL. Get your advice from people qualified to give it, who can discuss the situation with you in a much more personalized and detailed manner.

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Old July 13, 2009, 09:28 AM   #40
bababooey32
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Old Marksman

Quote:
I seriously doubt that in most places, a civilian would have any authority to give such a command under the circumstances, or that the other person would have any duty to comply; and I do not know the criminal and civil liability that I might assume by doing so.
I don't need authority to issue commands. I can issue any command I want. There may not be any authority behind it, but I can certainly issue commands (I issue them at home all the time - nobody listens, but the commands are issued!). The idea is to get the guy to stop doing what he is doing. By authoritatively telling him to get on the ground, you might get him to listen (he may not know that he doesn't have to follow your orders).

Quote:
Where I live, a civilian who is not in his domicile or automobile may only produce a weapon when it is necessary to do so for lawful self-defense--when the danger is imminent.
A man with a disparity of force, who has beat you before is apporaching you at 4:30am after (obviously) waiting for you to arrive home. That sounds lilke imminent danger.

Quote:
Might my having had time to tell him to get on the ground indicate that the danger of death of serious bodily harm had not actually been imminent?
Well, it turns out you can talk while retreating. Or talk while advancing. So talking, in and of itslef, does not "take" any time. And by your reasoning, if he doesn't have "time" to talk, he doesn't have time to do anything but shoot?

Quote:
give the impression that I had fired because the person refused to comply with my command
In your scenario (where you give no verbal commands to stop), the witnesses will say that you shot without warning. Which is worse? Shooting after telling the attacker to stop, or shooting without telling the attacker to stop?

Quote:
Since I cannot use deadly force to enforce such a command, he might well refuse. Might that not then lead to his believing that I would not use deadly force should he attack me, increasing the likelihood of a shooting?
Huh? We can be here all day making suppositions about how a theoretical bad guy might respond to various commands. He also MIGHT attack me if I get on the phone, sensing weakness and distraction! He also MIGHT attack me if I retreat, sensing that I do not have the means to defend myself! He also MIGHT have a vest on, rendering my handgun useless. Or he MIGHT get on the ground when I point a gun at him and "command" him to do so.

Seems to me there is no one right answer: If I can retreat, I will...If I can call 911 I will, If I can get him on the ground at gun point because the first two options are not feasable, I will. If he continues to approach me after I have exhausted the above non-lethal option, I may have to shoot.

Also regarding LTL options (pepper blaster etc). I have heard it said that carrying these LTL options for civilians is bad idea. Should you ultimately shoot someone while carrying a pepper blaster, you now must convince the AG and possibly a jury that not only were you in danger, but the danger was such that your pepper blaster would not have worked (subjective, of course). That means that the BG better have had a gun (or you have a great lawyer). If all you have is a firearm, then you don't have to overcome that intermediate hurdle. Just that you were in imminent danger. BTW - I'm not sure I buy this argument, but I have heard it somewhere before....
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Old July 13, 2009, 09:35 AM   #41
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Quote:
I have heard it said that carrying these LTL options for civilians is bad idea. Should you ultimately shoot someone while carrying a pepper blaster, you now must convince the AG and possibly a jury that not only were you in danger, but the danger was such that your pepper blaster would not have owrked (subjective, of course). That means that the BG better have had a gun (or you have a great lawyer). If all you have is a firearm, then you don't have to overcome that intermediate hurdle.
That's really just another series of assumptions. The DA could just as easily say "Why weren't you carrying pepper spray? You only had a gun..... did you WANT to shoot someone?" Your answer for not using pepper spray that you had on your person could be a simple "There wasn't time. I carry it to avoid shooting someone if at all possible, this time, it wasn't possible."

Besides that, most situations not involving a BG with a gun will provide an option for pepper spray. Sure, an all out unexpected physical attack may not but most muggings or robberies, and certainly the situation in the OP, will give you time for pepper spray.

Additionally, most situations involving an obvious intentional violation of a restraining order will be sufficient cause for use of pepper spray, in and of themselves. In a situation like the OP, a shot in the face with spray and a hasty retreat in the car on the phone to 911 would NOT be questioned.
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Old July 13, 2009, 10:56 AM   #42
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4:30 a.m.

Its 4:30 a.m. ! If it was me & he was in my yard waiting on me & I'm 58 & a little guy. I would tell him to leave ! If he didn't start leaving he would probably get shot ! But, I'm not 58 I'm 30 & pretty big so, I would just whip his ass.
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Old July 13, 2009, 10:59 AM   #43
OldMarksman
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Quote:
I don't need authority to issue commands. I can issue any command I want. There may not be any authority behind it, but I can certainly issue commands (I issue them at home all the time - nobody listens, but the commands are issued!).
Your point?

Is there perhaps some liability associated with giving certain commands?

Quote:
The idea is to get the guy to stop doing what he is doing. By authoritatively telling him to get on the ground, you might get him to listen (he may not know that he doesn't have to follow your orders).
I agree that that's the idea, so why tell him to get on the ground if the idea is to get him to stop or go away??

Quote:
A man with a disparity of force, who has beat you before is apporaching you at 4:30am after (obviously) waiting for you to arrive home. That sounds lilke imminent danger.
Certainly sounds like it has the potential to get that way, but the man has approached you in a "pleading" manner. Does that fulfill the jeopardy requirement? Does the existence of the restraining order do so sufficiently? How much will the answers vary by jurisdiction?

Quote:
In your scenario (where you give no verbal commands to stop), the witnesses will say that you shot without warning. Which is worse? Shooting after telling the attacker to stop, or shooting without telling the attacker to stop?
Witnesses at 4:30 AM? Hmmmm. Well, if it was a "good shoot" and they were not friends of his, you're in luck!

You apparently missed my comment to Skydiver, in which I agreed with his recommendation to firmly tell the person to stop and that I was prepared to defend myself.

Nor did you address my concern. To answer your question, however, yes, I think it probably would be better to have fired at someone from whom the evidence would show I had been trying to escape than to have the authorities selecting from among my words that I said that he refused to get on the ground when I told him to and I shot him, particularly when I am permitted to respond only with "yes" or "no." Lay opinion.

Quote:
Seems to me there is no one right answer:...
Probably true. There are probably a lot of wrong ones, however.

Quote:
If I can get him on the ground at gun point because the first two options are not feasable, I will.
I still do not understand the point of getting him on the ground rather than getting him going in the other direction.

Nor do I know what one would expect to do after he was on the ground. I would want him gone, not lying near my driveway.

And if I have gotten him on the ground, what criminal and/or civil liabilities might I have assumed?

Consider the case of trespass. In some jurisdictions, the property owner or tenant is to ask the trespasser to leave, and if he refuses, the remedy is to call the police. Should he try to restrain the trespasser, the property owner or tenant can be charged criminally, and after the trespasser considers his legal options, "then the fun begins."

Here too, the issue may be jurisdiction-specific, and Pax's recommendation that the OP seek qualified advice is a very good one. Another key thing that may be jurisdiction-specific is whether and/or how the existence of a restraining order may influence the determination of when deadly force may be indicated.

Quote:
Should you ultimately shoot someone while carrying a pepper blaster, you now must convince the AG and possibly a jury that not only were you in danger, but the danger was such that your pepper blaster would not have worked (subjective, of course). That means that the BG better have had a gun (or you have a great lawyer). If all you have is a firearm, then you don't have to overcome that intermediate hurdle. Just that you were in imminent danger.
I should think one would use the pepper blaster first, and if it did not work, I think that fact would go a long way toward establishing the fact of imminent danger. Lay opinion.
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Old July 13, 2009, 12:39 PM   #44
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Don't forget that the restraining order implicitly binds you from contact also. You do not own the restraining order. IOW, you cannot decide to talk to this guy even if he seems very nice and sincere. A judge has prohibited that.
In Texas a LEO could arrest if he were to see the subject in violation of a RO. If not he would refer the incident to the appropriate court where a Contempt of Court summons, or possibly warrant would be issued for the subject to show cause why he should not be held in contempt. You can always carry a copy of the RO and brandish it menacingly in his face.
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Old July 13, 2009, 01:01 PM   #45
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You can always carry a copy of the RO and brandish it menacingly in his face.
That would require some form of contact with the subject. The best answer, as stated above, is to get in the vehicle, get in motion, and dial 911. Hopefully, you can bug the PD and DA until something is done and not have the RO simply become something that aggravates the subject with the gov't doing nothing (which is all too often the case).

Dropping the subject could be justified, but not necessarily on the facts given here. Disparity of force comes into play as does the subject's prior threats, but if you have an alternate means of protecting yourself (assuming you can get into the car and get moving safely) take it.

One question, though, is whether you are leaving anyone behind that the subject might vent on. Is there family in the home involved in whatever led to this situation? If so, are they a target and have you set up a response plan with them?
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Old July 13, 2009, 04:20 PM   #46
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Quote:
You are 58 years old, 165 lbs. 5'9".
I must have shrunk a lot. Was this size like at age 8 or 9.


I would get in the car, lock the doors roll up windows, drive to a safe place call 911. I would not shoot him or talk to him at all, just drive away.

A good dog on a leash would help hadda throw that in.
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Old July 13, 2009, 05:32 PM   #47
sakeneko
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Quote:
I would get in the car, lock the doors roll up windows, drive to a safe place call 911. I would not shoot him or talk to him at all, just drive away.
It looks like most of us agree about that. If I were facing the situation he is, I'd give some thought to parking in a place where I couldn't easily be blocked in and could be sure that I'd have the option to drive away.

Quote:
A good dog on a leash would help. hadda throw that in.
In my opinion there's not much that a good dog on a leash wouldn't help. (Especially my general state of mind; I love dogs.) But even if the OP has a dog, I don't think he's likely to have that dog with him when he's getting home from work at 4:30 AM.
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Old July 13, 2009, 07:32 PM   #48
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To the OP,
Can you get a remote controlled lighting system installed that can be activated as you pull in your driveway. It would allow you to scan the area before getting out of your car.I wouldn't try to do any more than take the guys picture and get the heck outta there. Hopefully, you'll have some one at home to vouch for the inside of the house or an alarm system to let you know if the house has been penetrated.
Best,
Rob
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Old July 14, 2009, 11:49 AM   #49
neon
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Get back in the car and leave while dialing 911.
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Old July 14, 2009, 12:02 PM   #50
Sixer
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Let him get close then pistol whip the heck out of him... He probably deserves it.

Ok, well don't actually do that... but definately don't shoot the guy if you DON'T HAVE TO.
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