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View Poll Results: Guy with a stick... What would you do?
Retreat to house, ignore him, or give directions to the park at a distance 68 76.40%
Approach in the most non-threatening way possible, pistol fully concealed, speaking to him, etc. 16 17.98%
Command him to drop the stick and be ready to draw your pistol 3 3.37%
Draw pistol, command him to drop stick, etc 2 2.25%
Voters: 89. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 12, 2010, 02:44 AM   #1
animal
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Guy acting drunk in the yard: scenario and poll

This one actually happened today, and I was wondering what the consensus would be of this board on how to handle it. Please post reasoning for responses especially if you would answer "other". .. had about 8 responses to choose from, then I noticed the 4-limit when I went to post.
I’ll post what happened later if this thread generates interest.



Scenario:
It is in the middle of the day, and you have found yourself doing a favor for a relative in his front yard. It’s a decent neighborhood, but not the best, and you know it fairly well. You are on the sidewalk, about 10 feet from the road. Walking at the edge of the road and coming in your direction is an average sized man that you’ve never seen before. He appears to be in his mid-50s, is "of another race" (is that the PC term now ?), a little pudgy but not fat. His clothes are dirty and have some loose grass stuck to them in places. They’re also wet except for the shoulders and the loosely hanging parts of shirt. His face, hair, and arms are dry.
He’s staggering a bit, dragging his feet some, talking and mumbling to himself (no bluetooth).
He is armed with stick about 22" long and an inch and a quarter or so in diameter … shaking it at cars passing close to him and complaining loudly at the cars.

He stops when he sees you and yells "HEY ! (a few unintelligible words) the park" when he’s at a distance of 15 feet (unless you had retreated upon seeing him, in which case the distance was at 30-40 feet.) He’s waving around the stick but not in a directly threatening manner, more like gesturing with it.

Your cell phone was accidentally destroyed less than an hour before … so the only phone is inside the house if you want to call 911. … really … not kiddin’! … bad day today.

The nearest park is located 10 blocks down and 4 blocks over from where you are.

Calls to police in the area usually take about 30 minutes (at best) for them to arrive, so at his current walking speed he could be well away in an unknown direction by the time they got there.

If it matters, consider yourself to be a little younger, larger, and physically stronger than him.(I’m 6’2", 240 lbs. some, but not a lot of it is fat … "heavy body type" that comes from construction work)

You are lawfully carrying a concealed weapon if you normally do so. (I wasn’t armed, but hey ! This is a firearms board.)

The choices :

1. retreat to house, ignore him, or give directions to the park at a distance

2. Approach in the most non-threatening way possible, weapon fully concealed, hands where he can see them, speaking to him, etc.

3. Command him to drop the stick and be ready to draw your pistol.

4. Draw pistol, command him to drop stick, etc
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Last edited by animal; August 12, 2010 at 09:49 AM.
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Old August 12, 2010, 03:58 AM   #2
BamaBowtie
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I would simply tell him that I didn't know where the park was. I would keep my distance while watching him. If he started to come into the yard I would tell him he was tresspassing and he needs to leave. If that didn't work I would probably take his stick and put him on the ground while yelling for some help.
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Old August 12, 2010, 06:23 AM   #3
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A stick that size is what my grandmother would call a "switch" and would be about the size for using on a child's bottom for punishment. At 1/4" I would not be considering it to be much of a weapon, certainly nothing for which there would be a need to draw on him.

In the scenario, you identify the man as being drunk. I am not sure how you made that assessment from that distance without seeing a bottle of booze of some sort. The description actually sounds like the guy might have mental issues.

Whatever the reason for the guy's behavior, it looks like the first choice is the best of the group. The second would not be wise as you have no reason to be near the guy. They last two would be unreasonable and the last one sounds like it would be illegal in this situation.
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Old August 12, 2010, 06:41 AM   #4
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Sounds like he is deranged or impaired in some way. Those guys are a lot like dogs, if you make eye contact or engage them in any way you can have an issue. I would simply walk away (preferably before he sees you) and keep an eye on him from a distance. If he does see you make up a story where the park is if you don't really know. I would also get a hold of someone to come check him out so he doesn't become a danger to himself or anyone else.
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Old August 12, 2010, 07:16 AM   #5
Chris_B
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Quote:
A stick that size is what my grandmother would call a "switch" and would be about the size for using on a child's bottom for punishment. At 1/4" I would not be considering it to be much of a weapon
lol

He said an inch and a quarter, not one quarter:

"He is armed with stick about 22" long and an inch and a quarter or so in diameter"

An inch and one quarter is approximately a hockey stick, not a bum-whippin switch. Spies are supposed to be observant

I had a milder version of this last summer, where a drunk man was screaming epithets and insults at my neighbors house at about 3 pm. I told him to go home, from a distance of about 3 yards so that we wouldn't engage in a shouting contest. He didn't have a weapon that I could see, but I did not confront him directly, I just told him he'd had enough now and it was time to go back where he came from. He offered to kill me, I told him to leave right now, which he did.

Boston won't issue a CC permit; I was unarmed. if I had a CC permit, I sure's hell wouldn't have drawn the weapon, even with the weak, drunken threat of violence. There was no need, the man was not aggressive, just confused and drunk

Last edited by Chris_B; August 12, 2010 at 07:24 AM.
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Old August 12, 2010, 07:21 AM   #6
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a wobbling drunk? I would just keep him in eyesight and call the cops. Pepperspray will work on drunks.
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Old August 12, 2010, 07:27 AM   #7
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I would stand my ground and go about whatever I was doing. I would completely ignore the guy - wouldn't answer him, and wouldn't antagonize him.

If he approached me I'd remain completely silent and just stare at him. If all the guy did was stare back, I'd go about my business, keeping an eye on him. The gun would not come out unless the man directly threatened me with bodily harm. I've actually done something similar to this before - and no incident developed. Several things:

1. Nutty people don't like when someone stares at them but refuses to talk to them - it creeps them out and they usually move on. If he came on my property, the only words that would come out of my mouth would be "get off my property NOW!"

2. Talking to nutty or drunk people wondering around in a place they clearly shouldn't be is like spitting in the wind - it will do you no good whatsoever. You can't help the nutty guy, so what would be the purpose of even opening your mouth? Also, if something did develop, you can honestly say that you never even spoke to the man.

3. I have a loaded firearm, I'm on my own property - what the heck am I worried about? 9 times out of 10, the nutty guy is just going to move on uttering something stupid meant to provoke you, but the main thing is he will move on and no one got hurt.
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Old August 12, 2010, 07:54 AM   #8
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A guy at that distance with a stick that size can get to you and do substantial damage in under a second. A wobbly dirt smeared nut or drunk is less likely to be able to, but he could. Who knows what he has just done, or is thinking about doing at the park (presumably full of kids). I would just go inside and call the police, then stand on the porch and observe. I don't think ignoring is an appropriate choice. I would not engage the nut unless he came onto the property in which case he would be informed he is to leave.
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Old August 12, 2010, 08:21 AM   #9
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I'd probably just point down the street in the direction of the park and go about my business while keeping an eye on him. Talking to him just draws him into a conversation you don't want to be in.

What kind of tools are you using working in the front yard? A hoe would easily keep him at bay if necessary.
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Old August 12, 2010, 08:36 AM   #10
psyfly
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What Sport45 said.

At that point, I wouldn't have seen anything that I'd be particularly alarmed about, just careful as usual.

Nor, at that point, would I have thought of calling anyone.

Best,

Will
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Old August 12, 2010, 08:58 AM   #11
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go turn on the hose and "water your lawn"
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:07 AM   #12
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Double-Naught, thanks for pointing out a mistake I made in the post

Oops ...
I meant to say that the guy was "acting like he was drunk" or the like in the title line. He is not necessarily impaired by alcohol or drugs when you see him, but he is staggering a little, dragging feet and slurring words. I went back and fixed it.

The stick however, was between 1-1/4 and 1 1/2 inches in diameter... about the size of a sledge hammer handle.
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:08 AM   #13
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Does it matter that he is not of your race?
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:12 AM   #14
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Keep an eye on him, back off, go inside the house, and call the police. If he tries to engage you... "Sorry, friend, I can't help you."

I think one does need to call the police in this situation. If he's staggering drunk (most likely thing, given the description), he's a danger to himself and needs to be off the street. And just maybe he's a homeless diabetic headed for a coma... and he needs medical attention. (It's not unheard of for someone in a diabetic crisis to be mistaken for drunk -- perhaps that's not likely in this case, but it's still a possibility.)
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:45 AM   #15
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Release the dog into the yard - if that doesn't work, 911
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:46 AM   #16
Skans
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Quote:
go inside the house,
That's the one thing I'm not going to do. It's my land and I have no intention of ever retreating on my own land. Maybe not the smartest thing, but a guy has to decide when he's going to stand his ground.
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:51 AM   #17
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hmm

I would bet that if you just ignored this man and looked the other way he would just wander off.. If he is drunk and aggressive I would say you need to leave and go in the house and call the cops if he didn't leave.. Honestly to react any other way would be looking for trouble.
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Old August 12, 2010, 10:55 AM   #18
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skans
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanya
go inside the house,
That's the one thing I'm not going to do. It's my land and I have no intention of ever retreating on my own land. Maybe not the smartest thing, but a guy has to decide when he's going to stand his ground.
The ethics of "standing one's ground" in this situation aren't relevant, IMO, which is why I deliberately avoided using the word "retreat." The OP specified that he had no cell phone, so in order to call the police, it's necessary to go into the house. And I believe one should call the police, for the reasons I gave in my previous post.

If "standing up for your rights" in this situation seems more important than calling for help for someone who's obviously at risk, one way or another, that's your call. My mileage does vary...
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:22 AM   #20
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I voted to go back inside. Regardless if it's drugs, alcohol or psychotic issues, there's no need to be a hero and confront someone who's not capable of rational thoughts or reasoning. Let the cops handle this one, that's what they're paid to do..
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
Posted by Skans: That [going inside the house] 's the one thing I'm not going to do. It's my land and I have no intention of ever retreating on my own land.
Retreating? Are you under attack?

Actually, the OP is not on his "own land"--he's in a relative's front yard.

Quote:
Maybe not the smartest thing,...
Well said.

Quote:
...but a guy has to decide when he's going to stand his ground.
"Stand his ground?" Why? Is it an ego thing?

I would go inside if it started to rain heavily, if large hailstones started to come down, if the police were engaged in a stand-off up the street, or to get a drink of water. I wouldn't consider it "retreating." Nor would I see any reason to "stand my ground," should going inside be the best way to avoid an interaction with someone with an apparent behavioral disorder who just may be infected with something incurable.

However, since you have brought up the subject of retreat, where I live I do have a duty to retreat if i am threatened, if it is possible to do so safely, unless I am in my domicile or automobile. It's not in the statute but the duty exists.

If that duty did not exist, and if retreat were safely possible, I would nonetheless retreat if I were endangered by an assailant. It's safer legally, it's better tactically, it's probably a whole lot cheaper, and doing otherwise proves nothing for me.
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Old August 12, 2010, 11:44 AM   #22
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What if the guy was on pcp, meth or some type of psychoactive drug that impairs or numbs his pain receptors? By confronting this guy all you've done now is escalated the situation into a dangerous, potentially lethal scenario that could have been avoided by simply walking away.

Did you ever hear about guys on those drugs that break handcuffs, drink pepper spray, scoff at tasers, get hit by cars [actual thread from on here], shot multiple times, and STILL pose a threat?

Ego, adrenaline and testosterone are sometimes a lethal combination. Add strong drugs or alcohol to the equation, and it's the perfect recipe for a lethal confrontation▬it happens in bars every single day
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Old August 12, 2010, 12:04 PM   #23
Skans
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Quote:
I would go inside if it started to rain heavily, if large hailstones started to come down, if the police were engaged in a stand-off up the street, or to get a drink of water. I wouldn't consider it "retreating." Nor would I see any reason to "stand my ground," should going inside be the best way to avoid an interaction with someone with an apparent behavioral disorder who just may be infected with something incurable.

However, since you have brought up the subject of retreat, where I live I do have a duty to retreat if i am threatened, if it is possible to do so safely, unless I am in my domicile or automobile. It's not in the statute but the duty exists.

If that duty did not exist, and if retreat were safely possible, I would nonetheless retreat if I were endangered by an assailant. It's safer legally, it's better tactically, it's probably a whole lot cheaper, and doing otherwise proves nothing for me.

The bottom line is that, if I am in my own front yard (I understand that this may not have been the OP's scenario - not sure) and some drunk, nutty scary guy comes stagering down the street, whether I'm armed or not, I'm not going to tuck tail and run inside my house. Even if it's a relative's front yard, I'm not going to tuck tail and run inside the house. It's just not in my nature to act like that.
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Old August 12, 2010, 12:14 PM   #24
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Who said anything about "tucking tail?" You're not under threat, you just need to make a phone call, and you can't make it outside. Heck, go inside, make the call, and go back out if you want, but make the call.

I wouldn't let my ego get in the way of doing what needs to be done in this situation... and I'd feel sort of bad if this fellow collapsed and died on my lawn, and I'd done nothing to get help for him.
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Old August 12, 2010, 12:17 PM   #25
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Why does it have to be an ego thing to stand your ground? Is standing your ground a bad thing? Would one be a bad guy to stand thier ground? Would it make you feel like a mall ninja to stand your ground? Jeesh.

Standing your ground is the correct thing to do here. I didn't say retreat in the house and call 911, nor did I say confront the drunk and talk to him. Ignore him. So far he has not made threats? So what, a drunk guy makin his way down the block. Skans had a great idea, do not talk to him, hopefully he will be creeped out and move along.

I also would not see a reason to call the police. Why? He's walking. Nor can I wrap my mind around that he might have a medical condition, so I would be helping him to call the police on him. I suppose it is possible (But I am not medically qualified to make that determination), and besides...honestly, it can not be reasonable assumed that the police will help him at all other than fill him up with charges. The drunk doesn't deserve that. What has he done? Act drunk. He wasn't aggressive or else thier wouldn't be so much greyness or even a thread with the question! He was showing some spirit so to speak, but not threatening you or the thread would have a different tone.

It saddens me that so many would be poised to call the authorities on your fellow man for walking down the street. Live and let live people. I promise all of you, you can walk down my street drunk if you want and as long as no aggression is shown you can dance a jig down the street and I will not sic the dogs on you.
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