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Old August 22, 2010, 02:47 PM   #1
siggygirl
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Close in defense options

Okay, real scenario, sorry to say.

Obviously I'm female, middle aged, not too athletic. Scenario is: in an office with no other colleagues in my suite except sometimes a tiny Buddhist woman, in a Class A office building with no security, me in my chair, intoxicated or agitated person on the couch right in front of me, 8 feet away, heavy glass coffee table between us, door to my left. Cut to, person behaving agitated and I can't talk him down. Is there any possible role for a fiream in this? No backstop. Can't carry on body at work but I can have one within reach of my hand loaded with whatever, frangibles, whatever. They WILL NOT expect me to be armed in any way.

Please skip any suggestions around "get another job", "find another career," "hire security guards," "get an attack dog in your office." Can't be done. Panic button is going in this week but that gives me maybe 10 minutes alone with BG. I'm will entertain any reasonable suggestion, including other weapon types and general non-weapon tactics. There are further limitations, but I don't want to overwhelm anyone with them because it's alot. Took floating some range guys a box each of sweet ammo to get them to not give up too quickly and really think yesterday. One came up with frangibles, the other said knife carry IWB.

Last edited by siggygirl; August 24, 2010 at 04:45 PM. Reason: TMI
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Old August 22, 2010, 02:53 PM   #2
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4oz can of pepper foam. The foam works well indoors.
Stuff i'm currently using is called Crime Halter
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Old August 22, 2010, 03:03 PM   #3
siggygirl
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I'd considered spray but ruled it out because of the shared ventilation system of the building. Foam? I'm intrigued. I will most definitely check it out!
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Old August 22, 2010, 03:35 PM   #4
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I would recommend a mult point approach: A self defense pen or two, maybe a self defense hair brush (turns to stabbing weapon), some sort of foaming mace with a dye. A crazy loud audible alarm that you control. All these things make up deterrents that you can layer so you have access to one or another at all times.

A multi shot taser would be a plus, you may also want to consider a couple of 2 x 4's boards (short lenght nailed together, ie 2 boards sided by side)with a handful of long sharp nails facing upward that you can discretely slide out using your foot, behind your desk without being in view of the customer. (just be careful you dont step on them)

The idea being of course that the attacker would probably go around your desk and never see the nails before they step on them, giving you a chance to escape while they figure out how to get there foot off the nails. The wider the boards the greater the chance of success.

You might also consider that you are probably vulnerable to any crazys while on your way to your car. Id get a gun with a laser on it as lasers make a pretty good deterrent and if it doesnt then it can help you get off that first shot when there are no other choices. A strobing flashlight could also be of use depending on how dark your parking area is..


Be safe and be creative.....

Creativity will be the key, but definitely dont put all your eggs in one basket.
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Last edited by BGutzman; August 22, 2010 at 03:52 PM. Reason: changed per request
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Old August 22, 2010, 03:38 PM   #5
Vanya
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Siggygirl, the first thing to do is to postpone the appointment (I'm assuming there's an appointment involved) until after the panic button is in.

That's assuming you have a really good reason for not just canceling the appointment or turning it over to someone else.

Who will the panic button summon? How long will it take them to arrive?

If it's longer than a few seconds, and you probably should assume it will be, you need some sort of backup plan/weapon in any case.

I'm not sure introducing a gun into this situation would be a good idea: first, if you're not able to carry it on your person, how secure will it be? Will it be in a desk drawer? In your handbag? Second, will you be able to reach it in time to do any good? It would be an absolute last resort in a situation like that, and if it's not on you, I'd be concerned about being able to get to it at all.

A knife or other stabbing weapon is a bad idea unless you're trained to use and retain it, I think, if you're confronting someone larger and stronger. And in any case, you have to be too close in order to use it. You don't want to be within reach.

The pepper foam is probably your best option; I say this partly because the threshold for using it (non-deadly force) is going to be a lot lower than for using deadly force... so you'll have more time to deploy it on someone who's unruly and threatening.

As another middle-aged woman, I'd want the panic button, and the pepper foam, and I'd arrange for another, non-tiny, person to be present during this meeting. Anything less isn't safe for you, and you should decline to see this individual.

I have some experience, albeit second-hand, with a situation like this: my mother worked in a large Federal bureaucracy, and was deliberately set up by her boss (who wanted her out) in the identical situation: a psychotic client who was known to be homicidal, door closed... it turned out OK, but she said afterward that she wished she had just said no to her boss...
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Last edited by Vanya; August 22, 2010 at 03:52 PM. Reason: by request.
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Old August 22, 2010, 03:45 PM   #6
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For the sake of privacy, I respond to some posts by PM. Good ideas. Also so I'm less searchable, please edit your posts to remove any reference to occupation. I'll PM you why. Thanks all.
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Old August 22, 2010, 03:49 PM   #7
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All I know is that if you draw your pistol and point it at someone then you have to articulate reasons in detail as to why you thought your life was in clear and present danger...otherwise you could be charged with felony assault or misuse of deadly force.

You cannot use your firearm as a method to control distasteful or profane behavior. If someone is swearing and giving you the finger, then that is not a reason to draw your pistol. If they come in obviously agitated and will not leave the office, then you cannot draw your pistol. If they come into the office yelling at the top of their lungs the most profane words you have ever heard, then that is still not reason enough to draw your pistol.

Most prosecutors will send any matter involving a firearm to a grand jury whether its a police or non-police matter. So if you pull your pistol on someone, then that matter might be filtered through a grand jury and you may even get prosecuted. Ultimately, a judge or jury will decide the final outcome.

My advice is to call the police when you feel the situation might get out of control. My experience is the police will arrive within a few minutes in any urban or suburban locality. In fact, we have had to call the police a few times on irrate customers who were being too aggressive. The police came, talked with the customers and they left. Easy as that...
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Old August 22, 2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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If, . . . and that is a big IF, . . . it is not illegal in your state, I would first opt for a can of bear spray, . . . I understand it can be found in a foam type application. If it'll turn a bear, . . . I would certainly think it would turn a human, no matter how agitated or whatever.

Second option would be a Charter Arms (or similar) double action 44 special revolver. It is like a Kodak Camera, . . . point and shoot, . . . no safety, . . . totally un-complicated, . . . in a holster held in place under the desk by a magnet.

If bear spray won't put down the attacker, . . . a 44 special will, . . . for good. It is also not an overly powerful round, . . . not heavy on recoil, . . . and overpenetration should not be an issue. Go to a local range and try one on for size.

In your situation, my last choice would be a 9 shot, .22 revolver filled with hollow points, with a 3 inch barrel (sawn down by a gun smith if you can't find one from the factory). Choice of gun will be determined by your ability to handle recoil and follow up shots.

Remember, if you use a firearm to protect yourself, . . . it is not to scare or threaten, . . . it is to physically incapacitate your attacker by serious pain and bleeding. Get one you can use, . . . will use, . . . and will practice with until you are seriously proficient.

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Old August 22, 2010, 04:07 PM   #9
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Of course deadly forces is always the last option and only when you have met all the legal requirements and there is no other choice.

By all means I would use the items I suggested with restraint but the availability of a variety of items gives you options.

I know people like to believe the police will be there in a minute or three and often they are and often they are not.

Friday, I was following what appeared to be a very drunk driver while I was driving home. The car was completely (100%) on the opposite side of the road in the oncoming lane and then swerved almost into the ditch back on our side of the road.

My wife called the police and we turned on the GPS and reported the whole thing and where we were at. My wife and I followed the guy at a distance for over 15 minutes, even passing the police station and we were finally told they werent going to be able to get to the guy because of a accident.

The guy was still all over the road when I broke it off.... It could have just as easily been a worker in a situation as you are describing.

Your defense is in your hands and dont let anyone tell you different.... Yes by all means obey the law and call the police but be prepared to save yourself if given no alternative and no path of retreat.
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Old August 22, 2010, 04:09 PM   #10
siggygirl
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Thanks for your edits all, you are protecting my life. Guns, huh? At 8 feet, you think I'd have time to draw? With no back stop as well and entirely possible "collateral damage?"

You're right about being serious and prepared for consequences if I use a gun. For me it will go beyond even the legal level as there other governing bodies in my life that....let's just say....think people with guns are crazy.

I was gonna post on another spot but can't find where, maybe you can direct...what happens if I find myself in jail after discharging my firearm under this or any other circumstance? I'll be carrying concealed when my permit gets approved shortly. I don't have anyone to come bail me out. I don't have an attorney to call. What does one do? To my benefit, state, county and city LE have paper on my "issues" and do some drive bys at my house when activity is more threatening.
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Old August 22, 2010, 04:20 PM   #11
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In the situation described I think a good OC spray and a taser is the way to go.
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Old August 22, 2010, 04:21 PM   #12
BGutzman
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sissygirl - your post is rather alarming... If you have a person that is distressing you this much Id seek a lawyer and pay the couple of hundred dollar fees and put them on retainer.

If the lawyers on retainer then you have someone to call if you get locked up, but even better the lawyer may be able to give you advice that allows you to keep your job and not deal with this person. Depending on what exactly you do this could be considered a hostile work environment or so it would seem.

If I lived closer Id volunteer to be your body guard for a day or two until the threat passes but that doesnt seem practical given the distance.

It seems you feel gravely threatened though and I certainly would seek a good lawyers advice immediately.
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Old August 22, 2010, 04:40 PM   #13
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Despite how it seems, I'm okay

Yeah, I know this stuff sounds really bad. And it is but it's a long time kind of thing. And, it's not much different than other people in my profession face, they just haven't had it roll up on them yet. Or they have and we haven't talked to each other. THERE ARE NO ACTIVE KNOWN THREATS AT THIS TIME. Just thought I'd let anyone who might be freaked out breathe. Since there are no known threats, now is the time for me to think through this stuff. When there's an active threat, I'm less rational.
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Old August 22, 2010, 04:53 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
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Might look into the Insights H2H or defensive knife classes. They are up the road in Washington state. www.insightstraining.com
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:02 PM   #15
siggygirl
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Good idea, Glenn. Catalog looks good but their prices are pretty steep. We'll see. At a minimum, I need some training on gun retention in the next few weeks before I strap this beautiful Sig on. You know a little about my situation. Any suggestions on how to go about finding a lawyer locally in case I land myself in jail? Obviously please don't reference the city, PM if you want. And, to anyone, will that lawyer come bail me out? I've never been to jail and never want to. But if I'm in there, I want to get out ASAP!
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:02 PM   #16
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Many people would be surprised how effective a multi-purpose dry-chemical fire extinguisher, discharged in the facial area, can be at short range; it buys time to skedaddle and/or to reach a more effective and permanant solution or, in and of itself, may resolve the issue. An advantage is that it can be openly mounted and close to hand, yet appears to be innocuous.

If I were contemplating using a fire extinguisher in a defensive role, I would remove the tamper seal that helps prevent accidental discharge and mount it such that it could rapidly be dismounted and deployed with one hand.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:09 PM   #17
siggygirl
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Don, that is brilliant. It might solve an issue without creating the need for a lawyer or upsetting the "powers that be." It's as much a weapon as the books on my desk.

Right now I'm looking at some self defense training, pepper foam, possibly taser in purse, panic button. I like these options. Out of the office, the run and scream will be my first choice. Then run and pull weapon to shoot if they keep running after me. Obviously, I won't be walking in the dark alone, in bad neighborhoods, in stillettos, etc.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:18 PM   #18
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First vote would be for a trap door and piranha tank (sharks are so "yesterday") but having something neat like that sometimes makes it irresistible to start "monologueing" … and gives the guy a chance to get out of it somehow…. a real bummer, there.

Seriously, the pepper foam sounds good. If ya can’t find it, I’d at least have the spray handy in your situation (it’s a good idea to have a can of the stuff handy for other places anyway)... and … Screw the ventilation system… You’re not going to be using the stuff unless the guy tries to actually come at you with intent. Due to dilution, the worst others in the building might experience should be mild discomfort… scratchy eyes, odd feeling in the throat and nose, etc. . a good trade against the possibility of you going to the hospital or worse, imo. Hopefully, the other building inhabitants will see it that way too. I’d be a good idea to make sure everybody in the building gets notified ASAP if you have to spray … so they don’t freak out and come down with psychosomatic anthrax or nerve gas poisoning.

frangibles: I like ‘em but they can’t be relied on to break up inside a wall, they just decrease the chances of harming someone on the other side of a wall. Use of a gun is gonna be hard to justify without a clear threat to life by the guy, and it sounds like you won’t have a witness around.

knives : without a lot of training and determination to use it, they can be more dangerous to you than them. Imo, they are most valuable as a close-in offensive weapon rather than for defense.

You need to make friends with some cops, imo… An off duty cop or one just happening to be taking a break nearby … his cell number typed into your phone and the phone handy, so all you have to do is push the send button … might get you by till the panic button is in. If he has already threatened bodily harm, you might be able to wrangle an on-duty one if you have an understanding police chief.

Really, my vote would be for pepper and the phone panic button if you can arrange it (preferably with a cop, but with the meanest street fighter you can find otherwise) . Knives and guns require a lot of explaining if the crazy bugger isn’t armed and there are no witnesses. These days, most people expect a woman to have a little can of spray for the walk to the car.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:22 PM   #19
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Many people would be surprised how effective a multi-purpose dry-chemical fire extinguisher, discharged in the facial area, can be at short range; it buys time to skedaddle and/or to reach a more effective and permanant solution or, in and of itself, may resolve the issue. An advantage is that it can be openly mounted and close to hand, yet appears to be innocuous.

If I were contemplating using a fire extinguisher in a defensive role, I would remove the tamper seal that helps prevent accidental discharge and mount it such that it could rapidly be dismounted and deployed with one hand.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:31 PM   #20
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+1 to the fire extinguisher as an option. I can testify that being hit in the face at 3 feet is friggin painful. Long story… my car caught on fire, and a convenience store cashier tried to help.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:31 PM   #21
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I have no experience with foam mace, but I imagine that even foam will ahve some residual discharge that would effect everyone (including the defender) in the room and adjacent rooms connected by ventilation. Still, foam mace is a good idea. To be honest, if you're in a situation in which you have to use mace, I doubt anyone will be too upset if they get a sore throat and runny eyes from you using mace on an attacker. Unless they are the type looking for a reason to sue. But if they are that type then any kind of weapon you use against an attacker puts you at risk for a lawsuit.

I would also like to remind posters that the attacker is intoxicated. I don't know if bullets would incapacitate an attacker quickly enough for them to not do harm. Either way the fact that the attacker may be impervious to pain is something to be considered.

While the fire extinguisher idea is good, I wonder about the deployment time of something like that. Like Don said, you may consider pulling the safety pin when you get it so that you're not fumbling for it in a situation. Also get the kind you can use one handed. Maybe a little handheld one like they sell for cars. Otherwise this seems like a very good option... I like this.

In my state tazers and their equivalents are banned for civilian use, this may be similar in your state. This would be the ideal in my opinion; no risk of third party harm, gives distance, quickly deployed, incapacitates immediately.

I highly doubt you will be immediately put in jail for an act of self defense. Especially if it's a male attacker and a female defender. 95% of self defense shootings I can think of the defender was put in jail way after the shooting. If you're that worried about, get cameras for the office for proof that it was justified. If that's not possible, voice recorders.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:34 PM   #22
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Quote:
At 8 feet, you think I'd have time to draw?
If attacked from 8 feet, unless it is in your hand already, you won't be able to use the gun/knife/pepper foam.

You will need to open up distance in order to deploy any weapon other than going 'hands-on'.

Just food for thought.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:51 PM   #23
siggygirl
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Good feedback and suggestions. And I think I have the local lawyer things covered due to a friendly forum user

Animal, you're thinking like me. I've been trolling for LE. Not just because I like them, I do, but because I think we could be helpful to each other. I actually have some things to offer that might help in their job as well. They don't get enough training around certain areas and are sometimes unsure how to evaluate these certain types of situations. That became known to my colleagues several years back and we lobbied for more training. As of late, it does seem to be going better. But 1000% of the time, when I'm interacting with local LE, in any capacity, even getting a speeding ticket, it's a good interaction. They've helped me help many people in the past.

So.....how does one become friends with a local LEO? I've been hoping to run into some at the ranges, but none so far. Maybe I haven't hit the right range. Seems like shooting guns has been a natural shared interest with people.
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Old August 22, 2010, 05:52 PM   #24
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I'd even consider buying a Glock. And that says a lot.
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Old August 22, 2010, 06:16 PM   #25
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I've never used the pepper foam, but have used Fox labs 5.3 SHU spray with UV dye.

Since it would be a worst case scenario, the ventilation is a secondary concern. If it saves your life who cares if they have to evacuate adjacent offices?

I have been hit with the spray in training and it is very effective.

As far as getting to it in time, some self adhesive velcro strips would secure it nicely in any notebook you may be holding during interviews.

As far as walking to the parking area, stick to your gun.
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