The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools
Old February 20, 2011, 04:07 PM   #1
bob.a
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 298
Interesting encounter - advice, please.

I had to get gas last night on the way home from work (2230). Pulled up to pump, started gassing up. A young Hispanic-lloking guy started hanging around, about 10 feet away. Black leather, stomping boots, shoulder-length hair. Never came closer than maybe 8 feet, but never went away. I was at passenger side rear, he controlled access to driver's side door.

I'm 63, out of shape, and on blood thinners, so a violent encounter was going to leave me in a very bad way, and I'm in no shape to run for it.

No cell phone, unarmed except for 3" folding knife; the person manning the gas station was locked into his office for the night; by the time he'd have become aware of the situation, it would have been over.

Options: Douse the guy with gas. But he never got close enough.
Try to ease past him, get in driver's seat: not going to work if he wanted to push the point. And the way he was hanginhg around, just out of reach, made me certain that he had plans involving me, and maybe my vehicle.
Get in passenger side, try to lock car and crawl into driver's seat. Awkward, and if I couldn't lock him out I'd be trapped in the car with him.
Lock car with keys and walk away. Possibly work, but not if he was determined. Also hate turning my back on a threat.
Pull the knife and look tough. fine unless he decides to shoot me. No sense precipitating an attack.

I live in Maryland, which means no carry, and work in DC, which means keeping a weapon in the car is likely to make me a ward of the state for a few years. So I'm essentially defenseless. As things worked out, a patrol car happened to drive into the strip mall on the next block as I finished pumping. My young friend, who had been hanging around, pulled a fade.

Had this not happened, I'm uncertain how the situation would have gone down.

Anyone out there have comments or suggestions? I don't like trusting to luck to save my butt.
bob.a is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 04:24 PM   #2
Shootin Chef
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 121
I'm not at all familiar with the laws in your area, but isn't this situation exactly what a trunk gun is for? Have a small 9mm in a dark, out of the way corner in your trunk? You're at the rear passenger, so at the trunk, with the body between you and him for cover and concealment for what you are doing. You get your defense weapon after you pump your gas, head to your door, if nothing happens then you drive away and put the gun away on down the road.

INAL but if the trunk is locked, they can't make you open it without just cause and if it's tucked away very well they might not even see it any way. If you drive a truck then I guess it's a moot point, but maybe the locked glove compartment?
Shootin Chef is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 04:25 PM   #3
dawico
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2009
Location: Lampasas, TX
Posts: 326
I would have said in a loud voice, "Hows it going?" This lets him know that you are aware of his presence, as if it wasn't already obvious, and his response will also give you a better idea of his intentions, which didn't seem good anyways. Eight feet is way too close for that situation in my opinion. I also would have already had the knife drawn and concealed, ready for an attack.

There are a couple of options that I think you missed.

One, you could have opened up the door closest to you, then locked the car with the key fob. This would have given you a good entry point and held him up.

Second, usually there is a button on the pump for handicapped assistance. This would have drawn the attention of the attendant. That may or may not have helped, but usually an attacker wants as little attention as possible.

The best thing would be to stall for time. When the pump clicks off, and if he didn't notice, continue to hold it in the pumping position. Hopefully someone else comes along, like what happened. If not, gas in the face would be a good attack deterrent, and draw some attention also.

First and foremost though, move to a state that lets you carry a gun. If not, avoid being alone at night like that. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
dawico is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 04:26 PM   #4
EricReynolds
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 393
That's a difficult spot to be in. As far as what happened and your options, if you have tinted windows, I'd get in the car on passenger side and wait to see what he does. I wouldn't even crawl in to the front seat. I could still have a way to escape if he goes nuts and if the windows are tinted, he wouldn't even realise I'm not still pumping. If he walks around to the other side to see if I'm still there, then I climb in front and take off. Where is the gas station located? If there is a place I can walk to and keep an eye on the car and use a phone, I'd do that. As for in the future, never go anywhere without a cell phone. I'd be lost without mine. If you can't carry and you have no phone, you are far too vulnerable.
EricReynolds is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 05:09 PM   #5
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,564
Before Ohio finally opened up and gave us CCW, . . . I cannot tell you the number of times I had an open knife in one hand or the other for a similar scenario.

No, . . . I sure don't want to get into a knife fight with anyone, . . . but I'm not taking empty paws to a violent encounter if I have a knife, . . . which is just about all the time.

You don't have to show it, . . . but you do have to be prepared to use it, . . . and the whole thing isn't at all pretty, . . . and you will probably get cut up yourself, . . .

But if you live through it, . . . well, . . . you survived, . . . that is what it is all about.

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 05:16 PM   #6
threegun
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2006
Location: Tampa,Fl
Posts: 4,000
Any advice given without a firearm option would instantly be trumped by your opponent pulling a firearm. So I say move to a pro good guy State. When all the good guys leave they can kill each other and do society a favor.
threegun is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 05:32 PM   #7
FireForged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 1999
Location: Rebel South USA
Posts: 1,185
What defense options are available in your State? If I could not arm myself for defense purposes, I would cetainly alter the "when, where and what time" I pumped gas.
__________________
Life is a web woven by necessity and chance...
FireForged is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 05:56 PM   #8
gearhounds
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 20, 2011
Location: M'burg WV
Posts: 325
Since I'm LE, I am always armed, so I can't truly put myself in your shoes. Given your situation, living in the republic of Maryland, I would give serious thought to an equalizer of some kind; unless you are skilled with one, I wouldn't make a knife my first choice. I would rather obtain, and learn how to use an expandable baton. Under MD law, as I read it, an expandable baton does not fall into the prohibited weapon category, unless it's intent is to be used offensively. As a defensive tool, it is legal to have, and carry, subject to law (court houses, schools, etc), and is a menacing object when brandished with competence. Get one that opens and locks easily and securely, such as the Manadnock Auto-Lock. Then practice, practice, practice...
gearhounds is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 06:39 PM   #9
bob.a
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 298
Thanks for the advice so far.

Car does not have tinted windows, guy had me under constant observation. No key fob lock; I was thinking of getting in and trying a lockout, but I've never checked to see if I could lock all the doors at once except from the driver's position. Trunk weapon is a possibility, but I'd be going to jail if I had to use it, not a pleasant prospect. A nice club or tire iron would have some effect, but bringing a club to a gunfight is tactically weak: if the guy drew on me then, he'd surely shoot me. (I don't know if he was armed, but we have a fair number of gangbangers hereabouts, and they like to shoot each other).

It might come down to illegal carry, unless the courts come across with restoring our rights. I don't like to put myself in jeopardy, but it beats a pine box.

As to timing, I was thinking about gassing up Friday night, but figures Sat was safer. (I work 16 hrs Fri, 14 on Sat, leaves me little time. Next time I'll get up 15 minutes early and do the deed in tha morning; not too many folks getting robbed at 0800).

Moving is also an option I'm considering. Virginia is ten miles away, and I could carry there.
bob.a is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 06:40 PM   #10
Wolfeye
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2008
Posts: 208
Speaking as a long-haired, Republican, Protestant, clean & sober minority with two college degrees, I find this post to be very disturbing. Some of you people sound like you're itching to pull a gun on a guy for being hispanic. We have no other information, other than that the OP was scared of him for standing 10' away.

I am ticked off. My advice for the situation? Talk to the guy. For all we know, he was shy about asking for a smoke, or he was waiting for a ride to show up and was wondering why a 63 y/o man kept giving him weird looks. Since moving to the big city I've had to interact with people of many different backgrounds, and at first I was nervous about talking to any of them. I got over it. And not one of the whites, blacks, arabs, or filipinos I've talked to turned out to have plans on mugging me.

I'll try not to be offended, and pretend that the OP actually was in pending danger. The best course of action is to prevent the situation from developing in the first place: avoid questionable neighborhoods and have a look around before climbing out of the car to tank up or get cash. Prepare yourself by carrying strong pepper spray, if that's legal, and a really strong flashlight that you can shine in their eyes. A big dog can help, but not so much if he's in the back seat.

Bob.a, I mean no offense, but your words have offended me, and I've given my best 2 cents despite it. I respectfully ask that you close this thread.

Good luck to you.
Wolfeye is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 07:05 PM   #11
FireForged
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 4, 1999
Location: Rebel South USA
Posts: 1,185
We all have our life experiences to rely on when it comes to detecting "danger". Some may even be so subconscious that you cant describe it in words. I guess to put it plainly, I trust the OP ability to judge correctly if something bad or dangerous was afoot. I do not base this belief on how he described the event but rather on the fact that he just expressed a sense of danger. I didnt notice anyone saying that he should take some kind of action against the fellow. I only noticed people suggesting a way to be prepared.
__________________
Life is a web woven by necessity and chance...

Last edited by FireForged; February 20, 2011 at 07:11 PM.
FireForged is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 07:46 PM   #12
threegun
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 1, 2006
Location: Tampa,Fl
Posts: 4,000
Quote:
Speaking as a long-haired, Republican, Protestant, clean & sober minority with two college degrees, I find this post to be very disturbing. Some of you people sound like you're itching to pull a gun on a guy for being hispanic. We have no other information, other than that the OP was scared of him for standing 10' away.
Wolfeye, Please do yourself a favor and get a thicker skin. I'm hispanic and found nothing wrong with the description given. Reality proves profiling to be a valuable tool. Perhaps latinos commit the most crimes in his area.

Itching to pull a gun on a guy for being hispanic or preparing to defend myself from a man who looks intent on ill will?

Get real and grow up. Save the race card for the real deal.
threegun is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 07:57 PM   #13
pmeisel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 30, 2008
Location: WV
Posts: 271
I have had similar experiences recently -- leading to one hand on the knife. I am also good sized, and close attention to the "crowder" caused him to back off and look elsewhere a couple times.

wolfeye -- sorry you are offended, but I doubt you often stand, late at night, in a position that makes others fear assault. That's more about posture and position than it is about grooming or ethnicity. I have short hair and am lily white but I know how to appear threatening.
__________________
Paul
pmeisel is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 08:10 PM   #14
curt.45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2008
Location: Fort Wayne Ind.
Posts: 799
you could just get a car with the filler on the drivers side.

and talking to the guy gives him a reason to move closer, I go for just keeping an eye on him and not making any kind of contact.

I used to gas up late at night out of convenience but I can carry and I'm kinda big.
curt.45 is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 08:11 PM   #15
jhenry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,813
I don't think Hispanic had a thing to do with the encounter, or anyone's response. "Hispanic" was simply an observation of the guy. I didn't take it as anything else. Kudos for being aware enough to get a good description.

Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned OC as an option for self defense considering the location of travel and work.
__________________
"A Liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory". - Charles Krauthammer
jhenry is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 08:13 PM   #16
Ben Towe
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 6, 2009
Location: Middle Tennessee
Posts: 1,120
Actually you probably could have doused him with gas at that distance. Most pumps put out a pretty healthy stream. Gas in the eyes hurts. I suppose tossing him a lit zippo after soaking him would have definitely ended it if just the gas didn't, but you might have turned the whole place into a funeral pyre, yourself included.

Bad situation any way you look at it.
__________________
'Merica: Back to back World War Champs
Ben Towe is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 08:14 PM   #17
cambeul41
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 9, 2004
Location: Southeast Michigan
Posts: 101
"Wolfeye," you are funny. Listen to three gun.

For 26 years I was married into a Muslim family (great people). I teach in Detroit and am quite comfortable being the only one of my race (I don't have an ethnicity) in the room. I have Hispanic in-laws (great people as well). If some one who doesn't look like me -- or does -- appears to be threatening, they will be treated as a threat. I couldn't care less if their feelings are hurt.

Being too PC could get either of us killed.
cambeul41 is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 09:36 PM   #18
Shootin Chef
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 30, 2011
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 121
I don't really see it as "itching" to pull a gun when you feel threatened and slightly helpless in the face of what you perceive to be danger. OP didn't sound like he wanted to put the barrel to the guys nose, just have something on hand should he attempt to get back to his drivers side and things escalated.

As for his reference to the man's ethnic appearance, do you really feel that strongly insulted? He described the man exactly like I would hope someone would had the man ended up being a danger and harmed the op and ran off.
I just can't see the police report of a "tan skinned fellow" working very well personally.
Shootin Chef is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 10:04 PM   #19
therewolf
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2011
Posts: 133
I've pumped gas a few times at night with one hand on the pump,

and one hand on the gun in my pocket.

Move to a shall-issue state. Don't spend any money where you can't have a

gun.
therewolf is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 10:23 PM   #20
Glenn Bartley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 18, 2006
Posts: 283
Quote:
I am ticked off. My advice for the situation? Talk to the guy. For all we know, he was shy about asking for a smoke, or he was waiting for a ride to show up and was wondering why a 63 y/o man kept giving him weird looks. Since moving to the big city I've had to interact with people of many different backgrounds, and at first I was nervous about talking to any of them. I got over it. And not one of the whites, blacks, arabs, or filipinos I've talked to turned out to have plans on mugging me.
Why not go back and read the original post again. Because of your apparent playing the race card, it appears you missed an awful lot of what made the guy appear to be an apparent threat which was then quite likely upheld because he slithered away when a police car came into sight.

Pepper spray might be a good non-gun self defense weapon to carry for the person who started the thread. It may beat knife fighting if you are not trained in it. A collpaisible baton might be a good 2nd weapon. Of course, I mean only if both are legal.
__________________
When I look in the mirror, I am happy to see, some of that nine year old boy, who used to be me.
http://ballseyesboomers.blogspot.com/
Glenn Bartley is offline  
Old February 20, 2011, 10:25 PM   #21
Mike38
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 28, 2009
Location: North Central Illinois
Posts: 1,176
Wolfeye, I’m a bit confused here. First you write:

Quote:
And not one of the whites, blacks, arabs, or filipinos I've talked to turned out to have plans on mugging me.
Then you write:

Quote:
….avoid questionable neighborhoods…
If there are no Whites, Blacks, Arabs, or Filipinos that have plans to mug you, how can questionable neighborhoods exist?

Truth is, no matter the color of someone’s skin, evil exists in the world we live in. If I don’t know someone, I don’t trust them, until they earn my trust. Call me paranoid if you want, but I plan on dying of old age peacefully in my bed, not shot or cut up, bleeding out and murdered.
Mike38 is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 12:28 AM   #22
raimius
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 1,338
I would advise training with and carrying the best legally-permissable weapon for defense.

In the OP's case, I agree that politely acknowledging the other person's presence is smart. I have read many reports and compilations that suggest most criminals seek unaware victims. If you can remove that, it is an asset. Second, keep a solid object between you and them, if you suspect trouble. It's not quite as good as distance, but legitimate cover can be very valuable. Third, why don't you have a cell phone!? They are cheap and punching 4 buttons can get backup rolling (9-1-1-send).

...or you can reach into your pocket, sigh, then ask the guy for some money since you left your wallet at home. Who knows, it might work.
raimius is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 12:29 AM   #23
bob.a
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 298
I'm not trying to slam anyone for their race or ancestry; the guy's behavior had all my alarm bells going off, and there's no doubt in my mind that he planned to take me down. This guy was not hanging around looking to bum a match, and getting him into conversation range didn't seem like a good idea.

As it happens, there is a large Hispanic presence in my area, with sanctuary cities and lots of gov't assistance, which makes the area enticing. There has arisen an extensive gang presence over the last couple years, with MS13 and the Latin Kings becoming the object of multi-county and federal anti-gang efforts. This makes me a bit wary.

At any rate, I did check out the locks in the car: turns out the driver's door lock button is the only one that would lock all the doors. So realistic options would be to either lock the doors from outside and leave the car, or get in on the passenger dide and dive for the locking button, and take my chances.

With no legal means of suitable defense, I'll have to seriously modify my habits to take current realities into account.
bob.a is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 12:31 AM   #24
Ryder
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2002
Location: Michigan
Posts: 222
Quote:
I don't think Hispanic had a thing to do with the encounter, or anyone's response.
It does mine

Quote:

Maryland: Gang Haven
By Jon Feere, April 22, 2009

According to Montgomery County, Maryland’s Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger, his jurisdiction is experiencing an increase in gang violence, particularly from Hispanic gangs like MS-13 and the Latin Kings. A great majority of these gang members are illegal aliens...

http://www.cis.org/Feere/MDImmigrantGangHaven
Ryder is offline  
Old February 21, 2011, 09:06 AM   #25
Skans
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2008
Posts: 7,973
Given that you are not likely to move just so you can carry a gun:

1. Don't pump gas at night.
2. Ditch the 3" knife and get something a little more substantial - preferably a fixed blade.
3. Pepper spray would be a good idea to have on you and its cheap enough to have extra bottles hidden around your vehicle.
4. Might want to invest in some sort of body armor if you are out and about a lot at night.
5. Using other entry points to your vehicle like others have said is a good idea.
6. I also liked the "how's it going" technique - lets you judge what his intentions are, especially while you still have the pump in your hand.
7. Keep cell phone on you - could have called 911 if necessary. If nothing else, just the sight of you doing something with your cell phone might be enough to get the guy's attention.
Skans is online now  
Closed Thread

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:04 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13475 seconds with 7 queries