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Old February 21, 2011, 09:46 AM   #26
Ben Towe
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Skans makes some excellent recommendations... But if crime gets to a point where I feel it necessary to wear body armor to pump a tank of fuel, I am either going to: a) Move. b) throw the tarp off the Batmobile, unleash my inner superhero, and do something about.

Of course I jest about option B, but it is absolutely unacceptable that there is anywhere in the United States that it is that dangerous for law abiding citizens to go about their lives. Ridiculous.
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Old February 21, 2011, 10:03 AM   #27
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There is nothing wrong with using every available tool for self defense. Profiling is yet another tool to be used as needed to keep us safe. If I see a car load of young Hispanics sitting in a vehicle looking around vs a car load of young Caucasian youth doing the same, they will receive a different response from me because in my area many Latinos are members of the Latin Kings and other gangs. They are responsible for a higher number of robberies and beat downs in my area. I have yet to hear of any Caucasian group youth doing the same. So the Latino group for this reason will raise my alert level much higher than the white group. Just as a man dressed up in a preachers outfit will cause less concern than the same man in a sweat suit with hood up.

In my above example if the white youth was the greater problem in my area they would get the raised alert. If both groups did both would get it. Its simply another tool to keep me safe and nothing more.

One thing I have found to be surprisingly true and very disappointing is how racists many of those folks who cry racism are.
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Old February 21, 2011, 10:21 AM   #28
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I'm so going to Party City and renting a preacher outfit next time I want to rob you Threegun I know your weakness now!
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Old February 21, 2011, 11:02 AM   #29
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Horns and a pointed tail are very very hard to conceal Chef LOL.
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Old February 21, 2011, 11:07 AM   #30
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Okay, so there is a man standing 8-10' from me at night while I'm pumping my gas. I have no gun, only a 3" folding knife, and he hasn't moved. There are no apparent witnesses and he hasn't said anything or moved at all.

I do one of two things:

1. I turn to stand square to him, and this is why: 1. If he was a "hardened criminal" type intent on robbing me, he would have robbed me by now instead of waiting for someone to see him or for the cameras here to get a good look from all the angles. So he's either mustering up his courage (which I can use) or he's just shy and wants to ask for some ridiculous favor ("hey man... you have a pencil I can have?" "No. Get out of here.")

After turning to squarely face him, I say in a loud sharp voice, "HEY! Do you mind standing somewhere else?" I don't ask him what he wants because that opens him up to make demands. I ask from him a reasonable request which, if refused, gives me cause to assume he's up to no good. It's short. It's to the point. It doesn't leave room for conversation. It says, "I don't want any. Leave me alone."

2. (You COULD supersede the first option with this one, but I'd tend to wait. That's just me.)
You call the police. 911, then ask for non-emergency dispatch or the like. Tell them you are a private citizen at "Gas Station" off of "Highway", and that there is a suspicious individual loitering and intimidating people. Look RIGHT AT HIM and give a detailed description as fast as you can. He'll leave. And the police will appreciate having his suspicious activity on record if the guy IS in fact up to no good and tries to rob someone in the next hour, or day, or week. The police aren't just interested in "Robbery in Progress" or "Murder Suspect Resisting Arrest". They want to know about the smaller things to, and they appreciate responsible and reasonable citizens contributing to the overall public safety, provided you don't try to take it too far.

This is a reasonable contribution.

~LT
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Old February 21, 2011, 11:37 AM   #31
Ben Towe
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LordTio3-
Option 1:
Quote:
HEY! Do you mind standing somewhere else?
I can't see that helping matters. I know men who would knock your teeth out for saying that to them, even if they meant you no harm to begin with. At the very least, if a nice guy like me is standing there I'm probably going to tell you to go to the fiery regions and to feel free to pump gas elsewhere.

Option 2- 911
Nothing wrong with calling the authorities if you feel threatened, and your description method might run him off... or he might fill you with enough lead to sink a Nimitz class carrier, pick up your wallet and keys, and drive off in your freshly gassed car, safe in the knowledge it will be close to an hour before the police can mount any kind of effective manhunt. Plenty of time to be long gone.
My $0.02.
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Old February 21, 2011, 11:46 AM   #32
LordTio3
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Nothing wrong with calling the authorities if you feel threatened, and your description method might run him off... or he might fill you with enough lead to sink a Nimitz class carrier, pick up your wallet and keys, and drive off in your freshly gassed car, safe in the knowledge it will be close to an hour before the police can mount any kind of effective manhunt. Plenty of time to be long gone.
Apparently in your skimming you missed this part...
Quote:
If he was a "hardened criminal" type intent on robbing me, he would have robbed me by now instead of waiting for someone to see him or for the cameras here to get a good look from all the angles. So he's either mustering up his courage (which I can use) or he's just shy and wants to ask for some ridiculous favor ("hey man... you have a pencil I can have?" "No. Get out of here.")
...which leads right into this being completely ridiculous...
Quote:
I can't see that helping matters. I know men who would knock your teeth out for saying that to them, even if they meant you no harm to begin with. At the very least, if a nice guy like me is standing there I'm probably going to tell you to go to the fiery regions and to feel free to pump gas elsewhere.
YOU WOULDN'T be standing there, with no car, in the middle of the night, 8 feet from a stranger, looking mischevious, for minutes at a time, without saying or doing anything but still managing to put this innocent gentleman on edge and fear for his safety. YOU WOULDN'T. And no one in their right mind would find it odd that some innocent stranger would be personally offended by someone doing this to them. You know men that would try to knock my teeth out? You need some new friends.

~LT
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Old February 21, 2011, 11:56 AM   #33
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Find a busier gas station with a lot of traffic.
Perhaps consider filling up at a more hospitable hour.
Pepper spray, nastiest legal stuff you can find.
If possible, a more self defense friendly locale.
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Old February 21, 2011, 12:50 PM   #34
Ben Towe
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1. I didn't miss that part. I should have addressed how you could possibly know how a "hardened" criminal would behave. People are unpredictable and irrational.

2. I wouldn't be standing there? How could you possibly know? Perhaps my car broke down two blocks down and I walked there to call for a ride and am waiting on them. I'm in a crappy mood because I just slung a rod through my engine and don't feel like exchanging pleasantries.

I'm not sure I look mischievous but I would defintely appear intimidating to your average 5'10" 180 pound man since I'm 6'5" in boots and weigh just shy of 400 pounds.

Those men I mentioned. I said I knew them, not that we were friends.

My whole point, that you obviously missed, was your solutions might un-necessarily escalate a situation you could have walked away from. Being courteous doesn't make you appear weak. A "You doin' alright?" will get you alot further than acting like someone just broke out of the state pen. Virtually every time.
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Last edited by Ben Towe; February 21, 2011 at 01:11 PM.
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Old February 21, 2011, 02:42 PM   #35
output
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Carrying pepper spray might be a good idea. I keep a can in every vehicle and normally I have small can on my person. There are a number of things that you could have done just as you and others have mentioned…which one is best? I can’t say.

Things I would do:

1.) Try to keep at least ¼ - ½ of the gas tank full at all times. This will enable you to pick and choose when and where you want to fill your tank. Preferably mid-day when there are a lot of people at the station.
2.) Carry pepper spray
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:05 PM   #36
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That's certainly a sticky situation. People can say what they want about racial profiling, etc. Look in the newspaper. Look at the prison demographics. You don't see a lot of preppy white boys in their early 20's committing armed robbery, assault, etc. Depending on where you live, you do see a lot of minorities committing these crimes... and its certainly not out of the question to think that way when you have some dude all dressed in black lurking around you pumping gas in the middle of the night at a gas station. Its suspicious activity FOR SURE.

I personally would have quietly drawn and concealed my knife. Probably said something to the guy like "hey man whats up". Definitely would make strong eye contact to gauge his intent and express dominant behavior, definitely would have let the dude know he's dealing with a 6'9" 255lbs dude, definitely would speak with an authoritative deep tone, definitely would not turn my back to him, and definitely would have my head on a swivel looking around for accomplices.

These people many times are criminals of opportunity. If you appear like an easy target, unaware, or unable to protect yourself you can find yourself in trouble. By simply being aware, making eye contact, asserting yourself, you can easily make these people think twice.

Last edited by sirsloop; February 21, 2011 at 03:14 PM.
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:23 PM   #37
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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

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.
"Essentially Defenseless"=Bad plan. ...... you planned this? Or failed to plan and this is how you ended up?

Carry a phone, so at the very least, you can appear to be calling the Police. Actually calling them would give them a 911 recording to play at the trial, if they ever catch your attacker....

Bear spray?

I'm glad I don't live in Maryland. .... and won't be in a hurry to visit, either.
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:32 PM   #38
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Yeah, being a big intimidating young buck myself, I feel a little more secure with just a knife. NJ law also does not grant CCW's to upstanding citizens, so we have to make do with what we can around the law. If I was older I would absolutely have pepper spray on me in that situation, and would have something with reach like a baseball bat in the trunk plus possibly a big arse "dog the bounty hunter" size bottle of pepper spray in the trunk.

Also, just because the attendant is locked in his room doesn't mean he can't help you. You could have walked over to him and got his attention. At the very least he could be a deterrent and witness to a violent crime. If I were going to rob someone I wouldn't do it while there was a guy watching, locked in a room, with a phone.
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Old February 21, 2011, 03:56 PM   #39
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Quote:
Anyone out there have comments or suggestions? I don't like trusting to luck to save my butt.
Since the PDR of Maryland won't allow you to be armed, how about keeping a small tube of pepper spray handy? That's some nasty stuff and will definitely change a goblin's mind about what he intends to do next.
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Old February 21, 2011, 04:05 PM   #40
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Options: Douse the guy with gas. But he never got close enough.

Didnt get close enough? All he did is watch you or look at you?

How a bout a good solid baseball bat in the seat with a glove and a couple balls so it doesnt look like it is for a weapons use which makes it premeditated in a way.

Get the gas during the day and stay out of bad areas. I been in DC and saw some bad dudes when we got off the beltway or some road I was kinda lost. Was a bad area but the guy we asked for directions was OK, little ruff but a polite person.


I have never felt fear from a person looking at me. I like people of all cultures, love the food and try to get along with them all.
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Old February 21, 2011, 04:21 PM   #41
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A "You doin' alright?" will get you alot further than acting like someone just broke out of the state pen. Virtually every time.
Perhaps nice works better when you are 6 ft 5 and 400lbs. Nice from a small frame does denote weakness in my expeirience.............5ft 7in under 200.
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Old February 21, 2011, 04:31 PM   #42
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These people many times are criminals of opportunity. If you appear like an easy target, unaware, or unable to protect yourself you can find yourself in trouble. By simply being aware, making eye contact, asserting yourself, you can easily make these people think twice.
I agree.
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Old February 21, 2011, 05:18 PM   #43
WANT A LCR 22LR
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Everyone seems to be missing that the OP's focus is on the guy standing around and not looking fo a 2nd person.

I'd still inform the police of the situation, at some point this guy is likely to strike.
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Old February 21, 2011, 05:23 PM   #44
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There are big differences between "nice," "polite," and "jerk." When sizing up someone's intentions, I'd for for "polite" in an authoritative but non-threatening way. AKA, I mean business, but I'm not looking for a fight.
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Old February 21, 2011, 05:24 PM   #45
threegun
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Everyone seems to be missing that the OP's focus is on the guy standing around and not looking fo a 2nd person.
A couple of replies addressed this.
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Old February 21, 2011, 05:43 PM   #46
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generally, I would be carrying and would do what I could do to not provoke or retreat. Just protect my life if called for.

I also keep a small piece of metal pipe (about 20 in long) on the floor behind the passenger's seat (side where I fill gas). It looks like a cross between a tire iron / tool.

Times prior when someone is 8-10 foot away seemingly minding their own
but not moving away or towards, I've grabbed the pipe (held parallel to pants leg) and acted like I was looking at the rear wheel (lug nut issue) while the tank was filling. But I was in condition orange and acutely focused on the
person and or the permiter.

Now if they move on, okay or stay static, okay.

If they attack, it's pipe to head/face until attack stops. Preceded by "no, please don't hurt me..."
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Old February 21, 2011, 05:50 PM   #47
WANT A LCR 22LR
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"" A couple of replies addressed this. ""

Sure, a single post ( 36 ) and just a passing mention.
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Old February 21, 2011, 07:14 PM   #48
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Sure, a single post ( 36 ) and just a passing mention.
Thanks for the correction. It wasn't a passing mention any more than the other 7 plus things sirsloop would have done were.

Frankly in this scenario the MAIN threat should be the MAIN focus. Scanning for additional threats while important takes a back seat to the MAIN threat.
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Old February 21, 2011, 08:15 PM   #49
Ben Towe
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What I meant by courteous is be polite. You don't have to ask how the old folks and all the cousins are. The look in your eyes will tell most people all they need to know. Look scared and people will know you are scared.

Threegun, I'll concede that "nice" might work better for someone my size that yours. But I didn't mean nice...
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Old February 21, 2011, 08:31 PM   #50
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Best defense tool you have is your brain, you recognized the surroundings and you need to distance yourself from the situation. You should have hung up the pump walked to the clerk behind the glass. And said excuse me I seem to be having problems with the pump can you help me.

Dwight55 Ohio Does Not Have A CCW! Ohio has a chl big differense. We as ohioans threw in the towel quickly. If you dont believe me look at your license from the sheriffs office and read the top. It will say concealed handgun license. This is one law that ohio should reapeal and fight for a true CCW. If you conceal a knife by ohio law you can be charged with concealing a weapon. Even if you have a CHL license. This happened to a gentlemen by I believe the last name Barker up in cleveland a little over a year back. The cops wanted to harass him.
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