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Old March 10, 2011, 12:19 PM   #1
B. Lahey
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Run Away!

Well, I wasn't going to mention this experience until the fellow's court case was resolved, but he plead guilty to two counts of C-Felony Intimidation and one count of misdemeanor battery last week, so I guess I can open my mouth. I had a vagrant attempt to rob me around the holidays. I was armed. I ran away. I feel good about that decision.

I was loading a great hulking box of paper into the backseat of my car in my office parking lot when I noticed a man walking in my direction. He stopped about 5-7 yards away and asked me for money. I declined to give him any. He took that poorly, and stated that he was going to rob me while placing his right hand into his pocket...

I contemplated drawing and firing at that point, and I have had a number of lawyers tell me I should have done so and saved everyone else that now has to deal with this guy the trouble.

But I did not do so, although I was indeed in reasonable fear for my life. I figured I could hop into the driver's seat of my car and lock the door before he could close the distance. I thought that if he tried to close the distance at that point or presented a weapon, I could fire through the window or try to run him over. Either way, I figured at least attempting to escape was a better option.

It worked. He didn't try to close the distance, he just stood there with his hand in his pocket trying to look mean (really looking more like the sad, middle-aged, drug addict that he is), and I was able to drive briskly from the parking lot. Thanks in part to some of the excellent tips I received in my last hairy-situation thread (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=385645), I was able to give the cops a very detailed description and they picked him up with little trouble.

Apparently, after I ran away, he tried nearly the same stunt with somebody else, and then randomly beat up some guy in a mexican restaurant, resulting in the additional intimidation and battery charges.

I thought he should have been charged with Attempted Robbery, as I think his crime satisfied all the elements of that charge, and I would have testified to that, but that's the prosecutor's call. I'll go down and speak at his sentencing, and hopefully he will receive a substantial sentence. I've heard he has quite an extensive and violent record, so that seems likely. Just figured I would share my experience. I've been told I would have been justified in shooting him, but I'm glad I at least gave escape a chance, and that it worked out.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:24 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Well done sir. Violence is always the last resort of a civilized man.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:41 PM   #3
aarondhgraham
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Quote:
Well done sir.
I agree 100%,,,
In my not-so-humble-opinion,,,
You made the correct choice for the situation.

Not so much for the fact that he didn't deserve to be shot,,,
But for the fact that you didn't deserve the personal aftermath of shooting someone.

Quote:
Violence is always the last resort of a civilized man.
Not so sure that I agree with this though,,,
I cringe at the word "always",,,
But that's just me.

A swift violent response has saved my bacon in the past,,,
Mom didn't wonder what the man was doing in our living room,,,
She assumed he had bad thoughts and shot him down where he stood.

He was a violent man with a violent criminal record,,,
Her violent response was very civilized,,,
Ended his threat to society forever.

You, my friend,,,
Made a very good situational choice,,,
You didn't let your ego override your good sense.

Happy that you were unscathed.

Aarond
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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Yes, well done indeed.

It's great that you were able to put what you learned from that "Be a Good Witness" thread to such good use... (I'd forgotten about that one -- there's some excellent information there.)

And that you'll speak at the fellow's sentencing... Bravo, again.

You've shown how a model citizen should behave; that's about as good as it gets.
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:42 PM   #5
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Since your account doesn't state that he was armed, I assume he wasn't so you would have shot an unarmed man who YOU say was threatening but nobody else was present to see. And you had the opportunity to retreat, and wisely did so while maintaining the option to use deadly force. So you made a very wise decision, and at the very least saved yourself a huge expenditure on attorneys.

We who carry should always try to avoid shooting, not look for excuses TO shoot. It's about self-defense, bottom line.

That said, there isn't always much time to decide, and the "he who hesitates is lost" axiom. Training, training, training, to hone the decision-making process.....
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Old March 10, 2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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Good decision..
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:16 PM   #7
motorhead0922
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Good job, B.

I take that he actually didn't have a gun in his pocket, since there were no weapons charges. Correct?

Also, was there any media attention on this? I hope they would make mention of this example of a responsible gun owner, to counter the often negative tone that is taken.
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:41 PM   #8
Onward Allusion
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Quote:
B. Lahey
Run Away!
<SNIP>
I was loading a great hulking box of paper into the backseat of my car in my office parking lot when I noticed a man walking in my direction. He stopped about 5-7 yards away and asked me for money. I declined to give him any. He took that poorly, and stated that he was going to rob me while placing his right hand into his pocket...
I think it was poor tactics to get into your car while he still had his hand in his pocket. Did you turn your back on him? What if he rushed you as you were getting into the car? Yes, you now know that he wasn't armed, but what if he was? Also, even if the guy only had a knife, 7 yards is a couple of seconds away.

Quote:
I contemplated drawing and firing at that point, and I have had a number of lawyers tell me I should have done so and saved everyone else that now has to deal with this guy the trouble.
Dunno about firing, but you should have drawed, have him get his hands up, and tell him to get the F* away from you - LOUD. Call the cops immediatedly afterward. If he doesn't comply and continues toward you...well...

Quote:
But I did not do so, although I was indeed in reasonable fear for my life. I figured I could hop into the driver's seat of my car and lock the door before he could close the distance. I thought that if he tried to close the distance at that point or presented a weapon, I could fire through the window or try to run him over. Either way, I figured at least attempting to escape was a better option.
What if he decided to draw and shoot you as you were closing the back door and getting into the driver's seat? Would you have time to draw?

Quote:
It worked. He didn't try to close the distance, he just stood there with his hand in his pocket trying to look mean (really looking more like the sad, middle-aged, drug addict that he is), and I was able to drive briskly from the parking lot. Thanks in part to some of the excellent tips I received in my last hairy-situation thread (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=385645), I was able to give the cops a very detailed description and they picked him up with little trouble.
Like I'd said, I am glad it worked out for you.

Quote:
Apparently, after I ran away, he tried nearly the same stunt with somebody else, and then randomly beat up some guy in a mexican restaurant, resulting in the additional intimidation and battery charges.
Did you call the cops afterward? Lot's of armchair QB'ing here, but it could have stopped with you.

Quote:
<SNIP> I've been told I would have been justified in shooting him, but I'm glad I at least gave escape a chance, and that it worked out.
Please don't take any of my comments personally. It's what I would have done. Anytime you make it out unscathed is a good thing.
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Old March 10, 2011, 01:56 PM   #9
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Well done. There is no reason that these two sentences:
Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Lahey
. . . .I was armed. I ran away. . . .
cannot sit back to back. Having a gun doesn't mean that you have to shoot someone. I think most, if not all, of us have read up on what the aftermath of (even the cleanest) SD shooting can be. You avoided being robbed, being injured, and being sued by the family and estate of the vagrant. That's a good result for you.
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Old March 10, 2011, 02:57 PM   #10
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Good for you making the right decision and being able to think so quickly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by B. Lahey
Thanks in part to some of the excellent tips I received in my last hairy-situation thread (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=385645), I was able to give the cops a very detailed description and they picked him up with little trouble.
Thank you for directing me to this most helpful information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDCooper
We who carry should always try to avoid shooting, not look for excuses TO shoot. It's about self-defense, bottom line.

That said, there isn't always much time to decide, and the "he who hesitates is lost" axiom. Training, training, training, to hone the decision-making process.....
Thank you for this statement.
Everywhere I go in this forum I'm learning something valuable!!
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:12 PM   #11
Bartholomew Roberts
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Well done! Thanks for sharing the story with us and glad to hear of the outcome.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:19 PM   #12
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B. Lahey

glad you are ok and glad you were able to exit the situation unharmed. You made the right choice in this situation. However, what would you have done if this guy wasn't bluffing(or wasn't such a slow thinker)? Things can escalate quick; I would hate to see that you were injured and/or killed because you didn't want to exercise your right to use your CCW. If he pulled and fired because he was deranged and/or upset with you leaving(like he was upset you didn't respect his panhandling), he could've put you in a world of hurt. If you had drawn, you 1)can leave while having a gun pulled on him & then can dial the police or 2)use lethal force if he truely had a weapon and drew it. Whatever the case it seems you thought quick on your feet which is definately a good character trait.
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Last edited by youngunz4life; March 10, 2011 at 03:23 PM. Reason: put title in edit line by accident
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:25 PM   #13
powderball
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You were right...

You probably would have ended up getting sued by the robber, or doing a life stint. Sometimes you have to go the other way to stay out of trouble. Glad you didn't get hurt!
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:26 PM   #14
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Good decision and good outcome. Well done.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:32 PM   #15
youngunz4life
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my opinion

Quote:
doing a life stint
for drawing a CCW on a guy thats claiming to have a weapon, stating he is going to rob you, and who has a dangerous past? Lahey rolled the dice and made it out ok. this isn't always the case.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:39 PM   #16
Wildalaska
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Great job. A real man knows when to retreat. A gun doesnt make you God, and the last recourse of a civilized man should be violence

WildfwiwyouhavemyrespectAlaska ™©2002-2011
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:40 PM   #17
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Sounds like you made the right decision. Glad you were armed too just incase. Nothing like having an ace of spades in your pocket incase your delt a bad hand.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:44 PM   #18
KennyFSU
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Thank you for sharing, a very wise decision on your part and I'm very glad it had a happy ending for you.
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Old March 10, 2011, 03:45 PM   #19
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It is very easy to sit and say you should do this or that or I would do this or that but from personal experience I can assure you that even with training you don't "Really" know what you will do until you face that situation.

Good job in taking the right steps to prevent an escalation.
I suspect there was something about this guy that made you seconds guess he didn't have a weapon or a set of variables that made you feel escape was possible.

Your subconscious process a lot of information under stress you are not even aware of. It happens very fast and plays out in slow motion after the event has passed.

Any time IMHO you can avoid drawing on someone is a victory. Killing a man is an ugly thing even if they deserve it.
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Old March 10, 2011, 04:00 PM   #20
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The plan you had worked, great thinking. Shows that the best weapon is your brain.

My nephew told me killing a person isnt so good for the one doing the killing. He just got back from Iraq and Afganistan. I belive him, I dont wish to test that out.
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Old March 10, 2011, 04:09 PM   #21
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Well done. Had you shot him, fear not withstanding, chances are he would have survived to tell a harrowing tale that differed from the truth. Oh that poor homeless man!

And remember, you didn't run away, you made a tactical advance in an unencumbered direction.

"My nephew told me killing a person isnt so good for the one doing the killing. He just got back from Iraq and Afganistan."

Probably better for him than the one killed, I'd wager. Even in war, killing isn't easy, but beats the alternative for sure.
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Old March 10, 2011, 04:26 PM   #22
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Personally, I'd avoid the counsel of the previously mentioned lawyers. Bad advice.
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Old March 10, 2011, 04:31 PM   #23
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I think the movies and TV shows have influenced our attitudes about "running away". A wild animal, say a tiger or grizzly bear, has no qualms about running away if the situation doesn't seem right, they may turn on a dime and attack but the "running away" part- no self esteem problem.
Same thing in combat, a good way to get killed is deciding you are never going to run away, retreat to good fighting ground and then kill the SOB. In any event, NEVER worry about "running away", absolutely the right thing to do in most circumstances. If the guy comes after you then you know for sure you are justified in shooting, you've bought yourself a precious couple of seconds to plan your actions, you can unexpectingly wheel around and shoot the SOB and save your life.
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Old March 10, 2011, 10:35 PM   #24
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Well good for you.

I don't know that I would have run away, in fact, I am fairly certain I would have shot him without hesitation had I beleived my life was threatened and could get the shot off. Certainly, I would have had to have been in that exact situation in your place to be sure but I am, as I said, fairly certain of what would have happened had it been me.

You said that you felt good about evading danger, and that is very understandable but I wonder, how do you feel about the other guy having been beaten? How would you have felt if he had been maimed, or killed? (Any information on how badly beaten the other victim was?) Would you have felt better then had you shot the bad guy? I am sure that if I put down a guy who had just tried to rob me, I would feel badly, I would feel guilty for having hurt or killed another person even if I had been fully justified. I also know, if I ran and the guy I evaded went on to hurt someone else I would feel miserable I had not stopped him when I had the chance. That is just me, just wondering how you think you would feel if such happened. I am not saying you should feel one way or another or that you did right or wrong, just asking.

Now for my own witty saying: Violence is often the last resort of the dying man, as he vainly struggles to survive. Had he resorted to violence sooner, he may have lived longer.

All the best,
Glenn B
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Old March 10, 2011, 11:55 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Bartley
...You said that you felt good about evading danger, and that is very understandable but I wonder, how do you feel about the other guy having been beaten? How would you have felt if he had been maimed, or killed? ... Would you have felt better then had you shot the bad guy?...
In my view that should not properly be a consideration.

First, you have no idea, and can't predict and can't be responsible for what your assailant may do. And you have no duty to take action. You are not a cop.

Second, your first duty is to yourself, your family and those who may depend on you.

Third, if you do shoot, you can't know if it will be immediately accepted as justified. Maybe the local district attorney thinks it's a bad idea to encourage citizens to shoot unarmed, alleged robbers; so maybe the DA prosecutes. Now you need to establish you were justified. You could wind up throwing away your kids' college educations. You could lose your job and your house. You could put yourself and family through months or years of emotional travail and economic hardship. In my view a truly lousy idea, especially when done to avoid an uncertain, highly speculative result.
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