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Old March 7, 2012, 10:10 PM   #1
MLeake
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Road rage death by strangling

This was reported in the Kansas City Star, but apparently the Star's crime scene reporter got his facts mixed up, as the Star reported that the aggressor had died.

It appears from the original article that the aggressor was the killer. (Edit: DNS found an article that indicates the aggressor was the one who died.)

http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/Hou...g-Death-030612

In any case, a minor fender-bender resulted in a physical scuffle that turned deadly; a husband and father was killed in front of his wife and kids. (Edit: Based on the article DNS found, the husband and father was put in a position where he killed somebody in front of his wife and kids, though it appears his intent was to stop and detain his attacker.)

The article doesn't say why the decedant opted to get out of his vehicle and fight the road rager. Obviously, it was not a good decision. (Edit: The aggressor apparently was the decedant; not sure why the victim got out of his vehicle. Hopefully his intent was to de-escalate, not to engage in mutual combat.)

Lessons learned:

1) As we already knew, one does not need a firearm in order to kill another human; people kill people.

2) While there are instances where getting out of a vehicle is a good idea (such as when the aggressor has a firearm or a contact weapon capable of penetrating the vehicle, and one can't just drive off), it may be best to stay in a locked vehicle when dealing with an unarmed road rager.

3) Call 911 early, at the first indication that the other guy might be a road rager.

(Edit: 4) Read multiple articles, when articles conflict, to avoid false assumptions...)

Since the defender died, it's not clear whether he would have been accused of accepting mutual combat, and losing his right to self-defense by engaging, if he had lived and the attacker had died. That would be something to consider, too.

(Edit: Since the defender apparently lived, it will be interesting to see what the police and DA determine.)

Last edited by MLeake; March 8, 2012 at 01:06 PM.
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Old March 8, 2012, 12:09 AM   #2
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That is horrible. I feel sorry for his family who had to witness this. Ill pray for them.
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Old March 8, 2012, 12:21 AM   #3
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Not really enough context to say what could have been done differently. Apparently the victim had hit the assailant, so I suppose he got out of his car to deal with the accident aftermath. I guess he had no idea it would escalate the way it did.
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Old March 8, 2012, 01:31 AM   #4
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Miss Manner had no say in this altercation. Folks are losing it so easily today.
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Old March 8, 2012, 01:39 AM   #5
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3) Call 911 early, at the first indication that the other guy might be a road rager.
He did, or rather told his wife to do so after the other drivre threatened his life. The attack had started by then.

Despite calling 911 early nobody arrived in time to save the aggressor.

http://www.khou.com/home/HPD-Man-kil...141536003.html
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Old March 8, 2012, 01:47 AM   #6
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What a horrible story.

Road rage, for me, is one of the most unpleasant sides to modern living.

It is not just the remit of thugs, anti-social hot-heads and petty criminals: it's everyone.
The innocuous guy, the well dressed young woman: they get behind the wheel of their car, and even the most legal, well-executed manoeuvre is considered an assault on their pride...

I get it all the ****ing time, here, when I'm on my bike.

Someone trying to run you off the road solely because my bike went faster than his car from the lights is both pitiful and alarming.

Would possibly be my biggest motivator to start carrying.
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Old March 8, 2012, 05:29 AM   #7
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The story DNS linked to sounds as if the agressor is the one who died. The guy in the Tahoe rear-ended the younger guy with family in an Explorer. They get out and Tahoe man verbally threatens younger guy and younger guy walks back to car the Tahoe man starts beating on him. Young family man responds to beating by getting Tahoe man around the neck and holding him until police arrive. Tahoe man has trouble breathing and dies on way to hospital.

Sounds like self defense according to the end of the article.
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Old March 8, 2012, 06:02 AM   #8
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even when you are in the right and/or in very heated situations, you must try to remain calm. I am sorry to hear of the family's loss of their Dad and husband.
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Old March 8, 2012, 09:16 AM   #9
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I've seen a few drivers I'd like to strangle. It's a wonder it doesn't happen more often.
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Old March 8, 2012, 09:31 AM   #10
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Sounds like SD to me:

Quote:
Investigators said a 42-year-old man, who was driving a Tahoe, had rear-ended an Explorer driven by a 28-year-old man on the northbound service road.

Both men exited their vehicles after the crash, and police said the elder man verbally threatened the 28-year-old.

As the younger man retreated to his car and asked his wife to call 911, police said the older man started punching the 28-year-old, causing him to fall to the ground.

The 28-year-old said the older man kept punching him, but he managed to get the 42-year-old in a headlock.

He held him in the headlock until officers arrived.

As police tried to separate the men, they noticed the 42-year-old was having trouble breathing.

He was taken to the hospital via ground ambulance, where he died.
You guys are getting the story backwards, the husband didn't die, the assailant did.
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Old March 8, 2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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We have to get those hands off of the streets.
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Old March 8, 2012, 10:21 AM   #12
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Horrible story, but it makes a good example why "taking a beating like a man" (as referenced in another thread) is a bad idea. Even an unarmed man can kill another grown man.
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Old March 8, 2012, 11:33 AM   #13
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So the older guy rear-ends the younger guy, then threatens him, punches him to the ground, and the younger guy grapples with him and holds on until police arrive.

It is easy to sit at our keyboards and say that the younger guy shouldn't have gotten out of the car, but I think it is pretty normal to get out and check the damage, and highly unusual to have the other person start an attack. By all accounts I read, this was a pretty minor fender bender.

Grabbing an assailant and hanging on until help arrives so you don't continue to be pummeled seems to me to be a pretty mild response to an aggressor. If some evidence comes forwards that the younger guy new and deliberately applied a hold that interrupted breathing or blood supply to the head, I am willing to reconsider this point.

So the dead guy very likely caused an accident (since he was the one who rear-ended the other guy), attacked the other driver physically after verbally threatening him, and the defender responded with a minimum of force necessary to stop the attack. Yet the family is saying what a great guy he was, how he would never have done what several witnesses actually saw him do, and they want the man who defended himself as best he could with his bare hands charged with murder.

http://www.khou.com/news/Family-Defe...141824643.html

Sheesh.
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Old March 8, 2012, 12:17 PM   #14
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If the articles above are true, I think it's a clear cut case of self defense.

It seems the families in all of these kinds of stories have the same responses. "My little Jimmy is a perfect person and would never hurt a fly, let alone shoot 5 random people. I don't care if there's video footage of it and the police arrested him in the act. It ain't true!"
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Old March 8, 2012, 12:20 PM   #15
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So it appears the KC Star was correct, and the Fox station was wrong...

One of those days, and thanks to DNS for finding the Houston article.
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Old March 8, 2012, 12:49 PM   #16
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Stupid. One life gone and a bunch of other lives ruined.

We're hairless apes in clothing who pretend to be civilize most of the time. I guess the only thing that can be learned from the situation is to not get out of your car and just phone the accident in if it's obvious that the other party is in a bad state of mind. The problem is that even if everyone has a level head at the beginning it still can escalate into stupidity in a heartbeat.
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Old March 8, 2012, 03:18 PM   #17
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Stupid. One life gone and a bunch of other lives ruined.
As I am not a believer that the life of an evil person is sacred, I am not bothered by the one life gone aspect. If he is willing to beat you for running into you, then just imagine what he would be willing to do if you ran into him. That sort of person is a danger to all of us. The fact that he died will doling out his aggression over a petty matter likely means that others in the future won't suffer at his hand. That type of person is just plain scary.

The other folks' lives are not ruined or certainly don't have to be. They may have changed, but not necessarily for the worst. I am sure the wife who called 911 can feel very secure in knowing that her husband is capable of protecting them. The little girl has now seen her daddy attacked by a much larger man and been victorious. There is a lot to be said for such a piece of mind. What I don't get is why the wife didn't try to help her husband.

Yes, people can kill or do serious bodily injury with their bare hands. The very first CHL shooting in Texas was just such a case, also road rage. The CHL holder was severely beaten by the aggressor while still in his car after being trapped in traffic. The initial round of beating broke bones in his face and caused permanent eye damage. He did not shoot the aggressor until the guy came back and started to do it again, but the CHL holder shot him once in the chest.

The really sad thing there is that the story told by the CHL holder and the story told by the passenger in the aggressor's vehicle both jived together and yet despite clearly being self defense, he was arrested.

Quote:
If the articles above are true, I think it's a clear cut case of self defense.
Sure, but the questioning for justification may come up as to whether the force used justified it being lethal, despite whether or not the hero meant for it to be so. I don't think anyone is doubting that the hero was acting in self defense and that he feared releasing the guy would result in the guy beating him further. For all we know, he was probably threatening the guy while he was being held.

Back in the nineties and early naughties, lots of police departments barred a type of chokehold used to control physically violent individuals until they could be cuffed. It was used primarily when suspects were fighting with officers and was a way that an officer could subdue a suspect into unconsciousness by himself and then be able to cuff the suspect. The idea was that after the suspect was unconscious, the hold would be released, breathing would resume, and the suspect would wake up in cuffs, none-the-worse for wear, only a bunch of the ended up dead for a variety of reasons ranging from health issues, complications of illegal drugs, too much force applied, or applied for too long. While not all headlocks are chokeholds, some can be or can turn into being chokeholds as the person being held squirms to escape.

So as you would expect, the family of the aggressor just cannot imagine that he was the problem of the incident, despite statesments to the contrary from the people he rearended and other witnesses who saw the situation unfold.
http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2012...ad-rage-fight/
It is a good thing that Welton was not a violent person as his family claims. Can you just imagine how violent he would be if he got mad? The family is certainly sure that this wasn't the deceased's fault, none of it.

Look at the size of the aggressor in the above link and the size of the hero in this one. How is that for a disparity of force?
http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2012...rage-incident/

Darling's own kid was screaming, "Daddy is going to die!" Of course, daddy didn't. and there are apparently a number of witnesses who stated that Welton was the aggressor and pressed on his attack even as Darling retreated.
http://www.click2houston.com/news/Ro...4/-/111jbiu/-/

From the sounds of things so far, Darling will get no-billed by the grand jury. All they need to believe is that Darling feared for his life or serious bodily injury and that he feared that if he released his hold, Welton would resume the unprovoked violent attack that was witnessed by several people.
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Old March 8, 2012, 03:44 PM   #18
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As I am not a believer that the life of an evil person is sacred,
I'm not saying that the guy who defended himself and place the other in a choke hold was stupid. I was referring to the situation. The situation was stupid. Over what, a little fender bender?

As for the dead guy being an evil person, I don't agree. Tell me that you'd never got ticked off at the other guy on the road. In another time/place, both of those guys would have exchanged insurance info and went about their way.

Strictly based on the story, the dead guy screwed up by letting a minor issue get blown out of proportion. I can almost guarantee that almost everyone here has let that happen at least once in their lives - letting a small thing get blown out of proportion.
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Old March 8, 2012, 04:36 PM   #19
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Updated information from local news station KHOU channel 11 on road rage incident that left one man dead

http://www.khou.com/news/Family-Defe...141824643.html
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Old March 8, 2012, 04:38 PM   #20
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I was recently caught up in some road rage that wasn't caused by me. I was a passenger in the back seat. The driver of the other car was on the phone and almost hit us. The passenger in the front of our car flipped him off, and he got ******. He started yelling and cussing, as is usual. He blamed us, then the driver of our car, being the idiot he is, called out "people like you deserve to be shot". Well, I don't blame the other guy for getting angry at that point, but he climbed out of his truck and walked up to our car. The windows went up, and they were yelling back and forth. By this time I had my hand on my seatbelt and he hadn't seen me yet. About the time he noticed me his demeanor changed a bit, he wasn't cussing at just an older male and a woman, there was now a younger male in the back who was remaining silent and watching him.

That's when the driver of our vehicle noticed the open container in the truck, and called the guy a drunk for having a beer while driving. That definitely ended it for him, and he left.

Had the man begun trying to break a window, we would have been unable to drive out. At that point I think I would have asked the guy to get back in his truck and deescalate the situation. But if I had to get out, I definitely would not have felt it necessary to choke the man, much less hold him until police got there. I don't see why the man in the OP had to do this. Maybe he doesn't have the training I do, but there are MANY more less lethal ways to hold someone. It doesn't seem right to me.

In this, I don't see either as malign or bad, but I see many poor choices. Calling one or the other "evil" or a "bad guy" is just wrong. You know little to nothing about them and yet judge them? Hmm...
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Old March 8, 2012, 10:10 PM   #21
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In this, I don't see either as malign or bad, but I see many poor choices. Calling one or the other "evil" or a "bad guy" is just wrong.
No, I am pretty sure that the acts described quality Welton accurately at the time of the event.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/evil

Poor choices? He didn't just make poor choices. A poor choice of actions on Welton's part might be to yell and scream at Darling, cuss, making Darling's little girl cry because of the tiraid, be uncooperative with Darling in resolving the fender bender, etc. He apparently did all those things, but in doing those, he threatened Darling with serious bodily harm and then attempted to execute his threats fully, taking advantage of his superior size to try to exact some satisfaction out of Darling for having the audacity to let Welton crash into him.

The notion of "poor choices' was ancient history by the time Welton has beat Darling to the ground and was continuing to press his violent attack.

Maybe you think is it the good people of planet Earth that violently assault others without justification? Maybe you think Welton was trying to help Darling in some way as a good guy by beating him as he did?

Based on the current information available, at the time of the incident, Welton was doing evil and he was the bad guy. This isn't confirmed by just Darling, his wife, and his child, but by several other witnesses. There is no moral or legal justification for Welton's violent attack on Darling.
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Old March 8, 2012, 11:27 PM   #22
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^^^
Getting road rage and starting a fist fight does not equate evil. It equates stupidity. Getting road rage and taking a gun out to kill the other guy is evil. Huge difference.

Going back to the story, I can almost guarantee that something else transpired prior to the incident, whether 30 seconds before, a minute before, or a mile up the road.

I have personally experienced on many occasions where some people will absolutely refuse to let anyone into their lane even though traffic is moving at a snail's pace. I'm guessing a game of chicken was played and they bumped. People just don't get into a minor fender bender and start fighting without something happening immediately prior.
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Old March 8, 2012, 11:38 PM   #23
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I'd don't see any problems with the survivor's actions at all. By all accounts, the aggressor started the trouble, escalated the trouble, and didn't give in until he didn't any air. I hate it for his family, but he was the sole reason for his own demise unless something very significant is missing from the stories that I read. I don't think for a minute that the other guy was trying to kill him, but what else was he to do since the aggressor was still trying to fight?

I've gotten ticked off at people on the road PLENTY of times... But I have NEVER yelled at, flipped off, threatened, or ASSAULTED any of them, epsecially their innocent passengers or family members. Eventually I learned that getting mad at drivers only ruins MY day, so I don't let it bother with it any more, and I am much happier as I commute around day to day. If you threaten my wife or my kids, "Katy bar the door" is all I have to say.
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Old March 9, 2012, 12:16 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shooter_john
I don't think for a minute that the other guy was trying to kill him, but what else was he to do since the aggressor was still trying to fight?
If someone was choking you, would you be able to stop your panic? I'm sure he stopped fighting, but when the panic set in he started again. Hard to tell the difference, isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
No, I am pretty sure that the acts described quality Welton accurately at the time of the event.
I can get philosophical with this, but I won't. A man in anger isn't inherently evil, he didn't leave the house with the intention to be an evil man that day. He got angry, lost his control, and acted like a kid throwing a tantrum. If you have never been angry and wanted to hit someone, you're lying. I understand control, and I'm sure he did too, but everyone slips. He didn't deserve to die for it. Maybe get kicked on down the road and learn a lesson, but certainly not death.
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Old March 9, 2012, 01:02 AM   #25
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You say you're sure he stopped fighting and then started to panic? How do you KNOW that to be the case? I've seen people continue to make threats from a disadvantaged position. I wouldn't be surprised if the aggressor continued to make threats of violence the entire time. If he caused the accident, then escalated the violence, it doesn't sound out of character that he kept it up even in the headlock.

He may not qualify as "evil". But definitely dangerous. The kind of dangerous that society is better off without.
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