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Old May 8, 2012, 09:51 PM   #1
Friar Whently
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What to tell police if no shots fired?

So I hate to post a scenario, but this is something that I've been wondering about and I can't find a thread on this specific topic.

Say you were in a situation where the use of deadly force was completely justified (let's say the BG has a knife or other weapon) and you drew your carry gun with every intention to use it. As you draw, the BG sees it and turns tail and runs off and the situation is over with no shots fired. Now you must (or at least should) call the police and report the incident. But what do you tell them? Do you tell them you drew your gun and the BG ran off? If you didn't fire it, then they may assume you weren't justified in pulling it in the first place, and if you happen to be talking to police face-to-face, they may try to charge you for brandishing or some such nonsense. I suppose you could leave the scene, call, tell them everything but give them no personal information. Do you not mention the gun? It would sound pretty strange that you were able to make an armed assailant think twice without being armed yourself. Do you try to be vague about what happened?

Any thoughts?
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Old May 8, 2012, 10:17 PM   #2
TXAZ
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I've been in a similar situation once. My order of battle is: (and this isn't legal advice and I'm not a lawyer)

1) Don't lie to the cops. If you don't know, say so, but don't guess.

2) See # 1 again. You don't have to say anything, but potential suspects (i.e. you're the only one there, maybe you're the robber?) don't win any cop friends, and it is not uncommon to hear they will often help you if the initial story holds water. As in "...and you were in fear of your life and you drew to stop the threat", correct.

3) The $250 - $500 I spend on an immediate call to my attorney before providing a dissertation to the officers is significantly money better spent than waiting until after with a defense lawyer. He's likely to remind me to tell the officer(s) at a very high level what happened: BG with knife approached, I was startled and in fear, I drew a weapon, BG ran. BG was an orange haired 5-5'6" man in jeans and Tshirt. That I'm currently very shaken, and will provide more details later. That's it other than name & contact info.

4) Don't hide anything like your weapon.

But then this is all hypothetical, right?
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Last edited by TXAZ; May 8, 2012 at 10:33 PM.
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Old May 8, 2012, 10:29 PM   #3
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I think it depends a lot on where you are. If you're in Chicago, Philadelphia, or New Orleans, keep your mouth shut, your phone in your pocket, and keep walking.

If you're someplace where you can be fairly certain the bad guy wasn't a moonlighting cop (and his "brothers" will take exception to you drawing on him) of course you mention that he ran away when you drew your gun. (the gun is legal, isn't it?) Your story doesn't make any sense otherwise.

The first one to report the crime is presumed to be the victim. Except for a few cities where anyone with a gun is presumed to be the bad guy in all circumstances.
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Last edited by zxcvbob; May 8, 2012 at 11:01 PM. Reason: emphasis added
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Old May 8, 2012, 10:52 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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Report the incident promptly and truthfully.

If the other guy gets on the phone to the police first complaining about the nut job waving a gun at him, you'll start out telling your story in a hole you'll need to climb out of.
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:33 PM   #5
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I have been in that exact situation about 12-13 years ago, working behind a supermarket in Mobile, AL, on the refrigeration, guy walks up, asks for money. Told him I was broke, he then pulled a knife on me and demanded my wallet. I was able to take a couple of quick steps backwards, at the same time drawing my Kimber, moment bad guy saw gun, he pitched knife in bushes, turned tail and ran. I immediately grabbed up my tools and pulled around front where I would be visible to other people (in case he came back with another weapon or a few buddies) and called the police. Officers said I did nothing wrong and that I was completely within my rights, took my name, address, and brief statement. I haven't heard anything about it since.
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Old May 8, 2012, 11:37 PM   #6
egor20
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Frank Ettin

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Quote:
Report the incident promptly and truthfully.
My wife's been involved in 2 incidents involving drawing a weapon, one with no shot being fired. She called the police on the no shots fired and one of reason was the next person might not be armed and not be lucky enough having the BG run away.
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Old May 9, 2012, 09:28 AM   #7
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Above all else, make sure you tell the dispatcher you are armed and give a description of yourself (height, weight, skin color and clothing). Stay on the phone with the dispatcher and do what they tell you until the responding units arrive. Shouldn't be an problems.
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Old May 9, 2012, 11:01 AM   #8
Tom Servo
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Quote:
If the other guy gets on the phone to the police first complaining about the nut job waving a gun at him, you'll start out telling your story in a hole you'll need to climb out of.
I've been in that exact situation. I reported the incident immediately after it happened. When the police caught up with my assailant several days after the incident, he and his accomplice had gotten their stories straight, which involved crazy me waving a gun and screaming epithets.

Lacking any other evidence, it would have been my word against theirs. One of the biggest factors in my favor was that I'd been the first to report, while the others had never contacted law enforcement at all.
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Old May 9, 2012, 04:32 PM   #9
Bailey Boat
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IMHO..... A crime has happened (attempted robbery) and needs to be reported truthfully or it could come back to bite you in the butt. If you don't report it and the BG goes down the block and robs someone else and there is an attack you'll feel bad that you may have prevented it with your report...
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Old May 9, 2012, 04:56 PM   #10
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To pull a firearm to protect yourself and not report it to the Police can be a huge mistake on your part.Fleeing bad guys have called Police to report guns were pulled on them and the good guy ends up looking like a bad guy.
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Old May 11, 2012, 10:43 AM   #11
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Several reasons to call the police in my rule book:
1. Legal cover: I just pulled my gun; I should report this to the police before some well-meaning but ignorant 3rd party bystander who didn't see the bad guy's weapon does call 911. Then I become a bad guy pulling and waving his pistol in public.
2. Social duty: there's a bad guy out there running loose. This is the very reason we have full-time police. They can run a patrol car through the neighborhood a couple more times a week and maybe catch this yahoo before he assaults my grandma.

I don't have a big rule book.
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Old May 11, 2012, 10:53 AM   #12
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He/she who has their 911 call logged first wins. Generally, this will establish you as the victim/complainant.

Above all, be truthful. But, as with anything in life, only provide enough information needed to answer the question being asked by the authorities.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old May 11, 2012, 11:42 AM   #13
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Why would you not call the police and report a crime attempted against you????? The only reason not to do so would be if you are doing something illegal yourself. If you are carrying legally and would have been justified in using deadly force had the bad guy continued then it would be stupid to not tell the truth. Once you omit or change a fact it will be hard to believe anything else you might say and as another poster said..you don't want a bystander who might not have a clear view calling to report you as the aggressor.
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Old May 11, 2012, 12:03 PM   #14
RedBowTies88
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Quote:
Why would you not call the police and report a crime attempted against you????? The only reason not to do so would be if you are doing something illegal yourself. If you are carrying legally and would have been justified in using deadly force had the bad guy continued then it would be stupid to not tell the truth. Once you omit or change a fact it will be hard to believe anything else you might say and as another poster said..you don't want a bystander who might not have a clear view calling to report you as the aggressor.

There are many municipalities who value criminals rights higher then yours. They will do anything they can to bring you up on charges and try to get you on a technicality for protecting yourself.
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Old May 11, 2012, 12:35 PM   #15
OldMarksman
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Quote:
Posted by RedBowTies88: There are many municipalities who value criminals rights higher then yours. They will do anything they can to bring you up on charges and try to get you on a technicality for protecting yourself.
Are you suggesting that having the incident first reported by a bystander or by your assailant is preferable to your being the first to report?
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Old May 11, 2012, 12:43 PM   #16
RedBowTies88
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No, just commenting on the train of though that some may have. It's hard for people who live in the real america to understand that view soometimes.
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Old May 11, 2012, 01:33 PM   #17
TLeo
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redbowties, I do live in the real world . I have been in law enforcement for 30+ years and seen just about everything and it makes no sense to not report an attempted crime. It seems some one else doesn't live in the real world if one thinks the police are all out to get you.
Paranoid much?
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Old May 11, 2012, 02:05 PM   #18
RedBowTies88
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Thats not what I mean at all, when I made reference to "real america" I was making a reference to pro 2A states. Not the mindset of you or anyone else. I have no doubt that you're very much in touch with the real world...all im saying is the same inncident in 2 different states or even different areas of the same state can be and often are treated entirely differently.

in states like this as soon as a prosecuter hears the word gun they're going to try and come after you wether you were right or wrong. If they can nail you with a technicality you bet they will. This is why some people prefer to just pretend it never happened even though realistically they were in the right.

I know that doesn't make sense but when you have law abiding people fearing their goverment this train of thought is the outcome.

(I in no way personally condone not reporting an inccident to the police. just playing devils advocate)
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Old May 11, 2012, 05:46 PM   #19
Skadoosh
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RBT88: I'm from the 609 area code of NJ (Willingboro Twp). I am sorry you feel that way, but I completely disagree with your assessment.
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I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
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Old May 11, 2012, 06:22 PM   #20
Nnobby45
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Quote:
Report the incident promptly and truthfully.

If the other guy gets on the phone to the police first complaining about the nut job waving a gun at him, you'll start out telling your story in a hole you'll need to climb out of.
I know that Ayoob, whose advice I take to heart, has pointed that out on numerous occasions.

Sometimes just talking to the officers and telling the truth is far better than all the memorized phrases and slick studied lines--especially when you had cause to draw your weapon.
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Old May 11, 2012, 07:05 PM   #21
RedBowTies88
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RBT88: I'm from the 609 area code of NJ (Willingboro Twp). I am sorry you feel that way, but I completely disagree with your assessment.

Again, If it were me I would call asap and tell them everything. I'm just playing devils advocate becuase I could see why someone would want to keep an incident to themselves.

I'm from cape may BTW,... always nice to see fellower 609ers
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Old May 11, 2012, 07:14 PM   #22
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBowTies88
Thats not what I mean at all, when I made reference to "real america" I was making a reference to pro 2A states. .....all im saying is the same inncident in 2 different states or even different areas of the same state can be and often are treated entirely differently...
And exactly what evidence do you have to support that assertion? Any actual examples?

Yes, how a situation may be handled could have be affected by the points of view or personal attitudes of the LEOs or officials dealing with the matter, which might or might not be reflective of the prevailing attitudes of the community. Characterizing it as a Blue State vs. Red State thing is overly simplistic. Larry Hickey and Harold Fish had some very tough times in gun friendly Arizona.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBowTies88
...in states like this as soon as a prosecuter hears the word gun they're going to try and come after you wether you were right or wrong. If they can nail you with a technicality you bet they will...
Again, what actual evidence do you have?
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Old May 12, 2012, 01:12 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
And exactly what evidence do you have to support that assertion? Any actual examples?
Since you ask,

I recall Meleanie Hain, a soccer mom in Lebanon, PA who had her concealed carry license revoked for carrying openly.
http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/ind...at_prospe.html

Unfortunately her story was overshadowed by her later murder at the hands of her husband. But the judge who ordered the Sheriff to restore her concealed carry permit found the Sheriff's action without merit.

I recall Brad Krause's story (sorry, I cannot locate any details, but I followed the story for a few months) who was taken into custody from his own front yard because he had a holstered revolver openly and legally carrying. A neighbor called the police to find out if it was legal. Police showed up and took him away. It took a while for the charges to be dismissed (disorderly conduct, which the defense and the judge found to be an egregious misuse of police authority and prosecutorial misconduct). It took several more months to get his gun back and when he did it was coated with an unidentifiable substance. Basically ruined the finish.

By the way, the neighbor testified on the guy's behalf.

edit: found a link to the story
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2843410/posts

This link connects to a story from Canada, but it does show the alarm some people have at even the thought of a gun.

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews...24-095016.html

There was this student who so alarmed his professor with a class assignment that he was called into the Campus Police office from his part-time job and grilled over what firearms he owned. The Campus Police even had a list of them already (which he kept at his home in another state).
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,504524,00.html
http://www.conservativecrusader.com/...-2nd-amendment

Quote:
Originally Posted by Conservative Crusader Newspaper
Professor Calls Police on Student Supporter of 2nd Amendment

by: warner todd huston | published: 03 05, 2009

The assignment for Central Connecticut State University student John Walberg and his two classmates was to give an oral presentation on a "relevant issue in the media." The three chose school violence for their topic.

After the oral presentation was over, professor Paula Anderson of Communication 140, promptly filed a complaint with the CCSU Police against student Wahlberg claiming he made students "scared and uncomfortable." Professor Anderson deemed Wahlberg a "perceived risk" and felt it was her duty to "protect" her class.
Abuse of power under color of authority is a danger in any society, less so in a democracy, but it does exist. We (as are our police) are human, with all the human frailties that entails.

Of course we only get some of the story from the internet and the news, but these and other stories seem to support the contention that there are some places where having a gun brings an unreasonable assumption of "badness", even among those who should know better.

Lost Sheep

Last edited by Lost Sheep; May 12, 2012 at 03:24 AM.
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Old May 12, 2012, 01:33 AM   #24
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost Sheep
...Since you ask,...
Yes, but those were isolated incidents and not related to a particular defensive use of the gun.

RedBowTies88 said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBowTies88
...in states like this as soon as a prosecuter hears the word gun they're going to try and come after you wether you were right or wrong. If they can nail you with a technicality you bet they will...
The statement was a broad, sweeping statement to the effect that certain undesirable actions will always be taken in certain States in response to a defensive gun use, even if no shots are fired (that is the subject of this thread).

Yes, sometimes officials overreact or act improperly. They do so in connection with matters that don't involve guns as well as matters that do involve guns.

But a categorical statement that in some States (or regions) the lawful defensive use of a gun will generally be met with official overreaching is simply inaccurate.
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Old May 12, 2012, 01:50 AM   #25
Lost Sheep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
Yes, but those were isolated incidents and not related to a particular defensive use of the gun.
Point well taken. But aren't all statistical samplings composed of individual incidents?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedBowTies88
...in states like this as soon as a prosecuter hears the word gun they're going to try and come after you wether you were right or wrong. If they can nail you with a technicality you bet they will...
The statement was a broad, sweeping statement to the effect that certain undesirable actions will always be taken in certain States in response to a defensive gun use, even if no shots are fired (that is the subject of this thread).
True, RBT may have been hyperbolic. But where one person in a group feels empowered to go beyond his or her authority, the suspicion that there is an atmosphere of permissiveness or even support for whatever bias exists in that individual.

I don't mean to paint all with a brush applicable to individual rogues. But some alarm bells must be going off in your mind when you see individual incidents like these?

The incidents I cited didn't involve use of a gun. They merely involved the existence (and in Brad Krause's case the defense of privately owned firearms and the Canadian case, a drawing).

These reports make me a little uneasy. Don't they do the same to you?

Lost Sheep

edit: P.S. I apologize for contributing to thread drift. What one reports to police after defensive use of a firearm that involved no shots fired is a bit off topic to my focus. But i do think about what police might assume about me due to the mere fact that I carry. I did not think it was a tangential subject too wide of the O.P's question.

Last edited by Lost Sheep; May 12, 2012 at 01:58 AM.
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