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Old February 3, 2014, 01:10 PM   #1
splinter MBA
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Your Advice Saved Me From An Attack

This weekend I had a traumatic experience. I believe that I would either be in the hospital or dead today had I not been carrying.

I used to think concealed carry was a silly thing to do, but after the Sandy Hook shooting, I changed my mind. I did a lot of research on this site to make major decisions on what to carry, where, how, etc... More on this later.

I live near Salt Lake City. I left with my wife and 2 young children to visit the in-laws in a relatively small town about an hour away. We were forced to exit the freeway a couple exits early because the freeway was shut down due to a bad accident. Traffic was horrible and going slow. Somewhere along the line, I merged in front of another vehicle. He didn't like that and proceeded to lay on the horn.

As traffic sped up, we were able to get past the detour rout and head to our destination. The angry motorist followed us. He sped up and I thought he wanted to pass me, so I pulled over. He stopped beside me. I can only assume he was flipping me off. His windows were tinted.

My in-laws house was only a few yards ahead, so I pulled into their driveway, hoping the other car would speed away. Instead, he parked on the street. At this point adrenaline kicked in. I jumped out of the car because I didn't like that he was parked behind us.

I stood by my car with the door open behind me. (This was a mistake)

A HUGE man stepped out the the vehicle. He was about 6ft and 260 - 280 ibs. I am 5,8 and 180 ibs.

I thought he might just chew me out and go on his way, but he stormed toward me. He looked insane. I have never seen that look in a man's eye before. I knew he wanted to hurt me, and he told me he wanted to beat me, or something to that effect.

I froze for what felt like a minute, but it must have been only a fraction of a second. The man wasn't armed, but his hands were balled into fists. I wasn't sure what to do.

In that moment, I realized that I couldn't back up because the car door was behind me. I couldn't just run across the lawn and down the street because my wife and children were in the car.

By the time I decided to reach for my gun, he was only 3 feet away. I gripped my 9mm Beretta Nano that I carried inside the waist band. He noticed and immediately stopped. Now he was about 2 feet away.

He asked me if I wanted to shoot him. All I said was get away from me, get away from my family. I learned that when the adrenaline is pumping, I didn't watch his face, I watched his chest - his heart. I was prepared to draw and shoot. Thankfully, he didn't come any closer and I didn't have to draw.

He cussed me out but finally went back to his car much more sober than when he came out. I called the police and they sent an officer out to take a statement. He told me that I did the right thing. I was indeed afraid of devastating injury and death. The officer also told me that I should not have let the attacker get so close. I should have created space. I felt so sick and shaky afterward.

I wanted to thank those people on this forum for your advice. Originally, I wanted to carry with a belly band, but I read here that carrying on the hip was a faster draw. I used to lean toward carrying without a round in the chamber, as for advice I read here, I decided to carry with one in the chamber. I needed those precious nano-seconds to decide if I was going to go for my gun. I would not also be able to rack the slid if needed. I also used to think I would only carry to work, because of advice read here, I carry everyday, everywhere.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I would not have been prepared to protect myself and my family had I not followed the great advice here.

I'm also thankful for this great county, the second amendment, and the supportive laws of my state. And of course the professional police officer who took my statement.

I also wanted to add that practice is so important. I now know what i should be practicing. I practice drawing regularly, but I never thought to practice making space. I will now practice that regularly. I can't tell you how happy my wife is now about me carrying a gun.

Any additional advice is welcome.

Last edited by splinter MBA; February 4, 2014 at 02:51 PM.
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Old February 3, 2014, 01:56 PM   #2
RBid
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I'm glad that you and your family are well.

Extended advice: continued education and training are fun and potentially life saving.

Also, Cherry Pepsi is a delicious and modest celebratory beverage. Enjoy one, sir.
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:06 PM   #3
Grizz12
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im glad it worked out for you
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:08 PM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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First, let me say that I'm very glad that everyone involved walked away safe and unharmed with some new insights that will hopefully help both sides avoid future conflicts. I wasn't there, so I am in no position to judge; but here are some thoughts that occurred to me reading your story:

1. If you know they are angry and they are following you, don't lead them to your home or the home of someone else you know. Even if they drive on, they may decide to come back later to settle up. You get to pick the terrain for the confrontation - use that to your advantage. A gas station with video cameras to provide evidence maybe? Is a police station or court house nearby according to your nav system or smartphone?

2. I know you feel that there was an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury here; unfortunately, that is not the standard in many places - you must reasonably believe there is an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury. Here the attacker indicated Intent to beat you. He had the Ability to do so with his bare hands and he was close enough to place you in Jeopardy.

However, look at the Zimmerman case for an example of how that can still go very wrong with an unarmed assailant. Fairly or not, a lot of people don't recognize the potential danger of letting a grown man beat on you while you are carrying a pistol and some of those people will end up on a jury. If your attacker had chosen to press his attack you would be in a tough spot and likely looking at some serious stress and legal fees in your future if you had been forced to shoot. I think it is worth giving some thought to how you could have better avoided being placed in a shoot or not situation to begin with.

If your attacker is unarmed (as he was here), staying in the car puts a major barrier between the two of you and if your state extends Castle Doctrine to vehicles, it also offers you an additional legal benefit you don't want to give up unless you have to. It also leaves you more mobile than your attacker (provided you pick the spot where you stopped well) because he is on foot and you can drive off.

3. I agree with you on how fast things happen. You really want your weapon handling to be almost reflexive because it will free your brain up for all the other questions racing through your mind "Does he have a friend? What is in his hands? Etc."

All in all, everyone made it home safe, nobody is in jail and you aren't paying out big legal fees - that is just about the best result you could ask for under the circumstances.
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:17 PM   #5
splinter MBA
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I totally agree with all of your points. My problem was that I hadn't thought through the scenario before. I should have continued driving to a police department. I should have stayed in the car. As I look back, I keep kicking myself for mistakes I made. Now I know to plan ahead of time.

As for using deadly force. This is why I hesitated. I thought about the Zimmerman case and I didn't want to end up in that situation. However, I cannot describe how much fear I felt. I am almost certain he would have beat me. I know punches can kill, but I also know that is a hard sell to a jury. All in all, I wasn't as prepared as I should have been. But I'm glad I had my gun.

Thanks for your advice. If it ever happens again, I will have a smarter plan.
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:18 PM   #6
Ambishot
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I'm glad that no one involved was hurt in this situation.

Bartholomew Roberts and RBID offered some great tips to you.

+1 on continued training...and as you mention in your post that you'll be carrying 24/7 from now on, you should look into the Armed Citizen Legal Defense network.
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:51 PM   #7
Sharkbite
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I will NOT monday morning QB you. Im glad you AND your family walked away unhurt. Im glad you took the steps necessary to be able to defend them should you have needed that pistol

A few "unfortunate" instances in my past have made a full time carry addict out of me

Have that cherry Coke and give the family a hug
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:52 PM   #8
OuTcAsT
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Considering the outcome, I cannot find any "mistakes" you made. Every scenario unfolds differently and, as you now know, quite quickly.

Bartholomew Roberts wrote;
Quote:
If you know they are angry and they are following you, don't lead them to your home or the home of someone else you know. Even if they drive on, they may decide to come back later to settle up. You get to pick the terrain for the confrontation - use that to your advantage.
This is quite true and, given that the guy was still following you I might not have gone to a private drive to park however, being at a relatives home, on private property does lend some credibility to your defense should the need arise.

Quote:
If your attacker is unarmed (as he was here), staying in the car puts a major barrier between the two of you and if your state extends Castle Doctrine to vehicles, it also offers you an additional legal benefit you don't want to give up unless you have to.
In your case, you put yourself between the attacker, and your family inside the vehicle. Since you had no means to simply "drive away" that is likely where I would want to be, between my family and the threat. If you were inside the vehicle, you would have made your entire family a target , a "sitting duck" as it were. However the officer's advice on maintaining / creating space is sound, I would do so with a mind toward keeping the pi$$ed off guy focused on me and, away from my family.

Don't second guess it too much, it worked as the situation dictated and, everyone went home alive. It don't get much better than that.
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:04 PM   #9
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
I should have stayed in the car.
That one is situationally dependent and a tough call. If he is unarmed or armed with a contact only weapon, it can make some sense for the reasons we discussed. If he is armed with a firearm, or produces one after you thought he was unarmed, you are now the one who is boxed in and your family with you.

Having said that, in many states exiting your car will make your legal defense harder so you want to give that decision some thought.

And clearly you are on the right track that the time to think abut these things is now.
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:10 PM   #10
jimbob86
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First, I'm, glad everyone came out of this OK.

Second, I think letting the guy close to 2 feet with the gun still still holstered would have given a determined attacker ample opportunity to harm you before you could stop him, if you could have stopped him at all- he was bigger than you, and at arms length, all he had to do was grab your gun hand with his left and beat you with his right until he got tired. I am glad it worked out for you this time.
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:17 PM   #11
RBid
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Going to try to clear up some muddy water where it may be present.

As is often correctly stated here and elsewhere, avoidance and escape are the best choices whenever they are viable. In review of the situation, it is absolutely relevant to point out various crossroads where those doors could have been used or left open.

However...

Those crossroads became temporarily irrelevant when the moment arrived where you were outside your car, facing an irrational and possibly more physically capable attacker.

Once any of us is in that position, only ONE question matters:

Is a life in, or about to be in danger?

That's it. There is no Zimmerman. There is no court. There is no jury. There is ONLY preservation of well being. This is not perfectly black and white, but it is much more so than it is often said to be, because of one fundamental misunderstanding:

It is TRUE that Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy are necessary to use lethal force. I have emphasized use, because it is often viable to present a lethal force option when Ability and Opportunity are present, and Jeopardy appears imminent. You do not need to be in Jeopardy RIGHT NOW to draw in many places (seek clarity within laws specific to your area).

For example, this man demonstrated Ability (physical capability disparity), Opportunity (proximity), and Jeopardy appeared imminent as he was advancing, though he had not yet committed to violent action. As evidenced by the way this was handled by LE after the fact, you were clearly legally justified according to the laws of your area in doing what you did.

So... How does this help clear up muddy water?

You presented a lethal force response, which put the next decision in the hands of the aggressor. You forced him to make another decision. You did not shoot. You did not pull over sooner to challenge him, instead seeking sanctuary at a place of comfort and security.

All of this is to say that when your decision making process is 100% rooted in preservation of well being, you will wind up with the best possible outcome. Note that I'm not saying the outcome will be pretty, simply less ugly than it could otherwise be. A long trial is preferable to death or permanent disability. Being vilified in court is better than being beat to death. Shooting a man who sought to deliver violence is preferable to being murdered.

After the fact, your situation is clearly more black and white than Zimmerman's, because his decisions were not rooted in preservation of well being.

That filter is as close to a golden ticket for a clear conscience and court win as there is. It is the best we have. Trust in it. Abide by it. Do not second guess it. Simply make choices specifically to preserve well being.

Be well.
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:22 PM   #12
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Glad you are safe. Road rage can turn deadly.
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splinter MBA
A HUGE man stepped out the the vehicle. He was about 6ft and 160 - 180 ibs.
Huh?
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Old February 3, 2014, 03:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Glad you are safe. Road rage can turn deadly.
Ditto that.
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Old February 3, 2014, 04:39 PM   #15
Rampant_Colt
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Mama always said, life is like a box of chocolates

I concur with what OutKast posted. Every scenario will play out differently. I've been in similar situations as this one, and racking the slide would've likely escalated it to the next level. You cannot practice drills for a specific scenario; only have hightened situational awareness, and fall back on your training when the adrenaline starts pumping and the tunnel vision sets in.
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:05 PM   #16
Crankgrinder
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Very glad things turned out ok. I couldn't quarterback your play but one has mentioned that you must "reasonably" believe you were in danger. I see nothing "unreasonable" about your described actions. You did not know this man, and you did not know if he was also armed, did not know if hed had drugs within the hours prior. Too many unknowns. To me it is "reasonable" to believe if he had it in him to follow you to your destination while angry then he "reasonably" had the intent to do something "unknown". Glad you were aware and didn't take too many chances.
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by splinter MBA
A HUGE man stepped out the the vehicle. He was about 6ft and 160 - 180 ibs.
Wow, I must be downright inhuman at 6'4" and 240. Just kidding, I know when I meet somebody bigger than me, they appear huge as well. You did well. May have done things differently, but you'll never know if they would have been better or worse. You got out with a whole skin and safe family and called the police. That's a win.
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:16 PM   #18
thump_rrr
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First of all I am glad you and your family are safe.
I am shorter and lighter than you however I cannot agree with you that a man 6'0" 160-180lbs could be considered HUGE in your own words.
I would consider a man 6' 160-180 as scrawny to slight ( unless they were in fighting trim) and not much of a threat to imminent death or severe bodily injury at their hands when you weigh the same as them.

Fortunately for you you do not need to stand in front of a jury and try to convince them of that.

Sometimes simply looking over at the other driver and saying sorry is enough to defuse a situation before it gets to the point that it did.

The bottom line is that you and your loved ones are safe and you took something away from that experience.
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:29 PM   #19
splinter MBA
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Knight Cadet,

I meant to say he was 260 - 280 pounds. I weigh 180. sorry for the confusion. He looked like a linebacker to me. He had 80 to 100 pounds on me. I just miss typed.
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:34 PM   #20
thump_rrr
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260-280 is a far cry from 160-180
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Old February 3, 2014, 05:40 PM   #21
splinter MBA
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Right, just to clarify. He was much bigger than me. I'm not sure what my response would have been if he was my size. I just remember thinking that his arms were bigger than my thighs.
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Old February 3, 2014, 07:45 PM   #22
blackxpress
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Some of you people need to learn how to read a post before you start hammering a guy with smart alecky comments. He said the guy was 260-280 lbs. NOT 160-180 lbs. Personally I wouldn't give a rip how big he was. If he came running toward me with evil intent he'd get to hold a few rounds. And, to the OP, well done man. Glad everything worked out for the best.
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Old February 3, 2014, 08:13 PM   #23
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Glad things worked out. You did the right thing.
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Old February 3, 2014, 08:14 PM   #24
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This is what most people don't understand. When you are in your car you never know when you might hit a detour or have your car breakdown or unexpectedly stopped. You don't know when a crazy will take exception to what you do. Having someone follow you is very aggressive to me because you know he in intends something.

But don't lead him to anyone's home. Go someplace where there are a lot of people if you can.
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Old February 3, 2014, 08:20 PM   #25
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So glad everything is okay! You did the right thing!
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