View Full Version : Options of self defense in a particular situation?

January 10, 2006, 01:38 AM
What if one or more people confront you, not knowing if they are armed or not (nothing visible) but it is obvious they want to do you harm.

I had 3 guys jump me about a year and a half ago while delivering pizzas. One of them had came to my work the day before, drunk and causing a scene so I "convinced" him to leave. The next day he confronted me with 2 of his friends while I was getting out of my car in the empty parking lot of the bussiness. The only person working inside I came to find out was friends with them and helped them orcistrate (sp?) the situation, so there was no one around to help. I was sucker-punched before I could react then they all proceded to hit/kick me for a while then ran off.
I was never in fear of my life, but would say worried of bodily harm due to being out numbered and surrounded.

Other than trying to get back in the car what could I have done in that situation or similar situations where people approach you with ill intent and no visible signs of any weapons.
If you had a CPL could you draw? shoot? would you be better of with pepper spray? How about physical self defense?

January 10, 2006, 06:08 AM
Developing tactical awareness of your surroundings is your first line of defense. OC spray is an excellent option in the situation you describe. Impact weapons are an option, as long as you have had documented training in it's use.

By your own words you did not fear for your life, so use of deadly force would not have been justified. This statement allows me to presume you have not been trained in the use of a belly gun.

If you are considering carrying a belly gun, get not only a CC permit, but as much documented training as you can amass...

January 10, 2006, 07:39 AM
CCP rules here are "fear of death or great bodily harm..."


Chris Phelps
January 10, 2006, 08:55 AM
If you recognized the guy who was in the store the day before... the very second someone took a swing at me, I would have driven him right in the throat with the blade part of my hand, then proceeded to kick the crap out of him. Sure, the other two will still be hitting you, but you wont be the only one injured out of the deal, and once you stop beating on him, the other two will most likely retreat with their beat-up friend. Also, the chances of that kid electing to do such a thing in the future will be slim to none.

January 10, 2006, 09:05 AM
Fear of death OR great bodily harm is justification in every state for the use of defensive deadly force.

January 10, 2006, 09:09 AM
Again Death or Grave Bodily Harm...

3 on 1 presents a significant disparity of force. 1 on 1 may not justify the drawing of your weapon but 3 on 1 does if you have a reasonable fear. I personally think you were wrong in saying you did not have this level of fear. Three people beating on one can result in death very easily. Even if not killed you may have months of healing and permanent damage. If not killed being kicked while on the ground can easily result in multiple broken ribs and bones, blindness, major dental damage, hearing damage, internal injuries, destroyed joints (try healing a shatterred knee, your track career is over), and of course brain damage. You were in much more danger than you acknowledge.

The OC suggestion is a good one. I also deliverred pizza while attending school in FL. On a delivery to a frat house I had a loose dog approach me. I was at the front door with nobody answerring and the dog was between me and my car. It became more and more agitated until I saw its ears go back and its hackles rise. It was clearly about to attack. I was raised in a family that had a Mastiff kennel. Growing up around a herd of 200 pound dogs taught me well how to understand dog behaviour and signs. In addition I do not get needlessly worried about dogs. This one meant business. Holding the pies in my left hand I OC's the dog right on the snout at about 6 ft. range and kicked open the door of the frat house at the same time.

At that point I was surrounded by almost 10 drunken frat boys who were very angry at what I did to their dog. I explained he would be fine in 30 minutes and they could wash him with cold water. Clearly I was now in danger. In addition to my OC, still in my right hand, I carried a 5" 1911 in 10mm, a 4 D Cell Mag Light, a Spyderco, and a Kubaton. I never went any further than the OC. I deliverred the pies and made change the whole time with my left hand while my right never put down the OC. I could tell several of them were watching me to see if I would put it down. The site of their big bad dog rolling in the dirt and yelping had a strong effect on them. If I had put down that OC I am certain things would have gone badly, either I would have been severly beaten or a couple of them would have some 10mm silvertips in them (possibly both). The OC allowed all of us to leave unscathed, except for the dog which I did feel bad about. IT wasn't his fault his owners were idiots.

What I am saying is OC is an outstanding tool for the exact situation you were in. While I believe you should have been justified in using deadly force the OC would have been a better solution. Your gun is your LAST line of defense.

One more thing, I deliverred into some really bad areas of Daytona Beach. We went into the housing projects that the chain guys refused. If you were able to get confronted by three guys getting out of your car in your own stores parking lot without seeing it coming you need to either brush up on your observation skills or get another job. Most problems can be avoided entirely through sitautional awareness. You have cash, food and a car, everything a hood wants in one easy to accost victim. Make yourself a harder target by staying aware.

January 10, 2006, 11:24 PM
Thanks for the input guys.

Thanks for the info.
I was aware of their presence. The parking lot is a small (maybe 10 car lot) surrounded by woods (that are now cut down) so everything was kind of hidden from passers by unless they are looking for there specifically. Anyways, I did expect some type of altercation but didnt realized the seriousness of it until it was too late. My mistake as I should have let my pride of not wanting to "run away" back into the car. Well my pride got the best of me in that situation. I ended up with some bruises and a really big shiner. I had to get a CAT scan of my head to see if they broke the bone under the eye. But everything healed well fortunately.

The OC spray would have been a good idea. I usually caried a stun gun (illegal in MI) but for some reason didnt that night. All turned out as good as it could I guess. I made a police report and identified one of the guys to the officer who ended up having a run in with him a few days later. No charges were pressed though.

Hind sight is 20/20 i guess. I learned from it if nothing else, and got a new job offer a few weeks after so I didnt have to deal with the ass's that worked there and their friends anymore.

January 11, 2006, 10:28 PM
Given the situation where one of the three was a person with whom you had an earlier altercation, . . . were it me, . . . I would have simply backed up and re-parked my vehicle somewhere else.

If they followed, . . . just leave. I know some people like them who really do probably deserve shooting, . . . but it is against the law, . . . plus since it is your place of employment, . . . you'ld probably wind up cleaning up the place. Nahhhh! Ain't worth it. Leave!

May God bless,

January 11, 2006, 11:17 PM
I was under the impression that in you situation (3 on 1) justifies the use of leathal force. Of course you were alone and none of your loved ones were present and could also be attacked. That changes things alot. It's one thing to get a beating from 3 punks, but when my family could also be hurt I wouldn't hesitate.

January 11, 2006, 11:46 PM
I would have driven him right in the throat with the blade part of my hand, then proceeded to kick the crap out of him. Sure, the other two will still be hitting you, but you wont be the only one injured out of the deal, and once you stop beating on him, the other two will most likely retreat with their beat-up friend.

Two things are wrong with the Knife hand to the throat move...you have a slim chance that the blow can cause significant damage to the guys windpipe which may lead to hospitalization or possibly death, either way police will be involved and stories will change when it is 3 (or 4) against one, suddenly you attack this guy you killed and 3 witnesses will say you started the fight. You have a greater chance of just temporarly hurting the guy making him choke and gag, while the other two guy (who probably watch too much TV and assume you just did a death move on their friend), will proceded to beat you to death, feeling fully justified and again telling the cops that they killed you after you attempted to kill their friend by striking his throat. Knife hand to the throat is for emergencies...to get away...Knife hand to the throat in a street fight with multiple attackers=Significant beating and possible trip to the morge.

What to do... if you have pepper spray or a CCW, as mentioned before your justified. Also I would have called out the individual who got the problem with you and demand a "one on one" fight and question his manhood if he does not want to fight alone. Might work. At least you have a better chance against one guy.

Another thing....Have you called the cops about this attack???? or are you just going to let it go???

January 13, 2006, 03:28 PM
I know for sure the one on one thing wouldnt have worked. Thats why he brought 2 of his friends because he knew he would lose a fair fight.

quote from my previous comment,
"I made a police report and identified one of the guys to the officer who ended up having a run in with him a few days later. No charges were pressed though."
Yes, the police were notified.

Thanks for the comments

January 13, 2006, 05:48 PM

January 13, 2006, 10:15 PM
I would say (from PA law standpoint), that yes, you are justified in using lethal force in this situation.

Meaning: Even though you weren't in fear of death, you were in fear of GREAT BODILY HARM.

If it were me, knowing that these 3 guys were ready to jump on top of me and harm me, I would present my firearm, for I would feel that although I may not be killed, I would definitely be seriously injured.

However, situational awareness should have come into play here. When you saw the guy from the night before, I would have been on the phone with LE then, or getting the heck out of Dodge!

However, in your attempt to flee, should you be cornered and made unable to flee, then you would be forced to resort to lethal force.

Hope that explains my view.


January 14, 2006, 10:18 AM
I teach classes on this and related subjects, as well as firearms, defensive tactics, and tactical operations. I also lead & train a High Risk Entry/SWAT Team. I've carried firearms and dealt with these issues professionally for nearly 30 years.

Just for a point of reference, I'll advise that I have been a defendant in a use of force lawsuit, and have testified as a witness (both as arresting officer and as an expert witness) in numerous criminal trials involving the use of force.

It always amuses and somewhat alarms me when I see or hear folks (to include LEO's) talk casually about using deadly force and taking human life, as well as in legal absolutes. No offense to anyone here, but the vast majority of the time, this individual has no experience in these things, and at best is speaking theoretically.

Always remember you have to survive the legal and psychological aftermath as well as the incident, as described above. The following is not a slam on anyone, but an attempt to give a some insight into the realities of using force.

Show me someone who speaks of "Great Bodily Harm" as justification of taking a human life, and I'll show you someone who has never done it, let alone witnessed the legal aftermath.

GBH is a legal term highly subject to interpretation. The poster stated he was not in fear of death, but "worried" about great bodily harm. By making that statement,takes himself out of the realm of justifiable use of deadly force, and squarely in the center of civil & criminal liability if he does. In this instance he would never sell GBH as a justification in court, and the opposing attorney would shred him. If he were to have shot someone then made this statement, he would probably open himself up to a charge of Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide.

Pulling out a CW and brandishing it as a threat is not a good idea, tactically or legally. You have just lost the vital tactical element of surprise (which equates to lag time as your opponent processes your actions, examines his options, and decides what to do next), you stand at least a 50/50 chance of escalating the situation (what do you do now if your opponent isn't afraid/doesn't back down or flee and you aren't justified in shooting him?), and if a physical brawl ensues, you are responsible for any accidental discharge. Best to leave it holstered/concealed, and if you HAVE to use it, draw it and USE IT!

On this subject, anyone with a CCW permit should not only seek out as much documented firearms training as he can, he should also take a defensive tactics course that includes Firearms Retention (how to keep an assailant from disarming you).

Bear in mind that if you use deadly force, you may be charged criminally, and you WILL be sued civilly by someone, be it the victim, his NOK, or a bystander you hit or endangered by stray rounds. It's axiomatic that a fully justifiable shooting will cost you at least $25,000, either to defend yourself or to settle out of court. If you are a citizen and not a LEO, you have no civil legal protection, entity insurance, or legal team if this happens. Your life savings, property, real estate, everything you have is at risk.

Lastly, bear in mind the huge phsychological event that taking a human life is.
Even the most deserving scumbag has a life, hopes, dreams, and NOK who probably love him, and if you kill him, you are directly responsible for taking them away. So being, you better have this right in your mind before you carry a gun, and you better be sure you're not only justified, but that there's no other alternative, if you use it.

In closing...

If you have a CCW permit and carry, get as much documentable training as you can. Practice with your weapon & holster system for optimum proficiency.

Be tactically aware of your environment and people around you. Anticipate trouble and avoid it.

Use visualization technique to run throught "what if" scenarios. See yourself making the right decisions and doing the right things. This is a vital and never ending excercise. Don't underestimate it's value.

Remember there few legal absolutes in the use of deadly force, and that you have to exercise all other reasonable & viable options before employing deadly force. If GBH is your justification, you need to be able to clearly and absolutely be able to articulate WHY YOU WERE UNQUESTIONABLY IN FEAR.

If you do use deadly force, invoke your right to remain silent and consult an attorney BEFORE making ANY statements to ANYONE, not just to LE. Be polite but firm, and assure LE that you will cooperate, but not until you've spoken to an attorney.

Understand and be prepared for probable psychological after effects. Be prepared to attend counseling. See a phsyciatrist or physchologist rather than a counselor, as doctor-patient privilege applies with them, and may not with a licensed counselor.

Normally I would charge for a mini-seminar like this, but this one's free in the interest of public and brother shooter's service. Hope it provides a little food for thought...

January 15, 2006, 01:27 AM
Thanks you Terminator. Very informative and helpful information to keep in mind.