View Full Version : Scenario : alone in the car in a parking lot

May 12, 2008, 08:00 PM
Was watching TV and this came up. Wife and I talked about it but never reached a conclusion.

Let's say you are sitting in your car, in the drivers seat, in a parking lot of a store. Let's say that the reason you are sitting there is that your SO 'just ran in to grab one thing' or an alternative reason would be 'waiting to meet a friend'.

You are NOT armed. You are a law abiding citizen so your seat belt is fastened. You care about the environment (and gas prices) so the car is off.

A BG jumps in your car in the passenger seat, points a gun at you, and tells you to drive (where BG wants to go doesn't matter).

The BG keeps the gun out of your reach, and you cannot overpower him (maybe YOU can, but let's just say you can't).

How is this situation best handled?

May 12, 2008, 08:04 PM
In that situation I would exit the car. I would rather risk him opening fire in a public place than allow him to force me to go elsewhere.

Number one rule of survival is NEVER GO WITH THE BADGUY ANYWHERE. Be it a back room or a deserted road.

vox rationis
May 12, 2008, 08:10 PM
Was watching TV and this came up. Wife and I talked about it but never reached a conclusion.

Let's say you are sitting in your car, in the drivers seat, in a parking lot of a store. Let's say that the reason you are sitting there is that your SO 'just ran in to grab one thing' or an alternative reason would be 'waiting to meet a friend'.

You are NOT armed. You are a law abiding citizen so your seat belt is fastened. You care about the environment (and gas prices) so the car is off.

A BG jumps in your car in the passenger seat, points a gun at you, and tells you to drive (where BG wants to go doesn't matter).

The BG keeps the gun out of your reach, and you cannot overpower him (maybe YOU can, but let's just say you can't).

How is this situation best handled?

Well since parking lots are known to be prime hunting grounds for criminals:

You have parked in an area to disallow you a relatively clear view around your car why?

You daydreamed and didn't maintaining situational awareness why?

You haven't taken care to keep your doors locked why?

You are stopped and have your seatbelt on why?

By the time you wake up out of your stupor to find an armed guy sitting next to you, well you are pretty much screwed buddy :o. If you survive the encounter at that point is dependent on pretty much one thing..the bad guy's disposition.

But yeah, the only good choice in that scenario would be to somehow quickly unbuckle and attempt an escape with hopes that he doesn't bust a cap in your [email protected]@.

May 12, 2008, 08:12 PM
"You have your seat belt on." I assume he does not. Head for the nearest telephone pole and let physics do the rest. Another option is to (gently) rear end the nearest police cruiser and let the bad guy decide if he wants to shoot it out with a police officer.

May 12, 2008, 08:22 PM
You have parked in an area to disallow you a relatively clear view around your car why?
It was the only available parking space in a very crowded lot.

You daydreamed and didn't maintaining situational awareness why?Had to work late last night, SO didn't let you sleep in so you are exhausted and must have drifted off.

You haven't taken care to keep your doors locked why?SO must have forgotten to lock the door when he/she exited the vehicle. You didn't notice (shame on you).

You are stopped and have your seatbelt on why?it's the law.

I know it's a flawed scenario, let's not nit-pick it apart please. There are a million why's and becauses. I am more interested in what the best course of action is once you are in this situation.

So far, the consensus seems to be that exiting the vehicle no matter what the outcome is the best choice, although bushidomosquito makes an interesting suggestion. I personally can never find a cop when I need one though.

May 12, 2008, 08:31 PM
If I'm as neglectful as you mention, I'd jump out of the car if possible. Crash if I can't.

In general, my seat belt comes off if I'm not driving the car. My doors stay locked. I'm rarely unarmed.

May 12, 2008, 09:13 PM
No sir, . . . he will not like that ride. Course, if he is lucky, part 2 will be to an emergency room, . . . if not, . . . the morgue.

If for some reason I could not get out of the car without being shot (first choice), . . . then we are probably going dumpster diving right in the side of one of those bad boys. I won't do an electric pole, . . . too much chance of hurting someone else.

Alternatively, there are just too many bridge abutments, . . . large landscape rocks, . . . rail tressels, . . . and I can pick the right one to only take out the passenger side, . . . :D

Say goodnight, . . . bg, . . .

May God bless,

May 12, 2008, 09:19 PM
I agree with bushido and Dwight. I hope he forgets to buckle up...:eek::D

May 12, 2008, 10:22 PM
Most likely he wont buckle up and if he trys to, thats my chance to snatch the gun or make my escape.
Driveing out of the area and finding a place to do a passenger side impact crash is probably the best decision, because of the posability that he will shoot you any way when he's done with the ride or just to steal the car.

May 13, 2008, 06:08 AM
Deliberately crashing the car is iffy at best. It could incapacitate the perp or you or even cause him to trigger off a round. I agree with a couple of posts who have said "don't go with the perp anywhere". Chances are you won't come back. I'd bail at the first opportunity.

At least, that's what I would do if I were dumb enough to get into this situation in the first place. As you point out, it's a flawed scenario, but it DOES happen every day. And keep in mind TV isn't anywhere even CLOSE to reality.

When I'm waiting in a parking lot: I am armed, the doors are locked, my seatbelt or open, my head is on a swivel, and the engine is running. I'll also pull through a parking space so the nose of the car is headed out, if at all possible.

May 13, 2008, 09:26 AM
Anyone ever watch the movie "Nothing to Lose"?

"boy did you pick the wrong guy on the wrong day":eek:

May 13, 2008, 10:20 AM
What about explaining to him that firing the gun inside the car will surely blow out his eardrums and cost him his hearing. If you have a window and lock override switch like my car does then turn the other doors off, hit the door lock button on the way out the door and make your escape while he figures out how to get out of the car.

May 13, 2008, 12:00 PM
I saw an FBI training video and yep, they said not to go anywhere with the perp. They demonstrated gunning the gas, slamming on the brakes, and in one fluid motion taking off the seatbelt and rolling out the door. The BG can't stop physics so the gun will NOT stay pointed at you, which probably gives you about 1.5-2 seconds to take action. And since he probably hasn't put on his (well, technically yours:) ) seatbelt, he should be stunned just long enough for you to make your escape. It was pretty cool how they showed it. No matter how hard the BG tried to hold the gun pointed at the victim, he just couldn't do it!

May 13, 2008, 12:17 PM
if you have to travel with the bg... wait till your on the highway and slam it in park. if its a manual then down shift to reverse. :D

May 13, 2008, 05:04 PM
If you have to guy with the Crook, make conversation and let him gain your trust before you pull anything...

It is more likely however that the crook will pull you out of your car and drive the car himself to avoid any 'Cowboys', who might try and pull something...

May 13, 2008, 09:33 PM
Having had a female friend who was abducted and had seen on a movie the dive out the door maneuver, DONT DO IT. She is now a parapalegic and the guy got away. Best chance at survival is to gun it to 55 mph and then if on a highway or open road slam it into park and crank the wheel to the left. This will throw the bad guy into the windshield and then cause gravity and G forces to throw him into the passenger window. Beware this could cause a rollover so if you are driving a convertible it woul not be advised. The best option really if you are taken is to find a low SUV and rear end it. If the bad guy is ejected I guarantee you he won't be much of a threat.

May 13, 2008, 10:58 PM
No disrespect, but you have seen way too many movies. The tried and true number one rule of survival in such situation is to flee immediately while still in the parking lot with the car off. Never allow anyone with criminal intent take you anyplace.

Even a criminal willing to shoot you on a private road is going to think twice about opening fire on a fleeing person in a public area...and if they are willing to shoot a fleeing person in a public area they were most likely going to kill you later anyway.

Trying a high speed maneuver is only risking your physical safety and the safety of anyone else on the road. There is nothing to keep him from blowing your brains out the second you put your foot down on the accelerator...and he would be making that decision under fear of his life which would make the decision easier for him to make.

May 14, 2008, 12:42 AM
Heck if you are this out of it to make that many bad decisions just pull the keys out of the ignation and toss them out the window.

He may shoot you for doing that but if he does he was going to kill you anyway.

May 14, 2008, 12:50 AM
This is a true story. My neice worked in a check cashing store in Milwaukee and would open it in the morning. One morning a guy walked up to her as she was opening the door and stuck a gun in her side and pushed her inside.

He told her to open the safe and give him the money - dumb guy - because she didn't bring the money she just opened up.

Anyway, she told him she only had her purse take it and she couldn't open the safe cause she didn't have the combination. She was telling the truth.

He threatened to kill her a few times then must have figured she was telling the truth. Then he said come with me or I'll kill you.

She said she was so scared she could not get her legs to work. She literally could not move. He threatened her a few times and then just ran off.

He did not shoot her even though he had threatened to many times BUT if she had left with him she probably would have been raped and possibly murderred to cover it up.

She was so scared she quit.

Never go with the bad guy - ther is no advantage to it at all.

May 14, 2008, 07:23 AM
Seen to many movies probably your right in that regard. However, we all know life is not black and white, and in some cases someone may not have the split second decision making power to get out and run. My comment was positioned towards those who made the mistake of staying the car, or did not seize the chance to run. In no way would I suggest someone pull the maneuver I stated on a heavily occupied road. There will be times when people are carjacked/kidnapped, and for those who do become hostages either one of those manuevers are a solid chance at getting away. Id rather die rolling my car attempting to save my life than be shot in the back of the head on some backroad. I do aknowledge however that these should be a last resort, but the FBI even teaches the roll out the door maneuver along with the hitting a parked car. Fact of the matter these days is expect the unexpected.

May 14, 2008, 07:54 AM
I have read a lot of interesting responses and I've given this some thought.

I just cannot see how jumping out of a moving vehicle is conducive to long life. Even at low speed you are likely to have serious injuries, not to mention, what does your vehicle do when you leave the driver seat and no one is in control of it. What if it hits a kid!

I also do not agree with the act of intentionally crashing your vehicle into a stationary object, or another vehicle, parked or not. You are just as likely to injure or incapacitate yourself as you are the BG.

As an added bonus, you run the risk of injuring another person in the other vehicle...what if it's a sleeping baby and her mother?!

I like the idea of escaping the vehicle as soon as the BG gets in. Perhaps a training program of quickly exiting a vehicle would be beneficial.

May 14, 2008, 08:11 AM
I have some pretty rank gas- I guess I'd try a little germ warfare... :D :barf: :o :confused:

May 14, 2008, 08:33 AM
I'd say that the situation is a bad one to be in, and bailing out immediately while saying that the guy can have the car would be best. The only reason a criminal moves you from crime scene 1 to crime scene 2 is to do things to you he couldn't do at crime scene 1.

I also agree with Son Of Vlad Tepes that it is best to avoid the situation altogether by preventive means. If you're waiting for someone, don't park, idle curbside with clear exit route. We talk about buying quality guns in terms of "what is your life worth?" but saving $5 of gas isn't worth the exposure. Keep vehicle in drive, foot on the brake. Windows up, doors locked, pay attention for returning SO.

vox rationis
May 14, 2008, 06:39 PM
I just read my initial response and all I have to say..man, did I come off as one of those typical sanctimonious gun forum jerk guys we all hate! :D

Nice discussion though, and while I still stand behind the idea that prevention is best here, and the second best is to get out ASAP while the car is still not moving, I have to say that in DESPERATE circumstances I could see myself thinking about some DESPERATE Crash the Car Movie Stunt, but something like that is a pure gamble pure and simple and probably not the best option.

I think you'd have better luck by pretending to lose consciousness +/- go into "an epileptic fit", or to look terrified, clutch your chest and say "CALL 911 I'M HAVING A HEART ATTACK" and then "pass out". And then let the guy rifle through your pockets (unless you are carrying, which obviously makes the point that while carrying you have to be even more vigilant not to let some dirt bag get the drop on you), or even to reach over, or exit to come around, in order to push you out of the car. This of course should open up other avenues of escape.

Anyway this is one of those "impossible scenarios" that is best avoided, so rather than exercise one's neurons about how to defeat something like this, we ought to focus strategically on not being caught with our nickers down like that! Is anyone offering a James Bond ejector passenger seat set up?

May 14, 2008, 08:14 PM
Really good scenario and discussion. I think getting out as fast as possible is a great idea. You could probably be out in the two or three seconds that the BG would need to decide to shoot (at) you. I just hope that I could make the deliberate decision and move on it fast enough. :eek:

May 15, 2008, 12:13 PM
saw a movie similar to the scenario mentioned by tundranick ... blv it was Ronin (an amazing movie by the way if you haven't seen it.) BG was armed and holding gun on another BG ... the driver hit the gas, then braked hard, by the time the BG in the passenger seat recovered, he had a bullet in his ear ... I have also been told .. and read .. that you NEVER allow yourself to be taken to a second crime scene ... if the BG wants to take you elsewhere, it's likely you are about to become deceased anyhow ... I'd take my chances in a store parking lot ... I've told my wife that very thing many times; tho she won't carry, I just got her one of those new Kimber CH shooters and we've praticed with it a number of times ...

May 29, 2008, 02:40 PM
While I agree, in principal, that you should exit the vehicle, I am concerned at how the BG might interpret a rush, or quick move, to get out of the car. It might very well be interpreted as the beginning of hostile action against him -- as in you trying to pull a gun on him. The likelihood increases, then, that he shoots you -- not to take the car, but to protect himself from your defensive action.

What if, instead, you pull the keys out of the ignition, place them on the seat telling him "the car is yours but I'm not leaving with you," and, in as non-threatening a manner as possible, carefully exit the vehicle getting to cover ASAP.

If you get shot, he was going to shoot you anyway. But if he is not startled into shooting, you just might survive the encounter.

CAVEAT: I am keenly aware that it is infinitely easier to think calmly and coolly about options like this in front of my computer as opposed to having a gun pointed at me and being in absolute fear that my future existence may be measured in seconds as opposed to years.


May 29, 2008, 04:07 PM
I agree with some previous answers. First Id offer to let him have the vehicle. If he refuses then he obviously intends to do harm to my person and is not just interested in the car.

From there I have two options:

1.) Drive away, gain enough speed to kill him and try to hit an immovable object.

2.) Make a run for it. I'd rather be shot in the back and stagger off to be found than shot execution style in the secluded field of his choice an become "badly decomposed" if ever found.

Niether is preferable to keeping the doors locked and a handgun with which to empty his brains onto the floorboard. :)

May 30, 2008, 07:33 AM
Great discussion topic... happens all the time! Had one of these happen at a local movie rental place a few weeks ago (not to me, of course). There were 2 BGs, one entered front seat, and the other the rear seat. Made the driver drive around to several ATMs and withdraw money. The victims somehow exited the vehicle and ran at some point.

I like 2 of the solutions offered here:
1) Exit ASAP
2) Gas/Brake combo, then exit ASAP

Several mentioned throwing car in reverse and/or park. Ever try that??? Modern transmissions are designed to ignore such measures, for the safety of the driver. Too many movies... I guess!!!???

The last option, if even possible, would be to covertly draw and shoot the perp. When I drive through an ATM, I always tuck my pistol under my left thigh, along with my wallet and the money I withdraw. The thing I noticed is that the bank exit leads you to a dead stop at a signal light within 200 feet of the exit. Nice design, huh? If I were a perp, that setup makes for easy pickings. That's why I move my weapon, from IWB to under my thigh, before I enter the bank drive-through. As I complete my transaction, I reach from ATM to thigh several times. If something ever happened - my P-3AT would be in hand in less than a second.

grey sky
June 5, 2008, 05:54 AM
There used to be a TV show called Tough Target one episode spoke to this scenario and recomended crashing your car into the nearest object preferably another car as this attracts the most attention, not what a BG wants, people looking to see if its there car now your car is more easily idetified more attention = BG less likley to shoot you too many wittnesses and is more likley to get out to make an escape... Sounds like good advice its always risky when dealing with a criminal bottom line is don't go where he wants you that will be the second crime scene

June 5, 2008, 06:20 AM
Number one rule of survival is NEVER GO WITH THE BADGUY ANYWHERE. I agree with PBP, if he/she's gonna shoot you sitting in, or exiting your vehicle...they were going to kill you anyways.

I'll take my chances getting shot in public...at least there will be witnesses at their murder trial.