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Old August 17, 2012, 01:08 AM   #1
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What would you do????

Just happened upon a parking lot altercation this evening. As a new AZ resident I have been CC'ing for two weeks. I drive up to a diner next to a Chili's here in Phoenix. Saw kids standing at rear of a Lincoln Navigator that looks like it stopped while driving from parking spot and thought it was a teen car fire drill. I circled Chili's parking lot and decided I didn't want to leave my gun in the car (am not permitted yet) so I drive back about 50 yards to the Diner. As I pull up I get a better look at the Navigator that hasn't moved and see an older white male lying on the ground and on his side. I immediately think heart attack. I quickly park and get out. I see a white male (~30's YWM) standing over another white male (~late 50's OFWG) and appears to be holding down the OFWG on the ground. Walking up I hear YWM instructing OFWG to not get up until cops get there. OFWG repeatedly asks what the YWM was doing and to let him up. Upon walking up, I noticed a younger white female (~30's YWF), presumed wife of YWM, is on phone w/911 and two teen girls. I did not notice two teen males also standing nearby. YWF is telling 911 that OFWG walked out of diner being loud and upset, beating on parking lot cars(one of which belonged to one of the teen girls), got into his Navigator and backed up abruptly and hit flag pole. YWM was upset and fearing for daughter and wife's safety in the parking lot. I don't know how the OFWG was stopped or came to be out of the car, but that clearly happened prior to my first seeing the parked Navigator. Either way the YWM put the OFWG on the ground. I hear the YWF giving 911 the license plate, I make mental note of the same. Wife instructs husband to let OFWG go and of course older male rabbits driving off quickly, but not before making veiled threat that sounded like the YWM was lucky he didn't get shot. Navigator drives off and seems disoriented and exits parking lot just as, a Phoenix black and white rolls up.

What would you do if you rolled up and saw YWM holding down an OFWG against his will that was protesting to get up? I saw the damage to flag pole only after the Navigator drove off. The YWM appeared in good physical shape. OFWG was comparable in stature, but you never know of what they're capable. :-)

As I walked up and realized this wasn't a medical emergency, I recalled from my CCW class three weeks ago the importance of not jumping to conclusions. I didn't feel the older male's life was being threatened. So I decided to be a good witness get the plates and wait to see if cops had questions for me, which they didn't.

If it had been an out and out fight, I honestly would not have been prepared unless deadly force was present and a threat to my safety and others. Even then, how to know who is a bad guy? BTW, the YWM had one sleeve tat on his right arm, bald/shaved head and looked like he could handle himself, older guy was OFWG in khaki shorts, blue/black polo and wearing a baseball cap. My adrenaline didn't kick in which surprised me a little, but I think its because I maintained some distance, didn't immediately involve myself, and was not witnessing an escalating physical fight. I've been in bars/festivals when poop hits the fan and the adrenaline dumps, this was not like that.

Any lessons You would suggest? With any luck, this will be the closest to an altercation or need to consider whether to use lethal force I ever see. I feel better to know I was prepared to defend myself if the situation was worse/escalating. In the moment I forgot I had my flash light on me, but did not have my Cold Steel Recon folder. Still new to CC and lots on which to train.

I'm editing this from home (submitted from iPhone at Chili's bar) and thinking, how did I not see those two younger male teens? What if the OFWG got up, walked to his Navigator and pulled out a gun? BTW, the teens would have been behind the OFWG and in my line of fire, but again, I didn't notice them at the moment. I didn't have my flash light (Ultrafire 500lums) readied. I also didn't have my second magazine on me either. I also realize I kept my back to a restaurant and wasn't aware if anyone else was party to OFWG.

Any more experienced folks that can help question what I did or didn't do, please jump in. Again new to all of this and have planned to take defensive pistol classes beyond my first fundamentals class.
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Old August 17, 2012, 01:24 AM   #2
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I think you handled it just fine. Maybe a little more situational awareness in not seeing everyone at the scene. But you stood back and were a good witness when you saw no one was in danger. And you came out of it with a good description. I witnessed a crime once when I was 18 and could not even remember what the guy was wearing.

I could have done a positive ID on the knife, though. I saw every nick and scratch on that blade.
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Old August 17, 2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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Good move on your part,,,

I recalled from my CCW class three weeks ago the importance of not jumping to conclusions.
If you brought nothing else from your CCW class,,,
You certainly got your money's worth.

In the long long list of bone-head things I've done in my life,,,
They were almost all because of my jumping to an incorrect conclusion.

You did well my friend,,,
Your cell phone is often your best choice.


Caje: The coward dies a thousand times, the brave only once.
Kirby: That's about all it takes, ain't it?
Combat: "A Silent Cry"
Aarond is good,,, Aarond is wise,,, Always trust Aarond! (most of the time)
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:01 AM   #4
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It sounds like you did the right and sensible thing.
It's always a good bet to remain a witness, and stay out of someone else's predicament.
Preferably from a safe distance.
Anyone keep binoculars in their car?
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“Don't take life so serious, son, it ain't nohow permanent.”
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Old August 17, 2012, 08:59 AM   #5
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You did okay. You're alive and not in jail. Phoenix is a real bad place to get involved in any trouble with people you do not know because you have no idea who you may be getting crosswise with.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:03 AM   #6
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Never forget that everybody who is seeing what is going down is seeing a different thing, ... and for different reasons.
and that those differences can lead to tragic consequences.

We were taught early to always remember Kurosawa's classic, "Rashomon"
and its hard lesson that has become known as the Rashomon Effect.


Last edited by mehavey; August 19, 2012 at 06:38 AM.
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Old August 19, 2012, 06:28 AM   #7
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You ultimately did the right thing after realizing it wasn't a medical emergency. There are highly respected professionals (whose courses I've taken) who strongly advise going the other way--even to the point of getting up and leaving a restaurant just because something doesn't look right.

There are situations that involve us and there are situations that we involve ourselves in.
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Old August 19, 2012, 11:03 AM   #8
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You can "armchair quarterback" these situations to death. I believe the results tell the tale. No one was hurt, arrested, injured or dead. Like in aircraft, a good landing is one that you can walk away from. It gets a "thumbs up" from me.

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Old August 19, 2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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I wouldn't have done anything.

No one was in imminent danger. The people "on top" had called the police.

The permit is to protect myself and whomever I'm with - as a last resort. I'm not a police officer.
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Old August 19, 2012, 05:47 PM   #10
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You did very good to not get involved.
My rifle and pistol are tools, I am the weapon.
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Old August 19, 2012, 08:50 PM   #11
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Post 9 is correct. You did a good job. You witnessed and took notes.
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Old August 19, 2012, 09:02 PM   #12
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Got confused a bit with your story. What is OFWG?
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Old August 19, 2012, 09:13 PM   #13
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I think you did well, however I fail to see where you would consider this a situation where you might need to use your gun. Did you see anybody brandishing weapons? Did you see anyone assaulting anyone? Even if you did the best thing to do is dial 911. Now in an active shooter situation all bets are off but my mantra is to mind my own business and never escalate.
Admittedly that is not always easy and I can't say I have a perfect record with that but that is the mindset I try to live by.
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Old August 20, 2012, 11:14 AM   #14
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What is OFWG?
old fart white guy. I think.

They souldn't have let the guy up. If they believed he was a danger.
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Old August 20, 2012, 04:36 PM   #15
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When I read the first part of the encounter it sounded like there were 2 white males on the ground. "As I pull up I get a better look at the Navigator that hasn't moved and see an older white male lying on the ground and on his side. " then later, "I see a white male (~30's YWM) standing over another white male..."
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Old August 20, 2012, 08:22 PM   #16
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Old August 25, 2012, 01:14 PM   #17
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What is OFWG?
Was wondering this myself

MYOB, indeed. If any doubts, call 911 - but stay out of it, which aside from being a bit of a looky-loo you did
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Old August 25, 2012, 08:55 PM   #18
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This seems to have gone on long enough.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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