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Old August 9, 2009, 06:47 PM   #1
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Do YOU intervene?

We often discuss whether we as legal, carrying (whether open or concealed) firearm owners, have a legal and/or moral obligation to intervene in an obvious criminal situation where the is a BG and a victim. Would it make a difference whether the criminal act is a misdemeanor such as petit larceny or minor assault or a felony such as grand larceny or attempted murder? Tactically is it wise or unwise to do so?

After your thoughts, read this article.

-- A bizarre turn of events Friday afternoon in downtown Boise after a man steals another man's duffle bag.

Two bystanders pulled their guns to stop the crime.

Police say what started this was a case of petit theft.

One man is now accused of stealing a bag from a homeless man near the corner of Americana Boulevard and River Street.

Misunderstanding could lead to assault charges

It was after this occurred that Paul Brookhouse stepped in to make a citizens arrest.

He now faces possible felony charges.

"Somewhat confusing when it all was wrapped up," said Lt. Ron Winegar with the Boise Police Department.

On Friday afternoon just before one, Brookhouse says he witnessed a crime.

"The other guy grabbed a bag, a duffle bag and started running across the street. The one gentleman turned around and started yelling, ‘stop hey, stop that's my stuff’," Brookhouse said.

Brookhouse pulled his car over and intervened.

But in the heat of the moment this concealed weapons permit holder made an erroneous claim.

"I pulled my weapon and I told the gentleman, I made a mistake here, I said, "Boise Police. Stop. You're under arrest." So, he did, I asked him to get on the ground, we did all the hands behind your back thing. I frisked him and then held him at gun point until the police department got here," Brookhouse said.

Police identified the man Brookhouse stopped as 46-year-old John Dickey.

But before police arrived another man driving by saw Brookhouse holding Dickey at gun point.

He too held a concealed weapons permit.

"Saw that taking place and thought there was a crime happening and so he intervened, pulling his handgun and trying to detain the first citizen who had pulled the handgun to try and detain the initial suspect," Winegar said.

When police arrived they had both men put down their guns.

"While this citizen, this subject had good intentions in helping out with the crime, we just want everybody to be careful and realize the consequences of pulling a handgun, even if you have a legal and lawful permit,” Winegar said. ”It's always probably a better idea to be a good witness and call us and let us intervene.”

Brookhouse admitted to police he told the man that he was an officer.

He said it just came out because he wanted to stop him.

Because he said that, Brookhouse could face felony charges of impersonating a police officer.

He and the other man who drew his weapon could also face aggravated assault charges.

That decision will be left to the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

It's important to mention that neither of the men who drew their guns were arrested.

As for the suspected thief, John Dickey, he is charged with misdemeanor petit theft.

Boise Police say they are grateful that citizens jumped in to help stop a crime.

At the same time, they say that the guns didn't need to be involved, especially with this type of crime.

"If a police officer were making an arrest for petty theft or misdemeanor theft and pulled his gun and pointed it at someone with no apparent reason to do so, then we would certainly be under pretty heavy review for doing that," Winegar said.

Here is the link to the story.

Last edited by wickedrider; August 9, 2009 at 08:08 PM.
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Old August 9, 2009, 06:58 PM   #2
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Great example of self regulation. Citizens stopped a crime, forget all that bureaucratic nonsense and regulation. Crime was stopped, no1 hurt. I doubt they will be prosicuted.
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Old August 9, 2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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Ah Jeez, I thought everyone knew that when you hollered "Police" you were calling them---not saying you were one. Should have left out the Boise part. Flapping his jaw and admitting to the indescretion wasn't a good idea, either.

Don't think a well intentioned citizen should be charged if, in fact, he was trying to stop a crime. I'm betting he won't be.

When do I intervene? When not doing so would create problems looking at myself in the mirror.

Intervening in a duffel bag incident unpossesed of the facts, with no one's life in danger--- or in a matter where some one was holding someone else at gun point, after happening along (unpossessed of the facts) wouldn't qualify. That's what common sense and cell phones are for.

Last edited by Nnobby45; August 9, 2009 at 07:47 PM.
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Old August 9, 2009, 08:00 PM   #4
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On August 6, 1949, . . . one George Berry got into his automobile to drive home. He was too drunk to walk, . . .

The bartender did not intervene.

His drinking buddies did not intervene.

No policeman came along to intervene.

No good citizen intervened.

At approximately 60 miles an hour in a 25 mph residential zone, . . . his car spun my mother's car 180 degrees in the intersection, . . . threw my baby sister out the window, . . . the car rolled on her, . . . and I lost my first best friend. Until that day, . . . Mom had two kids, . . . but she only had to find one, as the two were always together.

Yeah, . . . I believe in intervention, . . . you cannot fix stupid, . . . but sometimes an appropriate dose of intervention can prevent it from getting worse.

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Old August 9, 2009, 08:44 PM   #5
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Both of these numbnuts should lose their permits, or if not, should go get some training beyond TV shows or Punisher comic books. I think I counted 10 basic mistakes

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Old August 9, 2009, 09:08 PM   #6
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im gonna actually agree with alaska here. in that situation, it was kinda stupid to pull a gun. The second guy made an honest mistake. I feel for him. the first one, retard.
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Old August 9, 2009, 09:27 PM   #7
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The only time I intervened on a crime in progress my weapon never came out. I was leaving a B-B-Q joint after lunch and saw a guy run up on a lady leaving a computer store across the street and he grabbed her purse and tried to take off running with it. Only problem was she was not letting go of the purse and yelling for help and he punched her in the face. I was already moving towards them and made a scan of the street and all was clear no traffic coming so I moved in closer and he managed to finaly get the purse away and she was still screaming. When he turned to run I close lined him very hard, then I kicked the crap out of him. At this point a bunch of cops were all over the place. They saw most of what happened and when they tried to get the guy up to cuff him he broke free and tried to punch me and out of reflex from 28 years of boxing I caught him on the jaw with a hard overhand punch that leveled him. (Had a 45 in my holster the whole time)
Cops said good job. Took a statement from me. Sent me on my way. The guy was not the sharpest of people. He tried to mug a lady two blocks from the local PD at shift change.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old August 9, 2009, 09:32 PM   #8
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Even if someone snatched my wife's purse in a parking lot and ran away, I wouldn't want some random CHL holder trying to get it back by pulling a gun. If it escalated to the point of shooting, my wife could end up in even greater danger.

I've seen shoplifters handled pretty firmly, but never held at gunpoint. I'm going to assume that nothing in this Boise man's duffle bag was worth a human life.

Finally, anyone who thinks it's acceptable to impersonate a cop ought to have their head examined. What if you were held at gunpoint and frisked by some delusional wannabe?
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Old August 9, 2009, 09:40 PM   #9
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+1 WildAlaska....clearly a case of vigilanties gone wild and the road to hell being paved with good intentions. The first thing taught in my CCW class was you are not going to be a policeman or a judge by getting the license.
I don't know about Idaho laws but it definitely woulden't fly in Fla. I hope the D/A dosen't prosecute and that the two guys with the guns learn a lesson.

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Old August 9, 2009, 10:19 PM   #10
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The first guy was an idiot. The second might make a decent case for justification.

I'm just damned glad nobody pulled any triggers.

On edit: I *have* intervened, twice now.

I've drawn a knife in anger twice in my life, and put my hand on it still sheathed once. All were legally justifiable as hell, in one instance the cops knew what had happened and had no problem with my actions...and gave me my cutlery back right after I gave a statement. Two out of the three cases involved defending others, once against two large dogs, once against four homicidal lunatics pounding some guy more or less picked at random into the floor with boots and hammers.

The outcome was good in all three cases. The one guy getting beat on passed out after I got him away from his assailants, but made a full recovery and shook my hand later in the DA's pre-trial conference (where I was a witness).

If I'd had a gun and CCW permit in any or all of those cases, I'm quite sure they would have been solved with no shots fired. About the only difference is, less risk to me.

So will I intervene? Yeah. Is it risky? Hell yeah. But I've done stuff almost as risky for kicks many years ago, canyon racing on motorcycles so what the hell...
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Old August 9, 2009, 10:36 PM   #11
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If I don't know the victim personally, and no one is getting shot at,; I don't get involved. Keep in mind the fact that if you shoot someone, it is going to cost you big $$$$$. The person that you help may be very thankful. But, they are not going to pay your legal bills. In this particular case, I'm certainly not going to risk my well bing for a bum on the street.
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Old August 9, 2009, 11:16 PM   #12
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first off your conceal carry permit it to protect you and your family.
second pulling a gun on someone for taking a duffel bag is irresponsible.

where i live it is illegal to pull a gun or even shoot to protect property,unless they break in to your home,then at that point you have the legal right to protect your self.
what those individuals did was uncalled for.being the best witness will always be the best defense against those types of petty crimes.besides no weapons were seen that i read about except those of the individuals with guns,so that level of aggression was not needed.
its crimes like this that further the antis grip on us law a bidding citizens.
so do me a favor if ever in the same or similar situation,keep your bang box in its holster,call the police and go home knowing you did a job well done,safe and sound.
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Old August 9, 2009, 11:28 PM   #13
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Yeah, pulling a gun to stop a bag thief was not a bright idea.
Pulling a gun on a guy holding another at gunpoint is slightly less dumb, but the #2 CCW guy should have figured out the situation before drawing down on #1 CCW.

Good intentions, poor execution.
Glad no one got hurt!
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Old August 10, 2009, 12:08 AM   #14
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Once again, I agree with WAs stance on things but with Caveats. Both parties involved did way stupid things. Especially the first intervener. The second guy could have asked what was going on... even with his firearm drawn but at the low ready... before he intervened. This is where common sense prevails though. If I'm driving along in broad daylight and I see another person holding someone at gunpoint in front of God and everyone, I'm going to assume THEY ARE DOING THE RIGHT THING. I will probably stay in the area and call the cops, but I'm not going to approach and threaten them with a weapon automatically.

My take home of the day is this... one of the greatest sermons I ever heard had this quote... "the greatest evil is not evil itself, but the indifference of good men". I'm all about intervening, with force if you have ALL the details. If you don't have all the details, you will get your but in trouble via using a gun as force. I had a pretty wise man tell me once... "I believe in the 2nd amendment, and I think every American should carry a firearm, but honestly a gun causes WAY more problems than they solve".

BUT BUT BUT, to express my deep ingrained beliefs, I don't think any good man who is adept should fear evil or let them get away with what they are doing if you can stop it. Up to and including the use of deadly force if warranted (preventing grave harm to other people is the only thing I can think of). In this particular case, the first guy would've really done much better with a couple of elbow blows than with a pistol... IMHO.
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Old August 10, 2009, 12:53 AM   #15
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Someone else posted this on another thread. Even though it is from Florida, I think it applies everywhere:

Originally Posted by Florida Dept of AG website

1. Never display a handgun to gain "leverage" in an argument, even if it isn't loaded or you never intend to use it

2. The amount of force that you use to defend yourself must not be excessive under the circumstances.

Never use deadly force in self-defense unless you are afraid that if you don't, you will be killed or seriously injured;
Verbal threats never justify your use of deadly force;
If you think someone has a weapon and will use it unless you kill him, be sure you are right and are not overreacting to the situation.

3. The law permits you to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. Carrying a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman or a "good samaritan."

4. Never carry your concealed weapon into any place where the statute prohibits carrying it.

This is not a complete summary of all the statutes and court opinions on the use of deadly force. Because the concealed weapons statute specifies that concealed weapons are to be used for lawful self-defense, we have not attempted to summarize the body of law on lawful defense of property. This information is not intended as legal advice. Every self-defense case has its own unique set of facts, and it is unwise to try to predict how a particular case would be decided. It is clear, however, that the law protects people who keep their tempers under control and use deadly force only as a last resort.
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Old August 10, 2009, 02:07 AM   #16
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Intervening and drawing a firearm

I have intervened twice in my life, but never drawn a firearm in these instances. ( althouh the 2nd incident involve my GF, so it is not the same as intervening to help a stranger).
one was when a chap was trying to take a woman's bag, it was in a crowded place and she held onto it long enough for 3 of us bystanders to get hold of him, I did not count the punches we gave him, but in any case the cop who took him away said they were not enough ( he had bee arrested before for the same offence, in the same spot and was out on bail)

In this instance there was no weapon visible and he had both hands on her bag, it is a good thing because the place was way too crowded to even think about drawing or using a firearm.

In the second event, I was in my yard washing my car, then my GF comes running with a vargrant following close behind her, I put my hand on my firearm, and shouted to him that he better stop, I then made him sit on the ground, and wait for the cops (which my GF had called as soon as I had him under control). my gun never left the holster, if he tried to flee I would have let him, but if he decided to press on, it is another story. we reported the shole incident to the cops, and after taking our statements it ended there as far as we are concerned.

My GF (now my wife) was very apologetic about leaving her Browning HP at home in the safe, it was rare for her not to have it on her, my guess it was this chap's lucky day. (She used to work as a part-time instructor in a range, and still is very adept with a handgun and a rifle)

As for the incident described in the opening post, I will not even think about drawing a firearm in a crowded street to aprehend a thief, I may ask a question or two if I see someone behing held at gun-point, but only after taking cover, and ascertaining that my actions will not escalate the events into a shooting in a crowed place.

Once again, carrying a firearm gives us a ton of responsibilities, and not one extra right. It may be drawn and used only when there is no other way to prevent ourselves or another person from being physically hurt or killed.

Our laws here are VERY tough; drawing a firearm can be considered pointing it, and a warning shot can be considered attempted-murder so we are in general very conservative about resorting to a firearm.

This leads me to one last bit of advice, if you have drawn a firearm, or moreoever, if you have had to use it you should think about resisting the urge to tell the cops everything about it ( like in this case, telling them that you said you were a cop). remember that you have no obligation to say anything that may incriminate you, and rather take some time to let the adrenaline wear-off, collect your thoughts and think about the implications of what you are going to say, and if necessary ask your lawyer for advice.

Some cops are so desperate (here at least) to get some crime stopping stats that they will easily restor to turning a good samaritan into a criminal if it helps their month end statistics.


Last edited by Dannyl; August 10, 2009 at 02:35 AM.
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Old August 10, 2009, 02:44 AM   #17
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3. The law permits you to carry a concealed weapon for self-defense. Carrying a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman or a "good samaritan."
Ummm...the plain fact is, that's not how the law works.

Being a "good Samaritan" *is* legal in many situations. "Free-lance cop", yeah, he's right: the purpose of a cop is to arrange punishment for crimes and he's 100% correct, no CCW holder should EVER go there. That's vigilante justice. This was the mistake made by the first guy in the Idaho situation.

BUT, defending others with the MINIMAL force possible to save the life of somebody being violently assaulted "right there in front of you" is legal in almost all states, and legal in both Florida and Idaho going off of past cases I've read about there. IN A FEW states you can even shoot a fleeing violent felon but I don't recommend it even in extreme cases...say, guy is stabbing a woman repeatedly, you draw, he runs.

IF POSSIBLE, yes, a verbal challenge is a great idea. The parties involved will sort themselves out rapidly. But once a gun is out in the hands of somebody that looks like an assailant...yeah, I'm not ready to condemn the 2nd guy the way some of y'all are. I think he could make a pretty damn good case that his draw was justified under the "defend others under immediate attack" principle. He did great holding fire while the details got sorted out and I think he really should escape punishment and should even keep his CCW permit due to his holding fire, the smartest thing he did that day.

Does anybody else agree?
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Old August 10, 2009, 04:10 AM   #18
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Jim, I agree with you

Hi Jim,
Good guy No2 responded to what he saw, which was a person beig held at gun-point.

He drew his firearm, but managed the situation in such a way that it did not escalate into a further conflict, so no harm was done.

I just hope that he remembered to take cover before confronting someone who already had a firearm in his hand, if this had been a criminal, he may have put himself in serious danger standing in the open.



Last edited by Dannyl; August 10, 2009 at 04:21 AM.
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Old August 10, 2009, 05:10 AM   #19
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Posted by Jim March: Ummm...the plain fact is, that's not how the law works.
This weren't my words Jim. Those are the words of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services which is the department that issues CCW permits. So apparently that's the way the law does work in Florida.

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Old August 10, 2009, 07:00 AM   #20
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I remember

I remember in my CCDW and ones I have sat in on this exact point is brought up. The instructor always advises to stay out of it unless it involves you due to the fact you never know the exact circumstances of the situation. However I would say on things like an armed robery that you were in the bank for yeah you have an obligation to stop it. Ky law actually states that as a citizen you have an obligation to stop a felony if it is possible and to kill a fleeing felon in the process of making a citizens arrest.
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Old August 10, 2009, 07:24 AM   #21
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When do I intervene? I'm sorry to say this but unless my life, or the lives of my friends or family members are at risk, or at risk of severe injury, I'm not going to pull my CCW pistol. I'm simply not going to put my future, all I have, all I have worked for out on the table trying to protect other people. I've been a Police Officer; ten years before an injury made me hang it up. I know how to face crime, and have absolutely zero interest in being a vigilante at this age. I'll sit quietly in a restaurant and watch it be robbed with my CCW out and under the table, but won't use it unless the robber turns towards us. The two fools in Boise were both seriously out of control. Fool number 1 is looking at Impersonating a Police Officer, which with a gun would be a felony in this State, and Assault with a Deadly Weapon, which also with a gun would be a felony in this State. He will never even be able to think about getting a CCW again. Fool number 2 could fall for the same Assault with a Deadly Weapon charge, and even if he does not go down for that will have his CCW pulled. This is the kind of stupidity that the anti-CCW people use to promote their agenda.

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Old August 10, 2009, 07:56 AM   #22
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Not a bad idea to intervene in any crime with a possible victim, but a very bad idea to intervene with a gun on anything but a forcible felony.
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Old August 10, 2009, 07:59 AM   #23
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I'm a cop and I wont intervene (off duty) unless its a forceable felony. Simple assualts and such I'll be the expert witness. Remember, you probably do not have the training or experience in dealing with a potentionally violent confrontation, you do not have handcuffs, no taser, your not wearing a bullet proof vest, no direct contact via radio to other units as in backup, no place to secure the bad guy as in a caged unit until help arrives. You do not know if there are other bad guys with the bad guy you are dealing with, etc... A violent physical felony, I'll intervene, a misdemeanor, simple assault, shoplifter, expert witness. Now a days, you will get your *ss sued off by any attorney thats anti-gun, or sympathizes with the criminal element. As was stated above, I've worked to hard to go through a lawsuit at my own expense. When I take police action, on duty, under the color of law, my employer bares the burden of the expense in defending my lawful actions. My 2 cents worth.

Last edited by TPD211; August 10, 2009 at 08:09 AM.
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Old August 10, 2009, 08:38 AM   #24
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Does everyone recognize that this situation is EXACTLY what the anti-gun and anti CC forces use as an argument against people carrying guns legally?

It's only a matter of time until someone gets shot in a circumstance like this, it's inevitable. It seems to me that there are waaaay too many who are eligible for a CCW permit whose attitudes morph into either Rambo, or Deputy Dog, or Captain America or Batman once they get a gun in their pocket. Poor judgement, hubris, excitability, knee-jerk reaction, seeking to be a hero and inept gun handling, when added together create a walking disaster, for the participants and for CCW permit holders who ARE responsible, self-disciplined and under control.

The best arguments against legal CCW carry will be every time armed intervention by licensed civilians results in people being shot and killed, as 2 or more CCW civilians mistake each other for the BG and stage a shootout with innocents nearby, or try to intervene in a situation that's over their head and overreact. And as more and more people go about carrying legal guns, it's only a matter of time. Let's hope that our rights can survive what that will cost us in respect and support.

I wish there could be some sort of filter that protects the rights of all of us who don't go around armed all the time like we were undercover cops from the public-relations disasters the wanna-be heros can create.
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Old August 10, 2009, 09:10 AM   #25
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We often discuss whether we as legal, carrying (whether open or concealed) firearm owners, have a legal and/or moral obligation to intervene in an obvious criminal situation where the is a BG and a victim.
Therein lies the basic problem, exemplified by the story in the OP. Not so obvious.... is it.

Never intervene in the "obvious", intervene in what you KNOW.
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