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Old November 20, 2018, 04:09 PM   #51
TunnelRat
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Again, nothing I stated said call the police if someone yells at you. I explicitly stated the opposite. If you don't want to call the police you always have the option of, wait for it, not calling the police. I'm merely explaining what I would do. As for wasting tax dollars, well they're my dollars. I feel okay calling. I don't advise for the lowest common denominator. Just because some people can't apply common sense doesn't mean all of us can't.

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Old November 20, 2018, 04:28 PM   #52
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Tunnelrat, my comments were not directed specifically at you, but as a general statement.
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Old November 20, 2018, 04:51 PM   #53
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Right, but seeing as I am one of those people in the general audience, I'll give my general response .

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Old November 20, 2018, 04:51 PM   #54
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Road Rage or just jerk?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sigxder View Post
So last Sunday I was coming home from a friends house. Came up to a four way stop. An SUV in front of me was broken down in the turn lane. Got a green arrow and went around him. Noticed an old Infiniti behind me. Just didn't feel right. I made several turns and he stayed behind me.

Knew I was being followed by then. Went past my house because I didn't know want him to know where I lived. Pulled into a gas station with a store with lots of people. I was legally carrying my Glock 19 and pepper spray. So I figure I will go in the store so their will be witnesses and cover if I need it.

Well he pulls up and it's like "oh crap here we go". So he starts hollering that I couldn't make the turn I did several miles back. I explained to him that the SUV was stalled and I had a green arrow. I asked if he was law enforcement and he said no and just went on telling me I wasn't above the law. Blah, blah, blah.

Told him in a firm but controlled voice that I didn't have time for this.

Went into the little store keeping an eye on him. Moved away from anyone who might be in the line of fire. At no time did I threaten him, curse, argue, or touch a weapon.

He finally just left. So it worked out o.k.. Here is my question. When you are followed by someone and confronted in such a manner what does the law say? Is someone following you like that stalking you? Obvious road rage incident. But what does such action fall under according to the law? Probably should of made a police report. But it turned out alright so I just left. I am in Tennessee by the way. Should I have made a police report? What would such actions be construed as under the law?


It will have been said already. Call the police IMMEDIATELY. Don’t stop at your house. Stop where witnesses are. You don’t want to shoot anyone. So that is good. I am getting a dash cam for this kind of stuff now. It happens more than you think. But he wasn’t breaking any laws as far as I’m aware.

So why cops? My concern is that he was like that moron who shot the guy over the parking space incident not that long ago. So he was probably packing as well. Some people are total morons. I’d rather involve the police and get listed as the victim first.

My ex gave someone the finger one time when he passed us on a double yellow line (second time she did that). He jammed on brakes and jumped out of the car. I pulled my firearm and had it low down so he couldn’t see. She FREAKED out and I told her...don’t ever instigate. I don’t want to put someone down because he is a blank who couldn’t control himself.


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Old November 21, 2018, 08:37 AM   #55
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I wonder why everyone assumes that the OP would have a direct line to the local police cruiser. I think that a call to 911 will start off with the 911 operator trying to determine what the situation may be before notifying a policeman on patrol or calling the SWAT team. They may have questions and even useful advice for the caller. I don't see anything wrong with that.
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Old November 21, 2018, 11:31 AM   #56
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I wonder why everyone assumes that the OP would have a direct line to the local police cruiser. I think that a call to 911 will start off with the 911 operator trying to determine what the situation may be before notifying a policeman on patrol or calling the SWAT team. They may have questions and even useful advice for the caller. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Im not sure I understand the sarcasm. Its generally assumed that a call to police will begin with a dispatcher/call taker.
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Old November 21, 2018, 11:42 AM   #57
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Guys.....Calling 911 is to document what's going on in the event things escalate.
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Old November 21, 2018, 01:57 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tactical Jackalope View Post
Guys.....Calling 911 is to document what's going on in the event things escalate.


Bingo


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Old November 21, 2018, 03:08 PM   #59
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Whatever you do - don't shoot anyone unless they are shooting at you and even then you have to evade. - Don't call 911 unless it's absolutely necessary. Nothing pi$$e$ cops off more than to get called out over some petty argument or because somebody looks at you wrong. Use common sense and talk your way out of a confrontation. Never rely on a gun to resolve an issue.
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Old November 21, 2018, 03:19 PM   #60
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Whatever you do - don't shoot anyone unless they are shooting at you and even then you have to evade.
That is not sound advice to give people. You don't wait to have a hot and lethal projectile flying at you to start defending yourself.
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Old November 22, 2018, 11:54 AM   #61
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Quote:
Unfortunately, without applying common sense, which many in modern society lack, that well intentioned advice can and will easily be misconstrued and abused. The result is wasting precious tax dollars and understaffed / over strained emergency resources on BS calls because someone had their "feelings" hurt over the middle finger, or the person behind them just happens to be traveling in the same direction. Ignoring / defusing the offending party, barring any REAL immediate threat (verbal threats of harm, weapon displayed, vehicle bumping, etc.), is perhaps ones best action, as the OP demonstrated.
I understand where you are coming from, but again, as a police officer I would submit that your local law enforcement's staffing and available resources are not your concern in a situation like this. Trust me when I say that if this is the most BS call an officer goes on during their shift, it was a great shift. We respond to never ending waves of noise complaints, city code violations, barking dogs, welfare checks, etc. The citizens pay for our time, and are entitled to it when there is a legitimate concern involving public safety. There are certainly individuals who call 911 every time the wind blows in their direction, however I very much doubt anybody here falls into that category, and thus should not second guess themselves when they are considering calling. If a situation resolves itself prior to police arriving, no harm done. Yes you used up a portion of an officer's time, but I can almost guarantee somebody else is going to use more of it for a more asinine reason before that officer goes home that night.

I would define road rage as any action taken in retaliation to somebody else's (perceived) poor driving behavior that is intended to disturb them in any way. This includes honking the horn, display of the middle finger, cutting off, brake checking etc. The VAST majority of road rage incidents are short lived and result in no real harm being done, and I am not saying that 911 needs to be called every time somebody honks the horn at you or yells at you. However when somebody begins following you, the behavior has escalated beyond just a brief outburst. If you wait until the situation further escalates with some sort of immediate threat, you will likely not have the capacity to call 911, and it is highly unlikely police will be able to respond in time to assist you in dealing with that threat.

Again, this is just my personal advice, people are free to deal with situations as they see fit. I simply feel its important not to discourage people from calling 911. Unreasonable people are going to continue to call 911 for stupid reasons as long as phones exist, and police are going to respond (most of the time). So if you, as a reasonable and level headed person who doesn't call 911 a dozen times a year, feel you need assistance, just call.
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Old November 22, 2018, 12:13 PM   #62
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some people have no idea how quickly bad things can unfold and how easily the opportunity to call for assistance can evaporate. Too many people seem to feel like danger is something that develops in an expected, convenient and easily forecastable manner. A call for assistance should occur sooner rather than later.
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Old November 22, 2018, 07:05 PM   #63
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Ton, given the OP's description of the scenario, would you arrest the "jerk", based upon what is written? In your professional opinion, were laws broken? Was there a legitimate threat or PC for arrest??? I thought the OP handled the situation fine, without calling for the calvary. How would you have responded had a call been made? Based upon what was written.... what more could one do then TALK to both parties, run BOTH for warrants, look for weapons, substance use, verify registration and insurance etc., give them a play nice speach and send them off? Right?
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Old November 22, 2018, 07:38 PM   #64
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Given what has been described, I would be willing the figuratively bet that TON would not have arrested anyone for anything but that is not the point. I think you are focusing on the wrong thing. I am not sure it really matters how a LEO is going to handle it or if the person is ultimately arrested.

If a person is following me, my concern is about my safety and mitigating the potential for my pursuer to confront me. I am not concerned with whether or not he is arrested or convicted with a crime. I don't want a crime to happen.
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Old November 22, 2018, 07:41 PM   #65
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^ this. Not every call to the police has to result in an arrest.
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Old November 23, 2018, 11:23 AM   #66
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Quote:
Ton, given the OP's description of the scenario, would you arrest the "jerk", based upon what is written? In your professional opinion, were laws broken? Was there a legitimate threat or PC for arrest???
You're missing the point. Would I arrest the "jerk"? I would have to conduct an investigation. Exactly how long was he following the OP for? How close was he following? Did he commit any other traffic violations? How close did he pull up to the OP at the gas station. What exactly did he say? Were there any witnesses to his behavior? Is their video surveillance at the gas station? How about any cell phone video? What does the "jerk" offer as his reasoning for his actions? In my professional opinion, laws were more than likely broken. Whether or not PC could be developed for arrest would depend on the answers to the above questions. In my state the law book is about the size of a phone book and that doesn't even include city code or other municipal or county ordinances. You would be blown away by how many arrestable offenses there are. Things as mundane as forgetting your license at home, spitting on the sidewalk, or swearing at people are offenses that could land you in jail. The reason most people are unaware of these statutes is that most law enforcement officers use common sense when enforcing the law. But when somebody chooses to demonstrate they don't have the ability to play nice in a civilized society, things change.

Was there a legitimate threat? Well, somebody engaged in a course of conduct that caused the OP to not feel comfortable going home, so yes, I would say the OP perceived a threat. I would also say that's the perception is reasonable. Being followed for miles by an unknown person is intimidating, and generally the intent behind following somebody for miles is to intimidate.

To top if all off, unreasonable behavior like this is often a symptom of other issues, such as drug use, etc.

But again, all of that is beside the point and not what you should really be concerned about.

If you wait to call 911 until somebody rams you, tries to yank you out of your car at a stop light, smashes your windows with a bat, or fires rounds at the back of your car (all of which I've seen happen in incidents like this), you are not going to have the opportunity. An immediate threat is going to necessitate some sort of immediate action, which could easily result in injuries. A call to 911 at the beginning of the incident could have not only prevented that, but is more than likely going to stand strong on your side in the aftermath during the criminal and civil proceedings.

Again, a large part of what law enforcement does is crime prevention. Police responding to and defusing a situation before a crime actually occurs does not constitute a waste of time or resources.
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Old November 23, 2018, 12:52 PM   #67
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You didn't answer my question, just provided new questions in your response. Again... based upon the written description in the OP... do you believe there was PC to arrest?
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Old November 23, 2018, 01:05 PM   #68
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That's because a single post in a public forum does not constitute a criminal investigation. Asking me if there was PC for arrest is like texting your doctor when you have a sore throat and asking him to reply with a diagnosis.
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Old November 23, 2018, 02:05 PM   #69
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Quote:
Was there a legitimate threat or PC for arrest???
There are at least 27 independent questions that would need to be answered before I think those 2 determinations could be fairly taken on. I think asking Ton to make a determination based on so little is flatly unrealistic.

The word "threat" is hugely broad.. A legitimate threat of [what]? … the previously quoted statute said something like "imminent bodily harm". Is that the threat you are speaking of- or is it something else. Please be specific. Threat by what standard... statutory? common language? Verbal? Physical? Direct? Indirect? Intentional? Unintentional? Implied?
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Old November 23, 2018, 06:05 PM   #70
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And... there is my answer.
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Old November 23, 2018, 07:58 PM   #71
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Shurshot, you are free to do as you wish. Probable cause is an investigatory status developed through the discovery of pertinent facts by law enforcement which creates reasonable grounds to believe a crime was committed and a specific individual committed it. This can only be done through a proper investigation.

Probable cause is not required to affect a lawful detention for the purpose of conducting an investigation.
Reasonable suspicion is, and it is a lower standard than probable cause.


An allegation of criminal or possible criminal activity, which this would have been had the OP called 911, would have created the reasonable suspicion needed for an officer to detain the other driver to conduct an investigation. If the allegations made were substantiated, and the OP wished to assist in prosection for disorderly conduct, a class 1 misdemeanor in my state, I do believe probable cause for an arrest would have existed.

A classic example of reasonable suspicion is the guy walking through the parking lot with a backpack on looking in car windows. Illegal in and of itself? No, but a contact by law enforcement will likely prevent a vehicle burglary from occurring, and may result in solving past vehicle burglaries.

To bring this back to the original topic and reiterate what I previously said, if an unknown person is following you in a vehicle, the best course of action is to just call 911. No, you don't have to and you will more than likely be fine. Just like you don't have to get out of the pool during a lightning storm and you'll more than likely be fine. But if disaster does strike, you are going to #1 be on your own during a violent confrontation, #2 be asked repeatedly why you didn't call 911 during the subsequent criminal investigation, and #3 be blasted with the same question during the very likely subsequent lawsuit, at which point that fact is going to carry alot of weight.

Again, each person is entitled to do as he or she sees fit. I am simply trying to offer some friendly advice that one should not be afraid to call for help for fear of wasting someone's time. I've responded to hundreds of road rage calls (maybe more). VERY few of them escalate into physical violence or amount to anything. However, a few of them do, and it's not worth gambling on.
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Old November 23, 2018, 09:14 PM   #72
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Ton,
Thank you for the definition of PC and RS, although I am already quite familiar with them. I was hoping for your perspective on the OP, based on what was written, as you stated you are a LEO.
Yes, I agree, if one has legitimate fear of imminent harm, they should not hesitate to call 911. I'm just getting more cynical of human nature as I grow longer in the tooth and I hate to see the 911 system potentialy abused.

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Old November 24, 2018, 04:25 PM   #73
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Actually, this is a late response to Fireforged. I was not being sarcastic. Those against calling the police seem to be implying that the call will take a patrolman off an important case in order to respond to the "I'm being followed" call. I was pointing out that the call would go to the 911 operator/dispatcher who would probably ask questions and decide whether the situation merits direct intervention. Also, as someone else pointed out, it does document that you are the complainant in case the situation does escalate. I don't see the harm in that.

When I'm being sarcastic, look for emoticons and such. I did not use any such things in my post.
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Old November 24, 2018, 05:25 PM   #74
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Quote:
I was pointing out that the call would go to the 911 operator/dispatcher who would probably ask questions and decide whether the situation merits direct intervention.
They are not likely going to have much discretion in a request for service where the caller is currently being followed and feels threatened. They may decide when the call goes out, who receives the call and how the call is categorized/characterized but I cannot imagine the call not going out. It would be a HUGE liability to intentionally delay or deny a request for service unless there is SUBSTANTIAL information showing that the call is completely bogus, unrelated to public safety/law enforcement or victim only(no expressed danger/ incident no longer active).

Quote:
it does document that you are the complainant in case the situation does escalate
and any officer worth his/her salt knows that calling the police does not absolve the caller of guilt or suspicion and does not necessarily mean that the caller is not the primary offender. One could argue that its merely a rough outline.
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Old December 2, 2018, 01:08 PM   #75
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Some people are just TOO anxious to get all macho in situations like this, and actually are doing the same thing as the perpetrator. You never know who you're dealing with in these situations. I would just deflect him and go on about my business: "oh, yeah, I know, I'm sorry about that, sir, I apologize." Of course, if he wants to press it beyond that point, that's another matter. Nobody's standing there with a clipboard evaluating your freaking manhood.

I remember my CHL teacher, a retired LEO, talking about gun forums. He said, "these guys on these internet forums, they've got these guns, and <laughs> you can tell, they're just itching to shoot somebody...." Some of these threads remind me of him.

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