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Old January 21, 2007, 10:17 PM   #1
Join Date: July 24, 2006
Location: Gainesville Fl
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Late Night + Long Drive + Abandon Roads =???

As some of you may know a Remake of an older movie has recently come out. The title is "The Hitcher" as many of us can deduce from the title it is a movie about a hitchhiker who is picked up and turns out to be a (guess what, That's right) a serial killer. Most of us also know the odd of this actually happening are more than likely less than 1 in 100,000,000. However, That movie has put a scenario in my mind that I was wanting some opinions on.

I am a bouncer in a fairly rough club in a college town. So naturally in the process of doin my job I make enemies. However to spite that I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone and you can (for the most part) trust your neighbors. So with that mind set when I see a stranded motorist late at night on the roads I stop to offer a helping hand.

The problem with that is that I drive about an hour late at night (typically being between 3:30-4:30 in the morning) on roads that wind though the country. On these roads it is also not uncommon to drive the hour trip without seeing any other vehicle's.

So now that you have the conditions and details as to where and when I drive as well as kind of who I am I was wondering (while we all know you shouldn't pick up strangers) if a stranded motorist ask for a ride what is the safest way to go about helping them. I mean what would you do to protect yourself from be the victim of that 1 in 100,000,000. I know it may sound paranoid. But it is always better to think about it and never need to act on the plan than to not have on and need to act.



P.S I think it is also relevant to add that I do have a CCW and always travel armed.

Thanks again
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Old January 21, 2007, 11:14 PM   #2
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Open you passenger window about 4". With your hand on your sidearm so he can't see it pull up next to him and ask him what’s going on. Your best out is you gas pedal not your gun. If he seems a little hincky tell him you'll send help and drive on
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Old January 21, 2007, 11:40 PM   #3
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Have the non-emergency phone number to your local sheriff's dept on speed dial and call in a request for motorist assistance at that location. You can do that without even stopping.
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Old January 22, 2007, 12:36 AM   #4
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Cell phone?

Let's assume this is an area with no reception.

I see the cell phone solution far too often on the boards without considering availabiity of reception.

What is the probability of an effective response to such a call that does go through, anyway?
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Old January 22, 2007, 02:27 PM   #5
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Unless you're going to frisk each potential passenger, and unless you're going to be able to search all of their belongings (i.e., purses, backpacks...etc), I do not see how you'll be able to prevent the attacker from getting the jump on you with a weapon, particularly while your distracted with operating a vehicle. So picking people up is out of the question in my opinion.

If you have a cell phone, and if you have reception, you can call for assistance.

If you have no reception or no phone at all, you can offer to call for assistance when you have reception, when you reach your destination, or when you reach the nearest town – which ever comes first.

Given that your travel time one way is about an hour, the stranded motorists shouldn't have to wait long at all for you to get with in range of a cell phone tower, or for you to arrive home to call the authorities.

It's not necessary to stop in order to offer assistance. You can make note of the location (i.e., mile marker, near by intersection...etc) and contact the authorities regarding the stranded motorist.

I don't see a need to slow down and investigate. Times have changed.

I have no training, but here are a few common sense things I can think of at the moment: If you must stop to investigate, communicate through a slightly opened window. Also, request the motorist not to approach the vehicle while they explain the situation. Do not put the vehicle in park so you can easily hit the gas if need be. Keep the doors locked. Pay attention to all mirrors and watch for someone approaching from behind. You’re a sitting duck in a stationary vehicle, and unless you’re prepared to flee or fight immediately, you’re at a serious disadvantage.

I’ve heard of some law enforcement training whereby they train to deal with being attacked in their parked cruisers. Maybe someone can shed a little more light on that.
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Old January 22, 2007, 02:59 PM   #6
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As Trip said, you don't necessarily have to call from that location. When you get back into cell range you can call in the location and that there's a stranded motorist. I'm of the opinion that picking up passengers is just a no-go these days. The one time I picked up a passenger was about 10 years ago, it was daylight and halfway to his destination he tried to sell me a bag of pot. I was armed and was travelling with a friend who was also armed so I wasn't too leery about picking him up. But once I found out about the drugs he was out of my car and quickly. I pulled over and told him I had no truck with that and his ride was over. First and last time I ever picked someone up.

Too many bad things can happen in a situation like that. I'm of the opinion that we should all help when we can, but not put ourselves at risk in the process. I've got a wife and two kids at home and don't take any undue risks anymore.

I also believe that we are primarily responsible for our own safety. This extends to the individuals you may encounter who are stranded. If they have not planned for contingencies such as this it is their own fault. I'll help where I can by calling in a request for assistance where I have reception (and I have done so), but I ain't giving anybody a lift or stopping to fix anybody's car.
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Old January 22, 2007, 03:32 PM   #7
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One very important thing to mention is that you cannot simply judge whether or not to stop based on who you see. You might some nice looking young lady but her thug boyfriend might be hiding nearby. As soon as you stop, he could jump out and have his gun on you. Even if you are armed or you hit the gas, you have a good chance of getting hit. They know the road will be desolate so they might even try the flag down the car approach.

I hate turning my back on people in need, but I don't want to be a victim either. I really don't know if I would stop for a person at night. Not to be sexist, but I rarely stop for guys. I will stop for women though since you never know what kind of creep might stop if I don't stop to help. Being armed only goes so far since it does nothing against incoming rounds.

Its a tough call any way you cut it.
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Old January 22, 2007, 03:35 PM   #8
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My friend made the mistake of picking up a stranded 'hitchhiker' for whatever reason. Hes a nice guy and doesnt carry a weapon, he just had to be a good samaratian. Well anyway the conversation started to get weird:

hitcher: This is a nice night.
friend: yep
hitcher: Yep a really nice night.
friend: uh huh
hitcher: This is a good night to die...
At this point he was surely regretting his decision to pick the guy up but he had to think fast so he said

friend: no, this isnt a good night to die--its a good night to KILL

the guy shut up and my friend dropped him off at the next exit.

Needless to say you probably should never pick people up that you dont know.
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Old January 22, 2007, 03:49 PM   #9
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This is such a no-brainer, just use your phone to get the person help. #1 its safer for you, #2 you may move or injure further a person that is hurt unless you have EMT or other medical training #3 There are people who ambush using a woman or hurt person as a decoy. The cell phone no working is unlikely, but after a short drive you can get reception, Osama gets a cell in the mountains or wherever he is hiding. There is no good reason to stop that late and risk your life, but if are the type that has to play that way be forewarned. An ambush will be too quick for you even if you CCW, and who wants that hassle anyway. Even off duty Police have troubles and they are trained to handle emergencies. Some still like to look for trouble though, enter at your own risk....
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Old January 22, 2007, 05:01 PM   #10
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Osama uses a satelite phone
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Old January 22, 2007, 05:20 PM   #11
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If this commute is going to be for the foreseeable future, you might consider mounting a CB rig in your vehicle.
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Old January 22, 2007, 06:33 PM   #12
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Unless I am totally out of touch, I can't think of any really rough college bars in Gainesvillle. Even the redneck bars are fairly tame.
To address your question though, I would not stop very close ,to help anyone these days. Maybe 30 yards down the road, and holler if you can call someone for them. Frankly, if a person does not have a cell phone of their own these days, its a bit suspect.
I tend to think that most folks that live out in the country around G'Ville are decent. Down around Reddick, there might be some to watch out for, but most are just good folks.
Other than that dip on NW 34th street, I can't think of any area around town, or within an hours drive, that does not have cell phone reception.
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Old January 22, 2007, 06:53 PM   #13
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By the way... Go Gators!!!

You need to remember that Gainesville is somewhat near Stark, where the jail is. There are tons of signs warning you not to pick up hitchhikers around there. I'm not sure what direction you travel in but if don't be picking up any people around there. Don't forget that Danny Rawlings killed a bunch of people in Gainesville. That was over 10 years ago, but its still kind of creepy.
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Old January 22, 2007, 07:15 PM   #14
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well either way I'm sure they would sense that the driver in question is partly insane so they wouldnt do anything but i suppose you could leave ur jacket open with the gun... on the other side to them or just point it with your free hand at them singing " hes got the whole world in his hands"
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