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Old November 6, 2000, 10:52 AM   #1
LASur5r
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This morning I watched the television news this morning...a Good Samaritan stopped her vehicle to help two stopped motorists. One left after receiving the help....The other person, knocked the Good Samaritan out, and car jacked her.
Looks like these goblins are trying anything they can to take advantage of the good guys.
If you decided to help a stopped motorist, how would you approach and handle?
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Old November 6, 2000, 12:26 PM   #2
M1911
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I call the state police on my cell phone and let them help.

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Old November 6, 2000, 04:59 PM   #3
pax
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Situational awareness is most important. When I am by myself, I simply never stop to help; I use my cell phone. That's because 1) I'm female and 2) I usually have small children in the car.

My husband frequently stops to help, but he doesn't take unnecessary risks. If there is a single person in the vehicle by the side of the road, he is more likely to call on his cell phone and keep going, than he is to stop to help. The exception to this is if the person is obviously a senior citizen. In that case, he believes the risk (to them) of his not stopping, outweighs the risk (to him) of stopping.

A few weeks back we were driving along I-5 and spotted a car with a mother and small child in it, pulled alongside the road at a fairly narrow (dangerous) spot. About 1/4 mile later, there was a young man jogging along holding an obviously empty gas can.

In this case, there were two of us to one of him; we had seen the disabled vehicle and the presence of their small child was slightly reassuring; we had no small children of our own along to complicate the situation. It was broad daylight and there were no bushes alongside the road where an accomplice might be hiding. And the guy was moving, not standing still or trying to flag anyone down. All these factors together convinced us that it was safe to stop to help, and we did so.

All the same, when we stopped, we stopped several hundred yards from where he was and my husband jumped out of the van and faced him as he approached us. Partly this was so he had a better view of the surroundings, and partly so that if he needed to draw he'd be able to do so in a hurry.

We invited the guy to sit in the front passenger seat so that he wouldn't be behind both of us, gave him a lift to the gas station several miles up the road and back to his car, and went on our way. His gratitude was thanks enough.

pax

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." -- the Bible

"But don't be stupid about it." -- my dad
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Old November 6, 2000, 06:23 PM   #4
Bogie
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Back when I was younger, I would stop and help folks... In one instance, I was on a bike, in BDUs, coming back from NG drill, and stopped to help a couple of women change a tire. They actually tried to PAY me!

Another time, wearing civies, on the same bike, but before the NG stretch (long hair, beard, and I'm not sure if I was wearing the colors... probably...), I stopped at the site of another flat... The lone female drew a gun on me (didn't actually point it at me, which was a definite plus), and told me that she essentially didn't need any help, at least not from me... Actually, not in those words - more like "Go away, or I'll shoot!" "Er... do you need some help here?" "Go away!" "Fine - change it yourself!"

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Old November 6, 2000, 07:47 PM   #5
M1911
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I did once stop to help some folks with a flat tire. I was in Menlo Park, CA, and just left my apartment to ride my bicycle to grad school. Two middle age women were in a small car (Escort?) and the driver got two close to the curb and blew out her right rear tire, even though she was going quite slowly.

It was midmorning in a very safe part of town and these two did not exactly look threatening. It turns out one of the women was a real estate agent and the other was a customer.

She was going to keep driving on the tire to the gas station, a couple blocks away. I got her stopped, hoping to keep her from ruining her rim. I changed her flat tire in less than 10 minutes, and told her to be sure to get it replaced, since she had one of those mini spare tires.

She seemed rather surprised when I refused her offer of money.

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Old November 6, 2000, 09:02 PM   #6
dragontooth73
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I've never had motorist trouble (I've ridden a motorcycle for most of my life, afraid to get in anything with more than 2 wheels now) but I did once have a date, in Tokyo ... as I was entering a subway complex late at night in Shinjuku (an area crawling with yakuza, by the way) I saw someone drunk, collapsed, choking on his vomit and obviously dying. Since it was a bright area near the train terminal I

(1) Sent my anti-violence then-gf to get the cops (mistake # 1)

(2) Tried to help the guy up and clear his airways (mistake # 2)

Roused from his slumber, he punched me while I was trying to help him up (total surprise) and we got into it right then and there (very stupid) ... anyways gf brings over not the cops but one aged department store guard (the subway entrance connects to the mall complex) ... rentacop is fat, pretty uniform, no baton, radio, backup, nothing. I'm trying to explain to this very befuddled security guard what was happening while this other guy (6'1", 300lbs ... very fat. I'm 5'9" 160lbs for comparison) is STILL trying to beat me up, swinging windmills while he's covered in vomit ... yuk. Anyways I push him down, he hits his head against the marble wall (ouch) knocks himself out, and I make a quick exit with my shaken (and very useless date.)

Anyways after that I swore never to be a Samaritan again ... cha rite. Still am. But I say

(1) Stop at a distance, preferably out of their sight but with them in yours.

(2) Call the cops. Alert them to the difficulty, location, give them a through sitrep. You can always call AAA later.

(3) Determine from appearance as best you can if they're to be helped (senior citizens as pax and M1911 pointed out very rightly deserve help.)

With my luck, I'll probably get another puking nutcase trying to clock me out ... hope no one else here gets what I did.
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Old November 6, 2000, 10:34 PM   #7
dragontooth73
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lest I get flamed for this later, I meant "as pax and M1911 rightly stated, senior citizens deserve our help" ... I messed up subject order and made it sound like they were. Apologies
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Old November 6, 2000, 10:47 PM   #8
Mike in VA
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I guess I've had pretty good luck when offering a hand. I'm also pretty circumspect about to whom I offer. I will routinely stop and offer my cell phone to women, esp. women w/kids, or older folks having car trouble (this doesn't happen much anymore, but when I did it cellphones were relatively rare). Then again, I'm large, professional in dress & demeanor, so I hope most folks find me business-like and non-threatening.

If I don't like the looks of the folks having troble, I just call in on the non-911 line to the local constabulary and let them know there's a breakdown. I also call in those who appear to be drunk, driving real stoopid, or otherwise acting as a 'hazard to navigation'. So far, so good. M2
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