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Old March 4, 2010, 01:04 PM   #1
ZeSpectre
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Best tactics for safety in a mob.

First the news story. (There's also a video on the newspage) and then some comments.

Violence Erupts in College Park After Terps' Victory

Quote:
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Prince George's County police arrested more than two dozen people after celebrations of the Terps' triumph over Duke became unruly Wednesday night, spawning a near-riot on Route 1 in College Park

County police say about 1,500 people converged on Route 1 after the game, cheering, yelling and blocking the major thoroughfare.

Police spokesman Cpl. Larry Johnson says the crowd caused a "major disturbance," throwing snowballs and ice at officers and pulling down at least one sign.

Fearing a riot, officers in helmets and vests, and some on horses, clamped down fast and hard.

"They lined up in a big row at the bottom of the street, and they started banging their batons against their shields, and anyone who couldn't run fast enough got beat," claimed University of Maryland student Mark Shorr.

Officers had assembled in advance of the game's conclusion, fearing a repeat of previous post-game mayhem.

"Cops were just crazy," said UMd. student Evan Egel. "People were lying in the gutter, shooting them with , like, pellet guns I guess they were. People were screaming."

Campus police say smaller groups moved onto campus, setting fire to a tree and trash cans.

"The crowd a started to have different pockets in different areas went on to campus and started several fires -- set a tree on fire by Montgomery Hall and then set some trash-can fires along McKeldin Mall on fire; threw some stuff at the police," said Paul Dillon, a spokesperson for university police.

A few officers suffered minor injuries. But some students believe the police went too far, shooting pellets, using clubs and arresting students for disorderly conduct.

"It was scary," said recent UMd. graduate Brad Lewis. "They were certainly doing their job intimidating."

County police arrested 27 people, including about 16 or so believed to be students. Prince George's county police gave the names of the students they arrested to the University of Maryland. Those students face sanctions, including possible expulsion.

Police are studying video footage of the incident to see if they can identify more students who could be charged, or face administrative punishments through the university.
I realize that MD has no concealed carry, but let's concentrate on the situation and not the location.

So if you were just walking down the street and suddenly found yourself in the middle of this mob that swept out of nowhere to clash with police, what would you do to maximize your own safety?

What if you were carrying concealed?

What if you were open carrying?


And before someone says "well such a crowd is easily avoided in the first place" I can tell you it's not always so easy. A few years back I wound up in the middle of a semi-destructive IMF/World Bank protest. All I was doing was walking back to work from lunch and when I turned a corner I immediately found myself sandwiched between two converging mobs and the cops.

Fortunately the cops took one look at me in a business suit and let me out of the cordon but it certainly could have been ugly.
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Old March 4, 2010, 02:42 PM   #2
SiNNiK
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I work downtown Austin, and I have wondered about this a couple times myself.

Since I don't follow college football, I usually get caught unaware that there are 70,000+ fans at the stadium, and my work place is one block away from UT campus and two or three blocks from the stadium.

The garage I can park in (free) is also two blocks away and I get to walk through 10 or 15 thousand people to get to work.

I hate home games.

Would a lockbox in your car be enough to protect your firearm?

Some people take advantage of mob scenes to commit random acts of violence too, what if you're faced with 4 people who clearly intend to do you harm, and your carrying.

I can't imagine what would happen if you discharge a .45 in the middle of that many people.
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Old March 4, 2010, 02:56 PM   #3
Composer_1777
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they will scatter like wild animals. Just shoot a couple of leaders. No biggy.
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Old March 4, 2010, 03:04 PM   #4
Glenn E. Meyer
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Quote:
So if you were just walking down the street and suddenly found yourself in the middle of this mob that swept out of nowhere to clash with police, what would you do to maximize your own safety?
Quote:
they will scatter like wild animals. Just shoot a couple of leaders. No biggy.
So are you just being a smarty pants? You have not demonstrated a threat to yourself and would be righteously charged in this one.

Can we avoid posturing please?

How about find the direction of the mob, meld, hang back and get out of the way! If you look like a good guy as Z said, maybe you could get past the cops. Approaching them (who are at alert) with an open carry gun seems not like a good plan. They are prone and waiting for a signal from the crowd to come to action. They all might shoot you.

If you draw, who kills you - the police or the mob?

Are you ready to shoot? There is fair evidence that isolated armed folks faced with mobs become paralyzed and don't shoot. Get beaten up or disarmed. Of course, not you. Reference Violence by Collins.

I don't see the gun as that useful except in the extremis of an attack. Do what it takes to get away.
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Old March 4, 2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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My first instinct would be to go right to the police at the location and ask them for help getting out of that mess.

"What's going on, Officer? A game eh? What a mess! Any way I can get away from those fans? That crowd looks a bit fired up and crazy - I don't suppose I can leave through here could I?"

I never open carry. If I were carrying concealed, it would never come up in my conversation with the police and the gun would stay concealed where it was.

And if I was in a state that did not recognize my GA CCW permit, I would be unarmed.
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Old March 4, 2010, 03:26 PM   #6
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I suppose a bloody T-shirt, a fright wig and a double bitted axe would be over the top.

Only serious suggestion I have is to try to get to a side edge of the mob and slip away into the first door or alley or between two cars as quickly as you can. Not as easy doing it as saying it I know but my experience has been on the baton side of a large unruly crowd, not in the crowd so I'm not sure what to say.
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Old March 4, 2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Just leave.

No real reason to do anything else.

And pay more attention to your surroundings.

Mobs are rarely quiet gatherings.
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Old March 4, 2010, 03:44 PM   #8
uspJ
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i would think the best option would be to go the opposite direction the mob. if you have to go through the mob to get to your car then i suggest staying on the outskirts as much as possible and staying aware of potential threats (groups acting aggressive to others, small groups vandalizing property), these types of behavior generally draw a crowd as people generally love to watch drama unfold and love to tell that they were there.

if a situation escalates and you were to have to defend yourself a firearm may not be your best choice as the potential of a missed shot/overpenetration could hurt others and leave you in a nasty balttle for your freedom or life should the mob/police respond to your actions as an attack.
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Old March 4, 2010, 07:18 PM   #9
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First, in 27 years L/E I never had to attempt to help quiet a riot, a few large fights but no riots, thank goodness. Yet our standing orders, which I agreed with 100%, anyone other than another L/E who displayed a weapon of any sort were to be SHOT ON SIGHT! No warning shots were allowed. Composer 1777 you may want to remember that if you think it is a good idea to start waving a pistol around and popping off rounds. I assure you someone may think it may be a “biggie” if someone cop took you out!

Second if you can’t find a way out of the messes get inside the closest building or store. If worst comes to worst get under a car.
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Old March 4, 2010, 07:23 PM   #10
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I'd probably try to be as low profile as possible.
If the police were having trouble with the mob, I'd probably try to find a quiet exit or place to bunker down (local building, alley, etc).
[if there were small stores, I might ask to use/be escorted to a back door]
If the police were simply trying to direct/stop the mob (and there was no violence/threats going on), I'd ask to leave that way--again being polite and keeping a low profile.

Be polite, have hands in an unthreatening posture, and smile when possible. Who wants to attack/arrest the nice guy?
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Old March 4, 2010, 07:42 PM   #11
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He never said if you get caught in a mob that is clashing with a riot response team.

My assumption was without law, gun shots would subdue a pretty large crowd b.c. by instinct people in riots are just following a persons of charisma and will run from real danger. Its basic psychology, take out the leaders.

As far as police shooting me, that is why we bear arms in the first place so police can't just bully citizens like they do in Iran. Also we protect ourselves individually from riots over causes we don't like. Without police the forces would be balanced instead of oppressive.
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Old March 4, 2010, 08:16 PM   #12
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Vomiting explosively would work. Thats why I carry a can of Progresso Split Peas soup with me whenever my riot radar goes on. I can draw that can, pop the top, guzzle, burp and barf before you can draw your CCW and folks just scatter as I do my Linda Blair imitation.

WildireallycanttakesomeofthesescenariostooseriouslyAlaska ™

OK...serious answer...feets dont fail me now...Im out of there.....
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Old March 4, 2010, 09:11 PM   #13
mete
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Wildalaska ,that only works for a mob of grizzlies !!
Avoid large groups if you can as even the calmest group can in an instant turn into a violent riot.Don't hang around to see what's happening . Move out of the group as soon as possible.
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Old March 4, 2010, 09:51 PM   #14
Glenn E. Meyer
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Basic psych to take out the leaders? Who are doing what? Maybe it is a 2nd Amend. rally opposed by the antigun police.

Also, having studied up a bit on such - I don't trust that hitting a few people in a giant mob is that deterrent.

Last, you have no reason to shoot from the OP - you probably will be arrested.
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Old March 4, 2010, 10:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
WildireallycanttakesomeofthesescenariostooseriouslyAlaska
and yet...you always seem to join in with some snark or other.

The most amusing aspect of your response is that neither scenario is made up. One was in the news (with a video bonus) and the other happened to me personally.

I suppose in Alaska it's not an issue but I live in a somewhat more populated area and have seen "happy" crowds turn mean in a flash (especially when I was working in DC) so there's no "fantasy" involved here.
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Old March 4, 2010, 10:32 PM   #16
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Don't go visit the riots to see what is happening.

Leave the area.

Go home.
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Old March 4, 2010, 11:40 PM   #17
Composer_1777
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Ok nvm that was too off-topic.

Yes Realistically i would avoid the situation.

Realistically if i had to fight these people, i would try to discourage them psychologically. Either by shooting leaders, or men of certain charisma or other methods.

I would join in the riot as a passive volunteer if it was a cause i believed in and discourage violence with leadership.

Last edited by Composer_1777; March 4, 2010 at 11:56 PM.
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Old March 5, 2010, 01:19 AM   #18
Buzzcook
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Been there done that. Unless you get caught in a police riot, all you have to do is not go where the mob is going. Move away from what the mob is focused on.

If you get caught between a crowd and the riot police, ask officer friendly how you can get out of there.
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Old March 5, 2010, 02:31 AM   #19
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Wildalaska,
I suppose you went to U of Missouri, Rolla, (used to be Missouri School of Mines) where they have the drink, hop, jump, and puke contest every year.

But, in response to the OP mob in Maryland.
The cops let the crowd know they were going to be chased. So—just become a chasee and chase in the direction the chasers are wanting you to chase. After the chase has de-chased you just un-chase yourself from the chase and do nothing to cause you to be re-chased.

If it has been traumatizing, you just find a bar and get a shot of bourbon and chase it with beer, that is if you can stand another chase.
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Old March 5, 2010, 02:47 AM   #20
Glenn Dee
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First of all.... Situational awareness... It's kind of hard to not see or hear an angry mob. But I'm sure it can, and has happened. If you get caught up in a Vs. police angry mob you have two problems. 1) the angry mob 2) the police.
If ever I found myself in a similar situation I'd probably go with the flow a little slower than everyone else...until I reached the back of the mob... then as another astute poster said.."FEETS DONT FAIL ME NOW".

As far as taking out the leaders?... This is still the UNITED STATES of AMERICA. ALL the people have the right to protest. Even those you dont like or agree with. IMO This is what makes us different from everywhere else.

Firearms are of no use at a protest. No matter how loud, noisy, or distastefull it may be.

Firearms are of very little use, and in fact pose more a danger in a riot. Chances of an armed citizen having his weapon taken away, and used against him is more likely.
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Old March 5, 2010, 03:18 AM   #21
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Quote:
The most amusing aspect of your response is that neither scenario is made up. One was in the news (with a video bonus) and the other happened to me personally.

I suppose in Alaska it's not an issue but I live in a somewhat more populated area and have seen "happy" crowds turn mean in a flash (especially when I was working in DC) so there's no "fantasy" involved here.
Your ad hominems aside, I have been lucky enough to have the living daylights STICKED out of me by two NYPD officers at a Yippie J Day Demonstration (and I was a semi innocent bystander caught in the crowd) so I find the scenario of firearms adding anything to a riot scenario to be even more irrational that Progresso Pea Soup Projectile Vomiting, and therefore with all due snarkiness, I have to expand on Glen Meyer's thought and say that the whole thread could be viewed as an excersize in posturing.


Riot...Run and hide...you have gun?..Run and hide....

Cover and cower You should have seen me doing the worm on the sidewalk with my arms over my head as those brown sticks came a flying...

Alexander Burnes got a few shots off in Cabool, look it up...

WildolookmyheadisonbackwardsAlaska TM
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Old March 5, 2010, 06:19 AM   #22
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An exercise in posturing?

Maybe for some but that certainly wasn't my intent. Like most "tactics" scenarios my only consideration was to get folks thinking in advance about a possible (increasingly possible lately) scenario where a mob situation could develop and what your best bet is to get out of it unharmed.

Heck we had some unruly behavior (not quite a mob though) develop in my area at the end of a meeting over some school closings recently. One minute it was a crowd of upset but civil parents, the next minute an over-reacting school officials was calling the police and the scene could have gone either way (fortunately everyone took a deep breath and calmed down).

I don't think it's at all unreasonable to give some consideration to the idea that someone might unexpectedly wind up in such a situation some day and (if you open carry which there are more folks doing in my area) that you may need to figure out what to do with your sidearm as a precaution against a terminal response from police just because you are armed. Like the man said "After the whistle blows is a poor time to come up with a game plan".

(Of course some idiot is always going to advocate shooting into a mob and that I have no control over )
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Old March 5, 2010, 09:47 AM   #23
Glenn E. Meyer
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I don't think the OP is an exercise in posturing.

My response was the post suggesting shooting the leaders was ill conceived and could be the shoot 'em posturing we see sometimes. We do get throwaway type cliches.

My serious response was on avoidance, the legal aspect and mob response. My one experience in such was that fleeing in terror worked quite well.

Now let's be nice.
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Old March 5, 2010, 09:49 AM   #24
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I think I would have two concerns: (1) Not being identified as an armed hostile by the police, and (2) Not having someone in the mob take the gun and make a bad situation worse.

Both problems are solved by secure concealed carry. In that kind of situation, I doubt if anyone is looking for subtle cues of concealed carry, so putting you hand over your holster on the outside of your cover garment would be unlikely to cause a problem. I don't open carry, but if I were in such a situation and the gun was exposed, I think I might move it to a pocket of pants or jacket.

As far as getting out of the crowd, it needs to be handled like swimmer handles a rip current. If you try to swim against it you will tire and make no progress, perhaps be trampled. If you swim/walk at right angles to the current, you get out of the flow and you regain control of your direction.

I have no idea what anyone would hope to accomplish by either spraying lead around or even by brandishing a weapon in such a situation. If you don't wind up dead, you will wind up in jail. Geez.
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Old March 5, 2010, 11:25 AM   #25
brickeyee
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Quote:
if you have to go through the mob to get to your car then i suggest staying on the outskirts as much as possible
Or just go the other way and wait for the mob to disperse.

You would have to be nuts to even consider trying to go through or around a mob just to get to a car, especially if you are armed.

Trouble avoided is safer than trouble dealt with.

You are not the police, why put yourself at needless risk?
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