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Old August 17, 2001, 01:52 PM   #1
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Edge Weapons in Deadly force

Does anyone out there have any doucment cases, or know of any doucmented situations where either a police officer or civilian used a knife to successfully defend himself/herself in a deadly force encounter?
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Old August 17, 2001, 03:35 PM   #2
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Lots of stories from known martial artists, but not documented cases.
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Old August 18, 2001, 09:32 AM   #3
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A few points...

Ayoob did chronicle a number of knife self defense cases in one of his firearm magazine articles. I have the issue somewhere upstairs. In several cases, the assailants were killed. In another incident, Ayoob wrote about an elderly Filipino immigrant assaulted by several thugs and used a pair of blades and his martial art training to slice them all into still living but bloody pieces.

Citizen self defense with knives do make tv and rag news but recieve as much publicity as successful gun self defense incidents do, maybe even less. Here is a case which occurred locally. You will note some conflicting detail, especially about the knife in question. The pop of one of the punks provides some grim comedy relief. I have no further update to make to this case....and I have been keeping my eye open for any new scraps of information.

Philadelphia Daily News
December 21, 1999
DA: Punks get beat by victim
5 in car had stopped to attack; he hurt 2 by Christine Bahls Daily News Staff Writer
 It was a bad mix, said Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein: Five punks, some malt liquor, and the opportunity for a fight.
"They were looking for trouble, and they found it," he said. The youths, who police say attacked a Middletown Township man, became the victims. The man, armed with a knife he used in work, seriously hurt two of the five.
The group looked for trouble in an interesting spot: A parking lot across the street from the Falls Township Police Department, Rubenstein said.
"I guess they could have attacked him in the squad room, but they didn't think of that," he quipped yesterday. He held a press conference to announce who would be charged - and who wouldn't - in the Dec. 4 free-for-all.
Rubenstein, flanked by Falls Township Police Chief Arnold Conoline, said all five teens will be charged with conspiracy, aggravated assault and related offenses. The charges are coming weeks after the fact, Rubenstein said, because one of the kids was in the hospital for some time.
The five - one of whom is on probation for fighting - were expected to turn themselves in to authorities yesterday. One of them, Daniel DiRenzo, 18, of Apple Street in Middletown Township, will be charged as an adult.
The intended victim, John Ohler, 23, will not be charged, Rubenstein said.
"This was a matter of self-defense," Rubenstein said. "Without the knife, it could have been a homicide. He was overwhelmed, he was overpowered. He did what he should have done, he defended himself." But according to DiRenzo, it was Ohler who started fighting. "He's getting away with everything that he started," said DiRenzo. Here's what happened, according to the police investigation: Ohler, who works at Frank's Nursery on Lincoln Highway, was walking home from there about 11 p.m. when the five youths, all from Lower Bucks, pulled up in a red Subaru. One of them said something nasty; Ohler returned in kind. The Subaru entered the parking lot. One of the kids got out, and he and Ohler started fighting.
"The victim was winning the fight," Rubenstein said. "When the others saw this, they got out. He was lifted off the ground, dropped and pummeled."
At some point, Ohler unhooked the work knife, which had a serrated 4- to 5-inch blade, and began wildly swinging. He knicked the heart of one boy; he got the back and chest of another. Rubenstein said the knife had a legitimate use, so Ohler had every right to carry it. At this point, Falls cop Jeff Omlor was arriving for work when he saw the ruckus. He saw Ohler on the ground being kicked by at least two of the kids. The kids tried to flee, police said, but Ohler got to their car and slashed a tire. He and two of the attackers needed serious medical attention. DiRenzo said Ohler was ready to fight when the car entered the parking lot and that he pulled out the knife during the initial struggle. He agreed that driving into the lot was not smart. "It was a dumb thing to do, but not dumb enough to go to jail for," he said. One of the juveniles said in an interview that Ohler had thrown the first punch. Jumping the guy, he said, "was not the idea at all." A source with knowledge of the investigation said one of the youngster's statements to police concurred with Ohler's version. Conoline said Ohler did not ask for the beating. "This fight was not provoked by Mr. Ohler. These kids stopped their vehicle. They could have kept on going. They ended up meeting a match here."
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Old August 18, 2001, 09:35 AM   #4
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part 2

Bucks County Courier Times
Stabbing: Five charged in 'rampage'
Four juveniles and one adult have been charged. By GEORGE MATTAR Courier Times
Tuesday, December 21, 1999
Four juveniles and an adult were arrested yesterday in what Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein called an unprovoked attack earlier this month on a man walking home from work.
John Ohler, 23, of Middletown, stabbed two of his attackers, police said. Ohler will not be charged because officials said he was acting in self-defense, a contention that has angered the only adult suspect and his mother. They claim Ohler should have been charged because he had a knife.
At abut 11 p.m. on Dec. 4, Ohler left his job at Frank's Nursery on Lincoln Highway across from the Falls police station and started walking home, police said. He was several hundred yards away from Frank's when a red Subaru pulled up to the red light at Commerce Drive and Lincoln Highway, police said.
Court documents said one of the occupants in the back seat yelled to Ohler, "Get a car. You want to get your [butt] kicked?'' Ohler said something in response and waved his arms at them as they drove away, court documents said. The driver of the car then drove back to where Ohler was walking.
At a press conference yesterday, Rubenstein said one of the suspects got out of the car and began fighting with Ohler. Within minutes, Rubenstein said, four others got out of the car and began beating Ohler. "They kicked him, they punched him, they literally picked him up off his feet and threw him on his back,'' Rubenstein said. "How stupid can these kids be? They did it at a shift change across from the police station," Rubenstein said.
"Why didn't they just attack him in the squad room? Here's a guy abiding by the law ... minding his own business, and these five punks beat him up.''
Rubenstein said Ohler, who had been knocked to the ground, took a folding knife from his belt and began slashing at the suspects, stabbing two of them.
One, stabbed in the chest, spent a week at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Another, stabbed in the back and stomach, was treated at HUP and released. The other three were not injured, Rubenstein said.
After the attack ended, Ohler crawled toward the Subaru and slashed one of the tires so the occupants couldn't leave, Rubenstein said. Falls police Officer Jeff Omlor, who was headed to work, saw the commotion and immediately radioed for help.
The DA also said a half-empty bottle of malt liquor was found inside the vehicle and authorities have learned that the suspects had been at two parties, one at the Village of Pennbrook in Falls and another in Yardley. Arrest warrants were issued yesterday for Daniel DiRenzo, 18, of Apple Street, Middletown, and four juveniles, all 17, from the lower part of Bucks.
The five were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person, disorderly conduct and criminal conspiracy, according to court documents. If convicted, DiRenzo could face a maximum prison term of 10 years to 20 years, Rubenstein said. The other four will be petitioned to juvenile court. Late yesterday, two of the five were expected to surrender, said Falls police Chief Arnie Conoline.
Asked about Ohler's actions during the fight, Rubenstein said, "It is clear to me that this was a matter of self-defense. Had it not been for that knife, we could have had a homicide. Mr. Ohler was kicked in the head and sides. He was seriously injured." Conoline echoed Rubenstein's statement.
"It's a very sad part of our society when a man can't walk home from work without worrying about being attacked by five people. If they hadn't stopped their car, we wouldn't be having this press conference,'' the chief said.
In an earlier interview with the Courier Times, Ohler, who suffered a broken nose and numerous other wounds, said he feared for his life. "I thought they were going to kill me,'' he had said. Rubenstein agreed. "He was fearful for his life. These kids were on a rampage,'' Rubenstein said. "He did what he had to do. He was not the aggressor. He did what he should have done.''
Not according to Lisa DiRenzo, who expressed concern about the future of her son, suspect Daniel DiRenzo, whom she described as a straight-A student at Pennsbury High School. She said he plans to become a history teacher.
"This will mess up everything with him going to college," she said. "I don't want him spending even one night in jail. These kids will take lie detector tests to show they didn't do what the cops said they did.'' Dan DiRenzo provided a very different version of what Rubenstein said happened.
"We were driving through the [Court at Oxford Valley] and had just left a party. We were sitting at the red light when this guy ran across the street over to our car,'' Dan DiRenzo said yesterday. "I was sitting in the back seat and the radio was turned up. Somebody yelled something to him; I'm not sure what it was but there was yelling back and forth,'' he said. "We drove off and turned around ... The guy came running up to the window like he was ready to punch my brother.'' At that point, Dan DiRenzo said, his brother, 17, started fighting with Ohler. The brother is not being named because of his age. "We did not jump out of the car right away. It was only when I saw that my brother's back was all bloody. He had been stabbed, but we didn't know it at the time. I didn't see a knife,'' said Dan DiRenzo, who denied that the car's occupants had been drinking. "It was not a five-on-one thing at first. The only reason I got involved was to help my brother.
"I think we had a reason to hurt him," Dan DiRenzo said. "It was self-defense for us. He's the one with the knife and stabbed two kids.''
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 21, 1999
Beating victim won't be charged John Ohler was defending himself when he stabbed two young attackers, the Bucks D.A. ruled. By Jack Brown INQUIRER SUBURBAN STAFF
A Middletown man who stabbed two teenagers while enduring a savage beating was acting in self-defense and will not be charged, Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein concluded yesterday. Four juveniles and 18-year-old Daniel DiRenzo, all of Falls, face felony assault and other charges for a Dec. 4 altercation that turned into a bloody brawl in a Falls parking lot on Old Lincoln Highway. Falls police said that John Ohler, 23, was afraid for his life and acted in self-defense when he stabbed two of the five attackers who were beating and kicking him. Ohler, whose driver's license had recently been suspended, was making his nightly 11/2-mile walk home from his job at a local plant nursery when the carload of teenagers drove by.
DiRenzo and the other four had been to several parties that night, police said. An empty malt liquor bottle was found in the back of the red Subaru.
According to police, insults were shouted at Ohler. "Something like, 'Why don't you get a car?' " Falls Police Chief Arnie Conoline said. When Ohler responded with a gesture, the car turned around and pulled into the parking lot in which Ohler was walking. All five jumped out of the red Subaru.
One of the teenagers immediately started hitting Ohler, police said, but Ohler soon got the better of him, so the other four joined the fight. They knocked Ohler to the ground and beat him mercilessly, police said. Police seized as evidence the heavy work boots of one of the youths, stained with Ohler's blood. Officers were able to mark out a trail of Ohler's blood through the parking lot.
Eventually, bloodied and beaten, his nose broken and no end in sight, Ohler reached down to his belt for the small folding knife he used to open boxes at work. He stabbed two of the teens, crawled to the car, and slashed one of its tires so the others could not escape, police said. Officer Jeffrey Omlor, who discovered the fight in progress about midnight when he drove past the parking lot on his way to work, said he saw Ohler trying to fight off his attackers. The Falls Township police station is across the street from the parking lot. Ohler was taken to Frankford Hospital - Bucks Campus, where he was treated for a puncture wound of the arm and numerous cuts and bruises. Two of his alleged attackers were airlifted to the Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where one was treated for a stab wound that had penetrated his chest and injured the heart muscle, and the other was treated for knife wounds to the chest and head. All five of Ohler's attackers were charged with criminal conspiracy, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. Police said they expected all five to turn themselves in on the charges.   
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Old August 18, 2001, 04:14 PM   #5
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5 against one? And they expect us to believe he started a fight against 5 high school kids in a car?

If he were that dumb, he'd probalby have handed them the knife, too.

Better to know what you don't know than to think you know what you don't know.
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