Interesting encounter at drug store... What would you do?

Discussion in 'CCW & Open Carry' started by Branth, Jun 6, 2015.

  1. Branth

    Branth Member

    So, I had a recent run-in at a local drug store, and I thought I'd tell you guys about it and ask what you would do.

    Background - I have a CCW permit from my home state of Iowa, but I'm in Oregon for the summer and Oregon neither recognizes my permit nor grants out-of-state permits unless you live in a state immediately bordering Oregon, so I'm unarmed while I'm here. Furthermore, I was on the way back from my martial arts class (Finally found a Krav Maga instructor!), so I was wearing a t-shirt and gym shorts, and concealed carry would have been a challenge anyway.

    So, I'm heading out of the store when I hear a car door slam. Not just close firmly, but actively slam. I look over, and there's a young lady walking away from a vehicle, and inside is a guy flailing his arms and pounding on the steering wheel and dash hard enough to rock the vehicle. Immediately I'm in Condition Orange - This looks like trouble to me. I put my stuff in the car and stall, keeping an eye on the situation. I get my phone out of my pocket and get ready to dial 911 if necessary. Shortly after, he pulls aggressively out of the parking spot, revs the engine, and takes off towards the lady, who is now in an adjacent empty parking lot still walking away. He swerves in front of her and slams on the brakes hard enough that the tires screech and some smoke comes off of them, and gets out of the car. At this point, I'm booking it across the parking lot towards them, thinking this guy was gonna either run her over or seriously hurt her. As I'm running, he gets out, grabs her around the upper arms, and pushes her into the passenger's seat and goes around to the driver's side. I'm shouting at him as I'm running (Just "Hey! Hey!" trying to get his attention) and when I'm fairly close, before he gets back in the car, he says "What?!" and in my best assertive "Command Voice" I say "Is everything alright here?" or "Is there a problem here?" or something like that. He answers in the negative and gets in the car, clearly angry. I circle around so I can see the passenger seat, and the young lady is very clearly trying not to look at me at all - Staring at the floor, very defensive and withdrawn body language. He says something to her, and she gives a slow thumbs up, and they take off. Like an idiot, I let them go and don't even get a license plate. I head home, adrenaline still going, and get more and more mad about the fact that I can't help this girl, and become more and more convinced that she's gonna get hurt later on.

    I call my boyfriend to vent, and he recommends I call the non-emergency police dispatch line, so a half hour after the event, I do so. I provide a description of the guy, the girl, and the vehicle, with a description of the location as well, and a few minutes later, an officer calls me to get more details, so I hope they follow up and document. It might come in handy for her if she ever decides to file charges or get a restraining order.

    So. What would you have done? If you were armed AND if you were unarmed.

    If I had a gun, I wouldn't have done anything different. I would have probably played it more cautious and not gotten involved unless things were even more clearly abusive, like if he hit her with the car or started punching or kicking her.
  2. moona11

    moona11 King of you Monkeys Lifetime Supporter

    It's always a tough call to get involved in a incident. Should I do this or that? You did what you thought was right at the time that's what counts and made a report. You live and learn with each experience. You also answered your own question.

  3. cicpup

    cicpup Resident PITA Supporting Member

    Call the cops if you see fit, but never get involved in someone else's domestic. You'll end up fighting off him and her.
  4. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    As a guy who has gone to jail for intervening during a domestic incident that turned violent, observe and report before you intervene. I intervened in an incident where the male was beating the female. They both left in ambulances, I left in the back of a cop car with a new set of bracelets. Witnesses were the only thing that saved my butt.

    If I ever roll up on an incident like that ever again, 911 first. Then the physical intervention is all based on the doers actions. You did the right thing in my book.
  5. greg_r

    greg_r Lifetime Supporter

    I would of been the best witness I could be, other than that, nothing.
  6. Bull

    Bull Just a Man Supporting Member

    Cic is dead on point, unfortunately....
  7. Branth

    Branth Member

    Yeah, I'm aware you run a risk getting involved, but I just don't know if I could sleep at night if I let some innocent young woman get beaten to a pulp in front of me.

    I've got a cousin who slept in the closet hiding from her abusive ex before, and my ex-girlfriend apparently nearly died from her ex, so I feel a definite responsibility to help if I can.
  8. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

    ...and, I think you already know, B...
    Call 911 much sooner and get the license plate #
    But you did OK, IMO
  9. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    My story is almost identical, except I did carry.
    It probably wasn't the first but maybe the second time I ever carried.
    I did another 'Walmart run' not because I needed anything but just to get more comfortable carrying. So I circled the store a couple of times and walked outside.

    Woman in her late 40-ies early 50-ies walks like 10 feet ahead of a guy with a mullet, camo shirt with the sleeves torn out and camo pants.
    Think Ted Nugent. This guy is flailing his arms, screaming at her and foaming at the mouth calling her all sorts of things.
    They're like maybe 20 feet away and closing.
    Because I was armed I almost panicked. I'm like WTF am I supposed to do if he starts beating her?
    I had no idea what to do.

    So back to you Branth.
    I fully, completely understand your experience here.
    You did fine. Next time write down the license plate and call sooner.
    That's what I would have done.

    I don't carry to protect other people, I carry to protect me and mine.
    If I happen to come across a situation like that again the person would need to be in mortal danger. Yes, somebody can die from a single punch but somebody getting beat is no reason ( yet) for me to draw the gun.
    If there is no time to call 911 yourself tell somebody else to do it and verbally and physically intervene.
    If somebody is getting beaten within an inch of their life and they're not defending themselves anymore or thee are weapons involves ( knifes, clubs, bottles or whatever ) I can decide to draw the gun or not.
  10. Rachgier

    Rachgier Administrator Staff Member

    Another suggestion to go along with the advice is, don't take what you see for what you think the situation could be.

    The person getting beat may not be the victim. They may have initiated it and the person you think is the aggressor may in fact be defending themselves.

    I actually just remembered something that happened last night at my woman's job. I went to pick her up and 4 cars came whipping in to the parking lot and a dozen people came in freaking the hell out. Turns out one of their friends got jumped and was in the car beaten to a bloody pulp. Broken nose, potential broken jaw, 3" laceration on the chin, 2" laceration with a 1/2" spread under the eye, and 2 smaller scalp lacs. The guy was a bloody mess. He wasn't alert or oriented, no idea what day it was, who the president was, couldn't tell me how many fingers I was holding up. I cleaned him up, stabilized his jaw, cleaned and bandaged the wounds and told them if they weren't going to let me call it in, they needed to haul ass to the ER about 6 miles away.

    I called it in on my cell phone instead of my radio after they left the parking lot. Vehicle description, license plate, victim's description, head count in the car, and the guy's name.
  11. missiledefender

    missiledefender Supporting Member

    First, there's something called "Thunderwear". It is a velcro banded concealed carry holster It doesnt matter WHAT youre wearing, youre able to carry.

    Second, unless I could, in a Court of Law, SWEAR that I felt that that girl was in imminent grevious bodily harm or death, I would NOT produce my pistol.

    Third, I would have just observed and reported it to 911. Sounds like poop and we all wanna help someone. BUT. You cant help people or yourself if youre in jail for brandishing a weapon in public. I also wouldnt inject myself into the situation unless I just REALLY had to. Call the Coppers, report the incident, give a good make, model and plate number of the vehicle and a description. Feel free to use "hot button" words like "kidnap", "spouse abuse" and how scared that she was and how scared you are (dont worry if youre not, youre trying to get someone help. This is like seeing your neighbors house being burgularized. Why dial 911 for the police? The Fire Dept lines are almost always empty. The Fire Dept will get there BEFORE the Police AND when the FD gets called, in most towns, the Coppers roll with them to the sceen. Besides the racking of a pump 12 gauge, nothing says "get out of this house" like sirens, lights and a bunch of firemen, followed by EMS AND the Coppers showing up!) youre trying to get someone there ASAP, hot button words do that.

    Fourth, a Kel-Tec, Taurus, Grendel (whatever manufacturer) .380 or .32 in your pocket WITH a can of pepper spray is a good combination.

    Hand on the pistol, IN the pocket, ready to draw and in the other hand, IN the pocket, ready to draw your "criminal repellant". THEN only if you had to, make contact. If need be, youre ready to give him/her "X" ammount of holes AND spray em down.

    The legally dangerous part is: we dont have back up (unlike the Coppers) at a momments notice, and we dont have any real authority (please dont beat me up on this, I know that there are things like "citizens arrest") and are in a legal "grey" area.

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  12. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    At the risk of saying the same thing as everyone else, getting physically involved in someone else's altercation can not only result in severe personal injury or death, but it can also result in being dragged into a legal problem. Unfortunately, the pattern that domestic violence victims fall into is such that any incident you see is probably one of dozens of previous ones. Your one intervention would change nothing.
    The chronically abused tend to have already had others intervene on their behaves, and your one potential intervention at the drug store would have changed nothing. Her thumbs-up is a sign that she is probably used to the kind of behavior that the guy exhibited when he physically threw her into the car.

    You would have changed nothing for her, but you would have suffered for your troubles. Third parties are not worth the effort of martyrdom on their behalves. Save self-sacrifice for friends and family if it is ever necessary.
  13. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    The chronically abused...good point.
    About 10 years ago my wife had a female colleague/friend that had a sister with a douchebag ex husband that she divorced and then went back to.
    So she's seeing other guys in between going back to the 'abuser'.
    What a messed up situation that was.
    Told ( = pleaded with ) my wife to stay out of it.
  14. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member

    ...because he really loves her, and he's just going through a rough time, and things will get better, and he's not alway like this, etcetera, etcetera--barf!
  15. colthrash

    colthrash Member

    you did well, and did not get hurt in the process. the more info you can pass on, the better. but any info is better than none. and just for talon, bacon.
  16. Have to agree with the other members that you did the right thing, even if it was a little later than it should have been done. Save it for family and close friends pretty much hits the nail on the head IMO.

    This one was not me, but instead my freshman Government and Economics teacher. He was coming home from dinner one night while in the Navy, and saw a member of the "Slapaho" tribe using his wife as a punching bag. He stepped in and proceeded to start beating the man bloody. Right about the point that the guy was out, everything went black.

    He woke up with one hell of a headache in the Er at the base hospital 3 hours later. One of the neighbors, who had also seen enough, called LE, and they got there just as she (The Victim) racked him in the back of the head with a brick. No charges were filed against him, but he learned an important lesson that day. In Mr. Maxwell's own Words:

    "It ain't my marriage, so it ain't my place to step into the middle of it."

    My own story.

    I grew up in a decent home with no abuse, and I was raised to NEVER raise a hand to a woman with the only exception being that defending yourself is allowed if a weapon and intent are involved. My grandparents ran a foster home in Ny for 35 years, so I have seen what abuse does to it's victims, both children and adults. There is no excuse for it.

    I got a call from my cousin one night asking me if I could help her pick up some furniture for the apartment her and her boyfriend shared at the time. I told her yes, got in my truck, and hjeaded the 45 minutes to their place.

    Her boyfriend was out, as he frequently was, so we went and got the table and chairs, couch, and love seat, loaded them in the truck, and took them back to her place. After taking out the old stuff and putting it at the curb, I went back in to use the head. While in there, I heard her boyfriend come in, and start yelling at her about running around on him, and asking where the guy with the effin' truck in His driveway was. She was trying to explain that it was me, and why I was there, when I heard him hit her and throw her against the wall.

    Now, keep in mind how I was raised, my experiences prior to this point, and the fact that I was 20 and did not yet have a cell phone. He first mistake was hitting her, his second? He forgot to clear the apartment first.

    The bathroom door open out into the hall, so I waited for him to get close to it before throwing it open, hitting him in the chest with the knob, and the head with the edge of it. I grabbed him, and started beating the $h!t out of him. I knew exactly what I was doing to him, and I just did not care at that point. She wound up getting between him and me, and that was the only reason I stopped. I called LE on myself, and told them to send an ambulance as well. I did not say that I had hit him, and the first thing I did was request a lawyer before any questioning.

    I went 250 yards down the road to the holding center, and he took the 15 mile trip to the ER. Charges were filed against me, and against him. My parents were called by the arresting officer, who was a family friend, and her parents were called by mine. I have no idea what happened in the 3 hours I was in holding, but apparently, her dad and mine went to the hospital to have a word with the boyfriend.

    A deputy came to the door, called my name, and told me I was free to go. I asked when my court date was, and he told me there wasn't going to be one, as the boyfriend had dropped the charges against me for some reason. i walked out and saw my dad and uncle standing there by dad's car. We went over and packed the boyfriend's things, then took them to his mom's house.

    Turns out the charges against both of us were dropped, and his came with a no contact ever again stipulation when it came to her. i was also told to steer clear of him if I saw him, just to be on the safe side. More for him than me.

    Now, here's the dig. That night came back to haunt me 2 years later when I was waiting on a yes or no regarding my NY Pistol Permit. In the paperwork, it asks if you have ever been charged with a felony or misdemeanor crime. I had to answer yes, and list both incidents because it is better to be honest about it than it would be to get caught in a lie. I had to go in front of a judge and the CLEO in my county and explain my actions in both cases I had listed (First one was a bar fight in a tavern on wing night. Guy broke a beer bottle over the back of my head, and I kind of broke, for lack of better wording, the bar). Both incidents had the same arresting LEO, so he testified as well, in my favor. Getting charged with Assault 2, even if it doesn't stick, can and does create problems when trying to obtain a CCP.

    The takeaway.

    Unless there is clear and imminent proof of the possibility of serious injury or death, and the state you are in allows intervention on the behalf of another person in that case (NY does not) the best thing you can do is to be a good witness. That being said, sometimes you do have to do the wrong thing for the right reason. I'll leave it at that.

    Know the situation before you jump in. The victim may actually be the attacker, who is now defending themselves, or the victim may decide to stop you from hurting their abuser. Stranger things have happened during DIs.

    What starts out as self defense can and does easily turn into assault or manslaughter. As it is, even if you are in the right, there is a lot of room that will get you in trouble as a general rule, and some states have lower or higher thresholds of where that point is. Know, and obey the limits on DPF and FE.

    The law is not a black and white thing. It is made up of shades of gray, so a lawyer can be your best friend, and will be your best defense. Do not answer any of LEs questions without a lawyer present, even if they seem harmless and you are in the right. Admit nothing during the 911 call as well. They are recorded, and can be used in court.

    As I said Branth, you handled it the right way, even if it wasn't in the most timely manner. Being a good witness is the most important thing when it is a stranger. If you can safely intercede, it is your call, but you have to ask yourself if it is worth the risk to your own life or freedom. Close friend or family is another matter. If they are the type of friend that will pay your bail at 3 AM, think about helping them. If they are the type of friend who could never pay your bail because they are in the cell with you,.......

    You get the point. ;)
  17. JohanBroad

    JohanBroad Member

    Yes! This is exactly right!

    Whether I was armed or not, I would not actively involve myself unless directly threatened. I'd pull out my phone and take video, and be ready to hit 911, but there's no way I'd get into some other couple's argument.
  18. JohanBroad

    JohanBroad Member

    Sorry, double posted.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015

  19. "Innocent"?

    You didn't have any evidence to make you think EITHER was innocent. Unless you see the start of an altercation, don't assume (as you appear to might do) that the woman is innocent.
  20. If she isn't yelling for help, it's most likely a non-event.

    Here is the most like type of scenario:

    Their from out of town and just passing thru. She says lets stop and eat. He pulls into Wendy's and they eat. When they get going again he notices she's upset.

    Finally she says that she had wanted to eat at some undefined place that cost $50 a plate. He says that she should have said something. She says he should have just known that she wanted to do it, he just a thoughtless jackarse and how unlucky she was to end up with him.

    And so it goes until she starts yelling to stop the car. When he does, she gets out so she can walk the 100 mile to back home and she then even starts walking the wrong direction.

    If he was wise he'd have let walk, but most likely he's to nice of a guy to do that.