Today at 3:30 p.m.[sic. 4:15 p.m.], after eating a late lunch by myself, I approached my car, which was parked fairly close to the entrance of the restaurant. Scanning the parking lot, I saw two rather seedy individuals loitering at the far end of the lot. One of the individuals started towards me in a run while starting a typical handout story. His partner began moving towards me from a different direction, which would have put me between the two of them. As I hurried to my car, I held up my hand in a stop gesture and yelled, "I can't help you!" I jumped in my car, locked the door, and started backing out of my parking space. The first individual was not deterred and came right up to the car aggressively yelling at me that their car had broken down and they needed some money. By this time, the second guy was at the passenger side of my car. I drove off and left them standing where my car had been parked.
- I was shocked at how quickly the first guy was able to run almost a half of a city block. When he started to move, I was only ten feet from my car but barely had time to get into my car and lock the door before he was right next to my car. When I first saw the two guys loitering, I thought about going back inside the restaurant but it was almost 40 feet back as compared with the ten feet to my car.
- I hate to say this but when talking to the police after my first robbery, they said the BG targeted me in the parking lot and followed me into my gym because I was older and drove a Mercedes. Today, I got the definite impression that the two guys made their concerted move on me after they saw I was headed to the Mercedes. I hate this. I really enjoy driving my Mercedes but I told my wife, "Perhaps, I should drive her Ford in town and use the Mercedes for highway driving."
- Afterwards, it came to my mind that the two guys were nowhere near any "broken" down car.
- During the course of this 90 second [sic. 25 second] event, I kept my hand ready to draw my XD9sc. If necessary, I felt fairly confident in my ability to defend myself. At the time, being able to flee to my car seemed the best option and given that it was successful, I was fairly happy with the results. A year ago, not wanting to be rude to people, I would have stood dumbfounded and let them come right up to me.
- Were the two guys just panhandlers or was I being interviewed for a robbery or a carjacking? I don't know the answer. They did not have the shabby look of the typical panhandler. Instead, they both looked extremely fit as if they spent a lot of time in the gym. In my opinion, they looked and acted far more like recent parolees than panhandlers. They were also aggressive from the first moment of eye contact. It also bothers me the way they situated themselves to arrive on both sides of my car.
- Is a Mercedes a "BG magnet" in my particular town? I hope not but the evidence is starting to make me a little concerned.
This whole incident took less than a minute and a half [sic. 25 seconds], I felt good that my self defense training kicked in. The second I spotted the two suspicious guys loitering, my alertness went to Level Orange. Within 3 seconds, I evaluated whether to return to the restaurant or get to the safety of my car. Although my mind was racing a million miles a second, I felt a deep sense of calm and confidence. I aggressively yelled at them in a loud voice while keeping my right hand near my firearm and simultaneously taking action to get in my car. If they were only panhandlers, perhaps their feelings were hurt but if their intentions were to rob me or steal my car, my decisive action took me out of harm's way without the need to escalate the encounter.
I am so thankful for my training and the education I have gotten here on Texas CHL Forum. You really do make a difference!
[EDIT: Excaliber was correct that probably the whole event took no more than 20-25 seconds rather than a minute and a half.]