Close Encounter?

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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby DLBConductor » Wed Dec 12, 2012 5:43 pm

Excaliber wrote:...I hope you also called the police and described the incident as soon as you were at a safe distance. Since they missed you, they would have immediately gone on the hunt for new and more compliant prey.


Excaliber wrote:...Incidentally, it's still not too late to make that call. Investigators looking into robberies in the area may well be able to pick up information they don't yet have from the information you could provide on descriptions, BG tactics, time of day, location, etc. that could help lead to an earlier arrest.


Excaliber,

I went by the Police Station today and gave a full accounting and descriptions. They will be on the lookout and patrol that area for the next week or so. Of course, it would have helped if I had immediately reported it.

I also went by the restaurant and met with the manager for about 30 minutes. She was very upset and concerned. They have signs posted that the lot is monitored but, in fact, there are no cameras. I realize the signs could be a deterrent but it seems to me that they are being a bit dishonest with the customers. In any case, she is going to start having an escort available whenever elderly people or single women leave the restaurant from now through the holidays.

All's well that ends well.

:smash: Now I need to go practice:

"STOP, DON'T COME ANY CLOSER!"

"CALL 911 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!"
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby Excaliber » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:29 pm

DLBConductor wrote:
Excaliber wrote:...I hope you also called the police and described the incident as soon as you were at a safe distance. Since they missed you, they would have immediately gone on the hunt for new and more compliant prey.


Excaliber wrote:...Incidentally, it's still not too late to make that call. Investigators looking into robberies in the area may well be able to pick up information they don't yet have from the information you could provide on descriptions, BG tactics, time of day, location, etc. that could help lead to an earlier arrest.


Excaliber,

I went by the Police Station today and gave a full accounting and descriptions. They will be on the lookout and patrol that area for the next week or so. Of course, it would have helped if I had immediately reported it.

I also went by the restaurant and met with the manager for about 30 minutes. She was very upset and concerned. They have signs posted that the lot is monitored but, in fact, there are no cameras. I realize the signs could be a deterrent but it seems to me that they are being a bit dishonest with the customers. In any case, she is going to start having an escort available whenever elderly people or single women leave the restaurant from now through the holidays.

All's well that ends well.

:smash: Now I need to go practice:

"STOP, DON'T COME ANY CLOSER!"

"CALL 911 AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!"


Well done!
Excaliber

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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby DLBConductor » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:45 pm

Excaliber wrote:...There's no coercion here - just risk management decisions. The OP recognizes that driving a nice Mercedes is significantly more likely to attract the attention of bandits than an old Toyota. One needs to evaluate how much risk that carries against the pleasure of driving that machine, and decide if the increase in risk is worth it.

Risk can be managed in 4 ways:[code][/code]

1) Avoid it ( by doing something different e.g., driving an older car)
2) Transfer it (buy lots of insurance so a loss has less impact - applies to things, not people)
3) Mitigate it (keep driving the car, but make adaptations - don't drive it into sketchy neighborhoods, increase situational awareness, don't go back to the car when suspicious persons are nearby, etc.)
4) Accept it (decide the pleasure of driving the car everywhere you go is worth the increased risk it carries)


Excaliber,

My wife and I spent some time today discussing your 4 ways of managing risk. Thus far, we have eliminated numbers 2 & 4 from the list. I am more concerned about my personal safety than about damage or loss to a vehicle. Unfortunately, this incident didn't happen in a "bad" area. These days the BGs seem to be everywhere. I am sure we will be discussing the other 2 options during the holidays. :roll:
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby baldeagle » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:39 pm

I concur with Excalibur's professional evaluation. I certainly don't have his experience dealing with various situations, but in my experience panhandlers approach slowly and ask for help. I would expect a panhandler from across a parking lot to yell something like, "Hey, mister, can you help me?" When they started toward you at a dead run, that was your signal (which you responded to admirably) to react as planned. I pray I can be that alert if similar circumstances ever arise. And I pray a lot more that they never do.
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby MikeStone » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:40 pm

As a result of a different post here I'm reading Rory Miller's "Facing Violence". It's an excellent read so far and gives one insight into the thought processes of those who would perpetrate violence.

One interesting idea is that most of us are taught to be polite, especially to strangers. Unfortunately, that makes us easy marks. You did the right thing by brushing off the initial advance and not stopping to politely help those guys with the 'broken down car'.
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby Excaliber » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:21 am

DLBConductor wrote:
Excaliber wrote:...There's no coercion here - just risk management decisions. The OP recognizes that driving a nice Mercedes is significantly more likely to attract the attention of bandits than an old Toyota. One needs to evaluate how much risk that carries against the pleasure of driving that machine, and decide if the increase in risk is worth it.

Risk can be managed in 4 ways:[code][/code]

1) Avoid it ( by doing something different e.g., driving an older car)
2) Transfer it (buy lots of insurance so a loss has less impact - applies to things, not people)
3) Mitigate it (keep driving the car, but make adaptations - don't drive it into sketchy neighborhoods, increase situational awareness, don't go back to the car when suspicious persons are nearby, etc.)
4) Accept it (decide the pleasure of driving the car everywhere you go is worth the increased risk it carries)


DLBConductor wrote:Excaliber,

My wife and I spent some time today discussing your 4 ways of managing risk. Thus far, we have eliminated numbers 2 & 4 from the list. I am more concerned about my personal safety than about damage or loss to a vehicle. Unfortunately, this incident didn't happen in a "bad" area. These days the BGs seem to be everywhere. I am sure we will be discussing the other 2 options during the holidays. :roll:


You've recognized the fact that there is no such thing as a safe place that is immune to crime. What people call a "safe area" is one where bad things happen less frequently than they do elsewhere

I agree that the two risk management options you've chosen are the wisest ones for the situation you're dealing with.

BTW, while the specific response actions vary with situations, those 4 basic options apply to all types of risk, not just those related to criminality.
Excaliber

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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby Jumping Frog » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:38 am

DLBConductor wrote:Unfortunately, I did not have my phone with me, . . .

If there is anything I would have done differently, I would have ....

Personally, I consider carrying my phone everywhere I go to be as important to my personal safety as carrying my gun and useful in far more circumstances: calling 911 (police, fire or medical) or calling for roadside assistance for just two examples.

If I ever have to use deadly force for self defense, I definitely plan to be the first to call 911. The only two roles in that drama are victim/complainant and perpetrator. The first to call 911 usually has the advantage in claiming the first role instead of getting slotted into the second.
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby RoyGBiv » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:03 am

This was a great AAR. Thanks very much to the OP for sharing your story and letting us engage in some Monday morning quarterbacking. I'm glad it turned out safely for the OP and share in the frustration that we're never safe, even in a "safe town".

This story was a good reminder of many things. Thanks.! :tiphat:
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby A-R » Thu Dec 13, 2012 9:50 am

Thank you to the OP and Excaliber and others for their always insightful analysis.

You did well, sir. Keep it up.

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Thank You from the OP!

Postby DLBConductor » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:54 pm

Thanks for all of your comments and suggestions. They were both helpful and educational.

Posting my encounter has been very important to me as an after-action report to see what I did right and where I could improve for the future. Obviously, in this case, my situational awareness played the largest role in keeping me safe. However, having a firearm on me and knowing I was a fairly proficient marksman gave me the confidence to immediately take steps to protect myself. If I had to use it, I knew I had a final backup.

A year ago, I had never owned or fired a handgun and had never thought about self-defense. If I had been approached by two BGs, I would have stood frozen like a deer in the headlights and let them assault me and take my car. However, in the last year, I have obtained a handgun, taken lessons in shooting, situational awareness, and self-defense, obtained my CHL, practiced regularly at the range 2-3 times a week, and begun to carry my weapon 24/7. In addition, I read the great information on the Texas CHL Forum, XDTalk, the Ruger Forum, the 1911 Forum and read as many books as I could find on concealed carry, self-defense, and situational awareness.

If I can learn better how to protect myself in one year, anyone can do it if they are willing to commit themselves to the task. If my post motivates just one person to get training, get a concealed gun permit, develop defense skills, and increase situational awareness sensitivity, my thread will have served its greatest purpose.

Thank you!
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby JALLEN » Fri Jan 04, 2013 2:34 pm

The model of Mercedes may be a factor. Big sedans might attract robbers. SL's seem to attract fashionably attired, bejeweled and coifed females.

That may be a worse problem than robbers, come to think about it. :evil2:

Thanks for sharing your story. I am almost as old as you are, and gradually becoming more and more handicapped due to lung disease.
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby fickman » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:47 pm

For what it's worth, even if they were just "aggressive panhandlers", many cities have law against that, too. Fort Worth has been diligent at enforcing no-panhandling laws in the last few years, especially in Sundance Square and the Stockyards.

Regardless of you locations' laws, they made you feel threatened through aggressive behavior, and you have the disparity of force principle working for you (it was 2 vs 1, they looked in great shape, you are significantly older than them and have a health impediment).

Well done escaping unharmed and still avoiding all of the paperwork, interviews, and lawyer fees, though! :cheers2:
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby VMI77 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:26 pm

I've been approached by pan handlers many times --so many times my wife started calling me the Beggar King-- and I've NEVER had one run at me. From a distance they might shout and wave for attention, but I've never seen one run. I've also never seen a pair of panhandlers bumming money together. That doesn't even seem logical to me since they'd have to split the take, and from what I've seen, pan handlers can get pretty aggressive about staking out their own individual territory. My guess is the guy on the driver's side was trying to hold your attention while is partner jumped in your car on the passenger's side. I also think the car may not have had anything to do with it....that they saw someone they thought would be an easy mark, and would have tried to rob you, if not steal your car, no matter what you were driving.
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby texanjoker » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:26 pm

Panhandlers in Austin get that aggressive. They are scaring people into throwing them some money which is wrong IMO.
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Re: Close Encounter?

Postby VMI77 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:32 pm

texanjoker wrote:Panhandlers in Austin get that aggressive. They are scaring people into throwing them some money which is wrong IMO.


Austin is about the only place I run into them these days....I've encountered a few that are clearly mentally ill (one in particular who "patrolled" the median next to the Taco Cabana off Riverside), but none that have struck me as dangerous. Anyone who tried to scare me would just get a police report in lieu of money.
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