A Bad Situation....
I had intended on writing this down the day of the incident but, as can be expected, its taken me a while to process everything….
I had just finished volunteering in an event put on by the Wounded Warriors Foundation; an annual bass fishing charity tournament in which volunteer anglers are paired with a soldier with a life-altering injury to compete against other teams. It was a very fulfilling experience to say the least and although the day was already memorable, it became one that I would never forget when I went to put my boat away for the evening.
To give some background, the immediate area in which I store my boat is not a bad one, as it is adjacent to a lake and relatively rural. However, it is no secret that the areas around it have some trouble with drugs and crime. This having been said, there have been a handful of incidents in which storage lockers have been broken into, resulting in boats and equipment being stolen by “meth-heads” looking for quick money to get a “fix”. I’ve been told these individuals are easy to spot; they stand out like a sore thumb against the usual crowd and will generally “creep” through the area looking for lockers that someone currently has open (to see what is being stored in it) and scope out their targets for later.
I had pulled into the area in which I store my boat; a series of several rows of garages suited for boat storage in a fully fenced-in area (I’m sure everyone that reads this has seen some sort of storage facility similar to this). I had opened the door to my locker and had just finished backing my boat the full extent of its way into the locker but had not yet un-hitched the boat from my suburban. At the time, I was sitting in the driver’s seat of my SUV, door closed, checking out something on my phone. I look up to see a grey Ford F250 pull past the gate and start heading up the alley of garages. At first I think nothing of it; after all, how many fishermen out there drive an F250? Then I see the occupants…
Driver: White male, mid-20’s, long hair, “wife-beater” undershirt, green and yellow hat.
Passenger: White male, mid-20’s, short hair, white t-shirt, blue and red flatbrim hat.
Rear Passenger: White female, early-20’s, long unkempt hair, tank-top, bags under the eyes, slack-jaw, eyes half open, strung-out on meth.
With all the windows down, the truck proceeds slowly up the ally and slows to a creep as it nears my open locker and suburban. The driver, who also appears to be a “user”, stares deliberately into my locker at my boat, locks eyes with me for several seconds, and then back again into my locker as the truck creeps by. The other two passengers, including the visibly strung-out female in the back seat, look only at me and nowhere else.
I start by grabbing a sharpie and writing down the license plate as the tailgate of my truck clears the front of my vehicle. I watch the trucks side-view mirrors to see if I can get a look at the driver and what he is doing. The truck nears the end of the garages where the alley makes a “T” and vehicles can turn either left or right and I can now see the drivers face by way of the trucks sideview mirrors. As I am looking, the driver locks eyes with me again via the sideview mirrors. The truck does not turn, but rather stops. The reverse lights come on.
Condition Red. Massive adrenaline spike.
At this point, the situation does not yet dictate drawing my firearm, but I am going through my “unlock codes”. I go to discreetly grasp my firearm, reaching to my 4:00 position for my USP Compact .40, only to feel nothing. No gun. It’s at home.
Heartbeat in the throat.
The truck is now almost right in front of my vehicle, windows down. The driver doesn’t move his eyes from mine. A locked-on stare.
***Remember, I am STILL attached to my boat, which is INSIDE a narrow garage…Speeding away is not an option.
Without a thought, I pull myself down underneath my steering wheel and cramp myself into the pedal area in an effort to get behind the engine block.
My only thought: There is going to be gunfire. Survive.
I wait there for probably 15 seconds, but for what seems like minutes. When I peek up and look out my passenger side window, I see that the truck has backed up and makes a three-point turn around and back out of the storage area.
I get right on my phone and call the owner of the storage area who happens to be a friend of mine, knowing that he has a security patrol on duty at all times. He picks up almost right away, I read him the license plate and tell him the situation. He says he’s calling security right now.
The MOMENT I HANG UP FROM A 30-SECOND PHONE CALL….here comes the truck again. Same approach, a near creep. I look inside the vehicle anticipating to visualize a threat….there are only two occupants now and the passenger is now driving.
My only thought: WHERE IS THE DRIVER?!?! Is he circling around behind me?!
The truck continues to creep by, the same way as before. The passenger (now driving) locks eyes with me yet again. The truck moves to the end of the alley, stops and parks. He now proceeds to do some sort of signaling with the brake lights. On and off in a “dot/dash” pattern. What it means or who it’s to, I don’t know and don’t care. All I know is that, at this point, I’m unarmed, I’m as helpless as a duck on a frozen pond and if I sit here any longer, it probably won’t turn out well for me. I’m sitting in the middle of a possible ambush. Get gone or get dead.
No other choice. I get out of the car as fast as possible. Un-hitch the trailer, pull down the door and lock the latch. Back in the car. Put it in drive. LEAVE!
My friend calls me back just as I make it on to the main road. He says security is pulling up as we speak and they’ve seen that truck with those plates before. I tell him that I’m just glad I made it the hell outta there and that I’m alright.
Despite my best efforts in typing out the happenings of the incident, I feel as though the above text does absolutely no justice to just how fast a situation like this happens, the amount of stress that you are under or to the physiological effects of an “adrenaline dump”. At the end of the day, I’m just thankful it didn’t turn out any worse than it could have. I can still feel my heart start to race just reliving the event while I typed it out.
1) Live your life in CONDITION YELLOW……I was coming home from a fun day of tournament fishing and was in an area I was familiar with and had been 1,000 times in the past. A SD situation can happen ANYWHERE and you need to be ALERT!
2) Situational Awareness SAVES LIVES - Had I not been aware of what was going on, I could very well not be sitting here typing this if the situation had gone any further south.
3) If you are going to carry…CARRY! – What good does it do you if you don’t? Ever since I’ve had my gun and been waiting on my plastic, I’ve carried in my house and in my car very regularly. After this incident, you can bet that once my plastic comes, I won’t be unarmed for another second in my life.
Be vigilant out there, guys. Live life in Condition Yellow.
Close call. I go NOWHERE without my pistol. You may considor buying one to keep in your vehicle if you think you may forget the one at home.
Well, lesson learned, right? You are correct about living in condition yellow!
Good story, well-written. It sort of reminds me of a "scenario" type of story (hooked to the boat and can't easily leave).
It looks like your SA saved your skin, actually locking eyes may have helped, them not knowing whether you were armed or not. It seems as if they were "on the fence" whether to mess with you or not.
It takes a lot of diligence to remain armed all the time. I'm not particularly happy with mouse guns, but an LCP is in my right pocket everyday, my keys, knife, etc are in the left pocket, it's hard for me not to be armed. I always have it, and depending on where I go, I add a more appropriate gun when I feel the need for it.
The bolded portion sums it for me. A .380 is not my preference for self defense, but at least it is always with me. Usually as a BUG, but it's there just like my wallet is.
Originally Posted by ppkheat
i am currently ICU, and thanks To my daughter and grandson it would have taken them longer to get me here. because they new we are all of the weapons were to unload,AND I do not want our police doing it while lsying on gurrney. sp check is brrock.
Were you in a no-carry zone while fishing, or did you just forget your gun?
Originally Posted by grady
I am able to carry in my car without the plastic, and I do. For some reason, though, I left my gun at home.
Taught myself a lesson though. My license went to "Manufacturing" today, so I will always ALWAYS be carrying my USPc....in addition to the Gen.4 Glock 19 I bought yesterday just to keep in the car.
Yup. Call it what you want, but that's the ONLY way for most folks to ensure they've got fairly effective means at resisting the ultimate use of force being sent in their direction.
Originally Posted by HkCarry
Barring that, doing exactly what you did is the perfect antidote. You kept your head and wits about you, and you used every "tool" you had to ensure those crosshairs on your forehead didn't remain there for any longer than was absolutely necessary. Kudos on getting out of that situation cleanly. It was within a heartbeat of going the other way, I agree.
A good scenario for other members to learn a bit from. Thanks for posting it. It was well written and and easy to form a mental picture of your potentially precarious situation. You also have good observation skills which is always a plus. That has GOT to be tough when you reach for a firearm that is at home. Your heart surely sank into your boots at that moment.
You would do well to keep a larger size cannister of OC in your vehicle at all times also. It's just an addition to your "bag of tricks" that can buy you some time to make a quick exit if necessary.
By all means carry wherever and whenever you can.
Glad everything turned out OK.
Stay armed and stay safe!
Well written...it kept me 'locked in', and was easy to visualize. A lesson learned without incident is a good lesson...glad you remained safe!:hand10:
Thanks HkCarry for posting 'A Bad Situation' and eloquently reminding me:
 that it all hangs on Situational Awareness and,
 Massad Ayoob's 1st commandment of Concealed Carry: If You Carry, Always Carry
"The armed citizen, the intended victim, does not know when or where that attack will come. Therefore, he or she must be constantly prepared and constantly vigilant." . .and "When the defender does not know when the attack will come, the only reasonable expectation of safety lies in being always armed."
You did a great job given your circumstances. Hope your holster works out.
:yup: Now might be a good time to buy a lottery ticket.