Innocent to not so much in 2.5 seconds...
I've been getting my knowledge on in regards to "escalation".
Don't flick anyone off
Don't use rude language
Don't invite further abuse with "Oh yeah?" or similar
What if you are at a stop light in broad daylight. The light is notorious for being long on red and fast on green, and the guy in front of you is obviously doing something on his cell-phone and doesn't notice the light change. You tap the horn once to give him a "heads up" and then the inexplicable happens.
He puts his car into park, exits his vehicle and begins raving at you. You're blocked in by his car and those behind you, and he is disadventageously placed so as to prohibit any manuveurs around him. He comes up to your door and yells at the now rolled up window. While you begin dialing the Police on your cell-phone, he begins kicking and striking your vehicle with his fists and continues his verbal tirade.
Now, the question is:
If he gets even more out of hand before the PD shows up (because as long as it stays just at this level, I really will just sit there until they get there), and starts trying to beat your windshield in or otherwise attempt access to your vehicle's interior to get at you, would you:
A. Draw and Defend (at what point)?
B. Be liable for "escalation" due to your otherwise acceptable single, quick honk on your horn?
Just seems like it could be a 50/50 thing in court (the "honk")...