I think you did everything right. However, your GF needs to learn to ignore such comments.
A similar thing happened to me back when I was 19 and full of spit & vinegar. I almost went to prison for A&B with intent and deadly weapon. (I had left two pro athletes laying on the street. I thought one was dead and knew another was badly injured. Two others ran for their life after I disarmed their buddies of a knife and club.) I then fled the scene because another guy attacked me with a knife and some more of their friends were coming to their aid.
Long story short the judge did NOT believe that "I" being 5'4" 120lbs (soaking wet) would intentionally start a fight with FOUR large Pro Athletes. I was then sued for ruining the sucessfull career of one the players. But, I ended up only having to pay for the ER & hospital stay.
On a side note:
Even though I was in the "RIGHT", thinking I may have killed someone was a TERRIFYING experience!
As far as I'm concerned there is no way of knowing what the correct response to these situations is going to be until what you do works. (As long as you don't go for your gun while there is no immediate and unavoidable deadly threat.)
What I'm saying is often times these thugs are always on the prowl to harass and harangue people. What they want to do is get enjoyment out of scaring people, humiliating them or as the ante increases, it often ends up in an assault or robbery or murder. They go with the flow and often times they are not intentionally out to commit a murder or rape or a robbery, however they will readily go to that depending on your response to their challenge.
So when they start to engage, you really have no way of knowing how it's going to play out, because they aren't exactly sure either. But, they are always ready to step it up in an instant.
So, in this situation, they intentionally tried to get a rise out of you by being rude and disrespectful. They tried to cut between you when you were clearly walking side by side as a couple. They knew exactly what they were doing. As they brushed and made physical contact, they then went for the verbal harassment and degrading comments all looking for a response from YOU! They wanted to see if you would engage them in their game, cower and pee your pants, ignore them or stand your ground.
What you have to know and at least assume is that at least several of the group is going to be armed. Either with a knife or a gun as the most common and possibly some lesser common thing like a bike chain or maybe some short club type weapon.
Now, had you presented a gun when none of them were brandishing any weapons of their own.... they would have immediately cried "Foul" and turned the tables on you by calling the cops on you. They would claim you were some over-reactionary nut with a gun and they were merely choir boys who accidentally "bumped the lady." And there you'd be, standing there holding a gun in front of God and all the other witnesses.
Now, let's say you totally ignored them and did absolutely nothing. I can tell you that in the world of street gangs, and thugs, they see that as you being afraid of them and now they've got you! What they usually do is step it up by exclaiming you are being disrespectful to them and they go from there. Sure they could just drop it altogether and let things lay right there when you ignore them and that would be a good for you. However, I think most often they see some scared person who is afraid of them and they capitalize on that and step things up a bit.
Now we have what you chose to do. You entered a store where there were not only other patrons, but more importantly, store employees who have a vested interest in not having a shootout in their store. They are more apt to get calling the police or mall security faster without needing much prompting. Secondly, you acknowledged their presence and let them know you weren't ignoring them. Thirdly, you raised your voice in a firm commanding fashion telling them to "back off and leave you alone" in a manner to raise awareness of the bystanders creating a group of witnesses who are now focused on who is doing what and who is being unreasonable. The thugs still don't know what your next move is going to be... Are you going to flee? Or are you going to fight? Regardless, there are gonna be witnesses. And they know full well from the very beginning they are in the wrong. They are thugs doing what thugs do and everyone watching knows everyone's role. Thugs = aggressor, You and g/f = Victim and all the store patrons and employee's = WITNESSES.
So, in this case, they did some smack talk and walked away... And thus the game of theirs continues at a later time, in a different place with different players.
The bottom line is, you never know which way things are going to go with gang types and street thugs until it plays out. You must be prepared and assume it is always going to escalate and get worse, so you better prepare for that eventuality no matter how you respond. You do your best to be seen by witnesses as the victim. You back away and at the same time get the attention of others by telling them to leave you alone, you don't want any trouble, you don't have any money and quit bothering you.
I will say, with a group of 4 thugs who appear unarmed and continue to encroach upon you and stepping up the escalation, it's good to have a non-lethal device such as OC spray where you can hose down the entire group and flee. (I bet your G/F was regretting leaving the OC spray at home, and if not, she should be!)
Also, especially in a group of thugs like there were, as soon as one of them pulls out a lethal weapon such as a knife, or club, or chain... I'm drawing down on them and they have about two heartbeats to determine if I fire on the one with the weapon first and then anyone else who fails to flee! I don't care if I"m in a dept. store. I know my shooting skills under stress because I train that way and at 12 - 20 feet or less, I'm shooting, and I'm immediately going to make sure their weapons do not disappear from the scene.
In your situation, I think you handled everything correctly based on the results. You got yourself into a store, you had witnesses, you challenged them by telling them to leave you alone and not bother you and both you and your girlfriend had a surprise waiting for them if they chose to escalate things into a deadly force situation. That's a good job in my book! Congrats! :hand10:
Stay armed and stay safe. And don't forget that OC spray! It can be helpful against a force of multiple thugs where none of them has yet displayed a weapon, yet have you outnumbered.
First of all, these are a bunch of loud mouthed unarmed people. Drawing and shooting would be the last thing on my mind. This is why it is so important to have some Self defense training (Martial arts of something).
Got to agree with Bark'n on this one... my thoughts almost exactly through the entire post.
"Good job!" :congrats: to the OP... I wouln't give it an A, but certainly no less than a B. It's really hard not to respond to these goons in kind. I like the way you gained witnesses, and "demonstrated to them" who the agressors were, with the "Back Off" statements.
I would have been watching my back for a loooong time after this altercation... Sometimes when you "get the better" of this type of agressive person, he takes it too personally, and plots revenge to save face with his buddies... That's when the real altercation begins. And he's gonna do it with fewer witnesses, (just his buddies, so they can see how big he is, and maybe even back his action if he finds himself over his head).
Originally Posted by boricua
Exactly. Words don't hurt, but being involved in a shooting can ruin your entire day, AND get expensive.
As mentioned earlier....these idiots thrive on a response....and are looking for an excuse to be "dis-respek-tid". I'd smile and walk away knowing that I could punch "cancel" on their birth certificate...and the fact your GF carries is a huge plus, since they wouldn't expect her to do much.
These guys are not worth your time for a response...but are as irritating as poop on your shoe.
That may be the assumption in Connecticut, but I can assure you making that assumption in most other places could be a deadly mistake. Not only that, but it is counter-intuitive to common sense in most other places.
Originally Posted by ctsketch
If you think having a 3.5 inch to 4 inch tactical folder in your pocket (which is legal in most states) is not a deadly weapon then I've got a bridge I'd love to sell you. It's just as easy for a bunch of loud mouthed gang bangers to carry a 3.5 inch Benchmade folder as it is for you to carry one. And if they are stopped by cops, it's not illegal as a gun would be. To assume that at least one of the four thugs didn't have a blade on them is a rather foolish assumption. And in my personal experience with criminal street people where I work, the type of "loud mouth thugs" who work in groups (exactly like the type described in the original post) there is almost always at least one deadly weapon of some type within the group.
I'm going with the OP and with the law, these are a bunch of thugs talking crap in a parking lot, none of which have displayed any weapons. yes they MIGHT be armed, but the OP does not know this. shooting the 1-2 of them who followed you and heckled (especially with BOTH of your being armed) is bad juju.
Originally Posted by Bark'n
I know how gangs role, I grew up in Bridgeport, CT, yes it may be likely one of them has a knife, but the OP has no evidence of this. "Officer I shot him because I thought he may have a knife in his pocket...looking like a gang member and all"
dont worry, i've been in the same sorta shoes two diffrent times, not as bad as yours. but in my head i was like " are these guys really hitting on my gf right in front of me?"
guys like that will never understand why guys like us will back down from those situations...not that we're scared of them, their just not worth our time..
sounds like u handled ur self well.
While many have a box full of holsters, some also have a box full of switchblades, etc.
I understand what you are saying now...
Originally Posted by ctsketch
However your post which I responded to made a declarative statement that the thugs were NOT ARMED. That is a pretty dangerous assumption to make. I also never mentioned or even hinted that the defenders should have drawn their guns let alone shoot any of them. As a matter of fact, I made it quite clear that if they had drawn a gun when none of the aggressors had any weapons displayed would have been a bad move as the aggressors would have likely called the police on them.
As a matter of fact, I don't think anyone here recommended they should have drawn their guns and shot any of the aggressors over being heckled and chided, so I'm not sure where you got that thought. (I'll have to go back and re-read all the other posts, but if memory serves me, I don't think anyone recommended using their defensive firearms)
you dont shoot thinking they may have a weapon on them...you shoot to protect yourself and others...being approached in a threatening manner by multiple aggressors is a threat to your health and life....going hand to hand may be too late...regardless of how competent you believe you are there are others who are better...if the assault continues after youve tried to desuade them from continuing you have the right to protect yourself with force...and regarding the fact that ultimate fighters stop fighting when poked in the eye...its because the rules say they can...real fights dont end with eye pokes...they end when someone goes down...and its not necessarily the one who got poked in the eye...
Originally Posted by ctsketch
you did great...you retreated and made your intentions clear...you just wanted to be left alone...and you made sure others saw and heard you doing so...make the right kind of noise and draw the right kind of attention...that will take the fight out of tough guys looking to intimidate...for those who continue you defend with whatever you have to defend with...yeah...pepper spray would be great....but you didnt have it...theres a good chance the incident is on some kind of tape...when its played back itll show you did the right thing...you used the tools you had and ended the situation...well done...
You got 6 foot Hispanics in Texas?
All the ones around here seem to be under 5 feet tall.
A lot of people are assuming the thugs were unarmed,that kind of assuming will get you killed,After yelling for them to stop and backoff I would have been calling 911 to report them ,I would al;so be watching hands,If he decided to advance within striking distance and me being disabled,I would end his gangsta life right there.In Tx it is a legal defense to use deadly force to prevent great bodily injury or death,and I would have no problem proving dipstick wasn't trying to sell me Girl Scout Cookies
"Everything's bigger in Texas" :smile:
Originally Posted by mkh