Approached in Parking Lot (Real situation followed by a hypothetical scenario)

This is a discussion on Approached in Parking Lot (Real situation followed by a hypothetical scenario) within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A couple days ago, I had just gotten off work. It was around 9 pm and dark. I work for a restaurant where they ask ...

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Thread: Approached in Parking Lot (Real situation followed by a hypothetical scenario)

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    Member Array enk5's Avatar
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    Approached in Parking Lot (Real situation followed by a hypothetical scenario)

    A couple days ago, I had just gotten off work. It was around 9 pm and dark. I work for a restaurant where they ask us to park in a certain location that happens to be far from the exit. I was walking out to my car with another girl I work with who happened to be parked next to me. She had already gotten into her car and I was in the process of getting into mine. All of a sudden, a blue pickup pulled into the parking lot very fast and pulled up next to her car. I quickly got into my car, pulled my door shut, and tried to make myself unnoticeable. The situation didn't feel right. I dialed 911 on my phone and had my finger on the send button just in case I needed to call. I also opened my glove compartment where I had stored my gun while I was working and put it next to me on the passenger seat. Then I just watched. Soon after, he left just as fast as he came in.

    I got the girl's attention and asked her what happened. She told me that he asked her if she had any cash on her. He told her that he needed gas money and in exchange for any cash she could give him, he would give her a $7 panera gift card. She told him that she needed all the cash she had but he kept insisting. Once he realized she wasn't going to give him anything, he left.

    I called the police non-emergency line and told them about him because most likely, she wasn't the only one he stopped to ask.

    Now comes the hypothetical...

    Say that instead of leaving, he becomes extremely angry and gets out of his pickup. He approaches the girl's car menacingly demanding the money but has not shown or made mention of any weapon. What would you do?

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  3. #2
    RGC
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    I would think since she was in her car she should have drove away.

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    say she drops her keys and can't drive away, I'm out of my truck with my weapon tucked behind my back and my right hand gripping it, not drawn, but tucked behind my back as if i were mexican carrying, I would say something like hey is there a problem, or tell him to stop bothering my wife (does not matter if she is or isnt, purely a tactic, alot of guys will back down to an angry husband if they are not really up to something too henious) If he persists and attempts to pull her out of the vehicle, break into her vehicle or shows a weapon, I draw down and go from there
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    Member Array enk5's Avatar
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    Let me add that I am also female.

    @RGC She had not yet started her vehicle. Lets assume for the purpose of this hypothetical that she is unable to drive away for whatever reason. I am interested in seeing how others would react to this situation, not how she should have reacted.

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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Let me be the first. Call 911, be a good witness...

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    Senior Member Array Devilsclaw's Avatar
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    I think your suggestion at 9:45 is appropriate, other that I would suggest you have your phone in your off hand, with 911 on the line, telling the guy you have 911 on the line and that they are sending someone to "help" him out......remember too that the call is being recorded, so that if something does go down, your commands for him to "get away, you need to leave now, don't come any closer" are substantiated.

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    good thinking devils claw, i never thought of that
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    Distinguished Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Being a guy, I think I would have made my presence known by getting out, but standing beside/behind my vehicle. Give the guy two people in two locations to watch now.
    You being a female, maybe cracking your door so the interior light comes on might produce the same effect. That way you are not leaving the safety of your vehicle. Show him you are taking interest. Maybe start blowing the horn? Tough to say without knowing what was actually going on until after he left. Come to think about it, maybe I'd stay in the vehicle with the light on as my first action to see if he leaves.
    I think the thing is to find out what's going on. For all you know he was a friend telling her some bad news in person.

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Hi enk5: Glad to see ladies involved in this forum. Women's perspective, IMO, is a lot less testosterone driven and may be a more sensible reply. Suggestions above that I appreciated: 911-definitely; blowing your horn-good idea; yelling at guy w/911 on phone-also good idea; for your friend or anyone-if you are in your car and it is movable (no keys dropped etc in what if), drive, drive, drive away-best idea. Other comments: if he has a firearm-now we get tricky-in SC they have the alter ego rule-if you believe your friend is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm (you see firearm pointed at her or she is being attacked while in car) you can assume it is you and you can use deadly force w/o any legal or civil consequences to you-as I said now we are in the tricky part and no one can really give you the good answer; as a precursor to your thread, read the earlier thread on situational awareness--I know you said this happened very quickly but it is possible that both of you were not really really paying as much attention, particularly at night in a garage, as you should have--easy for me to say but a very possible cause for the situation in the first place; last one--both of you should carry stun guns-he reaches into car for money--zap him--easier and less problems than a firearm. Glad to have chance to reply. God bless and have a nice holiday season. I just love women for all they are.

  11. #10
    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAcanis View Post
    Being a guy, I think I would have made my presence known by getting out, but standing beside/behind my vehicle. Give the guy two people in two locations to watch now.
    You being a female, maybe cracking your door so the interior light comes on might produce the same effect. That way you are not leaving the safety of your vehicle. Show him you are taking interest. Maybe start blowing the horn? Tough to say without knowing what was actually going on until after he left. Come to think about it, maybe I'd stay in the vehicle with the light on as my first action to see if he leaves.
    I think the thing is to find out what's going on. For all you know he was a friend telling her some bad news in person.

    "Finding out what's going on" can get you killed. Why would you even think of leaving the safety of your vehicle to "make your presence known"? You aren't a cop, and having a gun doesn't give you license to behave like one. There is no need in the scenario to play the super hero. A very common precursor to a robbery or an assault is someone approaching you for money.

    Crack your door open? Are you nuts? Your car is a safety cage. You just made it easy for someone to yank your door open. When I get in my car, I immediately lock all the doors. If a stranger pulls up next to me and tries to get my attention, I simply ignore them and drive off. I do the same if someone approaches me asking for money or tries to hand me something when I am walking. I act like they are invisible and walk on.

    Maybe the guy was just being nice and trying to let me know a taillight is out. I don't care. This is about my personal safety. If it's noon in front of my local grocery store with people all around, and the person is a well-dressed customer, perhaps I'll listen to what they say. If it's dark, and someone approaches looking for money, I know that means trouble. I am not even going to chat with them, and I am certainly not going to leave the safety of my car to "find out what's going on".

    If you don't engage the person, they can't start their rap and play out whatever scenario they have in their head. It doesn't guarantee they won't assault you or try to physically confront you, but it does put them off their opening gambit, and most times, makes them go after someone more accomodating.

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    I don't feel you did anything "wrong," your actions were well thought out, but if you truely thought something bad was on the verge of happening, I'd say you should have already punched "send." I would have much prefered to explain to the police an un-necessary but well-intended 911call then explain to her family a late 911 call. Hopefully you got a tag number.

    As for having "drawn" your firearm, even though inside your car, whether or not you progress beyond that point in her defense is something only you have to answer for, not anyone on a forum who feels their gun is to protect only them. Each of us has different feelings on that aspect. Personally, I couldn't stand by, well armed, and let someone else be threatened or attacked (in your scenerio) without stepping in. It's not my nature. My momma taught me better. But that's me--and only I have to live with that.
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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    Distinguished Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    No MadMac, I am not a cop. I am a friend of the person I walked out with and don't see the need to abandon my friend.
    And if you read my post more thoroughly, you will see that I mentioned the guy may be known to the person he has engaged.
    Your mileage obviously varies...
    The rest of your post runs off on tangents far from this actual situation.

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    Ex Member Array MadMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAcanis View Post
    No MadMac, I am not a cop. I am a friend of the person I walked out with and don't see the need to abandon my friend.
    And if you read my post more thoroughly, you will see that I mentioned the guy may be known to the person he has engaged.
    Your mileage obviously varies...
    The rest of your post runs off on tangents far from this actual situation.
    I may have misinterpreted your post. I certainly do not advocate abandoning friends. However, if there was the potential for danger as you suggest, then I still believe leaving the safety of a vehicle to confront someone is not a good idea.

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    Ex Member Array Glocksin's Avatar
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    Im going to get out and ask what the problem is.If it continues,i show my phone and say i will call police if he keeps up the aggression and doesnt leave.If he makes a move,im drawing and calling.

  16. #15
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    In situations like this, as well as just about every other situation, there are many right things to do, and just as many or more wrong things to do.

    One thing I would do is make sure I had my gun in my hand and waste no time calling 911 telling them that a lone woman in a dark parking lot is being accosted and blocked in by the suspects vehicle.

    Secondly, you can start honking your horn and not stop until the police arrive or he leaves (After you have already armed yourself and called 911). If he approaches you instead of leaving, you're going to have to deal with that new situation. Of course you should have your doors locked, your car running and be ready to leave quickly should he direct his attention towards you.

    I would be hesitant to exit my vehicle to deal with the suspect, however that is an option. It may be a correct answer, or it may make things horribly worse. You just will never know until things play out to their conclusion.

    With that said, as long as you are armed and prepared to use lethal force to defend yourself, remaining in the locked car provides some measure of protection. Also, if he attempts to forcibly remove you from the car by breaking a window, there is now physical evidence of forced abduction/felony thus bolstering your case to use lethal force in repelling the attack.

    However, if you step out of your car with your gun in hand, whether you have it in plain sight or not, things change considerably. Are you interfering with a domestic situation? Is the suspect known to the woman in the other car? Is he a father, brother, husband, or boyfriend? Right off the bat, you don't necessarily know all the facts of the situation. Will you be seen as escalating the situation? Will your actions be seen as helping a woman in distress or will the woman testify against you for shooting her husband, even though they were having marital problems?

    You're going to have to use your best judgment to solve these kinds of situations all the time, and hope you have enough training and knowledge of the law to keep you out of prison. Sitting at the defendants table in a court room is not the time to be thinking, I wish I knew more about the law, and the rules of lethal force before this nightmare played out.

    On the flip side of the coin, you certainly don't want to end up in the county morgue laid out on some autopsy table either.

    All I'm trying to do is point out some different ways in which things can play out. That's all you can do. To try and cover all your bases by trying to figure out how things can play out that you didn't expect.

    Good luck in tackling these subjects. My best advice is to attend some professional training on tactics and defensive shooting. The more you train to improve your critical thinking skills based around scenarios in which deadly force is an option, the better off you'll be in real life.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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