The Parking Garage
This scenario is based on a real event I heard recounted on The Handgun World Show podcast. I'm modifying it a bit to make it more generic so you can easily place yourself in the scenario.
Your car is in the shop and they've given you a loaner car for the week; a Cadillac Escalade.
You have a meeting at an office building downtown with an underground parking garage. There is no on-street parking available. You enter the parking garage looking for a spot and the garage is nearly full. The only spot is on the bottom floor of the garage about five spaces from the elevator. It's about 3:30 PM.
As you pull in, you see one person -a man in his late teens or early twenties- at the elevator pressing the button. He's dressed casually but clean; a t-shirt and jeans. He doesn't seem out of place, fidgety, or anything else to raise your alert level beyond its usual Yellow.
You get out of your vehicle, lock it, pocket the key, and begin walking to the elevator. As you get about 20 feet from the car, two more men about the same age as the first step out from behind cars. It's difficult to tell if they were hiding back there or you just couldn't see them at first and they aren't rushing you or obviously menacing (no fist making, chest puffing, or moustache twirling a la Snidely Whiplash).
These two are dressed similarly to the first. The one on your left is carrying a skateboard, the guy on your right is wearing a backpack (school book bag size).
The skateboard guy says, "Hey man. That's a nice ride. How much did it cost? You have a meeting here or something? A lot of big wigs in and out of this place. You meeting with one of them? What time is it?" It's a stream of casual questions as he slowly walks toward you. The other two are just standing there watching you. They are all well within 20 feet.
You're the green dot.
i suddenly remember i forgot my 'x' in my car. i say in a clear voice--"Hay guys, you take the elevator, I forgot my briefcase in the caddy and i half turn so i can keep an eye on them and side, crab-like, walk back to my caddy. which way i half turn depends on which side my EDC is on.
what happens next is that they may disperse cause the know i can recognize them and likely they want a easy score rather than a fight.
if they advance on me, i can not continue to safely retreat so i must be aware of their hands ( was from the start) and it may be time to let them 'see' my EDC. often that sight transcends further conversation. if it fails to cross over the language barrier; than further visual is needed. possibly including noise and an act of self-defense of the violent kind.
good 'scenero as it is a 'has happened'
and i hate parking lots and garages sepecially. it one of the few time i will use my handycapped parking tag even if i am feeling ok. though a elevatot is a choke point. same as an esculator and stairs. i am forever having my j-frame in my left vest pocket when knowing that i am going that day to such an area.
Good realistic scenario, I am with Claude Clay disengage if at all possible if they want to continue the encounter then take appropriate actions.
Sounds like claude clay's got it right to me.
I'm not getting on that elevator...as a woman, I make that decision fairly frequently.
If I noticed the 3 of them...as I should and hope to...as a possible threat, I would keep at least one car between us, shifting between the cars, as I assessed the threat and then took action...retreat back to my vehicle or perhaps an alternate elevator. I would just start looking like I was headed elsewhere in the garage, acknowlege them, but keep something (resembling cover) between us.
My hand is on my gun, in my purse, and it's unlikely they know that.
I say thanks, its a loaner my old chevy is in the shop and I am just dropping off a book to a friend. Then I ask if they are car people and would be interested in meeting up in the future at a car show. No sense in retreating or attacking since so far its been casual questions and no menacing tone or actions. If it walks, quacks, and looks like a duck, treat it as such until it shows its true colors
9MMare your plan has good elements in it--movement. but the downside is the longer you are kept from the relative safety of your vehicle the more they can corral you. . thus why i want to be directly back into my vehical...did i mention that i always ( as is possible) back into a space. it makes exiting easy as you can see better than when you are not reversing. and in this scenario--advancing straight out and possibly into them has little downside.
you have your hand in purse....they see it and know. thieves, yes....stupid, no. the longer you can be maneuvered and not display, the bolder they will become. divide & conquer--if you can not get 2 legged help than 4 wheels locked under you is the next best.
----backup cameras add new elements but time is needed to use them, more time than a visual foward scan takes. perhaps if i grew up with them or practiced more... but they are still a toy to me.
The good news is the Caddy isn't mine. If I get a little blood on the wheels or a few dents or bullet holes in the body, it's insured through someone else. :rofl:
In all seriousness, claude clay has a pretty sound response. Works for me.
One thing changing directions and heading back to your vehicle does is it will often make them reveal their intentions. Another thing, it may let them know you are on to them thus causing them to continue on the prowl and look for another target.
Either way, I'd leave in my car, and call my appointment and let them know I had an altercation in the underground parking and I'd be there as soon as possible. Then I'd look for a different place to park and a different entrance to the building.
Back to the car, I go.
I know you said I've put the keys in my pocket but if I may personalize the scenario a bit, I do not put keys in my purse or pocket until I'm in an establishment or home, whatever. First, I need those keys to unlock doors, etc. Second, keys make GREAT improvised weapons (especially your keys are on a nice hook or fob or key chain that allows you to get good "swing" out of them). Third, keys make great distractions (throw them at someone and they will pretty much always duck). Fourth, if I have to retreat back to my car I can gain access much quicker with a key in my hand vs my pocket or purse.
If they start following/advancing/threatening, then we deal with that as it comes.
I'd keep on going to the elevator. According to the diagram, I would be behind everyone, plus it sounds just like idle chit chat I experience in the parking garages I use all the time at school. I would just keep behind everyone while waiting for the elevator. If anything seemed sketchy, I would just head back to the car because I forgot that ticket you get on entry that you pay on your way back to your car once the elevator came.
I'm going back to the car...if they move towards me, then their intentions are known. In that case, plans change...a warning to stay back is given...an 'official' defense mode begins.:rolleyes:
Hey Y'all. Sounds like the majority has agreed. Find a reason to turn around and head back to the car and disengage once your instincts tell you to do so. Reminds me of a time I was waiting for my manager at 5AM to open a Starbucks in a shopping center with a 24 hr supermarket in it. A "guy" was walking near me and asked if the delivered papers were for sale and I said, sure, just put the money on the top of the pack of papers. Then he asked if I had a light for a cigarette. That is when I quickly "excused" myself and headed toward the light and activity of the supermarket. This never got to the point of a threat or a weapon but there was little doubt in my instincts that if I had continued this conversation in this darkened area away from the supermarket that I would have found out what his next question or action would have been and it was not going to be something I wanted to hear or experience.
The whole issue of a parking garage is one scary scenario, especially if it is at night; the thread's scenario specifically mentions that there is no parking on the street and only the garage. IMO, situational awareness is pereeminent and I would go out of my way to do anything that would preclude a "garage scenario". At 3PM in afternoon it is surprising, but at night I would just not put myself in that kind of situation.
AS others have said, a strategic withdrawal seems wise at this point.
If they follow or advance, move behind the closest cover, warning to "Stop right there" and hand on weapon. If they continue to advance the closest threat gets to see the little bright red dot on his chest with the loud verbal warning of "Stop, or I'll shoot........."
possible response 1) "It's a rental, and it doesn't have a safe for my Glock 30, so I have to carry it on me everywhere. Do you believe they don't have safes in these things?"
or you could take another route
possible response 2) "You boys are cute, do you hear banjo music?" <--- they will likely al jump in the elevator and hit the button and leave you standing there alone.
Now on a more serious note, hit the red panic button and it will force you to have to return to the car and insert the key to get it to stop.