Uncle was kidnapped
Its been a long time since I have posted on this forum, but recently my uncle was kidnapped (on September 28th) on the way back from his office and I thought I needed to vent and share some learnings from his experience. Sorry if this is another long one.
Background: I live in a third world country and street crime (cell phone snatchings, armed robberies, muggings, and even kidnappings) are unfortunately all too common and I feel that the story I am sharing with you today seems straight from the movies. However, it is all too real where I live. Despite this, there is a huge reluctance on the part of my family and good people in general to not defend themselves with guns and hope and pray that if they are ever held up if they cooperate, all will go well and the perps will leave them alone. This story proves otherwise. I have also been held up inside my car in broad daylight once and have shared that story on this forum. My uncle is generally very alert and aware of the horrible situations and usually carries his handgun at night when traveling with his family, but does not carry regularly or to his business.
Anyways, my uncle on his way back from work at around 3:30 pm and out of nowhere (at a busy intersection) a motorcycle pulled in front of him forcing him to stop the car really fast.
The guy got off his bike and approached the driverís side window (I donít know if he displayed his weapon) and my uncle immediately became aware of the situation and opened his window (completely) and quickly handed over his wallet and cellular phone and wristwatch. (My uncle thought this was another simple street mugging and the guys would leave him after taking his valuables).
Instead, the perp hit the central door lock opening the doors to the car. Two other accomplices (who my uncle said he had not seen) immediately got into the car (one from the passengerís side, and the other into the rear seat). The guy in the rear seat pistol whipped my uncle on the back of the neck and my uncle lost his glasses and became disoriented. Then the guy in the back seat, pulled my uncle to the back using sheer strength (My uncle is five foot four inches and does not weight a lot). Once in the back, he pistol whipped my uncle again on the side of the head just above the eye to further weaken him. My uncle, although disoriented, was still fighting and grabbed the seat back to pull himself up, so the guy pistol whipped him a third time on his arm to make him let go. After this, my uncle said the fight left him for a brief few minutes and the guy put him face down onto the floor of the car and put his feet on him. By this time the car had started driving already and he was being kidnapped. Two of the perps were speaking a language which my uncle also happened to understand. He said that after driving for around 15 minutes, one perp said that they should put him into the trunk of the car. After hearing this, my uncle told me that he know he had to escape because these guys were professional kidnappers and they would take him to some place out of the city where they would really bargain for ransom.
Upon hearing this, my uncle somehow managed to muster enough strength and he said that as he felt the car slowing to take a left turn, he got up, hit the guy who was in the back, opened the right hand side door, and jumped out of the moving car to save his life. He said he landed really hard on his right shoulder and rolled. As he came to a stop, he says that he was lucky since he landed in front of a building where there was an armed security guard who came over to help him immediately. The perps slowed down apparently to see if they could pick him up again. The guy asked my uncle who he was and why these guys had thrown him out of the car. My uncle quickly told him that he was being kidnapped and asked which part of the city he was in. Once he found out where he was he immediately tried to call my other uncle to inform him what just happened. My uncle said that he was soo shaken that he took at least five minutes just to recall my second uncleís phone number although it was really easy number to remember.
Anyways, my second uncle arrived and took him to the hospital to have his eye checked out, and by this time, the local police were alerted and the head of the local precinct (also known as the Station House Officer, SHO) came along questioning him as to what had happened. Here is the kicker: the cops knew exactly who did it, how they did it (modus operandi), and showed my uncle mug shots of the perps. Then they informed him that these guys were fresh out on bail for the same crime and were apparently working their wares in another part of town. He also informed my uncle that they also had a following car in which there were two other perps and from which most likely the accomplices, who entered the car, showed up from.
Firstly, I thank god that my uncle is safe and alive. He has a wife and daughter who were completely devastated to see the extent of his injuries. He is saying that he is going back to work on Monday because the best thing he can do is to go about his life normally and try to forget that he has been given a second chance.
Secondly, I have run this scenario over and over hundreds of times in my mind and really asked myself, what would I have done differently to prevent being kidnapped? The most obvious solution is situational awareness, however on a very busy street that is not always possible. I also learned that one should never roll your window down completely and assume that the perps will leave once you hand over your cash. Lastly, one should be armed ALL THE TIME. Lastly, no matter how much I pray that me and my family stay safe and avoid any mishap, I now have this unavoidable feeling that sooner or later I will have to draw my weapon and try to save my life. I have related another story about my colleagues as well that makes me feel this way. Anyways, how would you do things differently and prevent becoming a statistic.
First thing, I'm very grateful and appreciative that your Uncle is okay. I wish him a speedy recovery.
I don't even know how to armchair this one, and I'm excited about learning from the opinions and advice from more experienced members of the forum. I guess your Uncle could have acclerated and pushed the bike out of the way. Once in the vehicle it seemed he did the best he could. Maybe things would have went smoother for him if he had a knife. HE could have jabbed the guy in the neck before exiting, which would have made sure he got out of the vehicle before being grabbed again.
Glad he's okay, though. Most important thing.
I guess, if this is a not uncommon practice in your neck of the woods, your first and best option is to drive the car.
If a motorcyclist cuts me off, stops abruptly, dismounts immediately, and starts toward my car, I'm going around him, his bike and driving straight to a precinct house. I might do this even in a major city in the US...
This is why:
Busy street, motorcycle sharing lanes (not uncommon here either), zips in front of my car and stops abruptly forcing me to stop likewise. Sharing lanes is a means of "doing better" than the bumper to bumper traffic, getting somewhere before the rest of the herd.
But now the guy stops in front of my car. He's not trying to beat me home, he's after me. I have not hit his bike, I have not interacted with him. He is not apparently going home, he's doing something "funky." I don't know what it is.
If, as he gets off the bike, it looks like he's menacing, again for no apparent reason, we can sort this out at a cop shop. If he is displaying a weapon (even more menacing), I'm driving out... over his bike, over him, through whatever I have to to get out of there. AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.
I'm sure your uncle will start carrying more often now... and when he drives... he needs to have the gun immediately available at all times... Between the seat cushion and the console or door (if left handed). Don't get into the car with the gun in a tuckable holster at 4:00 all tucked in and invisible... buy or make a holster for the vehicle that puts it within IMMEDIATE reach.
If he has been targeted because he is a successful business man, he may be at further risk even though he got away this time.
Why would you drive the car against a gun? Well, beats he heck out of rolling down the window and giving everything away. What if he wants the car, too? Or to kidnap the driver. The bad guy is pointing a gun? He's gonna miss if I'm moving... the first shot may glance off the windshield anyway, depending on his angle. Once the windshield is cracked, then it can give way, but you gotta breach it first.
If the car is automatic shift, easy, floor it.... If manual tranny, on stopping: go to first gear and keep your foot on the clutch, your hand on the shifter. drop the clutch, floor the gas, ready to go to second if needed.
DRIVE THE CAR... Drive it to the police station... drive like a maniac... get there. If you are boxed in by other vehicles, or if it is cars and not a motorcycle blocking you to perpetrate the crime... Drive through the cars... unless the cars are much larger than yours, you can push them out of the way... IF you can't, then go to the gun...
Live to tell the tale, or die like a viking..
But just because I think I'm going to be robbed I'm not going to hand over everything I have before the scene has even developed...
If street muggings are that common... they are common because people are just used to quickly handing over their wallets, cel phones and watches at the first sign of trouble... If I'm inside a slow-moving-big-bullet (a car) ain't no way I'm just rolling down my window and handing over all I got... Unless the car is surrounded by a bunch of guys pointing AKs at me.
there was a better video/interview with the Blackwater crew teaching driving skills posted here a while back... This is the only video I could find that shows how to drive out of a boxed in trap... maybe someone knows where the other vid is and can link to it... here's what I could find: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P8bQxfNRFY
I agree with the above two, A knife would of come in handy at close quarter since they wanted him alive with pistol whipping him only he could of necked the guy in the back and tried his luck with the two in front. but I am happy he made it out alive. I am across the border from mexico where the same thing is happening on both sides of the fence.
Thanks for your input and kind wishes for my uncle i think a knife in this situation would be invaluable.
I have to ask what does it take to get a legal firearm in Pakistan?
Didn't you say he willingly rolled his window down? First thing, DO NOT ROLL THE WINDOW DOWN! It is a barrier (albeit, a defeatable one) that could buy him the seconds he needs to get rolling again.
Can you get any type of defensive spray there?
Mace, capsicum (pepper gas), CN, CS? Heck a water gun with ammonia or bug spray.