December 5th, 2011 12:14 AM
Scary situation! Need some advice
I'll admit, this one scared me. It just goes to show you NEVER know.
This story happened to me about 4 hour ago. It really bothered me and the more I replayed it the more it bugged me. All of this happened VERY quickly. I'll be as detailed as possible, but remember this all happened in about 5 seconds.
I was out riding my motorcycle with my buddy Chris downtown. We stopped and grabbed some dinner, it was about 7pm when we started to head back home. There was a football game in town today so there were some people still lingering in the streets after the game. As we turned out of the parking deck we headed north towards an intersection which was about 1/10 mile ahead of us. There was very little traffic except for a bus coming in our direction in the opposite lane.
We started to accelerate slowly and all of a sudden I see a guy, mid/late 20's, waving his arms and screaming STOP! He runs out into the street right in front of the bus (this happened at a crosswalk at the intersection) The bus slams on his brakes and had to swerve into the other lane to avoid nailing him. He continues screaming STOP STOP STOP while waving his arms wildly over his head. I notice this and I immediately assume he's drunk yelling at someone behind me because he's looking in my direction. I had NO idea who this guy was, and I was positive he didn't know me. He gets directly in my path and stops. Staring directly at me he is flailing his arms and screaming STOP at the top of his lungs. I was already going slow, maybe 10mph, so I slowed down to avoid hitting this guy. As I slow to almost a complete stop he starts running at me. He wasn't saying anything, he just had a drunken look on his face and he was headed in my direction. It was at this time I notice 3 of his friends approaching in a half-trot, and one more of his buddies staying on the corner staring in my direction.
All in one motion I applied the brakes, hit the kill switch with my right thumb (I couldn't remember if i was in gear or not, so I didn't want to risk letting go, popping the clutch and dropping the bike - that would not be good if i needed to make a quick getaway), straddled the bike and stood up. My left hand immediately covered my Ruger that I keep at 9o'clock. At this time the guy immediately stops dead in his tracks, and his friends start screaming "he's drunk, he's drunk, we've been drinking all day watching football, he's drunk etc, etc". I literally didn't open my mouth once, I just stood there for a second, covering my pistol. I never swept my sweatshirt, I never had to draw - no one ever saw a gun at all...I just had my hand covering the pistol and I was ready. His buddies grab him and continue to cross the street, they all just looked like they were shocked that I had a pistol. I didn't say a word, they all scurried away repeating (yelling) "man he's drunk, that's all, he's been drinking all day watching football".
By this time the light had turned red, so since they were walking away I didn't feel like it was necessary to run the light. As the light turned green we pulled away and headed home.
I'll admit, it was unsettling. I think what bothered me the most was not knowing what his intentions were. The first thought I had was he was about to throw a haymaker at me and try to knock me off my bike. I didn't know if he liked my bike so much maybe he thought he needed to take it for a ride? It really wasn't until I noticed 4 of them approaching me that I started to think that this could be REALLY bad. When you're on a bike you are NOT in a position to engage someone in a fight. You will get knocked over, and you will probably end up on the bottom of a 200 degree engine while someone is stomping your face in.
After that I started to second guess myself. I thought - Maybe he just wanted a closer look? Maybe he was going to complement me. I started feeling very guilty then wondered if I'd overreacted by reaching for my pistol.
I asked my buddy Chris if he thought I'd overreacted and he immediately said he had reached for his Glock at the exact same time. He felt that I'd done EXACTLY what anyone should have done. Chris said he assumed I knew them the way they came running at me, he thought they were buddies from work or something, because there is no way a stranger would do that. Once they got closer and I reacted, he realized that I didn't know them, Chris said he also thought the guy was about to clobber me.
I relayed the story to my brother and this was his insight: Have you ever seen a bike you thought was so cool you were willing to run out in traffic to get a closer look at it? Obviously the answer is NO. Have you ever drank too much, then wanted to hit someone so bad that you'd be willing to run out in traffic to get a cheap-shot? Well, I never have, but I could see that happening! He concluded that the guy probably saw us pulling out of the garage and was going to try to try to punk the "tough-guy bikers" in front of his buddies. (just to clarify we are in no way tough guy bikers haha)
I have replayed the incident a thousand times in my head. It all happened so fast - I just reacted. I didn't want to be a victim and my bike get stolen by some drunken punks...but I also didn't want to have to draw my pistol and shoot anyone!
I think the main lesson I learned is to NEVER stop. If I would have been going a little faster, or had a little more room to maneuver I would have kept going...but he had me pinned in and I didn't want to wreck and injure both of us.
What do you guys think? did I overreact? I know it's hard to tell b/c no one was there, but any feedback is appreciated!
December 5th, 2011 12:31 AM
Since no deadly threat was presented you may want to use this as a good reason to add a less than lethal alternative to a firearm such as pepper spray. Weak side and if he kept coming then use some chemical persuasion to get past him and roll.
Things like this do have a tendency to unnerve you but you lived through it without ending up in the morgue or jail. Round out the tool box and enjoy.
December 5th, 2011 12:38 AM
Thanks for the story.
In my mind, you did exactly what you had to do to go home, no more and no less. Drunk or not you still don't know what their real intentions were..... But whatever they were doesn't matter now. Good Job!
Stop whining and go do something that makes a difference!
If you think that I may be talking to you, then I am.
December 5th, 2011 12:50 AM
And on another note, the scenario could have been different. Say the guy waving his arms had a knife. At just a few yards away he would have become a deadly threat in mere seconds.
Originally Posted by NC Bullseye
“I am consistently on record and will continue to be on record as opposing concealed carry.”
- Barack Obama Chicago Tribune, April 27, 2004
December 5th, 2011 01:20 AM
I second this.
Originally Posted by AZJD1968
December 5th, 2011 01:34 AM
Sounds like you're on a 4-lane (at least) on your bike with no traffic oncoming since the bus is stopped in front of you. "Never stop" sounds like a winner because a moving target is much harder to hit. If anything, I think you under-reacted with your driving. Might you have pulled a U turn to avoid stopping, if you're truly pinned in your current direction of travel? You did fine with ready on the grip of your Ruger. Glad it worked out for you. Relax.
Originally Posted by marklind
Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
-Blackstone’s Commentaries 145–146, n. 42 (1803) in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
December 5th, 2011 01:37 AM
Sounds like a set up that failed. Why were his "buddies" not yelling for him to get out of the street? If he was really that drunk would he have noticed you putting your hand on your gun?
I am not a bike rider so don't know what you could have done. But it you could have gotten around him or even turned around yourself that would be my advise.
Chance he will get your tag number and claimed you threaten him with a gun. Therefore, it might have been wise for you to call the police. Those who call police first are generally considered the victim.
December 5th, 2011 02:06 AM
Originally Posted by Tally XD
There was no weapon displayed as per the OPs post.
You don't invoke deadly force based on what could happen. You don't use deadly force to counter verbal threats. You will be judged on how you decide to defend yourself. It would be a hard row to hoe if there was no deadly weapon other than yours involved.
If you are the one that introduces deadly force into a situation guess who would be justified if one of the drunk's friends happened to also be a concealed permit holder and shoots you?
A less than lethal alternative is far more likely to be needed and also a lot easier to justify.
If the only tool you have is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail.
December 5th, 2011 02:45 AM
In a case such as this would pepper spray be justified? Would it be legal to use?
Originally Posted by NC Bullseye
December 5th, 2011 03:20 AM
Technically, he didn't invoke deadly force; he simply put his hand on the grip of his gun without showing it to anyone. It's actually a very smart thing to do, as most assailants will understand exactly what you are doing by placing your hand behind your back, but the act in and of itself does not "invoke deadly force."
Originally Posted by NC Bullseye
Your if/when question on justification doesn't really work in my mind; those types of questions are always "solved" in courtrooms.
Besides, I don't have the pocket space to be carrying around pepper spray, nor do I want to mess with that stuff; that's what my fists, elbows, knees, feet, etc., are for.
Move. Shoot. Survive.
― The "Unofficial" Suarez International Doctrine
“The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection.”
― Thomas Paine
December 5th, 2011 07:31 AM
My thoughts on attempting to drive by the guy is that it might be easier for the drunk to unseat you if your moving forward. A good clothesline stiff arm as you drive by and your going down. Then your on the ground, possible injured and the guy and his friends could just jump on you. I think stopping and gaining a good footing is a good decision.
Putting you hand on the gun, ready to draw was also good. By not actually drawing you did not risk a brandishing charge and we still ready to go if needed. Hopefully the guys buddies will sober him up and tell him to stop being a jerk, explain how close he came to getting shot.
December 5th, 2011 08:29 AM
My brother and his friends used to like to ride bikes (i.e., bicycles) as their main means of transportation in a rough east-coast city. Courier style, no brakes, etc. Every now and then, as they were peddling along in a less-than-great neighborhood, someone would unfold himself from a front stoop and seem to be trying to intercept them, whether as a mugging or showing off for his friends or whatever. My brother was talking to one of his fellow cyclists about this, and trying to figure out what the best response is (you're a little vulnerable, because some of those streets are narrow, so a person on foot has a decent chance of intercepting you). His friend said that's an easy one: get low, get up on your pedals, speed up, aim right for the guy, and watch him switch his plan from attack to getting the hell out of the way.
I'm not saying that would be appropriate here, but it does seem—given the whole risk of clotheslining—that you are least vulnerable on a two-wheeled vehicle when you have that front wheel between you and the possible attacker. Now, if it's a drunk, will he recognize the spot he's in? Possibly not. Judgment call.
December 5th, 2011 08:45 AM
What kept you from making a U-turn?
Or driving up on the sidewalk to get away?
I don't know if that was feasible, just asking.
December 5th, 2011 08:59 AM
it could have been that the guy yelling "stop" was in need of aid.. the "buddies" may not have been his friends..
by stopping you were able to learn quickly if that was the case..
December 5th, 2011 09:37 AM
Difficult situation to advise on. I would point out that some people here have suggested putting his hand on his gun would be deadly force. But most states make a distinction between "deadly force" and "threat of deadly force." Even if he had drawn his gun and pointed it right at the drunk man, it would still only be considered "threat of deadly force" unless he pulled the trigger. Being that they were outnumbered, I'd say disparity of force was present and I doubt any jury would convict somebody over using threat of deadly force in this situation.
The main problem is determining what their motives were. Nobody knows for sure. But it seemed pretty obvious that they were watching closely and recognized the defense posture of reaching for a gun. Had the OP waited any longer or been less obvious about what he was doing, things might have escalated quickly and there would have been no going back. As it is, everybody got to go home without anyone being hurt or in jail.
"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato
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