Update- Startled at home this morning

This is a discussion on Update- Startled at home this morning within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This morning at 3 am I was immediately awoken by someone pounding on my front door. I'm not talking knocking, I mean pounding so loud ...

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Thread: Update- Startled at home this morning

  1. #1
    Member Array ponchsox's Avatar
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    Update- Startled at home this morning

    This morning at 3 am I was immediately awoken by someone pounding on my front door. I'm not talking knocking, I mean pounding so loud it sounded like someone was trying to crash my door down. This proceeded for about fifteen seconds. There were no voices or other sounds during the pounding on my door.

    I immediately grabbed my pistol and flashlight and proceeded to search and assess. I peeked out the front window and nobody was standing at my front door. About a minute after the knocking ended, I heard a woman screaming for help in the distance (sounded like a few houses down the street, not on my property).

    Ten minutes later, there were four police cars and a rescue truck at my neighbors house. I did go outside at this point to see what was going on, but I still couldn't tell what happened.

    My question is, when is it ever safe to go outside in a situation like this? If I need to help a neighbor, of course I want to do everything I can. In this situation, I still didn't know what was going on and didn't feel safe roaming outside in the dark when there could be a possible threat.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by ponchsox; January 28th, 2012 at 11:28 AM.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Tzadik's Avatar
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    Arm yourself and crack open a window to ask what it is and take it from there . Don't open the door 'til you know what it is.

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    Member Array TaterSalad's Avatar
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    IMHO,

    I think the answer in part lies within how your house/apt is designed. How big is the front porch and where could a BG possibly be hiding? Before opening the door can you see what lies beyond the door frame, do you have those little vertical windows next to the door where you can look to the left and right, or do you just have a little peep-hole to look threw. Also, do you have a storm door/screen door - something to act as an extra barrier?

    These things would affect my decision on whether or not to unlatch the dead-bolt.

  5. #4
    Member Array lordofwyr's Avatar
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    Pounding on the front door can be someone needing help, but why are they not also screaming for help or for someone to call 911 while they are pounding?

    It could also be the drunk neighbor thinking they are at the right house, not understanding why their key is not working, and hoping to wake their spouse to get inside.

    And it could also be someone waiting for you to open the door so they can "jump you" unexpectedly when you do open the door.

    These are all good reasons for a good motion sensor light on the porch (comes on when they step up so not alerting them that you have now arrived in the fatal funnel of the door), a peephole you can see clearly out of to check the porch, and a nice clear field of view.

    Should you go out? I really don't think so. Why? Well:

    1. Once you open that door, what is outside may come inside very fast, and even if you are armed, if you get knocked down, it becomes a scramble. If my family is inside, I don't want the chance to open up and let someone run in. There are plenty of instances of crazed (drunken or hopped up on dope) persons doing lots of damage before being brought down by weapons, and I would prefer they do that outside.

    2. If curiosity makes you want to see, a window is just as good as an open door and though it can be easily broken out, it is a psychological barrier to a lot of criminals who don't want to go through broken glass.

    3. When (if) the police arrive, they will have enough problems trying to figure out who is a good guy and who is the bad guy. You may get detained, searched, weapon confiscated (temporarily I hope), etc. just because the bad guy description fits your looks at the moment.

    If you exit to help someone, I would almost suggest (apartment dwellers can usually forget this) exiting through another door if you want to do that and come up on them quietly from another unexpected location (We called this Star Trekking years ago - you just materialize out of nowhere to them). Doing that you might just see the second or third bad guy hiding in the bushes or yard out of sight. It also allows you more freedom of movement than most home entry doors.

    Remember that once outside,if you have to draw down on or shoot someone, arriving police will only see a dark figure with a gun, they will point their weapons at you and hopefully disarm you without too much issue and discover you are a good guy, but remember, they may only have a report of a disturbance and suspect anyone out there as the bad guy. And never argue with the cops about your being the good guy while that gun is in your hand. Just obey their orders to the T.

    Yeah, I know, I sound paranoid. But I live and have lived in some places where not everything that goes bump in the night is the neighbor's cat coming through my dog door to eat out of my dog's food bowl.
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    Generally, I would say it is not a good idea to open the door.
    But being able to see those who approach our front door and I do open it, my firearm is on my person and my Irish Wolfhound is right there wondering who it is...I've not seen anyone NOT step back with her in the doorway yet.
    Someone pounding on my door in the middle of the night is probably going to have a 911 call placed if I cannot determine who it is.
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    JMO, but don't open the door. Pounding on the door at 3AM is going to generate a 911 call. As to the woman screaming for help. If you followed what was said in the first part of the response, 911 has already been called. Stay inside, there are too many possibilities for the screams.

    1- Domestic disput, which I will not become involved in.
    2- Accomplice trying to lure someone outside for her partner.
    3- Someone actually in distress, while I may feel bad afterwards, but what were they doing out or opening the door at 3 AM for?

    Just like a BG is responsible for their actions. Their victims in 99% of the cases are responsible for their own last of SA and/or preparation.
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    Lets just say that cops arrive down the street and you step out to see whats up,next thing you know guy comes sprinting around the corner with a gun,he has the drop on you and now forces you back in your house where you now become a hostage held by the guy that just shot his GF and the Cops were looking for.
    I bet about that time your wishing you never opened the door and walked outside
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    Senior Member Array Dadsnugun's Avatar
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    Many if not most of the home invasion news items that I've read begin with the statement "The victim heard a loud banging at the door and when he went to investigate was confronted by 'X' number of attackers who forced their way into his house...." I second the call 911 and arm yourself and be prepared to repel intruders train of thought.
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    Member Array ponchsox's Avatar
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    Update- I let my dogs out this morning and I found women's cosmetics dumped on the grass on the side of my house. It appears she was escaping a domestic assault situation and was looking for help.

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    Member Array ncsteveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponchsox View Post
    Update- I let my dogs out this morning and I found women's cosmetics dumped on the grass on the side of my house. It appears she was escaping a domestic assault situation and was looking for help.
    Go ask any officer what is the worst type of call that can go sideways in an instant, as a untrained civilian do you really want to insert yourself into something like this?

    Someone banging on my door @ 3am = me phoning 911 while holding my 870.

  12. #11
    Member Array TSKnight's Avatar
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    ponchsox

    Update- I let my dogs out this morning and I found women's cosmetics dumped on the grass on the side of my house. It appears she was escaping a domestic assault situation and was looking for help.

    Been there, done that with the domestic assault thing. NOT a good idea to get involved if at all avoidable. IMO
    In my case, the girl I helped left the jerk, about a year later he decided to pay his respects to me for messing up his relationship. Everything turned out OK, but it is not something I ever want to go through again.

    If you ever do get involved in a domestic assault situation, keep your head on a swivel afterwards because lots of these people have long memories and tend to blame others for the problems they caused themselves.

    Just my two bits worth.
    Last edited by SIXTO; January 30th, 2012 at 01:40 AM.
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    Once the police arrived, your going outside was mostly to satisfy your personal curiosity. What's the expression? Curiosity killed the cat."

    If the police need to talk to you they will find their way to your front door.

    If you feel you need to report what happened so the folks who responded know, why not use the non-emergency number and make a call?

    Going outside seems a big mistake for this scenario.
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    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    I gotta agree with all the posts that say call 911 and do not go outside unless you can see the entire area! Let the LEOs handle any domestic dispute situations! You do NOT want to get involved! I have a security storm door in both the front and the back, so I can open the inner doors and no one is going to just "rush" in! Even so, I'm opening the inner door with a .45 in one hand and am not opening the deadbolt on the security door unless I know the person who is on my porch! And they better have a darn good reason for beating on my door a 3 am.
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    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Very helpful thread. I can always use suggestions on this kind of thing.
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  16. #15
    Member Array ponchsox's Avatar
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    It looks like she also went around the back of my house and try to get in through the sliding glass door. I could see fresh fingerprints on the glass. Thank God it was locked (like it always is) or else this could have ended very badly.

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