Breaking up a fist fight...

This is a discussion on Breaking up a fist fight... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This actually happened to me a few weeks back. Fortunately, the situation was defused, and no one was hurt, I wasn't even carrying at the ...

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Thread: Breaking up a fist fight...

  1. #1
    Member Array Bardo's Avatar
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    Breaking up a fist fight...

    This actually happened to me a few weeks back. Fortunately, the situation was defused, and no one was hurt, I wasn't even carrying at the time (bar, no CCW yet)... But it got me thinking about what I should do when carrying, should the situation ever occur again.

    To make a long story short, I had a friend who had gotten drunk. (I was not drinking.) He then, subsequently, picked a fight with two other gentlemen. It came very close to actually coming to blows, but I intervened and defused it. Before the defusing, though, threats were made by the other two guys that they would "beat the stuffing" out of my friend in the parking lot.

    So my questions center around the following:

    If I were carrying, should I have intervened? By stepping in, I drew more than a little of the heat myself. They turned at least some of their threats against me. As a carrier, I want to try my damnedest NOT to get into a fight. Should I have just let my drunk friend continue to get in deeper trouble?

    If they had made good on the threats, since it was two on one, would that have been enough disparity of force to justify drawing to put a stop to a beat down? This one, I feel probably not, unless they had him down and were seriously injuring him... But that said... My final question:

    Would you have drawn if they were beating on him? Or just call the police? It's a friend, not a family member, not you yourself.

    It's easier to say "I'm not an LEO, stupid drunk made his bed, now he's gotta lay in it..." when you don't know the drunk personally.

    Of course, I know that the best answer is: Dont go in bars with an idiot friend like this. Yep... I'm with ya there. I likely won't ever again. It's amazing how drunks don't see how much other people actually don't find their behavior to be charming.

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  3. #2
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    You answered your own question. Don't be in that position in the first place.

    If you ARE in that situation for some reason, remember that ANY fight you become involved in has at least one gun present. Is that drunk friend/relative/whatever worth spending the rest of your life in prison if things take the wrong turn? De-escalate if you can, but be very careful about becoming physically involved in what is not really your fight.

    Sometimes the best lesson a drunk can learn is getting his butt kicked.
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  4. #3
    Member Array romansten9's Avatar
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    Probably best to stay out of it, if armed. If your friend looked like he was antagonizing someone in any way, that could be a real bad situation in court if you had a weapon. It could look like both of you were trying to start something, which isn't a good way to prove self defense. It might be a situation for a "less than lethal" weapon, but if things got worse, you might still have to draw your firearm, and if a fight started, there is alway the chance that a gun grab could happen if you got knocked out, or even temporarily dazed.

  5. #4
    Member Array DrahtDog's Avatar
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    Sounds like your buddy is a Delta Bravo. Why get involved armed or not? Maybe try to talk some sense into your friend. What I always used to do was let my friend get beat on a little before I intervened. These days the way I handle those situations is to stay out of enviroments that fights are likely to happen. Like bars. Took me until my mid twenties to learn that one. How would that work out, your buddy starts a fight gets a bad beating and you shoot the other guy. Youll be living in prison from there on out. The best method is dont get involved at all.
    Last edited by DrahtDog; August 7th, 2012 at 01:12 PM.
    The Old Anglo and mr.stuart like this.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array Burns's Avatar
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    1. If you didn't go to the cheapest bar you could find there should have been a bouncer around that would have taken care of all 3 of them...
    2. Alcohol and Firearms don't mix, whether you're drinking, at a bar, or around a bunch of drunk "friends". It's foolish.
    3. If you have a gun and no non-lethal alternative... it is again... foolish.

    If it was my friend who started it, let them go at it... I'm not going to get an assault charge for helping a drunk, whether he's my friend or not.
    If he did not start it, OC spray.
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    A number of years back (in some cases, not THAT many years back), I was in this exact same situation with my best buddy. As a matter of fact, a recurring pattern with this particular friend I grew up with. Seemed every time we got together this would happen. Over the years, I had many outcomes. Sometimes I got pulled into the middle of bar fights. Sometimes I gave the worst of it and sometimes I got the worst of it. At one point, I got tired of his mouth getting ME in trouble. So, the last time it happened, I ended up getting into a fight with my buddy. I told the guys he deserved a butt whoopin, but I was going to be the one giving it to him. They didn't know how to react. After that, I told him he was on his own. His mouth, his problem. I also began to heed "The Stupid Rule." That is, "Don't hang out with stupid people, don't go to stupid places, and don't do stupid things." When I used to hang with him, all three segments ended up out the window. Now, I live 700 miles away. We talk on the phone and catch up on old times. When I go back to see my parents, I might see him for a minute but I don't dare go anywhere with him. It's just not smart.
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  8. #7
    Member Array lordofwyr's Avatar
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    My standard plan if a friend I am with tries to or actually picks a fight with someone or several someones because that friend is drunk, and then complains that I stood by and watched them get their arse handed to them, is, "Sux to be you, huh?"

    A person legally carrying has a much higher standard of staying out of these stupid situations than the general public because of the possibility of escalation from just words and fists to death.

    Believe me, if you let a friend who is drunk drag you into something and you end up having to "shoot to save your or his life," expect to be arrested and charged because your friend "started it in the first place."

    The best course is to try to loudly and profusely apologize to the guys your friend insulted (or whatever caused the problem) so any witnesses will hopefully be able to say that you tried to to deescalate and leave, then try to drag that friend away and let the insulted parties call you whatever words they want, but keep your eyes open so that if they do try to "jump you" in the parking lot, you are prepared.

    Remember there are cameras everywhere these days and it is much easier to explain why you had to draw a weapon when trying to leave and being attacked while trying to retreat than after "jumping in" to stop something your friend antagonized to begin with, because too many street thugs will use that exact same excuse for "jumping in" on a fight, telling the police when they arrive, "I was just protecting my friend." The police usually respond while arresting everyone for fighting in public, "Well, maybe you should have tried to walk away, huh?"

    And if that did happen, when that friend sobers up, they will get an explanation why I will no longer hang out in public with them if they ever get stupid drunk and try to start a fight again.
    mr.stuart, DC and tcox4freedom like this.
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  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Junkyard dog fights are rough. But, they need not involve anyone else. Particularly when a "friend" is the one who picks the fight. You've gotta ask yourself: how much of a "friend" such a person is, who would criminally provoke and assault others then expect you to jump right in. Friends like this can get you killed.

    Got questions about the statutes that cover such criminal provocation in violent assaults? Read through your state's statutes for such crimes, and think really hard about what it could easily mean to you if you were to dive right in.

    Sure, it can be claimed to be "easy" to say keep out of it. IMO, it's also the right thing and the smart thing, let alone being the lawful thing to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bardo View Post
    If they had made good on the threats, since it was two on one, would that have been enough disparity of force to justify drawing to put a stop to a beat down? This one, I feel probably not, unless they had him down and were seriously injuring him...
    A "disparity of force" claim, in a situation where the someone being pounded criminally provoked the assault in the first place? Try that claim in court, to see how far it'll go before splatting on the floor. It wouldn't be the silliest thing to claim, but it would come close.
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  11. #10
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    Don't break up the fight. Call the police, announce that you are doing so. Then get a new friend.
    BkCo1, James702, atctimmy and 3 others like this.

  12. #11
    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    You answered your own question. Don't be in that position in the first place.

    If you ARE in that situation for some reason, remember that ANY fight you become involved in has at least one gun present. Is that drunk friend/relative/whatever worth spending the rest of your life in prison if things take the wrong turn? De-escalate if you can, but be very careful about becoming physically involved in what is not really your fight.

    Sometimes the best lesson a drunk can learn is getting his butt kicked.
    Well said comments. I would add that having "buddies" who get drunk and pick fights with others is not a buddy, he is a liability that you will find out about someday. It never ceases to amaze me how some forum members seem to be proud to ask questions like this as if there is an answer that will verify their choices in their lives and their friends---you tell this story and you have a firearm on you?

  13. #12
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    Yep, sounds like you answered your own question. And just follow the stupid rules and you'll stay clear of almost all these situations.

    I've only been carrying since febuary. I used to be one of the bar crowd and most my friends still are. Its funny though, how much this really will change your life. You see things in a whole different view. I have only been in a bar maybe twice since (of course not carrying). Its just not my scene or really who I am anymore. I do have a 1yr old daughter that has just as much impact on this as well though. I'd bet you'll start to find you'll just naturally avoid those situations once you start carrying.
    The stupidity of some people NEVER ceases to amaze me.

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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    There seems to be a recurring theme on the answers...
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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  15. #14
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    If your friend has a personality trait where he gets mean, antagonistic & likes to pick fights when he gets intoxicated then one of these days he is going to get drunk and he is going to start on you.
    Find a new friend before you start carrying a firearm or one of these days you might need to shoot this one when he decides to start wailing at you with a baseball bat over some really silly and stupid issue.
    tcox4freedom likes this.
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  16. #15
    Ex Member Array ComplexKaos's Avatar
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    I hope you wouldn't let your friend drunk or not get beat up by two guys. If you would, that's a punk move by not helping him regardless of his situation. It shouldn't even be a question, of course you intervene if its your friend against multiple guys.

    Perhaps your hands aren't as good as your trigger finger, because anyone can sling bullets but not everyone can sling knuckles. Not trying to start anything but the fact that you are questioning helping a friend rubs me the wrong way, it should be automatic.

    If anything physically remove him from the situation as fast as you can like you did and from there don't go out with him anymore when he wants to drink.

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