Multiple perps in the park at picnic time: what to do?

Multiple perps in the park at picnic time: what to do?

This is a discussion on Multiple perps in the park at picnic time: what to do? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Scenario: Armed assault in a large, grassy park at picnic time Here's the scene: Neighborhood park with ~30 people sprinkled across the lawn and under ...

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Thread: Multiple perps in the park at picnic time: what to do?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Question Multiple perps in the park at picnic time: what to do?

    Scenario: Armed assault in a large, grassy park at picnic time

    Here's the scene:
    • Neighborhood park with ~30 people sprinkled across the lawn and under the trees, most having an early picnic meal with family or friends. A few seem to be catching the last of the afternoon sunlight. A few children play here and there (frisbee, running with a dog, chasing each other, etc). A couple of bicyclists meander along the sidewalk that curves along through the center of the park, amongst the many trees.
    • Two fairly strong-looking young men approach from the far side of the park, moving purposefully and tightly together, but otherwise dressed casually like everyone else. For some reason, their "focus" seems a bit out of place, compared to everyone else.
    • Two other guys are approaching a family directly ahead of you, from behind, making a B-line for the "father" type on the picnic blanket about 50ft away from where you've been sitting.
    • Both of these men draw handguns and begin threatening the family. You distinctly hear the "father" (?) say: "Please, don't hurt my family." Immediately, one of the guys clops the man upside the head with the butt of the gun, though the man is still sitting up after the strike. The two children have gathered around the "mother."
    • To your left, out of the corner of your eye, you see the earlier two men begin running to the right and begin spreading out to either side of "the action." Both have drawn a handgun. Neither has said a word, yet.
    • You're armed. Your spouse is armed. You're both well-trained and competent, citizens with your CCW/CHL. No attention has been paid to you, yet.


    Ding: Describe/discuss what you see, why you think it's as you see it, and what you would do ... in specific detail, focusing on your rationale for doing whatever it is you choose to do.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  2. #2
    Lead Moderator
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    Find good cover, call 911. You are out manned(gunned) .
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    On first suspecting something was wrong I would have my wife ready with a phone & moving toward my truck for cover & additional firepower.

    I keep a truck gun & when engaging multiple BGs w/handguns I would want to be better armed & a rifle would fit that bill. Outmanned....maybe, but when children are involved you don't have much choice but to aid.

    Once sure of my targets & that something bad is unfolding WITH CHILDREN INVOLVED, there would be BGs under fire!

    (now I might have to upgrade my truck gun to an AR.....)
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    Tip one of those picnic tables over or find some kind of cover. Get your family OUT OF THERE. Get cell out and call 911. Have the gun in hand. Keep an eye on the action from between the slats in the table or around the cover.
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  5. #5
    Lew
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    From the mental image of what you describe,

    1. I see two separate groups of 2 bad guys. (Working together as a unit)

    2. I have a partner with fire arm and training. (Capability of 2 fields of fire.)

    So in the micro analysis, can you, alone, combat 2 individuals at once. Yes. Can the partner? If yes continue with combat. Chris's "call it as you see it..."

    If well trained I believe simultainous intervention is possible in the situation. My wife is not yet up to speed on this type of situation. Untill I can get her trained, I don't know as I could be very effective in the open. I would have to deal with both fronts.

    So for me and my wife, we would run like hell for cover. I suspect that this is a planned kidnapping/assult, hopefully, the lookouts are trying to simply 'cover' their activity and not elimination of witnesses.

    If cover is achieved, then 911 would be the wifes task. I would be look out, and leader of the escape.

    To this day, I do not like open public spaces. Not to say that I won't go to them, I do, I just don't like them.
    There are 2 types of people, victims and the prepared. I choose to be prepared....

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    First off, I would get my family on the cellphone with 911 and headed away from the threat. I would have my wife (since in this scenario, she is armed) cover her and my children's retreats.

    The 2 closest to the family have already committed a violent felony (Aggravated assault/ assault w/ a deadly weapon) against a family with children present and are definitely capable of deadly violence (being armed). That establishes in my mind, the requisite reasonable perceived imminent threat against a third party. The law is clear. I would seek cover and identify myself (depending on other factors), draw and double tap the 2 BG's closest to the family.

    The 2 that are flanking, could either be more BG's, LEO's, or just armed citizens. Upon ID'ing myself, they had BETTER either drop their weapons, ID themselves, or otherwise comply.

    A violent act like that described, by someone armed, against a family with children present would be in mind, very legally, morally, and ethically justified, and COULD NOT (even if not LEO) allow it to progress any further. This is one of many scenarios I hope never to have to experience, however.

    Charlie
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  7. #7
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    A common theme around here seems to be "things are not always how you percieve them."

    As you describe it, it appears to me that the two men directly assaulting the family are indeed BG's. cops don't (shouldn't) act that way during a public arrest, if that's what it was.

    The other two guys (I'll call them the walkers), who had been walking across the park together are a total unknown. They could be reinforcements, or they could be just two friends who were cutting across the park to go eat, both of whom had CCW's, and saw the same things unfold that you did. Maybe they decided to intervene, and are spreading out in preparation for attacking the other two guys.

    Being "focused" doesn't necessarily mean they're on their way to trouble. Isn't always being focused and attentive a goal for all of us?

    So, as I see it, before you should involve yourself, you have to know the intent of the two walkers, and you must have a good position. Because the BG's haven't begun shooting people yet, I would make for the nearest cover that would keep all four individuals in my field of view, and have the wife/gf call 911. My hand would be on my gun for sure, but it would stay holstered until I got to cover, and could watch how the walkers interacted with the BG's.

    If the walkers come up behind the family and start dragging them off, unfortunately, I think all I can do is memorize their faces and the vehicle they get into. 4 armed men vs 1 is not good odds, especially with hostages in close proximity. That is, provided people don't start shooting. In that case, the situation would get real ugly real fast and there's no telling who would end up shot/dead.

    If the walkers are confrontational with the BG's, then I would probably circle to a good angle, and approach with cell phone clearly visible and gun drawn but behind my leg, yelling for them to step away from the family on the ground and that the police are on their way. This should be enough to identify me as not being a threat to the walkers (though I'd still try to keep an eye on them).

    After that, hopefully, the police would arrive soon, but until then the BG's have 3 armed citizens holding them at gunpoint, and hopefully will not try anything dumb.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Only Glock View Post
    This is one of many scenarios I hope never to have to experience, however.
    Yeah. Which is why I posed it. I can't think through some of the options, as they're just too darned difficult to imagine any positive outcome. One-on-many, I cannot see winning, not in the open park with minimal cover and families all around. Two-on-many, though, the odds begin to change, particularly if well-trained and the moment the other two's identities are clear. Either way, rough with just handguns. Hm. Mulling ...
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  9. #9
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    Four armed men working as a team to take down a family on a picnic?? I'm not sure this is a scenario anyone is likely to face. A lone drugged out idiot or mentally deranged person, more probable. At any rate I have to protect my family first. From there I would call 911 from a safe vantage point and try to be a good witness. No way could I even think about getting into a shootout with 4 armed men without a long gun, even then it would be last resort.

    A single BG is a much different situation to me. If he starts to shoot up this family and I would have to see if my practice is going to pay off.

    J.S.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=ccw9mm;206251]Scenario: Armed assault in a large, grassy park at picnic time

    .[*]Both of these men draw handguns and begin threatening the family. You distinctly hear the "father" (?) say: "Please, don't hurt my family." Immediately, one of the guys clops the man upside the head with the butt of the gun, though the man is still sitting up after the strike. The two children have gathered around the "mother."[*]To your left, out of the corner of your eye, you see the earlier two men begin running to the right and begin spreading out to either side of "the action." Both have drawn a handgun. Neither has said a word, yet.

    Do you plainly hear the threat and what is said or could it be police in the act of an arrest of a know felon, could it be a bounty hunter after a bail jumper, at this point you really don't know do you?
    You don't know anything about the second two guys at all other than they have guns.

    You get you and your family safe first. Then you call 911, and continue to watch what is happening.

    "Once sure of my targets & that something bad is unfolding WITH CHILDREN INVOLVED, there would be BGs under fire!"

    Hope you don't shoot a cop, or some other innocent person, not knowing exactly what is going down and not being sure of what is happening. What difference does it make if a child or some other innocent person is in danger, an innocent life it an innocent life, none more or less valuable than another in my opinion.

    I certainly would not be hiding behind any picnic table that could be turned over that easily, it would certainly be easy to shoot through.

    Since we started out 50 ft away to begin with and took additional cover, or moved away, I can't tell you how far a shot I might be forced to try to take at this point, and who if any I would be engaging. I would have to wait and see what played out and if I would engage or just ensure the safety of my family at this point.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    If you don't know exacty what is going on, you're asking for trouble if you get involved.

    As far as expecting the "runners" to comply with your wishes, they may be thinking the same thing. You don't want a Mexican standoff while the original confrontation evolves.

    Too many guns out. Too much going on here. Too many variables. Back off and seek cover. Wait for more info. Call 911.
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  12. #12
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    Just toadd. I would not endanger my kids lives, nor ask my girlfriend to risk her life in such a situation. CCW'er's are no LE, nor should we act in such a capacity. If some one is directly threatening you and yours the BG is evident.
    Many UC LE officers dress like the type you would not consider spitting on if they were on fire. You cannot judge someone accurately from their appearance, but you can by their actions.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Okay. What if the dynamics changed a bit. What if it happened 15ft ahead, at the next picnic blanket? Right there, where any dramatic movement could be construed as threatening (if the two BG's were looking).
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Okay. What if the dynamics changed a bit. What if it happened 15ft ahead, at the next picnic blanket? Right there, where any dramatic movement could be construed as threatening (if the two BG's were looking).
    I don't think that changes very much. I'd still back off, seek cover, and watch how the two walkers dealt with things before intervening.

  15. #15
    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    Retreat to good cover, call 911, if possible I would have me wife and kids retreat some more. Be as good a witness as you can, relay information over the phone to 911 so it is recorded. Do not engage at this point.
    It may sound cold, but my CCW is for the protection of me, my family, and possibly our friends. I am not there to be the hero or looking to jeopardize my safety in a situation I know very little about. Yes, I may end out engaging a BG and saving others, but only because I was SURE of the situation first.
    In NC "neither the intervener nor the person threatened can be an instigator who voluntarily provoked the conflict". That means, if the person I am defending provoked the situation in anyway, even before I got there, I am NOT justified in my actions. It is for this reason I will not help those I do not know unless I am absolutely sure I am justified in my actions. In these situations, I will protect myself and my loved ones while being the best witness possible.
    "Personal weapons are what raised mankind out of the mud..."
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