Halloween ambush

This is a discussion on Halloween ambush within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This happened a few years ago, before I had a ccw. I was coming home from a meeting on Halloween weekend at about 22:30 passing ...

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Thread: Halloween ambush

  1. #1
    Member Array mhawk's Avatar
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    Halloween ambush

    This happened a few years ago, before I had a ccw.

    I was coming home from a meeting on Halloween weekend at about 22:30 passing under a 30-40ft tunnel (one where trains go over the top and the cars go under) when it seemed like I had hit a deer out of no where. My window was cracked, the front hood of my car was depressed significantly and what appeard to be blood and flesh everywhere. I slammed my breaks and pulled off to the side horrified at what might have just happened. When I got out I noticed it wasnt an animal or person, but a large pumpkin that had been full of rocks and tomato sauce. I looked back at the over pass and some guys wearing ski masks were laughing their asses off as they prepared to drop another one of these cocktails on a car I saw coming. At the time I had no idea what to do, I was a sheep and when this was taking place just expected a cop to come around any second, I didn't even have a cell phone. I watched as another car came by and they dropped another pumpkin that missed going threw the windshield by inches, the woman of that car just looked horrified, but kept driving -I noticed there was a kid in the front seat...

    My question is if you confront these people to stop doing what they are doing, is that brandishing, or escalating ? In my mind, if one of those 40lbs pumpkins went threw my window being dropped from 30-40ft while I was going 40mph, it very well could have been serious bodily harm, if not fatal. Tactically if they were armed, you would be screwed being in a flat coverless position covered from highground with hard cover. Sure these were punks, and at the time there was nothing I could do but yell at them to stop and race home to call the cops, but now I don't know if that would have been the right move... what if that stone filled pumpkin hadn't missed and slammed into that girl's face at 40-50 mph?

    What would you guys have done?
    Last edited by mhawk; October 21st, 2006 at 12:26 AM.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert, but my layman's opinion is that they are committing a violent felony that can EASILY result in DEATH of a victim, and you have the right to use deadly force to stop the commission of that kind of crime.

    I have read of people actually killed by exactly that sort of prank. In fact, I think that the pumpkin wasn't even filled with anything and it went through a windshield and killed someone. Also, on Long Island not too long ago, some kids threw a frozen turkey at a car going in the opposite direction down a road, and the woman who was hit by it was severely maimed.

    Killing is too good for people who are STUPID and EVIL enough to do that kind of crap.

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    I had a similar thing happen.....

    Years ago I was going under a railroad tressle, there were a couple of deliquents throwing cinder blocks off of it. I saw a small piece hit the road in front of me so I hit the brakes hard, as I did a chuck of block went THROUGH the hood. The hood was fiberglass so the block was half in & have out of the hole. It punctured the radiator as well.

    If I hadn't hit the brakes & it had entered the passengewr compartment....needless to say I was pissed, since I had my daughter in the vehicle with me.
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

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    Member Array crankinNM's Avatar
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    Interesting scenario,

    I guess you could put your hazard lights on and back , back under the bridge, draw your firearm and take cover. Have a little conversation with the missguided.

    At least you would keep them from dropping on another car since folks see the comotion and use extreem cation.

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    Senior Member Array Fragman's Avatar
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    Good one

    Now, that IS a good scenario. We see a lot of tired, recycled scenarios posted on the various forums, but I haven't seen one like this.

    Fact is, they do represent a clear, immediate, unavoidable (to the next car that comes along and doesn't know the danger is there) threat of serious injury or death. So, while not being a lawyer, I would say that the criteria for using deadly force have been met.

    That said, simply yelling, calling the cops, taking a picture if equipped to do so would more than likely stop the threat. Now, it didn't, then things change.

    Only thing I would say is don't fire warning shots.

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    Member Array Biloxi Bersa's Avatar
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    Pull over, get cover and call 911. They are too far away and have the high ground to engage them in a gunbattle, especially without a rifle.

    Once they see they have a witness, they may stop (which is the goal) and flee. It may take LE some time to get there, but the risk is mostly abated to oncoming motorists.

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    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    Some of you may or may not agree with the following, but it is MY view on CCW:
    -My gun is for the protection of myself and my family. I may decide to include anyone who is "with me" (friends, co-workers, members of my "group" while out) but in this situation "I" would also be a member of this "group".
    -I will not use deadly force to protect or defend someone I do not know, or defend someone I do know in a situation I am not involved in or know little about (unless they are family). This is not to say I may not try to scare off or yell at an attacker or someone who is committing a violent felony, but it would depend on the situation. If possible, I would do this from cover or from as reasonably safe a location as the situation allows, and if able, make an attempt to call 911 FIRST. If at any point the BG turns on me, I am now protecting myself NOT the other person. Keep in mind; I will not pull my gun until AFTER I reasonably believe this person is a threat with the means and intent to inflict serious harm or death. It is a priority to keep my family and I safe, then alert the police, and be a good witness. Anything else will be done on a case by case basis.

    So, in this situation I would NOT jump to the use of deadly force.

    In this scenario you did not have a cell phone. Are there any houses around that you could go to and have them call 911? If so do that first. Then take cover and yell at them in a commanding voice to stop and show you their hands. This may cause them to think they are being addressed by someone with some authority and cause them to run. If they do run away you have stopped the threat, at least for now. When the police get there they will take a report and may or may not find the individuals. BUT you did stop the threat WITHOUT putting yourself in further jeopardy. If they do not stop, I would have to play it as I see it, but I would definitely make an attempt to warn approaching drivers of the danger.
    Last edited by PolarBear; October 21st, 2006 at 01:05 PM.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhawk View Post
    ... I noticed it wasnt an animal or person, but a large pumpkin that had been full of rocks and tomato sauce. I looked back at the over pass and some guys wearing ski masks were laughing their asses off as they prepared to drop another one of these cocktails on a car I saw coming. What would you guys have done?
    Good situation for cell phone and the portable camera I carry with me. Of course, it could be generally considered as a crime in progress that has a high likelihood of causing damage. Trouble is, whether it qualifies as a violent felony (and given the fact that I would have been standing there taking photos after having gotten through it, myself) would put everything in question.

    I'd have a hard time explaining why I went back to the scene, forced it to another level, then caused it to result in one or more deaths by my hand. Such a thing simply doesn't meet the requirement of the defense being in response to immediate and unavoidable risk of death or grave harm.

    If it looks like revenge, smells like revenge ... like as not, it will be seen as such. Righteous? Perhaps most would think so. But it's not most you've got to worry about. It's the twelve "knowledgeable" types who will be selected to judge your actions. Rational or wise? Absolutely not. Risky as hell. For me, phone + camera. Press charges for everything if/when the responding officers caught the ********. However, getting directly involved with my firearm to stop them from continuing? Not as a first step. Not a chance.

    Now, some elements of the laws in some states allow for one to stop actions being personally witnessed. Generally speaking, it needs to be a violent felony and the others must be at risk of death or severe harm. In simple point of fact, I got through it fine and, just as likely, the next in line could as well. The mere fact I would be standing there having this discussion with the perps would, of itself, cut the legs out from that argument a tad. Not good enough, IMO, for the average reasonable and prudent person to risk his life over.

    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear View Post
    ... attempt to call 911 FIRST. If at any point the BG turns on me, I am now protecting myself NOT the other person.
    Just so.

    PolarBear, some may call you a chickenshti, yellow coward for your views. The same sort have called me exactly that, for the same thing, misguided though that might be. IMO, not all. I'm with you, particularly in a questionable situation like this where I'm not directly being threatened at this instant.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; October 21st, 2006 at 01:20 PM.
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  10. #9
    Member Array OpFlash's Avatar
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    I think the best thing to do would be to drive (assuming the car still functions) back under the bridge and block the oncoming traffic with your car, emergency flashers on. When people slow down try to explain the situation, thus protecting them. Eventually someone will have a cell phone to call 911.
    "To my mind, it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." - The Nuge

  11. #10
    Member Array mhawk's Avatar
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    In my case, backing under the bridge would have been even more dangerous in my mind because it was in the middle of a sharp turn, people normally go around 30-40mph and you have about 20-30ft viewing distance coming around the corner. (yeah great road design huh?)

    That said, I think what I would have done now.. is have some signal flares on my side, and on the otherside and the first motorist that comes by ask them to call the cops, with all the commotion they might have left seeing that they werent going to get anymore victims that night, if they came down to confront, well then its a different ball game.

    This of course would probably have helped other people that got hit that night, but not the car that was coming right after I got out... And I seriously doubt I could have made a hit on the target, considering they were probably a 1/4 exposed dark silhouette at night from 60-70ft. A few shots at them could scare them off... or merely result in a hopeless gunfight with me hiding under the car for the only cover available, outnumbered and pinned with no phone. Also as others have mentioned, if a hit was made, I have no doubt there would be many demanding that I be racked over the coals.

    Thanks for suggestions, what I have taken from this--
    -Always have a phone
    -Keep my camera with me.
    -Signal flares in your car are a good idea
    -A plan for something like this will go along way toward doing something constructive. At the time I was way too mad/confused/sheepish to do anything useful. (yelling "you mfers stop that" probably only fueled them, as opposed to some authoritative commands like "hands up")
    Last edited by mhawk; October 21st, 2006 at 01:38 PM.

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    Lew
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    Op, that is a good way to protect other people from suffering the same result. If done, I would recommend RED alert and watch for them comming up on you. They were already stupid enough to go this far, don't bet on them getting smart and leaving you alone....

    In 1995, I was running I-10 in Mississippi. I was following a super clean tanker. I saw what looked like a pea come up out of the tanker, or so I thought at that moment. I watched as the pea got bigger and rose higher and higher. Size of a green apple, a balloon, what the heck is that thing.... I realize at the last instant it is going to hit my truck... I actually let go of the steering wheel and dove between the seats.

    WHAAAMMM!

    I sit up and struggle for control for a second. I am trying to look thru a Pink and green smear with black dots, across both windshields. It was a watermellon. I was driving a 1991 International Cabover. It impacted 2 inches below the drivers windshield wiper, denting the metal in. I took the next exit and phoned the police. They found a catapult made from 4 pick up truck leaf springs and a comealong. The estimated distance thrown was 3 football fields. I never heard anything more about it. If I had been a tenth of a second farther down the road....
    There are 2 types of people, victims and the prepared. I choose to be prepared....

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    VIP Member Array Sheldon J's Avatar
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    I have seen water balloons go through a car windshield, so a large heavy object such as you describe can very easily kill someone. It has been said 911 and pull your gun to detain them before they succeed.
    "The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century

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    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    Interesting dilemma...

    On one hand they very well COULD kill someone by doing this sort of thing.

    On the other hand if you tried to detain them and they decided they wanted to fight back you might have a hard time explaining to the police why you pulled your gun and shot a couple of teenagers pulling a dumb prank.

    That's a tough one....
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

  15. #14
    Member Array robinsonre's Avatar
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    A Segway

    Quote Originally Posted by Lew View Post
    Op, that is a good way to protect other people from suffering the same result. If done, I would recommend RED alert and watch for them comming up on you. They were already stupid enough to go this far, don't bet on them getting smart and leaving you alone....

    In 1995, I was running I-10 in Mississippi. I was following a super clean tanker. I saw what looked like a pea come up out of the tanker, or so I thought at that moment. I watched as the pea got bigger and rose higher and higher. Size of a green apple, a balloon, what the heck is that thing.... I realize at the last instant it is going to hit my truck... I actually let go of the steering wheel and dove between the seats.

    WHAAAMMM!

    I sit up and struggle for control for a second. I am trying to look thru a Pink and green smear with black dots, across both windshields. It was a watermellon. I was driving a 1991 International Cabover. It impacted 2 inches below the drivers windshield wiper, denting the metal in. I took the next exit and phoned the police. They found a catapult made from 4 pick up truck leaf springs and a comealong. The estimated distance thrown was 3 football fields. I never heard anything more about it. If I had been a tenth of a second farther down the road....

    Sorry but the watermelon story brought up a story that was told to me a while back.

    Back when I was a more rambunctious teenager I found myself in a mess with a speeding ticket. The judge sentenced me to traffic school and a reduced fine (thakfully). The traffic school, at this time, was taught by a kindly old gentleman who had spent some good amount of time as a Nevada Highway Patrolman. He spent alot of time telling stories (more time telling stories than actually teaching anything ) but I didn't mind, my weekend was shot anyway and I'd just as soon have listened to a few amusing anecdotes as sat through an informational video or boring lecture.

    While I have some doubts to it's validity, one of the stories he told us was something like this :

    During the late 1970s apparently their department had hired a few new young individuals as patrolmen. One of the new recruit's first assignments was to go and investigate a recent fender-bender accident that had happened on a (previously) remote stretch of Highway 95. He arrived at the scene and went to approach the car to take the report. The driver that had been rear ended had already left the scene, but when the new patrolman approached the car he saw a woman slumped over the steering wheel, the rear of her head and the front of the windshield covered in a red, semi-translucent liquid. Assuming the worst the patrolman immediately radioed for EMS and assistance and he was accompanied by another patrol car and two paramedics. APPARENTLY the paramedics arrived first to find the new patrolman on the side of the rode involuntarliy purging the remains of his afternoon meal. Once they did a routine inspection of the scene they began to chuckle to themselves and they called over one of the more seasoned officers that had recently arrived. Supposedly what had happened is that this woman, who had been previously shopping for groceries, had rear ended another car while she herself had a watermelon propped up in the rear windshield. The force of the impact had caused the watermelon to project forward striking the woman in the rear of her head and rendering her unconscious. Simultaneously the watermelon itself exploded scattering ripe, red juice and fleshy plant matter all around the inside of the car. Apparently the new officer had failed to notice the seeds scattered about the dashboard and windshield.

    Anyway...now that that's been said I apologize whole heartedly for hijacking your thread.

    - Ryan
    "Life exists at a level of complexity almost beyond our ability to comprehend. It's a well known fact that if you try to take apart a cat to see how it works one of the first things you have on your hands is a non-working cat" - Douglas Adams

    "All things are governed by law" - Hippocrates

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    I bet watermellon never again tasted the same to him...

    This is a tough scenario...preventing them from killing or injuring the next motorist(s) without getting yourself thrown in the slammer is a challenge. I like the "Hands in the air!" command...it should send run-of-the-mill pranksters scampering...
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

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