One verbal command too many?

One verbal command too many?

This is a discussion on One verbal command too many? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So we are visiting family in VA Beach. The wife and I were leaving my granny's house around 7:30 and she wanted to stop at ...

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Thread: One verbal command too many?

  1. #1
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    One verbal command too many?

    So we are visiting family in VA Beach. The wife and I were leaving my granny's house around 7:30 and she wanted to stop at seven eleven to get gas and some snacks for the trip home.

    As we pull up to the gas pump, I notice a young to mid-20s white male with disheveled hair and street clothes kinda aimlessly loitering in the parking lot. The bells were going off in the back of my head, but I thought he might have been waiting for the rest of his party to get in one of the other cars at the gas pump. (My wife told me afterwards that she saw him get out of a car parked in front of the main doors as we pulled in...I asked her to share that info with me in the future).

    So even though my SA was a little slow, I noticed the guy and warning bells were ringing. I even opened my center console to put my 642 in my front pocket where I normally carry it, but wasn't. (Long story). The plan was my wife was going to go in to get the snacks as I pumped the gas.

    So as we get out of the car he starts walking toward us. As I get fully out of the car I realize he's going to approach my wife. When he gets around 7-8 feet away (way too close) I see he's about to say something to my wife. I interrupt before he gets a chance and say, "Don't talk to her!" Sheepishly, he says, "Oh, I'm just..." As he continues walking. I then say, "STOP, back away." At this point my wife passes him by and is almost in the seven eleven. He complies with the stop command. And he even turned to go. And as he turned he mumbled something apologetic and said something about him being respectful.

    This is where it could have turned bad. And why my situational awareness should have been up long before I noticed him loitering.

    When he turned to go, he starts walking in the direction of my wife (I didn't know that was where his car was). To this I say, "NO, you go the other way." Then he gets upset. He raises his voice and said, "I'm walking to my car." He gets in the passenger seat of a car all the while railing at me. My wife is watching everything from outside the door of the seven eleven. Then he jumps out of the car grabbing at his waistband. At that moment, my hand is gripping my revolver and I am pulling it out of my pocket. At which point I realize he's just thug grabbing his crotch in some alpha male fight call out. So I slowly lower my firearm back into the holster but Im still holding on to it. (Later I asked my wife if she saw my gun. She did not. I just bought a new pair of pants and these have a much deeper pocket. In my old pants, more than half of the gun would have been exposed for as far as I pulled it out.)

    All of this doesn't seem to phase him, he's still screaming at me and saying something about me "acting like I got a gun." He eventually gets back in his car and my wife gets back in ours. He calls me out one last time as they pull out asking for a fight in a parking lot west of the gas station, then they leave in an easterly direction. We quickly leave and go to a nicer side of town before we stop for gas and goodies.

    I know it should have never gotten that far. I should have never let us get out of the car in the first place. Next time, when I hear the warning bells, I will just drive off.

    And if I had known what car he came from initially, I would not have issued the last verbal command that damaged his pride so much. Honestly, if I knew what car he got out of, I definitely wouldn't have let us get out of the car in the first place. Once again SA is king.
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; November 28th, 2013 at 10:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    New Member Array Fieldz's Avatar
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    Someone loitering and looking around in a parking lot? Yea, definitely my alarm would be on. You did the right thing, make him stay far from you and your family and carry on.
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    Member Array oldranger53's Avatar
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    Could have been worse, for sure.
    Glad it wasn't.

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did fine. Did you report the interaction to the police?


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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array StormRhydr's Avatar
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    Im just tickled by the part about "you acting like you had a gun"! Its interesting to hear how it registers with the opposition. In that guys mind, you were simply "acting" like you had a gun. AMAZING!
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array OutWestSystems's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did fine. I would have most likely had the wife get back into the car the moment he started heading our way.
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  7. #7
    Member Array HoosierLife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    Sounds like you did fine. Did you report the interaction to the police?


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    I thought about it, but really, what was there to report. Spend an hour or more on a police report that wouldn't go anywhere...
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    You did fine from here. It is important that no matter how soon the radar starts beeping, you were already behind the curve. Don't be too hard on yourself in hindsight. I had a similar encounter awhile ago, which I recounted here:
    Interviewed In A Supermarket Parking Lot
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    Well, I wasn't there but I'd say you over reacted and antagonized him unnecessarily. He had every right to be where he was. From what you and your wife said it is unclear whether he was or wasn't loitering. If you are uncomfortable with someone talking to your wife a simple, "Can I help you?" would re-direct his attention to you and allow you to further assess him without being so antagonistic. Furthermore, you are not law enforcement to be ordering people where they can or can't walk when in a common area.

    It's good that you can give clear commands when needed, you just need to fine tune the "when needed" part.
    Last edited by Hoganbeg; November 29th, 2013 at 12:04 AM. Reason: punctuation

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Ghost1958's Avatar
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    Sometimes one can SA themselves into trouble as well as SA themselves out of it.

    Not saying OP did anything wrong, but the guy could have easily just meant to say How you doin? as he passed your wife. Id have probably gotten kinda irritated after submitting to two orders by someone I didnt know and being apologetic about it in a public parking lot then being told go the other way as I headed to my vehicle.
    I wouldnt call anybody out over it but id likely ignore it go get in my vehicle. Which would hardly be a life threatening response to being told I cant go to my own vehicle.

    In not overly big on verbal command voice stuff myself though. Figure if its bad enough to have me going for my gun personally STOP is enough. Once.
    " It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales

  11. #11
    Ex Member Array DetChris's Avatar
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    One verbal command too many?

    You did what you had to do. I personally would have gone into the 7 eleven to escort my wife back to the car once I saw such activity. At least she would've had you in between the suspected perp and her.
    Last edited by DetChris; November 29th, 2013 at 06:01 AM.

  12. #12
    Member Array ugh762x39's Avatar
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    1. People loiter outside of convenience stores for a variety of reasons, most of them perfectly harmless.
    2. Be very, very careful with your interactions. If you initiate it physically or verbally, you will be seen as the escalating force and any self-defense ascertations by you will be deemed baseless.
    3. Listen to your instincts. In this instance, you would have felt better driving another few blocks for gas.
    4. Chalk it up as a learning experience and take what you can from it.
    "If you can do it, you damn well better be able to look at it!".....Matt Helm

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array xsigma40cal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ugh762x39 View Post
    1. People loiter outside of convenience stores for a variety of reasons, most of them perfectly harmless.
    2. Be very, very careful with your interactions. If you initiate it physically or verbally, you will be seen as the escalating force and any self-defense ascertations by you will be deemed baseless.
    3. Listen to your instincts. In this instance, you would have felt better driving another few blocks for gas.
    4. Chalk it up as a learning experience and take what you can from it.

    Not necessarily. The verbal interaction's purpose was to avoid any further interaction that could have led to a violent act. The only thing escalating about this incident was the punk getting back out of his car to grab his junk like it was still 1998. OP did just fine, but for future reference, leave the wife in the car with the keys as you go inside to prepay. Should she get into a situation with one or multiple individuals(as my old girlfriend found herself in, a few years back-while traveling through Indiana-), tell her to drive off, and pick you up later when the situation is deescalated.
    The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly, is to fill the world with fools.--->Herbert Spencer

    Springfield xd 45, Sig Sauer SP2022(9mm),Remington 700(.308), Yugo M10 variant w/IZH Kobra optic,...and lots of ammo for all of 'em.

  14. #14
    Member Array ugh762x39's Avatar
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    Being ordered stop, back up, and walk away in another direction...that is escalation. He had no legal authority to give someone orders in a public place. When we carry, concealed or open, we have to be so much more careful and tolerant. If it ends with a shot, everything is going to be looked at leading up to that trigger pull. Bellowing orders to someone who has just as much right to be there as you do, we'll, that stands a good chance of removing the defense of self-defense.
    "If you can do it, you damn well better be able to look at it!".....Matt Helm

  15. #15
    Member Array Nutrodoc's Avatar
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    ugh762x39 - I noticed the Matt Helm quote in your signature. I wonder how many of us have read Richard S. Prather's Matt Helm books. I've read 'em all. One line that stuck in my mind all these years is when Matt is confronted by a man with a large knife, he says, "The bigger the blade, the cheaper the punk." I loved those books.
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