Scenario: Downtown stoplight

This is a discussion on Scenario: Downtown stoplight within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It is about 8:00pm on a winter night. You had to work late. The walk to the parking deck was uneventful. You have exited the ...

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Thread: Scenario: Downtown stoplight

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Scenario: Downtown stoplight

    It is about 8:00pm on a winter night. You had to work late. The walk to the parking deck was uneventful. You have exited the deck and are on your way home. This part of downtown is deserted after work hours - all office buildings. It is a well-lighted area, but the streets are empty. You are at a stoplight on a three-lane one-way street at the intersection with the main drag, which is six lanes divided. Yours is the first car in the middle lane. There is a car on either side of you, but none behind. A pedestrian starts to cross from right to left. You recognize him as one of the street people who frequent the area. He is wild-eyed, but then, he is always wild-eyed. He stops in the pedestrian walkway, right in front of your car. He turns to face your car and spreads his arms wide and starts to address the world in your direction. You can't make out what he is saying, but he has made eye contact. He puts his hands down on the hood of your car and continues to yell. The light is still red. There is cross traffic. Maintaining contact with the front of your car, he starts to make his way around to the driver's side of your car.

    What do you do?
    What if your workplace bans guns and you aren't carrying, tonight?
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

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  3. #2
    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    Lock the doors and prudently back up.

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    This part of downtown is deserted after work hours - all office buildings. It is a well-lighted area, but the streets are empty.
    There's a good chance that I would do exactly as Tourist said, but more likely I would likely wait for the light to change and continue on my way. Most of these guys are relatively harmless and rarely have a weapon that can reach out and touch you while in your car with the doors locked. If he tried anything hinky I would run the light rather than back up. My doors are always locked, my window rarely down more than an inch unless the car is moving.
    Last edited by Bumper; April 27th, 2005 at 05:37 PM. Reason: Added the quote
    Bumper
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    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    /\ yup what he said. J maneuver anyone? It may be one way, but if I am threatened and there is room it is going to quickly become a 153 way street in a hurry.

    If someone had pulled up behind me, I might wait for him to get far enough around the corner of my car so I wouldnt be running over him, then try to make use of the first gap in the traffic, and run the light. Dialling 911 would be a must. If it turns out he is just asking for change or he whips out a squirt bottle and a squeegee you just tell the operator, and feel a little stupid, but better safe than sorry.


    If I cant run the light, and he isn't obviously holding a firearm I will let him pound away on my driver side window for a minute. (Yet another reason to drive an older car) If he is holding gun, and I see it before he steps out of range of my front bumber, he is getting knocked down, knocked into traffic, or gets up close and personal with my undercarriage while I draw my weapon.

    If he doesn't seem to have a gun, but breaks the drivers side glass he is going to get a face full of something. Whether it be pepper spray, (which could very easily backfire btw) , a handfull of broken glass, or pocket change, my coffee etc etc.

    One other good diversionary tactic, I have been considering, would be an old wallet clipped to the top of your visor, or some other place similarly out of sight, with a bunch of newsprint etc or something similar making it look full. Another good trick would be a cheap, money clip with a $1 bill wrapped around some newspaper, and a small piece of metal to add weight so it will go farther when you throw it. When the guy starts to come to your window, roll down the one on the other side show him the wallet/clip and toss the sucker out the passenger side window. (assuming you have power windows.) If you don't particularly like the person in the car next to you, toss it in or under their car. (just kidding).

    Hopefully by the time he has a chance to collect it, you will be able to either get a green light or else find a big enough gap to run the light.

    Of course we all know what the last resort is if we are carrying. In short there are a few things you might do, but you likely won't have time to try more than one of them. At any rate it would depend on what the guy did when he got to my window.

  6. #5
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    Can't add a whole lot - much has been covered but - certainly if nothing behind then a reverse manouver and put distance. This in particular as Tom referred to maybe no piece.

    If he is in front and gets to stage of firearm presentation then the only weapon remaining is your vehicle - which I think could be put to quite good use, except - if the 6 lane is still on a green ..... hmmmm.

    I have often thought about the ''decoy wallet'' as per GS's suggestion. But if this fella was actually not robbery motivated - and just some looney spaced out on some evil substance - that may not be effective.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Interesting ideas. As I think of ones I think are representative, I'm going to post more scenarios where I went from Condition Yellow to Orange for some reason. Those are the kinds of situations I review in my head and wonder what I would have done had things progressed.

    In this case, I was driving a '90 Merc. Grand Marquis, 5L, with 157k miles on it. The windows were up, doors locked. A car came up behind me as I was considering putting it in reverse, so I had nowhere to go except forward. I didn't want to run the guy down, especially since he had exhibited no weapon, but I definitely did not like him being in my personal space, and it felt like that with him leaning on my car. He started pounding on the window, and it became apparent that he was yelling about the End of Days (TM). I was considering running the light, when it turned green and I pulled away, leaving him standing in the road.

    I have often wondered what I would have done if he had presented a weapon at some point in that sequence of events. Of necessity, I had let him in closer than I would have preferred. Unfortunately, such encounters are often ambiguous until the last moment. It is that ambiguity we wrestle with, all the time.

    This guy had been a regular in our several block area for years. A few months after this encounter he was found dead, victim of a gunshot, resting against the wall of the 2nd Precinct headquarters.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

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    In my area homeless carry blades not guns. They do wander about in the traffic. So far all are harmless except to spit on the car or scratch it up some. That's why city folks drive older POS cars.

    I wouldn't do anything other than keep an eye on him and be ready to move a few feet should he decide to use a rock to open my closed window.

    -Scott-

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    In this case, I was driving a '90 Merc. Grand Marquis, 5L, with 157k miles on it
    Not to hijack the thread, but those old box body panther chassis Ford products are hard to beat. The last one I sold had well over 366k on it. Almost 300k of which were spent delivering mail on a rural route. LOL

    Do you still have the car?

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I own extras of particular guns is to keep one in the trunk (or elsewhere) in the car in the unlikely event that (a) I'm not carrying out in the wild for legal reasons (b) My respect for the law, job, or situation exceeds my own paranoid survival instinct. Upon getting to the parking garage, the first thing that will get done is to pull out said gun from the place in question.

    I keep my eyes open for beat up, cosmetically challenged versions of my favorite firearms that will do in a pinch and I'm not afraid of losing, scratching, or abusing myself.

    In this situation, given that in my state open carry in the car or elsewhere is legal, I might just be tempted to put the gun that lives in the glovebox on the dash in a visible, evil manner and figure that the miscreant can make the long, hard decision to get serious or leave me alone.

    I also drive an older car - so he can stare at the tires and listen to the V8 for a while for all I care. ;)
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoodSamaritan
    Not to hijack the thread, but those old box body panther chassis Ford products are hard to beat. The last one I sold had well over 366k on it. Almost 300k of which were spent delivering mail on a rural route. LOL

    Do you still have the car?
    Yep. I drive it, everyday. It replaced the '89 Crown Vic I had that was totaled in a commuting accident. That Crown Vic saved my sorry butt, no thanks to the person who plowed into me. I fit in those cars, and for someone my size, fit (particularly legroom) is the first criterion.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Tom357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott
    In my area homeless carry blades not guns. They do wander about in the traffic. So far all are harmless except to spit on the car or scratch it up some. That's why city folks drive older POS cars.

    I wouldn't do anything other than keep an eye on him and be ready to move a few feet should he decide to use a rock to open my closed window.

    -Scott-
    That may be true, where you live, but the issue is the ambiguity. How do you know that the person you see walking in front of your car is, in fact, homeless and unarmed? A couple of years ago, a lady was killed on Monument Avenue, shot by a pedestrian (gang member) who didn't like the way she looked at him as he crossed in front of her car. He passed the front of her car, the light changed and she started to pull into the intersection. He whipped out a (stolen) 9mm and shot her in the temple from a few feet away. Witnesses indicated that she did nothing except make brief eye contact, as any of us might do, with no provocative gestures or expressions.

    We have to let people get very close to us in the urban setting, whether we want to or not. Our challenge, in choosing to carry, is to distinguish between those who represent a threat and those who do not, taking appropriate action in each case. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it difficult.
    - Tom
    You have the power to donate life.

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    Witnesses indicated that she did nothing except make brief eye contact, as any of us might do, with no provocative gestures or expressions.
    In another incident, a teenage girl was shot to death because she giggled and pulled away from the murderer, who wanted to kiss her.

    You never can tell what can set someone off these days.

    I like wearing shades when I'm driving - I can discreetly stare and study as much as I want without anyone having a clue.

    When a beggar comes close to my vehicle, looking to see if I'm paying attention, usually a shake of my head lets them know I'm not in the giving mood, and they walk away. I haven't had any problems yet.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom357
    That may be true, where you live, but the issue is the ambiguity. How do you know that the person you see walking in front of your car is, in fact, homeless and unarmed? A couple of years ago, a lady was killed on Monument Avenue, shot by a pedestrian (gang member) who didn't like the way she looked at him as he crossed in front of her car. He passed the front of her car, the light changed and she started to pull into the intersection. He whipped out a (stolen) 9mm and shot her in the temple from a few feet away. Witnesses indicated that she did nothing except make brief eye contact, as any of us might do, with no provocative gestures or expressions.

    We have to let people get very close to us in the urban setting, whether we want to or not. Our challenge, in choosing to carry, is to distinguish between those who represent a threat and those who do not, taking appropriate action in each case. I don't know about anyone else, but I find it difficult.
    I don't know about where you are, but the difference between a banger and homeless person in my neck of the woods is a pretty easy distinction. If it were a banger, there would be little hesitation to action if they appeared aggressive.

    Your original scenario was that you recognized him as a street person from around the area. Around here street people aren't bangers. Bangers are a whole different story though. They will have a gun if they are in a group and sometimes if alone. Our MS13 bangers seem to like machettes as well.

    -Scott-

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    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    Yep. I drive it, everyday. It replaced the '89 Crown Vic I had that was totaled in a commuting accident. That Crown Vic saved my sorry butt, no thanks to the person who plowed into me. I fit in those cars, and for someone my size, fit (particularly legroom) is the first criterion.
    I am a crown vic nut. Have you ever visited CVN? If not, you need to drop by, and stop in the 5.0-5.8 forum. There are a whole bunch of us who like the 79-91 "box body" panthers. BTW am I allowed to post links on here? I forget.

  16. #15
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    GS - far be it for me to pre-empt any of the mod's but - from my POV I'd say a link is no prob, as long as not to some mega porn, multi pop-up site!!

    As we say over on THR ''gun related'' - or in this case cars perhaps! Heck CV's are gun carriers - right? LOL
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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