Witness to crime & LEO encounter while carrying in BG, KY
First, I have to make it clear that I have nothing but respect and appreciation for LEOs and those who work in related fields. I hope to serve two purposes with this post; 1. Share my experience; 2. Solicit advice/criticism on my handling of the event. (Any and all comments are welcome.) :wave:
With that said today I had my first encounter with a LEO while carrying, due to being a witness of a crime. I stopped by the local pet store to pick up some supplies for my dog. When exiting the store (7:38pm CST) and scanning the area, I noticed a man to my right, who immediately clicked in my mind as being a concern, just a gut feeling. I gave the guy a good stare to let him know I was a sheepdog. (Wanted to use that line since I first read it!)
I proceeded to my car while keeping him in my peripheral vision. While entering my car I noticed him squat down next to a truck and then heard a loud noise, it was obvious he was slicing the tires. I backed out of my parking spot to get into a position where I could observe his license plate number as he left; at this point he was slicing the back tire of the truck. I waited as he entered his vehicle and started to back out. Honestly, I made the mistake of assuming he would leave in the direction away from me, going around the back of the strip mall. But no this BG backs out and starts to come in my direction, before I knew what I was doing I’d turned my car to block the lanes so he couldn’t get any closer to me.
I then decided to exit my vehicle to have the option of either getting out of the way if he decided to ram me and/or have more cover options should this turn into a gun fight. I was carrying my XD in the small of my back and at this point I’m standing behind my car with my hand on my gun, ready but not drawn, there is about 15 feet between my passenger headlight and his bumper, he is stopped. I can now clearly see there is also a female occupant. I decide that if his engine revs my gun is going from holstered to drawn and on target. Lucky for both of us, he took the option of backing up down the lane. I re-entered my car and followed as he reversed.
The portion of the parking lot behind him is completely empty, large ditch and empty parking spots to his right and strip mall to his left with a service drive at the rear of the building. I followed him at a good distance, hoping he would pull a 180 exposing his license plate, he did and I stopped, not turning down the service drive. I wrote down the license plate number turned to return to the front of the store and started to dial 911 (7:40pm CST), a clerk had come out of the store I was in after hearing the BGs tires squeal, I informed him of what happened and he said he knew who did it and the truck belonged to his manager.
I reported the incident to the dispatcher/operator gave them the plate number and informed them of all the details including I was a CDW license holder and was currently armed. The manager came out and was also on the phone with 911. After he got off the phone I let him know I’d seen everything and would be more than happy to wait with him until the police arrived. Fast forward to 8:51pm CST when the police cruiser arrived, I was standing out front having remembered I’d set my phone down on the car seat when exiting. I saw the officer coming and had my permit in hand. The officer asked if I was the person who called and I said “Yes sir, I am also a CDW license holder and I am currently armed, here is my permit.” He took it and asked where my weapon was located, I informed him then we went into Q&A on what had occurred.
I didn’t include as many details as here, just the facts. He returned my permit, thanked me, double checked with me he had my correct contact info and said he’d be in contact if there was anything else. I pointed him in the direction of the store manager/victim who was manning the register inside the store and headed home.
To me an hour plus seems like a fairly long response time for a city of 55,000ish citizens and 90+ patrol officers, with the average patrol officer responding to 2.56 incidents of any kind per shift. (Source BGPD Annual Report: Fiscal Year 05/06) I guess it goes to show what has been said before; if your only source of defense is dialing 911 you could wait for the rest of your life for help to arrive.
I reasonably pleased with how this event has turned out thus far but if anyone has advice on how to handle the situation better or criticism on how it was handled please feel free to share.