June 22nd, 2007 11:42 PM
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.)
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.
June 23rd, 2007 12:15 AM
The only thing I can see you could have done better (nothing happened so I guess there really isn't anything wrong) was stay in your car. Cars are designed to take an enormous amount of energy away from their occupants, and in the tight confines the BG's car really can't accelerate to a high enough speed to do any real damage to your car.
Originally Posted by pogostick
As for response times, if the BG is gone and no one got/is getting hurt, the call's going to be a low priority.
Good job on being a good witness, no sense trying to be a hero over some tires.
Vis consili expers mole ruit sua.
June 23rd, 2007 02:27 AM
Glad you came out of this all right. Hopefully your observation and willingness to wait until the police show up will help them catch the guy.
+1 on that. Cars are a bad place to be if someone is shooting at you, since the only part that will reliably stop a bullet is the engine block. However, if the threat is someone trying to ram you, inside the car is absolutely the safest place to be.
Originally Posted by Juggernaut
June 23rd, 2007 06:57 AM
Joe Friday would be proud!
Originally Posted by pogostick
June 23rd, 2007 09:35 AM
sounds like a big risk over slashed tires. I personally would have got the plate # without
1. letting them know I noticed them
2. Not tried to block someone in either
simply walking past the offenders vehicle while he was still backing out may have been better if possible.
By blocking him in you let him know you were trying to impede him and knew he was caught in the act. what if he was a disgruntled employee, who might get even more t'ed off by your actions?
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
June 23rd, 2007 11:22 AM
I guess slashed tires are pretty much low priority. Much bigger scumfish to catch.
June 23rd, 2007 11:50 AM
I think as well I would have not blocked him in, just maybe followed him at a distance and got the plate number while on the phone to 911, and hoped that they took this a bit more seriously and came and got him!
June 23rd, 2007 11:57 AM
I would imaginne that a Friday night is one of the busiest times. With 90 officers, that would translate into maybe 30 or even less being on duty at any one time.
The 2.56 incidents per shif is an average. You can bet that Friday evening is not 'average' for a week and they probably had other higher priority calls to attend to than vandalism after the fact.
So, no, I don't think that a respose time of an hour is excessive in these circumstances. That said, you are absolutely correct in that counting on 911 to respond in time to prevent an attack is not prudent.
Probably wasn't necessary to go to such lengths to get the license number, or to leave your vehicle. I personally think if you had ended up shooting it may not have gone well for you in court. You were in no danger that you didn't introduce yourself in to, no one else was in danger and also the threat (such as it was) had passed.
Of course, you DIDN"T end up shooting, so all is good.
From a civic perspective, you did the right thing. But, I would just caution against inserting yourself into situations when armed. We're talking about a flat tire here.
June 23rd, 2007 12:18 PM
Sounds like you did just fine - you kept a level head and did your civic duty.
Sadly, I think most people in general society would just have driven off, "not wanting to get involved".
As for blocking the lane, it might not have been the best planed course of action. But since you did it, you had to play it out and I think you handled it OK.
Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.
June 23rd, 2007 05:53 PM
Thanks to everyone who has viewed or replied, I've read and appreciated your opinions. Whether right or wrong, or a bit of both I think its very important to discuss and try to better understand our actions and ideas. I've posted this on 4 different forums and have gotten several different responses, varying pretty much up and down the board. So thanks again to every one who has participated.
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