Neighbor Might Need Help

Neighbor Might Need Help

This is a discussion on Neighbor Might Need Help within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know that there have been various threads about looking out for our neighbors. Here is a specific question that I hope you all can ...

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Thread: Neighbor Might Need Help

  1. #1
    Member Array gmitch40's Avatar
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    Neighbor Might Need Help

    I know that there have been various threads about looking out for our neighbors. Here is a specific question that I hope you all can help with.

    We have some new neighbors, stepdad, mom and daughter, that moved in about 2 months ago. They seem nice and my wife has spoken to the lady of the house several times.

    Recently, our new negihbor confided in my wife that her ex-husband, she is now remarried, may be looking for her, to get their daughter, and that if he found her she believed that he would kill her. She gave my wife a description of her ex-husband and asked us to keep an eye out and that if he came by to call the police.

    Her daughter often plays in our yard with our children, so I seem to have two scenarios in one. What to do after calling the police if I see someone matching his description snooping around their house and what to do if he finds his daughter in our yard and wants to take her? By all accounts he was very violent and has no legal right to his daughter.

    I don't want to be caught up in someone else's domestic problems, nor do I want to let him take his daughter while she is playing in my yard if he doesn't have legal custody. I believe that a lawyer would tell me that I do have some custodial libility for children playing at my house and could be liable if I allowed the child to be taken by someone I don't know to have legal authority.

    Anyway, two scenarios, thanks for any and all advice and I will share my thoughts later.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmitch40 View Post
    I know that there have been various threads about looking out for our neighbors. Here is a specific question that I hope you all can help with.

    We have some new neighbors, stepdad, mom and daughter, that moved in about 2 months ago. They seem nice and my wife has spoken to the lady of the house several times.

    Recently, our new negihbor confided in my wife that her ex-husband, she is now remarried, may be looking for her, to get their daughter, and that if he found her she believed that he would kill her. She gave my wife a description of her ex-husband and asked us to keep an eye out and that if he came by to call the police.

    Her daughter often plays in our yard with our children, so I seem to have two scenarios in one. What to do after calling the police if I see someone matching his description snooping around their house and what to do if he finds his daughter in our yard and wants to take her? By all accounts he was very violent and has no legal right to his daughter.

    I don't want to be caught up in someone else's domestic problems, nor do I want to let him take his daughter while she is playing in my yard if he doesn't have legal custody. I believe that a lawyer would tell me that I do have some custodial libility for children playing at my house and could be liable if I allowed the child to be taken by someone I don't know to have legal authority.

    Anyway, two scenarios, thanks for any and all advice and I will share my thoughts later.
    Sounds like that second scenario also puts your daughter in danger.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Your property, "your law". I wouldn't be too keen on shotgunning a kid's dad in front of them...I wouldn't be totally averse either. How's the relationship between the child and the father? If "not great", they will probably take mom's advice, if she tells him/her to go with you if Dad shows up.

    We each decide what we can look at in the mirror,in the morning. I would just make sure I was "righteous and legal"...

    Get to know the neighbors. If they are good people, you'll have to decide if you're willing to defend them "as your own".

    "Am I my brothers keeper...?"

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    VIP Member Array randy7601's Avatar
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    Or the neighbor could be lying. Maybe the father has custody and the child was snatched by the mother years ago.

    I'd say take no lethal action until your daughter's safety is threatened.
    Randy
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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    I agree with all of the above.

    Thanks for the heads up neighbor lady but no thanks, I'm not your personal security nor am I interested in becoming involved personally or legally within your own domestic troubles.

    If this were me and this woman had told my wife as much I'd go over there myself and talk to her husband man to man to get his perspective toward what might maybe ~50% of the actual truth.
    I'd tell him in straight language that I have no involvement in his wifes drama, have no interest toward it, and do not want my own family or child involved either.

    They just might be the neighbors that are kept at arms length and waved to cordially from the other side of a fence.
    For a woman to be that afraid of a man to tell total strangers she doesn't even know from adam that might maybe her ex come back to kill her if he found her and to take off with _their_child. Then why would one think that this same maniac would not hurt me and mine too if for some odd reason crazy boy gets the idea that his ex and/or child is at my place or that I/we might even know where they went and are hiding elsewhere.

    No thanks, my life is exciting enough and needs no more drama that is not of my own manufacture.
    That's what I'd tell such a new to me stranger who just happens to live on my same block.

    People today are crazy and they don't always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth nor even believe in God.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Thanks for the heads up neighbor lady but no thanks, I'm not your personal security nor am I interested in becoming involved personally or legally within your own domestic troubles.
    My initial thoughts as well...just remember that there are two sides to every story and you have only heard one side. I would certainly look out for anyone getting near my daughter, but I do that anyway so not much would really change for me.

  7. #7
    Member Array Mad_Max's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randy7601 View Post
    Or the neighbor could be lying. Maybe the father has custody and the child was snatched by the mother years ago.

    I'd say take no lethal action until your daughter's safety is threatened.
    Very good point....dial 911 and let them sort it out.

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    Easier to lose the friendship of a new neighbor, then to be worried about the safety of your family. Like suggested above, have a talk with the husband who lives by you...

    Problems seem to come in 3's...OMO!
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    Member Array gmitch40's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies. Like I stated in the original post, all that she asked us to do is call the police. I have no problem doing that. She did not ask us to get more involved and I am happy to keep it that way.

    As for an instance where her daughter might be in our yard, I believe that a call to 911 would be merited as well. I believe that I have a legal custodial responsibility for children at my home and have a responsibility to ensure their safety.

    Simply put, I will not release a child that I am responsible for to anyone I don't know. If that upsets the "father" he can take it up with the police when they arrive. They can make the determination as to who should leave with who. If he is the father and has legal rights, then he should be willing to wait and respoect my intentions of protecting his daughter.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Unless you or your family are in fear of death or great bodily harm, do only two things: 1) Call the police, and 2) Be a good witness.
    "It's a big gun when I carry it, it is also a big gun when I take it out” – Clint Smith

  11. #11
    Member Array Muzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gmitch40 View Post
    ...If that upsets the "father" he can take it up with the police when they arrive. They can make the determination as to who should leave with who. If he is the father and has legal rights, then he should be willing to wait and respoect my intentions of protecting his daughter.
    I agree 100% with letting their troubles stay their troubles. (ETA - unless someone is being harmed/kidnapped - that came out wrong)

    Be vigilant when the little one is visiting - for your own family's sake (ETA - and of course, the daughter's sake. But when she's at your house, it then becomes a safety concern for your family too). If the father shows up and 'decides he doesn't want to wait and respect your intentions', that will probably go south real quick. They have taken up residence - when he finds her, it won't be like he just happened to see them at a gas station somewhere and had no choice but to act right then and there. If he is the GG in the situation and the mom is a parental kidnapper or something, when he finds out where she is, the police will more than likely be the ones that show up to take the daughter to her rightful guardian. If he just shows up out of the blue and tries to take her back by force, he is acting like a kidnapper, and shouldn't be all that shocked when you treat him like one. Just make sure you're ready for whatever the case ends up being.
    Last edited by Muzz; August 28th, 2007 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Didn't sound right when I came back and read it again - I read sjp's post and realized how what I said could be taken.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    If the kid is playing in your yard, you have a duty to protect them. If the father came and did not leave when asked or told, call the police in front of him and tell that you did. If he has custody rights, he should be happy if you did, I would bring the kids inside and let the police handle it, if the guy persists then you may need to defend yourself and the kids, i would not turn thr kid over to someone I dont know, if the cops come and decide that he is the righful custodian, then that is their call. I would not call the mom until the cops are there, things could get really ugly at that point.

  13. #13
    Member Array sjp2452's Avatar
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    I, for one, and very concerned about this line of thinking. Very recently there was an incident in Minneapolis where a woman was crying out during a sexual assault and her cries were ignored by no less than 10 people--caught on tape! I'd like to share a piece of my mind with each of 'em.

    You can see where I'm going. If this child is on your property, you are liable in all kinds of different ways for her safety. If she falls off the swingset and breaks her arm, guess who's responsible? If a man who you don't know or recognize tries to remove her from your property and you do nothing to stop it, you're no better than the 10 in Minneapolis, IMO. I have two kids. Do my neighbors assume that I'm lying when I say they're mine? Do I assume that my neighbors are lying about the kids next door belonging to them?

    What the heck has happened to this country anyway? This "I'm not gonna get involved" culture that we've created SUCKS. I will get involved if there's a possibility of a legit kidnapping under my nose. I will NOT be a party to the next Jessica Lunsford case. I know the kid, I know the family that she lives with. You're trying to take her from my property, and I don't know YOU. You're welcome to wait for the police to arrive to sort this out in a civil way, but she's in my yard and therefore under my protection...and rest assured I can get more violent than you.

    If there's serious doubt about the truthfulness of the mother, make a few phone calls to find out who has legal custody of the girl to satisfy yourself. But I've got no use for anybody that lets a kid get kidnapped off their property simply because "it ain't my problem."

    [/soapbox]

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    I agree with all of the above.

    Thanks for the heads up neighbor lady but no thanks, I'm not your personal security nor am I interested in becoming involved personally or legally within your own domestic troubles.

    If this were me and this woman had told my wife as much I'd go over there myself and talk to her husband man to man to get his perspective toward what might maybe ~50% of the actual truth.
    I'd tell him in straight language that I have no involvement in his wifes drama, have no interest toward it, and do not want my own family or child involved either.

    They just might be the neighbors that are kept at arms length and waved to cordially from the other side of a fence.
    For a woman to be that afraid of a man to tell total strangers she doesn't even know from adam that might maybe her ex come back to kill her if he found her and to take off with _their_child. Then why would one think that this same maniac would not hurt me and mine too if for some odd reason crazy boy gets the idea that his ex and/or child is at my place or that I/we might even know where they went and are hiding elsewhere.

    No thanks, my life is exciting enough and needs no more drama that is not of my own manufacture.
    That's what I'd tell such a new to me stranger who just happens to live on my same block.

    People today are crazy and they don't always tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth nor even believe in God.

    - Janq
    I HAVE to agree. It is unwise to get involved with casual friends or neighbors drama. I know it seems unfair to the little girl, but I would have to give serious thought as to whether I wanted my child to play with her....at least in the open. This is serious stuff and you don't know enough about it. I am not sure talking to the husband would be enough for me to throw in with this potental disaster.
    I know, "Am I my brother's keeper?" I would say no since this guy is NOT your brother or even a close friend.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
    Susan B. Anthony
    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
    Robert Heinlein

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjp2452 View Post
    I, for one, and very concerned about this line of thinking. Very recently there was an incident in Minneapolis where a woman was crying out during a sexual assault and her cries were ignored by no less than 10 people--caught on tape! I'd like to share a piece of my mind with each of 'em.

    You can see where I'm going. If this child is on your property, you are liable in all kinds of different ways for her safety. If she falls off the swingset and breaks her arm, guess who's responsible? If a man who you don't know or recognize tries to remove her from your property and you do nothing to stop it, you're no better than the 10 in Minneapolis, IMO. I have two kids. Do my neighbors assume that I'm lying when I say they're mine? Do I assume that my neighbors are lying about the kids next door belonging to them?

    What the heck has happened to this country anyway? This "I'm not gonna get involved" culture that we've created SUCKS. I will get involved if there's a possibility of a legit kidnapping under my nose. I will NOT be a party to the next Jessica Lunsford case. I know the kid, I know the family that she lives with. You're trying to take her from my property, and I don't know YOU. You're welcome to wait for the police to arrive to sort this out in a civil way, but she's in my yard and therefore under my protection...and rest assured I can get more violent than you.

    If there's serious doubt about the truthfulness of the mother, make a few phone calls to find out who has legal custody of the girl to satisfy yourself. But I've got no use for anybody that lets a kid get kidnapped off their property simply because "it ain't my problem."

    [/soapbox]
    This is completely different than the woman being raped....which I agree that someone should have at least called the Police.
    The mother of the child said the ex would probably kill her. If she is to be believed...this is a violent person. I wouldn't stand by, but I would call the police and let them sort this out. I believe I would only let the child come into the house or in the backyard out of sight if that much. I don't believe it is his responsibility to get involved in a potentally explosive incident.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
    Susan B. Anthony
    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
    Robert Heinlein

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