Intruder In Car By Mistake

This is a discussion on Intruder In Car By Mistake within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here is what happended to my son-in-law today. He was shopping in a local supermarket and parked his car in the parking lot by the ...

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  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Intruder In Car By Mistake

    Here is what happended to my son-in-law today. He was shopping in a local supermarket and parked his car in the parking lot by the store. When he finished shopping, he put his groceries in the trunk, and then got behind the wheel. Almost immediately, the front passenger door opens and a man gets in the front seat.

    My son-in-law is, of course shocked, and is about to react when the guy looks over and says something like " Oh my, I am so sorry, I thought this was my car," and immediatlely left the car. My son-in-law said that it appeared to him that the guy was very embarrassed, and that it was actually an honest mistake by an older man. My son-in-law does not carry a gun.

    When he told me what had happened, my reaction was that the guy was lucky it was not my car because he would, instantly, have had a gun pointed at his head. My daughter, who was not in the car at the time, but present when he told me what had happened, commented that she hoped that I would not have pulled the trigger.

    My response to her comment was of course not, don't be rediculous, but then I got to thinking. I have just gotten in my car, a stranger startles me by opening the passenger door and gets in the car. I wonder!

    Ron
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    I usually lock my car doors with the power lock (if I'm in the car that has it) before I actually get into the car. Perhaps that will prevent another occurrence like this one?

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    Member Array chenemf's Avatar
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    Stupidity (or carelesssness) isn't a crime that carries the death sentence. Hopefully the lack of a threat would be recognized by the CCW holder and no one would be hurt.

    Best defense is to keep the doors locked like stated by falcon1.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by falcon1 View Post
    I usually lock my car doors with the power lock (if I'm in the car that has it) before I actually get into the car. Perhaps that will prevent another occurrence like this one?
    True, but my post is intended to seek responses to the comment made by my daughter about hoping that I would not have pulled the trigger.

    Ron
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chenemf View Post
    Stupidity (or carelesssness) isn't a crime that carries the death sentence. Hopefully the lack of a threat would be recognized by the CCW holder and no one would be hurt.

    Best defense is to keep the doors locked like stated by falcon1.
    You are right, of course, but what apparently happened here is that the intruder entered the car almost simultaneously with my son-in-law so that he would not have had the chance to lock the doors.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    True, but my post is intended to seek responses to the comment made by my daughter about hoping that I would not have pulled the trigger.

    Ron
    On one hand , I would like to think that the accidental passenger would immediately see the error of his way, and that I would have the piece of mind to recognize this and maintain that vigilance and not pull the trigger. However, I don't want to become the accidental victim, so I don't know if the touch and press wouldn't have been almost instinctual.

    Very tough situation indeed.
    "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in ... And how many want out." British Prime Minister Tony Blair

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    I, too, hope you would not have pulled the trigger.

    If you pulled the trigger and it was later discovered that it was just an everyday guy with a wife and two kids, getting in the car while waiting for his wife to come out after getting her nails done, well, then I think you would be having a very bad day.

    On the other hand, I don't think that drawing is a bad response either. Because, no, you don't know his intentions.

    It could also be that he IS someone trying to rob, or harm you.

    On that note, the moment he looks over, whether his intentions are honorable or not, the moment he sees the barrel of a gun sticking in his face, I'm sure he'll understand that he made a serious mistake.

    He gets back out of the car, you call the police (because he could be lying, saying that he made a mistake when the previous six times he's gotten into another person's car he's robbed and killed its occupants) and everyone goes home alive... Maybe not happy (if he is legit he'll probably not like having a gun pointed at him.. heck.. even if he's not legit he probably won't like it), but at least alive.

    Now, some might argue that in that close of proximity if it's a bad guy he is close enough to do some serious damage, even if you have the drop on him.

    This is true.

    Let's say a guy gets into your car, you respond by drawing your gun.

    He puts up his hands and puts on an innocent face and tells you it's a mistake... Suddenly, BAM. He lunges out, grabs the barrel of your gun and pins it to the seat while going for a knife with the other hand.

    He's manipulated you into thinking he's a good guy scared to death, which makes you ease up, and feel silly and then he's got you.

    I'd say in this case (since he's already in your car and it's well established that your perimeter of locking your doors to make sure no one can just step in your car has just been broken) draw your gun and protect it with your weak hand. Pull the gun back to your chest, turn sideways as much as possible and protect your firing hand. At that close of distance, point shooting is all that's required. If your door's still open, try to back out and don't stop thinking he's a threat, no matter what he tells you, until he's out of the car and half way across the parking lot and you have your doors locked and are on the phone with the police.

    If he's in your car and makes a move TOWARD YOU, all bets are off. If he starts clawing like a wild animal to get out of the car, let him.

    If you think you would have fired, I'm not sure what to tell you. I won't say, "Calm Down," because too many people around this world are too danged calm and it's time they did get excited about a few things.

    I'm sure we've all done it before.. Why, just a month ago I tried the door handle of a JEEP I thought was mine and was pretty embarrassed to look up and see that my car was another row over. I KNEW I didn't have running boards on my car. So, I can't really fault a person for accidentally getting into the wrong car. But I can't fault you for getting excited over it either. There are a lot of crazy people out there who do a lot of crazy things and were it not for them, none of us would be as ready to respond as we are.

    I'd say, instead, work on watching hands and learn not to be manipulated by facial expressions and hand gestures. Someone can LOOK very innocent but still be plotting your doom, or distracting you with their innocent face while going for a weapon. Even pretending to go for a doorknob while still going for a weapon.

    As the old saying goes, "Watch the hands, hands kill."

    When you have a gun to his chest and your watching his face and listening to his words you're concentrating on the wrong stuff. You should be watching his hands and not listening to a darned thing he's saying.

    If you see him grab the door knob and get out of the car, great. If you see him go for a pocket and start to pull something out, too bad for him.

    Try doing to training for your eyes with flash cards. I can't remember what the name of the training is but you can do it just riding down the street in your car. It's training your eyes to recognize things at subliminal levels.

    The human eye usually passes over something three times before our brain can interpret exactly what that something is. If your eyes haven't had the time to pass over that object the second or third time, the brain fills in the blanks with that it believes the object to be. That is why people mistake words they have read on billboards or thought they saw a knife or a gun when it was really just a pen or a wallet.

    But the eyes CAN be trained to "see" more with just one pass.

    While you are driving down the road and something flashes by you. Resist the urge to look at it again and try to recall what it was EXACTLY that you saw (colors, shapes, words, numbers, etcetera). You'd be surprised how much detail you really saw. The more you practice this, the more accustom your eyes and brain will get to working together quickly.

    You could then be able to recognize INSTANTLY, if someone is pulling out a knife or their own keys, and so on.

    I'd hate learning that I just shot an innocent man, but I'd hate it even more if I doubted myself and ended up getting hurt because of it.

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    VIP Member Array peacefuljeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron View Post
    True, but my post is intended to seek responses to the comment made by my daughter about hoping that I would not have pulled the trigger.

    Ron
    I, for one, would probably excuse you for having pulled the trigger because frankly, if the person entering your car is indeed a threat you will have precious little time to do anything about it; and once that window of time closes, that could be it for you.

    The blame would rest with the guy who was SO unobservant that he got into a car that wasn't his. Would it be a tragedy? Yes, of course. Would it be your fault? Not at all.

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    Member Array Bonesnofoa's Avatar
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    I went over a friends place, he lives in an apartment and i had only been there once before. I had been so certain of the apartment number i just walked in. Two people turned and were looking at me blankly, as i apologized quickly and closed the door.

    I sure felt stupid at getting the right door but the wrong set of door. My friend was one building down.

    I still feel stupid.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ghettokracker71's Avatar
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    Well, being as that I drive a modified,VERY distinct car, I don't think this would happen to me ANYWAY, much less I have my doors lock before I'm even in the car. When I unlock my car,soon as I reach the interior door handle,I flip the lock switch,make sure nobody has breeched the passenger door (coupe) and get in,close the door. I'm good to roll.


    "To blame a gun for a mans decision is to foolishly attribute free will to an inanimate object"- Colion Noir.

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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by purple88yj View Post
    On one hand , I would like to think that the accidental passenger would immediately see the error of his way, and that I would have the piece of mind to recognize this and maintain that vigilance and not pull the trigger. However, I don't want to become the accidental victim, so I don't know if the touch and press wouldn't have been almost instinctual.

    Very tough situation indeed.
    I think so, too,"tough situation," which is what kind of scared me, got me thinking and why I started this thread.
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    I, too, hope you would not have pulled the trigger.

    If you pulled the trigger and it was later discovered that it was just an everyday guy with a wife and two kids, getting in the car while waiting for his wife to come out after getting her nails done, well, then I think you would be having a very bad day.

    On the other hand, I don't think that drawing is a bad response either. Because, no, you don't know his intentions.

    It could also be that he IS someone trying to rob, or harm you.

    On that note, the moment he looks over, whether his intentions are honorable or not, the moment he sees the barrel of a gun sticking in his face, I'm sure he'll understand that he made a serious mistake.

    He gets back out of the car, you call the police (because he could be lying, saying that he made a mistake when the previous six times he's gotten into another person's car he's robbed and killed its occupants) and everyone goes home alive... Maybe not happy (if he is legit he'll probably not like having a gun pointed at him.. heck.. even if he's not legit he probably won't like it), but at least alive.

    Now, some might argue that in that close of proximity if it's a bad guy he is close enough to do some serious damage, even if you have the drop on him.

    This is true.

    Let's say a guy gets into your car, you respond by drawing your gun.

    He puts up his hands and puts on an innocent face and tells you it's a mistake... Suddenly, BAM. He lunges out, grabs the barrel of your gun and pins it to the seat while going for a knife with the other hand.

    He's manipulated you into thinking he's a good guy scared to death, which makes you ease up, and feel silly and then he's got you.

    I'd say in this case (since he's already in your car and it's well established that your perimeter of locking your doors to make sure no one can just step in your car has just been broken) draw your gun and protect it with your weak hand. Pull the gun back to your chest, turn sideways as much as possible and protect your firing hand. At that close of distance, point shooting is all that's required. If your door's still open, try to back out and don't stop thinking he's a threat, no matter what he tells you, until he's out of the car and half way across the parking lot and you have your doors locked and are on the phone with the police.

    If he's in your car and makes a move TOWARD YOU, all bets are off. If he starts clawing like a wild animal to get out of the car, let him.

    If you think you would have fired, I'm not sure what to tell you. I won't say, "Calm Down," because too many people around this world are too danged calm and it's time they did get excited about a few things.

    I'm sure we've all done it before.. Why, just a month ago I tried the door handle of a JEEP I thought was mine and was pretty embarrassed to look up and see that my car was another row over. I KNEW I didn't have running boards on my car. So, I can't really fault a person for accidentally getting into the wrong car. But I can't fault you for getting excited over it either. There are a lot of crazy people out there who do a lot of crazy things and were it not for them, none of us would be as ready to respond as we are.

    I'd say, instead, work on watching hands and learn not to be manipulated by facial expressions and hand gestures. Someone can LOOK very innocent but still be plotting your doom, or distracting you with their innocent face while going for a weapon. Even pretending to go for a doorknob while still going for a weapon.

    As the old saying goes, "Watch the hands, hands kill."

    When you have a gun to his chest and your watching his face and listening to his words you're concentrating on the wrong stuff. You should be watching his hands and not listening to a darned thing he's saying.

    If you see him grab the door knob and get out of the car, great. If you see him go for a pocket and start to pull something out, too bad for him.

    Try doing to training for your eyes with flash cards. I can't remember what the name of the training is but you can do it just riding down the street in your car. It's training your eyes to recognize things at subliminal levels.

    The human eye usually passes over something three times before our brain can interpret exactly what that something is. If your eyes haven't had the time to pass over that object the second or third time, the brain fills in the blanks with that it believes the object to be. That is why people mistake words they have read on billboards or thought they saw a knife or a gun when it was really just a pen or a wallet.

    But the eyes CAN be trained to "see" more with just one pass.

    While you are driving down the road and something flashes by you. Resist the urge to look at it again and try to recall what it was EXACTLY that you saw (colors, shapes, words, numbers, etcetera). You'd be surprised how much detail you really saw. The more you practice this, the more accustom your eyes and brain will get to working together quickly.

    You could then be able to recognize INSTANTLY, if someone is pulling out a knife or their own keys, and so on.

    I'd hate learning that I just shot an innocent man, but I'd hate it even more if I doubted myself and ended up getting hurt because of it.
    Thanks for this detailed response, Lima. Very informative. Now, don't misunderstand, I am not saying I would have pulled the trigger, but given the recent spat of gun related violence in South Florida, and the shock of being followed into your car by an intruder, I was really just sort of thinking out loud about what might have happened.

    Ron
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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    VIP Member Array obxned's Avatar
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    There is a reason we have locks on car doors. Use them. The best way to handle this situaton is to not let it happen. Also, be aware of who is around when you are in a parking lot.
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    Tough One

    This is a strange situation. Luckily everyone is ok. I can see how this could happen. I have walked up to a vehicle that wasn't mine when I drove a more common vehicle. I never proceeded to enter it though, realizing before I got the door open.

    As for pulling the gun, shooting the guy, whatever, we have to take it as it plays out. There are hundreds of different scenarios for this one depending on time, place, vehicle, whatever, we can't cover them all. Hopefully Ron's daughter doesn't think of him as someone with an itchy trigger finger.

    First pay attention to the surroundings. If the two people entered the car almost at the same time, then he should have seen the guy walking along with him, or towards him in order for both to reach the doors almost the same time.

    Why wouldn't you exit the vehicle. If you were just getting seated in your vehicle, assuming he hadn't started it, or buckled his belt, it seems the best option, armed or unarmed, would be to exit the vehicle immediately and take a defensive possition from the freedom of the parking lot. If the would be BG is in my car, I would prefer to be outside the car, instead of trying to fend him off from within the vehicle.

    Locking doors is the best bet, although in this situation it doesn't seem it would have worked. I guess there is something to be said for those of us that still drive vehicles without keyless entry, or if you have a vehicle that on the first open only the drivers side door is unlocked. Only one door gets unlocked at a time with a key. In my case, unless my hard top is on my Jeep, the doors are never locked, so I just pay attention to what is going on around me.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farronwolf View Post
    As for pulling the gun, shooting the guy, whatever, we have to take it as it plays out. There are hundreds of different scenarios for this one depending on time, place, vehicle, whatever, we can't cover them all. Hopefully Ron's daughter doesn't think of him as someone with an itchy trigger finger.
    No, my daughter knows me better then that, and made the comment recognizing how bizarre the situation was. For me this situation, even though not involving me directly, emphasizes that we can't anticipate every scenario in advance and have to be prepared for the truly unexpected.

    Ron
    Last edited by Scott; October 19th, 2007 at 06:57 AM. Reason: fixed quote tag
    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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