Witnessed an altercation at the restaurant tonight

This is a discussion on Witnessed an altercation at the restaurant tonight within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We had relatives visiting for the evening, so we took them out for supper. We went to a nice restaurant in a good part of ...

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Thread: Witnessed an altercation at the restaurant tonight

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Witnessed an altercation at the restaurant tonight

    We had relatives visiting for the evening, so we took them out for supper. We went to a nice restaurant in a good part of town, a place where we have eaten often with no problems of any sort.

    I pulled up to the door and let all the girls out. I mentioned to my uncle to stay in the vehicle while I went to park. I wanted to get him alone in order to tell him that if anything bad happened inside, I would pass him a gun or two. He's from NM and has had guns all his life, but doesn't have his CCW. He carries guns in his cars at home, has loaded guns in his house, and can open carry in his state, but he hasn't seen the need to get a permit to carry concealed.

    Anyway, as we are dropping off the girls at the door to my right, I hear loud yelling about 30 feet away, ahead and to my left. Once the girls get out and I pull forward just a bit and move past a big awning column, I see two adult males standing nose-to-nose yelling at each other. They are sticking their fingers in each other's face and yelling/screaming at each other.

    I dial 911 immediately and report it, and as I'm talking to the dispatcher one guy shoves the other. I drive the vehicle on ahead to get out of their immediate vicinity in case weapons come into play. As my uncle and I are walking to the restaurant, the two combatants separate--one leaves, and one goes inside the restaurant.

    After I mention me passing a gun to my uncle if needed, he asks me if this happens often here. I said, "Anything could happen at anytime. Just like this fight--we didn't expect it, but it happened."

    So we get inside, and the big table the girls are sitting at is right next to one of the combatants, the one who had shoved the other first. I'm concerned the other guy might come back with a gun and finish the fight. Here's my second choice I had to make (after dialing 911): I thought about having everyone move to a different table, but I chose not to because 1) it would have caused a huge commotion since there were no other large tables available, and 2) the wife would have lost her mind accusing me of being paranoid. So I took the seat where I could see this guy, and also where I could see the restaurant parking lot through big windows. The entrance was off to one side near the front. The front doors weren't visible from inside, but I could see the opening where the foyer joined the dining area.

    About 5 minutes later I see cruisers rolling up outside. This place is a buffet, and I had been watching purses while everyone else went to get food. Just as I saw the cruisers pull in, my daughter came back. So I got up and headed for the door. Now the buffet line was near the door, and since the door is isolated from the restaurant, no one inside noticed that I slipped outside to talk to the police.

    I caught them just before they came through the door. I told them I was the one who called, and asked if we could discuss it outside. So we stepped outside, still in complete privacy from everyone inside.

    Out of habit, I whipped out my billfold and grabbed my driver's license and CCW license as I was talking to them. I fanned them out so they were both clearly visible. Here in MO, the CCW license has red lettering, and the driver's license has blue, so they are clearly recognizable at a distance. I was talking to the LEO on my right, and he probably didn't see them clearly. The LEO on my left got a clear view of both licenses.

    I told them what happened, and that I was concerned the other guy might come back with a gun. I told them my entire family was sitting next to one fighter, and if the second came back with a gun, I might be forced to get involved. They said they would talk to the guy to try and ascertain whether the other guy might come back. They said that was their intention all along. I told them I didn't want my name on any reports. They had no problem with that since they'd had several 911 calls. Nothing was said by any of us about my CCW or guns, but they surely knew I was armed since I had been holding up both my licenses for the duration of the conversation. That was my way of notifying them without wasting time and words, and it seemed to suffice.

    I described the fighter to them and told them where he was sitting. Then they went on inside, and after a half a minute or so, I slipped in and blended with the people at the buffet. I didn't want the combatant to know I was involved with calling or talking to the police. Part of protecting my family is keeping my name off the police report, and keeping anyone from identifying us or our vehicle for possible future retribution. Even when I displayed my CCW license, the officers did not make a point of getting my name. Thankfully, they were more concerned about talking to one of the fighters than recording my info.

    The police talked to the guy inside for about 10 minutes, and then left. I sat where I had a good view of the entire place, but I didn't give the fighter any stares or treat him any differently than I treated any of the other patrons. He had no clue I called the police, nor that I had spoken to them. I became "the grey man." As someone here said, "the most tactical person is one who isn't noticed."

    I guess my point is that my decision to call the police immediately was learned from this forum. So was the precaution of taking an extra gun or two in order to pass to someone else who doesn't have a license in case things go bad. Years ago I probably wouldn't have called 911, but would have just stayed out of it. But now I realize, with my family inside, I was involved whether I wanted to be or not. And I wanted LEO on the scene to identify at least one of the participants in case there was a shooting later.

    The guy eventually left with no other issues, and the other guy never came back.

    Some of you may think I was paranoid, especially with the extra guns I took, but as I was sitting there eating, I knew I had taken all the precautions I could. I didn't know what would happen, but I felt as prepared as I could be, given the situation. My family was not directly in the line of fire if the second guy had returned, but they were so close that... well, they were so close they would have been in mortal danger if the second guy came in firing. We were about 8' from this guy's table. I would have had no real choice, other than to hope a stray round didn't hit them... and I wasn't choosing that option. Strange, now that I think about it, I never even considered trying to herd them all out of danger if needed. There would not have been time.

    I knew what my only option would have been, and looking back, only one option made sense. If he came in firing, I would have had to drop him in order to keep my family safe.

    I owe much of my instinctive reactions tonight to what I have read on this forum. I guess I'm relaying this incident so others can see one more example that something unexpected and bad can happen any place, any time. If we wait to prepare until it happens, we are far too late.

    IMO, preparation and mindset are the keys... and not listening when people call you paranoid... or draconian.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I might of not dropped the girls off and left them alone while you parked the vehicle,It's a nice gesture but leaves them vulnerable while your parking
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    Go Grady......you did exactly what one should do...

    Safety of self and family comes first..."You did very well, Grasshopper."

    Stay safe...stay alert...stay safe!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    It sounds like you handled this very well. Thought out, plan in mind. Glad it worked out ok!
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin

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    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Go Grady......you did exactly what one should do...

    Safety of self and family comes first..."You did very well, Grasshopper."

    Stay safe...stay alert...stay safe!
    X 2!

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    Had you been sitting there and seen guy #2 park in the lot and start heading toward the restaurant. What would you suggest for the ladies? Head out the front door? Go out a side door? Go to the restroom? Of course I don't know the layout of the restaurant, but I sure would want my family at a safe distance and possibly me too.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    Member Array gwlammers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    I knew what my only option would have been, and looking back, only one option made sense. If he came in firing, I would have had to drop him in order to keep my family safe. .
    If you really thought that the guy would come back to the restaurant, your best option would be to leave. Avoiding a fight is the best way to protect yourself and your family.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    I might of not dropped the girls off and left them alone while you parked the vehicle,It's a nice gesture but leaves them vulnerable while your parking
    Agreed.
    I stopped doing this old timey gesture over a decade ago, upon seeing at clubs other folks females being harrassed as their escorts were out of sight parking the car or some other such. I've seen it happen enough that my mind was changed and has been ever since.

    Also agreed about leaving.
    If I had any thought/concern that dude would return I'd simply leave and select a new venue. Damn the bellyaching from the women folk and unbelievers.

    On the whole though good job Grady in calling the cops and heading them off outside to debrief them toward what went down.

    - 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

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    Member Array Tye_Defender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    I wanted to get him alone in order to tell him that if anything bad happened inside, I would pass him a gun or two.
    This statement seemed odd to me. I don't know anyone, relatives or friends, that I would need to do this for. I don't carry an extra weapon for anyone, they can bring their own.

    Seriously though, I can't imagine a scenario where I would need to drop someone off at the front door so I could tell someone else that if problems occur, I've got a gun for them.

    1) If I know them and trust them with a gun in this situation, they have a permit and are bringing their own. If I know they have a permit but have decided not to carry, they may (probably) not be mentally prepared for what is happening anyway, so I'll keep my backup gun for myself.

    2) If I was going in somewhere that I felt the need to brief someone else about the dangers, etc. I would not go in there armed. If I had a choice, I wouldn't go in there at all. If I had to go in, I go in as a scared rabbit, ready to bolt at anytime. If I have any doubts to my ability to survive in that place unarmed, I revert to my first choice. I don't go in.

    3) I would never take my family, or anyone else for that matter, to a place that I felt the need to bring extra guns for other people. If you are concerned enough about an area that you do that much preperation, it's not a good place, stay out.

    I guess my main problem is, my perceived danger level would need to be way above normal before I felt the need to discuss specific plans with someone, and that level is way above what I would tolerate going to myself. To use Jeff Cooper's terminology, in condition Yellow I don't feel the need to discuss specific plans for defending myself on a specific day in a specific location. And I won't go somewhere that puts me in condition Orange by choice.

    If I was already in a place and was triggered to condition Orange, I might hand over a backup gun to a trusted friend/relative, but it would depend on the situation. But they wouldn't know I was going to do it till I was doing it. If I had doubts that they could accept the surprise gun without giving us away, they wouldn't get it.

    Not my prime reason, but one most here will understand. If bad things do happen, I don't want somebody pestering me to hand them a gun that I told them I had for them, it affects my aim.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array youngda9's Avatar
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    Several things jumped out at me in this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    We went to a nice restaurant in a good part of town

    This place is a buffet
    Can you really have both at the same place?

    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    I mentioned to my uncle to stay in the vehicle while I went to park. I wanted to get him alone in order to tell him that if anything bad happened inside, I would pass him a gun or two.

    ...the wife would have lost her mind accusing me of being paranoid.
    Sorry but I think she may have just reason to feel this way if your first act when going "to a nice restaurant in a good part of town" is to secretly offer to pass out handguns if something should happen....seems very odd(paranoid) to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    So we get inside, and the big table the girls are sitting at is right next to one of the combatants, the one who had shoved the other first.
    If something did happen, this would be your major regret of the evening. Get out of the line of (possible)fire.


    You did the right things with the cops, and you handled the conversation and re-integration into the food line quite well :)
    Speak softly, and carry a big stick.

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    I pretty much agree with the above comments - you made well thought out responses - and some of the other comments are very valid.

    Was you dinner OK anyway?

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    Ex Member Array JammanX's Avatar
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    If you havent been to St. Louis you might not understand. There is no good part of town. The BGs like the good parts of town. I was 15 yo visiting family in Detroit and my 28 yo cousin asked me if I knew how to handle a gun. After teaching him about his .38. He handed it to me and said "Keep it till you leave". Halloween night they let me take the car out (Been driving alone since 8) to take my brother, sisters and cousins trick or treating and he put a shotgun in the trunk. They live in a "good" part of town. Luckily I didnt have a need for it but a shooting/robbery occured one block over an hour after we got back.

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    VIP Member Array Thanis's Avatar
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    I don't think I would pass a firearm to anyone. Then again, most everyone I know I would pass a gun to and go out to dinner with already carries.

    You bring up a good point about everyone calling 911, but we always forget how that gets you involved (and it is public record, I think).

    Also, not sure, here in MI, I would show LE my CCW permit without them asking (unless it was a traffic stop).

    After all the action, did “...your dinner...taste better than any meal you’ve ever eaten, and tomorrow (was)...the most beautiful day" (Fight Club).

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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    What I find good... you were aware, preventing if possible with the Police & getting them involved early, positioning yourself, being prepared, and re-assessing....

    Were there other options, yes.... but you were using your head & thinking ahead..... good job.

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    Member Array mtnclimber's Avatar
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    I argee that you did everything very well. I wish there were more like you out there. The BG's would have a tougher time of it!

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