The Philadelphia Subway Incident

This is a discussion on The Philadelphia Subway Incident within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; As you all have undoubtedly seen in the news lately, a random victim was attacked by a man wielding a claw-hammer on a subway train ...

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Thread: The Philadelphia Subway Incident

  1. #1
    Member Array frankborelli's Avatar
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    The Philadelphia Subway Incident

    As you all have undoubtedly seen in the news lately, a random victim was attacked by a man wielding a claw-hammer on a subway train in Philadelphia on Tuesday, 9/9. TEN other passengers on the subway took no action during the attack except to get out of harms way. The attacker had has six year old son with him during the attack and made sure that his son was safely seated before turning to attack the surprised victim.

    I made the observation to my wife that I wondered if any of the ten other passengers were carrying? It IS Pennsylvania after all. Her response was, "If I was I'm not sure I'd have been legally justified in shooting." Then after a pause she added, "And if I did I'd be worried about how the police and justice system would treat me; whether or not the guy's family would sue me; if he didn't die would he sue me, etc."

    That made me curious about the outlook of other CCW holders. As a retired cop I'm confident that I'd have confronted the man with a single warning (dependent on circumstances) and then done what was necessary.

    What are your thoughts?
    Frank Borelli
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    "Cogito, ergo armatum sum"
    I think, therefore I am armed.

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  3. #2
    JD
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    The story and discussion can be found here: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...passenger.html

    I would have shot the guy plain and simple.

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    A lawsuit is all but guaranteed in this age. You should just expect that there will be one if you ever have to use your sidearm.

    I'm with you there. Give the guy a moment to cease, then do what is necessary to protect the guy that was just sitting there. Even if you are leery about helping someone else, you never know if he is planning on attacking someone else once he is done with that victim.

    ETA: Let me clarify. I would only give the guy a "moment" to cease if there was enough space between us that I could react if he turned on me. Otherwise, I wouldn't give him the chance to come at me.
    eschew obfuscation

    The only thing that stops bad guys with guns is good guys with guns. SgtD

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    This case is very clear-cut, with an armed offender initiating an attack against an innocent victim. So unlike so many intervention scenarios, the aggressor / victim decision here is solid and easy to make.

    The next concern would be bystanders / backstop, but in the video they all baaaa in unison and flock to the other side of the car, so that issue is resolved.

    I'd have taken position with one of the poles between us, off to the side (so the side of the car was the backstop, not the adjacent car), and commanded him to stop. He's using force calculated to cause death or great bodily harm against another human being, and using deadly force (or threat of same) to stop him is both legally and morally justified, IMHO.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
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    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Not sure about PA law but "standing in the shoes" of the victim I couyld find my way clear to defend him. The unfortunate part of this is the fact the BG brought his son with. That affect my calculus to some degree but... Again, with FL law assuming the facts are as reported there could be no lawsuit.
    rolyat63
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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    I'll preface this by saying, self-defense and deadly force laws vary by state and as they say on the PGA tour, if you're gonna play the game, you'd better know the rules........

    Now, having made that standard disclaimer, I'll speak only to FL, because that's where I live and those are the specific laws with which I'm familiar. In FL, the use of deadly force is authorized to stop a forcible felony against yourself or another person. If I witnessed someone beating another person in the head with a hammer, I like to think that I would respond to stop that attack.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."

    Theodore Roosevelt

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    JD
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    In PA it would have been legal to shoot, especially if the attacker is armed attacking an unarmed individual.

    § 506. Use of force for the protection of other persons.

    (a) General rule.--The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable to protect a third person when:

    1. the actor would be justified under section 505 of this title (relating to use of force in self-protection) in using such force to protect himself against the injury he believes to be threatened to the person whom he seeks to protect;
    2. under the circumstances as the actor believes them to be, the person whom he seeks to protect would be justified in using such protective force; and
    3. the actor believes that his intervention is necessary for the protection of such other person.

    (b) Exceptions.--Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section:

    1. When the actor would be obliged under section 505 of this title to retreat, to surrender the possession of a thing or to comply with a demand before using force in self-protection, he is not obliged to do so before using force for the protection of another person, unless he knows that he can thereby secure the complete safety of such other person.
    2. When the person whom the actor seeks to protect would be obliged under section 505 of this title to retreat, to surrender the possession of a thing or to comply with a demand if he knew that he could obtain complete safety by so doing, the actor is obliged to try to cause him to do so before using force in his protection if the actor knows that he can obtain complete safety in that way.
    3. Neither the actor nor the person whom he seeks to protect is obliged to retreat when in the dwelling or place of work of the other to any greater extent than in his own.
    § 505. Use of force in self-protection.

    (a) Use of force justifiable for protection of the person.--The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.

    (b) Limitations on justifying necessity for use of force.--

    1. The use of force is not justifiable under this section:
    1. to resist an arrest which the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, although the arrest is unlawful; or
    2. to resist force used by the occupier or possessor of property or by another person on his behalf, where the actor knows that the person using the force is doing so under a claim of right to protect the property, except that this limitation shall not apply if:

    (A) the actor is a public officer acting in the performance of his duties or a person lawfully assisting him therein or a person making or assisting in a lawful arrest;
    (B) the actor has been unlawfully dispossessed of the property and is making a reentry or recaption justified by section 507 of this title (relating to use of force for the protection of property); or
    (C) the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death or serious bodily injury.


    2. The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat; nor is it justifiable if:
    1. the actor, with the intent of causing death or serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force against himself in the same encounter; or
    2. the actor knows that he can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety by retreating or by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a demand that he abstain from any action which he has no duty to take, except that:

    (A) the actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by another person whose place of work the actor knows it to be; and
    (B) a public officer justified in using force in the performance of his duties or a person justified in using force in his assistance or a person justified in using force in making an arrest or preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or prevent such escape because of resistance or threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person against whom such action is directed.


    3. Except as required by paragraphs (1) and (2) of this subsection, a person employing protective force may estimate the necessity thereof under the circumstances as he believes them to be when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.

    (c) Use of confinement as protective force.--The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of confinement as protective force only if the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he knows that he safely can, unless the person confined has been arrested on a charge of crime.

  9. #8
    Member Array IfIhaveto's Avatar
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    Growing up in Oakland...Public transportation has always been a gamble...such a terrible act....

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    "If I was I'm not sure I'd have been legally justified in shooting." Then after a pause she added, "And if I did I'd be worried about how the police and justice system would treat me; whether or not the guy's family would sue me; if he didn't die would he sue me, etc."
    Here's a good read, with lots of information.

    Commentary by Evan Marshall

    I am a current LEO and my agency has declared that, "Any actions taken off duty will not be considered within the scope of your employment."

    That was the legal beagle I quoted from when I had to set through the lecture at FLETC. It sucks, but since I'm not covered, and not willing to risk the financial ruin of my family. I'll protect myself, loved ones and if an identified LEO needs help, I'll help. Everybody else gets a "good witness" and a call to 911, nothing more.

    I took an oath to my wife and I intend to honor that. Part of that oath has to do with not leaving her bankrupt and living in a box under a bridge. I also took an oath when I took this job. I will honor that when I'm "on the clock" and do nothing to allow the agency to fire me for off duty conduct.

    It sucks, but it's what I have to work with. I don't live in "Fantasia" and know the political climate of where I live and work. Also, remember, "The law isn't what's printed in black and white, it's what the local prosecutor says it is."

    Biker

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    An item of observance, over at ABCNews.com this story has been picked up to include a brief video report with an interview of the victim and his _mother_.


    http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=5757708

    Dude turns out to be what appears to be a high school aged looking person yet he's got arms full of tats and on his face as well including a tear tat under his right eye along with a group of stars (irony!) by his left.
    A tear tat under the eye used to be scored in prison and was an indicator that the wearer had committed a murder whilst in prison.

    Now I wonder and this is not blaming the victim, but could it be that this tear on his face have singled him out to the attacker.
    Further wearing such a tat is to my mind akin to wearing a spider web tat at ones elbow, yet another of what used to be a prison and crime life sign.

    Again not blaming the victim for having been victimized, but his tats in a covert and overt manner do indicate to the world that looks upon him that he is at the least a 'hood if not a bad man. To which now clearly he is not.
    The attacker appeared to be of Islamic faith per his clothing and headdress. As well the victim reports in the ABCNews clip that the attacker kept repeating a statement that he says included the words "Allah".

    A lesson to be known in life is don't bark if you've got no teeth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JD View Post
    I would have shot the guy plain and simple.
    You and me both, without hesitation....
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper View Post
    You and me both, without hesitation....
    That makes THREE of us...
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  14. #13
    Member Array frankborelli's Avatar
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    The question I had to ask of some folks on a different forum was this:

    Could you live with yourself if you stood by and did nothing?

    THAT answer is clear cut and fairly simple - and will drive you to act in a way you'll not be ashamed of.
    Frank Borelli
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    "Cogito, ergo armatum sum"
    I think, therefore I am armed.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    I don't think this one is clear cut, but I would have stopped the attack if it were not in self-defense..... which it appears it was not.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    That makes THREE of us...
    Four.
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