Defending Others

Defending Others

This is a discussion on Defending Others within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is a real situation that happened to me before I had a CCP in the state. I think about what I would have done ...

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Thread: Defending Others

  1. #1
    Member Array svinfinity45's Avatar
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    Defending Others

    This is a real situation that happened to me before I had a CCP in the state. I think about what I would have done had I been carrying.

    I was in Providence, RI at about 0100. I was the designated driver for a group of about 5 of my good friends. We were walking back to the car from a pizza place, and my friends were slightly intoxicated....not stumbling drunk, but they each had had a few. As we are walking the mile or so back to the car, a group of about 10 darkly dressed middle aged men stroll out of a all colored club. They seem to be following us about 50 feet back for the first 2 turns we make, so I tell my friends to increase speed and I notice they do the same. Eventually we had to stop at a dark intersection and wait for some traffic. ( I had already thought about continuing in a different direction or well lit area but there was none in sight and I did NOT want to get lost on these guys turf) By the time we were across the street, they were about 5 feet behind us, and the street was dark, no traffic, no peds besides us. One of them walks in front of us (I was point) and tells us to give them our pizza boxes. No big deal, a robbery of pizza. I tell my friends to give them the pizza and we will be on our way, so they put the pizza on the ground and we start to walk away, then I hear "why don't we get there wallets too!"....at this point one of the men started a fistfight with one of my buddys and backed him into an alley, and two more of my friends got into grappling/wrestling matches with others in the perp group in the street.

    It looked to be a "normal" street brawl, but these were 6' 240 lb (est) guys weapons unknown, vs me and my friends, all 22-23 year olds 5'5 to 6' much smaller builds.

    My question is this. Me and a few of my friends COULD have "retreated" to safety, meaning ran away. But my friend that was hit first was backing into a little alleyway, getting beat up pretty good. Another perp joined the first after about 2 minutes, and all the wrestling in the street had stopped and it was now just us 4 and about 8 of them standing, them egging there two friends on, and us trying to save our friend by pulling them off.

    Now my confusion is this. I myself, could have retreated. BUT, my friend obviously could not. Would I have been justified to clear leather, issue commands, and fire if necessary? I was at the time in serious fear of my friends life, and also my own because of the 8 other perps around me. I would only have fired on the two putting my friends life in immenent danger, of course, and just help the rest if they hung around, for LEO. I'm just wondering what kind of idiotic case a DA could put together against me, since my friends were intoxicated (although I believe the other party was also) and I had means to retreat but did not. I saw that my friend had been hit first, but if all 8 of them testified that my friend had hit first, then I would have effectivly shot the "victim" in the situation...since my friend would have been the "agressor" and just as if I had started a fight, I cannot defend against it, correct?

    Another thing I think about is, since I had no weapon, we can see what happened without it. My friend ended up having a few broken ribs, nose and some pretty bad cuts on his face/hands. But he did not die. I didn't know there intentions before hand so I still would have fired since they looked pretty determined, but that is how it ended.

    Just doing a lot of thinking about it, makes me sad about the laws we currently have and how big the grey area is in defending ones own life.


  2. #2
    Member Array C4 MAX's Avatar
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    disparity of force 10 on 6 I would say justified
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  3. #3
    Ex Member Array MP45CDE's Avatar
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    I think you're right--you'd be toast if you would have shot any of them.

    This sucks.

  4. #4
    New Member Array incakola's Avatar
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    Hard to say... If they had any weapons, you may have found yourself dead, rather than having a buddy with a broken rib.

    Legally here in MN at least, you would have been justified to use deadly force to protect yourself or a victim, but who knows what could have happened if you pull yours out, and have 5 more pointed back at you.

  5. #5
    Member Array buzzgum's Avatar
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    So did they get your wallets? How did it end, did they just stop having their fun and walk away or did you all high tail it out of there once your friend was free?

    Tough call but I think you would have been justified.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Believe it or not, the determining factor is jurisdiction. Just about anyplace gives
    one the right to defend himself to some degree. Now I seriously doubt Rhode Island has castle doctrine or very open self defense laws so you probably have to be on deaths door before you can lift a finger.
    Compare this to a state with castle doctrine or laws which protect the victim instead of the offender. You can stand your ground, fight back or even kill your assailant if necessary. In my state of New Mexico, we don't have castle doctrine
    yet, but there are plenty of examples of citizens defending themselves with deadly force and living to tell about it in spite of our DA. The law is worded to give the victim the ability to defend themselves.
    A good example is the case of New York City resident Bernard Goetz. Accosted
    on the subway by multiple attackers, he ended up shooting them all. Under NY law he was charged with multiple counts of attempted murder and carrying an unregistered firearm. After a lengthy trial he was convicted of the gun charge (a felony) and faced a year in prison.
    In New Mexico, at most, he would have faced a charge of carrying a concealed weapon (a petty misdemeanor) and paid a fine.
    It's probably a good thing you weren't carrying in RI. In NM you and your friends would have been justified under the circumstances.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    to your question on defending another. In FL you can defend another the same as yourself. The grave imminent threat to another allows you to defend him "as if you stand in his shoes". It does suck as you state that if they rest of the BGs testified falsely. But first it would have to get to court. Good chance when the first crack of the firearm went of they would have scurried off like the cock roaches that they are and not available to the DA.
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  8. #8
    New Member Array incakola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolyat63 View Post
    to your question on defending another. In FL you can defend another the same as yourself. The grave imminent threat to another allows you to defend him "as if you stand in his shoes". It does suck as you state that if they rest of the BGs testified falsely. But first it would have to get to court. Good chance when the first crack of the firearm went of they would have scurried off like the cock roaches that they are and not available to the DA.
    I agree about the roaches, but that's a hefty chance to take...

  9. #9
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    I would have become 'loud and flashy' at the point of a 'pizza robbery'...

    Robbery? Yes...
    Disparity of force? Yes...
    Time for loud noises? Yes...

    Why were you so far from your vehicle?

    Stay armed...or be at the mercy of criminals...stay safe!
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  10. #10
    Member Array nikdfish's Avatar
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    It sounds like a continuation/escalation of simple robbery to robbery and assault - a felony in progress, not a "brawl". Did I misunderstand? I would think using force in self defense during a felony assault would be pretty defensible.

    Nick

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Leave no man behind!

    The disparity of force would justify the use of deadly force. 8 on 4 ain't fair and they got violent. To 'heck' with the laws, that'd have to be strightened out after you and your friends are safe.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    As soon as they forced you to give up your pizza it's called robbery,As soon as I felt like I was baing robbed or felt in fear for my safety or life,first of all if they are advancing on me i'm using verbal commands hey I don't know you stay back your starting to scare me etc.A normal person would say i'm sorry and back away.Anybody that doesn't and continues to close or verbally makes a statement give me the pizza or wallet or whatever will find themselves at gun point and me calling 911
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    You could have just told one of your buddies to call 911 and tell them to send an ambulance because the guy out front demanding your pizza and wallets is about to get a bullet to the brain. My guess is when you told your buddy this and drew and pointed your weapon at his thick head, the rest would have seen the light decided they had better things to do.

    I personally am not going to get into a fist fight any more, especially with two groups of individuals at 1 am.

    As other have said, it really depends on where you live and the laws and such are, but in Texas, this would qualify as justified for use of deadly force in my book.
    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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  14. #14
    Member Array Rusty Bouquett's Avatar
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    The picture I'm getting here is that you parked your car a LONG way from the pizza parlor. I try not to go out at night but when I do my vehicle gets parked CLOSE to where I'm going and it also gets parked where there's LIGHT. Prudent caution is just about ALWAYS appropriate.

  15. #15
    Member Array svinfinity45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzgum View Post
    So did they get your wallets? How did it end, did they just stop having their fun and walk away or did you all high tail it out of there once your friend was free?

    Tough call but I think you would have been justified.
    One of my friends, usually the comedian of the group, had the good idea of screaming COPS COPS COPS........which I wish I had thought of, and true to the personality of thugs, they all scattered and disappeared into the alleys/streets/buildings....we helped my friend up and got the the car, took him home and then to the walk-in the next morning when he said it hurt to breath.

    No, the fighting started before we even had a chance to answer to their wallet demand, so no wallets were lost, only pizza, which got stomped into the ground by the action.

    I usually think on my feet about the parking also, and had parked only a few hundred yards away from our original spot, but my friends wanted pizza, and I didn't want to leave them alone to move the car closer, so we walked, me point, keeping an eye out.

    This wasn't even in the "bad" parts of providence, so I wasn't really against the walk. The friend that got hurt, actually carries a folder at all times, and has even taken classes in edged weapons, but he told me that night he didn't want to pull it because he had been drinking and didn't trust himself to hold onto the knife and/or use it properly.

    I didn't call 911 because I had such tunnel vision/thinking trying to watch how the situation was escalating and watching for weapons in order to modify my plan of action. Luckily I saw none. Had there been one, knife or gun, and I had a gun, I probably would have started firing in order of threat level...BG's with guns first, then BG's with knives with position and demeanor taken into acount. That is if I could fit all that thinking into the 1.5 seconds it would have lasted. I probably would have used the same order even without a gun, maybe using some of them as human shields, to save friends. Not really sure though, just glad it didn't happen that way.

    I now carry at all times when in RI, and I keep the walking in public down to a few hundred feet and me a buddy (armed) will go to the car and pick up the rest where they are.

    We never called the police that night, but the next day at the walk in and state LEO was there and took a statement, but told my friend that these things happen so often the PPD wouldn't even look into it.

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