Threats from passenger seat

This is a discussion on Threats from passenger seat within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Last Sunday we passed a homeless guy (with his "thanks in Jesus name" sign) on the way to church. After we passed him, I asked ...

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Thread: Threats from passenger seat

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Threats from passenger seat

    Last Sunday we passed a homeless guy (with his "thanks in Jesus name" sign) on the way to church. After we passed him, I asked my 19 y/o daughter how one should react to such a fellow. (Our family has done volunteer work at a Rescue Mission, so there's a bit of a tie-in here.) Her response was along the lines of, "Buy him breakfast, get his story, take him to church if he wants to go, preach if he wants to listen." So I dropped off my wife and 90 y/o mother at the church and the two of us returned to the off-ramp and picked him up. We enjoyed a second breakfast at McDonalds and got his story: he prefers a life on the road, and is addicted to alcohol. We never made it to church, and deposited him back at his corner with our best wishes. It was a fun "daddy-daughter date", in fact.

    I was concerned about possible violence, of course. That's why I dropped my wife and my mother at church first, and why I invited him to take the front seat... as my daughter was in the back seat with a 357 in hand to put in his ear if need be. She's a good shot, has taken the CCW class, and is extremely level-headed. It was a new experience, and a pleasant one, to treat her as a team member rather than as an infant.

    I realize that most would never pick up such a fellow; that's not my purpose in posting. What I'm curious about his how you would answer my daughter's question asked while we were on the way back to pick him up: "What should our response be if he threatens to pull a knife on you, but doesn't DO anything?" I came up with something at the time, but would appreciate your opinions.

    Again, homeless guy in front passenger seat, you're driving and armed (tuckable IWB at 3:00), daughter with revolver in back seat, and the guy says threatening words but hasn't actually DONE anything yet.

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  3. #2
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    I pull over and ask him to get out. If not then I tell him that we both are armed and to "Please get out before you get hurt.". If that doesn't work the cops get called and if he gets violent...well you know the rest.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    I think that passing the "social amenities" with some individuals is better kept in the soup kitchen, especially if my 19 y/o daughter was with me. I truly hope this was a scenario "made up" in your mind. With that being said, just to answer the scenario you presented, I believe that once he "threatened" to pull a knife, I would immediately call 911, pull to the side of the road while informing him that his McDonalds EggMcMuffin was about to turn into a .357 on a biscuit, please exit the vehicle while capable of maintaining something in stomach without it leaking out of the holes made by the 357. I question your daughter having weapon in hand, her capability of reacting if knife presented, etc. Her question alone of "what should we do........." should have told you that she wasn't comfy with your plans and to abort your kind hearted gesture. Just my $0.02...
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    My first thoughts are stop the car, both you and your daughter get out (take your keys), tell him to get out of your vehicle and call 9-1-1. Since your daughter is behind him with the revolver out of sight, you have him covered in case he does anything untoward.

    I would hope since he was getting a free meal that he wouldn't behave that way, but the possibility that he is mentally disturbed is a very real possibility.
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    VIP Member Array stormbringerr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    I pull over and ask him to get out. If not then I tell him that we both are armed and to "Please get out before you get hurt.". If that doesn't work The cops get called and if he gets violent...well you know the rest.
    pretty much the same.except i tell not ask him to get out right now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormbringerr View Post
    pretty much the same.except i tell not ask him to get out right now.
    +1. Your right. My guess is in real life I probably wouldn't be too friendly either.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    "What should our response be if he threatens to pull a knife on you, but doesn't DO anything?"
    I commend you for your benevolence. At one point in my life, I might have done that. Not now. But that's not what you are asking.

    If threatened, I would take his threat seriously. I wouldn't call 911 with him sitting there as that might precipitate him attacking me or my daughter. This is what I would do:

    Do everything I could to keep him calm even if it meant agreeing with him on whatever he was babbling about.

    At the first opportunity, whether it be a stop sign, stop light, or excuse to stop, I would:

    Quickly step outside the vehicle but not step away.

    Draw and aim at this guy.

    Let him know that if he even thinks about doing anything to my daughter or me, I would unload on him.

    Tell my daughter to cover her ears and exit the vehicle.

    Prepare to fire.

    Fire if needed.

    Continue firing until perp stopped moving or slide lock.

    If slide lock, reload and continue.

    No way is he touching my kid.

    Fire in the hole, and quick.

    Plug your ears or not, but it's going to be loud.



    I recommend you take any such threat seriously and react accordingly as if your life or your daughter's life depended on it.

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grady View Post
    If threatened, I would take his threat seriously. I wouldn't call 911 with him sitting there as that might precipitate him attacking me or my daughter. This is what I would do:

    ...
    Remember, he hasn't done anything yet. I see no "I thought my life was in danger" moment yet. I don't think a jury would either. I would get out of the car and tell him to leave, but until he draws a weapon, I do not think you are justified in shooting him. Even if he doesn't leave. What would happen if you do shoot him, the cops come and cannot find a weapon on him. You would be in heap big doo doo.
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    VIP Member Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exactlymypoint View Post
    Remember, he hasn't done anything yet. I see no "I thought my life was in danger" moment yet. I don't think a jury would either. I would get out of the car and tell him to leave, but until he draws a weapon, I do not think you are justified in shooting him. Even if he doesn't leave. What would happen if you do shoot him, the cops come and cannot find a weapon on him. You would be in heap big doo doo.
    If he said he had a weapon, and then made movements as if he did have a weapon, that's enough for me. I'm not going to wait until I see steel before I react.

    In my post I said "Fire if needed." That means if he makes threatening movements toward me or my daughter.

    Threats, coupled with threatening actions on his part, mean I'll end the threat. If he was joking about the threat and didn't listen to my commands, well, bad on him. Suicide by father.

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    New Member Array Dex Sinister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    ...my daughter's question asked while we were on the way back to pick him up: "What should our response be if he threatens to pull a knife on you, but doesn't DO anything?"

    Again, homeless guy in front passenger seat, you're driving and armed (tuckable IWB at 3:00), daughter with revolver in back seat, and the guy says threatening words but hasn't actually DONE anything yet.
    The difficulty, of course, is evaluating the sanity level of the person in question.

    My preference would be to say, extremely calmly, in a conversational tone "I really appreciate how you sat very very still and put your hands on the dashboard, because you realized that my daughter was sitting behind you with a .357 aimed at your back, and you would have been dead if you had moved your hands near your knife. The car is pulling over to a safe spot on the side of the road, and after you get quietly and calmly out of the car, you'll feel relieved all along that you followed instructions and no one hurt you."

    This is phrased in the past tense, referring to future events for two reasons: 1) It describes things as if they already happened, making it more difficult to do something else, and 2) it is more reassuring, because it is describes a safe resolution before it happens.

    But then again, that is a bit of psychological legerdemain.

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    Member Array heylin's Avatar
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    My advice, DONT PICK UP HOMELESS PEOPLE. The whole idea of being safe is to not put yourself in less than normal situations which may lead to violence. Mabey delivering a meal to him sitting with him to hear his story, rather than being in close proximity inside pickup truck would be a safer option, also more exit points if things get out of hand.

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    Member Array jbone's Avatar
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    keep driving and remain calm, wait until a hard left turn comes up, then while in the turn unbuckle his seat belt (if applicable) reach over open door, push him out while yelling tuck and roll [Edited] (or God bless. Whichever you like)
    Last edited by Captain Crunch; October 20th, 2008 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Deleted profanity.

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    I have on a rare occasion offered a ride to a stranded guy (apparently needing gas) and have wondered the same thing. The world being what is is today, it's a risky venture, and I'm not sure that I would put family members in harms way, but it sounds like your daughter was a ++plus++...
    Now being in that situation (forget right or wrong for a moment), my plan would be verbal negotiations to rid the fellow from the vehicle which could happen in a couple of ways.
    When he first got in, I would not encourage him to wear his seatbelt, therefore if he really became violent or threatened violence, he may find his body mass decelerating from 60 mph to 0 mph in just a second or two...he's trying to remember what wall he's just kissed, and I'm out of the car with my keys, gun drawn and phone dialed to 911.
    Here in Gainesville, (or any place else warm) the 'fruitcakes' living in the surrounding wooded areas are not to be trusted. Many of them can be very dangerous. I have witnessed them fighting one another with baseball bats over a spot to display their "Anything will help...God bless" signs.

    Glad your situation worked for the best.

    Stay armed...be kind to your fellow man, but remain armed...stay safe!
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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    I say gutsy move on giving a ride...I would of preferred bringing a McD breakfast and chatting in the open. Enclosed in a vehicle limits options/freedom of movement and 20 ft rule if things go south. Glad it turned out well...and although I would like to see someone finding a ladder out of the hole, many of the homeless wish to remain such.

    Rick

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    Not really in agreement with teaching the lesson of picking up homeless. Many other ways to help without putting you daughter or self at risk.

    That being said, in your situation, I'd have let my 19 yo daughter drive while I sat in the back with the pistol. Why?

    - I know that I would do a better job of seeing the slightest hint that this guy was about to get hinky.
    - If forced to act, I know that I would press the trigger.
    - If forced to shoot, I wouldn't want my daughter to live with the baggage of taking another's life, even though it was justified.
    - A jury is often asked to decide if the defendant's actions were in line with what a "reasonable and prudent person..." would do. In today's society the standards you are going to be held to do not include picking up those in need. It is pounded into the heads of the sheep to never pick up strangers. By doing so, even out of kindness, you put the wheels in motion which ultimately required you to shoot someone. The fact that someone was in back with the gun could even be misconstrued that it was premeditated murder of the homeless guy. The way our culture has become, maybe even labeled a "hate crime" in some twisted way. And if the guy was not of the same race as you, you may as well just hang yourself.

    All things considered, it's a scenario better avoided.

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