Approached last night....

Approached last night....

This is a discussion on Approached last night.... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here's a situation that happened recently. Nothing exciting, just a vagrant looking for a handout but if anyone wants to read and critique I'd appreciate ...

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Thread: Approached last night....

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Approached last night....

    Here's a situation that happened recently. Nothing exciting, just a vagrant looking for a handout but if anyone wants to read and critique I'd appreciate it.

    Four of us were leaving a meeting around 9:15pm. We were standing in the parking lot talking when I see a black male in baggy clothing approaching from my 7 o'clock about 200 feet out. I turned so he was at my 9-10 o'clock to observe and continue facing the group I was with.

    At first he appeared to be moseying along (loudly shuffling, actually) but as he spotted our group he seemed to slightly adjust his path towards us. Speed did not increase.

    At some point we all stopped talking and watched him approach. Upon closer inspection he was about 40-50 yrs old. He started speaking incoherently as if to tell us a story and my friend and I just sort of nodded our heads as if to understand. The other two in our group sort of starting walking away back to their cars, but did not leave the parking lot right away (may have been watching to see what happened).

    As far as I know I was the only one in our group armed. Glock G19 under my buttoned up shirt, no jacket. Spiderco knife clipped to right-hand pocket.

    As he was speaking I was watching his hands. He did not seem violent and I could not smell any alcohol on him. After a few minutes of this my friend and I started to leave, and then he asked for a few bucks. I said "sorry, I don't carry cash" but my friend walked behind me so as not to expose his wallet and pulled out a few bucks and gave it to the guy. As we leave the guy held his arms out and hugged my friend and then started to hug me. He sort of half-did it as I was backing away. We left, and he moved on.

    Pretty anti-climatic, huh? But since this is the first time I've been approached while carrying, I wanted to post it here for feedback.

    What I did right:
    Observed the approach, positioned myself to keep in sight and kept my body bladed as a defensive posture. Right hand was free and near knife/gun.

    Kept around a 60 degree angle with my friend (supporting angle, not standing next to each other) with a wall as a backdrop behind the vagrant.

    Did not offer cash or pull my wallet.

    Didn't escalate the situation by yelling at the guy, though his demeanor was in no way threatening so didn't feel in any danger.

    What I did wrong:
    Stayed too long. Should have told my friend "let's leave, now" and been more firm. Did not take control of the situation.

    Stood too close to the guy (6-7 feet).

    Should not have let him anywhere near me for a hug.

    In my mind most importantly -- I was fixed on this guy and didn't really observe if he had a partner lurking around.

    Even though I didn't offer the money, doing so may keep him "coming back to the well". Lots of college-age students around so they are not likely to be equipped to deal with any threats.

    I'll give myself a C-minus.

  2. #2
    Senior Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Central Florida
    I'm not hugging a panhandler, because I'm not letting a panhandler get that close to me...they get a loud unfriendly warning to stay away...and they do!
    There's some real nuts out there roaming the crowds and asking for $$, and some get violent when turned down.

    Stay armed...stay aware...stay safe!
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    State of Discombobulation
    I think you did pretty good and you did well realizing what you could've done better. +1

    Yes, you let him get too close, we all do that sometimes. Also, while you saw him as a potential threat, did you see the guy three cars down, behind you, fixated on you and your friends? Getting close and interacting is a common ruse. Usually it's "Do you have a light?" or the infamous, "What time is it?"

    I will look right at the person asking, even with a visible watch on and respond with something along the lines of, "I don't have a watch." If they say, it's right there and point to my wrist I just tell them they must be imagining things.

    I don't smoke anymore, and even when I did, I refuse to light a stranger's coffin nail on the street. Hugging, I won't even go there. Usually I just tell people nicely, the first time, "Nothing here for you, move along and have a nice night." That usually does the trick and if it doesn't I can get more direct as needed.

    One of my favorites is to play "deaf" and start using American Sign Language at them. That can be FUN. I got a local transient so worked up that the local constabulary was called and he got a ride, do not pass go, to jail.

    All in all, about a C- in my book, but I've given myself a lot of F's.


  4. #4
    VIP Member Array glock27mark's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    clinton township


    way to close in my book, and the hugging part. any idea how fast
    a concealed knife or some other could have been stabbed into
    neck/back or some where else. sorry my friend but i give you
    an f grade for allowing this guy to get that close. glad to hear
    you and your friends are ok but i would'nt allow a second time
    for something like that to happen again. good luck and stay safe.

    (SHERIFF BUFORD T. JUSTICE) "what the hell is
    the world coming too"



  5. #5
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    Array ppkheat's Avatar
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    May 2007
    I'll make a few comments.

    It is impossible for me to keep a sterile 21' buffer zone around myself and keep strangers out of it 24/7. It's pretty much impossible to do the same to just keep "suspicious-looking" people out of my zone also. Sadly both strangers and suspicious-looking people can both do harm to you. It's hard to move about society and continually give myself a good letter grade all the time.

    In your case you definitely "allowed" a suspicious looking person to enter your zone. However your SA was good, you saw this guy coming from 200 feet away, you moved a bit so you could watch him. You weren't alone, you were with 3 other guys. You were armed. You watched his hands. You denied his request for cash using a non-confrontational answer. You knew you were too close at the time of the encounter and began to adjust for it.

    Sure he could have pulled a knife out or blind-sided you with a punch, but so can the normal looking guy in line with you at a fast food place? Life is full of chances we all endure, you let your chances get up sort of high in this case. I think when this guy was out 200' I'd told the group that it's time for us to move along and then left before he was able to approach you.

    Letter grades aside, you came out unharmed, and enhanced your street smarts. Don't worry about it.
    Helpful hints on pushing back and strengthening the 2A:

  6. #6
    Senior Member Array JohnKelly's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Thanks everyone.... my "spidey sense" never really went off during the encounter so I figure it was good practice.

  7. #7
    Member Array bcvojak's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Pacific NW
    There are some very sick people out there wandering the streets. .

    For example: (this happened in a McDonalds where I eat lunch now and then)


    Sullivan, who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, is being held without bail after fatally stabbing Svidersky, a Fort Vancouver High School senior, while she cleaned a table near the end of her work shift. Sullivan was charged with first-degree murder Friday morning.

    The attack appeared to be random, said Vancouver Police Chief Brian Martinek.

    "We have no reason to believe the two knew each other," he said.

    Sullivan told police he took the knife into a Vancouver McDonald's with the "intent to hurt a female," according to a Clark County Sheriff's deputy 's statement after arresting him.

    Sullivan, a registered sex offender in Washington state, will be arraigned on the murder charge April 28. He also has a criminal history that includes kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment, according to court records.

    Also, Sullivan, who lived at home with his parents, took several medications for paranoid schizophrenia and was treated at Kaiser Permanente. His father, Michael Sullivan, told police that his son tried to jump off a bridge at one time.

    "I should have stayed home with my stuffed animals instead of doing what I did. This is all evil stuff that I’ve done. This is too much," Sullivan said in a statement to police that authorities released Friday.

    Sullivan had pleaded guilty to unlawful imprisonment with sexual motivation in 2003 for trying to kidnap a 14-year-old girl in Vancouver. He was sent to Western State Hospital, treated for paranoid schizophrenia and found competent to stand trial. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

    Her just walked up behind her, and shoved a knife into her back. .
    Somewhere in the Pacific NW

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    When they hit about 7 yards out, I always ask THEM for a few bucks first. Confuses the hell out of them and they leave. You let him get WAY too close.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  9. #9
    Member Array bigiceman's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Fort Worth, Texas
    You are thinking, learning and caring about what you do and how you interact with the world around you. I give you an A+ for that.

    You listened to your instincts (this time no alarms) and were prepared to act upon them, that is great. You let someone close to you, not great, but also impossible to not do as ppkheat said.

    When you are awake to the dangers of this world, as you and most of us here are, you see it in a new way. Your awareness of situations improves and you recognize where you may have unwittingly put yourself in danger in the past. I do still think there is room for humanity and charity in this new world. Being aware does not require you to become an unfeeling rectal opening.
    But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself...
    LTC(RET) Dave Grossman

    Revolutionary War Veterans Association Shooter Qualification: Cook

  10. #10
    Member Array albundy's Avatar
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    Nov 2006
    north georgia

    My 2 cents.

    I cut off bums before they even start. As soon as you see them and they start the 'hey buddy' stuff to chat you up. I immediately let them know I don't care about their problem and keep walking. I would not let any street people hug me or even shake their hand. Is this unfeeling and unsympathetic? Yes, but it beats a knife in the ribs or a sucker punch from a crack head.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Dec 2007
    Or a pickpocket.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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