Possible Highway Ambush...

Possible Highway Ambush...

This is a discussion on Possible Highway Ambush... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; First of all I'd like to say hi to everyone since I'm new to this forum, the guys over at XDTalk.com had great things to ...

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Thread: Possible Highway Ambush...

  1. #1
    Member Array Openroad's Avatar
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    Unhappy Possible Highway Ambush...

    First of all I'd like to say hi to everyone since I'm new to this forum, the guys over at XDTalk.com had great things to say about this site... I'm proud to be a member!

    Next I'll share with y'all that I'm a new (and proud) Michigan CPL holder as of this fall! My current (soon to be daily) carry gun is the XD9 Service with TruGlo sights and Lasermax, love the gun and will soon be loving my CrossBreed Supertuck once it arrives.

    Okay, now for my story that just happened an hour ago... thought I'd share with you all. A little background, I'm a restaurant equipment repair technician that spends long hours on the road between service calls. I'm often returning after midnight on county and state roads and driving alone in a 1-ton white commercial service van. Tonite the snow had been falling for a couple hours and there was 4-6" on the roads with no car tracks for at least an hour. I was headed down a frequently used county road (straight stretch at least 8 miles long) about 45 mph when a black late model pickup passed me going very slowly. I had seen the headlights in the distance for what seemed like a very long time, yet thought nothing of it at first.

    Another 3/4 mile down the road I saw a large, indistinct object blocking the road and approaching fast, as I drew closer I saw it was a complete pine tree lying on its side across both lanes! It had about 5' of branches at the base and about 2' at the tip. I braked hard on the snowy road and avoided most of the tree and stopped just the edge of the 3' tall snow bank. I quickly turned on my front & rear strobe lights and backed up to survey the situation... here's where the ***** hits the fan.

    I clearly saw footprints leading from the tree, going in a straight line about 25' down the road and ending at tire tracks headed in the direction I had just come from. I turned on my bright lights and then saw that the tree had been dragged from far off the road, through the snowbank, and across the road on purpose. The tree drag marks went over top of the only tire marks anywhere on the fresh snow, which had been made by the truck which passed me a few minutes earlier. The boot tracks were quite large, and the tire marks leaving the scene showed sprays of snow as if accelerating hard. So, being completely blocked I couldn't get through the road and started to wish I hadn't left my XD at home today. This is the only east/west road for miles and back-tracking would take 30 minutes and back towards the black truck. The times are very hard in Northern MI and many blue-collar guys are laid off or have been downsized lately, I worried this could be a stupid way to force a car or two to stop and assault/rob them. Maybe I've been lurking around the forums too much, but we've had a few bad incidents in the area so my guard was up. I also didn't know if another vehicle may have been nearby ready to block someone in from behind.

    ....Here's what I did: Backed up quickly about 1/8 mile from roadblock, locked doors, called 911 and explained situation. Dispatcher was somewhat concerned with situation & asked if I could move tree if needed. Said I would get back to her when I figured out what to do, send the LEOs in if I didn't call back in 15min. I drove slowly up to the footprints to see if anyone got out from the passenger side or went into the woods... only 1 set of prints in and out. Left my truck with all lights blazing and pushed/dragged/rolled tree out of the road, cleared the smaller branches from both lanes, and get the heck outa dodge. Called 911 again and explained my actions, they thanked me and said they might send an officer by later to check road again.

    Did I over react or could this have been a bad night for me? I felt a bit paranoid, but clearly this was either a possible nasty situation or a complete dipsh!t drunk looking to cause a wreck. Anyway, thought I'd share since this is the first time I've seen this! I would have felt much better with my S/A XD on my hip!

    Thanks for letting me vent, going to bed now...
    Abraham in cold, snowy, Michigan
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down & lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, & may posterity forget you were countrymen.


  2. #2
    Member Array bigiceman's Avatar
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    That was a very suspicious set of circumstances, you were right to be suspicious. Good for you keeping your guard up and keeping your wits about you.

    Since there was no one in any visible vicinity it looks like they were just being malicious. They could have been hoping for an accident where they could come back and "help" the unfortunate victims who had run off the road by the debris.

    Good situational awareness. See my signiture line for the lack of your firearm.
    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...
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    Revolutionary War Veterans Association Shooter Qualification: Cook

  3. #3
    Member Array banana's Avatar
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    scary situation for sure. I think you handled it well.
    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

  4. #4
    Member Array CTurner91's Avatar
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    I actually felt a little creeped out reading this, just because I can easily picture myself in the same situation. It doesn't snow often where I am but there is often fog so thick you can barely see past the hood of your vehicle.

    I think you did well.. don't leave that XD home again, that situation could of easily went sour even though there seemed to be no direct threat you couldn't have known that.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array Rmac58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banana View Post
    scary situation for sure. I think you handled it well.
    Times two.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array Sticks's Avatar
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    You did good, and I am glad nothing came of it.

    Ambush could have come from either direction. You had no idea what was farther down the road, or as stated, either side.

    The only thing that I would have done differently would have been always carry, never tell (even if it means you have to keep it locked up in a car vault) and either kept 911 on the line, or had an LEO respond now, not "If you don't hear from me in 15 minuets".

    Being a technician, you did have other items in your vehicle that would suffice as some sort of defensive weapon in your situation at least.
    Sticks

    Grasseater // Grass~eat~er noun, often attributive \ˈgras-ē-tər\
    A person who is incapable of independent thought; a person who is herd animal-like in behavior; one who cannot distinguish between right and wrong; a foolish person.
    See also Sheep

  7. #7
    Member Array ChiWeiSz's Avatar
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    I agree with sticks...

    1. never leave home without your XD
    2. Go ahead and have the LEO come out to investigate now...15 minutes is a long time to suffer from gun shot or blunt trauma in the cold snow.
    Trying to leave as large a carbon footprint as possible.
    Shivering in the "heat"
    Innocent as doves, wise as serpents, armed like wolves.

  8. #8
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    Sounds like you did good. Personally I would have requested 911 send a car no matter what , as the tree is a road hazard and if you did need help it may have been several minutes away even with a immediate request. (MI LEOs have big area to cover many times).
    I remember this tree in the road trick was done on I -75 before to assault someone and gain access to a vehicle.
    Stay safe out there and keep your guard up.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    It woulda had my spidey sense tingling,either an ambush or somebody setting up somebody to get in a wreck and injured or killed,since it was intentional LEO should of responded
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  10. #10
    Member Array mp45fan's Avatar
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    Good job! Always stay alert and watch your 6! I say you did good and welcome!
    Randy
    "The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should have never laid down". -unknown

  11. #11
    Member Array Openroad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiWeiSz View Post
    I agree with sticks...

    1. never leave home without your XD
    2. Go ahead and have the LEO come out to investigate now...15 minutes is a long time to suffer from gun shot or blunt trauma in the cold snow.
    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Sounds like you did good. Personally I would have requested 911 send a car no matter what , as the tree is a road hazard and if you did need help it may have been several minutes away even with a immediate request. (MI LEOs have big area to cover many times).
    Rocky hit it on the head concerning rural Michigan police patrols. As many situations do in real life, it came down to a decision on what course of action to take. Due to budget cuts both of the counties near my home have drastically reduced the number of officers patrolling after the midnite hour. E.T.A. on a patrol was 20+ minutes to my location and I honestly didn't feel comfortable waiting in my truck with the road blocked for that long. If it turned out to be nothing I would have been waiting for an officer and it's likely more cars would be blocked or possibly hit the obstruction. If it turned out to be a trap I'd be sitting and unable to drive forwards... although in hindsight I betcha a 1-ton Chevy Express could plow through and over that tree with enough throttle application.

    Anyway, glad the consensus seems to be I did the right thing, mostly wanted to share as it's still unnerving how fast an otherwise normal night can go wonky. Also wanted to throw out the scenario just in case something similar happens to one of y'all and there is a wolf out there next time.

    Be safe and eyes up out there,
    Abraham
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down & lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, & may posterity forget you were countrymen.

  12. #12
    CDH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Openroad View Post
    snip > ... and started to wish I hadn't left my XD at home today. < snip
    snip> Said I would get back to her when I figured out what to do, send the LEOs in if I didn't call back in 15min. < snip
    Crazy situation, that. It's impossible to know the motivation of the doofus who pulled the tree over the road, so you have to be prepared for pretty much anything.

    The biggest lesson here is when you connect the "15 minutes" to even dispatch a LEO to the "left my XD home today", you can immediately see the problem.

    Even when I don't think I need to carry, I still take one along in the glove box or wherever, just to have it "available" if needed.

  13. #13
    Member Array TravisABQ's Avatar
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    "Overreact"?!

    Allow me to put on my psychopath hat and tell you that if I had been motivated enough to pull a tree across a road, I would have waited for a wreck, or if somebody (like you) came along and tried to move the tree, I would have killed him with a rifle from off the road. Ideally, I would have had another Bad Guy Buddy with a rifle to get you from the other side. I would not have put forth that much trouble unless I fully intended to follow through.

    You had no way to ascertain whether it was an ambush until you moved the tree and were still alive.

    Even with a pistol I would not have stayed anywhere near what could well have been an ambush spot. I would have gone the opposite direction and taken a different road.

    It seems that it was "ONLY" put in the road so as to cause a wreck. Swell. But given what you described, a full on ambush was just as likely.

    There are people who will kill you for your truck, for pocket change, or just for giggles.

    You were lucky.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Array Fast Cloud's Avatar
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    Sounds like the guy was cutting a Christmas tree on somebody elses property and thought you may be the owner!!! Who knows...people are crazy. It's always better to be safe than dead. Good Job.
    "Any rationally thinking person is armed" ---Hinds Co. constable John Lewis

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array InspectorGadget's Avatar
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    Dispatcher was somewhat concerned with situation & asked if I could move tree if needed.
    This actually bothers me the most, she should have told you she would have a unit check it out and told you to leave the area. This is akin to you reporting a bank robbery and her asking you to call her back after you take out the bad guys. As far as the tree itself goes, hook up the tow strap and it is off the road, but to ask a civilian to go into a possible robbery situation thats just plain bad. Is she planning on having the tape if you get robbed and killed for evidence.
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