I probably would have ignored the guy, not made eye contact and walked away. If he is closing on you and you can't get away THEN it's time to confront/fight. Easier said than done though...
This is a discussion on Agressive street person last week within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I was in a big city last week on business. A street person - not going to assume homeless, but definitely working the crowds for ...
I was in a big city last week on business. A street person - not going to assume homeless, but definitely working the crowds for cash - got a little too close.
He saw my friend and me, both on the phone. I put my phone in my pocket and squared up - hands out of pockets, standing up straight, not looking at him directly. He came right over and started his pitch. He was bigger than both of us by probably 4 inches and 100 lbs. Wearing a jacket, both hands visible.
I shook my head slightly and told him to move on in a strong but quiet tone. He reached out to put his hand on my shoulder but stopped cold when I looked him in the eye and said don't touch me. I think it was the eye contact that caught him. Could have been the onions I ate for lunch too.
He said oookay, I'll be going now and headed off down the street.
I was not carrying - permit still being processed. I guess I need to pick up some pepper spray upon exiting the airport next time.
What would you do in a scenario when no weapon is presented but the distance is closing rapidly? I guess I could run, but that leaves my friend alone. I could get a new friend with some tactical awareness, but that isn't so easy either.
I do not let panhandlers get very close to me. My hand goes up (stop) and I definitely notify the individual that I am not interested in any close quarters conversation.
Some of these 'wackos' have real problems...but so far they usually quickly change directions, mumbling something about ME being crazy...that's OK with me.
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My wife attends a continuing medical education class in NYC yearly. I go with her. I have no disdain for NYC; believe it or not there are a lot of people there with common sense. Is it a hotbed for liberals and criminals, yes. I enjoy it for what it is, eat good food, and am always glad to get back home.
On our trip three years ago I'm standing in front of our hotel, Grand Hyatt on 42nd, Grand because it literally is attached to Grand Central Station. I'm out front early in the morn drawing on a square, I still smoked then. This tribal dude about my size walks up from my right, didn't see him coming, gets about a foot from my face and says, 'give me a cigarette'. I lean forward, and say [Edited]. He walks away never changing expression. I actually think the guy was an actor or something, he didn't case bum or bronx. Anyway, that was the only agressive punk I ever dealt with there.
San Francisco has, imho, the most agressive homeless people in the world. It's funny because they manifest the Left Coast, they're not so much scary as they are agressive and guilt trippy, typical California punks. They make snide remarks when you ignore or rebuff them.
I have no time for any of them, most of them are scam artists, addicts, or schizoids preying on who they think will fall for it.
Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. TR
Sometimes all you can do is play it split second by split second. There is putting "his hand" on your shoulder and there is "PUTTING his hand on your shoulder." Neither are right or OK, but one might be an attempt at BOTH a friendly gesture and a hint at intimidation.
A small but very agile and tough martial artist I know once had a similar situation. The fellow approaching him was more aggressive, stating, "give me your wallet or we'll get it on." My friend answered, "lets get it on" and walked away.
Faced with a strong response, these street folk will usually take the path of least resistance; but you can't ever be certain.
Where I live I get approached by panhandlers regularly. First response is usually to ignore them. If they are more aggressive, I tell them to [Edited] and that has worked so far.
I wouldn't run from one. I find that showing weakness/fear works against you. In particular if it is in an area you live or frequent regularly, you will get a reputation soon.
That said: We had a couple cases here last year were an aggressive panhandler turned out to be a robber. Once you pulled a wallet, the "panhandler" would pull a gun.
Last edited by Captain Crunch; April 7th, 2009 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Language workaround.
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I think you did well. You told him to stop in a stern
voice. I think the direct eye contact is good...let him
know you are aware he is approaching.
I would pick up some pepper spray in case it ever
got out of hand. Always have some with me.
Pick up the pepper spray and be ready to use it if you must. In the vast majority cases the street people can be bluffed with a direct and firm rebuttal. Those that won't take no for an answer can spend the rest of the day getting the taste of pepper spray out of their mouth. Remember, even after you have your permit, the only time you draw your weapon is in defense of your life or to save yourself from grave bodily harm.
I tend to disagree about not making eye contact. If someone is suspicious a good ole' hairy eyeball will make the timid shy away, the rest you better keep an eye on.
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The hand goes up and I tell them at a distance I'm not interested. I will walk in another direction if I have to. I have seen these people go from calm to ballistic in a wink of an eye. Many are drug and/or alcohol abusers as well as having mental issues. That's just the way it is. Many carry some kind of edged weapon as life on the streets requires it. I under no circumstances give them any money. I donate at my church, I donate at a place that feeds people, and I pay a lot of taxes for social programs I don't want to support in the first place.
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"Sorry, man. All plastic, no paper" works pretty well for me.
I had one panhandler reach out to shake my hand and I did out of pure reflex. He was trying to do some kind of hand/wrist manipulation on me without any clue that I was a Small Circle Jujitsu student. After about five seconds of his fumbling, I snatched a finger, posted him cross body and down to make sure he wouldn't suddenly go for me before I twisted him up and around to dump him on his back.
I can guarantee that you've never seen a panhandler look so perplexed in your entire life...
You only need to outrun your friend.
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I always beat them to the punch and ask them if they have change for a $20.
Confuse a liberal, use logic and facts.