August 1st, 2009 01:16 PM
Called the Police Last Night...
...because I think I was almost robbed.
It happened last night, while walking my dog. Our regular route takes us past an old tennis court, which is across the street from a soccer field. The Lackawanna Heritage Trail runs right along both. The area has zero lighting except what light emanates from houses, traffic, and the church on the corner. There's no real light until we cross the bridge, and come across the railroad crossing near South Washington Avenue. I always take a flashlight with me when I walk there at night, mostly because I don't want to fall and break something on those uneven sidewalks.
Like most dogs, my dog will react to something unseen before I do. He's got a beagle's nose with a Jack Russell's attentiveness, so almost nothing gets by him. As we approached the trail crossing, he immediately stiffened up, and pulled me in that direction. I figured it was a groundhog, or a cat, or some kids, but it made me pay attention.
That second or two of extra attentiveness paid off. Since I was already looking for something in the dark, the guy who jumped out from the shadows didn't catch me off guard. The sudden rustling noise made me drop back two steps, and my hand rested on the butt of my 1911. When this guy jumped out, he saw enough to see that he'd made a mistake. He kind of jerked around a little, cursed, and took off back down the trail. I heard him say, "Crap, he gotta gun! Frack!" so I imagine he was not alone. I shined the flashlight in his direction, but he was long gone.
The rest of the night was uneventful. I got home, called 911, and told them exactly what happened. I made sure to tell them that not once did I draw my weapon, and that the guy never said anything, nor did I ever see him with a weapon. They called me back about a minute after I hung up, with a strange request: if I could please secure my weapon in my home before the police showed up.
"Well, just for officer safety."
"What about my safety?"
"We just don't want any misunderstandings."
"I'll put it away when the get here."
I sat and waited, only about 10 minutes. Two patrol cars arrived. The lead officer stuck his head out of the window. "Are you the one who called, sir?"
"Are you still armed, sir?"
"Yep. Just waiting for you to get here."
"Would you mind securing your gun, sir?"
"I don't see why, but sure."
I went in, and threw my gun on the couch. I came back out and told the officers what happened. I gave them a description, as best as I could give, considering the lighting. He asked if I'd drawn on him; I said no. The dog warned me, which gave me time to react, which may have helped me avoid drawing, or even shooting someone.
"How did he see the gun, sir? Did you lift your shirt to expose it, or..."
"I was open carrying. All I had to do was put my hand on it."
"Oh, okay then. And you said he took off in which direction?"
"Past the tennis court, by the gate behind the apartments. Honestly, I don't know what he was planning. He never said anything, except 'Crap, he gotta gun!', but I figured I'd better call, just so he doesn't make a man-with-a-gun call later on."
"No, you did right. We've had a bunch of robberies in this area the past few weeks. Some guy jumping out at you from the dark wasn't gonna ask you for a cigarette. The gun probably saved you tonight."
"Yeah. That, and the dog."
"We're gonna patrol the area for the next few hours. If we find anything, we'll call you."
I got their names, we shook hands, and they left.
August 1st, 2009 01:42 PM
Wow, scary stuff, sounds like you did good. Question though, how far away was the guy when you first saw him?
August 1st, 2009 01:59 PM
This was proof that carrying a gun, and being prepared to use it, helps to reduce crime.
The individual in question realized that he failed Victim Selection Process 101 and retreated to find weaker prey. In short, it ended as well as it could've.
I don't know what type of flashlight you are carrying, amd I love my Surefire, but when walking the pooch you may want to consider a Maglight. If you had gotten jumped it makes a pretty good defensive tool/bludgeon.
August 1st, 2009 02:11 PM
You might want to walk your dog along a lit path that has enough open space nobody can just jump out at you
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
August 1st, 2009 02:34 PM
Originally Posted by birddog1
August 1st, 2009 03:50 PM
And you carry a gun but no cell phone? I used to, but the arguments here persuaded me that I needed both. I would encourage you to consider this as well.
Now that that is out of my system... you did well, given the situation. You made it home. Bravo! Don't forget some steak for Kujo.
August 1st, 2009 04:32 PM
That question about the gun was designed to determine whether you should be arrested for brandishing a firearm.
In the firearms law seminars I do, I always tell the folks absolutely and under no circumstances should anyone even touch a firearm in the presence of law enforcement. That comment about "misunderstandings" was understatement.
Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com
Nothing I say as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice. Legal questions should be presented to a competent attorney licensed to practice in the relevant state.
August 1st, 2009 04:40 PM
Sounds like you did well. I agree on the cell phone. Too cheap and too helpful not to have with one these days.
Second thought, now that you know this guy's M.O. (and buddy?), what will you change? The LEOs already told you this has happened before.
He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. - Jim Elliott
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
August 1st, 2009 04:46 PM
Nicely done. Thanks for sharing.
"In America, freedom and justice have always come from the ballot box, the jury box, and when that fails, the cartridge box."
-- Steve Symms, US Senator from Idaho, 1990
August 1st, 2009 05:04 PM
I second the cell phone, and the mag light it mags a great head tonker.
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of man be. Mathew 24:27
August 1st, 2009 05:12 PM
Hopefully the BG's will rethink there night time hobbies.
Don't believe what you hear and only half of what you see!
August 1st, 2009 09:43 PM
Buy that dog a giant steak and some pretty grips for the 1911. They both earned a reward!!!
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
August 2nd, 2009 12:58 AM
Glad you weren't a victim.
ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!
"A superior Operator is best defined as someone who uses his superior
judgement to keep himself out of situations that would require a display of his
August 2nd, 2009 02:48 AM
Sounds like you did good.
August 2nd, 2009 03:16 AM
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