How would you read this freeway situation? - Page 2

How would you read this freeway situation?

This is a discussion on How would you read this freeway situation? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Both of us were armed, and my wife was considering displaying her weapon but chose not to because of concerns about brandishing. To clarify, she ...

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Thread: How would you read this freeway situation?

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Both of us were armed, and my wife was considering displaying her weapon but chose not to because of concerns about brandishing. To clarify, she was certainly not considering pointing it or finger-in-triggerguard, just a 'You boys sure you want to play?' wave.

    I would love feedback on when to, for instance, hold up a pistol and wag a finger like the computer guy's 'wrong password' screen in Jurassic Park (think "Librarian") - if ever. Our understanding is that one doesn't do that 'til just prior to shooting, while being willing to break off the progression if the bad guy backs down, and that one should never display a weapon to send the message of 'leave me alone' if one is not at that moment in fear for one's life. We weren't in fear for our lives at that point. Well, maybe I was a little bit concerned, but that's not the same thing.

    Comments? Any NC- or VA-specific comments would be appreciated as well.
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  2. #17
    Member Array HardCorps79's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    Thanks for sharing your experience. It's always good to see someone exercising good SA and then passing it on for the rest of us. There are a 101 scams out there. When I was a cop there was a rash of folks pretending to be cops so they could mug folks. We had a public bulletin out that told people not even to pull over for LEO on a dark deserted road. There are plenty of impostors out there. If you think it may be a cop, put on your flashers, pull onto the shoulder if you can, and then proceed slowly to the next public place. If they're a real cop they should understand. And if they don't, they can call in the cavalry and light up the road like a disco with cars and choppers. Then you'll know they're legit.

    I was followed by some yeahoos in my wife's van once, guys driving pretty aggressively, slowing down, speeding up, passing, following closely, etc. I nearly pulled the pistol up to show, but thought better of it, what with brandishing laws, etc. Started to head to the police station, and they bugged out.

    Stay safe out there!

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  3. #18
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    Array grady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    They were trying to rob you. Or worse.

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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    This happened to me a couple of days ago, and I would like your opinions:

    • 8 PM or so, dark and deserted freeway (two lanes each direction), rural area of North Carolina (77 SB above Statesville, if anyone is from that area);
    • My wife and I (both 'mature' in age) were in a '91 compact hatchback, covered with mud (the car, not us);
    • We were in the slow lane, with pretty light traffic, doing 65-70 (70 mph limit there);
    • I observed a fellow 1/8 mile or so ahead, traveling at normal speed, put on his 4-way flashers for 20-30 seconds then turn them off;
    • The fellow then began slowing down, perhaps by 10-15 mph;
    • I then tried to pass him, and he began to speed up, slightly behind me (preventing me from changing lanes, but not directly to my side);
    • Our speed was approaching 75, and I didn't want to go any faster;
    • I slowed down and the guy in the right lane slowed down, eventually the two of us doing perhaps 50 mph;

      so far...this is pretty usual behaviour for florida driving...nobody knows what cruise control is and you find yourself sandwiched between cars driving below the speed limit daily...
    • Dark full-size sedan, male driver, male in the back seat, presumably someone in the passenger seat to require soneone to sit in back;
    • The fellow in the back seat (illuminated by someone approaching in the fast-lane guy behind me) was pointing and gesturing with animation at the back right-hand corner of our car;

      hes saying...sam...look at that old 91...i had one just like it...speed up again so i can get a better look at it...i am not sure if he was gesturing to you or not by your description...
    • I accelerated to fair speed past them and pulled into the right lane;
    • The guy behind me passed us both;
    • The car with the multiple occupants fell back, then soon passed me at a fairly good clip;
    • I never saw either of these two cars again.

    My wife was concerned about the car's roadworthiness, but there was no change in performance or handling to support the gestures we saw. I slowed down a bit, and we pulled into a busy and well-lit gas station at the next off ramp: no sign of any problem.

    I was dubious about their sincerity based on the 4-way flasher episode before I appeared (they were doing something odd), and the speed-up-slow-down behavior: it seemed to me like a prelude to the 'get him to pull over then mug him' scenarios I've read about.

    they never made any aggressive moves or blew the horn to get your attention and maybe get you to stop...dont you think they would have if their intent was to rob or hurt you?...

    it isnt likely they are going to target a 91 vehicle for the wealth of the occupants...

    maybe they were screwing with you but again did not do anything aggressive or threatening...

    displaying a firearm in this case might have landed you in a case where aggressive behavior wwas displayed its would still be a maybe...there was never a viable threat to your safety other than you may have had someone screwing with you...

    if they were thieves i'm guessing they arent very successful ones if thats all it took for them to give up...

    keep your doors locked and travel safe...

  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array Spec's Avatar
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    Self Awareness was good on your part.... +1
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    If you find yourself in a fair fight your tactics stink.

  7. #21
    Member Array Retiredonce's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    The Midlands of SC
    Good response and a happy outcome. One question; did you give any thought to call 911 with a vehicle description and location? Not being critical, just wondering...
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  8. #22
    Senior Member Array Exodus's Avatar
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    Jan 2006

    I feel your suspicions are probably correct.

    Flight is always your best option; preferably to a populated area. I'm not sure about where you're at, but in Texas you can't draw and present unless your life is threatened. Now the law does provide for verbal threats as well as body language. What the car was doing was suspicious, but not threatening. Presenting a firearm would have probably been illegal. I was in a similar situation a few weeks ago. I was on my way home and a car was keeping pace with me and taking the same turns. I typically drive with a heavy foot and occasionally fracture the speed limit a bit. It is unusual for someone to stay on my tail. I was carrying my Sig P229 in a pancake holster - i.e. I was sitting on my weapon. I leaned forward a bit and drew my Sig and laid it in my lap. No one could see it, but it was there if I should need it. Fortunately, the car broke off before I reached my street. If they hadn't broken off, I would have turned away from home and headed back to the city.

    Another option you had, with a passenger would be to have your wife call the police and report the car. An officer could have responded.

    Our individual circumstances and resources will shape how we react in a dangerous situation. I've always squeezed the most performance out of my cars and trained to push them to the edge of their performance. I'm confident that if a BG tries to pursue me on the streets, I can out-drive them. If that isn't a option for you (and it sounds like it wasn't), you've always got options. The most critical points are being armed and more importantly, being aware of your surroundings. You had that covered and you did the right thing.

    Sorry about the rambling....I haven't been awake for long. Hope you can glean something useful from it.
    "To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." Ted Nugent


  9. #23
    Member Array scorpion12's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    Paymeister you ask is it ever appropriate to display your weapon like the guy in Jurassic Park does his finger... "AH ah ah! You didn't say the magic word!"

    No would be the answer. That's considered brandishing.

    However, if you were somewhere feeling threatened or in fear of your life, and you drew your weapon to low ready position in preparation for defending yourself, and the bad guy suddenly remembers there's a birthday party he NEEDS to attend immediately and runs off, there's nothing you can do... except call 911 and report the situation and that you drew your firearm because you felt threatened.

    The first call to 911 usually establishes the credibility factor of the caller and anything else after that is just heresay.

  10. #24
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpion12 View Post
    ... and the bad guy suddenly remembers there's a birthday party he NEEDS to attend immediately and runs off...
    Great description! May there be many such parties for bad guys!

    You summarized the brandish/break-off well, and that's exactly what wife and I understand, believe, and will follow - I asked because, for the life of me, I couldn't see where one could or should do what we agree to be brandishing.

    Re: 911 - good to mention it. And for the earlier poster, I never did call because I failed completely to get a license plate number or decent description of the car. Sigh. Next time...

    Oh. Wait - I hope there isn't any 'next time'!
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  11. #25
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    Had something similar happen 20 yrs ago at 1am, middle of nowhere, - older camaro came up on me real quick and then slowed down to match my speed even with me. Did what your wife thought about doing - they skidaddled out of there real quick like. 911 would be a darn good option, but mine was before cell phones. Since they put their flashers on in front of you, how could they determine there was something wrong with your car? Ya done good.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    I hate road games. Some folks get their jollies by messing with you on the interstate. That is an isolated area, so you did well to get away and find a gas station. They would have to escalate it much farther for me to show my firearm. Somewhere close to the point where I thought one of us was going to end up in the ditch.

    I had a similar instance in SC. Between 95 and Columbia, nothing around there. Car full of women, so I was not as worried about being dangerous. But they were driving crazy! Pass and slow down, pass and laugh and swerve at us. The last time I got by them I pegged it on about 110 for two exits and hit the gas station for a rest. I could have cared less what HP thought. Never saw them again. Before the comments start, my wife was with me and no they were not flirting.

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