A somewhat success story, first-hand

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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    A somewhat success story, first-hand

    My recent story goes here, as it was a success in that my goal to prevent the injury to another was in fact achieved, but in the end, cost me $113.50, the going rate apparently for pointing without malice in Idaho goes for. ;)

    Ok, I've been mum on this incident for some time now at the advice of counsel, but today's silliness (and resultant $50 fine) ends it all with no more black marks on my record of evil in real terms.

    What happened, exactly? The story goes something like this. On March 11, I come home from a long day moonlighting at the gun shop, and I've been kept appraised all day of domestic non-tranquility from the apartment beneath ours. The woman who resides there has no spouse, partner, etc. who lives on site - it's just her and a 10ish year old hoodlum-in-training. Apparently she'd been having a multi-site domestic dispute with one Mr. Banks, with whom she's known to have regular knockdown, dragout knuckle-dragging swear-fests, and has retreated to her own home. I have no real knowledge of any of this other than domestic silliness has been occuring for some time.

    So, I walk in the door, start pounding on the FAL to adjust the sights and do some routine maintenance, and the domestic downstairs rears its ugly head after a crash as her door gets forcibly opened. The usual cries of someone in distress, ala "Get out! Get out!" are matched by furniture et al flying into walls and the kid screaming his little butt off, and they intensify quickly. 911 is called. The situation continues.

    My landlord calls, mentions that he left when the domestic got fierce and could see the violence directly through their window. I get dressed, grudgingly - but don't have time for shoes or usual stuff. I grab the first things that are available, and expect to have to direct traffic when the police arrive because for some reason they have been repeatedly incapable in previous calls of reading apartment numbers in a well-lit hallway.

    So, I stick my head out the door and wait. 15 minutes go by. I figure that the minute I try to find and put on shoes the fun will hit the fan, and thus, shoes become optional attire. The situation intensifies, and eventually the woman makes her way from what I can hear to the apartment exit. The domestic spills into the hall, with the large black man beating on the somewhat intoxicated black woman.

    I have a no win situation on my hands. I don't even like this woman, but she's getting beaten in a public space and fleeing her residence from an outsider. Out comes the first firearm at hand, because I'm not going to be the Good, the Bad, or the Ugly without some sort of boomstick. I know it's no-win, but I'm going to at least have the capacity to open fire if needed to stop the felony in progress in accordance with state law. You see, our forward-thinking state legislators attempted to pass multiple and obvious references to same in state code letting citizens attempt to stop things in progress.

    Now I've waited fifteen+ minutes for response time in a six minute town, and it's spilled into the hall. The nearest loaded firearm is my newly acquired (at the time) Glock 17 with 31 round stick mag inserted. Damned if Murphy didn't strike, because otherwise the FAL I was working on would have come with me, and I'd have had a shot easily, but....I digress. I don't have a clear shot without fear of pass-through at the ranges I'm operating at, and my car is the backstop if it goes through the building wall. It's a non-winner in my book, and she begins to flee out the front door. I hope against hope that the dissident aggressor will not pursue.

    That hope was ill-founded, and he strikes the woman as she flees several times, so down the stairs with a hop, skip, and a Glock I go, barefoot. I apparently didn't provide enough attention that day in Die Hard tactical training school, but hey, I'll pay for that later in the recap.

    Down the block she flees, idiot in tow landing blows where possible. It's ideal in some respects for a good shoot, but I don't trust the Glock trigger on a 10m shot against moving people. Had it been my trusty Sig, sure. But, again, you fight with what you've got, and as luck would have it, he who is far from a Glock fan is equipped with Glock. I've kept the gun at low ready, as holster is a luxury I didn't have along with shoes in the time frame allotted. I hope that the low ready doesn't provide as much of a classic man with a gun silhouette in case the police actually do show up.

    The woman gives up at the nearby intersection. I have good backstop (unused university entertainment building, 7:30 pm Friday night, no lights in building). No oncoming traffic, idiot continues to beat on woman. I gently suggest he step away from the woman. Using the persuasive ability that only comes from being a 6'8", 340 pound psycho with a large black handgun, our idiot finally gets a clue and backs off when he realizes that yes, I am an idiot, but an idiot with a gun. Strike that. I'm a barefoot idiot with a gun who's just run an entire city block over glass and gods know what else in the road and is wondering exactly how it went from coming home to enjoy the night off to having my first extended conversation with a black man since moving to Idaho in 1998 at Glock-point.

    He backs off pretty quickly, and I advise that police are already on route. The woman moves to my side and is visibly grateful, an attribute I figured would last until the next time the guy beat her. Boy, I'm not cynical in this, am I?

    Idiot aggressor mutters something about just trying to help the woman, and I even manage to choke down the half dozen zesty comments that could have otherwise come out, and respond with "Well, stick around and we'll get it worked out when the police arrive." Apparently, that wasn't in his best interest, so he runs off into the night. If only I'd grabbed the other FAL with night vision. Damn. I knew I should have had a V8.

    I escort the woman back to our building, and wait outside. It's now at 20+ minutes with no police. There's one good entrance to the building here, and I'm sitting out front of it, barefoot. It's 40 degrees and falling fast. I spy with my nether eye the triumpant return of Mr. Aggressor, who's out of place in a neighborhood in upper class Idaho. I advise that it's a damned wise idea to stay back at least 20 meters, and weapon snaps from low ready a half dozen times as he tries to do the run and grab at the Glock. When he realizes I've actually paid attention at my shoot-no shoot drills, he steals the woman's car and drives off after muttering threats and about how I'll pay for bringing a gun and he'll get me.

    I wait another 10 minutes. I'm getting damned cold. I've put down the firearm so it rests on the bench next to me. I have ID, courtesy my old lady coming in from upstairs to check on me. Policedude slides from shadow, 30 minutes after call and 10 minutes or so after the scene is colder than my feet. I inform there are firearms on scene, and he only hears that there is one. I hope things are going to go better than they are - if he can't tell the difference between firearm and firearms, discernment is right out the window.

    His eyes go saucer-big when he sees the stick mag sitting in the Glock. Right then and there, I become gloriously pleased that it is not marked "Restricted, Law Enforcement Only" because I realize that this was one of the guys who would have arrested first and called ATF later. We're ordered to sit down and not move as he takes custody of property, or in layman's terms, custody begins. No Miranda is issued. His backup has not arrived on scene. Even after he calls in idiots with guns, backup takes another 10 minutes.

    He asks basic questions, I provide basic answers. It becomes readily apparent that he's more interested in lecturing about having guns than about a woman who flees in fear of her life from her apartment and this is going to be a long night. He begins taking a real interest in my old lady, figuring that for whatever macho SWAT dude reason that she's an easier target than I am. He's not pleased when I mutter something darkly about letting him say his piece and feel better about it, but well, he's already crossed the line by lecturing repeatedly about the incident. I have a policeman on scene, not my father.

    The woman is still profusely grateful. She borrows the phone to check on her son, who has allegedly been this entire time at her neighbors, but the first thing out of her mouth is "Is my son OK?" - curious words for someone whose child has not been on site all day or evening. Police backup finally arrives. An older officer advises that if this incident had happened twenty years ago, we'd have been sent back upstairs with a thank you.

    Sadly, this isn't twenty years ago. Almost three hours go by, and FirstResponderMan runs the guns through every check on earth to make sure that they're not stolen, radioactive, defective, or otherwise abused. He starts giving me some lectures straight out of the police academy about contiuum of force and other concepts that here do not apply to civilians, let alone those of us without Batman(TM) utility belts. He does not appreciate my pointing this out, but I figure civility is out the window. If I'm going to get charged, I'll get charged - but I don't have to put up with PseudoDad's lecture.

    We're never isolated from the witness for an hour. We're never isolated from each other. Nobody is Miranda'd. The officer never takes notes except for ID information, an interesting factoid that will come in to play later. Almost three hours, we're still not charged. I sense waffling as he tries to lecture about civilian use of force and he actually utters "you can only use force to stop ..... a crime" with a straight face. Yes, that's right. Apparently a woman fleeing her residence from attack isn't a crime in this jurisdiction, something that is still true over a month later as the aggressor is still not charged with any crime despite my repeated willingness to press charges. The lecture continues. The older officer stifles laughter at a few instances, as I've decided to just be Mr. ******* since at least that way I might actually get charged, post bail, and go about my night rather than sit around barefoot as temperatures drop below freezing outdoors.

    Some more time passes. He looks pained as he walks back with the pistols, and starts lecturing about how we have fifty rounds of ammunition present. By my count, we have 49 (31 in the Glock, 17+1 in my old lady's Sigma). We get the lecture on backstop (which I had), and being accountable for every round - which makes me wonder - if we had fifty rounds allegedly when taken into custody, where has he put that extra round? It still might be bouncing around the neighborhood killing children a month later, you know.

    He grudgingly hands the pistols to my old lady and tells her to go back upstairs and not to load them until we're all the way up. I think to myself, gee, dipshit, I guess I'll have to shoot you out the living room window - but I'm too nice to think that. Yes, that's right. I'm merely exaggerating for comedic value, my attorney would say. I get handed the 47 rounds of ammunition loaded in magazines and two loose rounds from the chambers of the firearms. We're let go.

    I figure, thank something, it's over. We're not charged. It's good. Days go by. Mr. Aggressor is seen back on site, slinking in to have a couple more domestic tussles. It's enough to get the woman to change her tune.

    PoliceFirstResponder has my phone and contact info if he needs me for anything. The one night a week I go out to band practice, he shows up at 8:30 pm at the door without calling first to attempt to present me with my very own citation. I'm not there. He doesn't provide ID on request for her when she answers the door, a woman at home alone. He's not really happy when she's not too keen on complying. She calls me at band practice. I call back the police, arrange to have them meet me where I am. They claim I don't need bail, but I have a witness on hand regardless. Do I have a lack of trust here, or what? No, not me. Not little ol' me.

    First responder shows up with the shift supervisor to issue me my very own, special citation (autographed copies available for $5@ to help defray my whopping fine!) for "Exhibition of a Deadly Weapon", a misdemeanor. He's taken great care to note, as not required by law, my phone number on the citation - but can't call first. He's even noted that the deadly weapon was a Glock 17. I'm amazed the serial number wasn't on the citation too...but hey, he might have run out of ink. I inquire as to whether he's arrested Mr. Abuser, and am informed no. I ask exactly what about "I witnessed the idiot striking the woman and am willing to press charges" was too hard to understand. He's no more helpful than before. My charge requires two witnesses - and only two were present. Victim and aggresor and me. I didn't press charges against myself, so I get screwed from both sides as I was afraid of from the get go.

    Arraignment is set for March 31. It's a strictly informal no tie affair, but I did remember to wear shoes this time. I plead not guilty. Pre-trial conference is set for April 19th at the unholy hour of 9:30. I'm there until 11 waiting. Prosecutor offers me a bargain I'd be a fool to refuse - dropping of charges to non-malicious pointing (no possible time, regular traffic ticket class misdemeanor) that won't affect my gun permits (even though I have out of state backups just in case). My attorney fees were estimated at $1k plus if jury trial resulted, which means that I paid less than ten cents on the dollar to be done today. Had my record been spotless (I do have a battery conviction from 1990 thanks to a similar incident in Illinois where I was a little excessive in my youth in doing more than stopping the incident, a lonely blemish on a lifetime of distinction), I'd have spent the grand, but it's not. So for $113.50, less than the price of a seat belt ticket, I've established the market rate for trying to help people and for pointing guns at the passerby in a non-malicious manner. To prove my innocence by state law, it'd have cost over a grand with almost certain victory. That's $900 I can spend on guns, bail the next time I fail to shoot some vermin, or stimulating time spent in the company of minority Idahoans.

    My witness for proceedings and I go out to blow off a little steam, but I'm told that I'm not safe to be in public as I make little pistol gestures at the assembled throngs and start totalling up what they would cost and try to figure out if bulk discounts are offered, if children are half price, et cetera. It's probably for the best I retreated to the gun shop, where, newly convicted, I purchased another firearm.

    I almost bought a Sig law enforcement commemorative handgun, but thought that the irony was just too rich for words. Instead, I found a parkerized Colt Peacekeeper, the ******* stepchild of the Python and Trooper, in .357 magnum. Not really needing another gun, but wanting to exercise my evil civil rights, and realizing that it was still substantially cheaper than the attorney, it followed me home.




    So, what did I learn from all this?

    -Helping my fellow man costs me a hundred bucks a head. I don't have a hundred bucks a head for my neighbor downstairs any more. I've bought her already, and I'll be hesitant to provide assistance to anyone in the future not worth a hundred bucks to me.
    -Pointing firearms at others if no malice is involved is a hundred bucks a head.
    -When the universe most wants to make your day entertaining, shoes are optional.
    -There's no win when the police SWAT trainer dude is more interested in civilians not having guns than on stopping a woman from being beat in front of your eyes.
    -Ten minutes after a gun-related conviction in Idaho, you walk out the door, put the gun back in the holster, and return to business as usual.
    -I'd do it again, hence the $50 fine instead of the $5. I apparently have less than $45 worth of remorse.

    And that, my gentle readers, explains why I'm such a happy person this month.

    Tune in next month to watch me get fined six million for trying to stop Rwandan genocide.

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  3. #2
    Lead Moderator
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    That was an interesting read, thanks.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

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    Former Member Array The Tourist's Avatar
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    There is an old Sicilian phrase that roughly translated is "No good deed goes unpunished."

    I must offer this. I, too, would try to help a woman being beaten or chased--as a singular event in her life.

    What chills it for me is if she lives that life, voluntarily, with the same guy, getting beaten regularly. Now we are into mental dynamics and a disfunctional situation that can never be solved with 33 rounds from a Glock.

    In the late 1970's, I also went to the screams of woman once--she was being stuffed into a car. Like all good Harley riders, I had a Buck 110, took it out of the case and inquired if everything was okay. The guy and girl hustled into their house across the street. My girl friend (now wife) was already on the telephone.

    Four cops then appeared in my kitchen to "discuss my attitude." The man and woman were getting ready to go to dinner. The police understood my concern, but this wasn't really a 'crime,' rather, this was how she lived her life.

    Tragic as it seems, this is one rescue that you should avoid.

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    Geez, this is mind-boggling Twilight Zone stuff. Sounds like one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to be a Pocatello cop.

    Hang in there, dude. It's good to see that you still have a sense of humor after this goat-rope. Thanks for posting this.

    BTW, that's a nice Colt. I'd never heard of this model.

    Take care.

    Terry.


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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    Compelling, fascinating and nicely humor-spiced account. Appreciated by this reader.

    Too little time to comment on certain aspects but - this sorta thing always goes against the decision to ''help out'' in a ''situation''. That is of course my natural inclination - as it would be I am sure for most of us, but - the thoughts of ''sequele'' ... consequences if you like - sadly can make a help deal fizzle into a ''I'd better not'' choice. Probably to the detriment of someone else's health and bodily integrity.
    Chris - P95
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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    The absurdity of it all is part of why I posted. Yes, I knew from the get go that intervening in a domestic has serious, serious risks - but I like to be able to sleep a month later without thinking what I could have done. With the incident resolved (not as much as I'd like, but enough to call it done), I sure slept well last night.

    What I am pleased with in the outcome is other than the first week after the incident, I have not seen the aggressor on site once. Maybe a clue was given. Maybe it wasn't.

    If nothing else, somebody on the block was willing to do something. Three other neighbors declined to stay to help when asked.

    It's a start and today I'm about small victories.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Crunch
    Geez, this is mind-boggling Twilight Zone stuff. Sounds like one doesn't have to be a rocket scientist to be a Pocatello cop.
    What I realized in retrospect is he didn't have the guts to charge me when his backup didn't respect what he was doing - that's why the charge came later I'd almost bet another hundred bucks.

    Doing some research on the officer in question, he's the local SWAT/tacticool instructor and seems to have a grudge against any civilian with a gun.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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    I can't believe they would not charge the guy that was beating her. If they only show up to hassle/ticket those that show up to help 30 minutes after they were originally called there's not much reason to call them at all. We really are getting to be a screwed up society.
    Bumper
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    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Kill all the lawyers.

    And that's a dang story. I'm glad you didn't get in more undeserved trouble than you already did if that makes any sense.

    Also, apparently a clear conscience costs about $100 in our screwed up legal system.

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    Glad to hear ya didn't get too much B.S. from the incident. Too bad some folks let themselves be abused. Did you contact the NRA about this? If you are a member they may have given ya free legal council. Thanks for stepping in as a concerned citizen.

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    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Damn....nice post rfurtkamp...just sorry you had to put up with that kind of "justice"....not much else to say...it just ain't right!!

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    Senior Member Array rfurtkamp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky
    Did you contact the NRA about this? If you are a member they may have given ya free legal council.
    In all honesty, I don't trust any counsel I haven't personally retained. They're not acting in my best interests - that applies to assistance or whatever that doesn't come directly out of my pocket.

    It's over for now - I'm still going over the incident and comparing it to the various pieces of advice I've been given over the years.
    Driver carries less than $45 worth of remorse.

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    As someone who has intervened on behalf of an abused woman

    I can definitively say that they're not worth it. A night in jail, 1 lawsuit, and $10000 dollars later, I've learned my lesson.

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    ebd welcome

    Sounds like one heck of a bad experience. If you feel able to post more on that please do - so we may perhaps learn from your bad experience. if not no biggie - not trying to pry.
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Man thats messed up im not sure how i missed it the first time round glad it only cost ya slightly more than a ben franklin

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