SAD: CWP Holder Stops Driver After hit & Run - Mishawaka, IN

SAD: CWP Holder Stops Driver After hit & Run - Mishawaka, IN

This is a discussion on SAD: CWP Holder Stops Driver After hit & Run - Mishawaka, IN within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; South Bend Tribune: Witness halts fleeing driver after two Mishawaka girls struck MISHAWAKA — Two young girls, sisters, were in critical condition late Thursday after ...

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Thread: SAD: CWP Holder Stops Driver After hit & Run - Mishawaka, IN

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array CT-Mike's Avatar
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    SAD: CWP Holder Stops Driver After hit & Run - Mishawaka, IN

    South Bend Tribune: Witness halts fleeing driver after two Mishawaka girls struck

    MISHAWAKA — Two young girls, sisters, were in critical condition late Thursday after being run down earlier in the evening while crossing the street arm-in-arm after playing with friends.

    The driver reportedly attempted to flee, but was stopped at gunpoint by a man who witnessed the accident.

    According to witnesses, the two girls, ages 4 and 6, were crossing 11th Street at Dodge Street about 7:18 p.m. when a man traveling west on 11th in a blue Chevrolet Lumina struck both of them at about 40 mph.

    "No sooner had they crossed the street than I heard tires lock up and, 'Boom! Boom!,'ζ" said Alan Knepp, who was standing just up the street when the girls were hit.

    Knepp said the younger girl passed quickly beneath the vehicle, but her older sister rode the hood for several seconds before falling beneath the front end and then under both driver's side tires.

    The girls behind him, the driver then hit the gas, witnesses said, but stopped when Knepp, who was legally carrying a gun, jumped in front of the vehicle and trained his weapon on it.

    Approached by Knepp, the driver reportedly said the girls had jumped out in front of him. He then handed his keys to Knepp and stood silently next to his vehicle until police arrived.

    The girls, meanwhile, lay nearly lifeless in the road, witnesses said. The younger one initially was not breathing, and the older one's limbs and neck were badly twisted.

    Fetched by a neighbor, the girls' mother arrived moments later and reportedly passed out at the sight of her daughters' motionless bodies.

    Both girls were rushed by ambulance to Memorial Hospital in South Bend with critical injuries, Mishawaka police Capt. Pasquale Rulli said. One was immediately admitted into surgery, he said, and the other flown to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

    Their names have not yet been released, but several witnesses said they both attended Emmons Elementary School.

    Most of 11th Street between Dodge and Union streets was taped off following the accident and the county's Fatal Alcohol Crash Team was called in to investigate.

    The Chevrolet Lumina involved in the crash remained parked about a half block west of where the girls were hit. At various distances behind it, four small shoes, all pink, were lying on the asphalt.

    Several witnesses said the girls, who were returning home after playing with friends, were halfway across the street when they were hit, not jumping into it, as the driver contended.

    "For him to say them babies jumped out in front of him, he's a damn liar. He's a damn liar," said an emotional Danella Bishop, Knepp's wife.

    "Those two little girls had their arms locked around one another and looked both ways before they crossed," said Kelly Fletcher, a friend of Bishop.

    Fletcher said if not for Knepp, the driver would have fled.

    "He would have kept on going, dragging that little girl under his car," she said.

    The driver was taken to the police station for questioning and then released, Rulli said, and alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the crash.

    The driver's name has not been released.
    Very sad situation all the way around. My heart goes out to the families of the girls, and thankfully Mr. Knepp was there and wasn't afraid to get involved. I know that most times LEO's recommend onlookers don't get involved, but I for one am glad in this case that he did. Good to hear that alcohol wasn't a factor, maybe on a cell phone or adjusting the radio?

    How many of you parents of young kids such as these would be letting them out crossing the street alone and unsupervised? I know that I wouldn't be in this day and age. Not trying to shift blame away from the driver, but where were the parents?
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  2. #2
    Member Array ecrist's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    This is border-line OK, at best. While I'm happy they were able to question the person driving the car, the same could have been done with a description and the license plate number. Vigilantism isn't, generally, good for the public at large, and this sort of thing shouldn't be encouraged too greatly.

    Some states, Minnesota included, have a provision that allows for the use of deadly force to stop the commission of a felony in progress; I don't know that this would really qualify. Fine line, I think.

    Also, while it sounds as though there were other folks around, his assistance could have possibly been better used caring for the two injured girls.

    I hope the girls, and their family, are OK.
    Last edited by ecrist; May 12th, 2009 at 10:29 AM. Reason: my grammmer iz not 2 gud
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  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    This is a clear case of citizen's arrest. Knepp was lawfully attempting to detain somebody who had just clearly committed felony hit and run. If the driver had attempted to run Knepp over, he then would have been justified in shooting in self-defense. By the time Knepp pulled his gun, the actual felony was already over, so there is no legal justification for shooting to protect others.

    The legal complications would have ensued if the driver had swerved to avoid Knepp and keep on going—then there would have been, as far as I can tell, no legal justification for Knepp to do anything but try to get a license plate and call 9-1-1.

    The driver needs to be publicly horse-whipped before going away for a long, long time.
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  4. #4
    Member Array Joel's Avatar
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    Did I read this correctly? Mr. Knepp is married to Ms. Bishop? How loving and affectionate was Mr. Knepp and Ms. Bishop to the emotionally distraught driver?

    If this was an accident, then that driver must have freaked when he hit the kids. Were they at a cross-walk? Right now, we only have TWO stories. The driver's perspective and the perspective of the man with the gun and his friends. (I suspect that Ms Bishop plans on marrying Mr Knepp... one day)

    Before we jump onto this driver's head, ANY ONE OF US could have suffered the same situation. Driving down the road, same road, done it a thousand times, we are distracted by the day, the wife's harsh words, our kid's orthodontist bill, our boss's demand for more production, the radio is playing, and WHAMM!!, WHAT WAS THAT?? Something hit our car, was it a cardboard box? A plastic bag caught in the wind? A running dog?

    Fear, panic, adrenaline and the fight/flight juices are flowing....

    I know, we ALL are perfect. We all stop immediately. We ALL don't notice that crowd looming and growing larger and MORE ANGRY... then we see a man with a gun pointed to our head... and life as we know it is over.

    The police showing up was probably the BEST THING that happened to that driver.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    The proper tools for this situation are a pencil and a cellphone, not a gun. Write down the license plate number and the police will have the driver in a matter of hours.

    All the standard admonitions about how detaining someone at gunpoint is dangerous apply. In addition, a handgun is an exceedingly poor tool for stopping a moving vehicle. A handgun just doesn't have the oomph to mechanically disable a car. Hitting the driver is difficult, and even if you do, the vehicle isn't going to come to an immediate stop. It'll keep going until it hits something. Just look at the incidents where police fire dozens of rounds into vehicles in an attempt to stop them.

  6. #6
    Member Array Mike78's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Did I read this correctly? Mr. Knepp is married to Ms. Bishop? How loving and affectionate was Mr. Knepp and Ms. Bishop to the emotionally distraught driver?

    If this was an accident, then that driver must have freaked when he hit the kids. Were they at a cross-walk? Right now, we only have TWO stories. The driver's perspective and the perspective of the man with the gun and his friends. (I suspect that Ms Bishop plans on marrying Mr Knepp... one day)

    Before we jump onto this driver's head, ANY ONE OF US could have suffered the same situation. Driving down the road, same road, done it a thousand times, we are distracted by the day, the wife's harsh words, our kid's orthodontist bill, our boss's demand for more production, the radio is playing, and WHAMM!!, WHAT WAS THAT?? Something hit our car, was it a cardboard box? A plastic bag caught in the wind? A running dog?

    Fear, panic, adrenaline and the fight/flight juices are flowing....

    I know, we ALL are perfect. We all stop immediately. We ALL don't notice that crowd looming and growing larger and MORE ANGRY... then we see a man with a gun pointed to our head... and life as we know it is over.

    The police showing up was probably the BEST THING that happened to that driver.

    A little exaggerated dontcha think.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array AllAmerican's Avatar
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    How very sad. Id hate to be the parents of those two girls right now.

    Its easy to Monday Morning Quarterback the situation but Id bet that if some of us had the opportunity to stop the driver, we would.

    Thats said, calling 911 and being a good witness would be ideal.
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    Distinguished Member Array ErnieNWillis's Avatar
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    Why are 4,6yr old girls playing unsupervised?

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array AllAmerican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErnieNWillis View Post
    Why are 4,6yr old girls playing unsupervised?
    Exactly! Which is why I wrote that Id hate to be their parents right now.
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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ErnieNWillis View Post
    Why are 4,6yr old girls playing unsupervised?
    Kids need to be 'supervised' to cross a neighborhood street?

  11. #11
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    There were comments to the effect of panic and adrenaline and maybe the driver not knowing what he hit...I'd like to know how that would be the case given that we have witness statements that the second girl hit basically rode the hood for a few seconds.

    As to those claiming it's a bad idea to attempt to stop the car...Ever seen anyone get run over? I have, and I've also been the one run over. How many stories have we seen in the news where the person hit was still alive yet DRAGGED under the vehicle for miles by the driver? FAR TOO MANY.

    Don't know about y'all, but if I see someone get run over and the body didn't pop out the back...I'm stopping that car one way or another.
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    Ex Member Array PNUT's Avatar
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    Wow, what a mess all around. I hope that the little girls will be ok. When I was a kid you could play outside alone ,cross the street,go bike riding.. etc. Now, not so much. Honestly, IMO, a 4 and 6 year old have no business out and crossing streets with a 40 mph speed limit(or more) alone and unsupervised at +7p/m. Not blaming the kids,just saying, it's a dangerous world.
    I don't know the mind of the driver but I'd imagine that it was starting to get dark and he just didn't see the kids.
    Would I stand in front of a moving car with a handgun ? Not in this lifetime. Like someone else said above, helping the injured would have been a better idea. Wasn't there,wasn't involved, and it's too easy to criticize, we should acknowledge that Mr.Knepp at least did SOMETHING. When good people stop doing, that the BG's will take over, kind of like now.

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    Member Array CRags99's Avatar
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    this breaks my heart

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PNUT View Post
    Honestly, IMO, a 4 and 6 year old have no business out and crossing streets with a 40 mph speed limit(or more) alone and unsupervised at +7p/m.
    The article said that the driver was going 40mph, not that the speed limit was 40mph. Looking at the street on Google Maps, I really doubt it. If the speed limit on a residential street like that is more than 25mph, the city traffic engineer needs to have his head examined.

    Quote Originally Posted by PNUT View Post
    I don't know the mind of the driver but I'd imagine that it was starting to get dark and he just didn't see the kids.
    The sun sets about 9 o'clock, this happened just after 7. I doubt visibility was a factor.

  15. #15
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    Sad time for the family of these girls.
    I can't fault the CCW permit holder for his acitons. It would be hard to tell exactly what to do unless we were in the situation.
    The cops didn't seem to have a problem with his actions, so neither do I.
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