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Discussion Starter #1
A BG that is?

All the while as I scan around me - particularly in more crowded places - I try and analyze. But - am I guilty of stereo-typing - like when I see a ''gangsta'' type dresser? Maybe I am - I have to expect the worst and hope for the best.

I have no tat's - just me but - if I see tat's - I wonder. Military? Possible. Construction guy? Possible. Gang member? Possible. But also, some real ''hard cases'' sport tat's too.

And yet - one thing I do know - the best ''con man'' is always the most credible and normal looking dude you'll find!

Bottom line I guess - is be aware - of everything, without presuming on threat but, never assume! I'll hope none of us here has to draw in anger but equally will expect that should anyone actually have to - it will be still probably sudden and a near surprise.

Perhaps behavioral clues are the best - as I doubt most Bg's are that hard that they can show no nervousness - so I reckon this is what I study most.

So - any tips, thoughts? Can we spot a BG, reliably.?
 

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I don't have the most distinguished adolescence - nothing will change that. What do I look for? People who I would have hung out with or been like 20 years ago.

There's certain mannerisms, walks, methods of carrying oneself, etc. that haven't changed even though fashion has.

I also look for out of season wardrobe - the hooded sweatshirt in July, etc.

First and foremost, though, I go with instinct. I can be as wrong as I want as many times as I want as long as I err on the side of caution.

I owe no one apologies if I profile them based on how they dress or act - it's their choice, not mine. They are the action that causes reaction.
 

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MY first inclination is a resounding... Maybe?

I do beleive it is highly possible to pick out suspicious behavior, and greatly increase your chances of picking out the bg before he makes his move. However, you will encounter a lot of false alarms along the way.

For example, is that gangsta looking teenage kid who seems really nervous in the back corner of the 7/11 late one night about to rob the place? What if he just stepped in there to buy a pack of condoms or a tube of preperation H for his grandma, and is embarassed about it. It could make him look suspicious. However keeping a wary eye on him will definately not hurt.

I have long said that by and large most criminals don't really have a lot of brains to begin with. I don't know if this makes sound bad or not, but every day I see something and think "if I wasn't an honest man..." Good thing I AM honest. Besides my dad was a cop and put a healthy fear of the law into me at an early age. LOL
 

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Last example of my ''spidey'' sense was earlier this year.

I had to go to the Mall to collect an ordered item. Hunger told me a snack was in order.

I thusly went to food hall area - got a chinese something or other - and took a table to eat this. Not that many folks around

Being as ever vigilant - I noticed two guys in particular. Maybe they were just out of work and bored but - something made me pay attention. Aged early 20's, they were very much ''hangin' around'' and one, the heavier of the two - wandered over in my direction - just noncholant - no real threat signals. But he wasn't ordering food either.

I did tho as I ate - scan my six - as he disappeared behind - I was NOT comfortable at all. Now in retrospect this was maybe paranoid but - my bells were ringing and I was not about to ignore them.

End result? Probably all very innocent but - I'll bet he was aware also of the fact that my subtle scanning was keeping him under observation at all times - tho to casual observer I doubt my actions in that respect were very obvious. I try and use peripheral a lot and make a play of looking at something other than my 'target''. Casual stuff.

All was well but - my discomfort was enough to have me in orange. Many might laugh at that - but it was what I do. No elevated pulse - no drama ... just being aware.

I daresay he was an OK person ... but I was not to know that.
 

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Want to develop the spidey sense in real time? Get a part time gig at the average gun shop.

You've got to gauge EVERYBODY coming in and whether they're going to be your next police report. ;0
 

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usual when they are acting odd compared to others. seem nerveous, looking around, eyes are shifting consantly ect, ect. Some is what the wear, but lots of folks around here wear gang type clothing to look in style. Better watch me close though, I have a tattoo..................and a gun. lol.
 

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Better watch me close though, I have a tattoo.
Haha - hey Rocky - never let it be said I have anything against tat's per se . I have many, many valued bike buddies with tat's and ya know - they are salt of the earth. No offence ever intended to anyone on that score.

It is tho this prob' whereby one does ''profile'' as part of the analytical process and again of course it is - "expect the worst and hope for the best".
 

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I watch everybody, even in church. Lots of people get shot in church by nuts.

I enjoy life, however. Just because I might in the future have to yell "Freeze, sleaze!" and drum a perfect Mozambique into some dirtball's soft spots doesn't mean I can't have a good meal and a laugh right now.

However, if I am comfortable in any den of vipers it's in motorcycle shops. There's a sign language, a ritual dance, a certain brotherhood. You are the misfit, the potential trouble maker, the stooge who might buy a yellow Sportster and call me 'bro.'

Then there's Betty. She might walk up to the same comic-book yeller Sporster, shrug, and ask, "Does the Sporty come with Hugger shocks?"

She'll haggle, then turn and sneer at me with the epithet, "Hey, paisano, quit breathing garlic on my paint."

Some people can pull it off, some can't. It's either in their jeans or in their genes. Capische'?
 

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As an LEO the "spidey sense" has come in handy. Learning to gauge people is pretty important. There is always something there to tip off the actions of a BG. The eyes are the window of the soul. I can usually tell within a pretty short time how people size up. Learning to watch body mannerisms is crucial. A clenched fist, body stance, or a body shift. Listening to how people talk can make or break a case.

While sitting in a restaurant with my wife and kids about 18 months ago I was watching a female LEO dealing with a female BG in the parking lot. A backup officer pulled up in another squad car. I saw him take an ID from the female LEO. The second LEO returned to his squad to run an ID check. The way his squad was parked his back was to the female LEO and did not keep a visual on his partner. As the incident unfolded, the female LEO began to handcuff the female BG. As the first cuff was being put on I saw the female BG shift her stance. I immediately knew she was about to attack. I jumped up and ran out of the restaurant as the female swung a fist into the face of the female LEO. She went done hard on her back. The female BG dropped down and punched the officer 2 more times before I got there. I ran past the back up officer still seated in his squad. I hollered at him his partner was down. I tackled the female BG and pinned her to the pavement till she was cuffed.
When I came back into the restaurant everyone was standing up looking out the windows to see the action. Many people were watching from their tables the events prior to the attack, but no one seen it coming. Before the first punch was thrown I was half way across the parking lot on a dead run. People were astonished. Goes to show ya, people are looking but they really arent watching for the subtle details. Yes, the backup officer felt like an a** when it was over.

Huckster
 

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My adolesence wasn't stellar either....I was for the most part the guy your parents warned you about hanging around. I've been a biker all my life (do NOT read motorcycle enthusiast), and was around the "seedy side" of the street scene for a very long time.

I have a saying that I'm sure Tourist will appreciate:

30 years ago everybody hated me...now everyone wants to be me!!

Many things have changed over the years, including the perception of "bikers", who back in the day were some of the most profiled members of society until Hollywood allowed it to became fashionably acceptable. All of a sudden, everyone and his brother has a Harley and dresses up on the weekend and now ya watch shows on Discovery about biker build offs and how cool everyone is...funny!

Although things are in many respects different for me now, my background allows me to see and recognize certain things that I know for a fact many others around me don't notice...either because they are not paying attention, or are not in the slightest sense tuned in to the "street world". Likewise, I think my past also helps me not to jump the gun...see how things are playin' out before gettin all worked up!

Do I profile...damn straight I do! Much of the ''gangsta'' type's exhibit many of the same traits I recognize from unsavory dudes 20-30 years in my past...looks different, talks different, acts the same!! I have a pretty good instinct to know when things don't feel right and the crap is about to hit the fan. I don't consider myself paranoid at all, but I don't consider myself a rookie or a fool either.
 

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Huckster - you showed there the classic - ''looking - but not seeing''. Which it seems is the average person's ability!!

Good you were ''tuned in'' - and yes, I would hope you LE folks do have that ''edge'' - all the better to keep your butts in one piece! :smile:

As I say so often to folks - and this is I guess a ''biker thing'' as much as anything .... ''expect the unexpected'' and - ''never assume'' (anything).
 

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I am pretty aware about what is going on around me. By default, I trust nobody until I "run" them against some complex profile scheme I keep in my head. I'm not paranoid by a long shot but, like P95, it's play to me. I watch, I analyze and accept/reject notions about people being a threat pretty quickly. Eyes and body language, as Huckster said, is essential. Oddly enough, my warning bells most often go off before anyone has been accepted as a threat.
 

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Usually, when something "JDLR" (Just Don't Look Right), that's because it isn't. Working in bars and plainclothes security, you pick up a lot of the same things cops do. Stance, glance, etc. You learn to tell when folks have their "beer muscles" on.
If I get a bad feeling, I listen to that feeling. It's kept me safe a few times. Made me feel foolish a few, too. I'd rather feel foolish than dead.
Most folks don't listen to "hunches" and funny feelings. That's 10,000 years of instinct knocking at your subconcious, dufus! Better wake up and listen! We often "see" things we don't see. Smells, taste, hearing, the feel of wind on your skin, it all gets picked up and filed away somewhere.
I can usually pick a bad guy out of the crowd, one way or another. Of course, I keep my eye on the rest, just in case.... :wink:
 

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It's probably a safe assumption to say that most people that carry, do so because of this "awareness" of their surroundings and not just because of what they/we read or see on the news everyday. Life itself is a schoolhouse and I keep on learning more as I grow older. This "awareness" skill is one of those I tend to hone too. It becomes a second-nature or subconscious capability that allows you to focus on your primary function (shopping, getting gas, walking to your car...etc) yet be always on guard for the unusual. That's different than sitting and "observing" as your primary function. Bumper will recall how we could spot other "PI's" when we were out working a case. Since our job was focussed on the primary function of observing, it sharpened our skills that we now use today......my two coppers! :redface:
 

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The more you are around dirtbags the easier it is to read them. I use to think my neighbor (a known drug dealer) was a real bad arse until I started with the SO, now I can read him for what he is.. all talk.

Now that I deal with slime every night I'm on patrol I see that the old saying "the quite ones are who you need to watch out for" is so true. Like my trainer told me right off the bat... "Be suspicious of everyone, until you know better." It's caused me to be "over ready" a few times, but never unaware for what can happen in the blink of an eye.

"Yuz either slippin or trippin", and the last thing you want is to be slippin. :)
 

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I've been "made" as a shoplifter in one store because I had on a baseball cap and a long leather jacket. My behavior was hardly suspicious, but I was followed around and stared down the entire time by the female clerk who was just sure I was going to pocket something. A couple months later I was in the same store, dressed in business casual, and the same lady didn't look at me twice.

The "Possible General Dirtbag" seems relatively easy to spot by appearance and suspicious attitude. I've also seen a few suspicious people who act "too cool and casual" like they'd slink up behind and grab a purse. Sometimes trying too hard to fly under the radar puts you on one.

And then there's the Ted Bundys of the world who are trimmed and clean and put on the disarm charm.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thx for the input. I'd say (pretty predictably) we are very much on same page. :smile:
 

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How to spot a BG 101

rfurtkamp said:
I also look for out of season wardrobe - the hooded sweatshirt in July, etc. First and foremost, though, I go with instinct. I can be as wrong as I want as many times as I want as long as I err on the side of caution.
After years of working with probationers and parolees, it's still a "gut feeling" for me. But my "gut" is correct more often than not. As DIRTY HARRY once said: "Now there's one SALTY lookin' dude."

I think it's a lot easier to spot the BG that is on the active hunt....doing a RECON of a possible target, especially when it's YOU. Everybody has had that eerie sensation of being watched but you can't quite pick out the watcher. The predator may have been attracted to your trail because you're exhibiting prey behavior. To deter, analyze yourself at that moment: How are you walking, holding your body and where are your eyes? Change your behavior and your direction. That's for starters. A sudden and dramatic shift in "prey" demeanor may make a careful predator back away. OTOH, a BG with a compulsion....a real NEED.....will strike and damn the consequences unless his personal survival ALARMS start sounding at panic levels. A committed attack can usually be forced to abort only when the BG comes nose to muzzle with Mr. Kimber.
 

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A committed attack can usually be forced to abort only when the BG comes nose to muzzle with Mr. Kimber.
And that, rather than the presence or willingness to use a firearm, is why I suspect that some folks who carry experience some more problems while doing so than others - it's not "I'm a victim" but rather the desperate, bizarre criminal types may be seeking the equivalent of either the challenge or someone not like the average sheeple.
 

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rfurtkamp said:
....the desperate, bizarre criminal types may be seeking the equivalent of either the challenge or someone not like the average sheeple.
I don't think I understand. Can you give an example? Better yet would be an example from an actual event.
 
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