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Scenario: Chinese Food

1893 Views 19 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  clubsoda22
You are at your favorite little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant, located in the not-so-great residential/industrial side of town. The sign says "Chinese Food." The parking lot is poorly lighted. It is a little mom-and-pop operation with a small bar, three two-ups, a large round table, and five four-ups. It is a long, narrow place. Facing into the restaurant, the tables are down the left side, the front door, bar, and kitchen are down the right side. The bathroom and rear entrance is at the very back. This is the kind of place where the owner's kid sits at the very back of the restaurant, at the last table, doing his homework each night. They have two menus - one in English and the other in Chinese with English subtitles. You always order from the Chinese menu.

Tonight, you are a party of 10, and Mom puts you at the round table, opposite the bar, about 12' from the door. There are three couples, two singles, and two kids in your party. If the chair closest to the bar is at 12 o'clock on the table, you are seated at 7 o'clock, against the wall, facing the door. Your buddy, who is also carrying, is seated at 5 o'clock, against the wall, facing the bar.

It's about 9:30pm, and almost time to close. Your party is the only one left in the restaurant. Everybody is busy eating. Mom is cleaning up, by the cash register, behind the bar. Pop is back in the kitchen and unaware of what's happening on the floor. Son is at the back of the place.

A man walks in. He is wearing expensive cross-trainers, gray sweat pants, and a dark blue hooded sweatjacket with the hood up. He leans against the bar, facing away from you, but directly behind a member of your party. He is not there to pick-up carryout. You hear him ask for change for a $100 bill. No one but you and your carry buddy seems to have heard the exchange. The kid between you is oblivious. The others at the table seem unaware. Mom turns to the cash register. The guy looks around nervously.

What do you do? I'll tell you what actually happened, later.
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Offer him an eggroll. A hundred bucks for an eggroll is an incredible profit.

To be serious, I'd just make room for a decent corridor of fire and 'clear my coat.' Note his features and style of dress for the cops.

Nothing has happened at this point. If it turns into a robbery, you are ready. If it is a robbery attempt and he sees you prepare, he just might go away.

If it's just a sports fan making change for a ticket scalper, your actions won't matter.

Many areas have deep consequences for 'brandishing.'
I would knock over my water glass loudly, get up and walk slowly toward the back corner of the bar asking for a cleanup rag, keeping an eye on the guy. If he's nervous about the setup he very well might change his mind if he was planning something. Watch his hands. You would not at that point be able to do much else. I have seen alot of suspicious looking people and situations that 99% turn out to be nothing. Your situational awareness alarm should be going off, however.
Excellent response Bumper. I agree.
Bumper has it right.

Nothing has happend yet so all you can do is keep your eyes open, your hand on your gun ready to draw if needed, and move, also if needed, to a better position. I would not take my eyes off of this guy until whatever is going to happen does happen. Another option, depending on timing may be to move directly behind him in line as if you were going to pay your bill. This may discourage him into leaving having someone right behind him. If he does leave I wouldn't breath my sigh of relief just yet. I would keep my eyes on the door in case he re-enters.
"You guys go ahead, I'll pay the check at the counter". Try to get my party out the door. A blazing gun battle in a small confine with people scattering and someone is gonna run into a bullet. Once they are out, try to pay and get clear. Once my party starts moving, it all depends on 'shoeboy'. Once outside and safely in vehicles, take note and plate of other vehicle in lot. Just in case. Maybe stay in the truck to see if shoeboy exits, and what he exits with. Cell phone ready.

jdsumner said:
"You guys go ahead, I'll pay the check at the counter". Try to get my party out the door.
I like that one as long as you could actually get everyone up and moving out instead of finishing up their Mongolian Beef. :biggrin:
Another vote for Bumper's thinking. Seems to me about the safest as well as effective way forward. Leaves a lot of options open and certainly is gonna negate any ''over zealous'' actions at the outset.
Actually, I made brief eye contact with my buddy - enough to be certain we were both aware of the same potential. We casually shifted our chairs to give us room to move, just in case. The guy looked over his shoulder, saw us watching him, and quickly faced forward again, leaning further in toward the register. Mom said she didn't have $100 in the register and would have to go get the change from the back. This really made him antsy. My glass was empty, so I picked up my glass and headed over to the bar. My buddy saw what I was doing and did the same, coming up on the other side of the guy. I gave the guy a nod. Mom came back with his change, so she had not had to open the register. We asked Mom for a refill. The guy snatched his change out of her hand, gave us another look, and walked quickly out the door. No one else in our party was even aware. The only words spoken were asking Mom for a refill of our drinks.

It is not often that someone just walks in off the street and asks for change for a $100 bill, just before closing, particularly when there is nowhere nearby to spend it. I forgot to mention the time of year. It was summer, so the hood up was a definite alert. His position, leaning into the bar space close to the register, was suspicious, but then, he was asking for change. His nervousness was interesting, but then he was carrying at least one large bill, and I don't like to do that, myself. We could not reasonably get everyone at our table up and out the door without alarming everyone, because of where they were in the meal - our main dishes had only arrived a few minutes before, and besides, we didn't have a real reason to, just yet. What we did was give ourselves crossing lines of fire that put the table and Mom out of the way, if only just. Moving in close may or may not have been a smart move, but he had done nothing wrong up to that point. Just suspicious.

As it turned out, he walked briskly down to the strip club, a few blocks away. I won't speculate on his nervousness or his desire to cover his head with a hood. In the end, he did nothing wrong, and that's what's important.
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Played well Tom - doubt a much better way to go. Good too it was a ''non-event. :smile:
I'd watch him, but depending on other factors probably just watch him. Age would have something to do with whether or not I thought having the hood up in the summer was odd. For example, we have some guys in for training from the sandbox right now and they are freezing at 75-80 degrees. Hoods up and caps on. The nervousness could be that he was a politician or in the public eye and was worried about being recognized.

Could be he was trying to size up the register to ambush whoever left with the deposit bag, or to come back when they were locking up to rob them. You never know. To be there is to make a better judgement.

You guys did alright. I probably would've chatted with the guy, just to see what he would do. But I'm like that. :tongue:

As someone mentoned in another thread, my wife and I have a code to alert each other of trouble without anyone else noticing. Neither of us smoke (well there was that one time I caught myself on fire, but I digress) so we decided something about cigarettes would work well. If either of us asks the other "have you seen my cigarettes?" It means something looks like trouble. If I ever ask her to "would you mind grabbing my cigarettes for me?" It means she is to go out to the car, and keep an eye on what is going on. If I ask for my cigs and a lighter, she is to go straight to the car and leave the parking lot ASAP while dialing 911.

The last one isn't so I can feel macho or anything, but if we have kids with us, it enables me to cover their retreat if the need arises. Granted it would be unlikely that we would have that much warning. However it is better to have a plan you will never need, than never have the one you might need.

At any rate I hope we never have to use any of those. But some way of getting your spouses attention is so simple that I consider it silly not to have one. Of course tha is only after someone else suggested it. LOL

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GS - VERY good point indeed. Something I had meant to reference before.

My wife and I try to use a simple names ploy. She knows that if I do not call her ''Hon'' but instead use her given - something needs attention.

Equally - if she addresses me by my full name as against the usual abreviation - I too know something needs my attention.

Very simple to do this - and something too that'd hardly gain a BG's attention.

I'd recommend anyone to have this set up. Possibly at its most useful in a telephone situation.
Slightly Off Topic

This is kinda funny.
Way Back When...on another forum...I used to post these various Urban Combat Scenarios.
And if I would post one just like this...that took place a Chinese Restaurant.
Always...there would be one numbskull :damnmate:that would SERIOUSLY ANSWER SOMETHING LIKE:
"I hate Chinese food so...I would NEVER BE IN a Chinese Restaurant."

Ohhhh Kayyyy....thennnnn....pick a different kind of food that you DO LIKE and "pretend" it's taking place in THAT restaurant. Then....What would you do? :box3:
Hopefully QK - not something we will get here! May sanity and logic reign supreme!
Depending on how noticeable you want to get, and how well known you are at your favorite dining establishments, is the classic "pull out the spare clip when you reach for the wallet" move - lets the perp know that it's a bad idea to consider whatever it is they're thinking of doing without brandishing per se.

It's a favorite at late night shopping or dining when I'm on first-name basis with the staff, which is just about anywhere I go.
P95Carry said:
GS - VERY good point indeed. Something I had meant to reference before.

My wife and I try to use a simple names ploy. She knows that if I do not call her ''Hon'' but instead use her given - something needs attention...
Yes, interesting points. When I was an EMT, we had coded speech we could use with the dispatcher to indicate that we were under duress, but I've never considered that for home use (other than that I always pay attention if my wife addresses me by my formal name!). Thanks for the ideas.
QKShooter said:
...Ohhhh Kayyyy....thennnnn....pick a different kind of food that you DO LIKE and "pretend" it's taking place in THAT restaurant. Then....What would you do? :box3:
Just in case anyone is secretly harboring such thoughts, there's an Indian restaurant next door, and fast food down the road. Take your pick!
Possibly at its most useful in a telephone situation
Actually that is a very good point. The cigarette bit works in person, but not over the phone. Unfortunately the Hon vs Real Name won't work for use because we both call each other by name, hon, cute stuff, babe, etc etc. We will have to find something though. BTW this would make a good thread all by itself.

slide your chair back and make eye contact with the dude. He's looking around nervously because he's nervous. Eye contact let's him know that someone there is aware and he may very well just walk out the door.

An handgun instructor of mine relayed a story where him and another noted instructor had a similar scenario in a restaurant at lunchtime. The guy asked for change and started looking around nervously and brushing his back pocket where there was an outline of a snubbie .38 visable. They pushed back their chairs. cleared their throats. the guy looked over and made eye contact. He nodded his head and left.
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