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picka parking lot any parking lot. This woman is running away from this man. Both are dressed like typical suburbanites. The man catches the woman and they are fighting on the ground. It appears the man will have the woman subdued in short order. He is reaching for something in the 11 o' clock area of his belt that you cannot see from your angle.

You are at the man's 7-8 o' clock and he is on top of the woman. Other than the screaming of the woman there are no intelligible words being exchanged. You are say 25 feet away from where they are, and there are more than a few cars in the lot, but it isn't full up. So plenty of cover is available and moving around to a better vantage point is certainly an option. It is dusk going on dark, but the lot has good lighting.

Now what?

This is one we give our students in class. We get a wide variety of answers as you might expect. Everything from shoot the man without warning to keep walking it's none of my business.

-Scott-
 

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Keep an eye on things, get in my car if its where I can still see the action, cell phone to 911, and not be too surprised if what he's reaching for is handcuffs.

Dan
 

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Get in a position, where you can clearly see what he is reaching for. Call 911 on the Cellular, and STAY IN CONTACT WITH 911 and give descriptions of both people, INCLUDING YOURSELF as a bystander, and that YOU are LEGALLY ARMED! If he's reaching for cuffs, you're most likely ok. If not, and a weapon is drawn, yell "STOP" in order to draw his attention. 99.999% of the time, this will give him the chance to identify himself as a LEO or similar. If not, and he's determined to continue, especially with exposing HIS weapon (knife, handgun, etc) again yell "STOP!", take the nearest cover, and then stand ready to assit the victim with your CCW, and ONLY if you OBSERVE the VICTIM to be in IMMINANT PERIL, and with ONLY as much force AS NEEDED to defuse the situation. IF NOT, and the assault contiunes, ESPECIALLY if he draws, and directs the weapon (namely a handgun) in your direction, WITHOUT IDENTIFYING HIMSELF AS AN LEO OR SIMILAR, it's anybody's game. Hopfully, the PD will be on site BEFORE it escalates to this level. When the PD arrives, IMMEDIATLY IDENTIFY YOURSELF TO THEM AS THE WITNESS WHO PLACED THE CALL, (hopfully you'll have been able to KEEP CONNECTED to 911 to confirm your decisions) HOLSTER YOUR WEAPON, and do EXACTLY what they say.
 

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We are at a mall right?

I've seen something very similar happen. I was walking along when suddenly 3 men in plain clothes grabbed a guy standing 10 feet behind me, slammed him down on the ground hard, and surprised the dickens out of me.

I backed off, and they began to read him his rights and one of them pulled out a badge and muttered something about "shoplifting".
 

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Scott said:
picka parking lot any parking lot. This woman is running away from this man. Both are dressed like typical suburbanites. The man catches the woman and they are fighting on the ground. It appears the man will have the woman subdued in short order. He is reaching for something in the 11 o' clock area of his belt that you cannot see from your angle.
That's why I mentioned geting into position, observing the ongoing events, and then placing a call to 911 if things begin to escalate or he doesn't show any identification..
 

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report and observe, unless the situation escalates to violence.
 

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Sure as heck not a situation to get pre-emptive about!! So many possibilities - so Rocky sums that up well.

Phone, - condition red, - and gun at a moment's availability - but only in case.
 

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I am coming in late but pretty much agree that you should simply observe the situation and see what's going to happen. I wouldn't want to be the one that jumped into the middle of an officer making an arrest or store security nabbing a shoplifter.
 

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Assuming the shoplifter scenario is true, that store security guy is has just caused himself and the store to get sued by that lady, big time!!

If the police get there and she doesn't have the goods on her I might testify against the security guard myself. Don't get me wrong, I hate thieves as much as the next guy, but tackling an unarmed woman on a concrete/asphalt surface for what is probably going to be a misdomeanor!?!? That is a bit excessive. Of course if she does have the stuff, I won't volunteer a word to the cops, but I sure as heck will have a talk with the store/mall manager, and threaten to testify if he doesn't make some serious changes.
 

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and not be too surprised if what he's reaching for is handcuffs. Absolutely. There's nosuch thing as a good samaritan law. Unless you know the person being accosted PERSONALLY,observation is and 911 are your best friends.
 

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Dan said:
and not be too surprised if what he's reaching for is handcuffs.
Absolutely. There's nosuch thing as a good samaritan law. Unless you know the person being accosted PERSONALLY,observation is and 911 are your best friends
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You guys hit it. We try to get the students to think cover & concealment, 911 and observe. Intercede if you know the person being "assaulted" or if it appears that it is a kidnapping etc. We vary the answer to the scenario based on the responses we receive. To the shoot the guy without warning or otherwise engage him with a firearm response, the man is an under cover LEO and you have just caused him harm because of your distraction. He is reaching for his cuffs of course. It varies slightly from there. Never store security. They aren't allowed that kind of action. It is just to try to get the students in a certain mindset when encountering stranger on stranger actions like this.

-Scott-
 

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Good scenerio Scott!!
My mindset was to observe and report FIRST.....and if things escallated to a level of assault on the woman, then my second thought was to have him identify himself if no cuffs were produced.
Yes, thinking back on my respose, I should have/could have waitied before I potentially caused him harm, or placed myself in jepordy as well as the woman..
You gave me a lot to digest. Thanks!! :biggrin:
 

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I can't beleive I didn't think to post this earlier but then again I was still sleepy at the time.

This very thing happened to be once when I was younger. A friend of mine was having some girl trouble and was in the mood to talk. He suggested playing pool in a bar nearby. I agreed even tough I don't drink. We drove over and were sitting in the car looking at his new(used) stereo, when a woman comes flying out the front door staight towards us. Seconds later a guy comes out right behind her, she glances over her shoulder, sees him, and screams for help. (btw this was before CCW was legal in KY) So I looked over at my buddy David, and said "lets go" David muttered something to the effect that he had my back and I rolled out of the car. I timed it so that I stepped between the fleeing woman and the guy after her. He skidded to a halt obviously drunk but still much bigger than me. Not being much of a fighter I sucked in my gut, squared my shoulders and put on my best tough guy voice. "Leave her alone" At this point I still hadn't figured out how spectacularly stupid an Idea this was. I soon realized my mistake when I looked around and David was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately the guy was drunk and his arms werent quite as long as he thought they were. The fist punch split the air about an inch from my nose. Just about this time I figured out that the guy was so mad at me he would likely give chase. Since the drunk and the car both were between me and escape, I had one foot on the fender, when the door opened again and another much larger, and less drunk guy came out. I knew I could outrun the drunk easily but I held little hope of evading this guy. (David was still MIA at this point...) I was very releived when he grabbed the first guy and slammed him back against the hood of the car and started pounding the snot out of him. (the womans, brother IIRC) I finally managed a hasty escape over the trunk of Davids car. That is when he finally got out. LOL There were almost two fights in the parking lot that night.
I got lucky that night (so did David btw) but I learned my lesson.

#1 Observe and make sure you know what you are doing before you intervene in anything.

#2 Unless it is your mother watching your back, you had better keep an eye on your six, because your buddy may suddenly chicken out on you.

#3 dont hang out in the parking lot of a seedy little bar late at night.

Ok I know there is no educational value to you guys there. I just hope someone gets a chuckle out of it.

Bryan
 
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