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kmcgil 02-18-2009 02:51 AM

Question from the New Guy - Drawing Down
Hello, I'm new to the forum. My friend JD referred me here and from reading up on some of the forum I'm looking forward to contiuing discussion...

So last July I had the distinct pleasure of my wife running in from her morning smoke on the front porch to LOUDLY inform me that someone was IN her car. I gave her the phone and told her to call 911, and I grabbed my Taurus .38 SPL and walked outside to verify. Sure enough, some idiot is under a blanket in the front seat of the car. His hand appeared to be in a "special place" and moving quickly. You can imagine what I thought he was doing! Needless to say my anger level rose beyond anything I've ever experienced. I banged on the window and yelled for the guy to get out. He pulled the blanket off his face and literally brushed me off with his had. I gave him one more verbal warning to which I received no response. At that point I had it, and I wasn't interested in waiting for the cops. I drew my gun, pointed it at him and ordered him out of the vehicle. The moron complied initially but than took a step toward me. At that point I yelled "I am scared for my life!!" and took a step backward as we were only about 10 feet apart to begin with. Somehow between the obscenities, telling him I'd shoot if he didn't back off, and generally going shock and awe, he laid down on the sidewalk. At no point did my finger enter the trigger guard or did I cock the weapon. It took the sheriff 15 minutes to get to our house and they spared no time taking him into custody. At the point I saw the officer's cruiser round the corner onto my street I placed my weapon on the hood of my other rig, clapped my hands and showed him my palms and took a step away. I was surprised that they gave me zero problem, and even went as far as thanking me for my calm action as apparently a lot of these situations end in the sheriff having to arrest the guy holding the trespasser at gunpoint as they refuse to lower their weapon until the police have the bad guy handcuffed. Obviously the police don't want to get in the line of fire of somebody that is acting frantically.

This story ended in me getting $1000 as a settlement to drop the charges as the KC prosecutor told me there was less than 50% chance of getting a conviction for vehicle prowl since there was not an apparent attempt to steal anything. The fact that he had 5 prior misdeamenor convictions didn't mean a thing, nor the suspicion that he was masturbating. AND, the fact that he was on PCP actually helped him as he really couldn't be held to a sane person's standard.

So... What did I do right and what did I do wrong? The prosecutor told me I am in no jeapordy of having charges filed against me, though he did inform me that I shouldn't have drawn the weapon until such time I felt my life was in danger.

oldandslow 02-18-2009 11:41 PM

KMC, 2/19/09

I have been to a number of intermediate and advanced pistol courses over the years and have been told that there are three things one needs to justify using one's weapon in self defense.

First- ability. Does the person have the ability, either through size difference or possessing a weapon to do you harm?

Second- opportunity- is that person close enough to use that ability against you?

Third- jeopardy- is that person acting in such a way that you were afraid for your safety or the safety of someone with you?

If all three conditons apply then generally you are justified in defending yourself. In some places there may be other state restrictions or modifications such as some places allow defense of property, and some places regard home defense different than defense in another location (called the Castle doctrine).

So you need to look at his actions, your actions and the state where you live to decide if your actions were justified. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow

dragunovsks 02-19-2009 12:58 AM

I would have told the judge that since he had a blanket you didn't know weather he had a gun or other weapon or not, hence the reason for drawing. After all a blanket can hide just about anything including a ding-dong. LOL!

Glad to hear you handled it in a civilized manner and the judicial system in your area didn't try to have charges brought against you. Good job and welcome to the forum!

Bighead 02-19-2009 11:50 AM

Good Job
I'm not sure I could follow my own advice here, but I would say leave him in the car as you observe him while police respond. If he gets out of the car you can consider confronting him and holding him for police, or continue to observe what he does and give updates.

Gil, it sounds like you did a good job to me. I'm not sure you need to vocalize your fear for your life as long as you can articulate it later. You might be better served by "STOP", "Don't Move", or even "You're Under Arrest!" The badguy doesn't know whether you're a police officer or not, and may not be as willing to confront a policeman (and he is under arrest, as Barney Fife would say "Citizen's Arrest! Citizen's Arrest!")

Bighead 02-19-2009 11:54 AM

Some other tips if you ever have to call the police.
Gil did a great job, and I wanted to put out some of my thoughts about things to consider when calling the police. I think I covered the basics here, if I missed something let me know.

Make sure you know where you are. If you call and spend 2 minutes trying to figure out where you are, you have wasted two minutes that might have helped someone else.

Try to remain calm and relay information to the 911 operator. Listen to their questions.

Once they are aware of the serious nature of the call you don't have to keep telling the operator to "Hurry Up." The operator isn't the one coming, and the police officer has to drive to get there. Spend this time getting/giving information (see last suggestion of "Listen to their questions"). You will have to wait, which is probably one of the reasons you have chosen to be able to defend yourself.

While it may be difficult, especially in low light, try to get a good description to relay to the police. Race, Gender, Height (Tall, Average, Short will work), Build (Large, Average, Slim), and clothing are the basics. Clothing is best given with large pieces of cloth first, such as black leather jacket, white t-shirt, blu jeans, etc. After this you can move to items that improve the description like hats, shoes, facial hair and other such things. The 911 operator will probably question you for these descriptors, and knowing the questions are coming can help you be prepared.

Let the police know you are armed, and give them a description of yourself if you are forced to exit your residence.

If you do have to shoot the offender and you've killed them, then put your piece away after you're sure you're secure. You don't need to be standing around with your gun out when the police arrive. If you have to use the gun to detain the person, then follow Gil's lead and secure it as the police arrive and show them your empty hands. You want to be clear that you are not the threat.

Gil mentioned it in his story, but I think it bears repeating: FOLLOW THE POLICE OFFICERS INSTRUCTIONS. If you are confronted by the police, they may not be aware who you are. This is not the time to argue, do what they say even if it seems unreasonable to you at the time. Just because you know you're the good guy doesn't mean the police do, even if you told the 911 operator. The message doesn't always make it to the officer in the field. It would suck to properly defend yourself from an attacker only to be accidentally shot by the police.

DonnyKC 02-19-2009 06:39 PM

you did a awesome job staying calm

kmcgil 02-20-2009 02:59 AM

It was weird because I'm normally a kind of on the edge guy, and I certainly was after the event. I've never even been in a serious fight before and certainly no formal training, other than paying attention to more experienced shooters when I first got into the hobby. I can't quite explain it, but during the event I was angry, scared and making myself as intimidating as possible, but I was totally calm in my head. It is very surreal because when I reflect on it I get the same feeling as I do thinking about brusing my teeth or taking a shower, totally on autopilot, just know what to do. Anyone else had that same experience? I'm doing a crap job explaining it, but it is one of the most strange feelings I've ever had in my life. Freaks me out because I have zero military instruction whatsoever.

SGT-MILLER 02-20-2009 03:47 AM

Here's my opinion..........

GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You did great. The situation was defused, and no one was hurt. I call that a success.

Outstanding work. Thumbs up.

JohnnyBlk45 03-03-2009 04:23 PM

I personal think you did a great job, it could have been worse.

sgtdeath66 03-03-2009 04:31 PM

yeah, bravo. thats exactly what i wouldve done too. and welcome to the club aswell. good to see a newb thats not afraid to kicka$$ and take names:D

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