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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber Airborne's Avatar
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    Default What would you have done

    Last Friday on my way home, I was driving on a side street to get on to the highway. The area is kind of a run down area with a few small bars. Just before my turn about 10 guys are outside a bar pushing and shoving, at first I did not realize what was going on until I saw one guy with a knife out.

    To my wife astonishment rather then follow the rest of the cars and drive around these people I stopped right there in the middle of the road, locked my windows, and dialed 911. As Iím talking to the local police and telling them what is going on and giving them a description of the guy with the knife and the guy he is trying to stick, the action starts to move towards me, until the guy backing up backs up right on to my front bumper. At that moment thank god the guy with the knife realized that I was on the phone and put the knife away.

    This how ever did not stop all of this, there was pushing and yelling and a few punches, but five minutes latter when cooler heads prevailed and there friends broke it up and got out of there, the police still had not shown. It was not until almost another minute latter that the cops show up, then they just went into the bar for a second, and as they are coming out I tell them that Iím the one that called them. They say well they must have all left and they get back in their car a leave.

    I learned a few things from this that I already some what knew, and my wife who was in the car thank good finely learned a few things that I have been trying to teach her.


    1. As much as we like to think that calling 911 will save us, most of the time, help will not get there until it is over with. Now donít get me wrong this is not the polices fault, they can only do so much, and it only take a moment for tragedy to strike.
    2. A person needs to learn to handle these situations and if needed know how to protect them selves and others. I was thinking to my self I really wish that I would have had something else other then a phone at the moment. Granted this time the phone helped as far as getting the guy to put the knife away, but a person does not need a knife to cause great harm.
    3. My wife and I talked about this all after we left the scene on our way home. She asked what I would have done if the guy would have stabbed the other one. I said it all depended but I think that given the circumstances I would have charged the guy with my car in hopes to get him to move out of the area to help the other guy.
    4. I told her that I wish that I would have had a gun because (if the guy did not put the knife away) I know the other guy would be dead now, and I would not have been able to live with that known I could have done something about it. Not that I would have wanted to shoot the other guy, because that would not solve the problem because then someone still would be injured or dead, but Iím sure that would have made the other guy thing about what he was doing.


    I would like your opinions on this, I know that it seems harsh, thank god he put the knife away when he saw me on the phone, but I have to wonder what could of happened. In a case like this do you think that a full licensed a trained civilian would have been in there right to step in with a gun to protect the life of a stranger?


  2. #2
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Briefly, no.

    Maybe the stranger you are trying to save just raped the knifer's wife. Would you risk going to the joint to protect a rapist?

    And what if the knife is not the only weapon? What if the knifer's cronies are packing heat and one of them levels you when you draw down on their buddy?

    I'm getting descriptions of participants and calling the police, and I am driving away as I dial. I am not hanging around to let them get a good look at me, my wife, my vehicle, or my license plate. I'm going to try not to let them see me get on the phone. I will do what's right--try to give PD the best chance to end things safely--but I have a wife and daughter who need me. I will not risk going to prison or getting shot for a stranger in a bar fight.
    Last edited by EastKyFF; 03-03-2003 at 10:35 AM.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  3. #3
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    In this situation, it's unfortunately a little more muddled. WE can say, "well, what if the guy with the knife was actually your best friend's second cousin..." etc etc until we're blue in the face- we aren't sitting in the car in the middle of the street as we're reading the thread.

    Defending oneself and one's family from direct attack is much less ambiguous in my mind. In most situations, I'd rather have a method of defending myself than a method of letting the police know where to find my body and having the 911 tape played on the 6 o'clock news for posterity.

    Remember: gun control means using both hands.
    Last edited by CollegeBuff; 03-03-2003 at 11:35 AM.

  4. #4
    Forum Member EastKyFF's Avatar
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    Buff:

    I think you're missing Airborne's question. He asked what we thought about defending the would-be victim, not yourself. If the knifer comes at us and I've got a gun, different story. I absolutely would protect my wife and myself.

    But I would not attempt to intervene in the situation that Airborne described, because I don't know what I'm getting into.

    I'm better served to report it to the law and protect myself by leaving.
    "Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.Ē
    --General James Mattis, USMC


  5. #5
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I'm with EastKyFF, they are not bothering me so I'm not giving them the chance. Call PD as I drive away with best description I can provide. Vigilanties (sp?) are not what the police want.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

  6. #6
    Forum Member FireCapt1951retired's Avatar
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    Here they rarely, if ever use knives. They use guns here and the individual would not have been bothered by shooting you. In this city, if you call a cop it'll take at least 2 hours (minimum) to get any type of response. In this city, you see something like this, you move on as you make the 911 call, beats having a hole blown into your head or chest.

  7. #7
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    Even as an off-duty LEO, I would never take action while my family was with me. Calling 911 from a locked car is one thing. Getting out and engaging one person in a large, potentially hostile group, while my unarmed and virtually defenseless wife sits in the car is another.

    1951, I was about to get up on my high horse and tell you you were full of it about the response times. I go to DPD site and check their Compstat reports. They, themselves report anywhere between a 33-50 minute response time to Priority 1 calls. Then in the next slide, they talk about a commitment to excellence. You are probably right. Sorry, bro.

  8. #8
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    George,

    I have a question for you.
    We recently had a detective shot and killed while acting off-duty.

    The local PD says he had to investigate, because he is technically on duty 24/7. Does that apply to you, and if so do your rules state you must respond to any report for help or investigate any suspicious activity 24/7 unless your wife is with you?

    I would agree my family would come first. I was just curious about how that would be handled if you did not respond because your family was with you.

    Pesonally I think I would be facing some typ of discipline because I wouldn't put my family in danger for someone else.
    Proud to be IACOJ Illinois Chapter--Deemed "Crustworthy" Jan, 2003

  9. #9
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    Mike, the test is can you act in your capacity as an LEO off-duty w/o placing anyone else in danger. My argument would be that by leaving my wife and/or kids alone in the car in a bad neighborhood would have placed them in unnecessary danger. I would call the job in, but I would not act if my family was with me.

    Take this to the FD level (this is a true story).

    A friend of mine was driving through a mutual aid town w/his 3 YOA son when they got toned out to a working structure fire. Heavy fire showing on arrival. He was close so he drove over. He ended up assisting the first due engine hook up a feed line. The hydrant was charged before the line was connected and the 5" coupling flew up, hit him in the head and fractured his skull.

    To me, it was not worth putting his son in danger. They didn't even realize the kid was in the car until 15-20 minutes after the accident.

    I'm with you...family first.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dmsmith's Avatar
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    thank god he put the knife away when he saw me on the phone
    Yes indeed.

    I probably would have tried to find a place where I could watch and relay the information to the police while being prepared to make a quick getaway if he made any threatening advances toward my vehicle.
    Guinness....a meal in a can!
    IACOJ, Flatlander Division

  11. #11
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    Airborne,
    Since you were out numbered and with your wife...you just can't take that risk. Like EastKYFF said...what if the "victim" just stabbed the knifers brother. I will help anyone I can anytime, but the gun in my truck is for me and my family's safety. If your wife wasn't with you, going home to her is the most important thing. Helping a stranger in need is noble...but you did the right thing.

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