Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Incident at the Bank

In their best-selling book, "America Fights Back," Alan Gottlieb and Dave Workman make one of the truest statements ever spoken about living in today's society:

"Violence does not erupt on schedule, and criminals do not make appointments in advance."

Let this become our mantra...

You can frequently tell from the tone of voice, or the hesitation in the speech patterns. Over the years I've had enough conversations with victims of violence to recognize the indicators in their voice patterns.

She called yesterday, inquiring about my self-defense and concealed carry courses.

When I asked what brought her to me, she said, "I was attacked yesterday."

She had driven to the bank in the small city where she lives, and in attempting to drive into the parking lot, found the entrance blocked by a couple in a car. They weren't in the exit lane, they were in the middle of the entrance. She sat there a reasonable period, waiting for them to leave, and finally tapped her horn.

"Did you wait a bit, and did you just tap it, or did you blow the horn at them?"

"I gave them a bit of time, then simply tapped the horn. They pulled out, and I pulled in, coming around the building to the drive-up lanes. I rolled down my window and was messing in my purse, trying to get my deposit out when I looked up and the girl was standing by my car. They had driven back into the bank parking lot, and came up behind me. She called me a 'white bitch" and started grabbing at me and hitting me through the window."

"She got the door open, and was ripping at me, cursing the whole time, screaming at me. She tore my blouse, and ripped my bra off. I was fighting her, trying to keep away from her, but she was long-armed."

"She pulled me out of the driver's side of my car, and was hitting me--I was trying to hit her back, keep her from ripping my clothes off, when HE grabbed me from the rear, pulling me down and pinning my arms while she beat me, kicked me, and pounded my head in the pavement."

By this time, I was outraged--for a number of reasons.

"No one came to help you?"

"The bank teller was dialing the police, and a man in a pickup truck beside us started blowing his horn, and called the police."

"Wow," I said. "Nice of him to get involved. Did you get their license plate number?"

"The guy hollered to his girlfriend to hurry up and get in the car, the cops would be there any minute. I was trying to get the number, and he said something like 'Oh no, white bitch, you ain't getting that number.' Then he pushed me down again."

"I got it though...I wasn't sure of one number. The man in the pickup truck got it, and he said it was different--so the police ran what we gave them, and said it came back to a different type of vehicle all together."

"Could have been switched out, or stolen," I said. "Did the cop say he was going to run different numbers to try to match the car description?"

"I guess. I was pretty frustrated. The bank security cameras weren't there by the drivethru, so they didn't get anything. I had to go to the hospital for cuts and abrasions, my head hurts, and I wrenched my back. Anyway, my boyfriend said I needed to call you and take your course."

I told her the cost of the class, and the available dates. She said she would get with her boyfriend, he probably would want to take the course with her.

Louisiana law states a person may use deadly force against someone attempting to gain entry into their vehicle while they are in it. This was a good example of exactly why the legislature wrote and passed the bill, extending the justifiable homicide statutes to include and cover carjackings.

Had she exhibited good situational awareness, she would have thought about sociopaths who block entrances purposefully, their minds so filled with hate, they are a bomb waiting to explode, looking for a reason to attack another person.

She would have had a gun handy, and when they started attacking her in her car, she would have been justified in using deadly force to stop the attack.

In this case, they looked for a reason to take offense, and used that as an excuse to exact their warped vengeance. God, I hope the cops make an effort to match the plate to the car. And I hope the next time, she pays a bit more attention to what is happening around her, and she has a gun.

I've piled out of my truck on more than one occasion to help fellow deputies in a struggle with a suspect on the side of the road. I like to think if I watched a young woman being dragged from her car and beaten viciously, I would do more than sit there and blow the horn. Hell, if you don't have a gun--which is a non-existing condition for me in the first place--you can use your truck or car and run up against the thugs, blowing the horn.

Maybe I'm being too hard on the bystanders. These incidents occur all too frequently nowadays, and when they go down, it happens so quickly, most people are stunned and paralyzed for a time in shock from what they are witnessing.

Maybe, by the time the guy realized what was going down, it was almost over.

Maybe. But I would have gotten involved.

Some way.


Anonymous said...

I live in California and a CCW is out of the question due to local politics...unless I raised $25k for the sheriff's reelection campaign or started dating Dianne Feinstein.The best I can do is stay alert and carry a MagLite in my car.I wish to stress that this is NOT a weapon,but a tool which allows me to see in the dark.Citizens here are not allowed weapons because we might harm someone...

GORDON said...

Ah...the politically correct defense clause we must include...
My favorites in 25 years of law enforcement (14 as a firearms instructor) were:

1. "Shoot until the threat is removed."
This became the phrase of choice after it became politically incorrect to tell deputies to "Shoot to kill."

2. Like Anonymous, we were constantly reminded of the metal flashlight:
"It is an illumination device.
It is not an impact weapon."

I wish you the best in your attempts to defend yourself and your family.
Perhaps a dog would be acceptable?

Anonymous said...

Maglights are pretty sturdy, and Surefire makes flashlights that have crenellated rims which are meant to be used in a fight to punch cuts into an attacker.

Still, a gun is best, and some people would rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure where in CA this guy lives but me and most of my friends in the Sierra foothills have CCW permits and they are still being issued.

Anonymous said...

Yes, earning situational awareness (street smarts) goes hand-in-hand with learning how to use a weapon.

To be aware of any car pulling up behind you when you are stopped...and that it was similar enough to the car that you just honked your horn at to be suspicious...and that people got out of their car in a drive-through lane. If you are that oblivious to your surroundings, someone can just reach in the car and take your purse with the gun in it.

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