Force against mentally retarded?


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twoblink
December 31, 2002, 04:52 AM
I have a neighbor that is mentally retarded; I'm talking can't tie his own shoelaces; he's fairly big, and when he has a trantrum (which he doesn't seem to be able to control, and it happens without warning) it always makes me wonder, how much force to use on a guy like this?

I have no problems using whatever is necessary on a perp that's trying to do me harm, but I have mixed feelings about someone who's missing quite a few marbles...

Your thoughts?

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Jesse H
December 31, 2002, 05:28 AM
I don't care who, why, or how somebody is hurting me or a loved one. I'm not going to waste time figuring out what's causing them to do it, I'll only be figuring out how to make them stop.

If a person really is mentally retarded to the point that they're unable to control their own actions, then the legal guardian ought to be responsible. I suppose it's somewhat like owners who don't keep dogs on a leash.

dfrog
December 31, 2002, 05:40 AM
Jessie H has it right; you have to protect yourself and your loved ones. No one gets a free pass. Assess the threat and react accordingly.

Frank Jones
December 31, 2002, 05:45 AM
I used to work with mentally retarded individuals as part of a community protection program. Every client in this particular program was a sex offender, so obviously they had "poor impulse control".

Even the company trainer told me that there is a point where you must abandon the so-called "restraint" holds we were taught and defend yourself as a citizen. These guys would snap from docile to aggressive in the blink of an eye; any hesitation because of their mental state would have resulted in serious injury to myself or others.

tyme
December 31, 2002, 06:27 AM
Now if only the SCOTUS would rule putting down rabid animals to be illegal... since they've made it illegal to execute the intellectually challenged.

Bog
December 31, 2002, 09:14 AM
If someone's in a drunken rage, then the whole chemical balance of their brain is out of whack, and their personality is not the same as the exact same person who's not had a drink for a week.

This wouldn't stop you from shooting if they were in the process of Doing Something Really Wrong, would it?

It's the same thing. It's very sad that this fellow is so unfortunate, but it makes no difference in the lethal threat scenario - particularly if he's a big'un.

BogBabe
December 31, 2002, 09:52 AM
If he were being prosecuted in a court of law, his mental retardation would, appropriately, play a role.

But if he is posing an immediate threat to you, his mental status has no bearing. If lethal force is required to stop the attack, then it's required. Period. Although I would guess his mental status could play a role in any charges you might face later. :(

Leatherneck
December 31, 2002, 09:57 AM
Tyme if only the SCOTUS would rule putting down rabid animals to be illegal
Why on earth would you want to be that cruel to an animal? There is no cure for hydrophobia, and the animal dies a horrible death. Are you saying you would want to extend the suffering? Surely not...:confused:
TC

Ebbtide
December 31, 2002, 11:32 AM
twoblink,

Use your best judgement.

I would think that getting yourself out of the way to be the best course of action. Unless you are actually being attacked and can't.

As BogBabe mentioned, your actions may not be defendable once in court. Knowing he is retarded, I would take my licks then run to avoid hitting the fellow back. Last thing I need is to to be in the newspaper..."Man With Pistol Beats Retarded" would not be a good headline.

If someone's in a drunken rage, then the whole chemical balance of their brain is out of whack, and their personality is not the same as the exact same person who's not had a drink for a week.

This wouldn't stop you from shooting if they were in the process of Doing Something Really Wrong, would it?

Actually no, but:

A more fitting anology would be if a five year old could not behave himself and attacked you, would you use lethal force?

Unlike a drunk who chooses to get that way, a retarded man is simply that, retarded. No choice involved, unable to think like an adult. His development is that of a five year old and he is unable to move beyond that point regardless of his age (I don't want anyone to be confused about your drunken statement). :)

ehenz

10-Ring
December 31, 2002, 12:16 PM
It really is a situational decision, but if you need to stop someone from harming you or someone else or even themselves then do it. I would however recommend less than lethal methods.

Frank Jones
December 31, 2002, 12:18 PM
Remember, we're not just talking about the mind of a five-year-old, but the strength of a grown man.

Triad
December 31, 2002, 12:25 PM
All it would take is one blow to the head to either kill you, or to bring you to a mental state that's as bad or worse than his. Run if possible, if not do whatever it takes to stop him.

Oleg Volk
December 31, 2002, 12:27 PM
As with any attacker, use minimal force required to keep yourself safe. If the opponent is unarmed and feeble, you can run away or restrain him. If lethal force is required, use it. No different is a sane and smart person attacks, or a drunk or retarded person, or a collie or anyone else. Feeling "oh, what a pity" is reasonable, letting it get in the way of self-defense isn't. YMMV

DeputyVaughn
December 31, 2002, 12:47 PM
I have faced this delima once. We had a twenty year old with mental and emotional problems stealing knives at walmart. About 6 officers had him cornered in the far end of the parking lot. He opened several of the folding knives and began making threatening moves and also cutting himself and laughing. We all had the 20 ft rule in mind and several officers were prepared to shoot him. I was too but for some reason I chose to tackle him before he got himself shot. My Sgt said it was a dumb move but he was glad we didn't have to shoot this kid. I told him I felt the same way. I figured he had a better chance of surviving the knife woulds if he fell on them than if he was shot. The risk to me was mine to take. In this case I felt like he was more of a danger to himself than to me. Given the situation again I may or may not do the same thing again. Maybe I'll get lucky and not face it again.

Scott

spacemanspiff
December 31, 2002, 01:22 PM
i may be a lardass, and cant move all that quickly with this spare tire wrapped around me, but i can surely run faster than a 5 yr old.

would i put down a mentally handicapped person if they were threatening my safety? you bet. just because they dont have all their marbles doesnt mean that they dont understand that coming at you with a knife or bat or whatever is just 'fun and games'. they know what can be used to inflict pain. thats the bottom line. they know how to inflict pain/injury/death, and will do so.

in a sense, you can look at it this way: the somewhat normal people (meaning us) may have from time to time thoughts of 'snapping' and doing something rash or even worse. i sometimes can feel that barrier between good judgement and bad judgement weaken. sometimes i contemplate clotheslining the next idiot who walks back to my desk. sometimes i wonder just how much pressure it would take to snap someones neck.

but i dont do those things. i am fortunate to have self control. i feel sorry for those who dont, but wouldnt think twice about putting down anyone who tries to harm me or my family.

QKRTHNU
December 31, 2002, 01:24 PM
I would think OC would work nicely on someone like that.

If it didn't at least you'd have proof that you tried something else before you shot him.

Viking6
December 31, 2002, 01:36 PM
You never know until you are confronted with the situation but I would rather take a few lumps in ducking away from the dude than to hurt or harm him. If he's threatening one of my family or someone equally helpless, then the reaction would be different but hopefully proportionate. Having said this, with brown stuff running down my leg and a healthy dose of fear, it might just turn out different.

DeputyVaughn
December 31, 2002, 01:45 PM
QKRTHNU,
Drunks and Mentally ill people are the two cases where O.C. rarely works. It generally will make tehm more dangerous than they were.

Scott

wingnutx
December 31, 2002, 01:46 PM
A couple of weeks ago my 15-month old nephew was slapped hard on the chest by a 6', 300+ pound retarded individual. He was in the waiting room of his pediatrician, being held by his mother, and started to cry. The crying upset the retarded person, who ran over and slapped him. The guy doesn't have Downs or appear obviously retarded.

Had I been there, I would not have stopped to check his IQ before I kicked his nuts up into his throat.

Retarded or insane individuals should be given whatever treatment possible, but need to be stopped if they are committing violent acts. I'd probably feel bad if I had to shoot someone who was mentally retarded or had alzheimer's, but not half as bad as if I allowed them to kill somone else.

The baby-slapping '**** in the pediatrician's office was apparently there for evaluation in order to be committed. This person definitely needs to be kept away from small children, at a minimum.

Soap
December 31, 2002, 01:50 PM
If someone has the power to harm me, and the will to harm me, I will defend myself accordingly. This could be some 300 lb fella with an IQ of 60 or an 8 year old with a gun. Every situation is probably so different that its impossible to have a sure answer.

Gone
December 31, 2002, 01:53 PM
Huh, my neighbor said he has a retard living next to him, but our two houses are da only ones fer miles. I'll ax him what he wud du.

4v50 Gary
December 31, 2002, 02:05 PM
That he is mentally retarded doesn't reduce his ability to do you harm one bit. In fact, he may be one of those guys who don't feel pain, thereby forcing you to escalate the amount of force required to ensure your own safety. Being that both of you are in Taiwan, what does the law say overthere?

Ebbtide
December 31, 2002, 02:21 PM
Spacemanspiff,

would i put down a mentally handicapped person if they were threatening my safety? you bet.

Yes, me too.

Don't get me wrong, protect yourself by all means appropriate. I was just trying to point out that a person who is known to be mentally retarded is not like a drunk person. If my drunk neighbor decided to come over and clock me a will certainly fight back. If my retarded neighbor does the same, I don't think I would do too much in return. As to actually shooting him, if it is to protect a life, there is nothing wrong with that.

I think it all depends on the threat level (Oleg's post seems accurate enough for me).

Happy New Year!!

Ehenz

spacemanspiff
December 31, 2002, 02:42 PM
i've had experience trying to stop a drunk from hurting himself before, and i'd like not to ever have to do that again.

my roommate is a bus driver for the handicapped/elderly, and the bus drivers can not use force of any kind against their passengers. they've had some hit, kick, spit, etc countless times. they are to write up the incident and file it with their supervisors, but can do nothing else.

twoblink
January 1, 2003, 06:53 AM
Actually, I was wondering if the slight hesitation because he is retarded, might cost me valuable seconds..

It's a tough call though..

Hal
January 1, 2003, 01:07 PM
I have no problems using whatever is necessary on a perp that's trying to do me harm, but I have mixed feelings about someone who's missing quite a few marbles...

Your thoughts?
My thoughts are that ignorance , prejudice and sterotype are quite alive and well.

Jeff White
January 1, 2003, 01:34 PM
Albert,

Don't hesitate, use whatever force is necessary to stop the attack and defend yourself. As a private citizen you aren't under the same expectations to take the persons mental state into consideration as a caregiver or peace officer might be.

We have a care facility for the developmentally disabled where I work. When I first started on the job they had a different type of client there then they care for now. Within the first couple weeks I took my first call for assistance from the staff. As we pulled up and stopped the squad car, my partner handed me his weapon and said, "lock it in the trunk, put yours there too." I looked at him with kind of a shocked look on my face and he said, "there is no one in there you can shoot, and you're going to need both hands to take care of this, you're not going to want to worry about protecting your weapon from a grab by another client." By that time, the rest of the shift had arrived and all four of us went in, unarmed. It took the four of us and a couple of staff members to get the client restrained and medicated.

Restraining any combative subject, especially one with a disability like that is generally a team function. You can't be expected to handle it by yourself without injuring the subject. Treat it like you would any other self defense situation.

Jeff

JohnBT
January 1, 2003, 02:30 PM
Temper tantrums are not a symtom of mental retardation. Of course, any human being can have a temper tantrum, but it's not something that I've seen very often in a 29-year career working with individuals with disabilities.

Sounds like your neighbor has at least one other diagnosis, too. The DSM-IV is full of diagnoses - psychosis, neurosis, behavioral problems, etc. Could be anything, or nothing out of the ordinary, but it sounds as if you've seen this behavior more than once or twice. (I had a neighbor in Baltimore when I was kid. If his mom wasn't home when he got there after school he would strip naked and pee on the front door. If you put your hand on 'his' fence, he'd whack it with a croquet mallet. I now know that he was not retarded, just seriously disturbed.)

The typical person with mental retardation, including those diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, make excellent employees when trained on the actual job by someone who knows how to structure the work and teach the coworkers and bosses the ropes. For instance, a good entry-level job can be bagging groceries and taking them to the car - but the boss can't decide to put the person on the register because somebody didn't show up that day. Isn't going to work. You would think that this would be obvious? Ha. There's no underestimating the stupidity of so-called normal people.

I now return you to the usual good advice on self-defense issues.

John

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