Another one-punch kill


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Andrew Rothman
June 22, 2005, 11:58 AM
In this thread (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=142394), I reported the case of a Minnesota 17-year-old killed by a single punch.

I theorized that a bare-fists attack was sufficient cause to shoot. I was, so to speak, shot down.

Today I saw this (http://www.startribune.com/stories/462/5470046.html) in the paper:Man dies after being punched in face outside bar
Associated Press
June 22, 2005 PUNCH0623

DULUTH — A man who was punched once in the face outside a bar here died, police said.

Michael Rogers, 50, was punched early Thursday near Kozy bar in downtown Duluth and fell backward, striking his head on the sidewalk, Police Chief Roger Waller said.

Rogers was placed on life support at St. Mary's Hospital and died Monday night.

Police identified a suspect and were searching for him.

That's two one-punch kills in Minnesota, exactly one week apart.

I'm convinced. Any questions?

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richyoung
June 22, 2005, 12:02 PM
I've agreed with you all along - anyone who thinks a punch isn't a deadly attack needs to re-think their position. Look at how many high school baseball players have dies just from being struck in the chest by a pitched ball... a punch ANYWHERE can be lethal.

M2 Carbine
June 22, 2005, 12:11 PM
The very first Texas CHL shooting was an unarmed attacker.

It was a "good" shooting.


Even with the anti gunners and news screaming about the blood running in the streets.

Steve in PA
June 22, 2005, 12:18 PM
So, now every (potential) fist fight warrants drawing and shooting someone?

WT
June 22, 2005, 12:33 PM
I'll suggest that it was the head striking the pavement which caused the death, not the punch.

God help us if our police adopt this mentality - they will shoot everyone who provides the least amount of resistance - fearing the 'deadly one punch.'

crofrog
June 22, 2005, 12:36 PM
Avoidness, Deterness, and Desclation.

If you have tried to avoid, deter and desclate and he continues to press the attack (no retreat or not I'm going to try and get away if the situation premit's). Also I think you would be remiss to not carry any other use of force options in you have a CCP. I personally have close to a police duty belt in my pockets.

Monadnock autolock 21 inch baton
Surefire G2
ASP Defender mace
CRTK Crawford Kasper
and if I wasn't in maryland I'd be carring a XD or Para 1911 14:45

This way I have options I can follow a very police esque use of force continum. They want to fight me and the avoidness, deterness and desclation is going south. I'll one up there force. They want to punch me they get the mace and the baton. They have a wepon I'm going to mace and knife, and am going to try and "nuetralize" them. If that means they are going to be holding there gut's that was their choice. If I wasn't in maryland they'd get 2 in the chest 1 in the head.

I just think right or wrong you would have issues in court if the attacker was unarmed and of a similar size. I mean if it's some ape I think you are g2g with the leathal force. Also if you have these other tool's it gives you other options which look good in court. "Well sir, I maced him frist. Then hit him with that baton and he still came at me with a lead pipe so I shot him until he stopped moving." Is better than "Well sir, he went to punch me and a shot him until he stopped."

Also at those "contact" distances clearing the holster and employing the gun becomes difficult. It takes me a split second to get from 8 feet to in your face. I honestly think I would go for a knife in this case reguardless.

Just my .02 YMMV

Chris

MechAg94
June 22, 2005, 12:37 PM
You stole my thunder M2 Carbine.

I think the difference is in how a State's law defines when deadly force can be used. In Texas, deadly force is allowed in if there is a threat of serious injury in addition to death. Punches can cause serious bodily injury. I think that a number of states do not define it this way and say that you have to fear for your life or some other requirement. Now, with cases like this, you might reasonably claim that a fist fight could endanger your life, but you might have to convince a judge/jury of that.

TarpleyG
June 22, 2005, 12:41 PM
So, now every (potential) fist fight warrants drawing and shooting someone?
Quite possibly, yes. Just last year, two old geezers got into it over one cutting in line at a movie theatre and the other one hit him and down he went, permanently. I am no longer willing to find out at my age and place in life. Fist fighting when you are 13 out by the flagpole is one thing.

Greg

roo_ster
June 22, 2005, 12:48 PM
I think the decision to draw or draw & fire when threatened with/afflicted with fisticuffs is highly situation dependant. I have a good idea what empty-handed stikes can do and am under no illusion I can soak up such as they can in "Hollywierd."

A 5'-nuthin, 95lb gal throwing pathetic girly-punches at my chest and weeping: no drawing of CCW.

6", 300lb fellow with shaven head, alcohol on his breath, and a tattoo of "Mein Kampf" on his forearm who is about to tear into me: gets drawn on and gets perforated if he doesn't stop.

I suspect a lot of these "one punch kills " are complete surprises from out of the blue and makes the presence of a CCW moot.

Pilgrim
June 22, 2005, 12:56 PM
I had a very good friend who owned a gun shop, who had this silly idea that if someone came into his shop and robbed him without any show of weapons that he was powerless to stop it. He was pushing seventy years old at the time. I could not convince him that the law did not require him to take a beating just because his assailant was "unarmed".

Pilgrim

PowderBurn
June 22, 2005, 01:02 PM
Avoidness, Deterness, and Desclation.
What language is that??

DT Guy
June 22, 2005, 01:13 PM
The human brain can suffer permanent injury with any deceleration that exceeds 300 G's. This can result from a fall of ~5' onto pavement, so simply TIPPING backwards can kill you.

And anyone who's trained with a competent martial artist understands that one punch can be devastating, especially if you are caught with your guard down.


Larry

mics357
June 22, 2005, 01:32 PM
as I said in previous thread on this subject it's a step thing I will always
1 try to avoid placing myself in a bad situation
2 try to verbalize way out
3 retreat if possible
4 draw and again state my intention not to have physical confrontation
5 if threat continues fire and take chances with leo and court as opposed to coroner and morgue.

if you are ccw then there is no such thing as unarmed conflict. it's only a question of who uses weapon, the weapon is already there.

JohnKSa
June 22, 2005, 09:05 PM
The very first Texas CHL shooting was an unarmed attacker.

It was a "good" shooting.Worth noting that the CHL holder suffered permanent injuries from being punched. It's not like a gradeschool fight or like in the movies. Getting punched by an adult male carries a good chance of permanent injury and as pointed out by Matt, even a possibility of death.

Remember, being shot by a handgun is only fatal about 20% of the time and NO ONE questions whether a person shooting a handgun at you is grounds for use of deadly force.

So, how high does the potential for fatality have to be before we can shoot? If someone's trying to hurt me and I perceive that they might kill or permanently injure me, REGARDLESS of their choice of weapons, I will respond with the force available to me.

DirtyBrad
June 22, 2005, 10:20 PM
Good chance I'm the only High Road member who watches The Real World, but the premier last night had a good example of this (spoiler coming for all of you closet fans).

One of the cast members got in a drunken fight and took a punch to the eye. He was on the ground, but his head didn't hit it. He went home with a wicked shiner and they finally convinced him to go to the ER. The doctor did what looked like a CT and found out that that thin bone on the side of his eye was totally caved in. He said there was also some chance of permanent damge, both cosmetically to his face and also to his vision.

Not fatal, but it was just one punch and it was good reinforcement that fights in the world don't have much in common with those in typical movies.

cracked butt
June 22, 2005, 10:27 PM
Avoidness, Deterness, and Desclation.

And thick neck muscles :evil:

GRB
June 22, 2005, 10:55 PM
God help us if our police adopt this mentality - they will shoot everyone who provides the least amount of resistance - fearing the 'deadly one punch.'Oh come on now, that didn't even happen in the USSR or East Germany.

Joejojoba111
June 23, 2005, 12:06 AM
If people don't want to defend themselves when they're attacked, I guess that's a right they have. I just don't understand their reasons, they don't talk like Ghandi, they talk like little kids, 'that's cheating, that's not fair, that's not even', but they use bigger words, 'proportional' 'reasonable' 'escalation'.

If you're a pacifist out of higher enlightenment, then I get it.

If you're not going to defend yourself from physical attack to the best of your ability out of fear of someone else's rules, then I'm sorry, but - I don't respect your choice. I respect your right to make it, but I think you're a fool.

And I hope to god these aren't the same people who ADVOCATE carrying firearms when in the wilderness, for protection against animals. That would be too much hypocricy for me little noggin.

49hudson
June 23, 2005, 12:33 AM
I am going on 70 yrs old, have bad lungs, high BP, and heart trouble.
Unless I get sucker punched, the BG is going to be perforated until he calms down!

ExtremeDooty
June 23, 2005, 12:55 AM
A lot of the same for me Hudson, although only in my 50's. Add to that a hip replacement and retreat is not much of an option. I did train in Martial arts and I know how damaging single blows can be. I consider any physical threat a life threatening situation and will act accordingly. Sometimes, engaging in "just a fist fight" or retreat are just not options for all of us.

Travis McGee
June 23, 2005, 01:28 AM
How is it going to play to the grand jury has to be a big part of the calculus. You have to be able to convince them "I was in fear for my life." The solo guy who comes at you with his fists had better have a big edge in age, size and strength over you if you draw down on him. If it's a group of thugs, and they approach you in a menacing and threatening way, you will have an easier time convincing the jury about your fear for your life.

TheDutchman
June 23, 2005, 07:31 AM
Yeah I saw the Real World Austin episode where the guy from Boston got clocked. Lessoned learned don't talk crap to a Texan.

Andrew Rothman
June 23, 2005, 10:13 AM
How is it going to play to the grand jury has to be a big part of the calculus. You have to be able to convince them "I was in fear for my life."
I don't have time for that.

I'll suggest that it was the head striking the pavement which caused the death, not the punch.
Isn't that exactly the same as saying that if I throw you off of the Empire State Building, it's hitting the ground that kills you? It's a meaningless distinction. The punch was the direct cause of the head striking the pavement.

SteveS
June 23, 2005, 11:39 AM
I theorized that a bare-fists attack was sufficient cause to shoot.

I would agree, but it depends on the circumstances.


How is it going to play to the grand jury has to be a big part of the calculus. You have to be able to convince them "I was in fear for my life."

If you want to claim self-defense, you have to show both that you were in imminent fear for your life (or serious bodily harm) and that fear was "reasonable." The first component is relatively easy to show. As for the second, many factors come into play, but the facts and specific circumstances will have to show that your fear was reasonable. If I shoot a 90 year old woman in a wheel chair that was yelling at me because I thought she was going to perfrom a secret ninja death touch, I doubt I would convince many people that my fear was reasonable.

I think it is fair to say that unarmed person could cause a reasonable person to fear for their life, but it all depends on the circumstances (size of the person, size of the victim, distance, and any threats).

Specialized
June 23, 2005, 11:51 AM
To put a finer point on SteveS's post, the other factor that the courts will look at is disparity of force -- if someone your size, unarmed, punches you, the law usually holds that you have the capacity to defend yourself successfully from being beaten to the point of grave bodily harm or death, and are therefore able to counter the attack with like force. If he's 6'5", 275lbs, and you're 5'7", 130lbs, you'd have a lot better case. There are other factors, of course (training, conditioning, mental state, etc), but it's going to be a factor.

Joejojoba111
June 23, 2005, 04:30 PM
If you've got a choice between playing it safe with the law, or playing it safe with your life, and the two are clearly diametrically opposed, which will you pick? I don't want to minimize legal ramifications, I respect those that devote time and energy to the pursuit of said knowledge - but... I'm picking 'play it safe with my life'.

Correia
June 23, 2005, 05:05 PM
I almost killed a guy by hitting him once. (unconscious for a few days, many many stitches, mostly from where his head hit a metal pipe on the way down) Never underestimate how much damage your skull can receive by a single blow, especially from somebody strong, or who knows how to do it right.

This question comes up in my CCW class all of the time, and like every other single situation you can think of, you just need to take a look at it from the perspective of immediacy, ability, and opportunity. And whether or not you are in danger of receiving grevious bodily harm. (Utah standards, I'm not speaking for any other states).

If the person trying to hit you can cause grevious bodily harm, and they have the ability to do so, right then, then shooting is justified. Now the difference is, I'm going to have a harder time justifying that in court, than somebody who isn't a hulking behemouth. :)

Snake Eyes
June 23, 2005, 05:30 PM
Travis McGee: "How is it going to play to the grand jury has to be a big part of the calculus"

Exactly

Matt Payne: "I don't have time for that."

Sorry, sir, you better make time.

Correia: "Now the difference is, I'm going to have a harder time justifying that in court, than somebody who isn't a hulking behemouth"

Exactly, again.

I'm 6'5" and weigh 285 pounds. I'm 40 but appear 30-32 years old. I appear to be in excellent health and reasonably good condition. It's probably discoverable that I took Aikido for two years and moved up two levels (no belts in Aikido, except for black) in that time.

Unfortunately the truth is that I'm a chronic smoker that couldn't run a block. I have a bad back. My knees are shot. And--most significantly--I'm a wimp. I couldn't win a fight with an underweight 15 year old (unless I fell on him).

However, a jury will never see any of my "ailments". They will see the prosecutor pointing at a giant of a man that should have been able to defend himself without a gun.

It sucks, but it absolutely HAS to be considered and incorporated into my use of force continuum.

Joejojoba111
June 23, 2005, 06:17 PM
I understand your concerns, but I feel, in my gut, that you'll forget those concerns if the situation in question should ever arise. It just seems like if that's what you're thinking about when under attack, it does not bode well.

Snake Eyes
June 23, 2005, 06:20 PM
From my perspective, carrying a gun does not preclude me from thinking. Indeed, carrying a gun requires me to think clearly, quickly and well.

Andrew Rothman
June 23, 2005, 06:37 PM
Travis McGee: "How is it going to play to the grand jury has to be a big part of the calculus"

Matt Payne: "I don't have time for that."

Snake Eyes: Sorry, sir, you better make time.If I've got time to carefully consider how a jury might react, I obviously am not in peril. When you don't have time, you don't have time!

However, a jury will never see any of my "ailments". They will see the prosecutor pointing at a giant of a man that should have been able to defend himself without a gun.
I also have a better opinion of the legal process than you; A jury will not just see your large, though devilishly-attractive hulk -- they'll also testimony from you, your cardiologist, your priest and your sensei. ("Ah, Snake Eye? He mountain-size, but he big wimpy-boy! He no hurt fly!")

Shoot/don't shoot is always a gut call. If it's justified, it's justified. The legal standard is, generally, did you reasonably conclude that you were at risk of death or GBH?

The ability to point to previous knowledge recent, local, specific examples of one-punch kills can only bolster that reasonable conclusion.

NineseveN
June 24, 2005, 12:38 PM
One part I think some are missing here. If you are legally carrying a firearm, ANY physical scuffle or altercation can be a serious threat to your life. Yeah, maybe the punch would not kill me (I'm 6'2", 200lbs and did the whole martial arts thing, can fight reasonably well yadda yadda), but a decent blow may disorient me enough, that the attacker could gain the upper hand, and in the resulting scuffle, find the sidearm strapped to my hip, remove it from my person and place a mag-full of hollow-points into my body (or someone else’s after he kills me etc...).

If I am concealing a firearm (always), I will ask, and yes, even plead my way out of a physical altercation. Because I know that if you persist, get too close and show an intent to attack, or do not allow me to try and retreat/dissuade you, I will, without reservation end you, right then, right there. Doesn't make me cool, doesn't make me a rebel, doesn't make me tough. It makes me more concerned for my life than what some jury might say.

For those that are concerned with what a jury will think of me. Thank you, I appreciate your concern, it's appreciated, but I respectfully decline any advice contrary to my written viewpoint in this thread.

Andrew Rothman
June 24, 2005, 04:25 PM
...and Brady makes three.

I'll say it again. Getting punched, even for a healthy and strong 17-, 21- or 50-year old, can result in grievous bodily harm or death.

Two charged in fist fight that left student with brain damage
June 24, 2005

Two friends were charged Thursday with punching a college student and causing a brain injury after he was thrown out of a bar in Minneapolis in May.

John W. Arthurs, 21, of Spring Lake Park, and Ryan M. Goth, 21, of Minneapolis, are each accused of punching Brady Anderson, who is in his early 20s, once in the face after Anderson was kicked out of the Lone Tree Bar and Grill about 2 a.m. May 1, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Hennepin County District Court.

Anderson, who was close to graduating from the University of Minnesota at the time, was escorted out of the bar by a bouncer, according to the complaint. The bar's owner has said that Anderson brought beer into the bar and that the bouncer asked him to leave. Anderson approached Arthurs and badmouthed the bouncer, who was a friend of Arthurs', court documents show.

Arthurs went into the bar and came out later. When he saw Anderson, he told him to leave. Anderson refused, saying he was waiting for friends. Arthurs then punched Anderson in the face, the complaint said. Anderson put his arms over his face and then lowered them. Goth, who was with Arthurs, then punched Anderson in the face, causing him to fall backwards and hit the back of his head on the cement, the complaint said. Anderson did not move after the fall.

Medical examinations showed Anderson suffered fractures in his facial bones and brain injury, including hemorrhaging and brain swelling. A bone flap from his skull was removed to alleviate the swelling, court documents show.

His family could not be reached to comment about his condition.

Arthurs and Goth are each charged with first-degree assault.

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