Justified Self Defense?


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mr hanky
January 24, 2008, 05:18 AM
THR,

First, let me advise that I am in no way looking for ways to be forced to use my weapon in a self defense situation. I live in Utah, have a CCW permit, I have spent time brushing up on Utah's Gun and CCW laws, I highly reccomend Mitch Vilos book; Utah Gun Law II, not sure if there is a III yet.

Having said that, my question is; a few weeks ago I was in downtown SLC heading to my car after dinner, I was carrying and I had parked in a lot behind the restaurant. There aren't any exits besides the entrance you drive through, or climbing a fence etc.

I don't know why my mind thinks up these scenarios, and this may be a dumb question, but, I am wondering what others may think/do in this hypothetical:

Let's say someone approaches you, and they appear crazy/high etc. making demands for money or just wanting to hurt you/loved one. This crazy says they are infected with AIDS and will stab you with a needle if you do not comply with their demands. You do all you can to de-escalate the situation, talk them out of it, look for a way to escape etc.

It looks like the only way to protect yourself/loved one is to have to resort to using your firearm (hopefully dispaying it will be enough, but the only reason you are drawing your weapon is becuase there are no other options to de-escalate and you are prepared to use it), but you haven't actually seen the needle but you don't want to let this person get close enough to you/loved one to find out if they are bluffing.

If you do in fact end up having to use deadly force because the person rushes you and it is discovered that there WAS or WAS NOT a needle OR that the autopsy (if the person was killed) reveals that the person WAS or WAS NOT infected with AIDS, what would be the potential legal ramifications, given there would be only one side to the story, the person with the gun) that you may know of from similar incidences?

Again, I know there are probably lots of people that have posted threads trying to look for ways to use their weapon, this is not my intention. Just a situation that I have not been able to find much info on and am genuinely wondering what others thought are.

Stay safe!

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Fisherman_48768
January 24, 2008, 06:03 AM
If the individual making the statement to me had never lied to me then I'd tend to believe them. Won't be a second opportunity to fib again.

glennfish
January 24, 2008, 06:13 AM
nasty nasty problem.

Answer is two part:

1) You would be justified in threatening or using physical force against another person when and to the extent a reasonable person in your position would believe that physical force is immediately necessary to protect yourself against the other person's use or attempted use of unlawful physical force.

BUT

2) You cannot use physical force in response to mere words, no matter how offensive.

If you shoot and there is no needle, you are the criminal.
If you shoot and there is a needle, you merely spend a few years defending yourself in court.

If you can't de-escalate, or escape, you have to reach that point where he is attempting use of unlawful physical force. Use of your firearm is your LAST resort. It's not an intermediate step in the escalation.

Also note, AIDS at this time in this country is no longer a deadly threat. Since this crazy fool on the slab is my son, I'll sue your heinie in a wrongful death civil action, even if he stabbed you with an AIDS infected needle first. Your life was not threatened by his action. I'd win in civil court and some D/A might actually prosecute you and win.

Just because you are ignorant of the medical aspects of HIV doesn't mean the jury won't be educated by my attorney.

mr hanky
January 24, 2008, 06:25 AM
glennfish,

I acknowledge that you cannot use deadly force because of words, that's why I said this guy eventually charges at you, to elaborate, with something in his hand that you can't see becuase it's dark etc.

My apologies if I caused any bad feelings about your son, replace AIDS with some other deadly concept that you would not want punctured into your blood stream.

Also, PM me with info if you will about AIDS no longer being a deadly threat, becuase you are right, I am ignorant to that fact.

Thanks for your thoughts.

sacp81170a
January 24, 2008, 06:51 AM
Just because you are ignorant of the medical aspects of HIV doesn't mean the jury won't be educated by my attorney.

Medical and legal are two completely different things. We just had a man convicted of intentionally exposing his female sex partner to the HIV virus. In Arkansas it's a felony to intentionally expose someone else to HIV, regardless of how the medical treatment of AIDS has progressed. I don't really care how good medical treatment is for HIV, it's still something that going to be expensive and disruptive to your whole life.

Threatened with the commission of a forcible felony and in fear of what a reasonable person would conclude was serious bodily injury, the use of deadly force is justified. Given the totality of your circumstances, you have the person expressing intent, they have the opportunity (proximity with no possibility of retreat) and they have a perceived capability. If he were threatening you with his finger in his coat pocket saying, "I have a gun," then it would be a righteous shoot, gun or not. Same with "I have HIV and a needle."

You cannot use physical force in response to mere words, no matter how offensive.

Uh, I beg to differ. If he called you a jerk, that's his opinion. If he puts you in fear of bodily injury, that's assault. If he puts you in fear of serious bodily injury, that's aggravated assault. You don't have to wait for him to carry out his threat before you defend yourself.

Vermont
January 24, 2008, 07:17 AM
Wait...AIDS is no longer a deadly virus? Forget PMs, this medical breakthrough that glennfish made yesterday in his basement needs to be shared with the world!!!

Please enlighten me. I hope you're right!

Biker
January 24, 2008, 07:55 AM
Just tell the guy you're wearing a condom and he'll give up on the whole thing.

Biker

JWarren
January 24, 2008, 07:55 AM
Also note, AIDS at this time in this country is no longer a deadly threat. Since this crazy fool on the slab is my son, I'll sue your heinie in a wrongful death civil action, even if he stabbed you with an AIDS infected needle first. Your life was not threatened by his action. I'd win in civil court and some D/A might actually prosecute you and win.

I wouldn't start spending that money-- especially if I am on that jury.


-- John

DragonFire
January 24, 2008, 08:46 AM
even if he stabbed you with an AIDS infected needle first.

Wow! Getting stabbed is acceptable?!

Stabbing with a sterile needle would still be at least assault. So I should assume that if he stabbed me once, he won't stab me again, and again and again? So how many times does he get to stab me before you'd think I'd be justified in drawing my gun?

AIDS made (or may not) necessarily be fatal anymore, but it would still fall under the "severe bodily harm", so you'd still be justified in using your firearm.

I think it will come down to your ability to describe what happened, what you felt and what you did. Leaving out "little" things like he charged at you, or that he was between you and the only exit. You have to make the cops believe that what you felt and did were what any reasonable person would.

RoadkingLarry
January 24, 2008, 09:40 AM
Also note, AIDS at this time in this country is no longer a deadly threat.

BS!!!

Also, poking me with a dirty IV needle would most certainly constitute grievous bodiliy harm. Threat of HIV as well as Hepatitis should be enough for any "reasonable" person to be in fear of grievous badily harm.

glennfish
January 24, 2008, 10:00 AM
Fun debate. And FYI, I don't have a son. it was a figurative thought.

Stats are here: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/slides/mortality/index.htm

Please note especially cause of death risk slides.

In the scenario where the party rushes you, with or without a needle, his intentions can only be interpreted as willing to cause bodily harm. I'd shoot.

My argument is that the needle statement itself is not actionable. There has to be something more.

MakAttak
January 24, 2008, 10:09 AM
Fun debate. And FYI, I don't have a son. it was a figurative thought.

Stats are here: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/survei...lity/index.htm

Please note especially cause of death risk slides.

In the scenario where the party rushes you, with or without a needle, his intentions can only be interpreted as willing to cause bodily harm. I'd shoot.

My argument is that the needle statement itself is not actionable. There has to be something more.

... that's great... but on what are they basing their data? AIDS weakens your immune system, which allows other things to kill you. (Like a cold)

Soooo... I'm finding this data hard to understand because it's just statistics, where's the study?

Edit: Also, dang, we broke the CDC page.

junyo
January 24, 2008, 10:59 AM
Heck, a sterile needle will kill you, if used to inject a large enough air bubble into an artery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arterial_gas_embolism). I don't see giving a clearly unstable person the benefit of the doubt and letting them get close enough to stab me.

M2 Carbine
January 24, 2008, 11:12 AM
Let's say someone approaches you, and they appear crazy/high etc. making demands for money or just wanting to hurt you/loved one.

In Texas that would be a "good shooting".
The person put you/loved one in fear of death or great bodily harm and also demanded money. Which in itself is enough reason to shoot.

but you haven't actually seen the needle but you don't want to let this person get close enough to you/loved one to find out if they are bluffing.


You are not a mind reader. You have to act based on what you see and hear.
You do not have to be injured before acting.

eric.cartman
January 24, 2008, 01:06 PM
Junkies in Poland use that tactic. I know trust me.
I would pull the gun out the second he said that.
He walks toward me, he's getting injected with my highly contagious lead.

Rogelio
January 24, 2008, 01:22 PM
You got me thinking... about half a year ago, there was this BG who boarded buses (public transport) and out of nowhere, he stood up and said he was AIDS infected, he pulls out a needle and says that he really doesn´twant to hurt anybody, but he really needs the money....eventuallu cops got him.

Now, WWYD??

He pulls out a needle, says he's got AIDS but clearly says he doesn´t want to hurt anyone, he just wants your money...

TAB
January 24, 2008, 01:27 PM
Bang!


I think that pretty much says it all.

GuyWithQuestions
January 24, 2008, 02:14 PM
mr hanky,

I live in Utah too, and the state code says that you don't necessarily have to be in threat of immediate death, but you can also use deadly force to prevent or stop serious bodily injury or forcible felony, so being immediately stuck with an HIV needle would fall under that category, at least that's what I think a reasonable and prudent (thinking) person would think.

Just because HIV doesn't always kill you, doesn't mean it can't be considered "deadly force". In my Concealed Firearms permit class, we learned that 80% of those shot with a handgun live, while 70% of those shot with a high powered rifle die. Still, a handgun is considered deadly force because of the nature of the force. I'd guess that getting stuck with an HIV needle would be considered similar.

I could almost swear that when I was reading "In the Gravest Extreme" by Massad Ayoob, who has been an expert witness on the use of force in many many court cases, said that often judges won't consider someone "saying that they have a gun" alone as reasonably believing that they have deadly force. I met one person one time who said that he has a .45 handgun and if someone ever made him mad that he would shoot them and then later tell the police that the other person said they had a gun, and then he'd automatically not get in trouble. It's interesting because he got caught running around in a grocery store with his piece and doesn't have concealed firearms permit. He was arrested and almost went to jail for carrying without a permit, but got out of it. However, in the situation that you gave about the guy claiming to have AIDS and a needle, seems different and that a reasonable and thinking person would probably believe him.

My main concern that I would have is if he didn't have a needle on him a prosecuting attorney may claim that he didn't really say that and that you were trying to find a lie to kill him. I don't know, but I'd guess that that would be quite difficult to defend yourself from a claim like that if a prosecuting attorney brought that up.

Personally if I was watching a video camera and the hypothetical situation that you gave really happened, I'd let you off if I was in the jury or prosecuting attorney.

GuyWithQuestions
January 24, 2008, 02:26 PM
Doesn't Utah law say that you can use deadly force to prevent burglary of a car if someone's actually in it?

76-2-402:
(4) For purposes of this section, a forcible felony includes aggravated assault, mayhem, aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and aggravated sexual assault as defined in Title 76, Chapter 5, and arson, robbery, and burglary as defined in Title 76, Chapter 6. Any other felony offense which involves the use of force or violence against a person so as to create a substantial danger of death or serious bodily injury also constitutes a forcible felony. Burglary of a vehicle, defined in Section 76-6-204, does not constitute a forcible felony except when the vehicle is occupied at the time unlawful entry is made or attempted.

Isn't burglary when someone breaks in with the intent to commit a felony?

BobbyQuickdraw
January 24, 2008, 02:34 PM
Question: Do you feel threatened for your safety, health, or well-being by a man telling you is going to stab you with a needled and transmit to you the AIDS virus, which has no cure, and will end up directly contributing to your death after an undetermined period of time?

Answer No: Dont shoot him, get stabbed, die.

Answer Yes: Use whatever force is necessary to safe guard yourself and your loved ones from harm, up to and including lethal force, as permissible by law.

People have been charged with MURDER for knowingly transmitting AIDS to other people, as well they should be. Some guy threatens to stab me with anything, its a threat to my safety, even if its just a pen. Some guy threatens to give me a virus, its a threat to my safety.

Cosmoline
January 24, 2008, 02:43 PM
Don't forget NON-LETHAL force! You can kick him or hit him with something handy to keep him at bay.

As a general rule if you shoot anyone in a public place who hasn't actually flashed a weapon you're on shaky ground. Words alone aren't enough unless there's supporting evidence to show the threats, taken together with physical acts, amounted to an imminent threat of deadly force from a reasonable person's point of view. In this case if he's flashing a needle I believe he's crossed the line. If he's just ranting about infecting everyone with a disease, he's probably not over the line yet.

GuyWithQuestions
January 24, 2008, 02:49 PM
Personally, I'd first try using my air taser on him that I should be receiving in the mail in a few days. If that didn't work, then I'd point my gun at him and shout, "BACK OFF!!! OR I'LL SHOOT!!!" Wouldn't that be interesting for Taser International, you submit a police report to get another air taser and on it it says that someone was trying to inject HIV into you with a needle!

JWarren
January 24, 2008, 04:09 PM
Don't forget NON-LETHAL force! You can kick him or hit him with something handy to keep him at bay.


Maybe you... but not me.

I am not getting close enough to a person who has a dirty siringe of HIV that they may get lucky and nick me. Odd things like that happen-- especially if that person has that intent.

HIV is one of the reasons I stopped competative kickboxing. It wasn't worth the bodily fluid transfer risk.


Now... imagine how you'd feel if you accidently got HIV from the guy's needle. Now imagine all the precautions you will live with until you die to prevent transmitting it to your wife or children. Now imagine how you would feel if you inadvertantly infected your wife or kids.

All this because some idiot decided to use HIV as a weapon.


Let me tell you the only think I will worry about: Getting HIV from the blood spatter.

And no... that isn't bloodlust. That is a VERY real response to biological terrorism-- and that is EXACTLY what we are describing.

If you think you will take my life from me, and put my family at risk as long as I am alive, you get EXACTLY what comes for you.


Who cares whether we have better "treatment" for HIV or AIDS. Some puck DOES NOT have the right to decide if *I* have to live with that disease. Anyone who believes otherwise-- well, that is just sad.

Personally, I'd first try using my air taser on him that I should be receiving in the mail in a few days.


I would use any and everything within my power to prevent him from getting within arms reach of me. Period.


-- John

mekender
January 24, 2008, 04:20 PM
someone demanding money and threatening to hurt you is committing a robbery... deadly force would be totally legal...but it wouldnt hurt to have some witnesses on your side

Cosmoline
January 24, 2008, 04:50 PM
has a dirty siringe of HIV that they may get lucky and nick me.

If they have the thing out and are trying to stab you, that's imminent deadly force even without a threat of AIDS. It's a 4" razor sharp needle that can nail an artery or inject air into your system.

I was talking about a case where you see no weapon.

primer
January 24, 2008, 05:53 PM
I see it like this. If the guy comes up saying something like that, i would tell him to stay back "with my hand on my gun of course" . If he proceeded to get closer and show a needle, I would show him my gun. If he got close he would be dead, period! I would rather sit in jail the rest of my life or get fried before I let him get close to me, much less my family. I say fill him up! Remember, in court there is always a motive. They have to find one. Did you fear for your life? Yes! Is there any other reason that you would shoot this guy that you have never met before? NO.

mr hanky
January 25, 2008, 03:02 AM
Wow, lots of great minds here on THR. I would have to agree with the sentiment that I would do whatever it took to keep me away from him whether or not I had seen the needle yet.

I would also consider Cosmoline's idea about non-lethal force if I hadn't actually seen the needle etc yet, but on the other hand I think primer has something saying that a DA/jury must find motive - defending your life sounds pretty reasonable seeing as I, for example, have a clean record.

Agreed that no matter if the person had AIDS or not, just the act of threatening/actually stabbing a sterile needle vs. a dirty one seems a potentially justifiable threat for potentially using deadly force.

Hopefully this got all of thinking at least so that we are a little more aware of our local law and situational awareness.

glennfish
January 25, 2008, 04:37 AM
OK, now consider this. You're using deadly force against an HIV positive guy who has given you witnesses and cause. What ammo do you choose? And don't spend too much time changing your load as he charges you.

1. FMJ that fully penetrates and may spray innocent victims down range with HIV tainted blood?

2. Some of the hyper expensive disintegrating rounds that while opening 3 inch wound channels ALSO back spray you with HIV tainted blood?

3. Black Talon which the emergency room doc will discover after he's sliced open himself and been infected?

4. OR....

mr hanky
January 25, 2008, 04:46 AM
:uhoh:Whoa, glennfish.

Now you've got me 100% more paranoid than I already was...I think, what was that sound?:uhoh:

mekender
January 25, 2008, 04:56 AM
OK, now consider this. You're using deadly force against an HIV positive guy who has given you witnesses and cause. What ammo do you choose? And don't spend too much time changing your load as he charges you.

1. FMJ that fully penetrates and may spray innocent victims down range with HIV tainted blood?

2. Some of the hyper expensive disintegrating rounds that while opening 3 inch wound channels ALSO back spray you with HIV tainted blood?

3. Black Talon which the emergency room doc will discover after he's sliced open himself and been infected?

4. OR....

whatever round is loaded at the time, most likely a jhp of some sort... do keep in mind that a spray of blood is not normally enough to transmit HIV... HIV when exposed to air dies very quickly... plus a round traveling through a human is usually hot enough to sterilize any biological matter that touches the round... DNA can survive, but blood cells are very unlikely to remain intact if they are in close proximity to the round... high velocity spatter is certainly a potential issue but you would probably need to be much more worried about where your rounds went after penetration than what biologicals were transmitted by its passing though an infected person...

sacp81170a
January 25, 2008, 06:54 AM
OK, now consider this. You're using deadly force against an HIV positive guy who has given you witnesses and cause. What ammo do you choose? And don't spend too much time changing your load as he charges you.

1. FMJ that fully penetrates and may spray innocent victims down range with HIV tainted blood?

2. Some of the hyper expensive disintegrating rounds that while opening 3 inch wound channels ALSO back spray you with HIV tainted blood?

3. Black Talon which the emergency room doc will discover after he's sliced open himself and been infected?

4. OR....

Never shot anyone, have you? Pistol rounds typically don't cause wounds that "spray", either downrange or back at you. Shooting someone in contact with the muzzle of the weapon would be the only way you'd get "sprayed" with fluid(momentum of the round is in the other direction). If someone down range is close enough to get "sprayed", they're probably more in risk of getting hit by your round than anything else.

I agree though, avoid contact with the bodily fluids if at all possible. This question comes up in my CCW classes. "If I shoot someone, should I render medical assistance to them afterward?" Generally, no. If you prefer not to risk unknown infections, it's best not to come in contact with the blood of strangers. There are other considerations, but the risk of disease is a major one.

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