Bad Tactics, Bad Journalism

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by Kleanbore, Aug 10, 2022.

  1. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    This is BAD journalism--very bad.

    "Las Vegas smoke shop owner defends himself by stabbing would-be robber."

    That's from the New York Post.

    I do not mean to single them out. Maybe a dozen reports say about the same thing.

    The incident was recorded on video with audio.

    First, there was no "would-be robber". Robbery involves a threat of injury to the victim. Again, robbery involves a threat of injury to the victim. I first learned that years ago when Mary Tyler Moore's character Mary Richards was so informed when she reported that her apartment had been robbed. No, they told her, it was burglarized.

    Second, it sure seems that the Las Vegas smoke shop owner was not threatened.

    Thus, he was almost certainly not being robbed.

    This article says the man "defends himself".

    It sure doesn't look like it.. The man he stabbed did not even look like he was about to put the smoke shop owner in any physical danger.

    Rather, it appears that the store owner initiated the attack. That would defeat any legal defense of self defense.

    What we have here is simple shoplifting--theft.

    Two people came into the store. One grabbed the tip jar and departed. The other jumped over the counter and reached for some merchandise on the shelf. That is shoplifting.

    The use of deadly force to prevent shoplifting is not permitted in any state in the union, or in any
    US territory or possession...
    not even in Texas, which alone among US jurisdictions, does allow the use of deadly force to prevent theft in some very limited circumstances,

    But the storeowner grabbed a knife, advanced on the shoplifter (who was not facing him), grabbed and held him, and played sewing machine on him.

    Even if the circumstances would have justified the use of deadly force in self defense, the man held the shoplifter and kept stabbing as he tried to escape. That will destroy a legal defense of self defense very quickly.

    He is being treated as a hero in some circles, but he is likely in a heap of trouble. It is a very good thing for him that the victim survived.

    The man's stupidity did not end there. He spoke to the media. Whatever possible strategy his attorney might have been able to salvage to defend him, he undermined it--big time.

    What a dope!

    He said he was "afraid for his life". He probably heard that somewhere. But a legal defense would require evidence supporting a reasonable fear. There appears to be none. "Bare fear" does not suffice. The Nevada Criminal Code spells that out in language that even a five year old could understand.

    Take-aways?
    • Do not ever use deadly force, or the threat thereof--with a blade, bat, tire iron, 9 iron, or gun--to stop an act of theft. (Night-time in Texas? You're on your own.)
    • If you are ever involved in any kind of a use of force incident, do not talk to the media--let your attorney do that.
    nypost.com/2022/08/05/las-vegas-vape-store-owner-defends-himself-by-stabbing-would-be-robber/

    One more thing: prosecuting attorneys are elected officials, and whatever the law and the facts of a case may be, they can and do sometimes use their discretion to decline to charge a suspect. That may have played a part in a case in St. Charles County, MO last week. Might it happen here? We'll see.

    The reverse happens, too.
     
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  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Saw it and as a "knife guy" it simply appears to be an attack intended to kill executed in anger against the thief. I'll be surprised if the outcome isn't an aggravated assault conviction at the very least.

     
  3. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Some sources besides NY Post:
    Las Vegas: https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/las-vegas-police-arrest-3-juveniles-in-smoke-shop-robbery/
    Colorado Springs: https://www.kktv.com/2022/08/08/graphic-smoke-shop-owner-fights-back-stabs-attempted-robber/


    As far as the opening post referring to "bad journalism", the Wikipedia editors guide on reliable sources says:
    "There is consensus that the New York Post is generally unreliable for factual reporting especially with regard to politics, particularly New York City politics. A tabloid newspaper, [Wikipedia] editors criticise its lack of concern for fact-checking or corrections, including a number of examples of outright fabrication. Editors consider the New York Post more reliable in the period before it changed ownership in 1976, and particularly unreliable for coverage involving the New York City Police Department."
    So I am not including a link to the Post story.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2022
  4. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    i have yet to see a report on this incident that is better.
     
  5. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Then there's always "the rest of the story"
    https://www.8newsnow.com/i-team/i-team-teens-in-smoke-shop-robbery-were-on-gps-monitoring/


    postscript: If you have seen/experienced a knife fight -- or attack -- there's nothing "Hollywood" about it.
    You are all in....

    All told, very troubling from both sides of the aisle....
    https://ipcamtalk.com/threads/las-vegas-smoke-shop-owner-stabs-man-multiple-times-during-attempted-robbery.64893/post-688406
    ...kinda talks it through
     
  6. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    This video certainly isn’t going to help people make good decisions:



    Lauren Southern is a popular YouTuber with 697 thousand subscribers. Apparently the crime wave justifies unlawful use of deadly force……
     
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  7. Blue Jays

    Blue Jays Member

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    Shopowner did ask them why they were wearing ski masks and asked them to leave his store.
    Shopowner likely believed the criminal then vaulting over the counter intended to attack him.

    One criminal stole the tip jar while the other leapt over the display towards the shopowner.
    That is likely the moment when the shopowner perceived that he was about to be attacked.

    I am obviously not inside his head yet that is what I suspect was going through his mind.
     
  8. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I watched that video several times and it's a tough one to watch... For anyone facing an attack with a blade - note how quickly and violently it occurs - also note that you can't see the knife being used at all... Were I in that situation I'd much prefer a stick or bat (some kind of striking implement that also allows you to keep your opponent at arms length - much more effective - and less likely to kill or permanently injure (no matter how angry and scared you are... ).

    Now for the reality... officers responding to the call will do everything possible to take the owner's account as gospel - while the video might provide a different view entirely... I'll be interested to see how it all plays out - when the state's attorney reviews the incident (well after the fact, of course...) and decides who to charge - and with what... The other intangible is simply the politics in play locally since prosecutors are always influenced by community attitudes and how press coverage handles the incident - no matter what they claim... At least that was my take on what I saw during my years in law enforcement... on the other side of the country...

    To provide some perspective - in my 22 years on the street I so rarely saw actual justice in a courtroom that it was memorable (or maybe it was just how cynical I became watching it all play out... ).
     
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  9. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    My prediction is worth what you paid for it.

    1. A jury will be told that when the second guy came over the counter in the direction of the clerk, the latter was reasonable in thinking he would be attacked. Thus he started to move. He did not have to wait for the attacker to come to him more directly.

    2. The stabbings were in a continuous stream of action to remove the threat. In cases, a significant pause that would allow a person to discern that the attacker is 'out of action' did not occur.

    3. Verbalisms to stop are insufficient evidence behind a reasonable doubt to say the threat has ended. Only clear physical evidence is such.

    4. Talking after the fact is stupid.

    5. In today's world, a jury will see reasonable doubt and acquit IF charges are filed. I'm betting none of filed.

    6. The clerk could have acted differently but he didn't. I'm evaluating what I think from what actually happened.

    A side note for the fans of OC, this is how quickly knife attacks occur. Someone seeing you have a gun might do something like this. In a knife class, a big guy said to the instructor that no one messes with him as he is big and strong. With a training knife, the instructor sauntered over and 'stabbed' him numerous times in the blink of an eye. I also know of a case where big strong guy argued with little old man. The latter pulled a paring knife (like you cut an apple with). Stuck it in strong guy's chest, hit a sweet spot and young strong guy just dropped stone cold dead.
     
  10. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    “Don’t let me die sir. This wasn’t my idea.”

    He probably sounded cooler before they went in to steal something, anything.

    It would seem that there were a number of people that didn’t think things through that day…


    Their lawyer must not have watched that episode and allowed his clients to plead guilty to robbery…

    https://www.8newsnow.com/i-team/i-team-teens-in-smoke-shop-robbery-were-on-gps-monitoring/

    Doesn’t look like self defense to me either but that jump over the counter was an offensive move, that escalated the situation greatly and immediately. FWIW, was also that idiots idea. So, he’s a liar too…
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
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  11. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I watched a few versions of this video from different news sources.
    Some appear to be edited for time.
    You have a clerk in a store.
    Two men in ski masks come into the store.
    A third man waits at the door. [Lookout?]
    The clerk asks the men in ski masks to leave. [At this point by refusing to leave, does Trespass come into play?]
    One grabs the tip jar.
    One leaps over the counter into the clerk's "safe place" and grabs stuff off the wall shelf.
    The thief was in arm's length of the clerk. [At this point did the clerk feel he could safely retreat or did he feel boxed in?]

    [More opinion: This is not shoplifting where someone in no positiion to harm a person sneaks goods out of a store without paying and without confronting a storekeeper.
    This is theft by a trespasser who has shown he has no respect for boundaries and has invaded the clerk's safe space. (If I were the clerk, I'd feel threatened. Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an immediate threat.)
    After the fact (yes, the clerk had no way of knowing this), these intruders were in violation of probation for previous bad acts.
    They seem to have felt they were untouchable and could do as they wilt without consequence.
    Then the lookout and the other thief abandon their companion after he was wounded. Object lesson in "Honour amongst thieves".]
     
  12. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Perhaps. The jump over the counter almost certainly constitutes trespass. That would not justify the use of deadly force in any US jurisdiction.
    "Bare fear"?
     
  14. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    I watched the video one time without reading any accounts of what would happen. My first thought when the "thief" jumped the counter; he was going to attack the clerk in some way.


    When the "thief" jumped the counter, landed, he then raised his left arm. It appeared to me he was raising his arm to attack the clerk. It was a second later that I actually understood the "thief" was grabbing items from the shelves. The clerk was already reacting at that point.


    I've never been cornered by two or three guys wearing ski masks. Does a murderer sometimes cover his face the same way a thief does?
     
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  15. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    Kleanbore, I don't buy your analysis of trespass. I usually agree with you but a masked thief jumping over to where a person is located is a real threat. I opine a jury will see that also. For example, in the Bernhard Goetz case, the jury let him walk on the shooting charges. It was claimed the 4 youths' actions were not threatening violence but the jury thought it was reasonable for Goetz to think that. Note he was convicted on the gun charge.

    The clerk's perception of threat will be operative. A masked person leaping over a counter to where the clerk is, will be seen as a threat or a reasonable perception of one.
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    The fact that the clerk came around the corner of the counter and register to get to the punk that jumped the counter is very damning. The punk in black wasn't going towards the clerk. Many are ignoring that the clerk went to the punk who jumped the counter.

     
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  17. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    With what aspect of my analysis do you disagree? The front of the store is open to the public. The public woiud not be privileged to go behind the counter without invitation.
    He entered a non-public area of the store. Does that contsitute an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm?
    The video, what reasonable persons see in it, and the judge's instructions regarding the law will be operative.
    Even if the finders of fact determine that the owner reasonably feared death or great bodily harm, justifiably reacted immediately with necessary deadly force, and was understandably unable to change course timely when the thief reached for merchandise on the shelf, the act of holding the escaping thief and continuing to stab should defeat a legal defense of self defense.
     
  18. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Member

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    "Wikipedia editors guide on reliable sources" is pretty comical.
     
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  19. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I consider the New York Post as the (even more) liberal version of The Onion.

    True; then he can sue in civil court, instead of his family. I don't often root for criminals, but in this case, I'm hoping he get a small settlement and hospital bills paid.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2022
  20. GEM

    GEM Moderator Emeritus

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    We will disagree on this, Kleanbore.
     
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  21. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    Fixed it for you.

    One doesn’t even need to actually be in danger of death or bodily harm, just need to believe it and at lest one on a jury thinks it’s a reasonably held belief.

    FWIW people have been killed in Vegas with a single punch.

    https://abc7chicago.com/las-vegas-fight-victorville-man-killed-louie-campos-sucker-punch/1967643/

    Yet anyone there would say it wouldn’t be reasonable to stab everyone within arms reach in the streets of Vegas.

    I bet it would be a lot easier to find one that may think a masked man, jumping a counter, closing distance that was between the two of you, after his masked partner in crime already took your money, might be a time to start panicking…
     
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  22. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Again, "some"body hasn't ever experienced an actual knife fight.
    There is no "Hollywood" once-&-done.
    Especially with blade fights.

    .
     
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Irrelevant. A single punch does not meet the legal definition of deadly force.
    One may find twelve who would agree that there was reasonable doubt regarding criminal charges for using the knife.

    A kniffe may be used in lawful self defense. But the knife must be used properly. Michael Janich teaches how to do so. It involves the use of the knife specifically to stop or prevent an attack. It involves cutting specific tendons Random stabbing does not meet the requirement. Self defense not a "knife fight", or viie versa.

    In Defending the Self Defense Case, attorney Lisa Steele explains that inn lawful self defense, the defender must use no more force than was necessary to stop the attack.

    That is the weakest point in Mr. Nguyen's case.
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Grappling vs. holding will be the serious point. I've trained in knives for decades and can point out that sometimes that the fight involves very close entangled use of the knife. I'm not saying that his is the case, just illustrating that there are situations in which you are wrapped up when using a knife in self-defense. In this case I think the thief is trying to get away, but is he trying to get away to flee or to make space for a weapon will be a major issue in determining if the clerk used unreasonable force and if he had a reasonable fear for his life. To even my eye, the thief is attempting to flee, the clerk is caught up in the fight and continues to stab the thief, eventually stops and starts dragging him toward the door (the later another indication of anger and not fear).
     
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  25. CDW4ME

    CDW4ME Member

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    Clerk: Can't you just leave.
    Robber: In abrasive sarcastic tone, "Nah".
    Clerk: Take the money
    Robber: Jumps counter
    Clerk: stab, stab, stab, stab, stab, stab, stab
     
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