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To be a Good Samaritan or not

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by DeepSouth, Oct 5, 2013.

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  1. Godsgunman

    Godsgunman Member

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    Always a tough one to call and I'm not sure what I would do until in that situation. I actually just discussed similar situations with my wife the other day. Being a CCL holder my first responsibility is me and mine. The police are for those who choose not to defend themselves IMHO. I have not sworn to protect anyone but me and mine. That said, I generally have the "Good Samaritan" spirit as I am in the medical field and more often than not find myself in situations that I instinctively become a first responder to helpless people even though thats not what I do in the medical field. Praise God that the man from the story stopped for this woman and son and that it worked out in their favor. It's just to hard to say with certainty what I should do/will instinctively do if I am ever in such a situation.
     
  2. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Had the woman been a loved one of mine I certainly would hope a passerby would have come to her aid if so able. As such, I would be a hypocrite to not do the same. Yeah, it would suck if my son grew up without a father. Of course it would probably suck much worse if he grew up in a world where no men come to the aid of a woman with a knife to her throat.
     
  3. luzyfuerza

    luzyfuerza Member

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    I cannot criticize the passerby's actions. He made his choices, and the results were good.

    My thought process and tactics might have been a little different. Consider the following:

    My first decision point: do I stop my vehicle close to the scene? I would have stopped close to the scene only if there was no other person in my vehicle that I would be putting at risk. If I had another person in the vehicle, I may have stopped, but further away.

    My next decision point: do I exit my vehicle? How many bad guys do I see? How far am I from the scene? What weapons do I see? Are there impediments to my retreat on foot or in my vehicle? If I'm outnumbered, outgunned, or if my retreat could be cut off, I'm staying inside, and perhaps reconsidering my decision to stop close to the scene.

    My next decision point: where do I go if I choose to exit my vehicle? I would immediately move to a defensible position upon leaving the car. I'd take the keys with me and lock all doors except for the door closest to me. Concealment is preferred, cover is even better! If behind concealment or cover, have my handgun at low ready. Don't get out and walk toward the scene! If more bad guys or weapons appear, reverse previous decisions and get away from the scene.

    My next decision point: how do I respond to the situation? I've trained to first use verbal commands. "Get off of her!" "Show me your hands!" "Drop the knife!" Show your firearm only if a bad guy threatens you with deadly force. If the threat continues, engage until the threat stops. If the bad guy retreats, assess the situation, and move to the victims when safe. Provide assistance.


    At first glance, this decision tree might look tough to implement. However, if you train using scenarios, then the process becomes very fast.

    Work with friends who are serious about self-defense to set up scenarios. Take a run at solving the problem, and then together evaluate how you did. Create scenarios that have adjustable decision points (number of bad guys, position of vehicles, types and number of weapons, etc.). Between runs, change things. Build in some surprises. Solve the problems repeatedly. Remember that shooting isn't always the best response to every situation.

    By the time you run through enough of these kinds of situations, your ability to quickly move through the decision tree without forgetting anything important will be much improved.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  4. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, it worked out, this time. But might our good Samaritan's intervention have caused the "bad guy" to decide to use his weapon to kill the woman?

    One would have no way of knowing either the state of mind or the intention or the motivation of the man with the knife, what led him to do what he was doing, or whether the man had anything to lose.

    One person acting alone, untrained in hostage rescue, and armed only with a handgun may or may not end up saving the victim from whatever would happen without his intervention, which is unknown, and he may well make matters markedly worse.

    Just some things to take into consideration.

    Yes, "helping" is surely the right thing to do, but how would one go about doing that?
     
  5. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    Yeah, and calling the cops could cause the man to cut her upon their arrival as well.

    If someone were holding a knife to my throat I would prefer there be the threat of great and immediate bodily harm if they decided to cut. Acting is also a way to decrease the chances of him making off with a kidnapping victim to rape, torture and murder.
     
  6. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    There are no certainties, but the situation would likely be better handled by a team of properly equipped persons trained to handle such situations.

    Is the knife-wielder rational? Does he care what happens to him? Does he have anything to lose?

    Once the automobile has been identified and help is on the way, it becomes a matter of pursuit, stopping further flight, and working out the situation before it comes to that.

    If I were the victim, I would much prefer to have the help of people (plural) with some training (SWAT and negotiation), equipment providing for a continuum of force up to and including an accurate rifle, and the ability to pursue and apprehend and call in reinforcements, than an untrained citizen with a handgun acting alone.
     
  7. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    wife & i went to a 17 plex movie house, 7 pm show time, it was november so it was dark.
    walking along the row of cars there were 3 young men around a girl who was looking stressed. this area is next to a housing project and i only go there for the IMax.
    the car she was against, the plate was DEB 79 and she looked the right age so as we past the car, i gave a holler " hi, Debbie, i thought we were going to meet inside; are your friends coming too?" she shouldered past them to me; i kept strong eyes on them and a hand in my coat pocket ( let them think what they wanted). she thanked me, was quite shaken and my wife and i left her with the manager.

    there are many was to become involved; knowing well the situation is paramount.
     
  8. JohnBiltz

    JohnBiltz Member

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    I like to think I would have stopped. It is all well and good to talk about you and yours but regret is rarely about what you did compared to what you did not do. Reading about a double homicide the next morning would not be a pleasant thing nor do I think it would be pleasant a lot of nights when I was having trouble sleeping.
     
  9. Mike1234567

    Mike1234567 member

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    For about a year I lived in a terrible neighborhood. About 3AM I went outside with my .45 ACP to investigate a woman screaming for help (after I called 911). There were no street lights and no moon so it was pitch black. I could only see a vehicle with its bright lights facing and blinding me and a faint outline of a woman laying on her back with her arms out in defensive posture. A large person was standing over her with his firearm trained on her as she lay on her back screaming for help. I can barely walk so I made my way over there as quickly as I could. Then a car turned the corner and the driver saw my firearm. He said, "Hey, that's a cop". Just then a police cruiser turned the corner and switched on the emergency lights. The officer standing over the woman yelled for me to leave. I returned to my yard and witnessed the lady arrested and forced into his cruiser. I got within approximately 50 feet of the incident but never called out to ask what was going on. The policeman's mistake... HE SHOULD HAVE HAD HIS LIGHTS FLASHING!!

    EDIT: MY LESSON: I still think I did the right thing but could have been shot for it. I'd do it again. BUT... I no longer have anyone relying on me except a sick old dog. AND... I'd call out long before getting within 50 feet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  10. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    So would I. And if that were immediately available obviously there would be no need to intervene. But that is not the situation being discussed.

    He seemed to be in the case cited. If the knife-wielder isn't rational then the outcome is going to bad either way. Acting then seems the better decision because there is at least a chance he is interested in self preservation. Even if he is nuts and decides to cut acting may at least allow first aid to be applied and give the victim a chance. It may also be what prevents the nut from killing the passenger in addition to the woman.

    How long would you be willing to wait for this help to arrive? The ability to pursue does not gurantee apprehension. Per Voltaire, one should not allow the perfect to be the enemy of good.
     
  11. CAPTAIN MIKE

    CAPTAIN MIKE Member

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    The Good Samaritan did the RIGHT thing. His being charged with anything would be the WRONG thing. After the woman he rescued (and her son) testify in his favor, I'll bet he is exonerated - and should then file a Lawsuit against the Prosecutor for Abuse of Power, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and for 'Felony Bad Attitude' about Defending the Innocent. And I hope all three of them join in the Lawsuit against the prosecutor and show up to testify in the Attempted Murder trial of the Perpetrator. God Bless America.
     
  12. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    I would have all day.

    What would you do if the man said, "drop the gun or she's dead"?

    This time, things worked out fine. But the woman and her son might well have ended up testifying against the good Samaritan. That happens all the time.

    There was certainly no legal reason for the man to not try to help, and he did so and succeeded, but he could have made things worse instead.

    Who was the assailant? A husband who had just lost everything in a divorce settlement? A veteran with PTSD who had just returned to find that his wife had left him? Someone under immediate threat of death from a drug dealer to whom he owed money that she had spent? A drug addict? Or was he more reasonable than his actions would indicate.

    The good Samaritan just might have bitten of more than he could true, and he might even have precipitated her death.

    The problem is, the guy with the knife holds all the cards.
     
  13. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    It seems highly unlikely to me that a man will place a knife against one's throat and then just hang out, waiting for police to arrive. If a knife is placed against a throat it generally is for one of two reasons. To either get immediate compliance of a demand or to kill the victim. Not to just hang out "all day".

    It sort of depends on the situation but the last i'm going to do is relinquish my gun to a man with a knife. I tend to agree with Sam Harris on dealing with such people in that compliance is to be avoided at all costs. If the guy is just crazy and wishes to kill somebody then one really has nothing to gain by complying.

    Personally i would likely not draw until all other options have been exhausted in the hopes that my approach will motivate the guy to leave without making him feel trapped.

    All the time? That seems a bit of a exageration when we're talking about extremely rare events.

    Okay, and the lady and her son could both now be dead had he not acted. I think we've all established that such sitations are fraught with uncertainty. Nobody is arguing that there is no risk to acting. However, there is also risk to the victim in not acting. My contention is that a passerby not acting is riskier for the victim.
     
  14. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    He calls the shots, so to speak,and those who would persuade him to release the victim will have to bide their time and act when they can.

    One who happens by what a pistol has little leverage and little with which to ac decisively if necessary.

    Okay. It is not uncommon in domestic violence cases.

    You have more faith than I do in the ability of a single untrained citizen to successfully rescue a hostage by waving a pistol around and shouting orders
     
  15. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    I understand that. But if one doesn't happen by early he isn't likely to just wait around holding his knife until someone does unless his ultimate goal is something along the lines of "death by cop". If the victim is not lucky enough to have somebody intervene early and the intent is anything but robbery then it is bound to not end well.

    I realize that but there is a dramatic difference between striking a woman and holding a knife to her throat. This incident is also not inside a home so one has reason to suspect it may be something other than domestic violence.

    In spite of your overly simplistic carricature of how an intervening citizen is likely to act, my view is much more about what a man with a knife to a woman's throat is capable of doing.
     
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    He has three choices whether someone points a gun at him or not:
    • Let her go
    • Kill her
    • Force her into a vehicle and attempt to flee

    Regarding the last, he can be pursued and stopped, perhaps without bloodshed, perhaps with only the loss of his life, or perhaps worse.

    In the event, he freed the victim, but why is as much in question as why he stopped here in the first place. The citizen was certainly not in a position to make him do so. He was, however, in a position to make things a lot worse.

    I don't see what that has to do with it.

    What reason? The man cut her off and threatened her for some reason. Is there any basis whatsoever for assuming that they did not have some kind of relationship?

    He is obviously quite capable of killing her or forcing her to leave with him.

    How is an "intervening citizen" in any position to prevent that?

    At least a hostage rescue has some team has training, protocols, and the equipment with which to proceed.

    I'm not sure just how a citizen would go about "intervening" except with unenforceable threats. He cannot use his pistol to shoot safely while the man has the victim, and he cannot shoot lawfully if the victim is killed. Again, the criminal has all the cards.

    And again, what does the citizen do if the man says "drop the gun or she's dead"? Call his bluff?

    That's a pretty high stakes gamble.
     
  17. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    No, actually he has more. He may get delayed thus allowing time for police to arrive. He may also release the women to attack the one interrupting. As stated already, i don't believe approaching with gun drawn would likely be the best option as it could make the man feel trapped. Also, i'm not quite sure how one could force a woman into a vehicle and then take control of said vehicle all while keeping a knife to her throat the entire time. If somehow this contorsion occurred one would then follow and direct police in.

    What i said was that given the situation one cannot automatically assume it is domestic violence. I did not claim one can know that it isn't.

    Distraction and/or threat of lethal force. In spite of a documented account you speak as if there is no way a citizen intervening could possibly help.

    An individual beat cop lacks the equipment, ability to implement hostage protocols and likely limited training in hostage negotation but i suspect most would not wait for swat to arrive before confronting.

    Obviously by the cited story threats need not always be enforced to work. Even then acting may allow first aid which could mean the difference between life and death.

    He says, no.
     
  18. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    The knife would make it happen, absent a sniper with a spotter.

    Which is precisely what a wise citizen would do in the first place, without taking a chance on precipitating mayhem that might not have happened but for his stepping into it.

    What you said was that there was "reason to suspect it may be something other than domestic violence" when in fact there was none.

    No matter. Basic risk analysis would identify the very real possibility.

    Most would certainly call in the right team before threatening the man with armed force.

    The guy mentioned in the OP did not wait, but that does not make armed intervention into a critical hostage situation by a single individual who does not know anything about how to go about it properly a prudent course of action.

    "First aid" for a severed jugular?

    That's calling his bluff. How would he feel if the man them killed her?

    I believe your intentions are good, but I'm afraid your recommendations border on unrealism and recklessness.
     
  19. TonyDedo

    TonyDedo Member

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    As Rick Blaine would say, I stick my neck out for no one. My responsibility is to myself and my family, that's it.

    Having a gun doesn't change that. In fact, it makes me even more cautious.

    Too many tough guys treat their gun like a badge.
     
  20. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    You really don't see the technical difficulties associated with holding a knife to a persons throat all while getting them into a car, then getting in one's self, starting the car and then driving the car? Seriously?

    The point is that one can not write the situation off as domestic violence. But no, it doesn't matter because even if it were the morally correct thing would still be to intervene.

    You know that he will succesfully sever her jugular? People have survived attempts by murderes to do so.

    So unrealistic that we all just read an account of one doing so?

    What i don't understand is how you expect things to go down if one does not intervene. Do you really believe that in a situation where a man goes so far as to put a knife to a womans throat things are actually likely to just work themselves out? Police could be half an hour away. Again, i'm not advocating one draw their gun and run up screaming "drop the knife or i'll shoot". Instead, i would approach and attemp to engage the man in conversation, try to convince him to release her and maybe break his train of thought that could very well have him on the path to murder. Hell, having a gun hopefully would never have to play into it. But if an opening to stop him presented itself when all other methods had failed then yeah, i believe it right to use the weapon to save her life.
     
  21. JustinJ

    JustinJ Member

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    For the sake of you and yours, i hope if help is ever needed the people around don't have your attitude.
     
  22. TonyDedo

    TonyDedo Member

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    Typical internet tough guy response. You want to risk your life and your family's well being to jump into a situation I got myself into, you go right ahead. I'm smarter than you are.
     
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    We have covered this kind of thing on numerous occasions. This one offers nothing new.
     
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