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Approached by a homeless aggressor

1173 Views 44 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  brownie

You've visited someone in the hospital and are returning to your vehicle in the large parking lot that at that hour has very few vehicles parked there. It was full when you parked where you could find a spot, but now it's sitting out on the open with no vehicles near it.

As you're crossing the lot with good SA, you spot what appears to be a homeless man who appears to be in his 40's or maybe 50's hanging around the peripheral of the lot. As you keep an eye on him, you notice you're now the object of his attention as he's now moving to intercept you in the lot or at your vehicle door.

He has no visible weapons on him, he's not carrying anything that could be used as a weapon expediently against you. Before you can get the car unlocked and enter and lock the doors, he's now within 6 feet of you and closing. He's not threatening you in any verbal way, but it's clear he's not going to give up the chance to ask for and get something from you [ usually money ].

What's your response going to be?

Confront him verbally to go away, back off, leave you alone?
What if he continues to aggress on your person?
Will you allow him to get closer than that 6 feet?
How will you enforce that distance if he moves closer?
Threaten grave bodily harm or death upon him by announcing your armed and will defend yourself if he closes on you?
Can you even draw and fire your sidearm before he can reach you and wrestle for the firearm if he decides to?

Now, he's closed to bad breath distance, you're continuing to tell him to move off/go away and he's ignored you and you've done nothing but verbally warn him to not approach. Is he an imminent threat of grave bodily harm or death to your person. If he's not, will you still draw your sidearm and threaten deadly force use if he doesn't back away and leave you alone?

Interested in hearing what others would do based on their strength, infirmities, skills sets or lack thereof.
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Given the scenario, just visited someone in a hospital, that means I'm not carrying a firearm. All hospitals in my neck of the woods have mental health facilities within them and are marked as such with signage. Two of the three main hospitals have guards 24/7 at the visitor's entrance and they use metal detection wands on anyone entering. You aren't getting in with a firearm on your person.

But I always carry a decent sized folder, lately it's the Honey Badger Ultratec on the strong side, and Gryptilian on the weak side. My key fob is on a metal carabiner that has a 5" long braided leather strip hanging from it that will leave one helluva welt if struck with it. So I wouldn't be completely disarmed.

If I saw this person coming toward me and it didn't appear it was much more than someone trying to mooch some change, then I'd engage verbally well beyond 6 ft and asked what he wanted. Money? I have none on me, only plastic, sorry. I would not head for the door of my truck but would instead head for the back tailgate while hitting the unlock button on the fob. I'd do that because if the man's intentions are more than I expect, I don't want a fight while I'm half stuffed into the door of a vehicle. Opening my tailgate gives me immediate access to a tool bag with many handy self-defense weapons of opportunity, like large pliers and a pipe wrench. I also almost always have a few feet of 2 x 4 back there, and that's another option.

Also, one press of the fob and my horn is blowing and the exterior lights are flashing and they'll stay that way until I turn them off. Could be an option to attract attention or something I could use as a temporary diversion depending on needs of the moment. If words failed to dissuade him, my goal would be to get him back away from me far enough for me to get in the truck and close/lock the doors. From there I'm leaving, either backing out of the space or driving forward up over the curb and out of there. Trucks do that rather well, and unless he's strong enough to hold back 7,000 lbs, he's getting left behind.

Minimum conflict is the object, if force needed, just enough to back him up or put him on the ground while I GTFO. No need to do legal battles over a confrontation with a homeless dude.
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I've done that too, Mike, but it's not my norm. Years ago when I worked in a fairly large city, I used to carry a book of matches with a $10 bill attached to it with a rubber band. I did that because I had this stupid idea that it would have enough mass to be able to toss it should I need to dump some cash and run in a bad situation. It sat for years in my left front pocket unused until early one evening some yutes (four of them, early 20s) chose me as their target of opportunity.

They wanted to "talk to me." I grabbed the matchbook and said words to the effect of I'd like to stay and chat but I had someplace important to be, so how about I spring for some beers and maybe we could meet up some other time. Then I tossed it about halfway between us, with us being maybe 25 feet apart. All four sets of eyes went right to that ten-spot and I got my arse out of there, down the street, and into my car while they went for the cash. I couldn't believe it - it worked!

I wouldn't expect it to work today, I'm much older and lot slower. They'd take the ten spot then run me down before I made it to the vehicle. Not bad enough to get mugged, but knowing I paid them ahead of time would just be too humiliating for me.
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