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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Wife and I had just finished a pleasant dinner in downtown Mt. Dora. Having had a great meal at Fiesta Grande (Which I highly recommend) we decided to walk down to the Lakside Inn for ice cream at La Cremere (also recommended).

Our return trip to the car was not more than 5 short blocks and after we'd had our ice cream we were walking on the well lit but mostly deserted streets of the sleepy town. As we were crossing 4th ave heading northbound on the West side of Donnelly street, we saw a younger (17-20 ish), Caucasian guy in running garb approaching us on from the other side of the street. He had his head tilted down but was looking up at us and I immediately had my eye on him. Not because I suspected anything specifically as of that moment , but he was the closest human to us at the time. He had a music player in one hand and one earbud in his ear.

As we closed the distance he crossed from our left side to our right putting me in between my Wife and him (fortunately). I took this to be a sign of respect however, either he was playing a stupid prank or he was on something fierce.

This became apparent as I nodded to him and gave my usual passing greeting of "hows it going?". Instead of receiving a common, reciprocal reply, he instead slowed abruptly and turned towards us. As he reached my 4 O'clock about 6 ft out, he stopped completely I thought he might need something.(Its a small town and we are generally cordial and friendly to one another).

With my Wife now in front of me and him at the roughly 5 O'clock position I stopped and turned after having put a few more steps between us. I asked him if he needed something because it seemed as if he had mumbled something inaudible.

Again with his head tilted down and eyes up, he looked at me. At this point with the street light in his face I saw what seemed to be redness in his eyes. However, it looked more like the effects of crying than drunkenness as the tissue around his eyes seemed puffy and crimson.

He then said in a low but louder voice "don't look at me like that". [edited to include facts I accidentally omitted initially]At this point he began to slowly move towards us(despite having been previously traveling in the opposite direction). Attempting to defuse the situation, I told him that I didn't want any trouble and by this time I was mentally verifying the position of my Kel Tec P32 w/ Armalaser on my kidney.(Not much but it was a gun).

Somewhat ironically, I had just gotten done with what must have sounded like a lecture to my Wife. We had been discussing how we will train our children in the safe and respectful use of firearms when we have them. She had commented that when we were first together she couldn't stand my guns and I was explaining to her my motives for ownership of the firearms. I was telling her that its not about looking for a gunfight but I need to be prepared. Just as she keeps her "lady stuff" in her purse just in case, I too carry my gun as much as possible just so I will have it when it is needed. I explained too that just because there was the opportunity to use the gun, that there was no requirement for its use if quicker, safer means of situation diffusal were available.

These thoughts flew through my mind as I realized that I was now faced with a situation where this logic would be pressed into service .I don't often feel that someone is going "Charge" at me, but this guy, in his running outfit, sweating a little bit and positioned in what seemed like a poised manner, seemed ready to bolt towards us any second.

I resolved to myself that if the young man advanced and drew within 6 or so ft reach that I would draw and inform him that I would fire if he attacked. I then determined that if this warning wasn't sufficient that I would forcibly warn him that this was his last chance and that I would fire; then if he failed to heed my last warning, actually fire until he stopped attacking.

Thankfully, he did not advance, but rather simply stood there with his arms slightly out from his sides head still down, eyes up.

He again said something to the effect of "don't talk to me like that". I still wasn't completely sure whether he was just messing around. So I decided to at least try to let him know that I meant no offense and said "I just said 'hows it going' and I thought you might need something". As I said this I was backing up still more so now about 20 feet separated us.


As my Wife pulled at my arm, we walked up the block away from him frequently checking our backs. Each time we looked back he was still there and we heard periodic shouts to the effect that we needed to stop looking at him. We would have ceased looking in his direction if not for the fact that we were not going to let him have our backs. My Wife was obviously nervous but being the cool headed woman that she is, she simply focused on leaving the area while keeping an eye on our 6. We both realized that with the strange behavior that this kid was exhibiting that he might rush up behind us and we would make sure to be aware if he did.

This might have all been some stupid prank, but the combination of the read eyes and his otherwise strange demeanor told me that it would better to be the butt of the joke than be sorry.

As we turned corner onto the next block we kept checking our backs and thankfully, there was no sign of the stranger. As we reached our car a Mt. Dora PD Patrol car happened to be slowly cruising by and I flagged the officer down. My Wife and I explained that while we didn't believe a crime had been committed, that we did feel threatened by his words and attitude and that we were extremely uncomfortable about the occurrence.

The officer asked for a general description of the kid and we gave it. My Wife and I then hopped in our car and decided to take the scenic way home along the lake. (Didn't want to let this silliness spoil the night). As we did so we noticed the same kid leaning against a wall a block or two south of where we encountered him. We could also see that the patrol car was searching but heading in the opposite direction. We intercepted the patrol car again and gave a description of where we'd just seen the kid.

The officer obligingly turned around but stranger had disappeared. We decided to continue on our drive and head home.

As we drove I mentioned to my Wife how interesting it was that we had just been talking about this very topic and how happy I was to have had a gun with me.

We both agreed that it was a good thing I was armed and I suspect this experience may help motivate her into getting her CCW permit in the near future.

Thankfully, no harm came of the situation and for me some real world practice was had. I concluded during my our homeward debriefing that I had intentionally tried to both diffuse the guy's anger and to simultaneously distance us from him. I don't remember feeling terrified, though I was nervous. I recall consciously thinking about what I would do in reaction to what he would do and what I would say and when I would draw and fire.

I am so thankful I didn't have to draw or fire, but I am also equally grateful for the tidbit of learning that I got out of it. (I of course would have happily forgone the lesson but there can be good in nearly everything if you look at it right).

While the adrenaline must have dulled my senses during the brief encounter, I did feel a bit shaken as we drove home and my brain's chemicals normalized. The best way to describe my gut feeling of the guy was that he seemed almost "demonic". His eyes and his body language were threatening in a cool and icy sort of way instead of thuggish and cocky.

I was probably bigger than he was by a half inch and a few pounds, so it wasn't his stature. It was more his eyes then anything else and I can't really find a more appropriate description of the feeling of unease. It was sort of what you see depicted in movies when a badguy is just "evil".

Hopefully this real world story has been of some interest. I find that just writing it out has helped me reflect with some clarity even though it happened not more than an hour ago.
 

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By the law I read you could not have drawn on him. He was not in a possession of a weapon, your life wasn't in danger, He did not do anyhing to you expect stare & have some words. Sounds to me you provoked it.
I might be a little pissed too if I had some guy on a deserted street look at me like I was some thug if I wasn't.

And if by chance he was armed & did make a move on you, don't give a warning. Shoot till he's down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
You're choice of how to deal with an encounter like this and mine may differ. I will be shouting my head off to avoid having to shoot. I received some excellent advise from my CCW class instructor and I will relay it here.

Odds are good no one will see the attack, but many may hear it. I want them to hear me shouting as many warnings as possible so that if and when the thing gets to court, I can have the greatest chance of showing that my actions were purely defensive.

I tried to convey the gravity of the situation, however, words perhaps are inadequate. I can tell you that the encounter was like nothing I've ever seen before. I had a smile on my face when I nodded to the guy and my intentions were friendly...until things got wierd that is. If he was offended it was by mistake and that is what I tried to remedy by the follow up statement.

If the guy had rushed me I would have drawn based on his actions up until that point. (I am defining rushing as full out running after us, which at one point he seemed likely to do).

I relay these stories so that others may mull them over and envision for themselves how they would react. I will not second guess myself however.

Regards,

Konrad

Edit: Re-reading my post I realized that I accidentally omitted the fact that immediately after he stopped and stared, he began to move towards us in a threatening manner. Looking back on what I'd typed I can see how it would have seemed otherwise that the threat was not as severe as I know it was.
 

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By the law I read you could not have drawn on him. He was not in a possession of a weapon, your life wasn't in danger, He did not do anyhing to you expect stare & have some words. Sounds to me you provoked it.
You are joking right? He provoked it by saying " hows it going "?

As for not being able to have drawn his weapon, according to Florida Statute 776.012 Use of force in defense of person.

http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0776/SEC012.HTM&Title=->2009->Ch0776->Section%20012#0776.012

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or


(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

History.--s. 13, ch. 74-383; s. 1188, ch. 97-102; s. 2, ch. 2005-27.
And a Forcible Felony consists of ....

http://www.flsenate.gov/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0776/SEC08.HTM&Title=->2009->Ch0776->Section%2008#0776.08

776.08 Forcible felony.--"Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

History.--s. 13, ch. 74-383; s. 4, ch. 75-298; s. 289, ch. 79-400; s. 5, ch. 93-212; s. 10, ch. 95-195.
The key words here are " reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself "

If it is late at night, and you are with your wife and someone acts in a threatening manner to which you " reasonably believe " that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to yourself or your wife, then a challenge to the would-be threat would definitely be in order, and if the threat continued closer, then by all means you would have the right to draw your weapon in self-defense " to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony " or " imminent death or great bodily harm " to yourselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
TampaSgt.

You have put my perspective into a very concise and compacted form.

I am obliged.
 

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Thanks for sharing, Konrad.

Glad it turned out to be mostly a non-issue, and that it gave you the opportunity for some self-assessment.
 

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By the law I read you could not have drawn on him. He was not in a possession of a weapon, your life wasn't in danger, He did not do anyhing to you expect stare & have some words. Sounds to me you provoked it.
I might be a little pissed too if I had some guy on a deserted street look at me like I was some thug if I wasn't.

And if by chance he was armed & did make a move on you, don't give a warning. Shoot till he's down.
What are you smoking?

-JT
 

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What are you smoking?

-JT
Probably what the guy with the reddened eyes was smoking. He probably had the munchies after smoking some pot and was cranky because there were no chocolate chip cookies around in a deserted street in the middle of the night. Or like some feral dogs, he felt a territorial threat. I've found that this type of forlorn and eerie urban straggler (demonic, if you will) is probably more likely to maim or kill than some muggers whor are just after the money. I have the feeling that we will continue to see more like him. Too many factors seem to be contributing to the proliferation of the type. Konrad did fine. He was watching his 6 and concerned for his wife. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Maybe the OP can point out excatly why he felt he...
"believed that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony"
I know the codes.... What did this guy do other then be weird towards you?
 

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Thanks for sharing your story...it's the kind of post we need more of to talk through the scenario and learn from it.

I too agree with TampaSsgt and his comments

Since the area was pretty desserted, the only thing I might have done different, is when this guy crossed the street. I too would have crossed the street in the opposite direction of where this guy came from (keeping myself between him and my wife). If the guy crosses back, then I know he has bad intentions. In which case I wouldn't exchange pleasantries, but rather give a verbal command to back-off if he approached.

...of course, this is assuming that it was logistically possible, since I am not familiar with the area.
 

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Situational awareness, people. It has always intrigued me why people feel obliged to stop and talk to people that are behaving strangely or even dangerously. You wouldn't try to pet a growling dog or strike up a conversation with a wolf, so why would you feel compelled to engage in a conversation with someone who is behaving strangely? Jsut say hello and keep walking. The first rule of neutralizing a threat is to put distance between you and the threat or, in this case, the percieved threat.

Because of the strange behavior exhibited by this person, concern that he could be a threat is understandable. But, he did nothing that would justify shooting him and you would probably have had a problem justifying drawing the weapon under the circumstances. Continuing on your way, while keeping a wary eye on the young man was your best bet.
 

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MaryLee and I had a similar experience Saturday evening. I was not going to mention it because it seems trivial, but it might be of interest after reading Konrad's tale.

We performed on stage at the Ormond Beach Riverfest on Saturday afternoon 11/21/09. We were done for the day and had dinner at Carraba's on Intl Speedway Blvd in Daytona. We had parked quite some distance away because the parking lot was full. As we walked back to our car in the dark, I noticed a young woman on foot (Euro-looking, perhaps 35, a bit chunky, casually dresed, not shabby) paralleling us one car-row away. Since she seemed to be moving to intercept, I looked around but saw no one else. As we approached our car, it became obvious that she wanted to talk to us and I tried to figure out how to reach my gun without being needlessly threatening. My problem was that I cannot wear my IWB Crossbreed Supertuck when we perform because, for one thing, my 19th-C period clothing lacks a belt. (See our website picture of us perfoming to see what I mean.) And so, when dressed out, I use an ankle holster tucked into my left boot. It is secure and concealed, but very hard to access.

As the woman approached from our left, I popped our car's trunk lid, took off my top hat with my left hand and put the hat into the trunk as if this were something normal. As I did so, I casually raised my left leg, put my foot on the bumper as if to help me lean over the trunk, and gripped the gun with my right hand (on the side away from the woman).

I am looking 360 for an accomplice as the woman goes into her sad tale of needing gas money. When she pauses for breath, I say "no" with a firm smile (hand still on gun). She turns without another word and walks away.

As I drove us onto the southbound I-95 ramp, Mary Lee phoned the restaurant manager to tell him about the panhandler. He thanked her for notifying them, and that was that. The only odd thing about the situation was that Mary Lee is usually the observant one and I am usually in condition white. Last Saturday evening it was the opposite.
 

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I believe God gives each of us an internal alarm. We should listen to it more.
I think there are two parts to interpersonal relationships; cerebral and visceral. The visceral is not related to the cerebral and is hard to explain, but it is real and it is important, and its importants and value (remembering) is lost over time leaving you only the cerebral (only part of the equation). This makes it hard to, sometimes, fully analysis some past actions and experiences. I believe most would feel just as you had.
Good job staying on your toes. Your proactive engagement may have stopped an escalating event and protected your wife.
Good job!
 

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I was mentally verifying the position of my Kel Tec P32 w/ Armalaser on my kidney.(Not much but it was a gun).
I know that feeling...that's why I never carry anything less than a compact 9mm or a K-frame revolver these days.

It has always intrigued me why people feel obliged to stop and talk to people that are behaving strangely or even dangerously. You wouldn't try to pet a growling dog or strike up a conversation with a wolf, so why would you feel compelled to engage in a conversation with someone who is behaving strangely? Jsut say hello and keep walking. The first rule of neutralizing a threat is to put distance between you and the threat or, in this case, the percieved threat.
It sounds to me like they were doing just that, when the jogger abruptly stopped and addressed them. It would be tactically unwise to simply continue on your way as if nothing happened with your back to the potential threat, IMO.

To the OP, you have better self-control than I do it seems. I will rarely let a verbal provocation like that go unchallenged. I probably would have said, "What are you taking about?" if I thought that there had been some kind of miscommunication between us, but if he had continued with the "Don't look at me" BS, I likely would have told him to go : censored himself or something equally witty. :laughing

I guess I'm getting to point in my life where I'm tired of putting up with people's stupid crap; if you're going to call me out, you'd better be ready to put up or shut up. :smack
 

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Don't ever discount your instincts. It's what will keep you alive. I would rather be wrong and prepared than be caught behind the curve because I did not listen to my instincts. Remember, I'm only drawing when it becomes necessary to defend life but in the mean time my actions towards a suspicious person will be very discriminating. I can always appologize later if I'm wrong.
 

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All good posts and glad everything turned out ok Konrad.I go by what my CCW instructor said and that is "What's a bloody nose"? You get in a scuffle and get a bloody nose that doesn't give you the right to gun that person down.
 

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Well written story. My wife and I were at the Frosty Mug yesterday and walked a few blocks before returning to our car by the tennis courts at around 3pm. No problems for us thank the Lord. Glad you made it out ok!
 

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Don't ever discount your instincts. It's what will keep you alive. I would rather be wrong and prepared than be caught behind the curve because I did not listen to my instincts. Remember, I'm only drawing when it becomes necessary to defend life but in the mean time my actions towards a suspicious person will be very discriminating. I can always appologize later if I'm wrong.
Precisely. A recent book instructing women how to prevent walking into a situation that could lead to rape calls it the Smart Sense. Many individuals repress this instinct and fall back on social habits inculcated by their upbringing, and this is a woeful miscue when your instinct is blinking red non-stop. Situational awareness: do not overreact, but watch your six and remain vigilant.
 

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It sounds to me like they were doing just that, when the jogger abruptly stopped and addressed them. It would be tactically unwise to simply continue on your way as if nothing happened with your back to the potential threat, IMO.

To the OP, you have better self-control than I do it seems. I will rarely let a verbal provocation like that go unchallenged. I probably would have said, "What are you taking about?" if I thought that there had been some kind of miscommunication between us, but if he had continued with the "Don't look at me" BS, I likely would have told him to go : censored himself or something equally witty. :laughing

I guess I'm getting to point in my life where I'm tired of putting up with people's stupid crap; if you're going to call me out, you'd better be ready to put up or shut up. :smack


There is nothing tactically unsound about continuing to put distance between yourself and a potential threat. I did not advocate ignoring the potential threat at your back. In fact, it is extremely easy to monitor someone behind you as you walk away. Stopping, facing an indeterminate threat and then engaging that threat in continued conversation, without a pressing need, IS tactically unsound. In this case, if you stand and wait for the person to approach, you are handing over the advantage to him. Without a demonstrable threat, you can not even deploy your firearm, let alone fire it. So you are reduced to standing there until the other person is within easy striking distance and then having to rely on superior reaction time and H2H skills. Not sound tactics.

Now, from the rest of your post, it appears that you are a confrontational kind of guy. There is just one thing to remember, sooner or later you are going to lose a confrontation. The more times that you engage in confrontations, the greater are your chances that you are going to lose the next one. Just something to consider, as you walk through life. Good luck.:)
 
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