I’m telling a situational story from yesterday before my memory let’s go of it. There is no gunplay in this story, but I feel like there are some lessons to be learned. My wife Ruta and I live in a country setting on the end of 300-acre lake. Beautiful Barry County Michigan. While sitting on our back deck taking a break from doing leaves, we heard what initially sounded like a young girl giggling or crying, hard to tell which. My brain wants to go code orange, but I override it thinking the neighbors are just playing in the leaves. Here’s a little background on my neighbors. we’re not real close in proximity and not real close as friends. We do talk with “Rob” on occasion and have a mutual respect and are as close as we want to be. We all keep to ourselves, and we like it that way. Some 20 years ago He and his 2nd wife “Patty” had a daughter and divorced soon after. We watched this girl grow up, go to college and start making bad decisions. She has moved back in with her dad, and he is very tolerant, but we can tell he is not happy. She brings some of her friends around that clearly have issues and one in particular, the “boyfriend” is just bad news. Back to the situation yesterday. I got up and started looking in their direction when the voices turned to an angry male voice and a screaming sobbing female voice. I looked just in time to see the “boyfriend” fling her down a bank into a pile of sticks and leaves. She was making distress sounds an honestly, it’s hard to even write about. My wife and I look at each other and without words she grabs her belly band and jumps in her muck boots and heads out the door. I am already armed and slip on my flip flops, and we started up the road on foot. I had to call my wife back twice because I did not want her to get there first, and she was walking faster in her boots than I could in those stupid flops. As we approached, we could see the girl, then she disappeared. We got to the foot of driveway and couldn’t see anyone because, come to find out, they had jumped in a vehicle. He jumped out the passenger side and bellowed “CAN I HELP YOU?” in a menacing fashion and I said “yea dude, it sounds like you’re going off your nut over here” very calmly. She had gotten out as well and said everything is ok, we’re just having a fight. meanwhile she’s all scratched up and covered in debris. I said “did he just throw you down that bank? No answer but a slight nod. Then he starts ranting " she cheated on me! anybody care about that?” The dude was visibly unhinged, and I would not engage with him after that. I asked, “where’s Robby?” and she pleaded with us not to involve her dad. At that point the boy ripped his phone charger out of the dash and said, “you won’t see me around here anymore” and started walking. apparently, he doesn’t drive. We reiterated about her needing to escape and that she could come over. She said she was OK and thanked us (?) We walked home and shortly we saw her leave in the car. When Rob, the father got home we walked back and told him everything. We felt we had to. I think we intervened before things got worse. If you the reader might be wondering why we didn’t just call the police, it’s because it’s easily 40 minutes before we could expect them to show. My point to this is, you may not want to believe your instincts, but you should. I couldn’t live with myself if I were to let that situation escalate into something worse. Carrying concealed is most certainly comforting when you absolutely need to get involved with something like this. All the training that my wife and I do, and it’s a lot, gives us the confidence and discipline. We never in a million years thought that something like this could happen where we live.
Thank you for sharing this with us. A lot of great things we can all learn from this. To address your headline “If something seems off, it most likely is” yes, your gut is usually right and you should do the best you can to follow that. Thank you for being a protector and taking action to help prevent her from being hurt. Who knows what might have happened had you and your wife not shown your presence?
The one thing I would like to address is:
That is an interesting thought. While yes, it may take them a long time to respond, what if the situation had escalated after you got involved? With that long of a response time, every second can be critical, and alerting them as soon as possible can be crucial. My advice will always be to contact law enforcement as soon as possible if you see something like that happen.
Otherwise, thank you for sharing and potentially saving her life. That is what being a protector is all about!
Great response and you seem to have kept your calm throughout the encounter.
I second @Tim_D_USCCA ’s comment.
I want to be always the first to call the cops.
Tim you are exactly right, where we live, we all respect law enforcement and have even trained with our sheriff. I don’t know why I didnt call 911 other than the fact that I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Nothing was normal. I can learn though.
I had a situation happen a month ago and it seemed to have resolved itself, and I wrote about it here and I didn’t call the police.
I turned out lucky. But it definitely could have been done better. I did call the USCCA right after the incident and their advice got me to report everything correctly
I wouldn’t want to be playing catch-up.
Hmmm now I am second guessing myself. I gave all the information to the dad; I think I will send an email to the sheriff just in case it’s not over.
Well done to you both sir. Your courageous intervention may have prevented something terrible. You may also have helped change an abusive dynamic in a positive way.
Good job and God bless you both. I agree with letting the Sheriff know about it too.
I would have done exactly what you did the only difference I would’ve called 911 first and then walked over to intervene. Thanks to you and your wife’s diligence you stopped a bad situation from getting worse.
My wife would’ve done that also except unarmed, she’s something else. My wife would’ve said is there a problem here, oh you like beating on women. Sorry I got carried away there, anyways you get the drift.
The whole purpose behind training. So that we’ll be better able to respond rightly to varying situations because of our awareness. We all enter a state of denial during these kinds of events. The hope is that we’ll move quickly from the denial state to the deliberation state to the decisive movement state. Contacting law enforcement quickly is always a best practice, but because of the time that it takes for them to arrive on the scene, does not mean that help isn’t still needed right now. They do the best they can appreciably, but in actuality they are third on the rung of response. You were the first responder to this incident, then the dispatcher that launch law enforcement, because without the dispatcher law enforcement don’t know what they are responding to or where they are to go. So, it does take time. However, you were right there at ground zero, knee deep in those grenade pins, so-to-speak, and you and your Mrs. responded with gut instinct and integrity, and very appreciably to be sure. I salute you both! Here, here!
We are always learning, John, and this community is a great place to discuss these events and see where we did well and can also do better!
Unfortunately we live in a society where people who are in an abusive relationship don’t get the assistance. A person with anger problems, or who is mentally ill does not believe in restraining orders or any other court orders. Too often we see this people upgrading their abuse to the point of seriously injuring or killing the person the order was meant to protect. I know you didn’t write about this incident to get praise, but, you should be praised. I don’t know many people who would have taken the action you and your wife did. I don’t know if I would have reacted like you did. I hope I would, but who knows.
Wow I’m very pleased fellow members and most importantly fellow Americans who care enough about all the hard fought freedoms we have a responsibility to protect, along with our family, neighbors and friends. With my thoughts out there I am so glad no one felt the need to go so far as pull a trigger, other than in the mind of a very weak minded individual, taking his anger out on a person who he must respect above all else. But the way you and your wife responded to and have a respectful and cordial relationship with your neighbors, tells me this Great Country is still filled with folks that have good hearts.
Your actions were commendable and let the ‘boyfriend’ know he wasn’t alone to do as he pleased.
Talking to the father alerted him to the event - he’s probably well aware of the ‘situation’. I would have asked him about reporting the incident to the Police. Most times it’s a good idea to notify the local LEO’s of these actions by the boyfriend. It may support an existing ‘concern’ with them and may aid them if they are considering investigating. If the father says ‘no’ - well, you tried.
I would like to think that in such a situation I would think to dial 911, turn on speakerphone and drop my phone inside down in my shirt pocket so the microphone wouldn’t be muffled and talk to the dispatch while I was walking…
Well done for trusting your instincts. It sounds like your intervention headed off a worsening situation. Good call letting your neighbor know so he is up to speed.
You did the right thing. While possibly putting yourselves at some personal risk, weighing that against possible even probable results of inaction, you did the right thing.
And based on your proximity to outside help, your choices are very limited.
Sounds like you did the right think and might have saved the girl from getting hurt worse.
I’ve imagined I would call 911 on my smart watch. Similar concept. But the phone as you’ve described it, is more likely to function better.
It’s hard to remember, in the moment, all the things that need to be done. I have a checklist that I probably don’t review as much as I should, that line items all the things that need to be done in the case of a SD incident. I keep it in my wallet just in case. That way if I forget something, I can reference the list.