Road Rage

Today, I tried to pass a truck pulling a trailer and he cut me off. I was in a proper passing zone.

At the next stop light he got out screaming waving a baseball bat and threatened me.

I pulled my 40 Smith and Wesson and laid it in my lap and calmly told him to watch for the green light. He got back in his truck and drove away.

He was well within 5 yards and I could have easily put 15 rounds in a 6-inch circle.

He never saw the gun.

He got in his truck and drove off.

I have played this scenario over and over on my head and wonder when would it have been legal to pull my weapon out. Should I wait until he smashed my windshield? Should I have waited until he shoved the bat in my window?

The intersection has video cameras.

The 40 Smith and Wesson kept me calm and cool headed, yet I wonder at what point I should I protect myself.

7 Likes

If he’s out of his truck, are you legally required, whenever possible, to drive away?

Had a close call two Saturdays ago.
Because I was carrying, I calmly told my wife the guy’s not worth my time.
10 miles later, he exited the freeway. He lives a couple miles away from me.

4 Likes

It is a good thing you told him the light is green otherwise people behind him would be pissed off if he didn’t move! I would do the same to divert the attention to the green light! Also I would lay my gun on my lap as well to be quick with the gun if he came at the window with the bat! You did all the correct things to try to divert him! Congrats for preventing chaos!

3 Likes

I was in the middle lane and when he got out the light was red. No where to go…

3 Likes

If my life is in danger (but not imminent death) by a road ranger, screw the light and screw the cars in front, side and behind me! I admit I’m the jerk leaving a full car length in front of me, and ALWAYS looking for the exit, I prefer not to shoot! If I lose a sideview mirror or take someone else’s, can you spell INSURANCE? Survive, Evade, Resist, Escape.
Once he leaves his vehicle, he becomes more vulnerable to tire printing!

4 Likes

The irony of this is the light was still red when I told him it was green. He jumped back into his truck and sat there a few seconds before the light turned green.

The morale of this story is - Don’t mess with an old man with a 40 in his lap.

3 Likes

First welcome to the community @Richard298

Next in regards to your question…I’ll play the part of contrarian here.

It’s tough to say and I think a lot depends on a lot of different circumstances. E.g. if a 5’5" rail thin individual comes out of the vehicle with a bat and I’m 6’2" 190 inside a locked car, it would be tough for an individual like that to articulate their life being in danger.

Did the individual just have the bat or waving it around like they were about to swing?

Why were your windows down? (doors should have been locked windows up, you have no obligation to speak with him)?

What if anything was preventing you from driving away should he have started to hit your vehicle? (since it sounded like the light had turned green?)

The thing is you did pull your weapon out. If that individual had seen it and gone back to their vehicle and made a call to State Troopers, you would have lost the race to 911.

For me for the circumstances you lay out, I would have kept my pistol holstered, knowing I have quick access to it, and driven off and then called 911 to report him and his road range to the police. Had he started hitting my vehicle same thing, drive off.

If I cannot drive off and he starts hitting my vehicle (e.g. I’m trapped), then I would draw my weapon and keep it out of site, if one of his strikes knocks out my window or the window of my passenger, at that point he’s become a deadly threat to me/my family and I will defend us.

But that’s my bright line. Everyone has their own. Glad you made it out of the situation safely.

I’ll let someone like @MikeBKY answer potential State legalities.

3 Likes

No harm done. Call 911, give info, intersection & camera.let the leos handle the rest

2 Likes

Self reflecting on an incident is invaluable. Don’t forget everything you did right. Both parties went home with no injuries or property damage. You’re not facing an investigation.

Instead of asking if it would have been legal to draw a weapong( which could have escalated the situation) I would ask myself did I’ve an exit route, were my doors locked, passengers in either car.

I think you handled the situation perfectly and couldn’t have asked for a better outcome

3 Likes

Thanks for your replies. The guy was 6 feet (20 feet at the moment). He came out welding a bat. I laid my S&W 40 on my lap, so he never saw it. It was a nice fall day, so my window was down. It was a busy intersection. Cross traffic was 45 mph. He was in the left turn lane and there were cars in the right turn lane. I was running a short errand and did not have my cell phone with me.

God was on my side, because I pointed and said the light was green (it was really red). He ran back to his truck only to wait a while until it did turn green.

I holstered my weapon back under my steering wheel. It was over in a flash.

In retrospect, I should have called 911 when I got home. The intersection has cameras. Listen learned…

2 Likes

Great bluff!!! Way to us “verbal ju-jitsu”, lol…

2 Likes

If you have your gun on you, you should have your phone on you. Your phone is a life-saving device as much as your firearm is. You’ll want to call the police to report an incident - or to request assistance if you see an accident even if you’re not involved.

4 Likes

You can test this with a non-emergency speed dial number - if your phone is connected to your vehicle bluetooth, you should be able to press and hold the “9” on your dashboard and get 911 without taking the phone out of your pocket (or purse as the case may be)

Since your windows were open, he would be able to hear that you are connected to 911. A friend of mine did that and the guy returned to his truck and drove away.

1 Like

This sort of thing (and driver’s inability to stay on their own side of the road) is a majort reason I’m thinking about starting to run cameras on all of my vehicles. Sad state of affairs, indeed.

1 Like

These situations are always difficult and usually dangerous. I cannot say what you did was wrong @Richard298. The Supreme Court uses the phrase “totality of the circumstances” in many cases, meaning it all depends. As @JamesR noted, size and strength can matter but that goes both ways.
I do not fault @Richard298 putting the pistol in a more opportune location just in case it was needed. Having it sitting on your lap is not brandishing, at least not in Kentucky. And if the person were close enough to see it on your lap I would say they are already too close.

10 Likes

@MikeBKY, you sir are an awesome resource for our Community! :+1: :smiley:

5 Likes

Thank you for sharing. You did exactly the right thing

  • kept your emotions in check
  • did not compromise yourself by brandishing
  • misdirected psycho’s attention

Excellent result. Were you at any point blocked by traffic? I am thinking that a vehicle (vs a man with a bat) provides means of escape or defence, that may be looked upon more favourably by the Law, than using a firearm. Unless you were blocked in traffic.

1 Like

Thank you @JamesR.

1 Like

I was blocked in by traffic. Both sides and rear. Cross traffic was 45 mph.

2 Likes

I know that my opinion is becoming less desired lately. But I think you did the right thing. To answer the question, I don’t think there’s a good answer. If you wait too long he could severely hurt you to a point where you can’t use your weapon. On the other hand, you react too soon you can go to prison for murder.

I think if you train and be aware of your own mental state, you will make the right decision at the right time. I think it’s funny when people say “all second amendment people are the same, all I do is talk about guns all day long that’s it” what a lot of people don’t realize is as gun owners, we are training ourselves to be responsible and ready to make the right decision if a decision has to be made.

@Richard298 I applaud you for making all the right decisions and de-escalating him by mentioning the light color of the traffic signal.

But of course you asked a question looking for an answer. So after thinking about this for a while my answer would be this. Hitting your windshield would not be the right time, but the moment he turned back to hit your driver side window, it is time. Here is my reason. Once the bat goes through the window, not only do you have the glass flying at your face in a dangerous way but the tip of that bat could in fact hit your head and kill you.

That’s my opinion take it the way you want it

1 Like