We posted something very similar to this on Facebook a few years ago and the responses were scary. I was moderating Facebook at that point and didn’t level my computer for about 12 hours straight…
So I’m wondering how responsibly armed Americans (not Facebook keyboard warriors) would respond.
You’re driving on your way home and turn the corner to a street where the sidewalks are filled with pedestrians. They are protesting something and are very agitated. You stop at the red light at the next corner and another car pulls up behind you. The crowd of people starts spilling off the sidewalks and surrounding the car behind you and your car.
What do you do?
Call 911 (hands free or not) to let them know what’s going on and the threat I’m facing. I’d also try and slowly move the vehicle through the area, no honking or anything to further agitate the crowd just slow movements. Should moving from the area in the vehicle not work I would sit tight. If they start beating/smashing or otherwise being violent the car so be it, let it go. It would be at that point I would draw my weapon from concealment on body and be at low ready with my gun hidden to the crowd. I’d also move my extra magazine into a position of being more accessible again, keeping everything out of sight as much as possible.
NOW………if/when they smash through the window and attempt to harm me/mine unfortunately for everyone I will be forced to defend that line. Hopefully by demonstrating the consequences to the first 2-3 coming across that line, the rest of the crowd will disperse enough for me to relocate my vehicle quickly.
I would stay in/with the car unless they do something like set it on fire.
I think that’s what I would do.
Call 911, while I put the transfer case in 4 hi. Have my wife, or son, or whomever is with me video what is going on. I would have my pistol in hand, but low enough to be out of sight. If and when they attack, lo gear, foot to the floor. Here comes a 6500 lb battering ram. Keep this in mind, a car will go several miles in flat tires, empty radiators, even out of oil. I absolutely would not leave the safety of the vehicle, unless I had no other choice.
Given that exact scenario, my first priority is to get out!
I would immediately drive forward in a reasonable and controlled manner. My hands are not leaving the steering wheel, period. If my car windows are shattered I am increasing speed to create separation as quickly as possible. Later, from a safe location I will contact the police.
It takes less than a second for a crowd to transform into deadly chaos. My vehicle is a lifeline and can offer better protect and safety than my firearm under these circumstances.
I would be very comfortable articulating my affirmative defense in court. I’d probably call Reginald Denny as my first witness. The numerous videos and live streams from the crowd along with my dash cam footage would support the facts of the case.
At that point right there I’m dumping the clutch and hitting the loud pedal even if all I can do is a smoking U-turn because of cross traffic. 4000 lbs of steel that is smoking one or both tires (depending on which ride I’m in) is pretty loud and intimidating especially when it starts moving.
Once you are surrounded you are done and trapped, you can’t see every direction at once and a gun will not help you.
To save myself a bunch of typing I’m going to agree with @JamesR 100% on this one.
My wife knows and inlaws know the drill.
The only I’ll elaborate on is while on the phone with 911 I’m going to explain that I am armed and I don’t want this to escalate. The reason is I believe law enforcement would respond quicker knowing how deadly the situation could turn. I’d leave the line open giving the 911 operator a play by play also while building my defense if they did try to make entry into my vehicle.
I like your add-on’s…something I would definitely incorporate.
Make sure all windows and doors are locked (they always are when I’m driving), then I immediately call 911. I let them know my location, approximate number of people, and give them a description of the situation.
I ask the Police, “Is help is on the way?” If they say no, I tell them to send Police and ambulance ASAP.
I also ask them for recommendations on what I should do. I let the Police know that I am in fear for my life, and am afraid that my property will be damaged. If I am carrying, I’ll let them know that too. I will follow the guidance given by the Police.
If I am alone in the car, when I get off the phone with the Police, I will start video recording everything happening all around me. If someone else is in the car, they will get the job or recording. I will concentrate on the threat(s).
Of course, you can have a plan like this, but once things start, and you’re stuck, you improvise on your plan. Things escalate, and quickly. You may not have time to call the Police, may be unable to record anything. At a minimum, dial 911, and hang up. The Police (I believe) are required to check out the area when there’s a hang up.
I will use deadly force if necessary to protect my passengers and myself. I will do my best to not deliver a kill shot to anyone (no head or heart shot). That too may change if someone in the crowd is armed. You have to act/react as the situation develops.
The context is always “stop the threat”. If I’m in a vehicle that is being physically rocked, and I’m under the influence of adrenaline (which I’m certain I would be), and there is a crowd of people who might pick up a missed shot or a shot that passed through, shooting is going to be especially problematic. Trying for a lower percentage / higher accuracy shot is at great risk of going badly wrong under those conditions. Smaller body parts move faster and even if you could be sure you’d hit them, they are more likely to be shot through letting that bullet go who knows where (but likely into someone else in the crowd), and given that my truck may be rocked in unexpected ways, I don’t think I’d take anything other than a center-body-mass shot.
Not sure that I’d shoot, definitely not if I could crawl my truck out of there despite the crowding … driving away would be my best choice and my truck is my best defense if I can use it effectively. If I can’t drive away, I’m still going to defend my family… but I think they may have to be breaking in the windows before I’d choose to shoot… IDK. This is pretty tough one to predict, so many things could be happening. If I do shoot, it will be to stop the threat in the most effective way possible.
Dial 911, if possible. Keep car locked, trying to keep moving if possible. Try to not do anything to further agitate the mob. I would have seatbelt adjusted to where I can access firearm and covering garment moved as well. I would only engage if window was broke or a weapon revealed by someone in mob coming at my car.
Massad Ayoob has sad that to have a perfect affirmative defense that 3 things must be present. That is Ability, opportunity and intent. Did the attackers have the ability to cause death or great bodily harm? Maybe. Were there knives, guns, beating your windows with rocks? This matters. Was there opportunity to cause death or great bodily harm? Maybe, depending on what weapons they have, but the windows are barriers against some contact weapons, but not at all against bullets. This too matters. Was there intent to cause death or great bodily harm? Intent is manifest through words or actions. Were they verbally threatening you, were their actions threatening, ie swinging clubs at your windows. All three things must be present for a justified use of deadly force.
If I am surrounded and I feel I am in danger, I am simply going to accelerate. The rate at which I am going to accelerate is determined by the level of danger I feel I am in. That is assuming there are no permanent barriers such as parked vehicles or walls preventing my escape. In your scenario it seems like going forward is an option.
Is hitting someone with your vehicle considered deadly force? You bet it is. So is deadly force justified? Well, Illinois law (paraphrase) says I may use force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm if I feel the immediate threat of death or great bodily harm against myself or another OR to prevent a forcible felony. Kidnapping is a forcible felony, and I am not a lawyer, but I believe in a scenario which you described my lawyer could argue this to be a form of kidnapping.
Now, please don’t think I am suggesting that you mash the gas pedal as it is quite possible simply taking your foot off the brake is enough to move the people away from the front of the vehicle.
If I did not feel threatened, leave it in drive with my foot on the brake and call 911.
What are Secret Service agents, private protection details, etc. trained to do when mobs surround the vehicle carrying the VIP? This is well-documented.
I mean, what type of mob are we talking about? Any cases I can remember from the news involved either Antifa, or a motorcycle gang, or folks simultaneously involved in arson and burglary.
Although not exactly what people are describing in this thread, I remember when this incident came on the news:
“Dad publicly details biker gang beating for first time”
IIRC, when this first came out, the media was painting the young family as the bad guys.
It might be worth discussing the choices the SUV driver made and what options might have reduced the risk of the occurence.
One of the attackers was an udercover cop? Wut???
How about local PD figuring out who they serve and protect, and acting before there is a body laying in the street. Hows that for an option.
Steinglass told the judge that Lien’s mistake was refusing to pull over and give in to the crazed mob that had taken over the West Side Highway.
“He tried to get clear of the bikers so he could get where he was going and this decision was one he will probably regret for the rest of his life,” the prosecutor said.
So… the prosecutor thinks he should have stayed at the original attack location and … what? Just let them attack him and his family?
At some point, the regular person is out of options… I cannot think of anything other that for this guy and his family to emigrate out of this place to America.
Just push the pedal to the metal …
Hello Everyone. This is my first post here, and it looks like a good place to start.
Reading the story, you come to the red light and at that point the crowd starts gathering around the cars.
First, be situationally aware. You just drove through the crowd on the sidewalks. At this point I am looking around and in my mirrors to see where everyone is. As I see them coming up on us, I am already assessing my options in what if situations.
I am not going to let them get totally surrounding my car. As soon as I see 1 or 2 people move in front of my car and turn and look at me, I am out of there. Hopefully that 1 or 2 or 3 people will move as I cautiously move forward. Then as soon as I am clear, or if they do not move, I am accelerating and not stopping. Now, if I hit or run over someone, I will go to a safe location and then call 911 and go back when police arrive.
Is this the best? Maye or maybe not but, I believe seeing things happening and reacting quickly can save you from being surrounded and trapped.
Horn first, if no response, nudge forward, if they get violent, 13,000lbs will push though without stopping.
Whole bit will be recorded.
I tend to avoid areas with protesters.
I also pray that should I be put in my van driving, if there are protesters, that they dont walk out Into traffic as 13,000lbs wont stop as fast as they may think and a late '80s van with steel front end wont crumple.
Fabulous first comment, @Sid2A! That is definitely a very valid option - and one of the safest options. If you can get away from the situation, get away.
Welcome to the Community!