Road Rage Incident

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Caliber
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Road Rage Incident

#1

Post by Caliber » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:48 pm

Here's a copy/paste of only a portion of a post from another forum. After you read it, read my comments below.

I watched in my rear view mirror as the driver of the Yukon came to a halt, the driver shove the transmission on the steering locum into Park, and proceeds to throw his door open. Now I don't consider my self a racist or a profile; however, in this instance, I profiled this man as I watch him step out of his vehicle. He was a Hispanic male, ~6'2" tall, 260+ lbs, wearing a wife beater, black baggy pants, and tattoos across his chest and face. He reaches for something in his seat and proceeds to square himself and move toward my vehicle (about 1-2 car lengths away). I begin quickly running through the options I had in my head....

Option #1: Run...I couldn't run as I was boxed in from the previously mentioned Camry in front and the box truck to my left while to my right, no shoulder only a 5 foot drop into a ditch of which my Honda Accord could not traverse.

Option #2 Stay in the vehicle, ensure the doors are locked, and pray he doesn't have a gun, knife or some other weapon I can't see that he had reached for as he was exiting the SUV, and allow him to approach my vehicle with my son and I waiting...

Option #3.. Exit the vehicle to put myself into a better defensive position with my hand ready on my gun and see what actions the angry driver will be.

At this point, my adrenaline kicks in, heart is racing, and having to make a split second judgement call in order to de-escalate the situation, protect my child and not harm anyone involved was difficult to say the least. In the moment, Option #3 became the clear choice to me, knowing my two year old was in the back seat and his safety being my only concern as a potentially armed individual approaching my car with a very nasty look on his face carrying an object in his right hand I cannot clearly identify, drew me to this conclusion. So I acted placing my car in Park, un-buckling my seat belt, while simultaneously exiting my vehicle, and drawing my firearm out of its holster in right handed low ready. Once out of my vehicle I proceeded to firmly tell the individual "Return to your vehicle!!" in a firm tone of voice. Time seemed to stop, he hesitated in his advance (roughly 15-20 feet from me) I guess not expecting me to exit the vehicle. I catch a glance of a pipe looking object in his right hand... I firmly repeat my command "Return to your vehicle, NOW!!" with my firearm still pointed to the ground nearly perpendicular to my right leg (I want to emphasize in NO WAY pointed toward and person, object, or thing other than the asphalt). He notices I have my firearm in my right hand at this point and proceeds to point at me and say very clearly "you're dead", turns around, and quickly moves to his vehicles open door.. I don't hesitate in turning into my car (while still keeping an eye on the Yukon and it's driver) sitting back in my car, and immediately shifting back into Drive as the light was about to cycle to green. I left the Yukon behind me as he pulled away turning down a side road, and immediately proceeded to our local sheriffs office a few miles up the road.


I believe LEOs recommend that you stay inside the vehicle. However, that violates what I've learned about self defense which is "distance" and "cover". Staying inside the vehicle means you're a sitting duck and does not provide adequate cover. Your thoughts as it relates to Texas law?

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Re: Road Rage Incident

#2

Post by Oldgringo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:57 pm

OTOH, had you stayed in your vehicle and shot him after he attacked you, your son and your vehicle, it would seem to be hard to assert that you got out of your vehicle to provoke him? IANAL, just askin'....

Clarification:
...gun has been drawn and in driver's lap...
Last edited by Oldgringo on Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Road Rage Incident

#3

Post by lildave40 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:20 pm

Just my opinion. and I could be wrong. I feel your were in the wrong here. and allow me to explain my thought. Getting out of your vehicle and drawing your weapon is the worst thing you could have done. Was your back against the wall? Since you got out of your vehicle could you have grabbed your child an ran off? I feel you drew your weapon to attempt to intimidate him. I have been taught if your gonna draw is because you have absolute no choice and your are going to shoot. Now if you would have stayed in your vehicle and he physically attacked you then that is a different story. Just think what if he went back to his car and did get a gun? Are you willing to get into a gunfight where you could have just apologized and deescalated the situation?

Again just my opinion


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Re: Road Rage Incident

#4

Post by CoffeeNut » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:26 pm

That's a tough call with kids in the car. Being completely boxed in and having someone advance on you and your child it seems like getting out of the car might not be a bad decision. Get the threat focused on you rather than you and your kid but I'm not sure I would have drawn as soon as I got out of the car. He could have just been getting his cellphone so he could record which really wouldn't have looked good for the guy with a gun in todays environment.

Road rage incidents are weird. The person on the receiving end usually only has mediocre options in order to de-escalate or escape and if you do decide to stand your ground in some manner then LE tends to frown upon that.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#5

Post by allisji » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:52 pm

seems to me that the narrator's actions which he claims were aimed to deescalate the situation put him at a greater risk of escalating the situation.

It's hard to be a Monday morning quarterback in this situation because we are only getting one side of the story, and a partial one at that.

Instead of trying to detail what I think that the actor should have done I will speak in more general terms as to how I would prefer to behave.

Drawing and presenting a handgun then barking commands is not often going to be the appropriate course of action. In some situations it may be the best thing to do, but most of the time I would think that it's better to try to act in a more non-threatening manner. If the threat continues to advance menacingly then I would likely place my hand on my grip with my body turned such that my holstered weapon is away from the threat as I try to maintain distance between myself and the threat and continue to try to deescalate the situation by talking rationally until I am convinced of the threat of lethal force.

I do see value in this situation of getting out of the car. It will draw the threat away from the child. It allows the narrator to attempt to maintain a safe distance. And in my opinion it would give me a chance to attempt to cool the tempers.

I don't know what I would say to the angry driver, and I don't know what the narrator did to set the man off, but it would probably go something like this. "I'm sorry! I didn't see you behind me, because ____, I should have been more careful, I don't want any trouble with you."

eta.: if I can get him to cool off and return to his vehicle, then I would likely call the police and report the angry motorist who threatened me with a steel pipe.
Last edited by allisji on Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#6

Post by Keith B » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:55 pm

Stay in the vehicle and look for an escape path. If he exits his you may be able to get away. Call the cops and try to have a description and license number if you can.

If there is not escape path, be on the phone with 911 and if he tries to get into your vehicle you have a clear justification to defend yourself.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#7

Post by Pawpaw » Mon Feb 26, 2018 2:59 pm

His actions may have been justified under PC §9.04.
PC §9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE.
The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.
It's impossible to know for sure, since we weren't there, but his actions seem reasonable.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#8

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:36 pm

The narrator took his best option (option #1) away by allowing himself to get boxed in. As played, I like option #2 much better than option #3. I might supplement option #2 by laying on the horn in an attempt to possibly open an escape route, or at a minimum draw attention to the assailant who is approaching my vehicle. This will be helpful in later witness testimony if nothing else. An escape route will be opening soon (when the light changes), and I want to be able to take advantage of that as soon as it happens.

I would also draw my weapon while sitting in the drivers seat (from it's location in the console), and be prepared to fire if the assailant raises his pipe to strike my window. Hopefully I would remember to yell at my son to cover his ears. My son is 9, so he might even be aware enough to grab my ear muffs from the range bag that is usually in my back seat.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#9

Post by RPBrown » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:48 pm

Soccerdad1995 wrote:The narrator took his best option (option #1) away by allowing himself to get boxed in. As played, I like option #2 much better than option #3. I might supplement option #2 by laying on the horn in an attempt to possibly open an escape route, or at a minimum draw attention to the assailant who is approaching my vehicle. This will be helpful in later witness testimony if nothing else. An escape route will be opening soon (when the light changes), and I want to be able to take advantage of that as soon as it happens.

I would also draw my weapon while sitting in the drivers seat (from it's location in the console), and be prepared to fire if the assailant raises his pipe to strike my window. Hopefully I would remember to yell at my son to cover his ears. My son is 9, so he might even be aware enough to grab my ear muffs from the range bag that is usually in my back seat.
:iagree: :iagree:
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#10

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:53 pm

I almost never respond to "what would you do" threads because there are always undisclosed variables that will impact my response. I can make these observations.
  • 1. If you think you may have to shoot through a window, roll it down first! You won't want to be blinded by shards of broken glass. That could be caused by his pipe or your bullet.
    2. The narrator said he/she saw the aggressor get "something" from his truck, but didn't see the pipe until after exiting the vehicle and drawing his/her handgun. That "something" could have been a handgun. I would not wait for a hostile person to fire at me through a rear window and I will not fight from inside a car, if I have an alternative. This is even more important with other people in my car. If I were the only person in my vehicle, I might assume greater risk, but certainly not with a child in the back seat. I would have exited the vehicle. I don't like drawing against a drawn gun, so I probably would have had my gun in my hand, but hidden behind my leg. Remember, the narrator said the distance between the vehicles was only 1 to 2 car lengths.
    3. The narrator said the aggressor was only 15 to 20 feet away when he/she issued the "return to your car" command. Remember the Tueller principle and edged or impact weapons. The aggressor stopped, issued a death threat, then returned to his truck less than "1 to 2 car lengths" away. The intended victim successfully obtained verbal compliance, at least for the short term.
    4. The narrator apparently turned his/her back on a known threat who may have been returning to his vehicle to retrieve a better weapon, a firearm, after having first issued a death threat. Waiting for the traffic light to turn green and the vehicles in front to move away could well have given the aggressor plenty of time to retrieve a firearm and fire on the victim's vehicle.
Tough call, but these are my guiding principles under these circumstances.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#11

Post by lildave40 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:58 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I almost never respond to "what would you do" threads because there are always undisclosed variables that will impact my response. I can make these observations.
  • 1. If you think you may have to shoot through a window, roll it down first! You won't want to be blinded by shards of broken glass. That could be caused by his pipe or your bullet.
    2. The narrator said he/she saw the aggressor get "something" from his truck, but didn't see the pipe until after exiting the vehicle and drawing his/her handgun. That "something" could have been a handgun. I would not wait for a hostile person to fire at me through a rear window and I will not fight from inside a car, if I have an alternative. This is even more important with other people in my car. If I were the only person in my vehicle, I might assume greater risk, but certainly not with a child in the back seat. I would have exited the vehicle. I don't like drawing against a drawn gun, so I probably would have had my gun in my hand, but hidden behind my leg. Remember, the narrator said the distance between the vehicles was only 1 to 2 car lengths.
    3. The narrator said the aggressor was only 15 to 20 feet away when he/she issued the "return to your car" command. Remember the Tueller principle and edged or impact weapons. The aggressor stopped, issued a death threat, then returned to his truck less than "1 to 2 car lengths" away. The intended victim successfully obtained verbal compliance, at least for the short term.
    4. The narrator apparently turned his/her back on a known threat who may have been returning to his vehicle to retrieve a better weapon, a firearm, after having first issued a death threat. Waiting for the traffic light to turn green and the vehicles in front to move away could well have given the aggressor plenty of time to retrieve a firearm and fire on the victim's vehicle.
Tough call, but these are my guiding principles under these circumstances.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#12

Post by Jusme » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:17 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:I almost never respond to "what would you do" threads because there are always undisclosed variables that will impact my response. I can make these observations.
  • 1. If you think you may have to shoot through a window, roll it down first! You won't want to be blinded by shards of broken glass. That could be caused by his pipe or your bullet.
    2. The narrator said he/she saw the aggressor get "something" from his truck, but didn't see the pipe until after exiting the vehicle and drawing his/her handgun. That "something" could have been a handgun. I would not wait for a hostile person to fire at me through a rear window and I will not fight from inside a car, if I have an alternative. This is even more important with other people in my car. If I were the only person in my vehicle, I might assume greater risk, but certainly not with a child in the back seat. I would have exited the vehicle. I don't like drawing against a drawn gun, so I probably would have had my gun in my hand, but hidden behind my leg. Remember, the narrator said the distance between the vehicles was only 1 to 2 car lengths.
    3. The narrator said the aggressor was only 15 to 20 feet away when he/she issued the "return to your car" command. Remember the Tueller principle and edged or impact weapons. The aggressor stopped, issued a death threat, then returned to his truck less than "1 to 2 car lengths" away. The intended victim successfully obtained verbal compliance, at least for the short term.
    4. The narrator apparently turned his/her back on a known threat who may have been returning to his vehicle to retrieve a better weapon, a firearm, after having first issued a death threat. Waiting for the traffic light to turn green and the vehicles in front to move away could well have given the aggressor plenty of time to retrieve a firearm and fire on the victim's vehicle.
Tough call, but these are my guiding principles under these circumstances.
Chas.

:iagree:

Not being there, it is almost impossible to determine if the person's actions were proper, and second guessing him/her would be unfair at best. As a former LEO, verbal commands are the first line of defense. And deadly force is only used after everything else has failed. Given the distance between the aggressor, and the potential victim, I believe everything was done appropriately. Since I am now a civilian, my level of force, especially if defending loved ones, would probably, escalate, much more quickly. An aggressive person, approaching, with an unknown, possible weapon in their hand, would definitely, force me to react, just as the person described did.
Since the aggressor, recognized, that he no longer held the upper hand, and retreated, the outcome was as good as it could get under the circumstances. Also, being the first to report the incident to the authorities, lends much more credence, to the "victim's" side of the story.
As Charles stated, waiting to be physically attacked, puts the victim, at a distinct disadvantage. Since the good guy, could not discern, what type of weapon, was being held by the aggressor, waiting to find out, could have been fatal. Not only for him, but for a child. JMHO
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#13

Post by LDB415 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:10 pm

My first observation is: stay out of the right lane unless you are going to turn or it affords a driveable shoulder or easement beside it followed by stop at least 8-10 feet behind the vehicle in front of you.

I don't think "getting away" would be an option. It would take too long to remove a child from a car seat to get away. If it were just the driver that may be the best option.
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Re: Road Rage Incident

#14

Post by Oldgringo » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:13 pm

:headscratch ...and if the aggressor is 26 years of age and the aggressee is 76, what then?

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Re: Road Rage Incident

#15

Post by RoyGBiv » Mon Feb 26, 2018 6:17 pm

If I'm boxed in and a road-rager is approaching me with an unknown object, possibly a gun, staying in the car seems tactically unwise, since guns can (obviously) shoot through glass. I'd be a sitting duck in a glass barrel if the dude intended to shoot me.

Can't help but wonder what set off the rage?
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