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Intervening in a 4 on 1 attack

Discussion in 'Legal' started by rbernard, Jan 25, 2012.

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  1. rbernard

    rbernard Member

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    Recently there was an attack on a Light Rail train in my city that involved 4 high school girls attacking one lone girl after a verbal dispute. During this attack no one on the train stepped in to do anything and one person even filmed it on their cell phone. My Question would be about the legality of an individual cc'ing to step in and stop the fight? The attackers were unarmed, but there were 4 of them. I've always understood permissible use to be when your life or someone in your proximity is in immediate danger, does a 4 on 1 fight with no weapons constitute that? This situation was obviously on a crowded train so that has other implications of using a firearm for defense, whats behind your target etc. so I'm mainly concerned with the fight aspect.

    Here is a link to the story on my local newspaper:
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2012/01/portland_police_trimet_wonder.html
     
  2. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    The situation you describe might meet the criteria ( to prevent death or grave bodily harm for the victim of a four on one attack ) for a legal use of deadly force.

    However, shooting a bunch of 'girls' would tend to look bad in the press, or, to any deputy DA who prefers to curry favor with the press, so...

    In my imaginings anyway, an intervention which does not produce any sort of Weapon might be best.
     
  3. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I would be a good witness and nothing more.

    My ccw is for my and my immediate families protection. If a third party gets harmed in my presence I simply chock that up to the personal price THEY pay for not taking their protection into their own hands. They made the decision they can live with the consiquences.

    posted via tapatalk using android.
     
  4. baronthered

    baronthered Member

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    Stand by and potentially watch someone get potentially beaten to death? Nope. Not me. I wouldn't bother with drawing a weapon in this situation.

    Wrong or right no one needs four people beating on them. Or three or two.

    If the victim were killed or crippled and I did nothing I feel it would be the same as just joining the attackers. Granted it would be a hard sell for a DA but in essence everyone else could be called an accessory to the beating.

    I'd rather die doing the right thing than live and do nothing.
     
  5. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    I've come to accept the world is a dirty rotten miserable place that as a whole is only slightly better off because of the presence of humanity.

    Nothing you or I do is going to change this in the slightest. I strive to be a good citizen and in the end have done more harm than good. But at the end of the day the ONLY thing that matters and carries on after I'm gone are MY children. Everything I do is done through the polarized filter of what's going to give them the best shot.

    Me interjecting myself in a situation that can very well end in my imprisonment or death does not serve this purpose.

    So yes I could quite satisfactorily live with myself for doing nothing.

    posted via tapatalk using android.
     
  6. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Dale, the victim was fourteen years old. Even if she wanted to "make the decision" to have a means of defense relevant to this board, she is prohibited from doing so. If any of your children are under age, they are in the same situation. It almost sounds, from her father's comments, that he could very well be one of us.
    No one here believes that they can change the fact that "the world is a dirty totten miserable place" by intervening in a situation that endangers just one of its apparently-insignificant populants. Those of us who would still intervene simply want make it less true for that one person, those important to her (or him), and for ourselves, for at least that one day.
    I understand why you feel the way you do. I just want you to understand why those of us "on the other side" feel as we do.
     
  7. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    I know of no light rail system that legally allows firearms on board.

    So if a gun was used you would be starting off behind the 'eight ball' legally. If you are going to anything it most likely would have to be hand to hand.

    Go figure.

    Fred
     
  8. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    There are a hell of a lot of places on the spectrum between sitting silently doing nothing and drawing down on a group of unarmed teenage girls. It isn't an either-or choice.
     
  9. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    In Washington if the light rail (or any other transportation system) is operated by a government entity, then it is against state law for firearms to be prohibited. Thus in public transportation vehicles in Washington firearms must be allowed, but since they are vehicles, a CPL is required for handguns to be loaded. The fireams may be openly carried or concealed on public transportation in Washington.

    I am really surprised that Arizona, being such a free state, has a prohibition of firearms on public transportation.

    ADDED: I just looked at Arizona law. If they prohibit firearms on public transit in Arizona, they must provide for storage of said firearm:

    ARS 13-3102:

     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  10. dev_null

    dev_null Member

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    Licensed CCW is allowed on Austin's Cap Metro busses and trains.

    More to the point, it is possible to intervene in this scenario without shots being fired.
     
  11. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    People have been conditioned all their lives to "never take the law into your own hands" and apparantly it worked.
     
  12. blarby

    blarby Member

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    #1 : Firearms are NOT prohibited on Trimet. Many people CC there all the time....Fanny packs are a common choice.

    #2 Train car, platform, and approaches are ALL redundantly video monitored. This one corrupt tape thing isn't the end of that story.

    Welcome to savage-land. Given the contents of that rail car from the video shown, it could have been worse.

    You are within your legal right ( If not your moral obligation, which seems to be easily cast aside by a lot of folks when these threads pop up) to defend this girl.

    The means of force that you use to do so would be questioned, so this is one of those personal judgment scenarios. Keep in mind however, that if 5 of those subjects shown on this video were to be searched after action- you would find a pile of snap knives and razor blades knee high....thats just the simple truth.... a lot of this riff-raff carries the orange/black style snapblade thats highly visible, and carry them pocket borne or in the waistband.

    What your instincts tell ya to do, and how you control it.............thats up to you.

    It would be hard to negatively spin good sam work of this level, even if it ended up a little Gatzy....and that was before video :)
     
  13. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    In many states if the "victim" contributed to the aggression, then the legal justification for self-defense - and thus defense by/of another person - becomes null. One must be careful that the situation was not a "shut up!" "no you shut up!" "oh yeah!" situation that escalated into a fist fight.

    I would just have to be there to figure out what I woud do. However, I'm not going to commit a criminal act to break up a teenage fist fight in a locked compartment full of likely gang-bangers. My family relies upon me for support and protection.
     
  14. Axel Larson

    Axel Larson Member

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    Firing is not the solution here! But I would not just stand by and watch either, they were not armed so just throw luggage at them or just pull them apart. Whatever the dispute the four girls shouldn't be beating on the one.
     
  15. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    How do you know that? How do you know that some of the rest of the crowd weren't in the same gang as the 4 doing the beating and were or were not armed? Too much assumption, for me personally.
     
  16. Kingcreek

    Kingcreek Member

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    This^.
    If the 14 y/o victim was my daughter I would rather have folks like this than a "good witness". I think about the girl in the Florida McDonalds beating and one old lady (presumably unarmed) was the only one to give aid.
     
  17. Shadez

    Shadez Member

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    I understand R.W.Dale's position. I carry so that at the end of the day I can go home to my family. Self defense does not expand to those around you in immediate danger and you have no duty to act unless you are a LEO. That doesn't mean you can't do it, it is just not a requirement.

    I consistently read these scenarios and keep this in mind when thinking "what would I do?". If I'm not prepared to go to jail the rest of my life for the person, I don't draw.

    Now if it is my daughter getting beat, different. Whether she started it or not I would go to prison for the rest of my life to protect her.

    With teenage girls I like to think it would be easy to break up but maybe not, they turn on you with knives now you have a problem. You've inserted yourself, you have a duty to flee, if you can't you have now inserted yourself where it could be argued that you could have avoided the confrontation. That is part of not instigating. You didn't instigate by definition but four girls turning on you with knives could have been avoided. It may defy logic because you were just trying to help, but if a 17 year old is blasted on a train by a 35 year old man, every single microsecond is criticized and judged. As with every shooting.

    If you fire someone from work and they are waiting for you outside and you go to talk to them knowing it could be a hot situation, it may be hard to claim self defense if you get in a fight (even if he hits you first ) and shoot them. You walked into the situation.

    These are tough. I'm not saying we don't help each other, but If you act, what happens next gets very unpredictable very quickly and we are generally not trained how to handle these situations, but with you having the gun every decision you make will be criticized training or not.
     
  18. AlaskaMan

    AlaskaMan Member

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    This may not be the case...
    (highlighting added)

    RCW 9.41.050
    (2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person

    RCW 46.04.670
    "Vehicle" includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, including bicycles. "Vehicle" does not include power wheelchairs or devices other than bicycles moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks."

    This would seem to indicate that light rail is not a vehicle in Washington, wouldn't it? So no CPL would be required because light rail is not a vehicle, no?:confused:
     
  19. lemaymiami

    lemaymiami Member

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    I think being a good citizen means acting to defend another if it's appropriate. That's strictly a situational proposition based on the circumstances and your ability to intervene if you choose to do so. Nothing I'm saying implies that a weapon of any kind should be employed (although I know that is the primary focus of those on this site...). There are many ways to intervene, all the way from "Stop that right now" to hands on... No, acting to intervene is not something without risk (and there are times and situations where it would be downright foolish) but to me, that's the real definition of "good citizen". Yes you can get in trouble if you act, but there are times when the "how can you live with yourself if you don't act" questions will be tough to live with...

    Given the circumstances described, I'd act to intervene, and worry about the consequences afterwards. No, that intervention would not involve a weapon.
     
  20. Shadez

    Shadez Member

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    I know what ifs are sometimes silly, but go with me as staying out of it avoids the what ifs. There is no way to KNOW you wont have to use a weapon.

    So take my scenario from above. You yell for them to stop. They pull out knives and come toward you on a tight bus. You get attacked and at getting stabbed. Now what? Now you draw your weapon, that should stop these sweet teenage girls who were beating someone up 4 on 1. But it doesn't. You shoot through the roof to scare them, one goes for your gun, you shoot her. Now we are in the situation I described above. You inserted yourself into the situation.

    Your conscience may be clear, but you could spend the next 20 years in prison separated from your family and children because even though you were acting in good faith, your actions (as honorable as they may be) escalated the situation and caused you to use deadly force. That is a hell of a risk to take.

    Goes the saying, " if you clear leather, your life will change whether you pull the trigger or not." avoiding situations that would require me to pull had to drive my decisions In these situations.

    I truly pray that none of us have to face these decisions. And in truth I don't think I could just sit an watch and call 911. I would probably try to do something. But what I bring up is something that has to be prepared for.

    I also think the fact that they are teenage girls is making it harder as most of us feel we could handle it. What If it we're 4 teenage boys Beating up on another boy. Would you act the same way?
     
  21. aaronu

    aaronu Member

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    In my son's middle school the worst fights were always between girls, and often not 1 on 1. I'm not sure what the heck happened since I was a kid. I can't remember a single girl fight when I was 14.

    From the article it sounds like the young woman didn't in any way provoke the attack -- at least, not while on the train. Every time something like this happens and good people do nothing, the world becomes a darker place.

    Sometimes you have to stand up for what is right. I don't think I could have just sat there and let someone's little girl be brutally attacked in front of me. If I did, I would have trouble looking in the mirror for the rest of my life.
     
  22. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    "All that evil needs to prevail, is for good men to do nothing"

    I would be very careful drawing my weapon in such a situation. But I would be even more careful inserting myself in a situation like that. Much care and caution needs to be taken. I have verbally and physically broken up fights. I was not armed at the time, but I had numbers on my side each time.
     
  23. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    I would not rely upon that. First, RCW Title 46 applies to Motor Vehicles. The restriction in RCW 9.41.050 applies to any vehicle, not just motor vehicles.

    Second, the definitions contained in 46.04.670 only apply to Title 46 of RCWs, not necessarily to Title 9:

    Finally if you look at RCW 47.04.010 (again, though the definitions only apply to Title 47) you find:

    The part that concerns me the most is RCW 9.41.050 refers to ANY vehicle. There is enough ambiguity in the RCW's that I would not carry a loaded handgun on a train without a CPL.
     
  24. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3hPmKQMJGY

    disgusting. my wife remarked they act like monkeys swinging from the overhead bars and inciting each other on with foul language.

    google "scream rooms disabled students" and one can see that they define it well.

    as for me getting involved...im white and somehow it would be made that i am the racist.
    as society has become, I'll offer my good wishes but not mu help. mostly cause i am afraid they would focus their hate on me and than i would nave to defend myself. she took a beating but sadly, its less of an evil than some one should get shot because of it.

    --though i do not understand you tube's comment that they are not showing this because it contains 'hate speach'
    everyone 'talking' was of the same race. its confusing.
     
  25. aaronu

    aaronu Member

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    Yes.

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

    Admittedly it is easy to say and harder to do, especially when there are a lot of them, one of you and no one else is stepping up. Probably some people on the train were telling themselves stuff like "if it doesn't stop in a minute I'll say something"...

    There is a point at which denial becomes cowardice.

    FYI my fourteen year old son is six feet tall at a very fit 205 lbs and has six years of martial arts training. I understand quite well that even younger teens can be quite dangerous.

    Assuming no obvious deadly weapons were in evidence I likely wouldn't act in either case (boys or girls) until the teenagers hit the other kid a few times where it was clearly a serious assault. I would step in and say something like, "Back off, you made your point".
     
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