Wednesday, September 2, 2020

I Got Assaulted


Not a huge deal, but it accentuated several things I and my cohorts are doing wrong. Complacent, we have become, what with living in one of the less disrupted areas for sure. The 3 or 4 of us are wont to have breakfast once a week where we discuss the state of the world and observe the terrible decline/humor of the situation. In light of the Kung Flu, and with the onset of summer, we moved our venue from a local restaurant to a local park which featured covered benches and an open rest room.

The problem here is the rest room. Since it's open, the vagrant population finds it attractive as well. Yes, it looks about like you'd expect, but it is open.

So we're sitting at a bench, doing our thing when one of the vagrants walks by, earnestly talking to the clouds, the ducks, and anyone who might be listening. He seems to have a problem with other people as he berates us as he walks by, but he does keep walking. We pay no attention to him. He continues all around the park, and eventually circles back past us. His path takes him around behind me and he mutters about telling us once, twice, and three times about something, and as he passes behind me he sucker punches me up side the head, open handed, hard enough to knock my hearing aid out of my ear and about 10 feet away.

My initial reaction is to jump up and present a likely counter attack which seems to work as he offered to join a fight if I was willing to start it. Facing him, several things become apparent: First is that living rough leaves a person in a wiry sort of fit condition. He's about 30, I'm 73. I'm in good shape for 73, but not that good. Noting that, I look for an equalizer. Additional note: Both myself and one of the other 2 of my party have CCWs. Naturally neither one of us was actually carrying that day. Of all the stuff on the table, the best option was my thermos which, being plastic, would probably not make much of an impression on a deranged attacker. It brings to mind this:

Sean O’Leary was walking through a dim passageway when someone spoke to him.

"Good evenin’, O’Leary," said the muffled figure. "Don’t ye be knowin’ your old pal Reilly any more?"

Sean stared at Reilly, whose face was a patchwork of bandages and adhesive plasters. One arm was in a cast and he was leaning on a crutch.

"Saints!" cried O’Leary. "Was ye hit by a train, Reilly, or did ye merely jump from the trestle?"

"It could have been both," said Reilly, "considerin’ the feel of it. But the truth is, I was in bed with McClatchy’s wife and McClatchy himself comes in with a mammoth huge shillelagh in his hand and the inconsiderate creature beat the livin’ bejazus outa me."

"He did indeed," said O’Leary. "But couldn’t ye defend y’rself, Reilly, me boy? Hadn’t ye nothin’ in your own hand?"

"Only Mrs. McClatchy’s ass," said Reilly. "Tis a thing of beauty in itself, but not worth a damn in a fight."

I now know exactly how Reilly felt when McClatchy burst in. Well, OK there was 3 of us and one of him although I believe our average age was somewhere in the upper 60s. Seeing nothing useful on the table, I look to my partners, remembering the days of my wasted youth when an attack on one of our motorcycle club was an attack on the whole club. There they sit, like 2 deer in the headlights. At this point I put on my best Cohen the Barbarian and face my attacker. He sees me ready to fight but not attacking, so he takes that as a win, dares us to call the cops, turns, and walks off. So I call the cops, 3 of whom dutifully arrive and begin to search all the wrong ends of the park. Eventually we get them straightened out and they interview both of us, at opposite ends of the park. There was also a second, independent witness, so good. They ask if I wish to press charges, and I agree. When they leave, the attacker is no where to be seen so I suspect he left with one of the cops. Fine.

Lessons learned:

1, I went to all the trouble and expense to get the permit, I need to be carrying ALL THE TIME. As Churchill allegedly said “A gentleman seldom needs a gun, but when he does, he needs it very badly.”

  1. My breakfast buddy is in the same boat here.

  2. My breakfast buddies are not the same people I used to ride motorcycles with. They are much more respectable than that. Much like Mrs. McClatchy's ass. Only older.

  3. I'm the only one of our group who doesn't have a smart phone. If you have one, you need to develop a reflex to turn on the video record mode at the first sign of trouble lest the aliens have you probed, implanted, and returned leaving no evidence.

A court appearance will happen at some point. I am inquiring as to what that will entail. More on that later I guess.


Sailorcurt said...

Unless you've been in "battle" with them before, never count on compatriots to have your back no matter how long you've known them. One never knows how anyone is going to react to a stressful situation until it actually happens.

I agree with your point about carrying. These are some crazy times. I saw a video the other day of a black guy trotting up behind a white guy in a crosswalk, after approaching, the black guy, out of the blue and for no apparent reason, whacks the white guy in the back of the head with a brick, knocking him out cold.

My advice in the current nutty environment: keep your head on a swivel, stay in condition yellow, don't let strangers get too close to you and always, always be properly equipped to defend yourself when in public.

That's my 2cents anyway.

Bob P said...

Sorry for you. I wish something like this would to people like Sandy and see how they would defend them then Bob P

David aka True Blue Sam said...

The criminals out in the country are emboldened now, too. We've had some trouble lately and I don't walk a dog outdoors without my phone and other safety measures. Glad you are OK.

Patrick D said...

My permit gives me the option to carry a handgun, a club, or a knife. Sometimes the knife is a better option. It doesn't go "Bang!", and can be used more artistically than a firearm. Just a little slice in the right place can be an incredible deterrent, but you also have the option to go deep, or for one of the major arteries, if necessary. You definitely want it razor sharp, at any rate. A dull knife isn't the surgical tool you want in a situation like that.

Patrick D said...

Upon further reflection, I thought I should expand my comment a bit. I do know the old saying about not taking a knife to a gunfight and all that, it's not an open country type of tool. I only opt for it when I know I'm going to be at close quarters with people (less risk of collateral damage). What I really wanted to say though, is Don't even think about it if you aren't skilled with the blade (same as with a handgun, I guess). I grew up with all kinds of blades, and was very skilled with them before I went into the Marine Corps (at 17. Ma and Pa had plenty more kids to feed, so it didn't take 'em long to sign off!). I believe the law generally limits you to only one concealed weapon in most states, no backup, so you want the right one when the time comes.

Billll said...

The drawback to a knife is that it's hard to do surgical work when your patient is trying to beat your face in. A friend suggested a cane, and yes I have one, complete with a pipe coupling screwed onto the tip end and painted black so it matches the rubber tip. And yes, I know how to use most medieval weaponry. I think I'll add a sling so I can bring it along on the motorcycle.

Patrick D said...

Well, there are canes, and then there are Canes!

Merle said...

pretty good advice here, I would add to consider mace or a taser.
glad you weren't seriously injured!

Mr. Engineering Johnson said...

Glad you’re in one piece!!

I’ve had to fight with complacency towards homeless/vagrants/bums/panhandlers here as they are common enough in some places to just be part of the scenery. This is a good reminder not to assume anything about their intentions.

One thought. I’ve taken to keeping a small pepper spray handy when I’m out and about. It’s less likely to land one in hot water than using a firearm or knife in self defense.

That said, applying the jerk sauce is not a guaranteed show stopper. I would still carry where possible, but maybe provide a spray and a trainer to your non-carrying so you can back each other up.

Stay safe!!

Billll said...

Further update: Companion #2 did, in fact, have his gun on him and was deciding weather or not to bring it into play when the vagrant walked off. Time dilation did come into effect here as I think the whole thing ran less than 15 seconds.

I now carry all the time.