An innocent motorist is shaken up and a man is in the hospital today after a broad daylight strong-arm robbery/carjacking-gone-wrong today in Michigan.
ABC7 (wxyz.com) reports that the victim was minding his own business, pumping gas when two men came up to him, snatched his cellphone out of his car and tried to take the man’s wallet. Apparently, the man refused or argued with his assailants as one of them proceeded to violently assault him, striking him in the head.
Our Good Guy With A Gun responded by drawing his weapon and firing, hitting his assailant and causing both assailants to flee a few yards down the road, where the injured assailant collapsed and the uninjured robber fled.
Lessons? A few.
1. The reporting does not say if the victim is going to be charged with defending himself. We don’t have all the details. In some reporting it’s implied that the victim was seated in his car. If this is true, he may have a stronger case for his use of force as a blow to a seated person’s head is harder to take than if they are standing. Regardless, you know that there will be calls for the victims’ prosecution as there is no mention of anything other than personal weapons (fist, feet, elbows, knees) in use by the assailants; a state commonly misconstrued as “unarmed”.
We also don’t know the ages, sizes, or builds of the victim or assailants. While we believe that this should only be a minor detail (barring an extreme one-sidedness in favor of the victim), some DA’s do look at that before indicting.
2. Situational Awareness. Situational Awareness. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. We say it over and over and over again here. But perhaps our victim doesn’t read our currently unknown little blog. So, someone please pass it along.
If you keep your head stuck in your cell phone or lost in your own little world, you have some problems. The biggest is that you’re just not engaged with the world around you. Which is not just unsafe, but causes you to miss the little details that make life worth living. It also means that you miss the two guys who are coming right at you in broad daylight.
3. As you’re already behind the power curve, you have a lot harder job to regain control of the situation and get out alive and unharmed.
The reporting implies that the victim was willing to let his cellphone go, but drew the line at his wallet. As we’re not in his shoes, it’s difficult for us to say we wouldn’t have. Cell phones can be replaced and one call to your carrier can brick it, rendering it useless to the thief.
The same goes with the wallet, but none of us know what was in it that may have been worth struggling for.
4. A lesson learned from the assailant’s point of view: Never bring a fist to a gunfight. Of course, I they hadn’t tried to rob the victim in the first place, none of this would have happened, but who can say to what lengths desperation can drive a man? Nevertheless, getting shot is a real possibility if you try to rob someone these days.
5. There are people out there who would tell you that you have no need for a gun. That police and the military are the only ones who should have access to a weapon. This, as in most of our other examples here, show that this is not the case. While we are sure that the victim is happy that someone was kind enough to call the police, resulting in their rapid-ish response, being His Own First Responder meant that the victim was able to handle the incident well enough until the police arrived…after the crime was over.