Category Archives: Incident Analysis

Awareness saved my life

For many years, in every one of my classes I have commented to the class that the typical middle class person is more likely to become a casualty at the hands of a motor maniac than from a criminal.

Yesterday was nearly the day for me. Fortunately, being aware of my surroundings kept me from getting killed or seriously injured. As Tom Givens says:

“Who is around me and what are they doing?”

On my daily walk, I crossed a four lane local street. There’s no intersection nearby so I had to cross the street where I could. A rape/murder van https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rape_van (beat-up full size van with no windows) was approaching so I waited for it to pass and then crossed behind it. Although those vans usually have rear windows, this particular one was even worse since the driver side rear window had been replaced with plywood.

As I crossed behind it, the driver immediately stopped, threw it into reverse, and hit the gas. Because I had my head up and was paying attention, I saw the white backup lights come on. This was a clue to me that I had better quickly move out of the way, which I did by sprinting to the other side of the street.

Then as I quickly walked down the sidewalk, the maniac continued to back up the street in the same direction I was going. Starting to think it was some Central American assassin coming to make amends, I got my hand on my pea shooter under my shirt but didn’t draw it quite yet.

Finally, he stopped and turned into the driveway of the shopping center on my side of the street. Then he drove into the drive-thru of the Burger King and ordered something. I proceeded on my way after visually verifying that he wasn’t an assassin but was actually just a moron like Joe Biden. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moron_(psychology)

The incident is a good example of why I never wear ear buds to enjoy distractions on my cell phone when I’m walking. Further, I follow Bill Rogers’ advice to ramp up my awareness when the situation changes. Crossing the street is a situation change.

“When you’re driving and you see the first few raindrops on your windshield, it’s time to stop daydreaming and pay more attention to what’s going on around you.”

I was only a few feet behind the van and had, at best, two seconds to get out of its way. If I had been distracted and not acted instantly, I would have ended up under his wheels.

After surviving all the health issues I have over the past four years, getting killed by a fool in a motor vehicle who’s only thinking about a Bacon, Sausage & Ham Fully Loaded CROISSAN’WICH https://www.bk.com/menu/picker-picker_4740 would have been a real tragedy. But I’m in one piece because I pay attention to what’s around me.

As a general protocol, I stay as far away from those vans as I can. If there’s one in a parking lot, I drive to the other side of the lot to park, regardless of how far I have to walk.

This post is also an opportunity for me to plug the idea of taking a Defensive Driving Class, which is the point of my comment in my firearms training classes. The last time I took it, I was the only one in the class who wasn’t there because a court made them. That’s sad.

Weaponized math!

Legendary Lawman Chuck Haggard sent me a video on Facebook showing an interaction between an individual and a car. His comment was:

People don’t realize how violent even low speed cars can be

Being a math nerd, I wanted to quantify this so I calculated the kinetic energy (KE) of a typical sedan of 1000 kilograms going 5 miles per hour. Then I calculated the energy of a 158 grain .38 bullet going 750 feet per second.

The comparison came out like this:

  • car @ 5 mph KE = 2,498 Joules
  • 158 gr bullet @ 750 fps KE = 267 Joules

So a barely moving car creates ten times the KE of a bullet. Let’s keep that in mind.

I’m not sophisticated enough to capture the video but these screencaps should give you an idea of the interaction.

Dude literally got scraped out of his shoes. My guess is the he will be spending some time in the hospital.

It’s a great example of don’t f8ck around in traffic, reach into another car in a hostile manner, etc…

Chuck

Firearms are relentlessly unforgiving

Firearms are relentlessly unforgiving of the smallest lapse in attention or good judgement.

The shooting of a special police officer during a training exercise at a D.C. library came as the group of trainees had gathered to take a picture and were ‘joking around,’ according to court documents.

https://wtop.com/dc/2022/08/retired-dc-officer-charged-in-shooting-death-during-training-exercise-at-library/

[The shooter, a retired POlice lieutenant], who conducted the training as a private contractor, was arrested Friday and has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter in Manyan’s death.

Before, during, and after training or dry practice, there’s no room for “joking around.”

One of the very first things I learned in the Army from the men who had just returned from Vietnam was:

F8ck around, f8ck around, get yourself or someone else killed.

It’s a lesson I’ve kept in mind for 50 years. RIP Officer Manyan.

Duel at the Dumbster (Part VI)

#throwbackthursday

“Another delay is expected this month in the murder trial of an Abilene father and son accused of killing their neighbor over a dispute about a mattress in 2018, a court official said this week.”

Read more at: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/crime/article264129071.html#storylink=cpy

“A new date has not been scheduled, but the Millers are expected to go on trial in early 2023, court officials said.”

They’re probably happy that they’re out on bond. It appears that they had to spend from September of 2018 until April 2019 in the can (jail). Whether they had their Man Locks during their jail stay is unknown.

Killing someone, no matter how obnoxious the person is, over a mattress is a Serious Mistake.

“Court documents said police reviewed the video and determined the Millers were likely tired of Howard acting out and threatening them verbally.”

https://www.reporternews.com/story/news/crime/2021/09/12/abilene-alley-shooting-murder-trial-father-son-michael-johnnie-dee-miller/8274926002/

As anyone who has been involved in the court process can tell you, it’s a living Hell, even before you go to trial. It will be around four and a half years for them, assuming they get to trial in early 2023. My colleague John Murphy https://www.fpftraining.com/ commented:

“The process is the punishment.”

This incident was so ridiculous and avoidable that I have written a series of articles about it.

Unjustified Killings

https://thetacticalprofessor.net/2018/09/20/serious-mistakes-unjustified-killings/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part I) https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-i/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part II) https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-ii/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part III)

https://thetacticalprofessor.net/2018/09/28/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-iii/

Duel Site Visit (Part IV)

Duel Site Visit (Part V)

Be dedicated to Stanford’s Paradigm.

  • Avoidance
  • Deterrence
  • De-escalation
  • Disengagement

Carjacking update

The POlice have apprehended one of the individuals involved in the carjacking and murder near my home.

https://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/local/gwinnett-police-make-arrest-in-deadly-peachtree-corners-attempted-carjacking/article_4bced6a4-0909-11ed-83ee-b738feb6a6ee.html

I’m particularly interested in this one because of the possibility that he was targeted and followed. Surveillance Detection is a useful skill in Personal Protection and I wonder if it could have saved the victim’s life. The incident could have been locationally opportunistic and the targeted hypothesis completely wrong, though.

When an individual has a bayonet tattooed between his eyes, the FBI calls that ‘a clue.’

Photo credit: Gwinnett Daily Post

Incidents that take place in Social Space like this are why I am less concerned about having a Roland Special as opposed to just having some tool to protect myself. We’ll be discussing that on the Primary and Secondary Podcast tonight. https://www.spreaker.com/show/primary-secondary-podcast

VP 40 In the News

https://www.9and10news.com/2022/07/12/troopers-respond-to-accidental-firearm-discharge-at-garfield-twp-restaurant/pic/1488411/

Don’t hang your gun on the hook when you’re using the facilities. This story is a good illustration as to why. Pictures this detailed are seldom available.

Imagine if you were changing your baby’s diaper at the Koala Kare station when his gun went off. Your baby might not be the only one who needed changing.

Troopers say a report has been filed with the prosecutor’s office for review.
Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make (the book)

https://store.payloadz.com/go/?id=2617872

Anatomy of a Carjacking and Murder

https://bit.ly/peachtreecarjacking

A sad story that hits close to home. The incident occurred near my home and I have topped off my tires at this pump many times.

A man went into a QuikTrip gas station on Sunday afternoon at 12:30PM. This is a large busy gas station in an upscale area. It is just across the street from two high end shopping malls.

He pulled up to the air pump with his passenger side next to the pump and proceeded to top off the tires on that side. A black sedan with three men in it backed into the space next to him. One of the men then got into the driver’s seat of the victim’s car. This is a crime known as ‘sliding,’ which is technically not a carjacking in the State of Georgia but is close enough for our purpose of analysis.

In retrospect the ‘Safe Place’ sign was incorrect.

When the man noticed the hijacker in his driver’s seat, he came around the car and got into an ‘altercation’ with the hijacker. A second man then got out of the black sedan and entered the fray, making it a two on one affair between the two cars.

A clueless bystander, oblivious to the altercation, pulled up behind the victim’s car. She thereby unintentionally blocked it in. When the initial hijacker attempted to pull the victim’s car out, he collided with the bystander’s vehicle.

At this point, the hijacker got out of the victim’s car. One of the two hijackers involved in the ‘altercation’ then shot and killed the victim. Both of them returned to their vehicle and all three sped off.

“The identity of the suspects and their vehicle is unknown at this time” according to the POlice.

The deceased has a lot of cred as a really decent guy and it’s very sad to see his life cut short.

Lock your doors and take the keys with you whenever you leave your vehicle. Tire maintenance always puts you in a head down posture. Do your best to maintain your awareness of the area around you. Cars that pull up next to mine always give me the willies from the old days. At an air pump, it’s common and almost always benign but obviously not 100% safe.

“As long as we can both get out of the car, just let them have it. I have insurance and the car isn’t worth either of our lives anyway.”

–my instructions about potential carjacking to a former girlfriend who lived in a sketchy area

When things go wrong

This post is a little different because the subject is a submarine, specifically the USS Connecticut, a US Navy nukuler attack submarine. The Connecticut had an incident in the South China Sea on Oct 2, 2021. Initially, there was speculation on the internetz that it had collided with a Chinese submarine. However, it turns out that the boat simply crashed into an underwater terrain feature, which the Navy calls an “uncharted bathymetric feature.”

The Sub Brief YouTube channel has an excellent video on what happened and what went wrong.

What does a submarine running aground have to do with Personal Protection? The stack up of numerous problems, some of which had been going on for quite a while, and others that were immediate, caused the grounding.

Just one thing after another and this is how casualties happen. Casualties are very rarely isolated incidents, they cascade. This casualty, this collision cascaded all over the boat from the sonar being destroyed forward to the engine room believing they had lost propulsion to the machinery room catching on fire. Everybody’s having a bad time all of a sudden because casualties will cascade and that’s what’s happening here. Immediate actions of this crew is outstanding and probably is what saved the ship because whenever they were losing … buoyancy, sinking past 74 feet without propulsion, they were screwed. That is a dying submarine. Whenever you do the emergency blow and you still have negative buoyancy and you don’t have propulsion, well guess what, you know you better start making plans for the next life because you’re almost done with this one.

https://youtu.be/IPr7Yrwgly4?t=2396

Laxity, failure to pay attention to detail, and poor or absent communication all contributed to what could have been a tragic loss of a submarine and its entire crew.

Executive Summary [from the Final Investigative Report]

14. (U) On 2 October 2021, CONNECTICUT grounded on an uncharted bathymetric feature while operating submerged in a poorly surveyed area in international waters. This mishap was preventable. It resulted from an accumulation of errors and omissions in navigation planning, watchteam execution, and risk management that fell far below U.S. Navy standards. Prudent decision-making and adherence to required procedures in any of these three areas could have prevented the grounding.

Here is a short summary of the incident and findings of the investigation. https://news.usni.org/2022/05/24/investigation-uss-connecticut-south-china-sea-grounding-result-of-lax-oversight-poor-planning

The link to the full redacted investigation report is here. https://news.usni.org/2022/05/23/command-investigation-into-uss-connecticuts-south-china-sea-seamount-grounding

Consider how many things can stack up to cause additional problems in a Personal Protection incident as you watch the video.

Philadelphia robbery kidnapping and sort of home invasion

They tied his hands with zip ties around his back and threatened to kill him if he made any sudden moves. That’s when our victim realized these individuals were not police officers

Police Chief Inspector Scott Small

https://6abc.com/philadelphia-deadly-home-invasion-police-impersonator-victim-shoots-would-be-invaders-mayfair-fatal-shooting/11762928/

The FBI calls this ‘a clue.’

Legally speaking, this was a kidnapping.

https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=29

According to police, the 25-year-old victim was able to free his hands and grab a gun from his pocket. The victim fired several shots toward the men, striking the police impersonator three times.

The three hits resulted in the kidnapper/POlice impersonator to be neutralized and dead. The Rule of Three appears again. Good thing he had his pistol in his pocket.

The Oscar Slap

The timeline of the Oscar Slap has much value in the study of Personal Protection and Self-Defense. It has been preserved for posterity and study on video. The Guardian provides a short clip that shows it.

  • Chris Rock makes his joke about “GI Jane 2.” = O second
  • Will Smith laughs  = +1 second
  • Jada Pickett Smyth rolls her eyes = +3 seconds
  • Chris Rock says, “Uh oh,” meaning Will Smith was already on his feet = +10 seconds
  • Will Smith slaps Rock = +15 seconds

From the first indication something was going to happen, five or at most six seconds transpired.

Note the distances involved. Smith and Rock were no more than 25 feet (Near Phase of Public Space) apart.

Note also that Smith didn’t do a “Tueller Drill” on Rock. He walked purposefully but not even at a rapid pace to cover the 20 to 25 feet of ground.

Dr. Phil says “What bothers me? No one – no security or anybody came on the stage to protect Chris, and no one in Will’s camp – nobody stepped up to save him from himself.”

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/dr-phil-reveals-bothers-him-080152453.html

Dr. Phil’s guest Exavier Pope, an attorney, legal analyst, and host of the podcast SuitUp, common tated, “He had a whole runway. That’s a lot of cooling time, not just for Will Smith but for anyone to have stopped him.”

Five seconds is NOT “a lot of time,” especially for something as unexpected as a Battery (Cal. Penal Code § § 242, 243) during a high profile televised Black Tie event.

https://www.imagebaseddecisionaldrills.com/

Also observe that it took less than 10 seconds for Will Smith’s laughter at the joke to turn into violent action. The term “trigger” is appropriate.

When it’s least expected, you’re elected.

–John Farnam

For anyone who thinks this was staged, look at Will Smith’s face when he shouts “Keep my wife’s name out your f**king mouth” near the end of the clip. That’s genuine anger. BOLO for it and keep your distance.