T Nation

Pickpocket On The Run


So I exit the gym today and see a skinny young black kid running, with a red faced white guy in hot pursuit. My powers of deduction made me instantly aware that this was probably not a competitive but friendly foot race.

So, the white dude is shouting: "STOP THAT MAN!" -and I easily could have, I was twice the kids size, but I didn't.

Now I feel bad. Because you know, I could have tripped the white dude and thus given the presumed pickpocket a fighting chance. It would have been a poignant real life lesson to the pursuer about protecting his own property.

As it turned out, there were uniformed police on the very next street corner, and the merry chase came to an end right then and there.

Did I do the right thing in staying neutral? What would you do, and why?


It would be great to be the noble hero - if you were certain that the first runner was a bad guy. But if you didn't know the facts and still intervened, you might have hurt someone and gotten sued, or you might have interrupted someone's joke, or a domestic squabble. Or you could have gotten hurt yourself.



At a grocery store once a year or so ago - some lady claimed that a guy was stealing something and had hit a kid (wasn't quite clear on what the story was). The guy ran out of the store. I was working as undercover Loss Prevention at the time so took off after him, but since I didn't see any theft or anything first hand, I was limited in what I could do. It turns out an off-duty cop was in the store at the same time and also ran after the guy, calling in back-up, who quickly tracked down and detained him.

It turned out that the lady who made the claim was actually the guy's wife or girlfriend, and they had apparently gotten into some lover's spat. She bolted the store as soon as we ran after the guy.

Why the guy ran from police, I don't know, but if I had tackled him and hurt him, I would have probably gotten fired and possibly sued.


I think if you are a big guy you need to be really careful if you are going to use force because if you're wrong it could go very badly just because of the possible perception.

Grabbing a guy running past because someone yelled an accusation is probably assault and battery. If you witnessed the crime it would be different I think.


Consider yourself lucky this criminal didn't escape and kill your uncle in a tragic carjacking.

You'd have to SERIOUSLY overcompensate for quite a long-ass time.


In the scenario that you described I think staying out of it was the best idea. The skinny kid could have had a weapon or something on him and you would have never known.


That is basically my take on it too. If I were to tackle the kid and I land on top of him, he could break a wrist, or if he gets really unlucky, land on his head and crack his skull. It's not worth it just to save some guys fucking ipod or whatever it was.


He just looked young and scared to me, but you may be right.

Thing is, I would have stopped him had my initial reaction been: THIEF!, but it was more along the lines of: "dude you need to get to the gym more." -when I saw the guy giving chase. lol


What's with all this good, sane advice... Where's the trusty TN baddasses to liven this up with "I wudda clothlined him with my huge swole gunz" when I need them.


Never get involved with shit like that. You're asking for a lawsuit if something goes wrong


I'm counting on thebodyguard and fightingirish to weigh in here :wink:

Edit: Well that wasn't very flammable, irish. lol


Folks who know me or read my posts in the combat forum know that I avoid shit like this at all costs.

You steal my shit that's one thing. Steal somebody else's, fuck that, deal with your own shit.

It's the same reason that I say unless a guy is beating a woman, I don't get involved in things between men and women that take place in public, or things between people I don't know.

It's always the "good Samaritan" that ends up stabbed/shot/hit with a bottle/sued.


I was thinking of our local "vampire" myself.. lol


I think the situation is a bit different protecting people from harm than protecting property.

It's foolish to get hurt trying to protect a purse but I think depending on the scenario intervening in violent situation is the right thing to do.

I'm not talking about every or any situation of drunken asshattery outside a bar but when it is right it's self-evident.


Fighting Irish would have just sent the "thief" a text calling him a bitch but it wouldn't have counted cause it wasn't real life.


Even in the guy beating woman scenario, there are qualifiers. For instance if there was a verbal argument and the woman threw the first punch, or kicked the guy in the balls... fuck her. I'd let him hit her at least a COUPLE of times. lol

I'll protect children, the elderly, and animals. Grown people mired in their own bullshit can sort out their own fucking problems.