T Nation

So, I Actually Had to Defend Myself


#1

The day before yesterday I was driving my 3 year old daughter to preschool before I went to work. A guy in a Camaro pulled up behind me at at least 100mph (I was in the right lane, mind you) and proceeded to slam on his brakes just in time to miss rear ending me. He then continued to drive with his bumper less than a foot or two behind me for several minutes. I tapped my brakes, not enough to actually slow down because he would have rear ended me, but just enough to illuminate my brake lights in an attempt to get him to back off a bit. He swerved around for a bit and then sped up and passed me, changed lanes in front of me and SLAMMED on his brakes. I nearly hit him. I changed lanes and he pulled in front of me and did it again. This went on 4 or 5 times and then, fearing for the safety of my daughter, I went to take the next exit. I couldn’t pass him because, well, I drive a Kia Forte (insert man-card revoking jokes here). He swerved in front of me onto the exit ramp and came to a complete stop. I sat there waiting for a moment and then he emerged from his car and started walking towards me quickly.

I jumped out of my car, half expecting him to change his mind when he saw a 300lb man emerge from the tiny Kia but he was undeterred. He had his right hand raised up to his shoulder in a fist as he neared me and just as he started to get close he changed his posture to throw it and I stepped to my left and threw a right round kick to his thigh which completely swept his feet out from under him. He hit his head on the fender of my car on his way down and was out for a few seconds.

When he came to I asked if he was okay and he was somewhat incoherent. Working in neurophys, I immediately noticed that his pupils were dilated and that he was pretty well concussed. There was a gash above his left eye that was bleeding badly and in dire need of some stitches. It also seemed like he was on some sort of stimulant (probably meth as we live out in the country). I helped him up and walked him back to his car and told him that he needed to be more careful driving and selecting who he picked fights with and he just nodded and said, “yea”. I yelled at him about my daughter being in the car and how he put her in danger and he just stared at his steering wheel with a blank gaze.

It’s been a long time since I have gotten into an actual fight but I have had my share having grown up in a bad neighborhood. This; however, has to be the strangest fucking fight I have ever been in.

When I got back in the car my daughter said that he was being a bad boy and that she was going to give him a spanking lmfao.

What a fucking adrenaline rush though. My heart was pounding and my throat felt tight for hours afterward. Having your child in the mix changes things more than I could ever even explain.

Sorry for the long post, I just had a crazy experience and wanted to share it with some people who would understand it better than most.


#2

Ah man, that sucks. I’m sorry you had to get into something like that - real situations are unnerving no matter how much experience you have in the ring or on the mat. Especially when there’s family involved.

It sounds like you did the right thing. I mean, legally, you probably should have stayed in the car, but being as he blocked you in and you had your daughter with you a convincing case could be made that getting out was a necessity.

You took a chance with the leg kick - if the guy hit his head on the ground and died, it’d be manslaughter - but the fact that he went to strike first and you reacted likely justifies that action as well.

I’m glad you and your daughter ended up OK, and hope this is the end of that situation. He didn’t get your name or anything, right?


#3

No, he didn’t get any of my info that I know of. It’s hard to think about when or if he would have had a chance to get my license plate. Once he got out of his car the whole altercation seemed to go by so quickly. I don’t even remember kicking him, I just know that I did and saw what it caused afterward.

Addressing the legality of self defense; it is a crying shame that we have to worry about such things when being attacked. That is not what I would define as “freedom”. Especially considering that people’s actions when they are attacked are largely reactionary. If I had stopped to think about what I was “allowed” to do then I would have eaten that punch.

Keep in mind that I live in TX as well. I probably could have put a bullet in that guy’s chest and been home in time for dinner.


#4

LOL. Truer words …

I live in NJ, and while I do love my liberal home, you have to think about that sort of shit here. Lawyers are true scumbags and I see cases like that all the time.

But when it comes down to it, even if something did happen to him and you were charged, you’d be able to sleep at night because you know you took care of your daughter. And that maybe if you had acted differently - more deferentially, hestitantly, whatever - some harm could have come to her, and your actions prevented that (regardless of what The Man says).

I mean, I think that’s pretty much why we fight at all in the first place.

And my guess is that dude was so fucked up from the concussion he probably can’t even remember what you look like.


#5

Also …

Kia Forte?

Really bro?


#6

I like how you walked him back to his car.

Is there any car that appeals to Red Necks more than a Camero?


#7

An F-150?

(The following sentence exists only because this site wouldn’t let me post a comment under 20 characters. So here’s some meaningless blather to make 20 characters, when all I really wanted to say was, “An F-150?”)

Get your shit straight T-Nation…


#8

Hahaha, I had a Chevy pickup but I got a new job that requires me to drive quite a bit so I got the Forte because it was cheap, it’s a 6 speed manual and it gets great gas mileage. It took a while but it has grown on me.


#9

I would try to delete this thread if I were you, as I figured out who you are and where you live in 5 seconds.


#10

Damn… You really have to be that careful after taking someone down even though it was obviously self defense and that there was a child witness in all this?


#11

@treco I am inclined to agree


#12

[quote=“Loftearmen, post:1, topic:215227”]
“Working in neurophys, I immediately noticed that his pupils were dilated and that he was pretty well concussed. There was a gash above his left eye that was bleeding badly and in dire need of some stitches”

IMHO,
I am really glad you and your daughter are safe. You could have very well been rammed and killed. You responded as a father and handled the situation without incurring any injury to yourself. Street decisions never allow time for careful thought. I have been sued 3 times for excess force in shootings, its part of the job, so, I am very familiar with the civil ligation system. Your quote above marks you as a professional with medical training. Without calling for medical assistance and leaving him to either live or die, you left yourself open to criminal charges (assuming he makes a complaint or some patrol officer finds his body) and civil action, even if he doesn’t go the criminal route. As I said, I am glad you and your daughter are not injured. If you can, take this down and never talk about this again without legal counsel present. Stay safe.


#13

Loftearmen,
I am happy you are safe. Unfortunately, the world is not as it should be. That is both the reason you had to deal with this in the first place and the reason I am in total agreement with the quote below.

It is unlikely the individual will key on his experience and start making ethical decisions and taking personal responsibility. You could already be in the category of “deep pocket” relative to him, and if not you hopefully will be as you realize the fruits of your labors and sacrifices.

If you need to vent about this further or talk it over finding a less public, and less memorialized medium would be better. Nothing you posted above reads like you are really “shook up” but if this has accessed some “threat to my daughter” stresses and you don’t have a better avenue I can be reached by the email address

My response will be my personal cell number and I promise and publicly state that due to a regrettable amount of drinking either during or after the conversation my recollection of what was said would be unreliable. I am sure you don’t need it. But if you do.

Train Hard, Stay Safe

Regards,

Robert A


#14

Let me play devil’s advocate for a second.

Suppose the guy died when he hit his head.

How is someone who didn’t witness the event supposed to know that you were actually defending yourself?

Your words?


#15

The burden or proof rests on prosecution.


#16

Ideally it would, but in our justice system it comes down to who’s got the best lawyer.

That’s the really fucked up part about self-defense - things happen crazy fast when you’re in the situation, and you react without thinking and everything is fucked in seconds - but then the prosecution dissects every single moment leading up to the encounter as if it was an individual day allowing you to plan all your next steps. I’m sure Idaho can relate with after-action reports and all that … explaining what you did can sometimes only boil down to, “It seemed like the best choice at the time.”

Again, I don’t think what you did was wrong by any means - it’s my feeling that, with your daughter in the car, you’re better off getting out and meeting the threat further from her, rather than letting him come up to the window and possibly shoot into the vehicle or something.

And being as you’re in Texas, you probably don’t have to explain much. I’m only speaking from the point of view of one who lives in the litigious northeast. But here at least, I do see these kinds of cases go sideways. And even if you successfully defend yourself in court - cops don’t press criminal charges and a judge dismisses the civil suit - you still spent like $3,000 - $5,000 on the lawyer.

Again, I don’t want to come off as “scolding,” because I don’t think you had any choice to act differently. This is more for people reading this …


#17

i believe in right of self defense
i believe in the right to carry
when it is someone you do not know, you do not know
mindset
training
if armed
i was not there
that said in seeing numerius news reports and articles on road rage

this probably pissed him off

can be viewed as a hostile act by the other driver does not matter your intent

some exit ramps this would leave you blocked
some you could go round him
self defense includes justification of your actions
self defense can also include being a pussy and evade and escape[quote=“Loftearmen, post:1, topic:215227”]
3 year old daughter
[/quote]
she needs a live daddy not pictures
i am not judgeing you as said you make decisions and hope you are right


#18

Glad that worked out well for you. I get ramped up pretty quickly when my son, also 3 yrs. old, is in the car. With aggressive drivers I just put on the turn signal and pull over. They go around and on their way once they figure out that they’re being let past.


#19

What I wanted to get at was the notion of aggressor vs defender.

Only those involved can start to give a clue of what happened.

It boils down to his word vs yours.

What’s a prosecutor supposed to do at that moment?

If someone is seriously injured or dead due to a confrontation between two or more people, how is the prosecutor supposed to know who was the aggressor there?