Friday, March 30, 2012

What Would You Do?

Last weekend, I led a small group session on the topic of women’s self-defense. The group was great because they added to the discussion and asked good questions. The exchange prompted me to remember and share an incident which happened years ago.

I have been thinking about it and wonder if/how our reaction to the situation would be different today. It could be a great scenario for John Quinones series Primetime: What Would You Do?  It is a hidden camera show that captures how people react to real-life ethical dilemmas that call for action.  Excellent show.


A few of my family members went on a day trip to Atlantic City. We left early in the morning and were not expected to arrive home until well after midnight. Since we were getting home late, we decided to stay over night at my parent’s house. We woke to a loud banging at the front door. My Aunt thought it was my sister coming home late. My sister was asleep in her bed.

It was a man standing alone on the porch pounding on the front door with his fist. It was 3:00 a.m. He was yelling “Domestic violence! Domestic violence!” Now the whole household was awake - except for my Dad who can sleep through anything. Looking out the window, there was no one else in the street.

What would you do?

I would love to hear your comments!  I will share how the incident played out for us in the next post.


The Strongest Karate said...

I'm gonna let my StarWars-nerd show through and say if it were me I would have thought "It's a trap!"

However, since I am not in the heat of the moment I can examine this, I can see that what the man did does not match up with the behaviors of someone looking to cause harm.

1. When he approached the house he would have seen extra cars outside which would indicate he is outnumbered.
2. He pounded on the door to announce his presence to everyone in the home.
3. In doing so he also places himself at risk of being seen by other neighbors and identified if something went afoul.

These are all the actions of someone who wants as many people to notice him as possible, rather than someone who wanted to operate by stealth in order to hurt others.

So what would I have done? Well again, in the moment I would likely have told him to leave.

But, if I had my wits about me I would have shouted thru the door for him to explain whats going on. Then tell him that I have a gun (I dont) and if he wants help he will step back 3 paces, turn around, place his hands on his head and cross his ankles. Then I would take the place the flashlight I DO have in my hand against his back, check my surroundings on the porch, check his body for weapons, and only then tell him to turn around.

Can you tell I've read "The Gift of Fear"? lol

Jim Bercaw said...

Get the phone, Dial 911, tell them you have a man banging on the front door, yelling "Domestic Violence". Then go to the front door, tell the man you've contacted 911 and is there any information he needs to tell them.

Do not open the door. If you have a firearm, get it, take the safety off, and stay alert until the police arrive.

Rick said...

I second 911. So that makes 1822.

The Strongest Karate said...

Yeah...I think Jim and Rick have much better suggestions. I was giving the "if you're gonna NOT do the sensible thing" approach. lol


Michele said...

What did we do?

We did not open the door. I spoke through the door to the man and told him I would call the police for him. He did not offer any additional information to tell the police. I called 911 and found out I was the third call for same incident. The man wandered down the street until he was stopped by the police.

The next day we found out that a women who lived a few doors down had a husband AND a boyfriend. It was the boyfriend who was pounding on the neighbors doors.

We also found out that someone forgot to lock the front door when we came home. He simply could have walked right in. Lesson learned!

John W. Zimmer said...

If the question is what would I do? Probably have the wife call 911, pick up my baseball bat and open the door but not the security screen and see what was up.

Now if you are asking what do I think women or men that do not think they can handle anything that comes at them - do, I would suggest just the phone call and nothing more.

Luckily we can use our heads and protect ourselves first.

Charles James said...

Been a Marine, am a MA for about thirty plus years, have some street experience and what would I do .... DIAL 9 ... 1 ... 1

I always lock my doors even when I am at home.