Sometimes self defense is needed when you least expect it. One minute things are fine and the next you’re fighting for your life.
Here is one man’s story of how quick thinking, self defense know-how and an unloaded revolver saved his life. But then things got really interesting…
This is part one of two. Check back tomorrow for the conclusion of this exciting story of self defense.
Just An Ordinary Little Old Man…: A Story of Self Defense
Cost of Justice System Disillusionment: Immeasurable!
It was a beautiful, sunny, unusually cool fall morning in Northeastern Florida. I had had a great night’s sleep, was in a great mood and planning to treat my two guests – college aged young ladies – to some incredible pastries from a small legendary bakery 15 minutes from my home. My guests were still asleep. So, I put on a pot of fresh coffee, fed the dog and busied myself doing some morning chores.
To describe myself I suppose you might say I’m pretty much your ordinary little ole man. Seventy years old (okay, 72), a grey bearded, bald headed, elderly gentleman–otherwise pretty non-descript. Happily divorced, about 5’9, 175-180 pounds and working at the time as a gun licensed security officer at a local Senior Citizens Community. I had never had been in trouble with the law, or even had so much as a traffic ticket in my life. Really, a pretty ordinary guy, certainly not a dangerous criminal.
Getting back to the pastries. After completing my morning chores outside I walked back in the house about 9:30am–both young guests were now up, still in their pajamas and bathrobes drinking the coffee I’d started brewing earlier. I said, “Good morning, how did you sleep?”, etc., etc., “and oh by the way I’m headed to the best little bakery in the world for some breakfast pastries I think you will enjoy with our coffee–is there is anything in particular you might like me to bring you?” The answer was a rather abrupt, “No, we don’t eat pastries and neither should you. By the way, didn’t you say you belonged to some church? Isn’t it Sunday? Why aren’t you in church?”
In retrospect this all seemed to have been said in something of a dark or sarcastic tone–but at the time I just brushed it off as my imagination, didn’t think much about it but the line of questioning got more pointed and the comment was made as to whether or not I thought God would be mad at me for not attending. I simply said lightly, “Maybe, but I’m sure He will forgive me at least this once.”
In any event, I said I’d be back in a half hour or so and would put some fresh coffee on and we could start thinking about breakfast. I got the pastries and came home.
The house was in shambles. It literally appeared as though a fight had occurred. A kitchen chair was turned over on its side lying on the floor, a pot of what looked like some sort of strange, odd colored brew in the coffee pot–which had apparently been filled with too much water and was overflowing over the counter and on down on to the kitchen floor, which, by the way, was covered in broken glass and what looked to be sugar–my fancy, antique crystal sugar bowl! Sugar was everywhere and a large, heavy, cast iron frying pan was lying in the sink having apparently been intentionally thrown there with such force as to have noticeably dented the stainless steel sink!
I was of course concerned and curious as to what had happened, but more dumbfounded as opposed to angry. I simply said, “What happened?” There was no response! I said again, somewhat jokingly, “Did you two have a food fight or what?” Again, no response. As I stood there then in the momentary silence, both girls simply withdrew to another part of the house!
“What should I do?” I asked myself. I was upset I guess but I really wasn’t mad, but more dumbfounded than anything. I’d been around a lot of years, raised three kids and thought I had seen a lot of strange things but this was a new one.
I started to clean up–put the kitchen chairs upside down on the table so I could mop the floor, shut off the coffee pot of course and threw out the contents that looked strangely like mud, so on and so forth.
Halfway through the mopping process the larger of the two young ladies came back into the kitchen and without acknowledging me, walked directly across the obviously wet floor in her bare feet to the coffee pot and became upset, not only because her feet got wet but also because I had apparently thrown out her pot of “hot chocolate”! I simply said “Hey, I’m sorry but I’m just trying to clean up here so could you please give me a minute and try to stay off the floor until I’m done?” My young guest took an obviously aggressive-seeming step toward me, effectively got in my face and said, “Go mop someplace else.” At this point, shocked and a bit pissed off, I had had enough dancing around and got more directly to the point. “Listen, what the heck is going on here this morning, is this normal behavior?” I said. “If it is, as far as I am concerned this arrangement doesn’t look like it’s going to work and I’m sorry but I think you two young ladies are going to have to find other arrangements.”
Thinking back on it now it’s hard to describe what happened next other than to say my young guest just seemed to have “snapped”. Lunged toward me, grabbing me by the shirt, and said, “Listen you piece of shit!” Somewhat shocked, I guess more instinctively than anything, I pushed back and this time she came at me like a freight train, grabbing at my throat and scratching my face–she then seemed to go crazy, sweeping most of the chairs off the table along with an assortment of odds and ends including drinking glasses, coffee cups, etc., all of which shattered on the floor, then proceeded to try to strike me in some pseudo karate like fashion and kicked violently at my groin area. I backed up and started yelling “Hey, hey, calm down what the hell are you doing–stop it!” Hearing the commotion, the other young lady came into the room and believe it or not, literally started laughing, trying to take pictures of the violent goings on with a cell phone and commented, “Old man you sure picked on the wrong lady this time!” I said, “Listen, calm down or I’m going to call the police”.
By this time I had been backed out of the kitchen under a constant barrage of strikes and kicks, back across the dining room and no less that 25-30 feet back against a hall wall leading to my bedroom. I had my cell phone out of my pocket while dodging punches and was trying to call the police–while doing so, the phone was intentionally, forcefully knocked out of my hand.
Still numbed I suppose by the ridiculousness of the entire situation, I bent down to pick up my phone and luckily ducked a seriously vicious kick aimed directly at my head–before this the kicks had been obviously aimed at my groin area and mid section, again, luckily not doing any real felt damage at the time (the next day was a different story.) But the vicious kick to the head was the real eye opener–this obviously crazy person is seriously trying to kill me!
At this point I sort of panicked, actually fearing for my life. I tried to cut and run. I sprinted down the hall toward my bedroom. I made it inside but not in sufficient time to slam and lock the door–my young guest pushing in more or less right on top of me to where I gave up on the door and luckily, thankfully, saw my unloaded service revolver setting on my dresser where I typically left it–unloaded, after coming home from work, putting the shells as a common precaution in another location entirely.
Once I grabbed the gun (even knowing it was unloaded) things suddenly changed for the better. With my finger along the frame and not in the trigger guard (as I had of course been trained) I simply held the gun at my side pointed at the ground. All forward movement of my attacker had stopped after she saw me grab the weapon (not knowing of course that it wasn’t loaded.) This was another reason why I intentionally did not point the gun at my assailant—so that being a revolver they could not see that the gun was empty!
At this point I remember more calmly saying, “I have a gun and I know how to use it–I want you both out of the house.” No other words were spoken. They both obediently headed for the front door, stepped out of the house off the front stoop, stopped and turned around. I said, “I want you both completely off my property.” They walked another 50-60 feet directly into the street, stopped, turned around and openly laughed at me as though the whole affair were nothing more than a big joke, the younger one continuing to take pictures.
At his point, needing both hands for the phone, I put the gun in my pocket and proceeded to call the police, which was extremely difficult given I was shaking like a leaf. I was scared, upset, couldn’t have been more upset and just stunned, puzzled I suppose, and in shock, traumatized or whatever. I managed to get through to 911 and shouted into the phone that I had seriously been attacked by two house guests and that I needed the police ASAP. Although I really can’t remember any questions that were asked of me at the time I finally got off the phone. By this time my assailants were having a fun time bouncing around like children, laughing and joking as though the whole thing was just no big deal in fact I could hear them apparently calling friends on their cell phones and laughing at the fact they had just been driven from the house at gunpoint! It was bizarre.
I was scared. I really didn’t know what I would do at this point if they were to charge me–I just didn’t think to go back inside and lock the door. I just didn’t want to take my eyes off them. It seemed like an eternity–the police still had not arrived–it felt as though too much time had passed so I called again, this time I nearly yelled into the phone that I needed the police! I also explained I had an “unloaded” gun–I imagined this would surely get everyone’s attention. When the police then finally arrived (two patrol cars, one officer each) they parked at least 150 yards away and understandably approached on foot cautiously, still at a distance where it was impossible to speak to them without shouting. I stood well out in the open, in the middle of my yard so as to be in plain sight, with my hands in the air well over my head, fingers spread, hands open and of course obviously empty. The police walked directly up to me, asked what was going on, handcuffed me, and asked where the gun was. I reiterated it was not loaded and that it was in my pocket. They took the gun, sat me on the tailgate of my pickup truck, asked me to stay there then proceeded toward my two assailants–speaking to them for a few minutes at some distance from me where I could not really hear the conversation.