Tuesday, April 30, 2013

EDC contest Story Winner

Ferfal, here is my everyday carry story.
I am a 35 year old father of 4 living in Colorado. One night last summer I took my family to the sushi restaurant located at a strip-mall near our house. We live in a nice neighborhood and could have walked to the restaurant, but our youngest child was just over one year old at the time and it was easier to drive. We met my mother-in-law and her sister at the restaurant.
We were having a fun dinner – we tried the Miso soup and had just started passing around plates of sushi when my one-year-old started making a little too much noise, and my mother-in-law decided to take him for a walk outside. We were seated by the large windows that spanned the entire front of the restaurant and I could see the two of them playing on the sidewalk outside. I was facing the front door and the windows that extended out from the front door, on either side.
Suddenly, a middle-aged women walked into view from the left of where I was seated and leaned heavily against the glass window with a loud thud. Her hair was a mess and her makeup had been spread around her face by tears and the wiping of dirty hands. She was talking on a cell phone as she leaned against the window and she looked very distraught. I noticed my mother-in-law waiving her hand in a back-and-forth motion, signaling for me to come outside. She was holding my one-year-old in her arms.
I walked outside and my mother-in-law said, I think this woman needs some help. I started to approach the woman when a young man, about 18 years old, appeared from the around the corner of the building where the woman had come from. He was wearing a t-shirt with a dark colored button-up shirt over it, only the very top button was fastened and the rest of the shirt was parted to each side, with the widest space at the bottom. He was standing at the top of three steps that the woman had descended before leaning against the window, which was presently to my left. He said, “hey man, I’m just trying to get this woman a cab.”
I ascended to his level at the top of the steps and said “hi” and shook his hand. He explained he had found this woman crying and asked if he could help. She seemed intoxicated so he called a cab. He asked me to help him get her into the cab when it arrived. I looked over at the woman and I could hear her telling the person on the other end of the phone line that she was going to kill herself. She was obviously intoxicated and very emotional, but her speech was clear because she was speaking in an elevated tone of voice.
I said, “Hey, man, I think we should probably call 911 because….” Before I could finish speaking, the young man leaned his face close to my ear and said, “If you call the cops, I’ll F***ing stab you right here.”
Time seemed to slow down as I became very aware of the cell phone in my left and the pocket-knife (a little Spyderco Dragonfly) in the front-right pocket of my jeans. When I looked down at my phone, the young man lunged for it and missed as I pulled it away, spinning counter-clockwise and pushing him away from me with my right hand. Upon missing the phone, he stumbled to an upright position on the steps and then lurched past me, back in the direction where he came from, and stopped about ten feet away.
I could sense, without seeing, the distraught lady behind me to the left and my mother-in-law with my one-year-old directly behind me about twenty feet or so. I vividly imagined, like a daydream, the young man rushing toward me, my right had drawing the knife from my pocket, unfolding it with my thumb and driving it into his chest. The thought made me cringe and my mind raced as I tried to decide what to do next. I wanted to call 911 to help the distraught woman, who I believed to be mentally ill or intoxicated or both. I did not want to have to stab the young man. I drew and unfold my knife while simultaneously raising the phone in front of me to dial 911, such that I could see the young man in front of me as I did so. I got the 911 dispatcher and announced, so that she and the young man could hear me, that I had a knife in my hand because the young man threatened to stab me if I called 911. I explained that a woman needed to be taken to the hospital because she seemed intoxicated and she threatened to kill herself. The dispatched asked for my location and I explained.
The young man looked nervous and he turned to his right and started walking away, then he moved toward the woman and said “tell your son I’m sorry.” Then he turned around and walked away across the large parking lot and across the busy four lane street in front of me. I noticed for the first time that he had a red backpack on, the type that is just a nylon bag with strings as shoulder straps.
Within minutes, several police cars and an ambulance arrived. Two female police office stepped out of their cars, and one asked me to identify myself. I explained that I had called 911 and that I had a knife in my hand, which I showed her by holding it between my thumb and forefinger with the flat of the blade and handle exposed to her for maximum visibility. She put her hand on her pistol and told me to put the knife down. I slowly set the knife in front of me on the concrete sidewalk. She carefully picked it up, folded it, and put it on top of her patrol car. She told me to sit down and asked me questions in a very demanding tone. She asked for my driver’s license and I handed it to her. She asked me to explain what happened several times and I did so, at one point she asked me to stand up and show her where the events had taken place. I felt conscious of the fact that I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans – I felt like if I was better dressed she might have treated me better.
I saw two or three more patrol cars arrive, and the young man was let out of one of them. A male officer arrived and told the female officer he would take it from here.
“You’ve probably told your story enough times,” the officer said, “there are some discrepancies in your story.”
“Well, if there are, then that’s how the human brain works because I’m trying to explain it clearly but parts of it seem like a blur,” I responded.
“That is how it works, actually,” he replied. “We caught the other guy. We found a knife in his backpack. He says he grabbed your cell phone, and that’s about the only thing I could charge him with. Do you want to press charges?”
“I don’t think he actually grabbed my phone,” I said.
“I believe you,” the officer replied.
“I don’t want to press charges. I was afraid he would rush me and didn’t want to stab him, so I showed him my knife and called 911 at the same time,” I explained.
“I asked him why he didn’t want you to call 911, and he didn’t have a reason – I don’t think you did anything wrong,” he said.
By that time, my mother-in-law and her sister had taken the kids home, and only my wife was waiting for me. We drove the short distance home and I gradually relaxed as the adrenaline worked its way out of my system.
I learned some things from this experience. I learned that I am the type of person who tries to help people. Sometimes in trying to help people, one becomes caught up in dangerous situations. I started thinking more about defensive carry. I looked into a better defensive carry knife. Interestingly, the guy who helped me at the sporting goods store said that he was a former combat medic and “you don’t want to get in a knife fight, get a gun.” I think that makes a lot of sense. I did buy what I consider to be a better defensive carry knife that day, a Buck Redpoint, which is a great defensive carry knife for the money. I took off the clip, and it fits nicely in my pocket. I also plan to take a concealed carry class, which will allow me to legally and responsibly carry a pistol. If the situation I described above had happened while I was carrying a pistol, I don’t think I would have drawn it, unless I saw that the young man was holding a weapon in his hand. I think I would have told him I was armed and that I didn’t want any trouble, but that I was going to call the police. I’m curious what you and your readers think about the situation I described above and my defensive carry philosophy. Take care,
Hi Patrick,
Nice story man, you won!
Several things to point out:
1)The use of the cellphone to call for backup and having it with you, even when going out for a quick bite.
2) The knife being used, and this person clealry thinking better about what he as doing (and not wanting to get stabbed!)
3)Realizing you need more of a fighting oriented EDC knife instead. I would recommmend a Cold Steel Voyager rather the Buck Redpoint though.
4)Finally concluding that yup, carrying a gun is a good idea.
5)Bad things happen when least expected, close to home, when doing "normal" stuff.
6) One last comment, next time remember to put away the weapon (knife or gun) before cops get there. That's how people get shot.
Thanks for sharing your story!


Anonymous said...

Yeesh, so pro-cop it's not even funny.

"I wanted to call 911 to help the distraught woman"

Have you ever search the phrases:

never dial 911


NEVER Ask the Police for "Help,"



"I felt like if I was better dressed she might have treated me better." - yes, because you didn't want to be perceived as a mere mundane or an average helot.

You'd have been better off telling the guy you would Never call the police because you care about people. That might have stopped the escalation of the threat and actually done some good. Quite unlike what happened.

lemmiwinks said...

This is my knife and I love it:

Buffalo River Maxim Folder Knife

I also recently got a few of these Handtorch Keyring Mini. They're expensive (got mine for $8) but at 10g and 35mm (just over 1"1/4) you don't even know it's there.

Lance said...

Texas may make switchblades legal this year. Seems they are already legal in many states. That ought to expand the carry options a bit.

Steve said...

Leaving a gun holstered may make sense in terms of not escalating the situation. However, there are videos showing how far an attacker can run in the time it takes you to draw your gun. I think Mythbusters even did a show about it. Make sure it's out if they're armed and within running distance.