Background: I have had my CCW for a little over 9 years, I carry regularly but not everyday. In the numerous self defense classes that I have taken I have always been told to avoid confrontation and bad situations.
Situation: I am leaving the office early to run to a 4pm meeting, I had mistakenly miscalculated how long it was going to take me to get there and was running just a couple minutes late according to the GPS. I know the area I am going to and there is an unsavory part part of town that I have to pass through to get there. Not the worst in our city, but its a 45mph 4 lane road with a couple stoplights that I have been on dozens of time. Being late and rushing I am zigging and zagging through traffic to try to make up a couple minutes of time. Finally I get stuck behind 2 school buses side by side and we roll up to a light that just turned red. I am in a newer car at a stop light with traffic all around me. Looking to my left I see a young kid about 11 or 12 wave at me and come running over to my car smiling. My first reaction was to check that my doors were locked while he made his way over (my windows are already rolled up and I had pulled to within inches of the bus in front of me and I know there is a car right behind me). “Hey mister, I got off on the wrong stop on the bus. Do you have fifty cents so I can get home or to call my mom?”
Now this kid looks very sincere and completely non threatening, but I have always had a rule that I donate to charities and not to beggars. Fifty cents is no big deal, but I just say no and sorry. He persists and gives me “Please, I just want to go home”. I shake my head and say no. Suddenly my car violently lurches to the side as I hear my door handles pulled on. I look over and see to large men trying to yank my passenger side doors open. I am in broad daylight in the middle of a crowded intersection cars all around me. “Open the door m********r, get the f***out” one of them jumps onto my hood moving across to my side, at that same moment I grabbed for my Glock that was in the side panel of my door and brought it up with my left hand while reaching for my seatbelt release with my right. The guy instantly saw the gun and began to roll off so I begin to look for the other known threat, the other man had been coming around the back of the car to the drivers side and by the time I swept right and back left looking for him he was already running as well. I did notice a piece of metal in his hand that looked like a thin pipe or rebar.
My mind is blank, adrenaline hasn’t even started going yet. They are gone, out of sight the entire ordeal lasted less than 20 seconds. I am left there with other astonished drivers all around probably thinking the same thing WTF. Light turns green a few seconds later, traffic just moves out….. I start to realize the reality of the situation, but what am I supposed to do? My mind goes back to I am late for an important meeting. So I just drive forward and begin to take in what just happened. I put the gun away and debate pulling over. But instead I keep driving.
Aftermath: I dial the police on my cell phone while still heading to my meeting. I report over the phone that a child and two large men tried to break into my car while I was at a stop light, but I was able to drive away. They ask if I could give a description and if they had stayed in the area, I told them what I could over the phone which was not much and they asked if I wanted to come give a statement. I simply declined and the operator thanked me for calling it in and that was it. I got to my meeting about 5 minutes late and by then the adrenaline and nerves had completely set in but I got through everything without a problem.
Review: After leaving my meeting I called a friend of mine who is a CCW instructor and told him the story. He was very happy to hear that I was ok and not overly shaken by it, but confirmed that this is a known trick that happens. The kid distracts you and then the big guys yank open your door and hop in forcing you out or in some cases the kid will kick your door really hard if you turn him down to try to get you to jump out of the car which is when they hit you in the head with a crowbar and leave you bleeding on the side of the road. If you don’t open up they can smash your window open and then drag you out. I never would have expected this to happen on a busy road in the middle of rush hour traffic regardless of the area. These guys were prepared and were very fast, having and knowing that my Glock is always there is probably the only thing that stopped the attack.
Be safe out there and remember to always watch your surroundings no matter the crowd or time of day.
Allow me a few minutes of Monday morning quarterbacking…
- Even though he admits he screwed up and let his day-to-day concerns overwhelm his situational awareness, everything worked out well. Bad guys run away, good guy goes home.
- Wanna bet he flinched when the attack started, yet he fought through that “Oh, s***!” moment and was able to grab his defensive firearm and save his skin.
- Note where that firearm was carried, in the side door pocket. This is where I carry my car gun as well. Good to know it works, although something in the center console or under the steering wheel would work if the driver’s side door had been opened instead of the passenger door.
- Lock your doors when you’re in the car, and keep enough space to drive away if something bad happens. My habit is to leave enough space between cars at a stoplight so I can see where the back wheels of the car in front of me touch the pavement.
- He didn’t make a statement and file a report. I can understand the reasons why he didn’t, but filing a report would mean those crooks might have one more charge to defend in court when/if they’re arrested.
- Carry your gun. It’s a lighter burden that regret.