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  • Breaking up Fights?

    What experiences have you had with breaking up fights? I have very little training in this and I'm a smaller guy. What are some tips or techniques you use?

  • #2
    First tip: Don't break em up unless you have to. Give clear notice and intent that you will stop the fight if you have to, and they won't like it.

    Second tip: If you have to, use a chemical agent before wading in.

    Third tip: Never get between fights. Pull one off, then expect the second opponent to attack both of you, as the first guy attacks you for interfering.

    Fourth tip: More than three people, get friends. Friends with guns.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

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    • #3
      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      First tip: Don't break em up unless you have to. Give clear notice and intent that you will stop the fight if you have to, and they won't like it.

      Second tip: If you have to, use a chemical agent before wading in.

      Third tip: Never get between fights. Pull one off, then expect the second opponent to attack both of you, as the first guy attacks you for interfering.

      Fourth tip: More than three people, get friends. Friends with guns.

      Great advice Corbier!

      If I come across a fight, I simply get on my cell phone and call the local police or have my dispatcher do it. I don't get involved anymore UNLESS there is a threat of great harm or death to someone. I've had too many sucker punches from my blind side over the years to even want to get involved.
      "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

      ~~George Orwell.

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      • #4
        Before attempting nathans tips CALL PD and get them rolling cause sometimes even after being hit with oc the subjects will still attack you or the other person in the fight.
        "Get yourself a shovel cause your in deep Sh*t"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bigdog
          Before attempting nathans tips CALL PD and get them rolling cause sometimes even after being hit with oc the subjects will still attack you or the other person in the fight.
          Simply yell, "Here come da cops."

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          • #6
            Well I often work sporting events with many other people. We are required to break up these fights.

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            • #7
              Buckshot:
              The advice espoused by both Nathan and Special Investigator is sound and worth your while to implement. Never try it alone, get backup. Management may not like you calling in the local police but it will save you a trip to hospital or morgue.
              Enjoy the day,
              Bill

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              • #8
                We break up patient fights all the time. Actually, we pretty much can not have the police intervene for anything less than a riot. We have to get the patients apart from each other, or off the staff member they are attacking, get them into restraints and into the seclusion room.

                We use the "PRO-Act" system, which I personally HATE and think its only going to get people hurt. The system works well in training with a compliant subject, but in real life, you take them down with whatever force necessary that is not punitive or causes injury to the patients.
                "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
                "The Curve" 1998

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                • #9
                  I've dealt a lot with them during spring breaks & what we in Montreal hotel security call "Boston Weekends". I too like to use my strongest weapon, my voice . Telling them the cops are coming, even going as far as to pretending to call them on the walkie-talkie. Next I get any of their less drunk friends to try & talk to them. I only get pysically involved as a last resort. And I have no gun or pepper spray to rely on In my 30 years, I've been punched twice!
                  I enforce rules and regulations, not laws.
                  Security Officers. The 1st First Responders.

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                  • #10
                    N.A. Corbeir hit it on the head!

                    We have our fair share of gang fights that take place. Its a rough one, but safety first is the highest concern. Of course we dispatch PD, but dont expect arrival for 15-30 minutes after doing so, which is very common.

                    For large scale fights, involving a crowd surrounding the fighting subjects, we use the fogger technique first. We send out one verbal warning only. Those that immediately do not dispurse, get to enjoy an airy environment full of OC. By waving the MK-9 fogger back and forth, pretty much the only ones left standing around are the ones still fighting, while the crowd decides the tingly sensation in the back of their throats, is too much. Once the crowd dispurses, we use direct contact OC, and let it take effect. Then go in from behind the subjects to take custody. Starting out with the most aggressive, then working down.

                    For small scale, we will warn them once, then use direct OC. Same scenerio of wait and apprach from behind.

                    Fights are very dangerous. You get individuals who are amped up to cause physical harm to another. We, by past experience, can not stand by and let it go on, as we are liable for permitting an unsafe environment (which went to court once). Typically, you try to get a verbal compliance. If no one is interested in paying attention, then you try to descypher who the aggressor is, or who is the most aggresive and dangerous. Generally the male/female that has the upper hand in the fight and is winning, gets the lucky selection. Take care of the most aggressive, and alot of times the other party observes their counterpart being taken, and become immediately compliant.

                    Crowds: Once you dispurse the crowd, you have to keep them away from the fight. If you havent "fogged" them by this time, be ready to use direct OC contact (if available). The individual the steps out of the crowd and attempts to get involved in your "dealings" is the highest threat, and needs to be dealt with immediately. Watch your back. The person that is making the most comments, and "amping up" others, has to be treated just the same as the ones actually fighting. This person has to be dealt with as severely as the fighters and needs to be done so in front of the crowd. These persons, are the "instigators", and while you have your hands full with a fight, these types will cause others to become aggitated and hostile, making an already bad situation, worse. When an instigator steps forward to cause a scene, you use the same control tactics, whether OC or physical control, and eliminate that subject as a danger. It is illegal in most states to further instigate a fight, so you have grounds to arrest. By doing this, the crowd, or "sheep" that value to aggitation of the instigator, back down. They see this "leader" get the same treatment as the actual offenders, and tend to not want to want become further involved.

                    We have had many cases where in handling a fight, and getting the subjects under control, some bright individual decides to take it upon himself to step up and make comments, such as "You cant do that!", "Why you being that way?", "I outta kick your @@@, let him go, he wasnt doing anything wrong". At this point, a simple statement is made "Unless you want to be a part of this, back off". We had a few occassions where the person did not listen, and ended up smelling like apple blossum. Others see this, and decide that it isnt worth getting involved.

                    A direct 4 approach, with more than one officer is highly encouraged. We never appraoch in single units, as it is too dangerous. If we are short staffed, we have plenty of janitors and maintanance persons who have participated in our PPCT that would love to stop cleaning and back up a security officer. Sometimes some of our most trusted merchants will help in a time of need. Same for good samamritans. Never look past what is available for help. THe more people you bring to a fight, the chances for injury to you and your people decrease.

                    Play it very safe, use any tool available, and have others on hand to help. Of course, dispatch your local PD, as it will be a relief to have them arrive and assist.
                    Deputy Sheriff

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BUCKSHOT
                      What experiences have you had with breaking up fights? I have very little training in this and I'm a smaller guy. What are some tips or techniques you use?
                      Fights are dangerous, so ask your employer for more training until you feel confident dealing with such. If they are hesitant, just put it out there that from a management standpoint, an hour of training is much better than risking half a month of workers comp, lawsuits, or unsatisfied clients.

                      I'll never understand the dearth of training for high risk security activities such as this. It seems to me like employers would like to know that their employees can safely and legally do the job they are paid for.
                      Last edited by cnick001; 11-16-2006, 06:29 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Early recognition of problems has helped me. A few times, I have walked between 2 parties (planned for my safety of course) saying excuse me to the most obnoxious, and asking the other to escort me. Been lucky I guess that the other guy doesn't follow.
                        Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted.
                        Groucho Marx

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                        • #13
                          When working for State DOC as a Corrections Officer I broke up fights on a regular basis. We were trained in some common take down manuvers and joint locks. The main thing to remember is safety. The last thing you want to do is wade into a fight and get your butt kicked. Observe, report and wait for back up was the main point they taught us.
                          Now, as an unarmed guard with no arrest powers, I stay back, observe, report and let the police do it. Luckily I'm working in industry and fights are extreamly rare. When they do happen we aren't trained to put hands on them.
                          Hospital Security Officer

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                          • #14
                            Key point every one agrees on here... Training!
                            Deputy Sheriff

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cnick001
                              Fights are dangerous, so ask your employer for more training until you feel confident dealing with such. If they are hesitant, just put it out there that from a management standpoint, an hour of training is much better than risking half a month of workers comp, lawsuits, or unsatisfied clients.

                              I'll never understand the dearth of training for high risk security activities such as this. It seems to me like employers would like to know that their employees can safely and legally do the job they are paid for.
                              cnick001:
                              Some companies view their employees as a Kleenix, use once and discard. Enjoy the day,
                              Bill

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