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Was I in the wrong?

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  • Was I in the wrong?

    Hello all. Boy it's been a long long time since posting here. I do have a question about whether or not I made the right decision.

    So yesterday at work, we had two customers that were involved in a mutual combat fight outside of the building, near an exit. The fight started as an argument inside our building but was agreed on by both parties to take it outside.

    I was called by our security desk of an argument between two customers. By the time I arrived, both parties were in postures of fighting and were arguing. I attempted to deescalate the situation by talking to them, but unfortunately they were hell hent on fighting.

    As I was waiting for back up to arrive, both customers began exchanging blows and eventually ended up fighting on the ground. All I could do is clear the area and try and talk them out of fighting.

    Eventually the fight broke up and both parties left the property. When the lead guard reviewed the footage of the fight, he said that it didn't look good for me because I didn't jump in and attempt to physically break them up. It was an incredibly stupid comment on his part because A. Both customers outweighed me by 30-40 lbs easily. and B. It was just me and one other female guard. Back up took way too long.

    I told my lead that his comments were inappropriate, and no one in their right mind would ever jump into a mutual fight, unprepared and without help, and attempt to break them up. I plan on bringing this up with my supervisor, but first I wanted to make sure I made the right call.

    As far as I'm concerned, I'm not putting myself needlessly into harm's way because of two knuckle heads wanting to punch each other out. My security lead disagrees and says it's my job to prevent them from injuring each other.

    Number 1. We are not trained in dealing with those types of physical confrontations. Yes, we occasionally do get into scuffles, but some things are unavoidable. I'm not going out looking for fights. I've got kids and want to go home to them every night.

    Number 2. We are not given any equipment to deal with those kind of situations. We do not have OC spray, handcuffs or anything.

    Number 3. We are currently dealing with a shortage of staff.

    Also, no where in our policy does it state that we are required to jump in on those situations. We can jump in, if we feel safe doing so. In the situation described above, I definitely did not feel safe doing so.

    So I'm just curious to see what others here would have done on this situation. Did I do the wrong thing?

  • #2
    You did fine. Your Lead is an idiot. Where they on your property? If not, then you need do nothing. If so, you did clear the area, called for help, ensured safety of others. All good calls.

    Why on earth would you EVER jump into a fight with no training and no weapons? Remember: you get hurt, you’re done. No pension, no job, nada.

    Call 911 and let the cops handle it.
    Last edited by Soper; 08-25-2019, 12:27 AM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Soper View Post
      You did fine. Your Lead is an idiot. Where they on your property? If not, then you need do nothing. If so, you did clear the area, called for help, ensured safety of others. All good calls.

      Why on earth would you EVER jump into a fight with no training and no weapons? Remember: you get hurt, you’re done. No pension, no job, nada.

      Cal 911 and let the cops handle it.
      I figured as much. The customers were on our property, but like you said, it's not worth the risk of injury.

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      • #4
        The other side of the situation is IF your “lead” jumps in and cracks skulls, the lawsuits that will come...

        If you get pushback from your Sup, just tell him you were thinking of the huge liability to the company and felt O&R was the best thing to do, because you CARE about the company.

        Good luck!

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        • #5
          "Mutual combat" is allowed in Seattle - but the police will intervene if you are a threat to bystanders, hampering traffic, etc. No equipment or MOAB training? Then you "observe and report" and just keep using verbal commands to stop until the police arrive.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Soper View Post
            The other side of the situation is IF your “lead” jumps in and cracks skulls, the lawsuits that will come...

            If you get pushback from your Sup, just tell him you were thinking of the huge liability to the company and felt O&R was the best thing to do, because you CARE about the company.

            Good luck!
            Well I told my supervisor. He was just as shocked and confused as I was about his comments.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Condo Guard View Post
              "Mutual combat" is allowed in Seattle - but the police will intervene if you are a threat to bystanders, hampering traffic, etc. No equipment or MOAB training? Then you "observe and report" and just keep using verbal commands to stop until the police arrive.
              Yep. Basically that's all we can do.

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              • #8
                I agree with Soper. It seems like you handled it well, doing everything you reasonably could given the various factors involved.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Soper View Post
                  You did fine. Your Lead is an idiot. Where they on your property? If not, then you need do nothing. If so, you did clear the area, called for help, ensured safety of others. All good calls.

                  Why on earth would you EVER jump into a fight with no training and no weapons? Remember: you get hurt, you’re done. No pension, no job, nada.

                  Cal 911 and let the cops handle it.
                  Agree, Yes you did good
                  http://www.laurel-and-hardy.com/ Greatest Comedy team ever!

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by c0187 View Post
                    Number 1. We are not trained in dealing with those types of physical confrontations.
                    ^^^ And this is pretty much all you need to bring up to your lead as to why you didn't physically intervene.

                    Let's say you did try to physically break it up... when all this goes to court (and it will), likely one of the first things an attorney is going to ask you is if you were (A) formally trained, and (B) authorized by your employer to apply whatever control hold/physical restraint that you applied to their client(s). If the answer is "no" to either of those questions, your lead would be giving you the exact opposite statement that he originally gave you, your direct supervisor and upper management, aka the company, would completely wash their hands of you and toss you to the wolves to help mitigate the negative backlash they're going to get, and you could very well be looking at both criminal and civil penalties in addition to losing your security creds and thus, your livelihood. Not worth it one bit. You took the CORRECT course of action. You observed and reported..

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