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  • Hypothetical Scenario - Need opinions

    Ok, I work at alot of bars as an armed officer.

    Suppose someone breaks a beer bottle and now has an edged weapon and acts as if they will use it to cause harm to you or another. The tools at your disposal are:

    - Firearm
    - OC
    - Baton

    Are you right to draw down on the subject to compel the subject to drop the "weapon"? Should you try OC?


    What would you do?
    "I am not a hero. I am a silent guardian, a watchful protector"

  • #2
    Originally posted by FireEMSPolice View Post
    Ok, I work at alot of bars as an armed officer.

    Suppose someone breaks a beer bottle and now has an edged weapon and acts as if they will use it to cause harm to you or another. The tools at your disposal are:

    - Firearm
    - OC
    - Baton

    Are you right to draw down on the subject to compel the subject to drop the "weapon"? Should you try OC?


    What would you do?

    This depends on a couple of things:

    1. Your definition of "right." If you mean "legal," then yes, you can shoot to stop. Any edged weapon constitutes a deadly force situation. However, if by "right" you mean logical, you may be better off with the baton or OC. Then you must look at something else. Step 2.

    2. Are you in an enclosed area like a bar? This automatically almost rules out firearm usage. Too many people makes a really high collateral damage risk. Also, OC can harm others and then you have to deal with lawsuits. In this situation, the baton is the best. However, it may be difficult to draw and deploy if under attack.

    3. Honestly, I have handled the situation while unarmed working in a bar. Generally a guy with a beer bottle for a weapon is intoxicated. You can probably set the perp off-balance easily and then disarm. This does not mean do not use other, more efficient means, but is something else to think about.

    I cannot see a clear answer to this without a more in-depth scenario, but I would be interested in what some of the older S/O's on here would suggest...

    Comment


    • #3
      From my standpoint the question seems silly.

      My use of force training and my use of force matrix says that I should use at least the same or one step higher level of force then the subject is using against me. In this case a bottle, which is a bladed object.

      The 21 foot rule applies here. The subject, if within 21 feet of me, can charge at me and strike me with this bladed object before I have an oppurtunity to react and draw my weapon and fire a round, thereby killing me.

      If the subject is charging at me, I would fire hip shots at him, as I am moving out of his path of travel, until the MoFo goes down and is no longer a threat to me.

      If he is just standing there looking stupid, I would draw down on him and order him to drop the weapon. If he doesn't, or he moves in any direction other than to drop the bottle, I would double tap him, with two rounds into his center of mass. If he is still standing, I would then fire a third round at his head, since I would be under the belief that he is wearing body armor and that may be the only way that I can eliminate the threat.

      The broken bottle, along with the behavior and scene that you describe is not time to be playing around with OC or a baton. With either of those weapons you will still have to fight him and there is a chance you will loose. Why play the odds?
      Washington DC

      Comment


      • #4
        If the subject is charging at me, I would fire hip shots at him, as I am moving out of his path of travel, until the MoFo goes down and is no longer a threat to me.
        It frightens it me that you are LEO if this is your mindset. Here's what happens in a bar, as the OP stated where he regularly works. This is where each shot lands:

        1st=college girl celebrating 21st b-day.
        2nd=jukebox
        3rd=drunk doing karaoke on stange
        4th=drunk (target)
        5th=drunk (target)
        6th=waitress
        7th=pool table
        8th=bartender


        Good job, you hit the target twice, caused $1000's in damage and killed a few innocents because you decided to fire your weapon, not only from the hip, but also on the run, in a crowded area. Good luck in court and even more once they put you in a cell on multiple counts of manslaughter or negligent homicide and general stupidity.

        All of that to stop a drunk with a beer bottle who could have easily been stopped with an ASP or MEB or boot or chair that is most likely right next to you in a bar...

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by dougo83 View Post
          It frightens it me that you are LEO if this is your mindset. Here's what happens in a bar, as the OP stated where he regularly works. This is where each shot lands:

          1st=college girl celebrating 21st b-day.
          2nd=jukebox
          3rd=drunk doing karaoke on stange
          4th=drunk (target)
          5th=drunk (target)
          6th=waitress
          7th=pool table
          8th=bartender


          Good job, you hit the target twice, caused $1000's in damage and killed a few innocents because you decided to fire your weapon, not only from the hip, but also on the run, in a crowded area. Good luck in court and even more once they put you in a cell on multiple counts of manslaughter or negligent homicide and general stupidity.

          All of that to stop a drunk with a beer bottle who could have easily been stopped with an ASP or MEB or boot or chair that is most likely right next to you in a bar...
          MJW064 is right. As described, the scenario is a deadly force situation and the use of a firearm is theoretically defensible. The details you list would cause one to evaluate other options but those details were not presented (in the initial post). One can imagine this scenario transpiring in a less crowded setting (such as the parking lot) just as easily.
          I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
          -Lieutenant Commander Data
          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe we have different understandings of what is going on here.

            If the guy is charging at me, we are in close quarters. My hip shots will hit him, as he is within a foot or the most two feet from me. Hip shots are not intended to shoot someone 7 or 10 yeards away. Next, if he is charging at me with a deadly weapon, my first duty is to protect my life, as I cannot help anyone else if my life is lost. I will protect my life with deadly force when it is being challenged with deadly force.

            You said:
            Suppose someone breaks a beer bottle and now has an edged weapon and acts as if they will use it to cause harm to you or another.

            Which I took to mean, that this guy is displaying body language which indicates to me that he wants to kill me. Well, I am not fighting this guy with an impact weapon or a chemical spray and taking a chance on loosing. Secondly, if he is as nuts as I beleive him to be and he wins the fight and takes me out, well now my weapon and my two additional magazines are now available to him.

            Thus, I stand by my argument. I will defend my life with deadly force, so that I can still be standing to help others when the threat has been neutralized.

            My training and general orders will defend me in court.
            Washington DC

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree 100%.

              My training and general orders will defend me in court.
              ...and the law.
              I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
              -Lieutenant Commander Data
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                mjw064, thank you for mentioning the 21-foot rule or the Tueller Drill. Too many folks forget that rule or drill and have paid for it with their lives or been seriously injured.
                I would guess it has been 17 years now I was during a Court Security Survey at DC's Superior Court for the US Marshals Service and happened to talk to several older members of the DC's Police Force and I mentioned the 21-foot rule in passing. They told me it was not longer taught in the academy, but their supervisors made sure they understood its implications. To say I was stunned is an understatement. I certainly hope that rule or drill has been restored to the academy's curriculum everwhere, not just in DC.
                Enjoy the day,
                Bill

                Comment


                • #9
                  i would reach out and pull my bufford pusser stick out and bust his head!! seriously, i cant respond rightfully to this because i am not in that situation, but i believe i would not use a firearm. one thing is i would maybe use my baton and spray at the same time. again, it would depend on whether it was a inside or outside situation. u could easily use the baton to bust the bottle the rest of the way, or bust the guys wrist, then spray him, or, give him a hard knock across the chin, or behind the ears and then sweep his feet out. i think there would be other ways to handle this situation without endangering other patrons of the bar.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Maybe we have different understandings of what is going on here.
                    Apparently we do...
                    Ok, I work at alot of bars as an armed officer.
                    That's the first line of the OP.

                    If the guy is charging at me, we are in close quarters. My hip shots will hit him, as he is within a foot or the most two feet from me. Hip shots are not intended to shoot someone 7 or 10 yeards away. Next, if he is charging at me with a deadly weapon, my first duty is to protect my life, as I cannot help anyone else if my life is lost. I will protect my life with deadly force when it is being challenged with deadly force.
                    "Intended" is the key word here. They will hit other people if you are shooting and moving out of the path of the perp. Or at least hit other objects. Also, you say "I cannot help anyone else if my life is lost." What help are you to the people that you unintentionally shoot while playing cowboy in a bar? If gunning them down on accident is your idea of helping them, I pray you are off duty when I go to DC next summer...

                    You said:
                    Suppose someone breaks a beer bottle and now has an edged weapon and acts as if they will use it to cause harm to you or another.

                    Which I took to mean, that this guy is displaying body language which indicates to me that he wants to kill me. Well, I am not fighting this guy with an impact weapon or a chemical spray and taking a chance on loosing. Secondly, if he is as nuts as I beleive him to be and he wins the fight and takes me out, well now my weapon and my two additional magazines are now available to him.
                    You talk about your training. I have been trained for this situation with a baton and with OC. If you are properly trained, you don't need your firearm in the aforementioned scenario.

                    Thus, I stand by my argument. I will defend my life with deadly force, so that I can still be standing to help others when the threat has been neutralized.
                    Of course, after you have shot all kinds of innocent bystanders, remember this is in a bar according to the OP, you are pretty much the only threat to their safety. I'm sure they will thank you and give you a medal for that.

                    My training and general orders will defend me in court.
                    Yea, except not. Maybe as an LEO, but try being and S/O and explaining to a judge why you went outside of your training and shot innocent civvies, and destroyed private property in order to stop a drunk with a beer bottle when you CLEARLY had other means at your disposal. Anyone who discharges a firearm in a bar needs to have their head examined and then be locked away where they cannot hurt anyone else.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hmm… Think about how close you would have to be to use a baton against a knife/edged weapon wielding assailant. OC… Negative. If you are too close, the OC won’t be effective and it will not stop the attacker’s momentum. If the OC is deployed too far away, it won’t be as effective. Moreover, you will certainly get hit with your own OC and that presents a whole different set of problems. In short, OC will do very little (if anything) to physically stop the suspect's forward thrust. You could also be incapacitated by your own OC.


                      You talk about your training. I have been trained for this situation with a baton and with OC. If you are properly trained, you don't need your firearm in the aforementioned scenario.
                      I adamantly disagree. I have been a cop for over 20 years, I'm an FTO, and I teach at the academy. You are dead wrong on this one. Pardon the pun.
                      Last edited by Tennsix; 03-18-2008, 12:27 PM.
                      I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                      -Lieutenant Commander Data
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hmm… Think about how close you would have to be to use a baton against a knife/edged weapon wielding assailant. OC… Negative. If you are too close, the OC won’t be effective and it will not stop the attacker’s momentum. If the OC is deployed too far away, it won’t be as effective. Moreover, you will certainly get hit with your own OC and that presents a whole different set of problems. In short, OC will do very little (if anything) to physically stop the suspect's forward thrust. You could also be incapacitated by your own OC.
                        Ok, 31" +26" baton- 5" grip= 52". I could still crack a drunk in the head before I get stabbed. You have to remember, the OP is about a bar. People who start problems in bars are drunk 90% of the time. I've worked in bars and clubs since 18, I think I know this one. Also, OC gel is recommended for working in a bar by my former trainers. Leads to less overspray and surely keeps most of it off of you unless the perp is smart enough to fling it back. Also, a 15-ish foot effective range of OC is sufficient in the situation at hand.


                        I
                        adamantly disagree. I have been a cop for over 20 years, I'm an FTO, and I teach at the academy. You are dead wrong on this one. Pardon the pun.
                        Regardless of how adamantly you feel you must disagree, I am anything but wrong on this one. I disarmed a drunk in a bar just this January using my friggin hands. I don't care how long you've been a cop or how much training you claim to do, I've been there, seen it, and done it. Just because you may not be able to, does not make it an impossibility.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Alrighty now.
                          I believe I speak for everyone here sir, when I say, to Hell with our orders.
                          -Lieutenant Commander Data
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Regardless of how adamantly you feel you must disagree, I am anything but wrong on this one. I disarmed a drunk in a bar just this January using my friggin hands. I don't care how long you've been a cop or how much training you claim to do, I've been there, seen it, and done it. Just because you may not be able to, does not make it an impossibility.

                            yeah since he put it that way, i agree 100% now. hell i am on my way down to the armory to secure my GLOCK17 and H&K MP5 right now. i have seen the light. i dont need any damned guns to defend my life or do my job.

                            thanks for helping me see the light!
                            Washington DC

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              On bars and drunkards...

                              I'm gonna have to disagree with the cops here on this one. I, too, have been working bars and clubs for many years. Frankly, the last thing you want to do in a bar is draw or fire a gun; there are far too many potential liabilities.

                              Bars are normally full of drunk people. It's kinda the point of being there. Drunk people are (a) not physically coordinated; (b) not thinking clearly; and (c) not very observant. The last thing you want to present to a drunk, especially one who is already riled up, is a "challenge"--and drawing down on one can definitely seen that way. Doing so will 90% of the time have the opposite effect from your goal; rather than frightening the guy into submission, he's more likely to attack you. You also cannot count on anyone else who is drunk to do the sensible thing and stay out of the way (I can't tell you the number of instances I've been in where I or another bouncer either had to break off from an actual fight to keep some drunk lunatic who was not involved at all from becoming involved or had to rescue some drunk lunatic after he had gotten himself involved). This is why barfights have a tendency to turn into brawls; drunks like challenges, and their senses of self-preservation are impaired. That same impairment also means that they're going to physically awkward, sometimes moving in directions that don't make any sense--they try to charge forward but ending lurching sideways at the last moment, even tho the beginning of the movement was in a forward motion.

                              Look at it this way: in most bars, you are already within 20' of the situation (either by size and layout of the establishment, or because you were doing your job correctly--you noticed the confrontation building and moved to be close to it). In the same situation, I doubt that the bar is completely empty; if it was, who's he getting riled up at? You have at least one other person in hsi immediate vicinity, and most likely several. There are also most likely several people between you and him, unless you are right next to him. All of those other people around you are also intoxicated to one level or another, impairing their judgements as well. If he goes to move towards you, chances are that he will not exactly move towards you, but off to one side or the other. If you choose to draw, you are now faced with: 1 verified threat moving at an angle to you and within melee range; several potential innocents behind and to the side of the threat; several potential innocents to the sides of your line of fire who may move into the target area; and several potential threats immediately around you who may choose to view your drawing as a challenge to them (yeah, I know it doesn't make any sense... if your sober). That's an awful lot of liability. It also doesn't give you much room to move or maneuver (which is very common in bars, especially bars with problems).

                              Given the situation as presented (you've got a riled up drunk with a broken beer bottle in a bar... which doesn't actually give us enough info to make an informed decision), your best option is to cautiously approach in a non-threatening manner (hands ahead of you at a little above waist-level, a little outside your shoulder-width, palms facing the subject) and verbally talk the subject down. I'm not saying don't be ready for action, but weapons will only make it more difficult to control the situation. Drawing a firearm in this situation is legally justifiable, but a bad call due to potential liabilities. The same goes for spray of any form. The baton, if you have the space to weild it correctly, would be the best option of the three listed.

                              Personally (and I have faced this exact situation many times), I would go unarmed. I, sober and with defense training, am far better equipped to handle any threat than he, drunk and uncoordinated. The last two times this happened (both within the past two months): the first, I was able to talk the guy down before I'd even reached him, convincing him to put the bottle down and step to the door with me, from where he was escorted out; the second, he lunged--well, lumbered is more like it--for the other guy with the bottle, and I was able to intercept his arm, disarm him, and place him on the floor before he even had a chance to finish the movement. Remember, drunks tend to be slow and telegraph like Western Union offices.

                              All that said, I have one comment and one question:

                              Comment: Never try to be a bouncer unless you know exactly what you are getting into, have some sort of self-defense training, are able to read people well, and are willing to get into situations where you might be hurt on occassion.

                              Question: Where are you that the bar has armed security?! I've never even heard of that. We do everything in our power to keep guns outside the bar, even to the point of if we ID someone who is carrying, we ask them to leave it in their vehicle. Alcohol and firearms should never, ever be mixed, especially in a crowded environment.



                              ...damn, that was a long post. Sorry!
                              "I don't do judgment. Just retrieval."

                              "The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it."

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