Two weeks ago, I got the following note from a fellow named Jared Bailer…
I was in your class in LV last month and learned a lot. I wanted to share with you what happened the other day and how your training kept me from what I think could have been a nasty situation.
I was headed to meet a friend at a movie at a local casino. I went into the parking garage up to the 4th level. As I made the turn into the level, I noticed a guy walking to his car, which was parked somewhat near the elevators. So I pulled around so I could take his space. His car didn’t move and I didn’t see any backup or brake lights so I figured he wasn’t actually leaving. As I drove past the car – a dark green 4 dr sedan, older model Toyota – I noticed that there were actually 2 men in the car. I didn’t think much about it and figured that they were waiting for a friend. I drove past them and parked a little ways down.
As I left my car and began walking towards the elevators (which are in an area that is kind of concealed from the rest of the garage) the passenger got out of the car, while the driver remained behind the wheel, and fell in behind me moving towards the same elevators. So, I slowed my pace a bit and so did the guy. On entering the waiting area I went straight ahead to a garbage can pretending to throw something away, which also allowed me to turn sideways so I could see him.
He pushed the call button and when the elevator arrived he said, “After you,” and let me go in first. Now I’m starting to feel very uneasy, so I casually, almost absentmindedly, pulled out my tactical pen that I bought at your workshop and used it to push the button for my floor, in an obvious way for him to see it. I then backed up and just started tapping my pen on my hand in time to the elevator music.
The guy starts some small talk asking if I was going to the movies and I said yes, and he said, “So am I.” We exited the elevator together and continued some more small talk as we walked down the hallway towards the theatres – but when we got there I went to the right towards the ticket line and he turned left and went away from the theatres. Hmmm.
Now, like I said, maybe it wasn’t anything and then again maybe it was someone looking to get someone alone in the elevator. In any case, I think the fact that I was in condition yellow, aware of my surrounding and the potential situation, made eye contact, reveled that I was prepared to defend myself, and kept my eyes on him kept it just a casual encounter.
What We Can Learn from Jared’s Situation:
1. One of the biggest pre-incident indicators is when a person matches your pacing. In the note above, Jared says, “So, I slowed my pace a bit and so did the guy.” If this ever happens to you, you better move from condition yellow into condition orange and be prepared to defend yourself.
2. Criminals work in teams. Often, one criminal’s job is to rob someone in the elevator and then to quickly rush to the other criminal in the getaway car. This is why you need to practice defending yourself against multiple attackers. You should practice this with your gun, tactical pen, and other self-defense tools you use.
3. Give the potential criminal eye contact and let them know you are “onto them.” Don’t be afraid to look them straight in the eye even if it’s awkward. This will let the criminal know you won’t be an easy victim and they’ll be more likely to move on to someone else.
4. Get a tactical pen. Pulling out the intimidating-looking tactical pen was a great move by Jared. It let the criminal know Jared was likely the wrong guy to try and attack. Criminals want easy victims… they don’t want to end up in a fight or a struggle where they themselves could get hurt or could lead to their arrest.
Jared summed it up best when he said, “In any case, I think the fact that I was in condition yellow, aware of my surrounding and the potential situation, made eye contact, reveled that I was prepared to defend myself, and kept my eyes on him kept it just a casual encounter.
Remember to stay alert and never, ever think to yourself, “it will never happen to me.” Good job Jared.