Aggressive panhandling: Scenario
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Thread: Aggressive panhandling: Scenario

  1. Question Aggressive panhandling: Scenario

    I am wondering what steps members would take to deal with an extremly agressive panhandler. This happened a few years ago in New Orleans before I had much training or real life experience, but it has continued to bother me when I remember how I dealt with it. I think the way I resolved it may have put future innocents in more danger as a result. I basically gave the guy money just to "leave us alone" (I think about three or four dollars). My spouse and I were walking down Boubon Street. This pandhandler was approaching people and asking if they would like to have a shoe shine. He had no shoe-shine equipment. I should have immediately crossed to the other side of the street but it was very crowded and for some reason did not even notice this guy until I was right on top of him. He was a wiry little muscular guy---perhaps a homeless veteran but I am only guessing. He looked like he could handle himself and appeared to be counting on his ability to escalate in front of other pedestrians in order to get what he wanted. He dropped to his knees in front of me, spit on my atletic shoes, and began to "polish" them with the sleeve of his coat. I immediately pulled away and ordered him to "leave us alone". He was more than ready to escalate the situation and demanded money for the "shoe shine". I again ordered him to leave us alone and attempted to walk around him. He then got directly in front of me (within arm's length) and refused to step aside. I was armed but did not have a taser or pepper spray. I could have hit him or attempted a brachial stun or other technique if I wanted to escalate to physical agression. He did not display a weapon or threaten with a weapon. What I did was say to the guy, "look, here is $4.00". It is not for you spitting on my shoes and rubbing them with your sleeve. It is for you to get away from us and leave us alone. I remember it thinking what a bad decision it was........I basically told this guy "look, if you are willing to be hyper-aggressive, it will pay off". How far would members go in dealing with this type of aggressive panhandling? Would you use pepper spray? A Taser? Do the same thing?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Honolulu, HI & Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    2,797
    My generic response to panhanlers is "Can't help you, I don't have any cash." It's worked most of the time. In one case, I just came out of a store, and had a couple of bags of misc. items. The guy asked me "how did you buy that?" I told him "This store takes plastic, have a nice day."

    It's good to have a plan before getting into situations like this.




    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  4. #3
    Good question..
    I'll be standing by to see peoples responses...


    Gulf Coast, Floriduh
    Sccy is the limit

  5. Quote Originally Posted by Glock Fan View Post
    My generic response to panhanlers is "Can't help you, I don't have any cash." It's worked most of the time. In one case, I just came out of a store, and had a couple of bags of misc. items. The guy asked me "how did you buy that?" I told him "This store takes plastic, have a nice day."

    It's good to have a plan before getting into situations like this.




    gf
    Very good points and this is usually the way I handle the more common panhandlers. However, remember he didn't initially ask ME for money. He just dropped to his knees and pretended to "shine" my shoes and then demanded money after I jerked away from him. I attempted to walk around him but he stepped in front of me within arm's length and that is when he demanded the money. I should have been more aware of my surroundings and crossed to the other side of the street when I first saw him asking others for money. But I was pretty green at that time......

  6. #5
    I'm large enough (and ugly enough) that I could (and have) get by with: "Move it, son" and then walk on around them. Admittedly, I never had one drop to the ground to spit on my shoes, so that's different.

    OTOH, I've known folks who would keep a few bucks in their pockets just for instances like these. When confronted, pop a couple bucks to the guy and keep moving...just the price of doing business, I guess.

  7. #6
    Well, that's part of the problem. People give them money to "go away". Then they are trained to hassle you because you will pay them to go away. I'd just tell them no and keep moving. In the past I have put my cell phone to my year (not really making a call) ...

    "This is detective Morrison. I got a black male who's becoming violent. I need some backup at my location immediately"
    They usually take off like a shot. The first guy I did that to was hopping around on crutches asking for $ and was being a pest. When I did the above scenario he threw the crutches down and sprinted away across parking lot. He even had some cloths wrapped all around his shin to look like an injury.







    .
    In the beginning, the patriot is a scarce man -- brave, hated, and scorned. But when his cause succeeds, the timid join him. For then, it costs nothing to be a patriot. -- Mark Twain

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    699
    Oh I don't know, something to the effect of, "On your way or I'm going to call the police" comes to mind.

    He'll either;

    A) Leave you alone or
    B) Continue to demand money, at which point you call the police or
    C) He will get physical, which allows justification of physical force on your part

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wesley Chapel NC
    Posts
    270

    Scam artists

    Never give money. Immediately pull out your phone and tell them you are calling the cops (be prepared for action). This will end the encounter 99% of the time.

    When I lived on UT campus I was hit up for money almost every day. You get to where you can tell the scammers from the actual homeless. I never gave any money. Usually a threat to call the cops makes them back down quick.

    One funny story, I had a homeless drunk hit me up for money outside my apt. and I asked what he wanted it for. He told me he needed new socks... Well it just so happened I had been to the laundy and still had a basket in the car, so I tossed him a pair of socks. He was confused, but sat down and changed socks.
    Had another one where a woman wanted money to get a flat fixed. Well I had a tire plug kit and told her I would fix it for her. When I asked where the car was she got nervous, mumbled something incoherent and walked off.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    33
    I guess we're farily lucky here. We have aggresive laws against that kind of panhandling and they're enforced. Fortunately, I haven't had exactly that happen anywhere else I've been....yet.

    I'd just have walked across the street, crowded or not. I wouldn't get verbally aggressive back as you have no way of knowing how stable this individual, or any other for that matter, is and you definately don't want this to escalate especially with the wife in harm's way. If he is persistant, a simple "Please go away or I'm going to call a cop" should suffice and just keep walking. Don't give excuses because he's heard them all and you're wasting breath. Definately don't give him money. I understand why you did, but don't if this happens again.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Honolulu, HI & Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    2,797
    Quote Originally Posted by MONTANA View Post
    Very good points and this is usually the way I handle the more common panhandlers. However, remember he didn't initially ask ME for money. He just dropped to his knees and pretended to "shine" my shoes and then demanded money after I jerked away from him. I attempted to walk around him but he stepped in front of me within arm's length and that is when he demanded the money. I should have been more aware of my surroundings and crossed to the other side of the street when I first saw him asking others for money. But I was pretty green at that time......
    I would have still gone with the "Don't have any money" line, then politely say something like "Please step aside before you force me to call the police." All of this while I reach for my cell phone with my left hand, taking a defensive body position and preparing to put the guy down with a well placed kick/punch if necessary.

    If he backs down, great! I would then simply move on. If the guy goes ballistic, I would take appropriate action and proceed with the 911 call and defend myself if necessary. In any case, I would not give the scumbag money, as I agree with the others in that this would encourage him to continue the behavior in the future.

    Unless the guy confronts me with "deadly force", I would not draw my firearm. Once he picks up a knife, bat, brick, etc., then all bets are off and I would respond accordingly.



    gf
    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

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