Attacked with a pointy object

Discussion in 'War Stories' started by Chrisoro, May 3, 2015.

  1. Chrisoro

    Chrisoro Blue Belt

    Nov 23, 2014
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    I wrote this in the Defence with a knife: To show, or not to show-thread, but since it is not really relevant to the topic of that thread, I am reposting it here as it took a while to write, and I think it could contain some useful lessons. Anyways, here is the full post as it appeared in the other thread:


    Instructor's experience with a knife attack mirrors my own experience being attacked with an improvised pointy weapon some years ago.

    At the time, I worked regular night shift as a milieu therapist at a locked door psychiatric ward(that is, the doors between the ward and the rest of the hospital were locked, not the individual doors to each patients room in the ward). This was a fairly high security ward for high risk patients with a history of violence, and the patient I was responsible for watching this night, had a complex history with many attempted suicides and pretty horrific episodes of self harm, and also many cases of attacking staff and attempting to attack other patients. He was also fiendishly strong for his size, usually requiring several staff to take him down whenever he freaked out.

    As a long time drug addict, he had responded poorly to a wide range of the usual antipsychotics, and constantly switched between full out psychosis and relatively clearity of mind in a quite unpredictable fashion. Because of this, at the time he were to be confined to his room (which had it's own separate bathroom), unless there were good reasons for letting him out of it, and then only with two staff accompanying him at all times.

    Usually we were also two people watching him at all times in his room, or sitting in a small room between his room and the corridor outside, which served as a small buffer between him and the rest of the ward (which we also used for temporary storage of garbage and dirty laundry from the patient), in case he decided he would make another attempt at escape or attacking someone.

    However, as we had some staffing capacity problems, we were only three people on watch that night, with a responsibility to watch in total five patients. We did however have alarms in our belts, that if deployed would give us fast backup from nearby colleagues, and from colleagues in the other nearby wards in usually less than a minute. As the other four patients were asleep, and one of my colleagues had to write reports in the office at the end of the corridor, we decided that my other colleague should sit in a chair just out in the corridor, next to the door to the small room where I was sitting, while the patient slept in the innermost room. We thought that this would give my colleague good time to enter the smaller room where I was sitting, in case I needed backup.

    Usually, the patients on this ward used a dedicated smoking room, but as this particular patient posed a threat to the other patients in his current condition, he was allowed to smoke in his own room. Because of this, the door between his room and the small room I was sitting in, was closed most of the time, to let staff (which primarily consisted of non-smokers) avoid breathe in the smoke from his constant use of cigarettes. As every patient and his belongings are searched thoroughly whenever entering the facility, and his room were searched every day for objects he could use to hurt us or himself, we thought that this was a safe setup.

    Well, as I sat there reading a book and listening for activity in his room, around four in the morning he suddently opened the door and came at me with something that to me looked like a knife. As I sat in the chair with my back to a wall, I didn't have time or space to get up quickly enough, and the only thing I could do was to push him back into his room with my leg. This pushed him about two meters backwards. As I got up from the chair, he went at me again, and I figured that I didn't have time to turn around and pick up the chair I had been sitting in, so instead I picked up a partially filled laundry basket (looking a bit like this) that was placed next to the wall a bit in front of me and to the side, and used this as a shield between him and me. By pushing myself forward with one leg against either the wall or the chair, I managed to push him backwards again with the laundry basket in front of me, and back into his room, and the momentum let me continue to push him until I reached the other wall. This gave me the opportunity to lean into the basket, and let go of it with one of my hands so that I could use it to trigger the alarm in my belt. The colleague in the corridor immediately entered the room, we got a hold of his arm, and continued to wrestle a bit with him until further backup arrived a short wile later, and we managed to take him down and pin him to the floor.

    It turned out that what he had tried to stab me with, was a plastic toothbrush that he had partially melted with his lighter, and formed into a pointy triangular shank by melting and pressing the handle towards the table in his room. It may not have presented much danger of cutting me, but as a stabbing weapon, it would definitely have been effective enough to severely hurt me had he managed to stab me with it.

    After nearly 20 years of martial arts training at the time, and with all my hours of training knife defenses in several different systems, what I ended up using for defense when attacked with a pointy weapon was a laundry basket. But it worked, so I'm not complaining. :)
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