Road rage

Steve

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In the big picture, I agree. Understanding why these incidents happen is important. In answering oak tree's original questions... not so much. It's easy to say "avoid the whole mess..." and take that to a hyperbolic extreme of never leave the house lest you inadvertently offend someone... But for this instance, he was there. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt over the guy who followed him and threatened him, absent some reason to suspect he's omitted a detail like giving the other driver the finger as they passed.
I'm not at all suggesting we take this to a hyperbolic extreme of never leaving your house, and I do suspect that there are some salient details missing.
 

Bill Mattocks

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"if you were so afraid of my client, why did you get out of your car?"

Which is why you don't get out of your car. Also why you do not let the guy get up to your car window. Leave by whatever means are required.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I have had these kinds of discussions before. Lots of variables that people think need to be considered. Well, what if it was raining? What if he was yelling? What if what if what if.

The goal is to remain alive and uninjured. No one is required to wait until they are at the point of being hurt or killed before they defend themselves.

Why did he follow you? Don't know, don't care. It won't matter to the courts either. What's his motivation? Don't know, don't care. Neither do the courts.

If a 'reasonable person' would feel in fear of their life, they are justified in defending themselves. That's it. That's the standard (most states, your mileage may vary, check with an attorney, etc).

I can't control what other people decide to do while I am driving my car. If they get mad and flip me off, I ignore them. If they cut me off, I ignore them and try to avoid them. If they follow me or stop their car after cutting me off, I am instantly alert. If they exit their car, I leave.

Whatever form that takes, I'm leaving. Over, under, or through them if I have to.

End of discussion. All this hoopla about who said what, who did it and ran, why the sky was blue that day, that's all BS and meaningless. This is a simple situation with a simple solution.
 
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oaktree

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From my recollection I don't think I did anything that was bad I driving such as cutting him off surely, when I went in front of him he did not have to slam his breaks to a halt nor were his head lights in my rear mirror, no verbal yell no honk horn no indication that I did anything which is why I was surprised he turned around to go where I was in the park lot waiting for my wife to come out of her work(there are plenty of shops there) perhaps I should have just drove off but really didn't register it till he was already out of the car what was going on. I personally didn't put much fluff until talking about shooting me which still I just watched until I saw a gun which he never produced.
 

Bill Mattocks

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From my recollection I don't think I did anything that was bad I driving such as cutting him off surely, when I went in front of him he did not have to slam his breaks to a halt nor were his head lights in my rear mirror, no verbal yell no honk horn no indication that I did anything which is why I was surprised he turned around to go where I was in the park lot waiting for my wife to come out of her work(there are plenty of shops there) perhaps I should have just drove off but really didn't register it till he was already out of the car what was going on. I personally didn't put much fluff until talking about shooting me which still I just watched until I saw a gun which he never produced.

If he had produced a gun you'd be dead. Waiting to see one is the most foolish thing imaginable. You asked what to do, I told you. Drive away. Call for help. If you can't drive away by backing up, drive over the S.O.B. Defend your life.

As it happened, the guy was apparently all mouth. Lucky for him, you chose not to defend yourself; you certainly had the right to do so. If he had decided to shoot you, however, that would have been the end of you. Think about that.
 
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oaktree

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Standard caveat that I am not a lawyer and not providing legal advice applies...

I don't know (and really don't care) what precipated the incident. You handled it pretty darn well; nobody got hurt and nobody went to jail. Things I might have done differently, were I in that situation, might include driving to a police -- or even better, fire, since they're more likely to be there -- station, while calling it in; pulling out of the lot without engaging the guy; driving somewhere other than my regular destinations (do you want some yahoo like that to know where you work/live/exercise?); confronting the guy, maybe with an apology to blow him off his script.

When might you have been justified in employing force against him? Let's remember a basic definition for a defense of justification in the case of self defense: You may use the force reasonably necessary to safely resolve the situation. Some of the factors that go into determining reasonably include imminence of the attack, your reasonable belief that the attacker can carry out an implied threat (ability), and your options other than using force - especially lethal force (preclusion). Let's try to analyze this encounter along the way, and see if we can pinpoint when you might be able to articulate a justification for what level of force... (Yeah, folks, this is what articulation comes down to. Practice it often, because when you need it, you won't be thinking straight.)

Some sort of traffic incident happened, and the other driver followed you to your destination.
Force presented to you? Nothing really, he's just following you. Might be time to change your destination, but you probably can't justify pulling a Secret Service ramming reversal and escape yet. Or winging shots out your window as you drive on... (Yeah, hyperbole, quite confident it wouldn't have entered your mind to do either.)

You're both in the lot, and you realize he's followed you there.
Has he blocked you in, or can you drive on? Unless he's blocking you in, he still hasn't really done anything other than follow you. Not much justification for using force yet, huh? If he's blocked you in, maybe... but you might want to wait to be able to better articulate an ill intent towards you. After all, he might just have been stopped behind you looking for a space (I know, unlikely, perhaps, but not unreasonable) or he might have been trying to tell you about a flat tire or other issue with your car (again, unlikely, but not unreasonable).

He exits his car. Things are escalating. You can read and interpret his body language tolerably well; there's a difference between someone coming up to warn you about your car and someone ticked off at you. I'd encourage calling the cops now. Takes time to get through, takes time for cops to get there might want to get that clock started. Also, especially with speakerphones on a cell phone, it's easy to give a play by play to dispatch. But you're probably still not really justified in using much force. Your options are limited (you're in your car, you may or may not be armed...) since your mobility is limited. You're probably not justified in running him down just to get away without really making a solid case for why you feared significant bodily harm... is weapon visible? is he alone? His shooting gesture isn't the same as brandishing a real gun; nobody's been killed by a pointer finger gun yet, as far as I know... But... Pair that shooting gesture with a motion towards a waist band as if to access a gun? Maybe. A lot depends on how you describe that motion. A visible gun? Certainly has escalated things. So... are you precluded still? Depends. Can you drive away? Can you drive away with only property damage? (which is more valuable a life or somebody's planters?) Can your car power through what might be in front of or alongside you? All of that figures into whether or not you could articulate either driving over or at him, or shooting him -- because the way you apply lethal force (force likely to cause serious bodily injury or death) doesn't matter.

So... as you can see, not a yes or no, bright line point... and I'll bet the whole encounter was probably less than a couple of minutes once you were in the lot.

Let's look at a variable... what if you exited the vehicle? Your escape options may increase (you can't drive through a parking garage wall, but you can run along it) as well as your force options... but you become much more vulnerable, too. Your car may not be cover (it won't stop bullets in any meaningful way, unless you happen to have armored your car!), but it's still a heck of a barrier for a person to overcome in grabbing or striking you. Now you have a new range of articulations to deal with. And I guarantee that the first thing an opposing attorney will ask is going to be along the lines of "if you were so afraid of my client, why did you get out of your car?"

That is exactly why I did not get out of the car because I would have been at fault and driving off was something I thought about but I thought he would follow but hindsight I should have drove off.
 
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oaktree

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Most people are saying here you did the right thing and sure knowing what we know now yeah it was but honestly I think you should've acted.

He made a threat to kill you and you were obviously worried about it. As soon as he made that threat I'd have made a move. Because if he had a gun the best chance is to stop him before he takes it out if he did have a gun and had drawn it you wouldn't have been able to do much. You talked taking his life but you had no reason to at that point as soon as he made the threat I'd have jumped out pin his to him so he couldn't reach for anything then put him in a wrist lock get him to the ground and get someone to call the cops.
My problem with doing that was he wasn't the driver he was the passenger and. I don't know how many people were in. Back seat.
All I know I had a guy 5'11 250 with a possible gun possible friends and my wife is about to walk out from work, a pretty bad situation.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Most people are saying here you did the right thing and sure knowing what we know now yeah it was but honestly I think you should've acted.

He made a threat to kill you and you were obviously worried about it. As soon as he made that threat I'd have made a move. Because if he had a gun the best chance is to stop him before he takes it out if he did have a gun and had drawn it you wouldn't have been able to do much. You talked taking his life but you had no reason to at that point as soon as he made the threat I'd have jumped out pin his to him so he couldn't reach for anything then put him in a wrist lock get him to the ground and get someone to call the cops.
LOL.

If someone is standing next to your car door threatening you, you won't be jumping out. It takes very little force to hold it shut so you can't open it.
 

jks9199

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My problem with doing that was he wasn't the driver he was the passenger and. I don't know how many people were in. Back seat.
All I know I had a guy 5'11 250 with a possible gun possible friends and my wife is about to walk out from work, a pretty bad situation.
And a damn good time to leave. Call your wife, tell her to hang out at work another 10 minutes, go to another exit, whatever, and then call the cops.

I agree with Steve -- in some fashion, something you did precipitated the incident. It may have been as simple as being there, when the guy was being egged on by his buddies to do something. In other words -- it may have been nothing you can control. The passenger being the aggressor is unusual and makes me suspect something more was at play. At that point -- when you realized they were following you, that was the time to stop things. Go somewhere else. Drive to a police station or fire station. Pull up to a guard booth at a private property and tell them that the car behind you is following you; call the cops. You call the cops.
 

Dirty Dog

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So all you did was cut a guy off and he was so pissed off he followed you to work? And he pulled in front of you, but followed you? Doesn't add up. I don't get it.

It seems like you handled the situation fine after the fact, but it also seems like you should give some thought to what you can do in the future to avoid angering other drivers to the point they follow you to work.

Personally, I'm surprised by just how often things like this DO happen.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Personally, I'm surprised by just how often things like this DO happen.

I think they are increasing as we become a less civil society. Road rage happens daily. People get hurt or killed by drivers who feel entitled and are utterly unable to grasp why they must wait (for example) behind a car stopped at a stop sign.

No bond for man in Little Rock 'road rage' shooting that killed 3-year-old boy

This one just happened this week.

"Holmes' girlfriend told police that he got upset when another vehicle was following him too closely and he had pulled over to let it pass, according to an affidavit obtained by NBC affiliate KARK. Then, at a stop sign, the other car waited for a "few minutes," and Holmes honked at it, the girlfriend said.

Holmes got out and fired one shot from his gun into the other car, she added. When he returned to his vehicle, the girlfriend said, he had a message: "That's what you get for following me around.""

He apparently shot and killed a three year old boy in the passenger seat of the woman's car.

And just check this link out:

Google
 

Steve

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Personally, I'm surprised by just how often things like this DO happen.
In one thread, it's a concerted effort to downplay the frequency with which these incidents occur. In another, it's wonderment at how often they occur. This place will make a guy dizzy. :)
 

gpseymour

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So all you did was cut a guy off and he was so pissed off he followed you to work? And he pulled in front of you, but followed you? Doesn't add up. I don't get it.

It seems like you handled the situation fine after the fact, but it also seems like you should give some thought to what you can do in the future to avoid angering other drivers to the point they follow you to work.
I've had people get angry enough on the interstate to try to get me to pull over and fight them, simply because I passed them on the right when they were traveling under the speed limit in the left lane (by more than 10 MPH in one case). Sometimes, people are just ready to lose their ****.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I've had people get angry enough on the interstate to try to get me to pull over and fight them, simply because I passed them on the right when they were traveling under the speed limit in the left lane (by more than 10 MPH in one case). Sometimes, people are just ready to lose their ****.

Yeah. I was apparently following someone outside the plant where I work. I must have gotten ahead of him somehow, because I got followed into the company parking lot and a guy hopped out of his car after blocking me in. I was already out of my truck, or I would have backed into his car at ramming speed. He said "Why did you follow me to work?" I said "I work here too, moron. Like 35,000 other guys. And I know your boss." I had no idea I was 'following him'. I was driving the same road most of us drive.

He got back in his car without another word. I see him in the hallways from time to time; he avoids me.
 

Ironbear24

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So all you did was cut a guy off and he was so pissed off he followed you to work? And he pulled in front of you, but followed you? Doesn't add up. I don't get it.

Stupid people don't make any sense. That is why they are stupid.

I watched him carefully waiting to see if he would attack the window, or waited to pull of a gun, As I was watching him I was thinking what point am I justified to take his life if need be? Do I have to wait till he branish the weapon or was the verbal " I am going to shoot you" with using his fingers enough to justify action?

He didn't have a gun and had no intention to shoot you. If he did he wouldn't need you to step out of the car as he could have just as easily shout you through the window. In my opinion you should have peeled out hopefully knocking him over with your car and then ran him over.

That would have been the safer option instead of waiting for him to potentially pull out a gun and kill you. Luckily nothing happened though and it seemed to just be a loser out looking for kicks. He is probably thinking how cool he is for "intimidating" you, even though from what I gather at no point were you ever intimidated.
 

drop bear

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In one thread, it's a concerted effort to downplay the frequency with which these incidents occur. In another, it's wonderment at how often they occur. This place will make a guy dizzy. :)

It is all about context or something.
 

drop bear

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I was broken down on a freeway and a guy drove up behind me flashed his lights. So I got out to find out what he wanted. He asked me for a BJ.

So I squeeled like a little girl and ran back to my car.
 

Saheim

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I've worked as a LEO, for years. I'm currently not in patrol, but still employed in criminal justice. I'm also trained in dignitary protection.

I am NOT a lawyer, an instructor, or qualified to give you ANY advice. I am simply telling you what I WOULD DO.

First - If someone is following me, I would NEVER have went to any location that was important like where MY WIFE WORKS. I would not go to my house or any location I didn't want Mr. Thug to know about for future reference. I would've drove around and around or I would've went to a place with cops (police station, gas station, anywhere I see a marked unit)

Second - there is never a time when I could say "I didn't have my gun on me". If I am in a car, there's a gun with me.

Third - Once that car is stopped (for whatever reason) there is absolutely NO WAY I am allowing someone to approach while I stay trapped in what we call the "fishbowl". Being seated in a non moving car, while your adversary is outside puts you at a horrible disadvantage ESPECIALLY if we both go to shooting at each other.

That's just me, take it for what it is worth TO YOU.
 

Kickboxer101

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LOL.

If someone is standing next to your car door threatening you, you won't be jumping out. It takes very little force to hold it shut so you can't open it.
It takes even less force for someone to take a gun out and shoot you through the window
 
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