So I just got come, pulled into the driveway and opened up the garage. But I don’t park in it because I let the wife park her car instead. But she gets home usually within 10 minutes of me so I don’t lock the door, we live in a quiet, small suburb. Most neighbor’s leave their garages open most of the day on the weekends, we walk over to our neighbor’s house and usually just go right in. So since she is normally behind me with kid in tow, leaving the door unlocked just makes it easier for her. However, I normally lock the door after she gets home. So just another normal day.
Well after a couple of minutes of being home I am standing at the edge of the hallway from my kitchen to the garage and all of a sudden I hear and see the garage door open expecting to see my wife. However, a young male pokes his head in and begins to enter my home as if he was looking for something. So I am standing there looking at him, and for a split second I am taken back for a WTF kind of moment, and then I start to be confrontational. I am shouting commands at him, which I cannot exactly recall, but they were in the spirit of “you are in the wrong house” . . . “Get the F&** out” in repetition. Either way he continues to enter my home and stands there, but has this 1,000 yard look on his face and even makes me think that he doesn’t see me. So my mind is racing, I begin to pull my pocket knife out, which is an EDC style with G10 grips, etc. Reason being, he was literally 4 paces from me. My CCW was in a case on the kitchen counter, other side of the kitchen next to my phone. I wouldn’t have been able to get to in time, open it up and retrieve it fast enough to confront him if he decided to come at me with a weapon or he would be towards my back. This kid had like 6 inches on me but he was scrawny and wearing minimal clothing so I made the decision to stand my ground and face the threat with what I had.
This all takes place over a few seconds. I am giving him commands as I begin to grasp my knife, but as I assess the situation and him, I get the impression that he was special needs rather than under the influence of a drug or of sane mind willing to commit violence. His hands were contorted like curved up. His body language wasn’t aggressive. He was looking around as if he was confused, and didn’t seem to even look at me once. He just stood there, but then he began to slowly move towards me. I still didn’t feel like he was going to be violent however, I don’t know this kid and had never seen him before so I didn’t take a chance. That’s when I made the decision to back up towards my CCW while staying oriented towards him, all the while continuing to give him commands to stop and get out, which he wasn’t going to do. As soon as I had positive retention of my CCW, I took my grasp of it and pointed it at his chest while giving him commands, and it didn’t phase him. Then I had the idea if we wasn’t going to turn around then maybe I could lead him out.
So I lowered my CCW to the low ready and gestured with my support hand to follow me and said “hey come this way . . .yeah follow me . . lets go. . .” while I was backing up to the front door. I still kept him in front of me in case it went south, but this way I didn’t have to try and turn him around, just needed him to walk straight. Thinking he was special needs, I didn’t want to touch him or get physical in any way because I wanted to keep my distance, but also any type of physical contact could set him off. And it worked, he followed me and walked right out the front door. However right as that was occurring my wife pulls up into the driveway with my son. So once I get the front door closed I made a bee line to the garage and yelled at her to shut the garage, but also yelling at him to keep walking because I didn’t want him going back in there, especially with my son right there. So I was going back and forth telling her to close the garage, and for him to keep moving, and my wife thought I was losing my mind. Even though he walked right behind her car she never once saw him. Right after it happened I called 911 to report it and as I was just about to talk to the dispatcher when one of my neighbors comes whipping around the corner in his car and just about parks in my front yard to talk to me. I immediately knew the two situations were related. So as the situation turns out, the guy was autistic and lived a couple houses down the street, but I have never seen him before. He gets confused easily and basically didn’t know where he was and for the most part what he was doing. So I tell my neighbor what happened and the direction he went in, he then peels out and finds the guy a street over. Crisis averted.
So the takeaways –
1. ALWAYS lock your doors even if its for a couple of minutes or a small inconvenience. This is a common sense idea, but all it takes is once and the one time I didn’t lock the door this happens. Even if your wife gives you lip and thinks your nuts.
2. Assess the situation and the threat, I didn’t need to get physical and I didn’t need to discharge my weapon all because he wasn’t following my commands. I could tell something wasn’t right with him off the bat.
3. Always keep distance because the situation could change in a heartbeat. Be prepared if it does.
4. Keep the threat at your front, don’t let it get behind you
5. MOVE, if I just stood my ground and expected him to move, the situation could have escalated over a misunderstanding and here I am, a 5’10 and in shape veteran, with a dead, autistic, unarmed, scrawny, but tall, 18 year old on my floor. . . . guess how that would have gone over in the courts?
Stay safe and keep your situational awareness sharp at all times!
I want to thank the author of this story for allowing us to use this excellent example of why Use of Force is not always warranted. The author’s quick, accurate assessment of the situation saved a man’s life while still protecting himself and his family. I think his takeaways in this situation are very accurate. This author brings great credit upon himself and the self-defense community!
Source: Carolina Shooters Club