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Common Sense Self – Defense Lesson VI: Keeping Away From Violence

Places You Are Likely To Encounter A Predator

I realize that the title of these posts is “Common Sense Self-Defense Lessons” and I realize that the past couple of installations have been a little complicated. I wanted to pull back a little bit, get out of the psychology aspect a little bit and get back to the “Common Sense” part.

I went back a few posts and read them. As I did I realized that I had instructed people to stay away from places they might be attacked but had gone into little detail on these places. So I wanted to give the reader some ideas of danger areas they should avoid. This is a simple list and we shall once again reference criminals as predators. Likewise the places themselves will be likened to areas in the wild to a degree.

The Waterhole – Where People Gather To Drink Or Do Drugs

There is always a potential threat of violence in these sorts of places whether it be a bar or a crack house. Alcohol and drugs alter the mind. They change the way we think and act. Normally meek and shy people have the habit of becoming raving lunatics after consuming large amounts of booze. Drugs such a PCP can make a person extremely violent and almost unstoppable while they are under its influence. Get a large group of people together, add alcohol and / or drugs, and you have a recipe for trouble.

One thing you should keep in mind is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to understand an altered mind. It is even more difficult to rationalize with them or calm them down. If you succeed in calming them they have a tendency to violently explode again.

I was working the graveyard shift one time at the Front Gate of the institution. At about 3 am I noticed a young man walk up the drive way from the highway. You must understand that the complex is 3 miles outside of the city limits of a VERY small town. This was in no way a normal occurrence. At the time the minimal security inmates (Campers, they were called because they were housed at the Federal Prison Camp on the Complex grounds) were allowed to wear regular blue jeans and tee shirts. This kid was dressed in blue jeans and a baggy gray hoodie. I noticed that the knees of his jeans were ripped to shreds and his knees were bleeding. He was staggering and obviously under the influence of something.

“Oh great,” I thought. I thought a Camper had left the complex, went into town, gotten wasted, gotten beat up, and was now returning to the prison. I stepped out and ordered him to stop. He looked at me and I asked him where he thought he was going. Without missing a beat he pointed at the lights of the camp and said “Home”. I sighed and told him to show me his ID, my hand covering my side arm the whole time. The kid reached around and pulled out his wallet which was on a chain and hooked to his belt. I breathed a small sigh of relief. Campers weren’t allowed this kind of wallet or leather belts. He was drunk and walking down the highway. When he saw the lights of the Complex he thought is was Canon City and he was almost “home”. That issue was resolved but I was still dealing with a drunk alone at 3 o’clock in the morning.

I had him sit down on the curb and told him not to move. He was a citizen on Federal property and if he was injured in any way I could face a ton of legal actions I did not particularly want at this stage in my young career. He complied, even joked with me and sat down. I reached in the door and called Control. I relayed to them what was going on and asked them to call local law enforcement. No sooner than I had hung up the phone the kid was up. He was yelling at me, cursing and threatening. I had no clue if he had a weapon under that huge hoodie or not so I went right back to covering my gun and trying to talk him down. Finally I asked him what had happened to his jeans and his knees. I had also noticed a laceration on his forehead and several bruises on his face. He told me he had fallen down. (Yeah…right) and he had walked all the way from Montrose (Montrose is way up in the mountains and a good 100 miles away…another Yeah…right). This calmed him down again as he told me of his adventure. Five minutes later he was up and threatening again. I was about to go way out of my scope of employment and cuff him when the Sheriff pulled in and took him away. He was just a kid. I could have took him down fairly easily but I had a firearm to keep guarded and a ton of legal mumbo jumbo I would have went through if I had. The thing is: one minute he loved me. The next minute he hated the PO-lice and wanted to swing on me.

The Gathering Of Young Bulls – Wherever Young Males Gather In A Group

Older teens and younger men tend to seek to gain a standing in the pecking order of their peers. It is a reputation or social standing dynamic that occurs in a group when the testosterone is flowing and there is a bit of criminal tendencies thrown in for good measure. It is like a heard of big horn sheep with young males jockeying for position in the heard. In humans the social order of the group is more than likely already established but there will always be the few who want to “prove” themselves. If you wander into the group chances are you will be totally out of your element. You will not be sure where you are or you won’t be sure who they are. They will see you as a “safe” victim. One or two of them may see you as someone who can’t identify them and see the opportunity to gain some status in the group. As I said, these will be the ones with little or no status and they may openly challenge you.

Territory Rivalry – The Turf War
This happens when two or more people or groups are trying to control a certain area for its resources. When I say this you will probably automatically picture a ghetto neighborhood with gang factions at war. Of course this is a realistic view. There are many places, and not all of them poor run – down areas of town, where groups and gangs resort to extreme violence to claim and keep their territory. But it goes further and more subtle than that. This can also be two, maybe even three, males who are competing for a female. How many fights have you saw or heard of that involved the jealous lover attacking the new boyfriend…a lot of the time this happens at The Waterhole by the way. Ladies aren’t exempt from this either. These are called “Personal Territories” and they are just as dangerous, yet not as easily to spot, as physical territories.

Also included in Personal Territories are Inner Territories. People fight, attack, and kill each other over respect, honor, or a sense of worth.
They will fight and attack to defend the way other people see them.

Desolate Places

This mainly deals with the predator. We go from a herd mentality as in the past examples to a predatory mind-set. These are places where the attacker will not likely be caught or disturbed and go back to what we have already discussed. The predator will chose the best place and time to suite him to attack. These are the two things he will consider before anything else. He needs, as I stated, a place where he will not be disturbed. He also needs time. A robbery or murder can be done quickly and even out in the open. A predator, especially a sexual predator, needs time to torture and / or sexually assault his victim. A desolate place is not limited to a dark alley or an empty parking garage. Home Invasions would also fall under the category. In a home invasion the criminal or criminals have reasonable privacy and time to rob, rape, torture, and terrorize their prey.

Hunting Grounds

Although sexual predators may carry out their crimes in a desolate place, most will stalk their prey. They will hunt and they will even hunt in crowds of people. You can compare them to the lioness who uses the tall grass to hide herself until she is sure she has found the perfect prey or the fresh water crocodile who lays just below the surface of the waterhole and waits for the water buffalo to dip its head for a drink. He will look for places where there are large numbers of people who exhibit “victim personalities”. Once again, wherever alcohol or drugs are being used is prime hunting ground. These things impede judgment making for an easier victim. Yet anywhere with large amounts of people can be a Hunting Ground. For example: malls, sporting events, subways, buses, ect work very well.

They may test a person in a crowd by using eye contact, body language, or even touching. If they stare and the person looks away avoiding their eyes they will see that as a weakness. Likewise if they approach someone in a crowd and touch them inappropriately and the person acts like nothing happened it shows a sign of weakness. If they won’t take action in a crowd of people where they have a chance of someone helping them, they are less likely to fight or yell for help if they are cornered alone. They will be less combative and more cooperative if they can be cut from the herd and gotten alone.

  1. February 2, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    So (hi!) I’m reading this and I’m all like, this is why when women act like moron’s in bars it irritates me beyond comprehension. They have NO idea who they are dealing with in that crowd, they have no idea who that person is…

    I hadda girlfriend who had some guy follow her to the bathroom, when she came out he grabbed her and kissed her… to some, no harm no foul. To me massive violation of personal boundaries. I found THE biggest bouncer in the place and had that boy removed from the club. Oh noooo… that’s not happening. Man… I have so many stories and I watch people sit idly back thinking it’s all a joke. This perturbs me.

    Hey! I read an excellent book by Gavin DeBecker, The gift of fear, a few years back and It was the most validating thing I have ever read. It clearly pointed out all the vibes and spidey senses and intuitive things that I have sensed for years and others were all like “M.C. you need to relax blah, blah blah…”

    You can imagine how frustrating this has been for me, my entire life to not have people truly see what I do in certain situations. It’s damned unnerviing to me to know that people are walking around assuming that it can’t happen to them. Geez…

    Oh 🙂 Small vent there LOL !

  2. February 3, 2012 at 5:18 am

    Hi, MC. It’s strange you told the story about your friend in the restroom of the bar. I was reading something on Primary and Secondary crime scenes. The guy used that very scenerio. A predator would attack the victim in the restroom then try to get her somewhere else. Now how someone could drag their victim out of a bathroom, through a crowded bar, and to the Secondary scene without being noticed seems a little much to me but I suppose the right amount of threat might work.Anyway, your post brought that to mind.

    • February 4, 2012 at 3:35 am

      I don’t know, you may realize this doing what you do, but I don’t think women know how to cause a scene to attract attention to themselves over all. I think they shut down and that’s not good.

      I was at a wedding one time, the guy I was going out with at the time (yes he was an idiot and so was I for going to this wedding with him, I digress) he picked me up (because I said I wasn’t sure where I wanted the relationship to go, it’s a very long story) and was literally carrying me to the front door of this banquet hall.

      There was a group of men who just “watched” him do that and not ONE of them offered any help. When I went to the girl by the coat check and asked her to call me a cab, he came up again and she walked away. NOT doing what I asked her to do. I was so frazzled I forgot *dugh* that I hadda cell phone otherwise, my afterthought was to call 911…

      So… it’s like this. Even if the woman made a scene, even if she drew attention to herself… would anyone actually offer to help? I highly doubt it. Highly, highly, doubt it.

      You don’t want to know what I called those men standing there who did nothing to help me. Course, they probably figured I was the crazy one right? Yah… how lovely. Suffices to say that I do not have much of a belief system that people will do the right thing. Or anything for that matter.

      Look at women who are attacked by their husbands/boyfriends? They go after the person who beat the guy up and they protect him and everything like that… “oh don’t hurt him” … yah, I’d leave the room… go ahead, have at him.

      In my humble opinion, the people who would actually DO SOMETHING are far and few between. Suffices to say why someone could literally be dragged out of a club and no one would lift a finger.

      • February 5, 2012 at 7:35 am

        MC, can I ask a question please?
        At this wedding, was the couple getting married friends of his or yours?

      • February 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm

        You may ask me anything you like at any time. 🙂 Thank you for asking if you can ask me … very considerate. I like that.

        Okay, I have NO idea… wait, they were not friends of mine. I truly don’t remember who he was related to. But they were no one I knew personally.

        Are we saying this would have mattered in the someone helping me arena?

    • February 5, 2012 at 8:07 pm

      I think, if they were his friends, it probably relates to The Gathering Of Young Bulls that I wrote about. A herd mentality. He was basically gaining status with the others around. They didn’t think / didn’t care he would do anything to you. It’s a little more complicated than that but that is the general psychology of it.

      • February 6, 2012 at 1:59 am

        LOL 🙂 I’m sorry to laugh but I think it was very simply, nothing to figure out in the sense where people don’t want to get involved. I don’t think he knew very many people. I fall on the very true belief that they simply did not want to get involved.

  3. February 4, 2012 at 6:56 am

    Some people have a victim mindset…. sadly, they often don’t realize they have it either.

  4. February 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    you have been nominated for the one in one hundred warrior award



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