Am I paranoid or were they trying to rob us?

Discussion in 'Holsters / Method of Carry' started by Malum Prohibitum, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    This happened last year. I did not want to post about it at the time.

    The wife and I were in New Orleans.

    We went out to the French Quarter at night for dessert. We were dressed well. Because I was wearing a cashmere/wool suit jacket, I was carrying concealed out of necessity.

    We were returning on a relatively well lit city street with several lanes and a trolley car track down the middle. Businesses were open. People were strolling about. It was not dark or empty.

    A young black man we passed tried to attract my attention. I indicated clearly to him that I was not interested and he should back off. We continued walking. He tucked in behind us at a distance and began following. I chatted with the wife mainly as an excuse to keep track of his position in my peripheral vision, since I thought it odd he was following us. He had been standing in the same place on the sidewalk for quite a while before we passed him.

    I saw him raise his hand and make a motion, looking ahead of us and to the right. I turned to look ahead and saw another young black male standing far ahead and across the street acknowledge the signal with a nod and cross the street perhaps 75 yards in front of us. He turned left on our sidewalk and began walking straight toward us. The one following behind kept his distance.

    "Did you see that?" I asked the wife without explaining what I meant.

    "Yes," she replied, confirming for me that it was rather obvious.

    The sidewalk was very wide on this particular street (unusual for New Orleans). As the man in front closed the distance, he moved way over to his right, our left, and passed us. I watched him pass as we continued walking. He met up with the other guy who had been following. They had a brief conversation, then turned toward us and began following.

    I grew slightly alarmed as I noticed that the pace with which they followed was unusually swift and nothing like the pace being used previously. Something had changed, and they were closing the distance between us rapidly.

    We kept walking. I waited until they were about 10-12 feet away, my head still turned toward my wife feigning polite chattiness so that I could observe them in my vision's periphery. Their path was on a direct collision course. They showed no sign of moving left or right to pass.

    I intentionally slowed my pace to close the gap a little faster than they expected. The rest happened in less than two seconds. My smart and very perceptive wife immediately moved several feet away from me, and I stopped completely and abruptly, which I hoped they also did not expect. As I was stopping, I placed my hand under my coat and obtained a firm grip on my H&K USP 45C, then turned quickly to face them, with no gun showing yet.

    My intention at this point was only to issue a loud challenge, since there was no overt threat yet existing.

    I did not even get to open my mouth. They took off.

    I posted this tale in this section because I do not believe this would have happened at all had I been carrying openly. Carrying concealed, middle aged, dressed well with my petite wife dressed well, I probably presented the image of a clueless tourist. An easy mark. We looked like soft prey.

    I have tried to describe the event as accurately as I can, but it is hard to capture what happened exactly in print. For one thing, the entire event unfolded in less time than it has taken for you to read this post.

    So, what do you think? Were they intending violence? Were they collecting for the Red Cross? Did I over or under react?
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  2. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    It doesn't sound paranoid to me. In fact it sounds fairly reasonable that they were considering you both as targets.

    Their reaction to you turning around to face them only further strengthens my suspicion that their intentions were not benign.

    The important thing is clearly you both went home safe that night. Possibly due to your actions.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess everybody knows what the motion to draw a gun looks like. Their flight indicates guilt to me. I have been unable to come up with any other explanation.

    I thought it best to appear overly aggressive without crossing the line into breaking the law myself.
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    What does everybody think about the reaction of my wife? She moved away without a word from me. It is like she read my mind.
     
  5. Feral

    Feral Active Member

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    You're married so she may have picked up on more subtle hints about your current demeanor than you may have realized you were giving.

    Someone like myself or the suspected robbers wouldn't notice, but since she knows you so well she did notice.
     
  6. TimBob

    TimBob Old, Slow, Boring Dude

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    She has great situational awareness. You married WELL!
     
  7. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

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    I think that maneuver was a clear signal that something was about to happen and she didn't want to be near it. Obviously, they saw her move a safe distance away and decided they didn't want to be near it either.
     
  8. codegeek

    codegeek codegeek reincarnate

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    you handled it well. The other thing I might have considered was ducking into a business establishment. As for their intent, I do not have the DNA necessary to divine that :)

    Well done!
     
  9. codegeek

    codegeek codegeek reincarnate

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    BTW, yes, your wife is a smart cookie. I need to have this conversation with my wife as well, as well as the possibility of her creating a distraction if necessary.
     
  10. Taurus92

    Taurus92 Well-Known Member

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    One other thing, and it wasn't real clear, you wouldn't want her moving an unsafe distance away. Where she might become a hostage if they kept walking but split up, dividing your attention. If one walked toward her and the other walked to the opposite side of you, you would end up with one at your back and one too close to her.

    Fortunately, that didn't happen, but who knows how much planning they put into these things.
     
  11. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    I would assume that you and your wife discuss firearms and self defense fairly often. I also assume that some of your situational awareness that you keenly use on a daily basis has rubbed off on her. Your visual cues and body language indicated to her that something might go down and it would be best to move out of the way and this isn't surprising to me in the least. I think wives are pretty smart at reading the intentions of their husbands; our body language gives it away (as the might be perps also picked up on). I can't offer a similar tale (thankfully) but we were once near an approaching large crowd that was getting very unruly...as the possible threat got closer, I put skin on grips (concealed since this was in San Antonio, TX) and at the same time, my wife smartly got behind me; it was like a well oiled machine. We made a beeline across the street to gain distance on the mass of craziness.

    As to your original question...were you about to be robbed? No telling. The signs were there, for sure. When I am out and about, I always assume the worst. This is probably a bad attitude to have as a human, but as someone who likes to be alive, I think it's a wise way to carry myself. If I don't know you, and you are near me...you are a threat...until it's proven otherwise.
     
  12. atlsrt44

    atlsrt44 Well-Known Member

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    First off stop wearing cashmere. Id rob you if i saw you wearing cashmere. Secondly it definitely was a little fishy.
     
  13. phaed

    phaed Active Member

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    good lookin out. you prevented whatever it was (and i think it was definitely something), and didn't initiate force. sounds like a good day to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  14. Mrs_Esterhouse

    Mrs_Esterhouse Swollen Member

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    My guess is most victims would hand over their purses and wallets if a perp merely claimed to have a weapon. I think it's super easy pickings down there with all the tourists. I was just there two weeks ago and carried as well. Bourbon Street at midnight was a cesspool of vomit, piss and s***, and there were drunks laying in it passed out on the sidewalks. I had at least two street-dealers approach me and offer "marijuana, cocaine". So I said to myself: well, you only live once. J/K about that last part. Yeah, probably the most sketch I had experienced in a long time, but I was super glad to have been armed during the trip.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2016
  15. jato

    jato New Member

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    I commend both you and your wife for your situational awareness and how you both handled that situation. My wife laughs at me because I won't sit with my back to a door.
     
  16. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    She did better than mine probably would - mine would have probably yelled at me not to shoot them...

    I've had a similar situation at one time. It ended like yours - uneventful. Thankfully. But I'm reasonably certain that the people meant to do me harm and/or rob me.
     
  17. Archangel

    Archangel Moderator Staff Member

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    My wife used to but doesn't any more.
     
  18. John1976

    John1976 New Member

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    Darn Ed, I've called you many things. But soft target? Sounds like these gentlemen need glasses. Even in the days before you started working out you would never be a soft target. Leigh Ann is a smart lady. Glad you two are safe.
     
  19. Solomon_G

    Solomon_G New Member

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    You acted in the same way i would have.

    The most obvious thing that indicates they were up to no good is the fact that they were positioned in a way to be in front of you and behind you.

    The man who passed you was a scout of course, get close enough to make a decision based on your appearance.

    Than meet up and plan the robbery....I'm sure they did not expect that reaction out of you...so you took the element of fear out of it.

    I agree that them running exudes guilt.

    Wonder how many targets they have a day....asses.
     
  20. ET.

    ET. Active Member

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    It is obvious that they were up to something. Robbery is the most probable conclusion, but they could have been out to abduct your wife after sticking a knife in your side...it happens. A true case where being armed saved your belongings and/or your lives. I do think you would never have been messed with if they had seen a gun on your belt. We can't have liberals feeling uncomfortable at the sight of your gun, now can we?