I had a defensive gun use three years ago. I have hesitated to use it, until now.
I live in a very quiet community, and many people in the area use neighborhood electric vehicles to get around. Similar to golf carts, they are great for a quick errand to the store. Many areas in Florida are famous for this, and communities frequently include multi-use pathways just for that purpose.
Anyway, I had taken a run to the corner store and was on my way home, when a car backed out of a space in front of me, the driver obviously not bothering to check for cross traffic before backing out. I slammed on the brakes and avoided being hit by only a couple of inches. I gave him a dirty look, swerved around, and kept going. It was a white, two door Pontiac with a large “Punisher” sticker in the back window.
A minute or so later, I see in my mirror that the guy is behind me and honking his horn. As I stop to make the turn into my neighborhood, he jumps out of the car and begins telling me that it is illegal to leave the scene of an accident. I tell him that there was no accident, we never made contact. He tells me that I am a liar, and then says that he is a Navy Special Warfare police officer at the Navy base, and he is placing me under arrest. He tells me to turn around a put my hands behind my back. There are a few problems with that statement:
- I am not aware of any “Navy Special Warfare Police”
- Even if they exist, they have no civilian arrest powers
- The nearest Navy operating base is over 100 miles away. Yes, there is a ‘secret’ Naval research facility about 20 miles from here, but I don’t think that they want their personnel running around in personal automobiles ‘arresting’ people for stupid stuff. The facility belongs to the Naval Research Lab, and they keep a VERY low profile. I don’t even know if there are military people there, it may just be civilians.
- He is in shorts and a tank top. No identification. No uniform.
At any rate, this smells, so I ask for ID, which he refuses to produce. Right now, the bulk of his car and my NEV are between us, so I just tell him to get back in the car.
He says “What if I don’t want to?” and steps around the car. Now we are separated by about 10 feet and there is nothing between us but air. He takes another step closer.
I felt the hairs on my neck raise, and without even realizing that I had made the decision to do so, I drew my J frame from the pocket holster in my front right pocket. I held it at the low ready, muzzle pointed at the ground between us.
His eyes popped out of his head. I remember thinking that he looked like a cartoon character. He immediately put his hands up and began backing away as he said, “I’m not armed.” Then he ran, jumped in his vehicle, and sped away.
I called the 911, and a Deputy arrived less than a few minutes later. The cop who responded said that they would look for the guy, but they didn’t even take a report. The plate number I gave them was not a valid number. So he either had fake plates, or I simply didn’t give them the correct number.
The one big lesson that I took from this, was that I needed to begin carrying something to bridge the gap between bare hands and lethal force. That was the day that I began carrying Pepper Spray.