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Road Rage Close Call Tonight

Discussion in 'Education & Training' started by RangerEric, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. RangerEric

    RangerEric Southern Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Howdy -

    So, had a close call tonight, wanted to share.

    Was driving home from work on a main road in Salem this evening around 20:30, heading to the grocery store. Crappy old subcompact pickup with a grizzly looking old dude is driving about 28 in a 45, starts to drift into the center lane to apparently turn left across traffic, without signaling. As he gets in the turn lane, I speed back up to the speed limit, which apparently was offensive to him, as he flipped me off when I past. After I was maybe 100 yards down the road, I noticed him turn back onto the main road. Caused me some concern, so rather than pulling into the closer south entrance to the grocery store, I went on up to the north entrance further down the road and pulled in. He pulls into the south entrance, and tears across the parking lot towards me. I am stopped while I evaluate the situation, and he starts to get out of his truck and yells, "Well, come on then!" at me. I this time I drive back to the opposite corner again, and sit and wait to see what's going to happen. He proceeds to get back into his truck, and again follows me back to where I am. At this time I am in escape and evade mode, have my girlfriend call 911, I hit my flashers and go. Driving as fast I could manage safely through back roads, and only slowing down enough to see that stop signs are clear, he chases me through 4 to 5 turns, swerving across the road and I believe attempting to hit me several times. Girlfriend is still on the phone with police at this time giving our location. He finally takes a turn the opposite direction as we near I5, where I was heading as I felt I would more safely be able to outrun him if needed. The police asked if we had his license plate number, which we did not, but basically said they couldn't do anything if he was no longer following.

    So, how would any of you handled this differently? I'm thinking the lessons learned are that I shouldn't have observed so long, and instead just bailed when I saw him pull back into the road to follow us. Additionally, wish I would have gotten his plate number while he was out of his vehicle in the parking lot. I was carrying at the time, a 15+1 Walther 9mm (which was much more comforting than the 6+1 9mm or the 5 shot .38 I sometimes am carrying) and my girlfriend had a 8+1 Walther .380. As he was pursuing us I drew my weapon and tucked it in between my seat, as I was not sure how the situation was going to develop and wanted access to it if needed. While at the time in the parking lot I had zero intention of engaging in a fight with him, and instead intended only to remove ourselves from the situation, as I saw how our "high-speed pursuit" developed through residential neighborhoods I almost wonder if it would have been safer to keep the conflict confined to the parking lot, and hopefully de-escalated it verbally, although I also had a Kimber Pepper Blaster available to me as a non-lethal tool if verbal de-escalation was not possible.

    What should I have done differently guys?
     
  2. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    Drive defensively and assume everyone one else on the road is an imbecile and possible a hostile nutcase. My guess is you are understating your frustration with his speed and you ran up to close to his truck as an FU. People have been shot at for doing less.
     
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  3. Darknight

    Darknight Salem Active Member

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    As a commuter who drives 40,000 miles per year before going anywhere, I can sympathize with you. Most of the time I drive in the far left lane clipping along at a fairly decent pace. That is until I end up smack behind a sunday driver not willing to move over, like the law requires here in Oregon, so I go around. Most of the time the snailmobile I'm passing will speed up and turn on their brights blinding me while tailgating. I don't know why it is so hard for people to just move over and let someone pass. Most of the accidents I have seen are because someone is forced to go around a slower vehicle that refuses to move over.
     
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  4. RangerEric

    RangerEric Southern Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Burt, definitely acknowledge that as a possibility, but I too am a professional driver, approx 40k miles a year as well, and definitely make a point out of keeping a safety buffer between myself and other vehicles. Trying to take a third person perspective here, may have unintentionally been a bit closer than I should have, but certainly not driving "aggressively" at all.
     
  5. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Was it a tan early-80's Toyota 2wd longbed pickup? I had a similar experience a few weeks ago at Market/I-5 that ended when I outran him on the freeway.
     
  6. RangerEric

    RangerEric Southern Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Nope, it was red, but Toyota or Nissan I believe, 2wd, 80's era. Very ugly and in poor repair, I really thught that was how tonight was gonna end as well, with me blowing his doors off once I hit the freeway.
     
  7. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    Bottom line analysis: nobody got hurt, so you were successful in your primary reponsibility to yourself, GF, and innocent bystanders.

    I think that you made a good case for self-defense if you had been forced into it. You avoided aggression, attempted to de-escalate by leaving the scene. You were on the phone with 911, that's another good thing, you didn't wait until it was all over. I would recommend the passenger makes a concerted effort to egt the plate number, prompt her as necessary.

    Blowing through stop signs could be dangerous, even understanding that you were as cautious about it as you could be. I think I would have headed for witnesses before heading for the highway via back roads. But that's armchair QB'ing. Something to htink about for future, at best.

    Definitely getting the license plate would be a bonus. It's almost a certain surety that this isn't the first or last time this guy will do something like that. He very well could have been drunk or high. That's a pretty persistent behaviour for someone who was just irritated by his perception of your driving.
     
  8. Peteralexander78

    Peteralexander78 vancouver Slow is smooth, smooth is fast

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    Being some where public is better than fleeing. You never know what might happen if you try to leave and get into a place you dont know. Most of the time people just want to cuz and yell at you. The easy answer is let them, (if it doesnt bother you). Then when they are done, you just respond "Are you finished." Then go in the store. You should never have to leave or run away if you arent in the wrong. I know there are a lot of crazies out there but 99% of them are just loud. The 1% is why you carry everyday.
     
  9. ZA_Survivalist

    ZA_Survivalist Oregon AK's all day.

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    Glad to hear you're safe brother.
    I think you pulled all the right moves.

    I do see a lot of road rage however, and having lettering on your vehicle (like mine) only makes you a bigger, easily spotted and memorable target.

    I get threats, the bird flipped at me as well as calls to my office with fabricated events I supposedly was a part of. I own the business and I get calls every now and then with false accusations (they don't know Im the only one with lettering on my truck) and all because I obey the traffic laws..ie.. Too slow, too long at a stop sign..etc.ton of crazies out there!
     
  10. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    What a weenie... Running from a grizzled old man driving a grizzled old toy pickup. ;). (just kidding)
     
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  11. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Lots of grizzled old men who had real guns are sitting in jail right now for murder, assault etc.
     
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  12. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    True, true... Was just ribbin' the OP. ;)
     
  13. coctailer

    coctailer Portland, OR/Hastings, MI/Vancouver,WA I run with scissors.

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    So, what gun were you carrying concealed?
     
  14. FarmerTed1971

    FarmerTed1971 Portland, Oregon, United States Well-Known Member

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    But, but... I just wanted a hug. Geez...
     
  15. hoody

    hoody Tigard/Beaverton area Active Member

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    I no expert, but good job not brandishing a weapon. I am sure it was tempting. Speeding away is non-ideal public safety wise, but far better than explaining to a badge why you aren't guilty of felony menacing. I'd say a few moving violations are better than an armed confrontation with an irate stranger.
     
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  16. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Wow, don't engage in a race with a nut! Drive carefully to the police station and start honking. Also you had to draw your weapon. Mine is on the passenger seat under a cap. Getting that license number is all important, even a partial! The police generally take road rage very seriously but they need something to work with. All that said, I am so glad that you weren't harmed!
     
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  17. James1300

    James1300 S.E. WA. Member

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    An option would have been to get his license number. Then get you and your G/F into the store. You would be able to evade and avoid there. Make some noise! Let everyone there know you are being chased. Get them to call 911. 4 people calling 911 will get things rolling your way fast.
    You would also have witness's as well. This tactic would help you keep from speeding in a unknown neighborhood. Plus, the police would be able to find you faster.
     
  18. RangerEric

    RangerEric Southern Oregon, United States Active Member

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    Coctailer, was carrying a Walther P99, and the Gf a Walther PK380. (We're a Walther kind of household, haha.)

    Farmer Ted, hope you got that hug when you got home. ;-)

    Everybody else, thanks for the input and feedback. Good to be able to vent, and get some affirmation and suggestions. After mulling it over all night, I'm really thinking as well that parking in front of the store and making a stand in a well-lit witness packed environment probably was the safest option, all things considered. Running worked this time, but definitely created a new set of hazards. All's well that ends well, hopefully some things for all of us to ponder.
     
  19. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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  20. lamrith

    lamrith tacoma Active Member

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    Yeah your primary role is to de-escalate or leave the situation as quick and peacefully as possible. You did that to the best of your ability in a suddenly developing situation.

    You would be surprised how persistant and d!ckish people can be if they feel slighted on the road. they seem to think that 3500# of steel is a suit of armor. Just 2 days ago driving to work in the morning I witnessed a really stupid display that could have caused a serious accident.

    Merging onto 512 behind about 5 other cars. Decent amount of traffic so we had to (wait for it) actually merge into traffic! Well one tool in a small SUV apparently thought that the fully loaded semi in teh slo lane doing 60 had to yield to him. As the merge lane ended the SUV was on teh shoulder driving and ducked in behind said semi as I went by. Rearview mirro I see the SUV get into fast lane, cruise up by the Semi, passenger in SUV arm out the window flippign the semi off. We are all doing a solid 65mph at this point. then the SUV jumps over infront of the semi and gets on the brakes pretty good, slowed the truck and everyone else to probably 40mph. I almost pulled into the slow lane myself and slowed down to wait for the suv to catch back up, but since I was carrying I decided it was best if I did not interject myself into the situation, even if to only write down a license plate #..

    Everyone just be safe out there, take a deep breath and get home safe.