Author Topic: Aggressive panhandler  (Read 5846 times)

BrotherWolf

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Aggressive panhandler
« on: March 11, 2010, 02:08:20 AM »
I wasn't quite sure where the best place to put this....emergency prep, unarmed self defense, firearms....so since this involved my firearm (somewhat), I thought I'd put it here.  Feel free to move if a mod feels it would be better somewhere else.
I posted this on another board I frequent, but this one is edited for adult language and I added some thoughts at the end


Early this evening, I was pulling into the Walmart parking lot. My wife hadn't made it back from work yet so my daughter (1yo) was in the backseat. All I needed to do was pick up a few things to make a nice dinner.

I saw a spot up near the front in between the two big entrance doors--good as I don't feel like walking much while carrying the baby.  So I pull in, shut off the engine, take off the seatbelt, pulled out the keys, pop the door locks so I can get to the carseat behind me and I start to open my door and swing my leg out.

Just before my foot hit the pavement, a panhandler is in my doorway about an arm length away at my 7-8 o'clock.   I was startled as it seemed he came out of nowhere.  As I was pulling in there was nobody around --he must have been hiding behind one of the cars on the right and made a beeline just as I was pulling in.

So now I've got a panhandler standing in my door frame.
I can't close the door as he's in the way.
I can't get out as he's in the way.
My gun is in my left pocket, knife on the right. I was carrying my Seecamp in a pocket holster as I was just running a quick errand instead of the P7 that usually resides on my right hip.


He starts with the usual "I'm out of gas; I need is a ride to the gas station and a few bucks."

At this point I'm pissed off he snuck up on me. I counter with "sorry, I can't help you, buddy" and just as I finish saying it, he takes a step forward saying "it's only a couple of bucks. I need to get to Skibo" (a road a few miles away).

Now the *unfortunate soul* is less than arm's length, I'm twisted back to my left, and my mind starts racing. I don't know his motives other than wanting money and hasn't taken the first "no" as an answer, but him being that close has me really uncomfortable.  My thought is that although this could be a regular panhandler, I could also be in the middle of a strong arm robbery.  I have no idea if something is about to get physical, but I can't easily get to my gun. I can get to my knife. I can't close the door. I can't move back without going over the tall center console.

No matter what I do, I'm at the disadvantage due to my position in the vehicle.  Worst possible position for presenting the gun.  Even if I can deploy my knife, I'd be reaching all the way across my own body and any defense/attack would be ineffective.



As much as I'd like to tell the bastard "no, piss off, you're not getting any money and you're not getting in my car" I really don't want to escalate anything.  I've got my daughter in the back seat, and I really don't want to get into a fight if I can help it.


Taking everything into consideration,I decide to just pony up some money and hopefully he'd go away.  I keep about $10 in singles in my console but I had used most of it recently, so I grab the only two bills I had in my armrest and say "here's all the cash I have, but I really have to pick up food for the baby (in reference to him saying he needed a ride to the gas station)..." just as the baby started making noise in the back.



As he takes it, the *purveyor of illegal mind altering substances* says it won't even get him a gallon.

 >:(


I repeat that the two bucks is "all the cash I have as I'm unemployed and use a card for everything", making is sound like I'd really like to help more, but I can't.
I actually had over $100 in cash in my wallet.

He turned around and started to walk away and I kept my eyes on him the entire time as he disappeared into the next row of cars. I was so pissed off at him for putting me into that position....




Then came the adrenaline dump.

I got in the back seat and sat with my daughter for a few minutes after I locked the doors.




After a few minutes, I got my little girl out while keeping an eye out for the panhandler but I didn't see him anywhere. I also didn't see the ubiquitous white walmart parking lot pickup truck near me at all. As soon as I start walking I head straight towards the customer service center.
I bypassed the line of people waiting to return their crap and went right up to the Walmart CS rep and said that there is an aggressive panhandler in the parking lot and security should probably check it out. I gave a quick description, said thanks and proceeded to buy my stuff and get the hell away from Walmart.



I hate panhandlers.

If it cost me two bucks to get the *son of a motherless goat-herder* to leave, then it was money well spent.
If it was a strong arm robbery, there never was an overt threat like "or something bad will happen", but cornering me like that could be construed as a threat. 

I'll give up the cash in my wallet to avoid a fight. It's cheaper than the resulting legal mess anyways and less hassle to make more.  I'd be pissed to loose the money, but I'd be more upset if I lost the Federal and state IDs, the CCWs, the credit card, debit card and the emergency contact list.

That said, as soon as I believe my daughter may be in danger or something may happen to me where I couldn't defend her, then I'm willing to do whatever it takes.



In the end, he got his crack money and I got to have an evening at home instead of talking to the police.

Cost to make a *crack zombie* go away--$2
Coming home in one piece with daughter in tow--pricless.

But, given the situation of being cornered and with my daughter, I don't think I had many options as with the feelings I was getting, it could have gone badly.




The one positive thing is that I've identified a few areas of weakness. 
I should have scanned the blindside of the vehicle before exiting. 
When loading/unloading my daughter, I've got my back exposed to the world and I'm preoccupied--minimise that exposure. 
My best possible approach would have been to exit the vehicle as soon as possible to put the panhandler on the retreat as I would have then been invading his space.



Anyways, just things to think about.


*previous curse words and euphemisms used were replaced with socially acceptable terminology after I had a chance to cool down and reflect on things*

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2010, 08:57:11 AM »
Glad it had a good ending. It is definitely a scenario most of us can imagine. I'll try to be more vigilant myself... thanks!

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2010, 09:21:08 AM »
Everything in life is a learning experience.  It looks like this ended with a few lessons well taught and no real harm done. 

Well done.

Doc
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Offline evilphish

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2010, 09:53:19 AM »
the panhandlers are getting pretty bad around here.  and the big box stores dont seem to care.  Even with my son in tow I always perfer to park further out in the lot.  gives me a better field of view as i'm approaching the store. 
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Offline donaldj

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2010, 10:05:14 AM »
I'm glad you and daughter are safe.

While ponying up the $$ just reinforces that his "technique" works, you were in no position to teach him a lesson. Gotta think of the big picture.

+1 to you for keeping your priorities straight in that situation, doing a pretty good situational assessment, and learning from the situation by becoming more aware. Furthermore, you reported the situation so hopefully something will be done about it.

I think I'd have backed up the car and let the door roll the bastard over.   ;D
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Offline ncjeeper

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2010, 11:49:22 AM »
Could you have grabbed your vehicle door handle and half shut the door on the loser? It would have put him in some short pain and given you some time to readjust and get armed.
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Offline endurance

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2010, 12:25:08 PM »
Well handled. 

I've had similar incidents, but they happen often enough that I just carry my pepper spray in my jacket pocket and keep my hands in my pockets in this cooler weather.  It's a more appropriate response than deadly force to an aggressive panhandler.  I've pulled it out a couple times and that was enough said to make them move on.  A lot quieter, too, so you don't have to wake the baby.  ;-)
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Offline rckound

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 01:29:23 PM »
It's a difficult situation any time you are caught off guard. And it happens to all of us at one time or another. You handled it best you could at that time and you're to be commended for keeping your wits about you, especially with such a valuable cargo in the rear seat. I have seen aggressive panhandlers like this guy before. One guy I had on my route would ride around on a bicycle with a broken fan belt, going up to people and giving them a hard luck story about needing cash to fix his car so he could get home. I would watch him go from parking lot to parking lot and hit people up as soon as they pulled in. Very aggressive. I got to the point where if I saw him, I would pull up next to the people and tell them not to give him anything, he was a scam artist. Needless to say this did not sit well with him. He became very belligerent and told me what he was going to do to me. But here is the tactic I took and maybe it would help someone else out as well. I simply took out my cell phone and took his picture. Now, unbeknownst to him, my cell phone does not take pictures. But it seems the last thing he wanted was to have a pic of him taken and off he went. Any time after that, If he saw me around, he skidaddled pretty darn quick from the area.

Offline jasperg357

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 01:55:52 PM »
Driving a truck for a living I deal with Panhandlers (Bums) on a pretty regular basis. I cant carry a fire arm in the truck but I keep a stainless steel tire thumper handy plus my buck knife.  I think you made the right choice by giving the bum a few bucks to get rid of him even thou it hurt to do it.  Protecting your family should all ways come first, this time it meant giving a bum a few bucks to get rid of him.  Next time protecting your family might require you using the pistol in your left pocket are the knife you keep on your right.
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Offline Gas-Mask

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 02:38:58 PM »
I'm glad you were able to get rid of him without incident.   I've had that happen at the worse time as well!!!!!   I was leaning in to tie my daughter into the car seat when the panhandler showed up.   Man was I scared.    And then immediately got sooooo   PISSED OFF! 
I did not have anything to give And he left w/out a problem.  But now, that they are a little older, I put them in (always aware of all of my surroundings) lock the door and tie them down from the front seat of my locked car.   Yes, it's uncomfortable.  But worth it.     

I can't wait till she's old enough to put her seat-belt on herself.  Lesson learned because I don't trust strangers even more!   
Did that make sense?? ???   Anyhow.

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Offline infobomber

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 03:18:53 PM »
As a former panhandler, I was never aggressive. Our group generally frowned upon agressive panhandeling. 

Just remember, please, that many of those people actually hope you can spare a couple dollars for gas, and go on the the next person because those couple dollars will eventually add up to give them enough gas to get them out of your city and on down the road closer to their destination. 

Also remember that 3/4 of homeless people are Veterans.


Offline LandShark

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 05:23:04 PM »
When I lived in an apt building in Davenport IA we had a bum that would sleep in the security door area and harass residents for money. One day after walking my girlfriend at the time to her car (right by him) I came back in to the entry way.  I asked him politely to quit scaring the older residents and please move on.  The m-fer pulled a long sharpened letter opener on my and threatened to cut me up.  Needless to say I pulled my Ruger P93dc out (I had no CCW, but was aware of the danger and decided it was worth it, and it was). The punk almost pissed himself and emptied his pockets, giving me everything from his cigs to his bus pass and ran out the door full speed. I'm so glad he didn't coninue his advance because I would have been in some trouble more than likely. I just always think that if I had not been aware of the danger I would have been screwed.  I don't know if I did the right thing, but no one got hurt, so I guess that is good.  Just thought I would share so others could learn a lesson.
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Offline Pathfinder

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 06:26:01 PM »
Brotherwolf -

In the future, look to a carry device like the Safepacker for carrying in the car. It looks like a business portfolio, sized to fit the firearm. The key benefit is that when you're sitting in a car, and when getting in and out, you can still have the weapon at or in hand rather than in an unobtainable pocket.

See them here: http://store.thewilderness.com/index.php?cPath=51
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BrotherWolf

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2010, 06:28:52 PM »
Thanks for all the advice and friendly ears.  I keep doing the review of the game film in my head and trying to see what else I can think of.


Could you have grabbed your vehicle door handle and half shut the door on the loser? It would have put him in some short pain and given you some time to readjust and get armed.

Nope--I did a quick sketch to show pretty much what it looked like



Quote from: infobomber
Also remember that 3/4 of homeless people are Veterans.
I don't want to make it sound like I'm some heartless bastard.  I've given my lunch away before to homeless vets.  I've bought them meals.   I've also seen one guy take the brown bag lunch I gave him and toss it in the trash in less than 30 seconds of me giving it to him.

What I don't do is give money to some lowlife because they are aggressive or use strong arm tactics to enact a robbery.  In most of Fayetteville, the guys are just going to buy crack or speed with whatever they get that day.





I may take the advice and pick up some pepper spray.  
My escalation of force was verbal, hands on, and jumped right to lethal with the knife and gun.  Even my maglight flashlight (a bit of a reach from where I was) could have worked, but would have been closer to the knife and gun end of the spectrum.




This may have just been an aggressive panhandler, but there's an easy jump from strong arm robberies to a full on mugging.  I'll give up the cash just to avoid the hassle, but I will not allow anyone to hurt me or mine.

Offline TNVolunteer

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2010, 06:37:52 PM »
Well done Brother Wolf.  I know it must have stung to give that panhandler any $ at all, but your quick thinking and willingness to do so got you and yours home in one piece AND won't result in spending time talking with the authorities.

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Offline evilphish

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2010, 08:21:39 PM »
wow, if that diagram is correct, (not questioning just saying, this is the interweb after all) my altercation would have ended very differently then yours, kudus to you for defusing the situation as you did. 
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BrotherWolf

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2010, 09:24:44 PM »
wow, if that diagram is correct, (not questioning just saying, this is the interweb after all) my altercation would have ended very differently then yours, kudus to you for defusing the situation as you did. 
Well, the diagram is not exactly to scale and although my girl looks like me, neither of us look quite like that as I am limited in my artistic skills by MS Paint.
I actually thought I did a pretty good job given the difficulty of using a touchpad instead of a mouse.

 ;D



My hope was that by seeing the diagram, people could see exactly why I was so worked up over this and that I'm not just some trigger happy nut who's willing to shoot a guy begging for gas money.  Very confrontational with the personal space infringement and the aggressiveness of the approach.

Offline bsmith_shoot

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2010, 03:05:55 AM »
Man, you did everything you could have with the situation at hand. The only thing I can reccommend is better situational awareness. I try, and I dont always do it either, to stop the vehicle, survey the situation around me, formulate my actions, then do it while being aware of my surroundings. It sounds hard and time consuming, but only takes a few seconds and a few glances, in actuality. You performed admirably my friend. All the material things in the world mean nothing compared to the life of your child.
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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2010, 07:56:00 PM »
I had to give you a +1 just for the diagram alone. :)  LOL  I'm the worlds worst artist and that, my friend, was really quite good. :)

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Offline ZenGunFighter

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2010, 02:57:46 PM »
I like to park further out, where there aren't any other cars.
1. I need the exercise
2. no place for bad guys to hide.
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Offline Stein

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2010, 10:21:49 AM »
I like to park further out, where there aren't any other cars.
1. I need the exercise
2. no place for bad guys to hide.

I do that as well, I like at least one open spot on each side and one in front if possible.  I would also suggest pepper spray in a coat pocket where you can get to it easily.  Honestly, after his second attempt I would have asked him to leave and if he didn't he would have gotten it.

I have no problem giving money, but in my opinion there are better ways to make sure my money goes to good use.

It seems that Walmart is horrible for this lately, my wife doesn't go there for gas anymore after being hit up for money nearly 100% of the time lately.

Offline GunslingR

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2010, 10:30:11 AM »
I keep a KA-BAR Krambit clipped to the sun visor in my rig. Easilly accessable just reach up!

Offline Ken325

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2010, 10:39:50 PM »
I recently had a car window smashed out and they tore out my dash trying to steal my radio.  Apparently the homeless, crackhead who did this didn't have the right tools to remove the radio, so the only thing missing was a few dollars in change and my prescription sunglasses.  Damage to the car was about $1200.  One thing that I did wrong is I parked between 2 large, tall vehicles.  This gave the thief cover.   Now I park at the back of the lot where you have fewer cars, I also avoid tall SUVs and vans.  I try to park near the street or in a busy area when I can.  Look for traffic.
 The same goes for personal security.  When I went to work in Washington DC for a few months, I was worried about crime.  A co-worker told me your safe if your in a populated area.  He said if you don't see anyone else look out.  He was right.  One time when I was walking, I tried to take a shortcut through a area where the street was closed to car traffic because of construction.  I was crossing a bridge when 3 teenage thugs ran up to me.  They ran straight at me and got on 3 sides with the side of the bridge being the fourth side.  I am a big guy so I made eye contact with the leader and walked straight at him.  Apparently my bluff worked because they backed down and walked off. The lesson learned is stay in populated areas or better yet stay in Texas where you can protect yourself. I'm just glad they didn't have a weapon and that I was 4" taller than any of them.

Offline daveinmichigan

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2010, 09:11:01 AM »
Thank you for the eye opener. These kind of reminders could save someone's life.
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Offline infobomber

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2010, 11:59:08 AM »
I recently had a car window smashed out and they tore out my dash trying to steal my radio.  Apparently the homeless, crackhead who did this didn't have the right tools to remove the radio, so the only thing missing was a few dollars in change and my prescription sunglasses. 

could have been an upper class meth head...

just sayin...



Offline Ken325

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2010, 05:38:25 PM »
Reasons that I believe it was a homeless person.
1 Downtown Dallas has a lot of homeless people.
2 The thief did a lot of body damage while smashing out the window.  Easy to avoid this if he was capable of hitting the window on the first try.
3 Did not have the tools to remove the radio.
4 I had a $3000 cashiers check in the car.  I was buying a house and this was required for loan fees.  The thief left this in the car, apparently unaware of what it was. 

I used to do psychiatry research and I know that 80% of homeless people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs and alcohol. I say give generously to homeless shelters but NEVER put cash money into the hand off an addict.  Ban panhandling, give tickets to people who give cash, and put up collection boxes to raise money for homeless shelters.  Police need to harass homeless people who bring down neighborhoods. 

Offline infobomber

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2010, 07:23:25 PM »
Reasons that I believe it was a homeless person.
1 Downtown Dallas has a lot of homeless people.
2 The thief did a lot of body damage while smashing out the window.  Easy to avoid this if he was capable of hitting the window on the first try.
3 Did not have the tools to remove the radio.
4 I had a $3000 cashiers check in the car.  I was buying a house and this was required for loan fees.  The thief left this in the car, apparently unaware of what it was. 

I used to do psychiatry research and I know that 80% of homeless people are mentally ill or addicted to drugs and alcohol. I say give generously to homeless shelters but NEVER put cash money into the hand off an addict.  Ban panhandling, give tickets to people who give cash, and put up collection boxes to raise money for homeless shelters.  Police need to harass homeless people who bring down neighborhoods. 

So if 3/4 of homeless are veterans, and 80% of homeless are mentally ill or addicted to drugs... I wonder what the real cause of their situation is.   I doubt the military intentionally allows mentally ill drug addicts to serve (unless they plan on becoming president or get a show on fox). 


Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2010, 07:30:35 PM »
I clicked on this thread thinking it was going to be about the IRS ...


Seriously, outside of having better situational awareness, I think you handled the situation about as well as you could have.  You let yourself get into a compromised situation, but got out of it for the cost of $2.

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #28 on: March 26, 2010, 11:34:46 AM »
Just an update for anyone that's interested as it has been a couple of weeks now:


1. I have been parking at the less populated end of the lots when going to the stores and pulling forward through the space so I'm facing "out" instead of "in". 
Now that the weather has improved the baby actually enjoys the extra distance.  Only once or twice have I come out to find someone parked next to me that far out--I have no idea why unless it suddenly got really busy for a few minutes while I was inside.

2. I've been carrying my standard load; P7 on my right hip and defensive k-bit on left.  I feel more secure this way.

3. I picked up a small "jogger" pepper spray.  I just don't know where in the 4Runner to put it.  Maybe velcro it to the front lower portion of the seat between my legs?

Offline liftsboxes

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Re: Aggressive panhandler
« Reply #29 on: March 27, 2010, 06:39:49 AM »


3. I picked up a small "jogger" pepper spray.  I just don't know where in the 4Runner to put it.  Maybe velcro it to the front lower portion of the seat between my legs?

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