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*