Restaurant Attack Thwarted!

Here's another letter from a friend and listener who got into a "situation." He doesn't (yet) carry a gun, but his ramped-up situational awareness may have prevented a bad situation. Share this with your family. Oh, and carry a small and powerful flashlight. The only things I'd suggest for my friend is that he could have shined the light in the "strange man's" eyes, and he should have called 911 after getting in the car.

Two reasons for calling 911. 1. To be the first to report this. The "attacker" could call and say he was threatened with a knife. 2. The police want to know when someone is acting strange as this man was. Chances are they know this guy, and they would want to pay him a visit. There are lessons here. Also, his friends never saw the threat. Not uncommon, but don't be that guy! ~ Tom

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Hey, Tom:

Wanted to send an email of "thank you" for opening my eyes several years ago. I, like most Americans, walked around not much worried about my safety. Discussions with you got me to thinking about guns (which I grew up with, and had no "fear of guns," but didn't carry, or use, routinely). Those discussions led me to reading different authors, including you.

Last night I went to dinner with two friends -- James and Larry. Nice dinner. As we were finishing, I got up to go to the restroom. Typical mid-level establishment....certainly not "low end." First stall (urinals) had a gentleman there, I walked on to the second. I did my "business," and walked to the sink. As I passed the first urinal, there were TWO men there. I had a momentary "what did I just see?" moment, but it seemed consensual, so I walked on.

When I sat back down at the table, gentleman number one walked out past our table, on towards the bar. Man number two Question Markwas following at about six feet, and as he walked by said something to me. Not sure what it was, but I ignored it.

Our party got up to leave, and as we walked by the two men, man number two was leaning in talking to man number one. At this point, I'm assuming that they are together, and although their discussion did not appear to be happy, figured again, none of my business, and we walked out to the deck.

The restaurant was located on the edge of the water of a lake and the three of us (my friends and I) were standing there talking. As hosts do with a guest from out of town, they were extolling the virtues of the local area. I noticed man number two come out and follow the three of us to the deck. No one else was there, and I moved aside so he could have the view as well.

Key point....the old expression..."the hair stood up on the back of my neck."...I strongly felt that he was up to no good, so I kept moving to keep distance from him, and to keep him in sight. James and Larry seemed unaware, and we began walking towards our cars.

The sidewalk was wide...30 plus feet, I would estimate. The three of us were walking together, another party of two was walking about three to four feet behind us. I felt the presence of someone, and the man (#1) from the deck was rapidly walking towards us. I stepped aside (thinking..."if you want to pass, go ahead, but do not walk closely behind me").

He didn't pass. He stopped, tried to maneuver to stay behind me. He kept coming closer.

I immediately faced him, and in a loud (and harsh) voice said "Get Back! Stay away!" As I've seen before with people who are trying to get something from you, he moved toward me. I spoke louder, more harshly, and pulled my knife (all I had...no gun) out of my clip (didn't open it) and said "Move back twenty feet NOW!"

He moved back considerably, began yelling insults, followed us to our car, although at a distance. As we drove off, we had to go through the maze of the parking lot, and he crossed to stand near us as we drove off.

Tom, I honestly believe the man was up to no good. I wasn't going to give him the opportunity to interact with me, nor hassle me (insults yelled across a parking lot aren't terribly worrisome to me, but being close is). Upon reflection, I feel he wasn't "with" the other man in the restroom, but was hassling him....whether for money or "other" I don't know.

However...thank you for increasing my awareness. It ended as well as it could. I have never felt "victim-like," but I believe my awareness of "if you don't act like food, you are less likely to be eaten" helped keep me out trouble last night.