The Definitive Tactics Thread
For your consideration, a mindset/skillset/tactics example from right here in the last frontier…
Fairbanks security guard injured stopping car break-ins
FAIRBANKS — A Fairbanks man is accused of taking a security guard’s gun and using it to rob him.
Jarrid Bloom, 24, formerly of Nevada, has been charged with eight felonies, including robbery, burglary, weapons misconduct, theft, assault and tampering with evidence.
The 47-year-old security guard was patrolling the federal courthouse parking garage about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when he spotted a man on the first floor who appeared to be looking for unlocked cars.
The suspect fled to the second floor, then the third floor of the garage on a bike.
When he returned to the second floor, the security guard drew his gun and began searching the man, locating a tinfoil cube that might have contained illegal drugs, Fairbanks police Lt. Tara Tippett said.
At that point a fight ensued, with the suspect getting on top of the security guard and punching him six to eight times in the face, according to the police report. The security guard fought back with an ASP baton, a collapsible baton commonly used by law enforcement, striking the assailant in the thigh.
The man then began reaching for the security guard’s belt, unsnapping his magazine and handgun. The suspect was able to knock the baton away, and the two began struggling for the weapon, Tippett said.
When the suspect grabbed the gun from the guard, he demanded the guard’s baton and wallet, pointed the gun at a vehicle in the garage and fired once, puncturing the tire of a car, Tippett said.
The victim was ordered to wait 40 seconds before doing anything, and when he was sure that the assailant was gone, the security guard called police, Tippett said. However, by that time police had already received a call from someone who had heard a man shouting and the sound of the gunshot.
“We’re really glad that someone called, and we were able to put everything together right away,” Tippett said.
Police contacted Bloom fleeing on a bike outside of the courthouse before they received the security guard’s call. Bloom had the baton in his pocket, and the gun was located nearby.
The security guard sustained serious injuries in the scuffle. His left eye was swollen shut and his eye socket might have been fractured. He was treated at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital and released later in the morning, Tippett said. <snip>
So then…. from what information is available here, what is everyone’s take on the security guard’s prime failure here?
My take is that mindset was his biggest problem. He appeared to go way beyond the scope of his duties and training, and it seemed as though he thought that he could handle everything himself. From what little I know, he’s supposed to call the police first and foremost (it seemed as though he would have had time), and only apprehend or confront intruders as a last resort. But I’ll assume for a moment that maybe he didn’t have the time to call the police and that he felt confronting the intruder was the only option to him. He drew his gun, and it sounds like the intruder did surrender. So then why was he searching the intruder? Why didn’t he command the intruder to get on the ground with his hands on his head, call the cops or any other help that’s available, and maintain a vigil over the intruder without getting within arms reach? By getting within arms reach to search the man, he not only risks having his weapon taken but he’s less able to keep an eye out for any friends the intruder may have lurking around. Overconfidence in his own abilities and underestimation of his opponent was his biggest failure IMO. Skillset was a lesser failure; not necessarily that he wasn’t skilled enough to be a security guard, only that he likely didn’t possess the skillset required to handle the additional tasks he was taking on. I guess that goes back to mindset though, doesn’t it? Almost seems to strengthen the stereotype of the overeager security guard pretending he/she is a cop…
Hey Good report there Nickbert, and strengthens the statement I’ve made before about mindset.
If your mindset fails you (you make a bad decision) then no matter your skills, or tactics, or equipment. You’ve already lost the fight.
Now admittedly the security guard made several lapses in good judgment, we don’t know why, and any specific thoughts on why is complete speculation on our parts. Here are my list of lapses in Judgment
- Did not call in to notify his security company of the person seen, nor request either police or additional security backup
- Drew his firearm without intent to use the weapon. Never draw unless you have already committed to firing your weapon.
- Searching the suspect, this is neither his responsibility, nor within his jurisdiction, in addition it allowed his opponent time to observe, then formulate an effective attack plan.
- fighting back with an asp when he’d previously drawn his firearm, shoot the son-of-a-bitch, if his attacker decided to attack after already seeing a gun, then whipping out a stick is not likely to have any great impact on the attacker.
- When the assailant went for the gun, then he should have immediately drawn and fired, not attempted to physically fight off the attempt at the firearm.
I’m sure there are several more, however it shows that being better armed does not mean that you have the ability to fight off a better mentally prepared assailant.
Nbert & Gung- yup, I’d agree with your assessments. Guard’s actions seem poorly thought out. Sorry I’ve not more to add, just want you all to know that I’m one of probably many who are following and appreciating this thread. Thanks, Aloha, Steve.
I’m fresh in from some Force on Force training yesterday, and we did various drills:
– Hand to hand
– Edged to Hand
– Edged on Edged
– Edged on Gun
– Gun on Gun
In all occasions, the first and most natural instinct is to back up, and get your "best" weapon out. I’m covered in bruises that proved that’s not the best course of action, just the autonomic response that most of us default to when being faced with violence.
The best way to halt the aggression was to charge forward, meet the aggressor and punish him physically until he dropped the weapon.
Distance makes advantages small, and tenacity count for a lot.
We did simulated robberies and basically, what we found out is that fighting back long enough to get the opponent off guard, take their mind off their advantages, control their weapon and then unleash hell of your own was the general "process" that worked the best.
So, when I read this, it sounds to me like the guard was so focused on getting a weapon that he had lost track of the fight.
That was his "solution", and it ended up costing him. Could have been a hell of a lot worse, too.
Moral of the story, learn to fight with your hands, inflict damage on adversaries and then create space to deploy weapons.
Anyone take something different away, or have any different thoughts?
Cheers, and thanks!
(I"ve got another video to post here tonight or tomorrow – just waiting to see if the Mumbai topic was too big to truly bite off)
I agree with everything so far. I’d say that the security was extremely lucky that the robber didn’t actually want to hurt him. Sure he got pummeled a bit, but I’d pummel someone who drew a weapon on me and didn’t intend to use it, too (regardless of whether I was doing anything illegal at the time). I’d also attempt to disarm them, just like the perp did. Seems to me that the perp was definitely more aware and prepared with the proper mindset than the rent-a-cop. (why do they give those guys guns without proper training?!?!)
Aaron – good point about not always doing the instinctual thing (i.e. backing up). On a small tangent… doing the instinctual thing is the cause of many bear maulings. People run or they drop to the ground when confronted by the bear, acting like food; or they try to stare down the bear, acting like a threat. You’re not going to outrun a bear or beat it hand-to-hand… so you just need to stand your ground and let it know you are neither food nor an aggressor.
Knowing what you need to do, and NOT do, with your self in a given situation is very important. Being able to identify the threat and the available course of action quickly is paramount… but you have to also put your reptilian brain (flight-fight response) on pause a second in order to do that properly. Even though most people know that a gun is only dangerous when it’s pointed directly at you, and that it’s very difficult to shoot an advancing target, they still don’t want to stay in front of the assailant and charge them. Moving toward the threat (or even standing still) is counter-intuitive and counter-instinctual, even though it’s normally the most successful course of action.
This is true even in escape situations. If the threat is not aware of you yet, you have a much better chance of surviving if you either stay still until the threat has passed, or you move quietly toward the assailant when they aren’t looking. Peripheral vision and focus isn’t as good up close as it is farther away, so scuttling away from the assailant increases the chances that he’ll see you moving out of the corner of his eye. Plus, advancing on him while he is unaware of your presence or location gives you the advantage… you can either slip quietly past him, or you can open a holy can of whoop ass on him before he has time to react.
99% of the time an aggressor, especially an armed aggressor, does NOT expect to be counter-attacked much less preempted.
My thoughts –
The security guard (SG) lost control the second the bad guy (BG) fled to the second floor.
SG did not know conclusively whether or not BG had a gun and chasing him up forfeited tactical control by allowing an unknown to enter the equation.
SG should have immediately notified his chain of command and local police and waited for local police to show up with sufficient and superior firepower.
Everything that occurred after the erroneous decision to pursue was derivative of that bad decision.
[edited for clarification]
Re: Mumbai scenario
My only applicable training is hand-to-hand martial arts and my skill and experience in that is rather modest, so my lack of knowledge or experience in something of this scope made me initially hesitant to chime in. But ok here goes…
I travel often both in-state and out-of-state, and only rarely internationally. The only items I typically travel with that would be of any use in such a situation are my cellphone, a folding knife, and a small first aid kit. It’s only recently that I’ve had more than a passing interest in concealed carry, and Denver’s attitude towards such is very negative… now that I’m in Alaska though I do plan to go through the course and possibly get the permit (you don’t need it in Alaska but it helps for carrying in other states). As for treating the injured I am trained in basic first aid and CPR, and would treat the wounded IF it posed no danger to myself. I carry first aid kits on my person only when camping or hiking so that probably wouldn’t be the case here, but first aid kits shouldn’t be too hard to find in a business district (at least in the US where most businesses are required to have them in break rooms or the like) and failing that some things can be improvised. But treating the wounded would be a low priority…. my first priority would be escape for me and my family. I would help evacuate the wounded if it didn’t put us at excessive risk, and wait on treating them only after escaping the area.
I guess my priorities would be very similar to those given by Gungnir… the ultimate emphasis is on escape for me and mine, and engagement is not an option unless it helps accomplish that end. Try to see everything in terms of "how does this help me escape?" I suppose. If engagement was inevitable I have no doubt that I’d fight with everything I had, but confrontation would not be something I’d seek out. It gets a little murkier though as I ponder the value I place on others’ lives (excluding the assailants of course) and weigh that against the value I place on my own life. I’m prepared to put my own life at risk if it meant increasing survival odds for my family, but as for strangers, well, I really don’t know. If I saw a good opportunity (the gunman was alone and had his attention elsewhere for example) where someone was in imminent danger and if I didn’t have my family’s welfare to worry about…. then perhaps. I have a strong instinct for self-preservation, but I also have a strong instinct to protect others so I don’t really know how that’d play out. The best I can say is that I trust myself at the minimum to be able to make a good assessment of the situation and odds and to not grossly overestimate my abilities, whether or not I possess a weapon. I think the most useful thing I’ve got out of practicing martial arts was developing situational awareness and learning to quickly assess dangerous situations, and that’s probably the biggest thing I’d have going for me in such a nightmare scenario, not how hard I can strike or how well I can shoot.
Regarding where I am right now…. within two paces I have a laptop, lamp, a glass of water, a nightstand, and a beer bottle. Most of which I could make good use of if someone came storming into the house. BTW you may find it amusing to know that I’d just got up and lifted my nightstand just to confirm for myself how easy it is to lift above waist level (how does that Styx song go? "Too much… time on my hands…"). What would I change or do different? Well perhaps I should keep nearby something a little more suited for a weapon. Where I am at right now doesn’t allow for me to keep a loaded gun on my person, but at the same time in the immediate area there are other security measures and an environment that makes most crime and home invasions less likely. But in lieu of a loaded firearm and until I can think of something better, I am moving my survival knife out of the closet and into the nightstand.
Almost seems to strengthen the stereotype of the overeager security guard pretending he/she is a cop…
Nickbert – yup. Biggest problem I see in assessing his performance is by what yardstick to measure (and this, in the end, may have been his own biggest failure – has this guy figured out to start with where his boundaries are?). Having recently done some intensive training from a civilian perspective as to when and how to engage, I would say that his first failure as a civilian was engaging at all. As a civilian, whether you’ve got the rule of law or we’re in a mad max scenario you stand to lose more than you could ever gain by not just splitting the scene if there’s a sketchy character who isn’t directly confronting you.
But he’s not exactly a civilian. A police officer has a duty to stop and apprehend him – and I suspect that the rules of this guy’s job might require him to neutralize the suspect and hand him over to police – in which case pursuing to another floor may have put him at a tactical disadvantage but might have been necessary for his job and/or honour. Drawing a weapon on this guy, as a security guard with an obligation to stop him or as a cop is perfectly reasonable. Yes, he should have absolutely intended to use it (if needed) but I don’t think there’s any evidence that he didn’t intend to . The perps aquiescence to his will says he was probably convincing. The big, big, big problem comes when he holsters and searches the guy (assumption here, based on ensuing events – suspect unsnapped magazine and gun at belt, not hands). Alone, with no backup on the way, with a demonstratably snakey suspect. Be he civilian, cop or somewhere in between, he should have either kept the guy standing, elbows locked – arms straight up, eyes facing away from (you), or face down on the ground, arms stretched out wide, fingers spread, feet crossed, head facing away from (you). Stand there and hold him until the police or your backup rental cops (who you’ve just called) get there. With his head facing away, you can quietly holster (keep a hand on it) to decrease the chance that an arriving officer shoots you mistakenly.
In a mad max scenario, you never get there. If there are no cops, there probably arent’ security guards. You bug out or if there’s confrontation and escalation, we can all assume it wasn’t yours and you do what it takes to neutralize it.
OK – here is the most recent:
Tell me about the failings in the Combat Triad.
They’re pretty obvious, but the benefit of approaching situations like this is preparing yourself mentally for a rapid, intense and violent assault/robbery which are becoming more and more common.
A quick anecdote:
One of the first times I did "Force on Force" training, I was playing an aggressor (bad guy) And shouted immediately at the "good guy".
"Don’t move!" and "Give me your wallet!"
…he stopped moving, and reached for his wallet.
We have to deprogram ourselves from compliance, because more and more, criminals are realizing the effects of a yell, a apparently overwhelming and aggressive posture and verbal commands.
Think of how this plays into the OODA loop as you analyze the Skillset, Mindset, and Tactical Failures.
Ok, I’ll go. Staying at motel in an unfamiliar town. Days Inn- not always in the best neghborhoods, often close to major highways- easy escape for the perps. Tenants out of their normal comfort zone. Perps obviously looking for an easy snatch and dash. The couple should have been prepared-keys in hand- to make a quick move from car to room. Perhaps if the guy, who looked fairly large, had taken a defensive posture looking towards the parking area, the perps might have thought twice. That woman just was not going to let that purse go! When I travel, I always have two sets of ID, cash, and credit cards- if someone wanted my wallet that bad and I found myself in a "giving" situation, I mentally know I have the wherewithal to carry on with my travels on my #2 valuables. Women (and men) might be well advised to not carry sentimental valuables in their purse when traveling- let them have that bag, is it worth your health and safety to fight for it? When I saw the guy on the ground and the perp digging in his pants pocket, I thought of the video of the fingers-to-the-eyes move. Would it be worth the risk to protect my wallet, especially if my woman was being beat on by another asailant? Probably not. Situational awareness- ’bout zero…..What am I missing?