View Full Version : "Help Me... Please..."

10-25-2004, 07:29 AM
So here's a LONG scenario that happened last night.
I'll tell you what happened and then what I did...

My wife and I live in a rural area with houses scattered every 3 to 6 hundred feet or so apart.

At 11:15 last night we were watching an action movie with the sound cranked up pretty loud and my two Jack Russells on the couch start growling. My wife says, "Did you hear that?"
I said nope and turned the volume off. I then heard knocking on the side of the house and a woman yelling, "Someone help me, please!" I turned on the porch lights and looked thru the peep hole. Couldn't see a thing. Looked out the window. Couldn't see a thing. But I could still hear a woman crying faintly, "Please, help me someone, please..."

What would YOU do??... Here's what I did...

My first thought was honestly, "Oh, crap. This could be a setup."

I ran to the bedroom and grabbed my pistol and maglight.
I gave my wife a loaded magazine and she readied her pistol as well.
I told her to call the Sherriff's Dept. and stay inside.
She said, "You're not going OUT THERE are you???"
I told her it was all right.
I didn't want to leave some woman possibly injured waiting on the police, as they can take half an hour at times to respond.
I went outside and checked for BG's as I went.
Looking for the woman, I heard her crying in the distance but my light was weak and I could not find her.
I went back inside for my keys to retrieve my better maglight from the car.
My wife was talking to the police trying to give them directions.
She was still insistent that I do not go outside.
I went back out, got my light, (and yes, I was a little spooked), and followed the voice to the edge of my property.
I finally spotted her.
The woman was at the next house over now banging on their door, "What's wrong with you people?? Why won't you help me???"
I called her to come to me.
She was about 35 years old with long brown hair.
Her shirt was missing and was wearing a bra and jeans.
She was crying, shivering, and bent over holding her stomach.
I first checked her with my light to see if I could spot any weapons.
I asked what happened, she said, "They beat me and tried to rape me. I'm hurt, I need an ambulance."
I told my wife, (standing at the door), to call the Sherriff again and tell them to send an ambulance.
As we were walking back toward the house, a maroon minivan came westbound toward us and slowed to observe us then pulled into my driveway and drove off in the opposite direction.
I was thinking at the time this was a gawking neighbor and didn't consider getting a tag #.
I directed the woman to sit on our porch bench and we covered her in blankets and gave her water to drink.
Still frightened, she was a little combative when my wife placed the blankets on her.
About ten minutes later, a Deputy arrived and began questioning her.
She said she didn't know where she was or the last name of the man and woman she was with but they lived in a house nearby, and she had ran from it.
She started to go into shock, it seems, as she shut down and became very rigid.
The ambulance arrived after about twenty minutes.
After awhile, they were able to get her full name and it turns out she had a warrant for possession in another county.
We think she was able to tell them a last name of the perps before they left but don't know for sure.
I signed a statement and everyone left.

So here's the thing....

It seems I did the right thing, but what IF some folks had popped out of that van?

And what IF there had been a BG(s) outside the house?

Would I be held liable on my own property for defending myself?

Would they say I went looking for trouble?

I don't know, if I had just heard a bumping SOUND, if I would go outside though - for the above reasons.

Man, these CCW laws and this world - sucks.

10-25-2004, 07:41 AM
I don't get all bogged down into every nuance and possibility on these internet scenarios. But I've dealt with something very similiar, handled it similiarly, all ended well.

Hey, if I hear someone crying for help, I'm going to help . . .carefully. I don't care to live on gonadly challenged if I wouldn't. It's just part of being an American man IMO.

I think you did the right thing. You of course learned some lessons about your gear.

Ain't it funny that when there is a real chance of the feces hitting the fan . . . you just can't seem to have enough "kit"?

Al Lipscomb
10-25-2004, 08:51 AM
You did a lot better than a lot of people would have. The lady got the help she needed and you got back home safe.

It is too easy to "what if" yourself to death on these things. You were prepared to act. You acted. When something was not right you came back and fixed it. You went back out and were able to help. Good job!

Ted T.
10-25-2004, 09:07 AM
In this case, light is your friend.

Rig up extra lights all around your place to a single switch so you can light it all up at one time.

Sounds like you did good.

10-25-2004, 09:46 AM
I dunno - seems to me like you done good. I agree with Ted T about the exterior lighting, and make sure you've got better flashlights in the future - but other than that... As far as the various liability issues go, I'd have to know how OK law reads on it. In Florida you're authorized in using deadly force in defense of others using "the other guy's shoes" doctrine - i.e., if he'd be justified in using it, you are on his behalf. I believe this situation would (somewhat broadly) fall in that category.

Sam Spade
10-25-2004, 10:30 AM
First worry about the fight, then the liability stuff.

IF someone pops out of the van, then you deal with the threat presented, using as much or as little force as needed.

Seems that you allowed for BGs outside your house. BTW, nothing says you have to approach from your front door.

Good move keeping an armed partner inside the house. Get her the training she needs, and don't do it yourself.

You done good. Seems like it might be about time to change your screen name.

10-25-2004, 01:21 PM
rookie, you did well, don't worry about second guessing yourself,

The extra lights are good,but can be bad also,once out there you have to come back,no fun walking into bright lights.

Me,myself and I would have felt better with a shotgun .

10-25-2004, 01:27 PM
I definitely need better lighting on the house.

I am going to get some motion sensors installed on three of the four sides and get myself a dang spotlight.

I also want to find out how Oklahoma law addresses defense of self on property compared to self defense in-home, just in case something like this happens again.

Other than that, I don't know what to do differently.

I will continue my "training" and will join IDPA soon for starters.

It's amazing how somthing like this gets you to thinking.

Hindsight, of course, is 20/20.

10-25-2004, 02:01 PM
packing.org should get you started on OK law - they usually provide a "plain-English" interpretation, with a link to your state's pertinent statutes. The lighting - make sure you have manual overrides for all the motion detectors: a) you may want them on just "because", and; b) you may want them OFF (being backlit is not a sound tactical decision). Of course, the ideal would include outward pointing lights well away from the homestead, but that's not usually an option for most of us...

10-25-2004, 02:17 PM
Seems like you did fine to me. A few 'minor' comments. You ran to the bedroom for your gun. - Perhaps it should have been 'at hand'. You went to your car for a better 'light'. Should have been with your gun. Minor points. Better property illumination has already been mentioned.
I'm with the guys who say......"there's no way they are not going to help somebody in need".
As to the car in your drive, one reason that I can think of to carry a hi-capacity. Anything from that car ( eg shots ) and you just pump that hi-cap mag into the auto, putting the punks off any ideas. - 'Keeping their heads down', it's called in military 'jargon'. - It's not 'spray and pray'. - There is a difference.
Good work.

10-25-2004, 05:44 PM
Be careful with the house lights. You don't want to back light yourself as you do your search. The hiding places where you could be ambushed from should be lighted better than anything else.

Were the lights still on in your house? If so, your wife was framed in the light as she stood in the door.

I like to be able to look from inside the house at the lighted outdoors, and then turn off the lights from the door where I will exit so I can do my approach from the dark. It is my property and I know where I am going. I don't need as much light for my movement.

If you've not had a course on nighttime movement and flashlight technique, take one. Replace your mag light with a tactical light.

All in all, you came to the aid of someone in distress. You possible scared off the bad guys. You did not get hurt. Good outcome!

10-25-2004, 07:41 PM
Rookie, you did the right thing, but external lighting makes all the difference in the world.

This exact scenario happened to me several years ago. A 20's something female started banging on my front door about 01:30 repeatedly screaming "help me, please let me in!". Fortunately, I wasn't roused out of deep sleep to face this situation, as I had stayed up watching the movie "Anzio". And yes, this memory is seared, seared into my memory. :D

Looking out of the windows overlooking the front door and yard, illuminated by my yard light, I could see the young woman, fully clothed, standing on the deck outside the front door -- and just off the edge of my deck, a 20's something man was standing in the shadows, his hands in his pockets, calmly surveying the scene.

As it was winter, with about 18" of snow on the ground, the man was easily seen in the reflected light from the yard light as well as being silhouetted against the white background.

I did not open the door.

A call to the sheriff's department produced a deputy on scene in about 10 minutes, at that time I lived about 2 miles from the sheriff's office. It turned out the couple had skidded their car off the icy road about 300 yds up the road and wanted someone to call a tow truck.

The cops acted put out that I hadn't opened the door. :mad:

Get some exterior lights; you never know what's out there.

Charles Rives
10-26-2004, 01:30 AM
I think that you handled the situation well too.

If you have any interest or desire to own a dog, this would have been a handy time to own one. It doesn't have to be large, tough or aggressive. A friendly 20-lb mutt can tell you if there's someone ahead in the dark and is much more likely to identify and locate the person in the dark with its superior senses of hearing and smell.


10-26-2004, 02:44 AM
I should change my name to devils advocate, heres why....

Im gonna have to dissagree with you all again, on ONE little point...

I would rather have the ability to turn out every light on my property and black it out (if that capability exhists), than light it up. Familiar teritory and darkness = friend. I'd rather fight a hidden enemy from a hidden position, than fight a hidden enemy from a open position.

I practice moving around my house in pitch black. ( i have aluminum foil on all the windows so when the lights are off there is ZERO light).

Point is, you can get used to your territory in no light, giving you an advantage. I'm not saying dont have the capability of lighting the place up like a chrismas tree, but maybe stalking around in the dark like a bad guy is the best way to take care of a bad guy stalking around in the dark.

Dont be afraid of the dark.

BTW: you lived, so did she, GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!!

10-26-2004, 02:47 AM
BTW: a good set of NVGs will come in handy if you have foil on all your windows, especaily when jody foster is chasing you around with a revolver.

:eek: :eek: :eek:

10-26-2004, 06:12 AM

One beat up lady comes to the door and next thing you know he's telling me to cover all my windows in aluminum foil and wear night vision goggles around the house....


I firmly believe I can expect this kind of violent crap to escalate in coming years here in my town and I plan on being at least somewhat prepared and trained.
I doubt I ever own an AK or night goggles but skill and determination with what I have may still keep us safe.

I do agree I need a good defensive shotgun though.

I sold my old Mossberg 20 gauge with the pistol grip because I couldn't hit anything with it.

Put the money toward a second 9mm.

I would like a short 12 gauge with a stock and a light and no choked barrel with about a #3 buck shot, I think.

But that's another thread and a different budget.

Wondah Woman
10-26-2004, 06:30 AM
Hey, thanks for helping that woman ! Not too many people would have gotten involved anymore. One small comment, I wouldn't have given her a drink of water. Don't get me wrong, I think it was very humane of you to offer her water.However, in a collecting evidence point-of-view it was the wrong thing to do. She claimed they had beat her and tried to rape her. If the police transported her to the hospital first(before jail for the warrant), the hospital might have wanted to complete a rape kit on her. A mouth swab might have to be taken to collect any kind of DNA evidence. She might have bitten one of them, or been subjected to oral rape. :eek: Giving her water to drink would have washed away valuable evidence to convict her attackers, should they be found. Just something to keep in mind should it ever happen again. I'm glad you helped her, and no-one else was hurt. Good Samaritan ! :D

10-26-2004, 06:42 AM
Hey, thanks for helping that woman ! Not too many people would have gotten involved anymore.

That's the thing that got me.
I KNOW (logistically speaking), she had to have gone to several homes before she got to mine and she had even gone to the next house over and they wouldn't help either.
It WAS after 11pm on a Sunday but still...
I mean, people weren't even turning on their porch light and as far as I was told, no one else even called the police.
If she had wound up dead, I wonder how they would live with that?

10-26-2004, 07:52 AM
I too had a similar incident where a women in distress was banging on my door for help. This is when I lived in an apartment building. It turned out to be a neighbor who just got mugged right outside the main door.

Here is the funny part: She was an ardent anti-gunner. She would see me coming home with gear and would go on about how terrible it was that I owned guns and how unsafe she felt knowing someone in the building was armed.

After the incident, I asked her why she picked my door to come to when she had to pass 5 others to get to mine. The answer: I knew you could stop the guy and protect me.... Needless to say, I had a field day bantering her about after that! :D

You did OK....

Sam Spade
10-26-2004, 09:09 AM
I sold my old Mossberg 20 gauge with the pistol grip because I couldn't hit anything with it.

I would like a short 12 gauge with a stock and a light and no choked barrel with about a #3 buck shot, I think.

And what would your wife like? How about a short 20 gauge with a stock and a light? #4 buck comes in 20 ga, dunno about 3.

Don't sell the 20 short--Point is that the problem was probably the pistol grip, not the stock. And if your wife's your backup, then you want her to be effective.

Steve Collins
10-26-2004, 09:23 AM

My wife uses a Remington 1100 youth 20 gauge, loaded with #3 shot. She shoots extremely well with it, plus she has her Glock 26. Good to have a well trained and well armed backup. Five rounds of 20 gauge is nothing to sneeze at! :)

10-26-2004, 01:40 PM
I haven't read what you did in this situation, nor did I read any of the following posts. I'm going to post what I would do and then go back and read to see where I may have made mistakes.

I would do this in the following order:

1.) Arm myself (lock and load)
2.) Grab my flashlight and hit the floods
3.) Hand my wife the 12 guage, and tell her to stay locked up in the house prepared to dial 911 until I give the code for her to unlock the door and let me back in.
4.) Exit the house from an exit other than the front door if possible, and allow the Jack Russells from Hell to lead the way--the little yippers could certainly offer a nice distraction to the potential thuggery awaiting my arrival outside.

5.) Locate the voice that was calling for help.
6.) Assess the situation upon locating her, and act accordingly.

Now to see how I did.


10-27-2004, 09:49 AM
I would rather have the ability to turn out every light on my property and black it out (if that capability exhists), than light it up. Familiar teritory and darkness = friend.Which is exactly why I pointed out any motion detector lights should have manual overrides. The ones I have (Heath-Zenith, IIRC) can be turned off, left in auto, or turned on (by flicking the switch to off, then back on in one second).

10-27-2004, 10:40 AM
Overall, you did good.
1.A sport-utility rifle with a high capacity magazine is more of a deterrent than a shotgun. If need be, the wife could cover you with it while you help a victim.
2. Not using your car to fetch the victim is great! If she or her pals had a molotov or an IED,you could have been caught in a rolling death trap.
3. The bit about the dog was great! A Norwegian Elkhound mix weighs under thirty pound and is so intelligent that you could train them to be a guard dog.

10-27-2004, 02:26 PM
Wow, I never thought so much about lighting. Learning something here. So, is it the overall opinion that zero light (excluding a hand torch) is best for exiting the home to go look for the "voice in the night?" That is after a zero light interior is used to survey the lighted exterior of the home?


PS--I'm not tinfoiling my windows. Hats? Maybe. Windows? No. ;-)

Sam Spade
10-27-2004, 02:50 PM
Wow, I never thought so much about lighting. Learning something here. So, is it the overall opinion that zero light (excluding a hand torch) is best for exiting the home to go look for the "voice in the night?" That is after a zero light interior is used to survey the lighted exterior of the home?
Not in my opinion. There's normally enough ambient light for the BG to notice that you're there. He's allowed to attack shapes and shadows, you're not. Your winking little firefly is like a beacon, and (worse) tends to draw your vision into the lighted areas, making you less attentive to the shadows outside the beam. Further, you're emerging from your lit house into the dark--his night vision is likely to be more adapted than yours. Tripping over your kid's tricycle gives away your position, too.

My vote would put your interior into darkness, and make your perimeter well lit--the same principal that puts a night light in your hallway while your bedroom is in deep shadow. Observe what you can from the interior shadow, as you've indicated. Exit the back door, loop around as wide as needed, and observe what's waiting for you up front. Attack, run or intervene as called for. Yes, I'd take a light, just in case, but it probably wouldn't be on.

10-27-2004, 06:45 PM
Wow, I never thought so much about lighting. Learning something here. So, is it the overall opinion that zero light (excluding a hand torch) is best for exiting the home to go look for the "voice in the night?" That is after a zero light interior is used to survey the lighted exterior of the home?

Not quite. My first preference, if I have any idea of where noise is coming from, is to have exterior lights pointed in that direction and then I exit from the datk side of the house. (After lighting up that side too and looking just to make sure.)

When you first go out get into at least a concealed position until your eyes adapt. And listen to what is going on. Avoid the flashlight. All it does is call attention to yourself. The flashlight is for illuminating what concerns you, and then you give yourself away.

Approach the lighted area from the shadows. Do what you can to avoid standing in the light. Listen as you move.

But in this scenario, with someone screaming for help you might not want to take all the time in the world. At the same time, if you locate the person in need, you can do a search around that person without telling her you are there. She is not comforted, but you are looking for bad guys and can act if appropriate.

If I could spend unlimited money on lighting, I would have controlled (on/off/motion detect) perimter lights around my property shining in and out. The motion detector could give me a hint at where the bad guy is.

10-27-2004, 07:08 PM
Heh, if money weren't an obstacle I'd have FLIR up. Don't need no stinkin' lights then. lol

Thanks alot guys for answering my questions. Your answers make sense to me, i.e., "Embrace the darkness." I suppose the dark is just one more tool in the arsenal. AH, I think I'm seeing it now, the Warrior Mindset seeks to use everything in the environment as a tool to gain an advantage. Man, that is simple, but I so easily forget that.

Thanks again, Kobra

10-27-2004, 09:54 PM
Sounds like you did ok, Rookie. Myself? I'd like to light up the perimeter so much it burns retinas. I'd exit the back and stay in the shadows with my brightest flashlight off and my shotgun in hand. I'd rather them not know I was there until I assess the situation. I believe that pretty much follows what some others have said. You done good.

11-03-2004, 01:38 PM
Are the dogs trained to off leash? Take one with you outside. A barking dog, even a small one will get a BGs attention.

11-04-2004, 09:36 AM
In the above scenario, why not have the wife covering you from an upstairs (if available) window with an M1A or an AR?

Our default is to hump up to the safe room/master bedroom and gear up, she does commo and watches the alarm system panel then if I go outside she can cover me for almost 3/4 of the property.

11-04-2004, 02:23 PM
You were armed,had light & backup & had called cops:sounds good to me. As to the van had it stopped yell to girl to hit the dirt & take cover yourself.
More area lights might be good;I prefer the maglight in hand so I control what areas are lit,etc.
Maybe a couple of those small walkie-talkies so you can communicate with wife? Or individual cell phones (& would this latter be practical in this situation?).
At any rate you won as the situation resolved without violence;you can't argue with results.

BTW this is my first post here;if I commit any errors of etiquette please accept my apologies & advise me of my error.Thank you.

11-12-2004, 10:14 AM
Rookie, nice work! You did what you did at the time and it worked out for you. I wasn't there, but you and yours are alive and you helped someone in trouble.

From the sound of things, you need a quality light! For running around outdoors, bigger is better. It's a good idea to have a powerful light available in the house if you need to exit and you have a lot of unlit property around your home. A rugged rechargable 1M candlepower spotlight is available at Home Depot for less than $30.

11-12-2004, 10:31 AM
A rugged rechargable 1M candlepower spotlight is available at Home Depot for less than $30.

Walmart regularly has some decent ones for under 20. I bought one for the house and one for the car.

John 242
11-13-2004, 07:31 PM
Some one mentioned having a long gun for the approach to to the woman. I disagree for a few reasons; 1) the long gun although more effective is imposible to conceal. Since anyone watching you will see the weapon, you may possibly draw fire, both friendly and hostile. 2) you loose the element of surprise. A holstile may not suspect that you are armed and if a confrontation were to take place you have somewhat of an element of surprise. 3) the sight of a man carrying a shotgun or AR may panic the woman who was assaulted. 4) if you must use your hands you will have to sling the long gun or set it down. Using a flash light while carrying a long gun could be problematic as well.

I would leave the long gun with the wife. When that van pulled up in the drive, things could have went south with a quickness. A long gun, especially a rifle/carbine is a great anti- dirve bye/anti-vehicle weapon. A shotgun is a awesome anti-home invasion weapon. 20 or 12 GA wouldn't matter much at conversation distance I would think. !2 has a greater shot load, but both have the same velocity more or less. I would make sure that whatever load I were to choose, that the wife can handle it. A .223/5.56 AR or 7.62x39 SKS (cheep) would be a good weapon for even a small frame woman.

On a side note.....
Be carefull when approaching a possible victum. That poor innocent woman may be setting you up. Treat everyone as a potential threat. Don't let your gaurd down.

Let me say thank you. It's a good man that is willing to risk his welfare to help others nowadays. I salute you.
Good work, brother.

11-16-2004, 10:14 AM

My first reply.
I have had things like this happen too many times. I live in the boonies about 5 miles from town. My home is located at the end of a new (1969) stretch of highway (2 lane) that funnels down to a real dangerous curve. Well the out of towners and or punks like to run 597 MPH on the straight stretch then enter the curve right at my driveway or my next door neighboors yard. Over the last 25 years we have had probably 150-200 wrecks. Most are just ok normal people or college studnets driving too fast and fly off the straighten road into my yard or neigboors.
Ok with that being said l can express my thoughts about having car wrecks or people screaming or beating on my house sounds in the middle of the night!!
Yep it pushes the stress right up there like I experienced many times in Vietnam. I live by myself mostly but if the little woman is there she has strict training to only call the sheriff when I tell her.
What I have done many times when this type of situation goes down is to turn all the lights off inside the house. I can see out they can see in plus the sides are becoming equal. I have 4 doors leading outside and I mostly use the rear one with both shotgun and 45ACP in hand. I have a get a way gear vest that goes on first with extra mags, flashlight, bandages, shells and cell phone and loaded magazines.
Am I paranoid? Probably but I did have a couple of "tests."
Once I had the same screams, "help me - help me" from a woman. I about shit my pants got out of bed, located my head put it on my shoulders took a breath found my clothes get away gear and weapons then headed up the hallway. The screaming kept coming and I was starting to come unglued listening to the distress from her voice and my head. However discipline took control and I slipped out of the house and into the dark woods. After listening and finding her bearing I located the voice, but there was also a car in the upper driveway lights off engine running. I was sure there was somebody up to no good.
I moved around the dark and worked my way to the side of the car then I simply tapped on the side window of the car, which cause the young boys to jump and shit their pants! Yep thats right the "boys" were there to do a little robbing and funning using the girl as a decoy.
I stuffed the barrell of the 12 gauge against the window and explained that they needed to exit the car real carefull like to get on the ground and put there hands behind their heads. You know just like in the movies.
In the mean time our little Princess had given up the roll she was playing and worked her way up the driveway to a little surprise>
Yee ha.
I told her in a nice forcefull manner she was about to become compost with her two friends if she didnt get down on all 4's.
I held them at gun point, called the sheriff on the cell phone and waited while the 3 cried and wined how sorry they were and didnt mean any harm
Yea right.
Anyway the moral of the story> bad people are everywhere even in little ole sleepydale and will go harm no matter where or why.
Its guys like us that do indeed keep the crime rate at managable level.

11-30-2004, 12:46 PM
Original poster did good, No one died and everyone went home.

John 242,If I may make an observation on your last post, once exiting the building into the "great unknown" having only a pistol could be unfortunate. A carbine with a weapon mounted light would make you more prepared for infinaitely more situations. IF you chose to leave the building to look around and not everyone would, go well prepared as to go out half cocked with your glock and a mini mag light could wind you up dead.
Some of Gabe's Books " Tactical Advantage " and others deal with the carbine weapons system and how to effectively deploy it in these situations. Moving in the dark in the open is different to clearing an enclosed space in the dark. Both need to practiced continually.

Train hard and stay safe.

Amateurs practice till they get it right, Professionals practice till they can't get it wrong.