View Full Version : attacked in grocery store

gary thornbury
11-14-2003, 07:46 PM
After closeing my business ,my wife asked me to stop at the store to pick up and item. i went to a large grocery store and was the second in line at the self-check area and up walks a 25 or so year old guy with his girlfriend and instead of going to the back of the line he stands next to me. I thought " he's cutting in front of me". I decided its ok, nothing to stress about. When I was first in line and checkout became availalbe he walked in front of me and cut me off. I thought "OK, I dont like it but it's ok.". Then he turned to me and shot me this go to Hell look and I did this to you and theres nothing you can do about it look". I looked at him and said " smooth move buddie, you cut in front of me and everyone else in line, I dont know if they like it but I dont." The shot me a I'm going tto kill you look. Another checkout came open and I used it and when I finished he was standing where I had to walk by him to leave the store. I had my purchase in my left hand and was ready to to hit him in the throat with my right hand, as I walked up to the exit he was glareing at me, I glared back and walked up to him. I a loud voice he said " Do you have a problem with me?" I walked up to 2 1/2 foot from him and in a quite voice told him " yes I do"then I moved to his left and got close enough that I had my left arm touching him and this shocked him, then in a calm voice i told him " see the 2 chrome poles, thats the head of the line , next time go to the line of people standing in front of them go to the back of the line, dont cut line again" He ( getting loader) "dont call me down in a store full of people" I told him " dont cut in front of me and I wont have to call you down--do again and I'll call you down again". He was pretty load and people were watching the exchange--of course know one was trying to help.
He says very load "OH REALLY" I calmly told him' " I'm tired of screwing with you , just say when" I was still in contact with him and his whole body tensed when I told him this. He said nothing, I took 1 step back and said " when you work up the nerve, just say when". I didnt work up the nerve and I was glad and he didnt leave the store through the same door I did. I saw him and his girlfriend on the parking lot and they were looking between cars to see if I was waiting for them.
When this started I read them right and they did what I thought they would. I was also ahead of him because when I walked up to the front door I thought " this is something I thought might happen and I will get in close and my first hit will be a fist to his throat and then I will do some work on his kneecaps with my feet" I talked to him in a calm voice and never raised it--this freaked him out, plus get in close and touching him.I was ready to go for his throat during this confrontation. I think he sensed this "willingness to do him heavy injury right here right now in front of a store full of people". I proubly didnt handle it right, but I did take the fight to him. I'm just glad he didnt say when. I felt really good on the way home because a 50 year old guy confronted a 25 something year old thug and won.A throat punch is a killer punch , its hard to fight when you are drinking your blood and cant breath. Glad I didnt have to use it.

11-14-2003, 09:05 PM
You need to find a store with a better class of customers.

11-14-2003, 09:06 PM
Quote type thing:
"I proubly didnt handle it right, but I did take the fight to him. I'm just glad he didnt say when. I felt really good on the way home because a 50 year old guy confronted a 25 something year old thug and won.A throat punch is a killer punch , its hard to fight when you are drinking your blood and cant breath. Glad I didnt have to use it."

I agree that you didn't handle it right. If you needed to take a stand over your place in line, then it should have done as soon as he looked like he might've been cutting and as politely as possible so he could act like he'd made a mistake and back out without looking like a dickhead.

IMO, once you've 'lost the initiative' in this sorta situation, it's best to let it slide. Think, you were about to jack this guy over a can of beans (or whatever). The extra 2 min it costs you to let him cut isn't worth the effort. Sure, he's a dick and it'd be great if you could just beat him into a coma with your 2L of grape soda and get a gift certificate from the manager, but it doesn't work that way.

The serious problem with your approach, was going toe-to-toe with the guy. Action beats reation, and you just gave him the free hit and then dared him to take it. Maybe you're one hardcore badass, but I'm not giving anyone a free headbutt, knee to the junk or elbow to the throat. Uh uh, not me, no way. This doesn't even account for the possibility of him having a weapon. That close and he could very well have had something in his hand that you'd never have seen, only felt. The only time I've ever been stabbed was in a 'fist fight'. :(

Hate to play the monday morning QB, but I figure if you're gonna toss it out here you must want some feedback, right? :)

11-14-2003, 11:08 PM
Just a thought
"...but a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot.

This symptom is especially serious in that the individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Look for it. Study it. It is to late to save this culture-this worldwide culture, not just the freak show here in California. Therefore we must prepare the monastaries for the coming dark age. Electronic records are to fragile; we must have books of stable inks and resistant paper." Heinlein--__Friday__

NM Eric

11-15-2003, 04:36 AM
I know the times when I have been in a confrontation with a thug, speaking quietly and not posturing like he was (loud and obnoxious), really freaked them out. They didn't know what to do. It sounds like you were on his outside, so he would have had to orient to you (unless I'm reading this wrong), so invading his space might not have been a bad thing. It was your call, and I'm glad it worked out. Now you know, his girlfriend thinks he just let you off easy because she was there right? :)


11-15-2003, 06:20 AM
Let's put aside whether you would have won the physical confrontation. Later, when the law and civil courts have to sort it out, witnesses will remember that both of you were woofing.

It's tough enough to prevail in a real life or death confrontation, but to prevail afterwards, legally, you need to be visibly blameless. You weren't. Glad it worked out ok, though...

gary thornbury
11-15-2003, 03:03 PM
Thanks for the respondes . I moved to his left side and touching him I was in position to hit his throat if he moved. I would have thrown the first punch, never letting him move first. And I would have went to jail for assult. Thats why we have lawyers.
I'm not a badass and would have been more than willling to let it go if he hadnt been shooting me the f--k you looks after cutting in line. Then when he moved up in the front of the store to prevent me from leaving was the last straw.Run or fight. we all die , we just dont know how or when.

11-15-2003, 04:12 PM
If you are in a crowded place and someone is threatening I think the best general response is to say in a loud clear voice, "Someone call the police, I am being threatened by this man". If you try to reason with the person, face him down whatever, people will as another poster stated just remember two people arguing. Maybe Gabe or someone else with police experience will comment, but I think may thug types will break it off if you ask for someone to call the police and there are people around. If after you ask for people to call police and you later have to hit the guy in the throat I think the fact you requested a call for police will be to your advantage. I don't know if this was an unusual incident for the store you were in or not. However, there are certain stores, areas, etc I simply do not visit because of the people that are in these locations. If this was an unusual situation for that store I would tell the manager verbally and follow up with a letter copying corporate headquarters. I figure it is the job of corporations to make their establishments a place I want to visit and spend money.

Lastly, you did not say if you were carrying a handgun. If so I think it would be even more to your advantage to establish that you did not want any trouble, felt threatened and requested someone to call the police. If I ever shoot someone I certainly would like witnesses that said I requested that the police be called.

11-15-2003, 05:09 PM
You need to find a store with a better class of customers.

This is a sad situation. Ever more common these days. I agree with billcameron, but cannot help thinking..............
This situation requires complete silence during the thug's abuse.
And complete silence later on in the parking lot !!!!!

Tim Burke
11-16-2003, 06:21 AM
I see 2 ways to handle this:

1) "Excuse me, sir, but this is the front of the line. It starts back there."

Don't be quiet, and don't be aggressive. You may even want to smile. If he goes to the back of the line, you'll be gone before he gets checked out. If he makes a scene there, everyone in the line will remember how it started. If he does make a scene, then say "it's fine with me if you go first; I hope it's all right with everyone behind me." If there's a confrontation after that, it will be clear who the aggressor was. If someone else speaks up, he'll probably back down. in any case, you won't be his focus anymore.

2) Don't say a word. Let him cut in line and let him get out of there. This isn't easy to do, but I think starting it up with him afterwards is a mistake.

Cold War Scout
11-23-2003, 12:42 PM
I once saw an Ali McBeal in which the geek lawyer in her office was telling a jury how he essentially was punked out by somebody when he was a younger man and how his manhood NEVER recovered from that. The show made an excellent point.

It is easy for an unemotionally involved person to say what one should or shouldn´t do. Only the person involved knows what is at stake during a situation. On the surface it may appear to be little. But I know I have been willing to die during potential confrontations because I would not let myself go through life having been punked out.

Tim Burke
11-24-2003, 07:25 AM
It is easy for an unemotionally involved person to say what one should or shouldn´t do.
I would recommend being unemotionally involved in this type of scenario. I think it makes it easier to decide what one should or shouldn't do.

Charles Rives
11-24-2003, 03:27 PM
. . . A throat punch is a killer punch , its hard to fight when you are drinking your blood and cant breath. Glad I didnt have to use it.

Yep that can be a fight-stopper. When I was young I read a bunch of pop-hype martial arts stuff. I had myself convinced that I knew a bunch of one-shot knockdown techniques. Then later in life when I actually had to shed some blood, I found that the guys that I hit with those techniques would sometimes crumple and sometimes soak it up and keep coming like George Forman.

Just like you shouldn't count on a one shot stop with your handgun, don't count on any technique having optimal effect. Gabe teaches to "shoot 'em to the ground." It should apply in unarmed combatives too.


Jim Linch
11-27-2003, 03:37 AM
1. You can not prevent people from being obnoxious idiots.
2. You can prevent them from pushing your buttons.
3. Your's got pushed.

Unless he was blocking your only exit, and I did not read it this way, you had no reason other than pride to take him on.

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.