21 Apr 99

I just got of the phone with one of our female students on the East Coast. She took a Defensive Handgun Course from us late last year. She was involved in an incident several weeks ago which, fortunately, had a happy ending:

“I was returning (alone) to my car, which was parked in a shopping-center parking lot. it was a Wednesday evening, about 8:00pm. As I approached my car, a teen-age Hispanic lad emerged from behind the car parked next to mine and, in broken English, demanded that I give him my handbag. He simultaneously rushed me and grabbed my left arm.

I already had my right hand in my handbag and on my bottle of OC spray which I quickly produced and sprayed him full in the face. I emptied the entire bottle, because he refused to let go of me. I then hesitated a few seconds with every expectation that the OC would cause him to desist. It didn’t!

With OC literally dripping from his chin, he screamed incoherently and jerked me from side to side. I then dropped the (now empty) bottle of OC, reached back into my handbag and produced my S&W 3953 ‘LadySmith,’ loaded with 115gr Cor-Bon. Adhering to my training, I yelled the verbal challenge at him that I had been taught, ‘Police, don’t move! Drop your weapon!’ Either he didn’t hear, didn’t understand, or was unimpressed, because he continued to jerk me around, trying to get me to the ground. Then, things got worse!

A broken-down pickup truck screeched to a halt just a few feet away from the two of us. Out of it piled at least ten more Hispanic males, one of whom was waving a baseball bat at me in a very threatening manner. The juvenile still would not let go of my arm. Finally, one of them, a man in his fifties, saw my gun and immediately put his hands up and pleaded with me not to shoot his son. As it turned out, the juvenile who had originally attacked me was his son.

I took advantage of the pause and kicked the juvenile in the groin with my right knee and shin. That finally got his attention! He let go of me and, staggering in place, started to rub his eyes. I then assumed a normal two-handed grip and Weaver stance and repeated the verbal challenge. Upon seeing and hearing this, the rest of the group also got the message and backed off, mumbling among themselves. Since they saw me (adhering to my training) looking from side to side, I suspect they concluded that sneaking up behind me as out of the question. In any event, they quickly got back into their truck, holding the juvenile by the arms, and left. I never saw any of them again. Happily, I didn’t have to fire.

After composing myself, I called the police on my cell phone, and they responded immediately. I gave them descriptions, and they picked up the juvenile the next day. He wasn’t hard to find. His face and neck were swollen and red as a beet! He was subsequently released and never showed up for his court appearance.

Upon returning home, I was filled with a cornucopia of emotions. I was still frightened, shaken up, and very angry, all at the same time. It took several weeks for me to put everything in perspective and get back to a normal rhythm.

I learned later that the group which I confronted that night were all illegal aliens and were suspects in a number of brutal muggings and rapes. They are all still at large as far as I know. I’m just glad I was one person who was unwilling to be a victim.

During the whole affair, I could hear almost Vicki talking to me, giving me instructions. My training became very real for me that night, the one person I thought would never have to use any of it!”