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What should you do when you see a fight?

 
Ranch Hand
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Recently, a young man in my country was beaten to death by some idiot after he made a remark about the way the other (the idiot) was driving his scooter on the sidewalk and nearly ran over an old lady.
This happened in broad daylight and there were about 20 witnesses who did nothing.
This is really bothering me because I keep asking myself what I would have done if I had been there.
What should you do?
I am a woman of average height and not exactly a muscular type. But when I see something like this happening I don't want to just stand there. How should I react?
 
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Scream "fight, fight, fight"!
 
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Rosie, you should pray for divine guidance, and listen to your inner voice... If you think your wellbeing would be gruesomely compromised (for example, if one of the parties is a raving madman with a gun or a sharp gleaming knife) - then you would do well to seek help from a distance.
If the situation seems approachable, then you would walk to the dueling parties and scream at them. It's better if you quickly seek the support of your fellow bystanders too, and inspire them to help stop the fight. I have heard of cases where the intervener gets whacked by the dueling parties, but that's a risk you take - do what you do in good faith, and leave the outcome to God.
 
tumbleweed
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Glad to see your are asking yourself that question as well Rosie. As sick as it was that the kid was killed, it was even sicker that nobody bothered to help.
What ugly people we have become.
 
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What ugly people we have become.


Do you think we are different than those of the
past?
 
Johannes de Jong
tumbleweed
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Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:

Do you think we are different than those of the
past?


I think that people had more respect for each other when I was a kid.
 
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is there some phone number called 9-1-1 in your country ? It is meaningless to physically get involved unless you are sure you can physically handle the job.
 
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I don't know what is legal in your country, but where I live it is legal to buy and carry pepper spray. That would probably have been the most appropriate tool for stopping a fight. (In case the pepper spray has no effect and in response he tries to injure you, a handgun would be a valued second line of defense, providing you are emotionally capable of using it. That's also legal for most people where I live.)
Some countries outlaw the carrying of weapons of any kind, advising that people should not even try to resist violent criminals. Well, the onlookers didn't resist, did they?
If my fellow citizens forbid me the tools I need to do a job in the safest (for me) and most efficient way, then they needn't expect me to do the job at all, eh?
 
High Plains Drifter
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Originally posted by Rosie Vogel:
Recently, a young man in my country was beaten to death by some idiot after he made a remark about the way the other (the idiot) was driving his scooter on the sidewalk and nearly ran over an old lady.
...
I am a woman of average height and not exactly a muscular type. But when I see something like this happening I don't want to just stand there. How should I react?


Start by forgiving the people who were there, and hoping the trauma of watching a man beaten to death is something they can recover from once the adrenalisn is gone.
Next, don't ever be the person who confronts a reckless and angry man. Call the police.
I was actually in a similar situation like this. My neighbor across the street, a bit of a coke freak and sometimes dealer, had for a while a three-wheeler, and at some point had taken to racing it in the park that backs our cul-de-sac. One day my wife and I were walking, infant son in arms, and he starts driving the thing back and forth no more than 5 or 10 feet away.
After we returned home, I called the police. As the patrol car came to our driveway, the guy across the street opened his door and stared straight at ne; he knew what was up. I gave the officer my story, he told me he couldn't do anything about it except talk to the guy. But he did that much.
About 10 minutes later, my neighbor knocks on the door and starts cussing me out for being a rat and an asshole and this and that. I let him say his piece, then I told him the sign to the park that says "No motorized vehicles" was right where he entered the park, and that my wife and I had every right to walk there without worrying about whether he felt like observing the law or not.
Now, I'm not terribly small (or congenial to people I don't like), but I did have a bright light shining in my foyer (such as it is) and I stood right on the door sill, so he had no choice but to look up at me and see mostly a shadow. That didn't keep him from pointing his cigarette in my face and coming up with some other colorful language, but when he was done I told him I couldn't see anything else to do but call the police again and tell them about this conversation. Which, after he left, I did.
I don't know what that officer said the second time around, but I can guarantee I had two things working for me. One, I never did anything more than calmly state my position to this dickhead, and two, I made it very clear I relied on the police. After that, I didn't even see the guy for weeks, and even then he wouldn't even look at me.
Your mileage may vary of course, but two things that get self-appointed lawkeepers in trouble, time and time again: a) showing fear, and b) pretending not to have any. If you're going to get into an idiot's face, you'd better be thinking more than one step ahead of him.
 
Trailboss
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Well, it is certainly an opportunity to live your life!
I once did something. In high school. Of course, I'm an enormous guy.
A senior jock tripped a freshman who was packing a big load of books down the crowded hall. The jock laughed. I then spoke in a loud tone for the crowd to fully appreciate - congratulating him on having the power to trip and belittle a freshman. He must be proud of his accomplishment. Certainly his parents must be proud to see him display such kindness and decency. Not to mention all of the people that attend his fine church. I droned on a bit, but he decided to leave.
A few days later the jock decided to make me his target and threw a chair at me. It hurt. I beat the crap out of him and tossed him, crying, into his next class. Ah, those high school days ...
Again, I'm huge - so YMMV.
I think a woman that might be considered attractive by the assailant could be persuasive in such a situation: "Stop that! That just doesn't seem like the right thing to do!"
It seems that we should all do a little something at some time to make the world a better place. If you pass on this one (and it is probably wise to do so) I would hope that you take a bit of time to mend the world in some other small, challenging way that is within your ability.
[ October 29, 2002: Message edited by: Paul Wheaton ]
 
paul wheaton
Trailboss
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Michael makes a good point. Bullies want targets that they thing will shrink when things get ugly. The important thing to do is make it clear that you are not afraid. That you might lose the battle, but you'll at least cause a little damage on the way down. Damage could involve lawsuits or other non-violent stuff.
Naturally, take the high road if you possibly can.
 
Sheriff
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While I would not take the risk of getting in the middle of just any altercation, in a perfect world people would stand up for the weak or those who can't defend themselves. If you see a woman or child getting beat on, then do what you can to intervene. "Intervening" can mean a lot of things, not necessarily physically putting yourself between the attacker and victim, unless that's what it takes. "Intervening" in numbers is usually a pretty good way to go about it.
 
paul wheaton
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Remember those guys on the plane that was being hijacked on September 11? They overpowered the hijackers ...
 
Anonymous
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what u can say:
i will bet 5 dollar on that tall guy
who wants to bet
 
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