Monday, February 26, 2007

Kidnapping for ransom hitting average Americans

When you work protection internationally, you are constantly aware of the threat of kidnapping for ransom.

Now it seems there are more and more examples of that same threat coming to American shores -- and affecting average Americans.

The latest is the case of 13-year-old Clay Moore. Last Friday morning, about a dozen children at a school bus stop southeast of St. Petersburg, Florida, were horrified to watch a man force Moore into a red pickup truck at gunpoint.

A suspect believed to be Vicente Ignacio Beltran Moreno, 22, drove Moore to a wooded area about 20 miles away and bound him to a tree. It's believed Moreno planned to keep Moore tied to the tree until a ransom was paid.

Happily, Moore managed to free himself and contact a farm worker with a cell phone. Police are searching for Moreno still.

To many immigrants and foreign criminals, the average American is "rich". And, since kidnapping works well in these criminals' home country, the thought pattern appears to involve grabbing an easy target and negotiate a handsome pay day. We've seen other kidnapping schemes involving average people -- like a housewife in Seattle out walking her dog -- here in the states.

Not that this information should cause you to change your self-defense mindset -- you are already prepared for bad guys out there. Right?


Friday, February 23, 2007

70-year-old uses choke to kill robber

Details are sketchy at this point, but it appears that a 70-year-old ex-Marine was a main force in foiling a robbery of American tourists in Costa Rica Feb. 21 by killing one of the robbers. And it appears he did it with some sort of choke hold.

According to the Associated Press, three men in Limon, Costa Rica, attempted to rob a bus containing 12 elderly American tourists. The three bandits were armed with at least one handgun and at least one knife.

Another source says the robbers boarded the bus full of senior citizens on an outing from a Carnival Cruise line ship. When one of the robbers put a handgun to the driver's head, the former Marine took action.

The AP said, "Police in Limon say he put a 20-year-old in a head lock and broke his clavicle..."

His action apparently galvanized the other senior citizens to fight back, disarming and injuring the other two robbers.

The AP said, "Afterward, the tourists drove the suspect to the Red Cross, where he was declared dead, apparently of asphyxiation. "

Main lessons coming out of this successful story of self-defense:

  1. Fight deadly force with deadly force. They've got a gun and a knife -- they are prepared to use deadly force against you. This is not a fight. This is combat. You must use deadly force to prevail.
  2. Have courage! This is a 70-year-old vs. a 20-year-old. You are never too old, too weak, too scared, too out-of-shape, too young, etc. to be able to defend yourself. Strengthen your will to survive and prevail against all adversaries.
  3. Learn the fundamental techniques well. I doubt if this guy has practiced any of his hand-to-hand techniques since Eisenhower was president, but the basic, fundamental rear naked choke (I'm assuming here) is something that works and is simple enough to retain for long periods of time.
  4. Be committed. Once you make the decision to counterattack, be decisive, swift and violent in your actions.
  5. Rest easy that you did the right thing by defending yourself and made the world safer for those who follow you.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Video from Salt Lake Mall Shooting

Pretty dramatic video from inside the Trolley Square Mall during the shooting rampage:

Look under the story "Heroic Police Officers to be Honored Friday".

The video footage itself does not offer that much to SEE, but it is very interesting to HEAR the the tempo and the amount of shooting during the encounter. Check out the verbal communication between the officers as they move up to confront the psycho with the shotgun.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mall Shooting in Utah Reinforces Lessons

Witnesses say the 18-year-old man in the Salt Lake City mall shootings calmly shot five people dead and wounded four more before being killed himself in a shootout with responding police.

Wearing a trench coat and carrying a shotgun and a handgun, he killed two 28-year-old women, a 52-year-old man, a 24-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. Four people were hospitalized — a man and a woman in critical condition and two men in serious condition.

No word yet on how long the situation lasted, but it was resolved when four police officers — one an off-duty officer from Ogden and three Salt Lake City officers — were involved in the shootout with the gunman.

The lessons?
  • Remember that an active shooter scenario typically lasts between 4 and 17 minutes -- a long time to have someone walking around cranking off shots.
  • You'll be almost completely on your own for that time.
  • Citizens who are legally and morally able to carry concealed firearms are almost always in the best position to stop a shooting rampage.
  • You should know what to do when you hear gunfire.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Take Charge of Your Education

"All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education."

Sir Walter Scott

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Woman Reports Rape, Jailed for Old Warrant

Imagine that you’ve endured the dangerous and devastating effects of being raped. You go to the police. During the investigation of the crime that was committed against you, the police turn around and slap the cuffs on you. You spend the next two days in jail on a old warrant accusing you of failing to pay restitution for a 2003 juvenile theft arrest.

The Associated Press is reporting that a 21-year-old Tampa college student has undergone that very scenario. Oh, and just to add some more salt to her wounds, while in jail, the victim was denied a second dose of the morning-after contraceptive pill because of the jail worker's religious convictions.

The unidentified woman was in Tampa for an annual pirate-themed parade that draws thousands of people. She said she was walking alone to her car when a man pulled her behind a building and raped her.

Remember one of our most important Rape Escape principles: Stay with people, go to people. Do not let yourself be taken to a more private spot (like behind a building). You can expect that you will always be threatened. He will likely threaten you with something along the lines of, “Don’t make a sound and you won’t get hurt” or “Do what I say or I’ll kill you”. Don’t believe him. Stay where there are people or where someone can see and hear you.

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