Wednesday, July 01, 2009

But "she managed to disarm him and cut him".....

There are times when fighting back is a good thing--this is one of them:

Chicago police have released photographs of a man suspected of demanding money from a female doctor and attempting to sexually assault her in her North Side office Monday evening.

The doctor managed to disarm her knife-wielding assailant and badly cut him on one or both of his hands, police said this morning.

The doctor was alone in her office in a medical professional building in the 2900 block of North Commonwealth Ave. near St. Joseph Hospital in the Lakeview East neighborhood about 6:30 p.m. when a man came in asking for directions to another office, said Police Officer Laura Kubiak.

He then displayed a knife, put it to the doctor's throat and forced her to the floor, Kubiak said. The doctor, in her 30s, suffered a puncture wound to her thigh. She was also punched.

But "she managed to disarm him and cut him" before he fled, Kubiak said.

His hand wounds were severe enough to seemingly require medical attention, Kubiak said.


We are frequently told by "authorities" and others to act passively when involved in a crime situation--sometimes that's the wrong thing to do. But it is often the will to fight back, not the sheer amount of strength one has that is most important.

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45 Comments:

Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Dr. Helen,

I believe the authorities saying not to fight back comes from two things.

First, Liability. They don't want to be sued because they said to use judgment.

Second, the same attitude that causes school zero tolerance policies. The authorities want to use no judgment, hence they believe nobody else should use judgment either.

But the Doctor did the right thing, at a minimum she would of been raped. At the worse, she would be dead. I believe this hits home the message of the importance of studying self-defense as well.

8:31 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger randian said...

The claim is that resisting leads to more injuries. That happens to be true, but misses the entire point of resisting, which is to prevent completion of the attack. Resisting results in far fewer completed attacks, which in my opinion is quite desirable. I do not understand why those who push passivity (and almost always espouse liberal politics in my experience) prefer women suffer rape rather than engage in (the horror!) violent resistance.

8:32 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

It's kind of a crap shoot. Some of the women who resist are going to be killed. The determining factor is not their "will to fight back", but whether the assailant is willing to pull the trigger (or really go to town with a different weapon) and whether it's a lucky/unlucky day.

8:51 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Robin said...

I've thoughtlessly assumed that advice is based on some sort of survival calculation. Now that I'm actually thinking, and reading the post and the first 2 comments, I'm far less certain.

8:54 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

When I was a kid, there was an article in the local newspaper that has stuck with me ever since for some reason.

A couple of idiots broke into a house where there was a small party of high school people. They held everyone at gunpoint while they were taking everyone's wallet, purse etc. I think the idea was just to rob the people and then get out.

A 17-year-old girl then laughed in one of the robber's faces. She thought it was funny.

So he simply pointed the gun at her head and shot her to death. That's it.

8:54 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Steven Givler said...

I think we're seeing the result of a difference in priorities. I'm guessing that those who counsel passivity place a low value on intangibles like principles, independence, and pride. Others, and I prefer the company of these, are willing to risk their lives in defense of a principle. I think that's what self defense comes down to, even though it's often portrayed as something selfish or brutish, or excessive.

9:01 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

It's kind of a crap shoot. Some of the women who resist are going to be killed.

And we've also seen many cases where some of the women who didn't fight back got killed. Being passive isn't a guarantee of anything and neither is fighting back. You have to judge the situation and decide for yourself whether the odds favor fighting back or being passive. Good self-defense training (or even better, self-defense training and a gun) is very helpful in making such a critical decision.

9:34 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

... and out come the Real Men (TM). I wondered how long it would take.

If someone shot at me, I'd catch the bullet in my teeth, spit it out and say a kind-of cool saying, and then do a flying scissors kick on the assailants.

And then I'd repose with an Earl Grey tea.

9:35 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

Sorry, that was directed at RM Steven Givler, who prefers the company of hard asses such as himself.

9:35 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

I think the guys saying what bad asses they'd be with a gun pointed at them are probably the same ones who glorify war (WW II was COOL!).

And they'd crap their pants and start crying if a mean man even looked at them funny in reality.

*Yawn*

I guess I'll go kill some people in a video game.

9:37 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

Oh, one more thing (LOL) ...

... if you are a hard-guy poster taking a hard line, please also include your PERSONAL stories of having been shot at or having a gun pointed right at your head. Otherwise, you aren't going to be very credible.

I doubt, for instance, that Helen has ever even been in a real fight, let alone anything else. But she's got plenty of advice for others.

And yes, I've had a gun pointed at my head (not as a joke), part of my old occupation.

9:41 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger I R A Darth Aggie said...

Tether, was there something you wanted to say? other than being a "topper"?

10:05 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger craig said...

"gun pointed right at your head."

Did i miss something? I thought the attacker had a knife?

10:13 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

Don't sweat it. The dude is compensating, as always. (And having learned my lesson last time, this is the last time I'll even refer to the sad creature, though several inane posts of his will follow regarding this note.)

I'm with Steven: Rock on, Doctor. A culture that reliably fights back is a culture that rarely has to.

10:22 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Obi-Wandreas, The Funky Viking said...

There's one line that's always stuck with me:

"When seconds count, the police are minutes away."

Yes, there are cases in which fighting back will get you killed. There are also accidents in which wearing a seat belt would get you killed. In the overwhelming majority of cases, however, letting an evil person do what they will is not a good idea.

10:46 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Fighting back doesn't guarantee anything and neither does being passive. There are different reasons why people rob and violent terrorize others. Someone might just need the money really badly, or are severely depressed. These people might be reasoned with if the victim has their wits about them.

There are other people who rob and terrorize because they might be having a psychotic episode, on a drug high, or are simply evil, and no amount of verbiage is going to do the victim any good. Fighting back, acting erratically or just plain doing nothing at all might be the best course of action in these cases depending on what the perpetrator is doing and saying.

Each situation is different, each victim is different and the best course of action is to remain calm and make wise choices.

10:59 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:10 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

Actually, I started getting a bit skeptical about Helen's pronouncements upon high about what she *would* do when I saw several examples of hypocrisy in other threads.

Here is one example of many: In a thread about a guy on the subway attacking a stranger out of the blue, Helen declared that everyone has an obligation to intervene.

OK

The problem was that she told a story about a situation she observed in which someone was being attacked or harassed and a short woman (like 5 feet tall) jumped in to help.

I thought: If she was watching this all happen, why didn't SHE (Helen) help?

I guess the answer is because she has plenty of advice for others. There were some fence-sitters, as I recall, who said that maybe you should first find out what is going on, or what the real situation is, and I think she was even calling them cowards. She certainly does have a well-developed ego.

As for the hard guys, I'm not trying to top anyone. I just think statements made to further your own ego are absolutely useless here, and if you are not a big-city cop or something like that - someone who has an idea of what he is talking about - then the hard-guy pronouncements are akin to a person who has never been in the water (but who has read a lot of books on swimming) telling people how to swim. Or a virgin chastising others on the "right way" to have sex (learned from books).

11:10 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Pete said...

Well, Tether, I have several years of security and bodyguard work, and as a Hapkido instructor. I've been stabbed, shot at, assaulted with bludgeoning instruments and chemicals, and have successfully fought off not only robberies, but at least a couple attempts on lives.

Only internet tough guy I see here is you.

So tell us your story, hard-ass. What happened? You get a cap gun pointed at you while running the slurpee machine at the 7-11? Did you crap your pants and hand over the $46 dollars?

If you're going to demand other people post their personal stories, you first, John-John Wayne. Otherwise you're not very credible.

Be aware the bullshit flag is ready to be thrown by someone who knows a bit about it.

Fire away, Internet Tough Guy. You're bad enough to demand it, offer it up.

Tool.

11:11 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Cham said...

Although, on another note, I am a little intrigued about this doctor in this Northside of Chicago neighborhood. I'm not making any accusations but I do have a question. What kind of doctor was she? What was her specialty?

Dermatology? Endocrinology? Pain management? Inquiring minds wish to know.

11:11 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

And the "real" answer is that you probably have to assess each situation for what it's worth. Hopefully your assessment will be right.

Saying that you should ALWAYS immediately fight back in EVERY situation is clearly wrong advice.

Saying that you should ALWAYS be passive in EVERY situation is clearly wrong advice.

11:12 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:14 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger tomcal said...

"When the fightin’ starts, and things look bad, and it looks like you're not going to make it, you gotta get mean. I mean plum mad dog mean. 'Cause if you lose your head and you give up, then you'll neither win nor live. That's just the way it is..."

Josie Wales

11:43 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

I would guess that you follow a gut feeling, and what you are to begin with, for how you will react in any situation that is new and threatening for you. To scoff at"authorities" by using quotes, as does our good doctor here, suggests that any person claiming credentials and a specialty in various fields ought not to be taken as an authority or worth listening to.

Aside from the physical assault posted here, a heck of a lot of verbal groin kicking going on by those commenting.

11:46 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Pete said...

Yeah, I didn't think so.

Tool.

11:46 AM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Now spit............

Man, I liked that movie.

3:53 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger MzShark Just an Average girl said...

I love this blog site , as there is always enough roughage to keep my system finely cleaned out!

Women fighting back, well sure its a double edged situation with a variety of variables... However as a woman who has been attacked and fought back, I would not know any other way.. It was my instincts that kicked in, and unbeknown to me, the man whom i bit and chased off, was later apprehended as a neighborhood rapist who had assaulted a number of women. He just happen to get me in a restroom at a restraunt. I got a certain discomfort when i looked at the shoes in the stall next to me and sensed there was something wrong... As i stepped out he jumped out from the stall over and drug me in... The intuitive heads up, prepared me i suppose, and the shock propelled me. I bit out the skin between his thumb and his index finger... I was 15 years old.

Had i not fought , I would have probably ended up dead on the restroom floor. He was apprehended shortly after and was armed.

I think the shock on his part that I was actually fighting back is what disarmed his focal point. So he became slightly disoriented as things were not going as expected...However I would like to add there is more than one way to skin a cat, sometimes fighting back means passive action to create the atmosphere of safety ,hen with their guard down your come in for the stealth moves. Either with physical or intellectual maneuvers..either way if you find yourself in this type of situation, getting level headed as much as possible is your first and foremost line of defense. And if that's not possible then out and out brute force...A woman who is afraid and fighting for her life can be quite powerful.. Never underestimate your own prowess

5:38 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Fred,

For once, I more or less agree with you. When it comes to "authorities", you should approach them with a "trust yet verify" mindset. Also, I'd like to point out that judgment is key in most of these kinds of situations. A mix of your tactical advantages and disadvantages, as well as the possible risk to your person. Hence, why it's better to surrender your wallet to a mugger yet it was good that the Doctor resisted(someone who can rape you can just as easily kill you, and dead men tell no tales).

Now, Tether,

I do believe you brought up an interesting question about Dr. Helen's "hypocrisy". From what I've seen and read of Dr. Helen's, she, like many modern Americans, have never got a chance to even think much about much less encounter dangerous situations on their own until they're thrust right into the fray. For instance, in Dr. Helen's book, The Scarred Heart, she relays her first encounter with an actual killer. I at least get the impression that she wasn't quite sure what to do beyond going through the typical psychologist motions.

Hence, if you've not trained constantly to handle a situation, chances are you can freeze up when that real situation is thrust upon you.

6:10 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger tomcal said...

Josey: "Whenever I get to liking someone, they ain't around long."

The Chief: "I noticed when you get to disliking someone, they ain't around for long neither. ...."

6:42 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Larry Sheldon said...

I assume the Doctor has ben arrested.

Or fired.

Or both.

7:51 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Target said...

I think a Ph.D. in psychology - the most academically challenging degree bar none - entitles you to spout about anything and everything like you know what the hell you are talking about.

At least it works on Oprah.

Must be nice to be able to diddle around in the Internet while the hubby worries about that real money stuff.

8:05 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

We must be starting the third quarter. The three month interval begins anew.

9:36 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Jason said...

Tether,

Annoying little f-ck, aren't you?

You accuse Helen of hypocrisy. But you weren't there, and you don't know Helen. If you knew what I know, you'd shut your pie-hole about hypocrisy.

10:00 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I've been in a few fights over the years but never had to fight my way out of an attack. Being relatively big has its advantages.

A guy once attempted to rob my brother at knife point. My brother sent him away with a sliced open hand and a few bruises but no money. My brother said he could tell the guy was on drugs and would be easy to take.

My philosophy is don't get into a fight you don't have a real good chance of winning unless you have to. Use your best judgment and act accordingly.

I do love it when someone gets the best of a bad guy, though.

10:07 PM, July 01, 2009  
Blogger Rich said...

Are you a Democrat or a Republican? Here's a little test to help you decide:

You're walking down a deserted street with your wife and two small children. Suddenly, a man with a huge knife comes around the corner, locks eyes with you, screams obscenities, praises Allah, raises the knife, and charges at you. You are carrying a Glock .40 cal, and you are an expert shot. You have mere seconds before he reaches you and your family.

What do you do?

Democrat's Answer

Well, that's not enough information to answer the question! Does the man look poor? Or oppressed? Have I ever done anything to him that would inspire him to attack? Could we run away? What does my wife think? What about the kids?

Could I possibly swing the gun like a club and knock the knife out of his hand? What does the law say about this situation? Does the Glock have appropriate safety built into it? Why am I carrying a loaded gun anyway, and what kind of message does this send to society and to my children?

Is it possible he'd be happy with just killing me? Does he definitely want to kill me, or would he be content just to wound me? If I were to grab his knees and hold on, could my family get away while he was stabbing me? Should I call 9-1-1? Why is this street so deserted?

We need to raise taxes, have a paint and weed day and make this happier, healthier street that would discourage such behavior.

This is all so confusing! I need to debate this with some friends for few days and try to come to a consensus.


Republican's Answer

BANG! BANG!


Extra Credit: Southern Republican's Answer:

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click.....(sounds of reloading).

BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! click

Daughter: "Nice grouping, Daddy! Were those the Winchester Silvertips or Federal Hydra-Shoks?"


For the record, I prefer Speer Gold Dot...

7:30 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Mom said...

A word from an old lady...I've been robbed at gunpoint twice, and the second time I was not terrified like the first time, I was madder than hell.
As far as a personal attack, my daddy said knee him in the n*ts and run away, screaming at the top of your lungs. That worked.

8:50 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Words Twice said...

”Allen allegedly walked into St. Joseph's Hospital looking for the human resources office and then went into the woman's office on the 6th floor. The doctor was at her desk when Allen allegedly pulled a butcher knife on the woman, the source said.

Allen then allegedly lunged at the doctor and attempted to sexually assault her, the source said. He then put the knife down and "begins to slam her down on the ground and beat her up.''

The doctor was able to grab the knife, which was out of his hands, and then she fought back, cutting his hand, the source said.”


http://www.chicagotribune.com/topic/wgnam-doctor-prevent-assault-070109,0,575119.story

She saw an opportunity and acted on it. Good for her.

11:55 PM, July 02, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

I'll bet in Rich's violence and save-the-damsel-in-distress fantasies he always has a lot more firepower than the bad guy.

4:48 AM, July 03, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Don't
Feed
The
Trolls!

Trey

9:01 AM, July 03, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Cham --

"Fighting back doesn't guarantee anything and neither does being passive."

Being passive guarantees you're not exerting any control. Fighting back guarantees you're exerting some control.

If you meant as to outcome, correct, other than affecting the odds.

It's a judgment call always. All of life is. But, I'll exert affect on outcome, if you don't mind. Been there, done that.

12:33 PM, July 03, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

"Mom" writes "As far as a personal attack, my daddy said knee him in the n*ts and run away, screaming at the top of your lungs."

<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I had a quasi-feminist girlfriend in college in the 1980's. At least I assume she was, because she was majoring in social work and spouting all of the slogans.

She got really made at me at one point - and this was back in the 1980s when NO WOMEN engaged in violence at all against men (huh), and if they did it was just meek self defense - and she loudly declared that she was going to KICK ME IN THE NUTS.

A brief intermezzo may be appropriate here: At that time (and maybe today) the feminist paradigm in classes like social work (and even a titch in psychology?) was that a kick in the nuts was the absolute atom bomb that a woman could deliver. The man would be incapacitated for several weeks, and the one kick would be absolutely decisive and absolutely effective.

So anyway, I see her foot go backwards for the wind up. I got kind of bored watching it go backwards at first. Then came the swing towards my general nut area. I could have written part of my term paper and put the tea kettle on while the upward stroke was taking place, but I chose to move the minimum distance backwards so that her foot would go up into the air. I put a lot of effort into getting it down to the millimeter.

I then simply held her foot in the air. She eventually fell over on her backside. I could have wrenched the foot upwards with all of my strength. That would have been funny, but it would have meant some jail time.

I guess the whole point of my blabbering here is that if you haven't experienced things in reality, then reality could be different than you envisioned.

I see one or two people here who get that concept - and are trying to get it across (and dismissed as a troll or trolls) - and I see, on the other side, a whole bunch of kids who have no idea at all what they are talking about.

Ummm ... I hope I got at least a bit of a wedge in the consciousness of people who can SEE and THINK, but I await the customary abuse for saying this from the rest of you. And it goes a bit deeper than my silly story about the know-it-all girl from 25 years ago.

I won't use inflammatory sayings like "from all the rest of you tough guys". LOL

6:15 PM, July 04, 2009  
Blogger longtime lurker said...

I have a very dear friend who has some scars on her hands, but they're not very visible now. She wouldn't be visible at all now without them.

Back in the early 1980s she moved to a faraway city to go to college. She grew up tough, though, daughter of a drunk and with two brawling brothers, one of whom (and father) eventually saw jail time.

So the SOB who pulled a knife on her and forced her into an alley didn't know what he'd bought into. He told her he was going to rape her and then kill her. She took him at his word, and decided if he was going to screw her she'd have to be dead first.

She grabbed the knife and with a few surprising kicks and blows he ended up on his back, pants around his ankles. She held the knife. She attacked him, and cut his balls off.

When the cops arrived it took a little while to sort out who was the attacker, since she was holding the knife and was covered in blood. But the detectives knew the wannabe rapist had a long track record of rape and murder. They meant well, but they hurt her deeply when they said they wished she'd just killed him instead because ball-less he was going to be an object of sympathy and spend the rest of his life in mental wards.

I have no illusions about the ability of most women to fight back, especially if the fight goes more than two punches. Men, even fat, out-of-shape old guys, have far more power than even the fittest female. And she bears no little emotional pain for what happened, but not enough that it didn't stop her from later pulling a gun on a pusher who didn't like where she parked while waiting for her husband to finish work. But in her case the choice was clear--fight back or die. She fought back. Thank God she won.

6:27 AM, July 05, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Rich, I'm just curious:

How many men have you killed up to now in that situation?

I'm not talking about how many men you've shot to death in total, of course, but just in that particular situation (you are walking around town with your entire family, and a man screams Alla Akbar as he runs at your family with a huge knife while you are pointing a Glock at him)?

6:42 AM, July 05, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

I mean, 2 or 3 I can understand, but if we're talking dozens of times, I think maybe I'd check into moving out of that neighborhood.

6:55 AM, July 05, 2009  
Blogger Scottish said...

Maybe just being the devil's advocate here, but isn't injuring the guy kind of breaking the Hippocratic Oath? "First do no harm", and all that?

4:27 PM, July 05, 2009  

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