5 (Ms. Cheevious) Ways To Subdue or Avoid a Mugger (and make the world a better place in the process)
I was recently told a story by someone very dear to me who was attacked in broad daylight and in public. Because this enraged me (for obvious reasons, not least of which was the lack of action by onlookers or witnesses), I’m going to spell out in very simple terms how to protect yourself and others if and when you are ever attacked or witness a mugging. NOTE: These tips can also be applied to various other acts of aggression (though recent events in Newtown, CT, Boston, MA and various other places come to mind, only some of these tips will help there, because you cannot always prevent sheer madness and evil).
I’m also spelling it out for you because it’s vital that WE become active participants to effect change ladies and gentlemen. Are you up to the task? I certainly hope so.
We can only do this by 1) PAYING F-ING ATTENTION to what is happening around us, and not turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to the situation, and by 2) GROWING A PAIR and DOING something… anything about it. PERIOD.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO DOING THE RIGHT THING & BEING A GOOD SAMARITAN?
The person I know – I’ll call him KickAss – was minding his own damn business at a local bus stop in Culver City, California. Before you form an opinion of Culver City, let me paint a picture for you. It’s a town in West Los Angeles, and one of the last remaining vestiges where one can still find affordable housing (although even that has been changing rapidly, because it’s undergone gentrification recently). It is home to a large Entertainment Industry contingent and a film studio of note. As a result, there’s an enormous outcropping of boutiques, shops, chic restaurants, brew pubs and unique places to hang with friends. It’s a cute little town, though I am sure there are areas that are not as cute, and certainly not safe.
KickAss works in Culver City. He was jamming to music on his iPhone (the music was probably turned up to drown out the city noise), when he arrived at the bus stop to catch the 4:45 on a main thoroughfare to meet some friends after work. There were a number of people waiting for the bus, as it was the middle of the day. He noticed a couple of guys sitting on the wall nearby drinking, but didn’t think anything of it. The next thing he knew, one of them shoved him on the arm to get his attention and said something to the affect of “What’s the matter with you home? I asked you for a cigarette.” To which KickAss, a nice guy all around, replied “What? I didn’t know you were talking to me.”
I don’t want to provide inaccurate details here, but what ensued was a very quick escalation to an out-and-out street fight, with these TWO guys trying to take KickAss down. They had him on the ground and were trying to subdue him by any means, kicking, punching, climbing on top of him. One of them had already torn his new sunglasses from his face and put them in his pocket, and they were in the process of trying to take his backpack from him – which contained some very expensive work related equipment.
Let’s stop right here for a moment to peruse the scene to observe what various other onlookers were up to, shall we? There was a gal who in a somewhat aloof manner, simply walked away as fast as she could. There was another guy who ignored what was going on and did nothing. There were a few others there as well. All whom did NOTHING. LAME Good Samaritans.
The above image is NOT from the incident with KickAss. It’s just another sad example I was able to find.
I’m sorry, but what the F*CK where these spineless, unprincipled people DOING that precluded them (even in this digital age where EVERYONE has a cell phone) from at the very least dialing 9-1-1, reporting the incident and then saying out loud “The COPS ARE ON THEIR WAY!”? Was it the fear of the fight turning on them? Perhaps they didn’t care? Were they too busy Instagramming the scene, not wanting to miss the posting opportunity?
Lucky for KickAss, he is a KICKASS kinda guy, and he was able to overpower the dudes, kick one of them in the chest, punch and fight the other down, grab his sunglasses and run before the drunk schmucks knew what hit them.
THOSE PEOPLE SUCK. (OR: DON’T LET ME CATCH YOU BEING A SUCKMEISTER)
This situation, my lovelies, makes me extremely embarrassed to say I am a human being (you can tweet this here). Not that all humans are like this all the time, but I must say, stories like this are more often the norm these days, and it is seriously disappointing and disconcerting.
What has become of us in this country – our great United States of America? We use to be the country everyone else in the world envied. The place many from other countries dreamed about…They dreamt of moving here and finding a way to become a citizen and making the American Dream a reality in their own lives. Why was this, do you think?
It must have been because of our countless reality stars who make millions in endorsements and appearance deals… Or maybe it’s how easy it is to get things free here without having to work… or maybe it’s the fact that you can make a living working from home.
Think again, lovelies. People loved America for the IDEAL… part of it was the welcoming, carefree, fun attitude that seemed prevalent. They were drawn to the belief (and the proof positive) that if you put your mind to it, anything was possible. They loved America for the high value we placed on INDIVIDUALS. For our freedoms, yes, but also for the camaraderie that came with the freedom. We had an extra sense of responsibility to our fellow man, and we backed it up. They loved how they were treated special at the neighborhood diner… how the waitress would greet them smiling and offer great service… sometimes even go above and beyond in serving them. They assumed it was because she too must be happy and proud to be a part of this great country which is so full of opportunities. Good ole (and I do mean ole, as in FORMER) Customer Service. It’s the reason we still tip our waitresses, bartenders, bell hops, etc.. here in the USA. But that is what our country use to be like.
Now… Not so much.
I literally said this the other day “I wonder if the reason other countries don’t tip, is because customer service has sucked in their countries for so long, they’ve not tipped for decades… because they too finally gave up?” I realize in other countries servers are paid higher wages, but what came first? Lack of service, and decline of tips, forcing restaurant owners to pay higher wages? Or the high wages were always the case? Huh…
But I digress.
I’m here for you, people! Let’s turn this around together shall we?
With this in mind… if you are ever in a public place with other people around and are either attacked, or you witness an attack:
Here are 5 (Ms. Cheevious) ways you can subdue (or avoid) a mugger (and make the world a better place):
#1 – UNPLUG YOUR EARBUDS WHEN YOU ARE IN PUBLIC SO YOU CAN HEAR WHAT IS GOING ON AROUND YOU.
I know it’s hard to fathom this, but when you are out in public, you are not in your own world (nor should you be). Be prepared to actually engage, look people in the eye and remain distraction-FREE. This is your chance to actually make some strides in one-to-one human contact! Besides… anyone who’s looking to make trouble will see you as an easier target if you are obviously connected and disengaged from what’s going on around you. Also, you may actually hear the fire truck sirens before stepping out in front of one in traffic. That’s always a bonus.
Listen, I am not an idiot. I know it is unlikely… that most people will not disconnect from their iPod, iPhone, Cell Phone, Blackberry or whatnot. I’m not saying to turn them off, I’m just saying you don’t need to be connected to it every second. But we’ve become a selfish, individualized culture. Everything in our scope and focus is geared toward making our lives easier, and customized to everything we want. And somewhere along the line we decided that every single thing must be reported to social media… that music, films, entertainment are the top priority — even over spending time TALKING with and LISTENING to friends — in person, or laughing and dancing, or enjoying the arts, in person – studying a REAL painting… at a MUSEUM… Well, the list goes on… but here’s a start: UNPLUG the earbuds when you’re in public. Re-Join civilization! And while we’re at it, let’s unplug when we are on the slopes skiing or snowboarding, and in other similar situations, unkay? (Couldn’t resist that one)…
#2 – BE ALERT & AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS & THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU. KEEP THIS MINDSET & FOLLOW IT: YOU CAN NEVER BE TOO CAREFUL
Anytime you are in public or anywhere there is a gathering of people, your position in or around those people is crucial. In a crowd, I tend to steer toward the perimeter if there are any characters at all questionable in the midst. Conversely, use the crowd to protect you, or act as a buffer, should you observe shady characters on the outskirts. This applies to things like subway stops, bus stops, events, concerts, etc. But anytime you are out in the general public, being alert and aware of your surroundings also means to know where you are, and to not put yourself into compromising situations. Know where the nearest gas station or convenience store is located. Think of life as one big airline flight. Know where your nearest exit is at all times, and use it if necessary.
This tip applies to everyone on a DAILY basis. If you see someone who looks even the tiniest bit suspicious, call the authorities. How much more safe would our world be if more people were willing to report strange situations?! I’ve done it before and I will do it again, if I ever have that familiar second thought of “gee… something wasn’t right there…” or “those guys look shady…” I’ve also been known to confront people on my own, (one time in my boxer pajamas in the middle of the night outside my home) which is not advisable… although I am a pretty hardcore badass, and will kick someone into the next block if ever threatened… But that is another story.
#3 – PLAY DEFENSE
I like to win. More games (as well as the games of life) are won when there is a great defense in place, believe it or not. It’s true you must actually make your move to get ahead, which is where OFFENSE comes into play (scoring baskets, goals, touch downs, better jobs, new cars, etc). But in the context of subduing or avoiding a mugger (or other offensive) we must talk DEFENSE people.
I’d LOVE to say your life is going to be up to your eyeballs in of all kinds of success, that you’re going to “score” every time you shoot, but that’s not the way of the world people. So in order to really win, you’ve got to add a winning defensive strategy to your lifetime plans. That’s why they say in sports “defense wins championships.” You can’t account for everything someone else is going to do, but you should learn to anticipate moves and learn to control how you handle things to effect the outcome.
How do you do this when trying to subdue or avoid a mugger? If you’re trying to subdue a mugger, well, you have to DEFEND yourself anyway you can. FIGHT PEOPLE! Kick, swing, punch, scream. I don’t care how you do it, but FIGHT DAMMIT. We’ve all seen the news footage of the guy who tried to abduct a little girl, but because she fought her little heart out, he gave up (see that footage here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sV16a6GsfZw). As is the case with KickAss, FIGHTING is sometimes all you can do to subdue your attackers.
If you want to AVOID a mugger, well, take all the steps above, mix them together with this step, and you’ve got the makings for a good defensive strategy. There are other things you can do, such as: a) don’t go into dangerous looking areas alone; b) don’t go to those places at NIGHT, especially; c) walk confidently, hold your head high, and when suspicious strangers are on approach, do what you can to avoid them (go into a nearby restaurant, bar, etc.); and d) don’t be afraid to ASK for help. I don’t believe KickAss had a chance to ask for help. But if you are walking alone, look for potential helpful businesses or individuals, and ASK.
Finally, the best defense is a FREAKING SMART defense. Don’t make stupid moves or decisions you’ll regret. Ladies, don’t go out in public half naked and alone, where you don’t know the crowd, and wonder why you feel vulnerable… But let’s say you find yourself out, you’re in your skimpy workout clothes and it gets late and dark, and you must walk to your car alone. If someone at your gym or wherever you are can’t walk you to your car, call a friend and let them know where you are. Grab your big-ass set of keys (most ladies have them), put them in your hand. Put each key between your fingers, and make a fist. Then be prepared to use those keys as a weapon if you need to. Just sayin’. And don’t be afraid to hit your assailant where it hurts — HARD.
#4 – BE A HUMAN
This is for you folks who sit on the sidelines and don’t get bothered when you see injustice. Maybe you do get bothered, but not enough to actually do anything. If this is you, I don’t care what your excuse, you do not deserve to be among us.
It is not okay to do nothing. Period. I don’t CARE if you do not know the person being mugged. If you are witness to an attack or attempted attack, make a phone call, send someone for help, get others around you to help… do SOMETHING… ANYTHING (even if that means tripping the mugger, and running away… I don’t care). Otherwise, please leave us now, would you? Because being a human has its privileges, and you’re making us look bad.
#5 – HAVE CHOCOLATE ON YOU AT ALL TIMES (IF NOT VODKA).
If all else fails, and in true Ms. Cheevious fashion… offer chocolate… or better yet, vodka. I’m kidding. Sort of. Go with me here. The truth is, there is a very popular concept that’s actually a verse in the holy Bible, and it goes like this: “A soft answer turns away wrath.” Proverbs 15:1. I’m not a Bible wielding kind of person, but I always remember this because in truth, if you are ever under attack, the absolute best thing you can do, specifically if you are alone in a dark alley, or some place without witnesses, is to NOT defend yourself (that’s what the experts all say). Defending yourself can often make your assailant more aggressive. While I’m OBVI not saying to GIVE your attacker chocolate or vodka… I’m telling you there is a case for not defending yourself. Whether that means going limp and extremely “submissive,” as many times these people simply want to dominate someone… well, that is up to you.
I’m no expert on any of this… and let’s not let the main premise of this article escape us – which is for all of us to STAND UP for what’s right and DO SOMETHING if we see injustice. Capisce?
Let’s put the nail in the coffin on lackluster responses over violence or a threat that frightens us. Let’s put a red hot poker into the nerve of this desensitized approach. Remember we are all in this together, but at the same time, it’s all up to each and every one of you.
Now go out there and kick some ass… unkay?
Love you people!!!!! Mmmmppphhhuuuuhhhh!!!
aka Lisa Jey Davis
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Elise Stokes says
Well said, Ms. Cheevious, and you’ve got me worked up too! I’m always shocked when I hear about witnesses of a crime turning a blind eye. How can you not do anything? At least plug in those earbuds and call 911!
Ms. Cheevious says
Thank you so much Elise. You are so right! Glad to get people worked up in this case!
Luann Robinson Hull says
This is such a great post! Incredibly passionate and poignant. It upsets me when people ignore what’s happening around them as well… THANK you for speaking up! XX
Ms. Cheevious says
Thank you lovey! XX back!
Alan Tucker says
Apathy and the fear of getting involved are dangerous trends in this country. Thanks for giving us another swift kick in the pants 🙂
Ms. Cheevious says
Thanks Alan. I hope it does some good.
Ms. Cheevious says
Thanks for commenting Alan… I hope it helps!
OMG. Great post. It is so sad to see so many people becoming so self-absorbed that they would not even call the police, yell or get everyone to go and help. Incredible.
Ms. Cheevious says
I completely agree. Thus the post. SAD.
Ms. Cheevious says
Yes – infuriating.
Deb Scott, BA, CPC says
only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do
Ms. Cheevious says
So true Deb! The main point of my post! Mwah! Thanks for sharing!
Lumpy Goose says
EVERYONE in every major urban center should carry PEPPER SPRAY! Certainly…ALL women should. Sadly, the little machines that control the lives of the vast majority of people these days are not going away. They are the precursor to…The Terminator. As far as personal safety goes…soon, many people will choose to be armed with a small caliber weapon whether or not they have a concealed carry permit. What’s that saying?…”An armed society is a polite society”. I fear this is the direction we are headed. Either way, well done by KickAss…He is a BADASS!!!
Ms. Cheevious says
Yes he is a badass, indeed. Thanks Lumpy. LOL
M.C. Nugget says
Right on Girlfriend!! (and I mean “Girlfriend” literally)… We all have to step up when needed. Well said. I however, will choose to bring chocolate flavored vodka and kill two birds with one stone…. although I do not endorse killing birds…..
Ms. Cheevious says
Nuggie – you really know what to say to a girl. LOL
C.K. Raggio says
Great post. So true about being aware and not drifting off into your own world, especially when you are out and about and by yourself. I did a lot of research on serial killers and just evil people in general and 9 times out of 10 this is the reason people are chosen to be a “victim”. The fact that nobody did anything just makes this even more disturbing. On another note. I’m totally with you on the vodka! 😉
Ms. Cheevious says
Thank you CK! I am glad to know your research on serial killers corroborates my story…. NOT. Just more reason people should take heed! 🙂 Yes – Vodka is the remedy most often!
Scott Bury says
First, I have to reinforce the message that the best reaction when YOU are being mugged is to hand over whatever the mugger wants. Your phone, or camera or whatever is in your pocket is not worth your life or your health.
That being said, yes, passersby, intervene. When a single bystander steps into a situation, the good forces automatically outnumber the muggers. At very least, whip out your own phone can dial 911.
Case in point: last winter, I was driving with my wife and older son on a dark major road during the early evening in Ottawa. My wife pointed out, on the side of the road, what appeared to be a man lying on the ground beside a parked car, and another man, standing, kicking him.
I pulled over, parked and got out of the car. By this time, there were two men standing, hitting and kicking the man on the ground. I called out “What’s going on?” and walked toward them, my son (6 feet tall, with a black belt in Karate) behind me. Immediately, the two standing men ran down a side street.
The man on the ground said “call the cops!” I took out my cell phone and dialled 911. The assailants (I feel pretty safe in using that word at this point) were still visible, silhouetted under streetlights, walking away. I called after them, “Pussies!” but they did not stop.
My son and I helped the man on the ground to get up. His face was covered in blood and his nose was broken. He told us he and his girlfriend knew the two men who walked away, and had offered them a lift home from a party. They began arguing in the car, the man pulled over, some of them got out of the car and, well, that’s where my wife saw them.
We waited until police arrived and gave a statement. We agreed to be available for court, if a case ever came up.
The point? The bystander or passerby can make a difference. All it took was for me to say something, and the attack ended. At the very least, we saved the victim several more blows and kicks. We were never in any danger ourselves.
Even if I hadn’t said anything, I could have just called police. Three buttons on your cell, and a few words about the location. That’s all it takes.
We can make a difference. And no, it doesn’t require guns or any kind of weapon. Just the one inside your skull.