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#421500 - 08/12/09 12:26 AM At the party... LONG
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
It was a small "family" gathering, a 20's theme party actually. Everybody from the 86 yo mother to assorted aunts, uncles, friends, neighbors, their kids-toddlers, and cousins from far, far away. Almost everybody dressed in 20's clothing, and eating largely "period" food and drinks. 25-30 people at different points of the night. Starting in the late afternoon as the night went on the party gained more steam, and eventually got a second wind around midnight, a third around 2 am.

A fun theme party of different kinds we've done for several years now. Sometime after 3am something went horribly, terribly wrong.

The baby was asleep, as were her parents. The 86yo grandmother had been in bed for maybe an hour. The 5 teens had been behind closed doors for hours, but still not entirely asleep. A good, fun time.... until something imploded.

A long time family friend of my wife's, my brother in law's a 47 years old construction worker built like a bull (5'8 300 lbs of heavy muscle) DEMANDED to GO HOME RIGHT NOW. Less than two minutes before, I had him comfortably in front of the A/C unit happy, comfortable, ready to fall asleep.

As "host" of this party, we had pulled out all the blankets, sheets, mattresses, sofa beds and everybody though tightly packed everyone was ready to bed down, and sleep for a few hours before heading home.

All of a sudden there was dangerous yelling in the living room. I came down to see what the commotion was about. This family friend was in a drunken dangerous blind rage.

Two young female school teachers (late 20's), my brother in law, a cousin and his wife, the neighbor lady friend, and another lifetime frind of my wife and brother in law; the woman this man always came to every function with.... Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day Forth of July... anything and everything they were invited and always came! Close friends for 25 years at least.

This man in a serious blind drunken rage was demanding to be given the keys and to drive home RIGHT NOW. Demanding his lady friend who's SUV he came in...come with him IMMEDIATELY or he was going to HURT EVERYBODY, and beat us all up.

I only know this man from my brother in law, my wife, the lady... all of whom were not moving, and trying to communicate through his venom. All of us adults, wondering what had flicked his switch, feeling, knowing he was ready to explode. As proof, he asked my brother in law "...have you seen me like this before...will I do what I say...? I will hurt you all if I do not get what I want..."

All but four of us were laying in the various mattresses. They had all talked him into walking, refusing to give him any keys. Enraged he had walked away, and apparently returned his psychotic rage increased 10 fold.

He was very dangerous but not a threat... not until he acted and was not merely possessed and yelling. The stupid neighbor lady got pushed out of his way, attempting to push past him in the doorway in a "rightous" universe of her own. The woman, his friend was doing anything she could think of to get him outside the sliding doorway and away from the group.

Standing at 5' tall she got pushed into a couch too, unharmed but scared rightly so. His rage was legendary but unseen, unsurfaced in 20 years, not since he was very young. He was very able to do what he threatened, and had lost any control.

Eventually he stormed into the kitchen technically stole her keys, her SUV and eventually drove away with it. I took my sole cue(s) from my brother in law the man who knew him the best.

He was very clear, "...DO NOT TOUCH HIM... DO NOT APPROACH HIM." He hurt nobody, but truly scared us all.

I ask my fellow martial artists, what does one do with/against a lifetime "family friend" in a psychotic drunken, rage?


#421502 - 08/12/09 04:15 AM Re: At the party... LONG [Re: Ronin1966]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
OK. Sorry this happened, but is there a specific question you are asking within the scenario? ie. what would you do? What else could I have done? etc etc., or is this merely related t us all as a message to never drop our guard, even amongst a percieved friendly environment?

If its the latter, then I can vouch for that. Especially of drinking with 2 or more brothers. Dont have to be your brothers, but if your drinking buddies are siblings, at some time or another, expect it to go wrong.

As for the 'what would/could/should'

I think an immediate giving of the keys is in order, along with a call to the cops with the registration and details of what has happened. Like you say, he is no friend of yours,so appease him, and get him out of your home. Quite frankly a tazer/drunktank/Dui cocktail is the perfect hair of the dog for him.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#421745 - 08/19/09 09:50 PM Re: At the party... LONG [Re: Cord]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3119
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello Cord:

I seek counsel... perhaps alternate hopefully experienced opinions?

Nobody is more sorry than I it ever happened. I have all kinds of reactions, some pure emotion, some irrational fantasy. Mostly strong feelings of many different and sometimes contradictory kinds.

These were not teens not 20 something "kids" with testesterone poisoning. We were all adults. Well over 30... I'm appalled in ways I cannot articulate the contempt, disgust I have the situation could have ever happened. I feel serious guilt... and shame.

I misread this imbecile so, so badly. As did his lifelong (now former) friends.... but even so.

The pure fantasy in my head has me "STOPPING HIM" easily with simple restraint or perfect blows: The neck, the throat, the eyes full power until it stopped could have been the only effective outcome.

In fact I am joyful it ended without physical violence. But deeply upset I missed whatever cues in hindsight there may have been. He was maleviolent and very much possessed in the old world sense of that word. Blood was averted, barely.

Cord do you expect bad things always... even in large "family" situations? He was merely an acquaintence of mine, (sic. built like a storybook troll) but a lifelong family friend of all my inlaws. Known for 25 plus years.

Had he been caught the charges would have been at least: stolen vehicle, no insurance, no registration, DUI, assault, battery, terroristic threats, guaranteed resisting arrest, felonous assault on multiple officers.. I am certain the list would have been even longer. None I would have been able to charge as it was not my vehicle.

In my place what would you have done? I can't think of any way I could have acted differently that did not escalate into immedate physical violence which was averted only barely. The end result was a good one but a sad and haunting very nasty memory that should never have occured.


#421748 - 08/20/09 02:04 AM Re: At the party... LONG [Re: Ronin1966]
Gavin Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 2267
Loc: Southend, Essex, UK
Hi Jeff,

I don't expect bad things to happen and try as much as any sensible person can to avoid going to volatile places, but none of us are able to see the future and with the best will in the world we cannot control the behavior of others.

Alcohol does funny things to people and can make them act in uncharacteristic ways as can high emotion. People sometimes say that alcohol/high emotion brings out the true person, after my time in the security world I actually disagree. What these things do is remove the rational controlled safety barriers that stop us behaving like an ass. We've all got the capacity to be stupid but with age and experience most know our limits... but anyone can lapse and fall off the wagon.

If this guy was in a blind rage regularly you can say that it is part of his true character is to be an arse, but over a period of 20 years you'll probably have noticed it before. He might have had something happen to him that pushed him over the edge and that was the most appropriate way he thought in his drunken impaired state of dealing with it.

As for what you could have done about it, well personally I'd have reacted exactly the same as you. He shoved a few people who put themselves in his way, didn't really hurt anyone so really there is nothing that justified an escalation on your part. My personal opinion is that if he got arrested for whatever then that would be his responsibility to deal with. He wraps a car around a tree... again his karma. Thing I've found over the years is that when you step into the path of an oncoming truck with the best will in the world you usually get hit by it and then blamed for the accident. Through your years of training your body knows where and when to get involved and the fact that you didn't proves that deep down your body knew what to do. Now this is just the so-called higher brain trying to over analyze the situation.

The fact of the matter is that the guy probably has a stinking hangover and is feeling very very silly. If there was a chance that I'd see the guy again and I was bothered that much by his behavior I'd probably ring him and tell him that he is no longer welcome at my home... but other than that I think you done perfectly and controlled yourself when you must've been tired!
Gavin King
Follow me on twitter @taichigav

#421750 - 08/20/09 05:01 AM Re: At the party... LONG [Re: Ronin1966]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Ronin, I agree exactly with what Gavin has said. Self defence and fighting are not the same thing. The 'flashpoint' in this situation was a drunk, aggressive acquaintance wanting to drive home. It was your (and others) concern for his safety that made you attempt to prevent him doing so. At the point at which he started threatening me and my family, my concern for his wellfare would cease, and i would be quite happy for him to drive off and take his chances. Indeed, the only reason I would contact the police would not have been revenge, or to get him punished, but to further absolve myself of responsibility for the situation, should his choices lead to injury of innocents in an RTA.
I would feel bad to hear he had run someone over, had I done nothing to alert authorities, but would feel no remorse whatsoever hearing he was facing legal sanctions for his actions.

I do not go through life in a state of paranoia, expecting every social situation to turn ugly, but I have dealt with enough people under the influence of alcohol, both professionaly and personaly, to not be at all suprised when such situations take a turn for the worse. In the MA world, the scenario people train for is usualy the heavily scarred mugger, eyes wild with withdrawl, accosting us for our wallet/posessions/virtue.
The reality is that in most life threatening situations, the victim will know, or be related to, their attacker.
Thats what reality tells us, and its not a very comforting thought.

I think you did great - you got the danger out of your house, and away from your family, and nobody was hurt. Thats a great result.
That bad feeling you are having in your gut, while you re-run things in your head, imagining the many hundreds of ways you could or should have restrained or KO'd him, is just your ego messing with you.
Better to feel bad for that, than looking at the bruised and battered faces of your family.
Bad things happen when you listen to your ego.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'


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