Monday, June 9, 2014

Nightmare Scenario

Part of your defensive plan, be it inside the home or outside, should involve "wargaming" potential scenarios. They should be realistic - no invading ninjas - and (ideally) more than one possible solution can/should be devised.

The following scenario is one of my "nightmares":

Partygoer shot when he returns to wrong Las Vegas house
A man who briefly left a birthday party at a nearby home and thought he was returning to the celebration but went to the wrong house in Las Vegas was shot by the homeowner who objected to the late-night intrusion, local media reported on Friday.

The shooting victim was hospitalized after the incident early Thursday morning with wounds that were not life threatening, said Officer Jesse Roybal, a Las Vegas police spokesman. Police did not identify the man, but local media reported that he was in his 20s.
It's worse, now, because we live in a crowded subdivision and many of the houses do, in fact, look the same. Actually, TheBoy had an incident where he called Mrs. G. at work to say he couldn't get into the house. He tried the code on the garage and it didn't work, so he went up to the door and tried his key, only to find out that it didn't work as well. He wasn't panicking when he called the Mrs., just letting her know.

He later called back, feeling sheepish, because he was at the wrong house...

We all think we know what a bad guy will look like; what a scenario that might involve deadly force will look like; etc. The stereotypical bad guy, complete with black mask, will be breaking a window to gain access to the house, etc. Except that, as this story shows, sometimes it's just a confused, drunk kid. Sometimes it's someone that just made a poor decision.

Now, they compounded their poor decision by arguing with the homeowner, that's for certain. I'll give the homeowner the benefit of the doubt and believe that he honestly felt threatened by the inebriated person on his porch. It's certainly no stretch - I don't know how charitable I would be if someone were pounding on my front door in the wee hours of the morning, either.

In the case of both parties involved, they got very lucky. The young man who was shot appears to be out of danger, and the homeowner that did the shooting doesn't have to live with having killed someone for making a mistake. I can't second-guess the homeowner, here; I wasn't there, I wasn't privy to the exchange, and anything I can come up with is conjecture and guesswork.

What I can do, though, is add this scenario to the list of "what-if" scenarios to think about. What if there's someone pounding on the door in the middle of the night that doesn't belong there? What if they manage to gain entry? What if they wake the kids and scare them? Nothing ratchets up the tension and adrenaline like your family being in danger.

Lots of things to think about...

That is all.

Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)


SJ said...

RE: your own kids, and finding the right house.

Is there something to be said for adding a decorative sign reading "Cnez de G", or "G. family home", near a door?

RE: parties. How easy is it for a homeowner to miss the party two doors down? Does it make sense for neighbors to give each other a heads-up about a party?

Not many party-planners think much about inebriated revelers leaving, and potentially missing the house on return. Maybe they could place a neon-colored "Party be goin' down HERE!" sign near their door.

All this is preventative, not reactive. And none is 100%-effective.

Also, there's some level of one neighbor convincing another to help his party-goers identify the right house.

Biggest point: this whole idea depends heavily on how well the neighbors know each other and communicate.

SJ said...

...dang, misspelled my Spanish sign-idea.

"Chez de G.", not "Cnez de G."...

Anonymous said...

IF someone were actually to get in the house, now we have a whole new situation. Do you know what their intentions are? What are you going to do about it?

Chuck said...

Sorry, Jay, the child attempting to gain entry to the wrong house is a case of parental failure on your part:

1) Is your house clearly identified with its address, very visible from the street?

2) If it's a cookie cutter subdivision, are there any unique features - paint scheme, unique yard decorations, reflective numbers, etc.? Why not? It's not just Your Precious Snowflake who needs them - someday a friend, delivery driver or ambulance driver will need to find your house.

3)Has child (and all family members) been introduced to neighbors and able to recognize them - and be recognized by them?

4) Has child been trained to stay alert and pay attention - simple situational awareness? Apparently not. If he is not old anough to master that, why did he not have adult supervision?

In the case of inebriated idiots, or sober ones for that matter, if they pose a direct and immediate threat to one's life or safety, or the life or safety of family members, one is justified in taking appropriate action.
I don't know all the details, but until that direct and immediate threat point was reached, it sounds like the cops should have been notified to come collect the idiot.

In other news, there is no cure for stupid, and actions have consequences.

Anonymous said...

the shooter,a LV fire chief,shot thru the door! Never even saw the guys!In Texas,thats fair game,but NV?