I’m open to learning and feedback, and this is one situation I have learnt from, but keen to hear more opinions. A couple of things to bear in mind, just for the full situation. No one walks around with a gun here. No one has a CCW, the Police aren’t even armed, so try to think of this situation in a frame of mind where guns don’t exist.
My office (a call centre that has only a few males) over looks the local skate park, a concrete area surrounded by grass. We have had surprisingly little trouble. I had always pictured the skate park as a haven for delinquents etc, but the reality is that all the trouble that has happened has been from non-skaters who came to cause trouble. Including this situation.
Last week one of my staff called out that there was a fight out in the park on the grass. My first reaction was that it was just a couple of kids having a little scrap, so I didn’t initially respond until the “oh my god” screams started up. Then I looked out and saw a grey blob on the ground, surrounded by 6 teenagers who were hitting it with a skateboard, kicking, punching and stomping it. There were another 10 or so teenagers standing around filming it with cell phones, watching etc.
I turned and headed out the door straight away. On my way out I heard someone who I trust say they were calling the Police. It took me about 45 seconds to get through our car park and over to the area. By this time the stomping had stopped and there were now several smaller fights going on. I got in to the middle of the groups and used my big angry daddy voice (the one where my kids need to stop what they are doing NOW! You know the voice) and the groups split up without the 6 ft tall, solidly built angry man having to get physical. I worked my way towards the grey, human shaped blob on the ground while trying to keep as many people in front of me as I could. After a minute or two the group of 6 split off and left, throwing curses etc at everyone. At this point I was safe enough to go to one knee and check out the victim. As I knelt down he started groaning and his arm started moving, so he was coming around. I thought briefly about chasing the others down, but then realized I had left my cell phone on my desk and heading off on my own without a way to talk to the Police was a bad move. I kept an eye on them until they turned a corner a block away. In this time I also got the teenagers who seemed the calmest to call 111 (our 911). I gave him descriptions, directions etc to pass onto the Police (which he did very well) while I looked after the 16 year old who was coming around.
When the Ambulance arrived I helped get him into the back and gave the paramedics a run down on what I had seen and done with him, and also talked to the Police and pointed out the various witnesses (why do teenagers run from Police?).
Turns out the victim was random. He was skating along and got hit off his board and then beaten with it when down. He was unconscious for most of it, and luckily it seems that his hoodie stopped most of the edges from cutting him so I didn’t see any major external bleeding. One of the kids did know who the scum were, so the cops got names etc, and I haven’t heard anything since.
Things I would do differently? Take my cell phone (left on my desk), take my FAK (in my bag under my desk), have a pen and paper to write down names etc before Police arrived (in my bag under my desk). Maybe a weapon (in bag under my desk...) although I would prefer not. I used to teach martial arts (combat not competition, with good weapon experience), and if it came down to it I could use a skateboard in this case. A weapon would get me in a lot of trouble here, and I would rather avoid it, plus I think the situation would have kept escalating. I would have liked some backup, but can’t blame people for not being able to get into that sort of situation.
Would I do it again? For sure. My morals couldn’t let me stand by and watch, even if I knew the cops were on the way. A lot can happen in 10 minutes before they arrive. Walking into a group brawl of maybe 16 people isn’t my idea of fun but it had to be done.