My wife gave birth to our second child April 30, 2009. There were some complications that have forced my little one to remain in the hospital until Mother's Day. As a result, I am shuffling back and worth to the hospital at all times of day and night. Ironically on May 6th at about 5:30pm my four year old and I were walking to my truck.
As we were nearing my vehicle, I hear someone in the distance. I look over and spot a large man jogging toward us. As he is running he's looking over his shoulder and shouting "get away, leave me alone". The problem was no one nor nothing was there! The fact that my little girl was with me really had me on guard and the adrenalin started pumping. The "fight or flight" reflex had definitely been triggered in me.
This guy is about 50 yards away but jogging toward me and continuing to yell that someone or something that wasn't there. I put my girl in the truck and locked the doors. At about 25 yards I yelled "Can I help you?". There was no response and he continued. At about 10 yards I yelled "stop, don't come any closer". Still no response. At about 5 yards I pulled my pepper spray, aimed and fired.
He stopped almost immediately and began screaming then went down to his knees. He was incapacitated, so I called the police to come and pick him up. Turns out this guy ran away from a mental health unit that was also located on the hospital premises. Without going into much detail, this was a very ill and mentally disturbed individual. Had I not stopped him, he may have run right by me or he may have asked me to help him or he may have attempted to attack me or my daughter.
If I didn't have the OC spray available and the latter occurred, someone would have probably been hurt badly or worse. Remember, my little girl is the truck and I would have fought to the death to protect her. The spray prevented that from happening. In less than a second the "threat" was neutralized, which gave me ample time to call for help. At the same time no one was hurt permanently or seriously. Law enforcement was able to transport this man without resistance.
I wanted to share this with you because it's real world stuff. First, we were in a hospital parking lot. This is a place that should be and I assumed was safe. Next, this did not happen at 2 or 3 in the morning. Instead, the sun was shining and it was at a time when many people are coming and going to visit. Had my pepper spray been packed away somewhere and not readily available there could have been trouble.
This is why I stress awareness and preparation in every aspect of your life, especially your safety and security. I'm no hero, what I am and was is prepared to handle a situation like this because I've practiced for it in my mind over and over again. The second part and just as important is the awareness piece. Had I been involved in a cell phone conversation, or had my IPOD playing, or just not paying much attention I could have been in trouble. I would have been prepared but not aware, thus very vulnerable to attack.
I encourage you to get and utilize some form of non lethal self defense for yourself and family members. It literally can mean the difference between a good and bad outcome. During this situation, I was carrying Fox Labs spray in my pocket. If interested you can visit us at Guardian Self Defense & Security