Street Combat – This Ain’t No Game! – Part 7 of 9, by Pat Cascio

Chapter Five

I NEVER THOUGHT… I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people on t.v. news programs crying and saying, “I never thought it could (or would) happen here.” Excuse me, is anyone out there? Violent crimes can and do happen, right where you never thought they would or could happen. You must be prepared for the unexpected. If you’re prepared for the unexpected, then it won’t be unexpected.

One of my students (a mother) objected to the fact that I was teaching gun and knife disarm techniques to her three children. Her children between six and eleven years old at the time. I informed this mother that as long as she and her kids were in my self-defense classes, I was going to teach them these techniques. One of my assistant instructors broke into the conversation at this point and drove my point home. He asked the woman where her children are most likely to be when attacked with a knife or gun. She answered, “They’d be at school.” Well, she just didn’t get it and didn’t come back to class for six weeks. I guess she was a slow “thinker”.

How many times have you heard news reports about kids getting shot or stabbed while at school? It’s been too many times, I’ll venture to say. Some of my younger students have become quite adept at disarming students who are their same size. Additionally, the younger students can often times disarm some of our adult students, if they act fast enough.

I believe, in a real-life street confrontation, it’s better to attempt a disarm technique than to submit and be killed like sheep going to slaughter. I hardly think a full-grown attacker would ever suspect that a child could take away their knife or gun. This gives my students the element of surprise!

The following pages drives home the point I’m trying to make. These are all real-life incidents that took place recently. I believe you’ll recall some of them after reading about the incidents.

Just in the past few weeks alone, I saw (or heard) a number of news reports about victims of violent crimes. I want to share some of them with you, in hopes that you won’t become a VICTIM!

  • A woman was recently assaulted by two other women in a grocery store. The victim was beat on the head with a jar of spaghetti sauce. Her “crime” was that she moved the grocery cart of the first two women.
  • An armed man entered a halfway house with a gun. He was searching for recently-released, ex-police officer Stacy Koons (of Rodney King, fame). He wanted to murder Koons (reason, not known). Instead, a man servicing the vending machines at this location was shot and killed. How do you explain that to the victim’s family?
  • On Thanksgiving Day, the stepfather of a six year old girl was punishing her (for a reason unknown to me) and ordered her to go to her room. She didn’t move fast enough to please this scumbag. He grabbed her by her feet and swung her around (head first). Her head struck an iron railing – she died!
  • A 42-year old grandmother shot and killed her five year old granddaughter and tried to poison several other’s grandchildren. They were innocent victims, because the grandmother couldn’t cope with raising the children. The whereabouts of the mother is unknown.
  • A 20-year old man was recently beaten, locked in the trunk of his own car, and then thrown off a 100-foot cliff. Somewhere along the line the victim died. His friends (yes, they really were his friends) then took his car and went back to the victim’s house and partied all night.
  • Sexual assaults against children are common place. Most of these assaults are carried out by close family members and friends. If you have young children at home, please, please, educate them about “good” touching and “bad” touching.
  • The senseless murders of innocent children in Dunblane, Scotland by an obviously mentally unstable man was indeed shocking, to say the least. However, what amazed me was the statements made by many of the town’s residents. Many people were interviewed and every single one of them stated something to the effect, “I never would have thought it could happen here.”
  • In Boise, Idaho, back in November 1997, a man was home with his four month old daughter. There was a knock at the door before he answered it. He was greeted by two men; one beat the home owner in the face with a pistol. After the home owner was beaten, the two men proceeded to rob the man’s house. You are NOT safe in your own home!
  • In Canada, a popular and friendly girl was found murdered, beaten to death, and her body dumped in a river. There were rumors that her body could be found in the river. All the rumors came from other teens. Eight teens from the girl’s school were arrested and charged with murdering the girl, and seven of the eight were girls. Their motive for killing the girl was that “she was too friendly.” People will kill you for any reason whatsoever, or no reason.
  • In Pearl, Mississippi, 16-year old Luke Woodham was charged with slashing his mother’s throat (killing her) and then going on a shooting rampage in his high school. Seven students were wounded and two were killed. Everyone said that Luke was a quiet boy and no one ever thought he would do anything like that. Several days later, a number of other students were arrested; all were friends of Woodham’s and were charge with conspiracy in the murders and the shootings. The group is alleged to be part of a Satanic cult.
  • In Jackson Township, New Jersey, an 11-year old boy was strangled to death and sexually molested. A neighborhood 15-year old boy was charged with the murder and assault. The 11-year old’s “crime” was being in the wrong place, at the wrong time! The 11-year old was out selling candy door-to-door for a school fund-raising project.
  • Two shoplifters poured gas on some clothing and tossed a Molotov Cocktail into the entire mess. The store quickly filled with smoke on the first floor. No one was injured at that time. This was done so that the two shoplifters could grab their “loot” and run.
  • On a separate occasion, two shoplifters were confronted by unarmed store security guards. One of the male shoplifters pulled a gun, stopping the unarmed store security officers in their tracks. The shoplifters made their get away on foot. No one was injured, that time!
  • Two shoplifters were confronted by unarmed store security guards. One of the shoplifters pulled a gun and shot the security guards. One died. I’ve never understood why a security officer is unarmed! If you think a situation is dangerous enough that you need security officers, then it’s dangerous enough that they should be armed.
  • A 42-year old woman was attacked by her 12-year old son. Her “loving” son slashed his mother at least four times with a large, kitchen knife. The mother lived; the boy was arrested. You can’t even trust your own family members, because even they’ll turn on you.
  • A 12-year old newspaper boy was trying to collect from one of his customers. The 12-year old was anxious to collect on this past due account. The man hadn’t paid in over a month. The 12-year old got impatient and became a bit rude with the man. The man slapped the boy and physically threw him out of the house. I was the arresting officer on this case. The man actually admitted to me that he physically assaulted the youth because he had a “smart mouth”. Even a kid trying to make a few extra bucks isn’t safe, not even in a town of less than 600 residents.
  • As I was wrapping up this chapter, the news was reporting that yet another unhappy high school student had shot eight of his classmates who are attending a prayer meeting in the school’s hallway (prior to the start of school). The details were sketchy, but three girls died at the hands of this little punk, and five others were sent to the hospital with gunshot wounds. The news came out of my grandfather’s hometown of Paducah, Kentucky.

Not to be cruel, but hey, wake up and smell the roses! This sort of thing happens all the time and in places where it’s least expected. We live in a violent world! These things must be expected at any time, at any place! This is a fact of life.

I want to quote from the book Shooting To Live, by Capts. W.E. Fairbairn and E.A. Sykes, (Paladin Press). The following comes from the publisher’s notes: “The streets were ruled by gangs. Violent gang wars, rape and robbery were the order of the day. The night belonged to roaming gangs of toughs.” This description aptly outlines life in any one of the major metropolitan areas of the United States. However, the quote above was describing Shanghai in the 1930’s. As much as we would like to believe we have become a civilized society, we have not! Nothing has changed. If anything, we have become more violent.

Always expect the unexpected. Be prepared to defend yourself at any time, any place, against anybody. Don’t think it “can’t happen here,” because it can (and does) happen every place!

You expect the above mentioned incidents (which are all true) to happen in South Central Los Angles; the west side of Chicago; Bronx, New York; and Miami, Florida. You don’t expect these sorts of crimes to take place in Hometown, USA.

Well, you’d better start preparing mentally and physically for these types of violent crimes. It is a fact of every day life. I don’t want to see you or your next-of-kin on the 6:00pm news saying, “I never thought it would happen here.”

I’m not asking anyone to “hole-up” and build a self-imposed prison around themselves. What I am asking is that you take the necessary steps to learn how to recognize the danger signs and defend yourself and your loved ones from this senseless and random violence.

Remember, this is Street Combat – This Ain’t No Game!