You’re not a cop. You have no legal obligation to defend innocent life. Come to think of it, neither do cops. Anyway, whether or not you have a moral obligation to defend the defenseless is up to you.

Needless to say, that decision is situational. If you’re in a store when an armed robber enters and holds up the cashier, you may want to hang fire. Or leave (if you can). If the thief starts beating the sh*t out of the cashier, you might change your mind.

Your life. Your call. But it’s certainly true that some situations cry out for non-intervention, save a 911 call. Top of that list: domestic abuse. Check this from fox13.com:

A young father and Air Force veteran was the man shot and killed outside an IHOP restaurant Sunday morning. Police said he was murdered while breaking up a domestic violence incident.

Family confirmed that 27-year old Devin Wilson (above) was killed.

Devin Wilson died while defending a woman who was a complete stranger. She was allegedly being choked and beaten by her ex-boyfriend.

Wilson stopped that attack, but he was shot by the ex-boyfriend.

The Air Force veteran died a hero.

“He had a big heart, and it was his big heart that unfortunately led him to his death bed,” Katina Rounds, Devin’s mother, said. “I wasn’t surprised when they said just trying to help somebody. A woman being attacked.”

Our condolences to Ms. Rounds and the rest of Mr. Wilson’s family and friends.

Please note: I am not saying Mr. Wilson made a mistake.  I’m saying that stepping into a domestic dispute is one the highest risk interventions you can possibly make.

I recommend you don’t get between fighting partners (it’s a tip not a command). But again, it’s your choice. In any case, add this cautionary tale to your lethal threat calculus, keep calm and carry on.

40 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: Stay Out of Domestic Disputes

  1. I hope the POS boyfriend gets the death penalty. I certainly hope that the female deserved saving…sometimes they don’t. RIP and my sincere condolences to Mr. Wilson’s family.

    • Death Sentence, yeah right we left true Justice a long time ago! Most likely he will get 25 years then get let out after 5 for “Good Behavior”

        • It all really comes down to what state he’s in. Unsurprisingly, most* red states would have him doing life without parole or the death penalty. Several of these states have actually done away with parole all together, adopting the federal policy of a mandatory minimum of 85% of time sentenced, must be served.

  2. That could be a disparity of force issue. That said, intervening on someone’s behalf is fraught with danger.

  3. If someone is two hand choking someone else, especially if the victim is significantly smaller than the assailant, I’m stepping in. Period. No discussion. This is not a simple smacking the girl around or even punching. A serious choke is an immediate threat to the victim’s life and should be treated no differently than a shooting or stabbing.

    • Personally I think this applies to two hands, the rear naked, Ezekiel and a bunch of other chokes and strangles.

      Untrained people don’t know when to let go and the difference between a nap and a dirt nap isn’t much.

      Around me we had a high school wrestler killed by the rear naked (applied by his nine year old cousin) because the wrestler said it didn’t hurt and refused to tap when the choke was locked in. I don’t know all the details and it was ruled an accident, but that’s the power of a properly applied choke: a nine year old can snuff out your life with it.

  4. In the early 1920s MAJ George S. Patton was returning from a night out with his wife in NYC. He always carried a sidearm. He observed two men forcing a woman into the back of a truck. He stopped his car and held the two men at gunpoint demanding that the two men release the woman. It turned out that the woman was one of the men’s wife and they were helping her into the truck. History would have had a different outcome had the encounter gone south. Don’t ever intervene in a domestic dispute. Call the professionals.

    • Just curious Who are these “Professionals”? in multiple Case Law you see that the cops do not interfere in domestic cases and have no legal requirement to do so! This man Stopped a Man Choking a Woman in a public setting duh? I would hope anyone reading this article would do the same. we are not talking about Patton who was known for being rash. I salute this Man!! He died doing the right thing!! Our hearts go out to his Family!

      • Domestic disputes are one of the more lethal encounters that police have. Do you think you could do better? If your answer is yes then we all known you would do much worse.

        • Thats not what i said at all, i do not have the training that police do have, but i have a whats called Moral Obligation to protect human life! the police have not obligation to interfere in domestic cases, if i woman was being choked in a public place and i was there then i would interfere, not watch and call the police, someone else can call the cops and hopefully when they show up (if they show up in some cases) the situation will be over.

        • Since you don’t know the entire story how can you determine your moral obligation? What happens if the man choking the woman is defending himself from her? You don’t think women are capable of domestic violence?

        • Again that is not what i said at all, you are side tracking the conversation to the unknown, my comments are based on what is known not what is not known. your comment does not make much sense? you were not there either so are you not allowed to comment? not at all you commented on what is known. And in what is known Yes i can say i would defend a Woman being choked and Yes i do have a Moral Obligation to the one Being harmed. True woman can be the abuser but from what is Known that is not the case.

        • The article is not about this case. It is about what you would do if you saw something like this. You don’t know going in what the true situation is. It is easy to know what to after the fact. Your continued attempts to justify your original response amply demonstrates why you do worse.

        • True, but the case if the highlight of the conversation just like in your last post, you referenced the case saying i was not there. of course there are many dif situations that can happen, and your response will not always be the same. And no i am not trying to justify myself to you or anyone i dont need to. Just like healthy dialog. My original response was in regards to you saying Call the Professionals, i said ” in multiple Case Law you see that the cops do not interfere in domestic cases and have no legal requirement to do so!” and yes call the police but as we see in this situation the police where not there and there was a threat. and just FYI your last response was not to clear it seemed rushed.

      • It’s the guys with qualified immunity. Not only are you risking life and limb in these interventions, you’re also risking your freedom. It’s still up to you if these are worthwhile risks to take, but “professionals” have more protections than you do against them.

      • “Professionals” – First cousin of “authorities”. Both beloved of progtards and the lamestream media.

    • Just to stick my own nose in this dispute, we never have full knowledge of any situation or anything for that matter. Tdiinva’s argument would boils down to fence sitting in every choice of your life. If you walk up and see a man strangling another person it is reasonable but not known fact that the person being strangled is in mortal danger. You could be wrong, but to argue that since you do not know for certain you can not make a rational judgement is obtuse and mistakes what it means to be capable of logical thought processes.

      The only real question is do you risk your life or do you risk living your life knowing you did nothing. I expect that has slot of variables to play out in an instant like your age, if you are responsible for children, and also how much you estime breathing to honor.

      • My morality would beg me to intervene and I would do so. I hate the gun community sometimes.. they always preach their mantra of when there’s trouble the police are only minutes away and alas here we are being told to call professionals? We as Armed Citizens have more responsibility than the average citizen because I truly do believe “with great power comes great responsibility.” I understand domestic violence encounters are most fatal to officers yet we’ll see it and turn a blind eye knowing this? Granted I wasn’t there to assess the situation, a person being physically harmed would be an indicator to chime opposed to just a verbal altercation.

    • Absolutely correct. As often as not when a third party intervenes the victim switches sides and joins in the attack on the third party.

  5. MY general rule is unless myself or a loved one is under direct threat, I involve myself in NOTHING. My logic being in 99% of the situations I have or might come across, I don’t/won’t know the full story. Call me selfish or a coward, but I’m not willing to risk my own life, my career, my freedom, and the life of a stranger if there’s no direct threat to me or my family. Example, building off the ‘store stick-up’ hypothetical you posed (though, in this case, the situation below actually happened to me). I was in the back, looking at the drinks cooler, when I hear a shouting/ruckus from by the register. Peek my head around a row of shelves, to see a large black man in a very “urban” style of dress shouting angrily and pointing a gun at the head of the cowering slightly-built Indian/Pakistani guy behind the counter. I had my gun, was legally carrying. Had a great angle, and even some cover (in the form of a floor display with an old-school galvanized steel beach cooler). But I beat feet out the back door where I called the police. Turns out they were pulling up out front at the same time. They came in and arrested the cowering Indian guy behind the counter for armed robbery and assault. That’s right. I hadn’t noticed him when I came in (maybe he hadn’t even been at the counter?). But the black guy was the cashier on duty that night. Indian guy had come in, and threatened cashier with a non-existent gun. Cashier complied at first, allowing robber to get behind counter to access register and such. At which point he grabbed his hidden pistol, got behind the counter to get some distance and cover between him and the bad guy, and that’s when I popped my head around the corner to see the scene I saw. I use this example with friends all the time when we talk about when they’d be willing to use their gun, etc. I had like 99.9% confidence at the time that the criminal in this case was the big dude on the “public” side of the counter, shouting, threatening, and pointing a gun at the head of the scrawny obviously terrified guy behind the counter. Maybe that speaks to some in-built biases/prejudices in my own head. Regardless, I think that vast majority of us, even if the racial aspect is removed (ie they were both my own race, for example), would have come to the same conclusion, and felt pretty confident about it. Had I fired my gun that day, there’s a VERY good chance I’d have killed an innocent person, or at the very least made an ugly situation uglier and opened myself up to a huge amount of risk.

    You can come up with similar scenarios all the time. Guy in an alley holding a gun to someone while they rifle through their pockets. Mugger assaulting an innocent victim? Or undercover cop patting down just-apprehended criminal? Etc. etc. etc. I’m too self-interested and too aware of my own limitations to really trust myself when the stakes are that high. Now, if its myself or my family that I p[ercieve to be under threat, then screw it, I’m going in. At that point even if I’m WRONG, the alternative (the death of myself or a loved one) is steep enough that I’m willing to risk being wrong.

  6. There’s a running dark joke where you hear a domestic fight and you ignore it and say “there’s two sides to this”.

    Obviously if you hear someone getting wailed on you call the police, but seriously stay out of it. Know that screaming and yelling are just how shitty couples normally operate and not the same as beating the crap out of someone. There actually are 2 sides to it and the situation can be so different in ways any of us could imagine. Injecting yourself into it to play the white knight more often than not complicated everything and puts you at risk.

    It’s not uncommon for the two fighting suddenly do a 180 and set their sights on the guy intending to be the savior.

    • Perfectly true. Most cops will tell you that even when one of the spouses called the cops, there is a real risk that BOTH spouses gang up on the cops once the police arrive.
      Then again, if you want the couple to stay together, just interfere and take the punishment because they will be together against you.

  7. I used to try to help these females. Last time it was the neighbor who came knocking on my door for help. My wife called 911 and talked to her while I went outside to talk to him. About 45 minutes later we had them calmed down and he was going to leave. She came out and refused to let him have his car keys or a shirt. He knocked her to the ground. Being about half my size I easily pulled him off and pinned him down just as the police showed up with guns drawn. I instantly complied with all commands and while the police were busy giving the guy a healthy dose of rug burn I ducked inside and stowed my piece. Nobody ever knew I had it and I certainly didn’t mention it.

    After he was in the back of a car and statements had been taken the officer told me that she was not pressing charges on him, but they both wanted to press charges against me for assault. The officer told me that if they were pressing charges on me, they were both going to jail that night too. They changed their minds and I got to stay home . . . for helping the female who knocked on my door for help. The next day he was right back in her home.

    Never again. Your situation is sad. Not as sad as me looking at my family from the other side of the glass because of your cognitive decisions.

    • I have heard similar stories and decided long ago to not get involved.
      So what did I do? I got involved when the neighbors went at it. Never again.

    • In my view, my neighbors are also mine. Su familia estan mi familia tam bien.

      There’s no way I’d let anything happen to them that I thought I could stop. And, it takes the sheriff’s deputies 20 minutes to get here even though they’re contract.

  8. I HAVE intervened in a violent attack. Didn’t know if they knew each other. Oh and it lt was 30years ago in Chicago’s EL. And I was completely unarmed(except for having big azz arms). Now I’m old and only if it was a child or an old person would I fly into action. I would call the po-leece.

  9. I read about a lot of these “heroic” situations that I think I would not mess with. Domestic… Nope; they’re going to get back together and you’re going to be the chump. Fist fights, nah… everyone involved probably deserves a black eye for something. Robberies? Not so sure there either. I’m not going to fight over a small amount of cash let alone go through the hassle of shooting someone.

  10. Well, that sucks and condolences to the family.

    Generally it’s best to stay out of this kind of thing unless you know failing to act will result in the loss of innocent life.

    Or… You could be a dumbass like me, not think about it, jump in with your buddy and end up finding out that Mr. BG has a knife AFTER you’ve gotten involved…

    To each their own, but be aware, you might not know there’s a weapon involved until you’re in the thick of it.

  11. A friend and I once got involved with a dispute between a bf and gf. I got on all fours behind the guy and my friend ran up and shoved the guy over top of me. The guy was wasted as were we. That’s as much of the story as I’m saying, but everyone lived to tell the tale and my friend left with the gf. Alls well that ends well.

  12. Domestics are seriously bad juju. Anyone want to place bets against her visiting him in prison?

    If you are going to intervene, have a plan.

    That plan better include a gun or something you can do if things go south.

  13. I had a domestic spill out into public into my lap once. And the fact I was open carrying at the time actually diffused the situation. I pulled into a gas station late at night, with this couple fighting so loud I could hear as I pulled up. Unfortunately next to them was the only pump open. I started pumping my gas and I hear this dude yelling in my direction and I turn looking over my tail gate, and he’s looking at me. I didn’t say anything but just remained silent. He then yelled “YOU ALMOST HIT US PULLING IN HERE MOTHER FUCKER”. My dog (German Shepard) in the back seat barked at him, then I turned full around so he could see my S&W 629 on my hip with my hand on it. I then said “there’s plenty of room here man.” He just looked at me for about 3 seconds then walked back to his vehicle, got in it and drove away. Closest I’ve ever come to having to use a gun on someone here in the US.

  14. I stay out of ALL disputes domestic or otherwise, but if it looks like someone is going to get hurt or killed, I’m going to do what I can to stop it. That may or my not include putting rounds in the air.

  15. Devin Wilson sounds by all accounts to have been a good man.

    It’s hard to say whether one should intervene in a domestic dispute. On one hand the situation often turns against the intervener, but it’s pretty hard to watch someone getting snuffed out and not try to help if possible.

    I don’t think it’s as simple as some commenters try to make in, “she chose him, let her fight him.” How do you know she chose him?

    Perhaps one way to handle a situation like that is to call the cops on your cell phone and yell at the attacker “I’ve called the cops and they are on the way!”

  16. I don’t accept your advice, Sir.

    I’ve broken up several domestic disputes with just my voice (ex-Marine Infantry Officer accustomed to commanding infantrymen spread over 100 yards to the left and the right). It stops them immediately and they tend to flee.

    Imagine what I could do with my CC weapon if it came to that.

    I’m absolutely NOT going to stand by and see someone beaten senseless or killed. It just ain’t in us.

    I’d have to hide my face in shame forever more if I walked away from doing what’s right. I’ll take the heat if it comes to that. I’ve got life insurance and the wife’s the beneficiary.

    That said, I won’t let my sons do what I would do in an instant. They’re not trained or experienced.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *