Don’t Bring a Gun to an Umbrella Fight: Defense Against Gun Use of the Day

Wes Woodin was catching some rays on Florida’s sugar white Fort Walton Beach in when he saw a confrontation develop. “It was over a $2 inflatable octopus, and I guess he had gone under their tent and taken it,” Woodin told News 5. I guess? That’s sub-optimal . . .

Things aren’t always what they seem; milk can masquerade as cream. If you’re going to intervene in any dispute — armed, unarmed or armed with a big-ass beach umbrella — you really need to know who is the aggrieved party. In this case, Mr. Woodin had the good sense not to take action until it was clear where the danger lay.

When the argument began to escalate, Woodin says he knew he had to do something.

“I saw him punch one of the guys in the face and knock him down while he had a gun out,” Woodin said.

After Woodin used the umbrella to knock the man out, he took away the gun and emptied the clip. Woodin and another man then held him until deputies with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office arrived.

Deputies questioned both sides, but neither party wanted to press charges.

Huh. I wonder why that is.

comments

  1. avatar Gilbert says:

    Excellent point.
    I do CHP classes and always tell people not to act when they “come in at the middle of the movie”
    Be very sure who is who.
    Even then, unless you or someone under your protective umbrella (no pun) is in danger, resist “helping”.

    1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

      Yeah, assaulting people at gun point is not cool. He could have just as easily been the victim, until he started being aggressive.

      This guy thankfully didn’t have a lot of situational awareness. He totally tunnel visioned and got beat for it. I will say that I am disappointed there were no charges pressed, he needs to have his rights to carry stripped if he is going to act like a jackass. Hopefully a sore head will be a lesson to him, but I have my doubts. It’s hard to fix that kind of stupid.

  2. avatar binder says:

    If there was no reason for the person to draw (doesn’t want to press charges) than arrested and charge with brandishing. When the other person was not enough of a threat to press charges against, there is no reason to draw a gun. When you draw a gun, you endanger everyone arround you. You better have a good reason to do that.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      Brandishing isn’t always codified as a crime against the public or the state. In many states, the person against whom the gun was directed is the victim, and can opt to not press charges.

      1. avatar binder says:

        So, you are saying that an idiot who draws a gun for a reason that he will not press charges on will only hit the person he draws on and no one else.
        Once a pistol is out of the holster, that person is a threat to everyone in the area. The level of threat is determined by the individual. Given that he is not pressing charges, he drew for a stupid reason, and that doesn’t bode well for proper gun handling now does it?

        1. avatar Jim says:

          “Once a pistol is out of the holster, that person is a threat to everyone in the area.” I’m sure the readers will keep that in mind if they ever come across you defending yourself (or not…how could they know?), and address that threat as efficiently as possible. Good luck.

        2. avatar binder says:

          Read the rest of it. If I drew on someone, it will be a reason I am willing to press charges for.
          Also he should have been charged. Looks like the statute requires a legal Affirmative Defense.
          If you drew for self defense, but don’t want to press charges, that is not that way to prove self defense, unless the claim is that they did not draw the gun, but in that case they only need witnesses, no the guy who was threatened.
          The 2017 Florida Statutes
          Title XLVI
          CRIMES
          Chapter 790
          WEAPONS AND FIREARMS
          View Entire Chapter
          790.10 Improper exhibition of dangerous weapons or firearms.—If any person having or carrying any dirk, sword, sword cane, firearm, electric weapon or device, or other weapon shall, in the presence of one or more persons, exhibit the same in a rude, careless, angry, or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense, the person so offending shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
          History.—s. 1, ch. 4532, 1897; GS 3272; RGS 5105; CGL 7207; s. 5, ch. 69-306; s. 743, ch. 71-136; s. 2, ch. 76-165; s. 174, ch. 91-224.

        3. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

          Good job binder. You win one of today’s 37 million internet arguments. Strap in for another big day tomorrow ?

        4. avatar binder says:

          I just hate people being cavalier about drawing guns and playing with them.
          I nearly was shot because someone did clear their rifle correctly, I had a friend get a strong hand middle finger blown off by their own 357 from the other room when a drunk started poking around a bedroom.
          Cops who have their guns pointed at handcuffed suspects with their faces in the ground should be charged.
          Cops with their booger hooks on the trigger unless facing a IDENTIFIED threat should be charged. Not when they go oops.

        5. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

          No, CHRIS is not saying that, sme State laws say that. Pick your fight with the right target. Watch out for umbrellas.

  3. avatar Alex P says:

    Never meddle in a lovers quarrel.

  4. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    I foresee some Captain Obvious posters in this comment section’s future. Doggonit, binder and Alex already beat me to it.

  5. avatar Mike Betts says:

    You’d better have your legal ducks in a row before you resort to a DUU – a “Defensive Umbrella Use”. And if you use a BAU (“Beach Assault Umbrella), you REALLY need to be on the right side of the law.

  6. avatar DDay says:

    I’m sure alcohol was involved.

  7. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    Florida man to the rescue. Good job beach dude.

  8. avatar strych9 says:

    Wow, he really wound up and smacked the shit out of that guy. I’m impressed and amused.

    Excellent, and hilarious, use of an improvised weapon. A+ work.

  9. In New Jersey, the umbrella-wielding man would’ve been charged with “illegal possession of a deadly weapon” and “assault with a deadly weapon.” I kid you not.
    That’s because in New Jersey, once you use (or have the “intent to use”, a thought-crime in New Jersey) ANYTHING as a weapon, whether it’s a pencil, pen, screwdriver, or umbrella, it magically becomes a “deadly weapon” according to New Jersey law. Because the People’s Republic of New Jersey does not allow civilians to even possess weapons outside of the home (NJ never grants carry permits to civilians), then simply possessing a pencil, pen, screwdriver, or umbrella becomes “illegal possession of a deadly weapon” if a cop testifies that you had the “intent” to use it as a weapon. It’s an Orwellian catch-all law that allows New Jersey to lock up anyone they feel like locking up — all they have to do is say you had the “intent to use” your pen (or umbrella) as a weapon, and PRESTO, instant felony conviction for simply carrying it! And if you’re being arrested for just the “intent to use” (whatever innocent object you’re carrying) as a weapon, then it’s a THOUGHT-CRIME felony in the People’s Republic of New Jersey.

    This also applies to one-inch knives (banned in NJ if your “intent” is to use them for self-defense!), so for legal purposes, when traveling through NJ, just say that one-inch knife in your pocket is a letter-opener and you MIGHT be safe from prosecution. I sometimes carry such a one-inch letter opener around my neck (in NJ, I have to state it’s only for opening letters and packages).

  10. avatar Ralph says:

    Pro tip: Rush a gunman. Run away from an umbrellaman.

  11. avatar Defens says:

    If only the octopus had been armed, it could have defended itself! No excuse for an eight-armed creature to run around unarmed.

  12. What difference does it make that the octopus cost $2.
    You don’t come under my tent and steal anything. Some people just need to get their ass whipped. No charges were filed because dude who tried to take the octopus got his ass whipped. Dude who got his ass whipped by gunman knew he had done wrong and was happy to take an ass whipping over getting shot. And dude who came up later with the umbrella assault was excused by the gunman for making an honest mistake.
    Why all you so called libertarians want to get the police and court system involved in every altercation is unfathomable.

    1. avatar G says:

      I thought the guy with the gun had stolen the octopus. They were actually pretty vague about who started the whole thing.

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