By Travis Birney
QUESTION: Walking through a park, you see a woman screaming at a man. He tries to walk away but she continues to yell at him. Frustrated at her persistence, he turns, slaps the woman, pushes her to the ground and cocks his fist, ready to strike her again. You have no other information but what you’ve just witnessed. What do the legal experts at U.S. LawShield suggest you do?
- Call 911 and describe the location and what is happening.
- Draw your legally concealed firearm and approach the man giving orders to get off the woman and stop hitting her.
- Run up and push the man off the woman.
- Leave the area immediately and tell your spouse the story at dinner that night.
ANSWER: The answer is A. While chivalry certainly has its place, it shouldn’t get you convicted of a felony. You are only allowed to use “deadly force” to protect another person if you believe that person is in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury. If the man starts beating the woman with a closed fist, it may qualify. However, a slap and a raised hand probably do not rise to the level of reasonably believing a person in in imminent danger of death.
If you intervene without this reasonable belief, you may find yourself on the wrong side of the law. So, what to do? You don’t have the authority to arrest the man, so your best option is to call someone who does. Calling 911 is your most prudent choice.