Opponent neutralized...now what?

Jun 12, 1999
I've been reading the "proper response to violence " thread, and my thoughts turned to the next step....

Its the second worst case scenario (the first being you on a slab in County) - your attacker is now neutralized, permanently. You're splattered in blood, luckily not much of it your own.

What are the next appropriate steps? What do you do with your weapon? Let's say for argument sake you're unsure if anyone witnessed the incident....Do you immediately report it? Go home and hit the showers?

Next steps gentlemen?

Well, I'm splattered in blood and unsure if their are any wittnesses around. Simple hunt down the wittnesses, if any and kill them.


Determine if you are hurt. Determine if the gremlin is dead or severely wounded. Regretful but necessary I think it would be best if you are not sure of wittnesses to call the police. yes it is a hassle and you could go through a lot of Shi+.
However if you flee and they do find you, please remember that you fingerprints are on file if you have a CCW so they will find you, you are totaly screwed because you have just ran from the sceen of a violent crime.

Now you can not apply for a CCW because they will have finger prionts from a unsolved murder.

If you are rightious then the cops should not want to crucify you. I hope.

Oh the other hand, if you sure of no wittnesses and have no plans for a pistol permit, then run like hell!!
In Law Enforcement there is a saying.......
A good shoot is a good shoot and a bad shoot is a bad shoot, period.

The same logic applies to deadly use of force with a knife. If you decide to use your knife in self defense and you are sure you are within your right to do so, you will have nothing to worry about. Lots of paperwork? Sure, but so what, you are still living and breathing.

If you run, you are asking for trouble and more times than not you will eventually be caught.

If you were wrong to use the knife anyway, you will be charged and have to explain it on the wrong side of the courtroom(as a defendant).

Just make sure that the situation calls for deadly use of force and you will come out OK in the end.

C.O.'s-"It takes balls to work behind the walls "
A proper, decent, law-abiding, tax-paying individual should, at that moment yank out the cellphone and dial 911. Give a one or two sentence description of what happened, give the address of where you're located, and be sure to ask for ambulance. Soon, it'll become a crime scene. Of course, you'll be questioned. The moment someone arrives, LEO or paramedics, you can get off the phone with the dispatcher. Immediately dial call for your attorney. Tell him or her the same thing you told the dispatcher and wait til he or she arrives. Sooner or later, the LEOs on scene will want to question you. Cooperate as much as possible, give them the same statement(s) that you gave dispatcher and show them your IDs if they ask for them. They will ask for detailed questions. POLITELY tell them that you want to cooperate to the fullest extent, but you can't answer any more questions until your attorney arrive. While you're at it, be sure to ask nicely for all of the badge numbers of the LEOs you've interacted with. This may come in handy later if DA decides to press charges. They may or may not ask you to come down to the station. But sooner or later, hopefully they'll let you go home to clean up. Be sure to keep every piece of evidence possible. Keep it somewhere safe and store it away. Later on, get a copy of the police report. Send it off to "It Happened To Me" in Tactical Knives (hehe) or post them on here. We'd all be dying to find out what happened. More importantly, you'll get feedback on what happened and how better to safeguard yourself from future attacks both physically and legally.

Something like that.
I agree with Memnoch except for his last sentence.

When the encounter ends with the goblin either dead or seriously injured, call the police and wait for them to arrive, even if there are no witnesses. If you run and they eventually find you, no one in a jury anywhere will ever believe a word you say in your defense. You WILL be found guilty, and you WILL go to prison.

The jury looks for actions that a "prudent man" would make. They, and the state prosecuter, would ask why you took off if you were innocent.

Now, you've called the cops and they arrive on the scene. Other than your name, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT YOU HAVE CHEST PAINS AND NEED MEDICAL ATTENTION. You have the right to remain silent, USE IT. Speak to no-one but your lawyer. If you don't have a lawyer, demand one. Do not assume the police will listen to your story and be on your side. They will not. Their job is to collect the evidence, investigate the scene and turn it over to the DA. You have a right to legal counsel, use it. Anything you say can and will be used against you. They even tell you that. There are a lot of innocent people doing hard time because they left the scene, poured their heart out to the cops or just made one stupid mistake. Don't take the chance. The lawyer will cost you, but what is 10 or 15 years of your life worth?


Una salus victus nullam sperare salutem. -Virgil
At the risk of sounding like I'm a pacifist or I encourage criminals or whatever, I'd like to add that if the threat is not neutralized "permanently," do what you can to help them.

After making sure that you are uninjured, assess their situation. Unless they are still violent (in which case they aren't neutralized), treating them like any other First Aid incident is not only humane but will help your case with a jury. If they are conscious, calm them down. Try to stop any bleeding. Use any and all First Aid training you have - and get help!

I don't advocate trying to help a person who could still harm you. But if you truly judge them to be neutralized (unconscious, in shock, or clearly wanting no more of it), I think you should consider their health as soon as you have assured your own.

Personally, I think a better tactic is hit-and-run, don't stick around to "neutralize" anyone unless escape isn't an option. But if it comes down to taking them out of the fight and you manage to do so without lethal force, I think you should attempt to do anything possible to keep them breathing. Remember, your concern is your own safety, not punishment or vengeance. Once they're out of the fight, your safety is secure and they're just a person in grave need of medical attention.


(Why else would a bear want a pocket?)
IF you killed somebody, or even seriously wounded them, CALL THE FREAKING COPS! If you run, you will be caught, and at least be facing charges of manslaughter.

If you call the cops, at least hey know you're not trying to hide anything. Even if the circumstances were questionable.

If you just "beat up" some loser, go ahead and leave him. Especialy if you don't live in the neighborhood. He'll be pissed, and might even try to call the cops. But they aren't gonna work as hard to find out who kicked some(probably known troublemaker) guy's butt. But usualy, you can be confident that you can leave him with his wounded pride. I suggest checking out your states mutual combat laws.
Corduroy brings up an interesting dilemma though....

We're all taught to run like hell if given the opportunity. So, what happens if we've used deadly force, but weren't aware that it was deadly before we got the hell outta dodge?

I guess the best thing to do is after the adrenaline has flushed through your system and you've stopped running is to get to a payphone (or a cell phone, which is probably what the BG wanted from you in the first place) and call the cops. "Hey, this guy tried to mug me on 13th street, and I stuck him in the throat. He may be dead. Taxi!"

Unfortunately, flight is considered tantamount to guilt. Your best bet is to read the post by SB again, and memorize it. It is the perfect response to a worst case scenario. Couldn't have said it better myself, so I didn't.
Do not approach or touch your attacker. He may be "playing possum".

First, make sure your opponent doesn't have any friends lurking. If you don't feel like you're safe in the area, go ahead and leave, but proceed to the nearest area of safety and make your phone calls from there. Go as little distance as you need to to get to an area where you feel safe. This is part of self-defense. Going further is called "fleeing the scene." When subsequently asked, "Why did you leave the scene?", answer, "I did not feel safe there under the circumstances. I was afraid for my life if I stayed there. So, I went to the nearest place where I felt I was safe, and I called from there."


Third, Call the police. You're not gonna cover this thing up, baby (sorry, I saw Austin Powers this weekend). The boys in blue are gonna find out sooner or later. It'll look better if they find out sooner and from you. When you talk to the dispatcher on the phone, be sure to assert that you acted in self-defense. That way, when the 911 tapes are played in court, the jury will hear you assert from the first minutes that it was self-defense.

Next, clean any blood off of yourself. In this day and age of blood-borne pathogens, don't take any chances. Again, this is a justifed part of self-defense. When asked why you did this, when accused of doing it in an attempt to cover up the evidence, you can say, "I did not know this man. I was afraid he might have AIDS or something, so I washed myself off." Any juror will understand that.

But, don't try to clean anything else up. That's called "tampering with evidence." Don't disturb a thing. (There is only one exception: if you can do so safely (again, do not approach your attacker), secure any weapons. If, for example, your attacker's gun or knife is on the ground a safe distance away from him, go ahead and secure it. This can be justified in court.) Anything else could be perceived as an attempt to "cover up" a crime and that'll really detract from any claims of self-defense. Especially avoid any attempt to alter the scene. For example, do not put a weapon into your opponent's dead hand. You'll never get it right. Your deception will be discovered and will really look bad in court.

When the police arrive, be polite and cooperative, but assert always that you acted in self-defense.

Finally, as soon as one of the badged ladies or gentlemen says, "You have the right to remain silent..." Do so. When asked further questions, be polite, but say, "I acted in self-defense. I am confident that the facts will show that because it is true. I would like to cooperate with you fully. But you have arrested me for a serious crime. My attorney told me that if I was ever arrested for anything, I should not answer any questions or make any statements until he is present." It's important to use the phrase "My attorney told me..." because the police do not want to come between an attorney and his client.

Realize that you are probably going to be arrested, handcuffed (possibly right in front of your neighbors, spouse, and even children (and this can be really confusing for children because on TV only bad guys get arrested)), and taken to jail. There'll be years of criminal and then civil legal proceedings. Your actions in the few minutes following the incident can make a huge difference.


[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 16 June 1999).]
First, if your opponent is, say, lying on the ground in a bloody heap, and you don't know if he's(pardon my un-PC gender specificness) alive or if there were any witnesses, assume there were witnesses, don't kneel down, check for a pulse, and slit his throut for good(or should I say, bad) measure.
Second, on a lighter note, should you clean your knife before the policia come? or let them put it in a baggie and watch it rust and pit?
If you think good knives are expensive, wait until you start buying attorney's time.

You'll quickly realize that for what it'll cost you to have your attorney explain to the court why you cleaned your knife, you could buy ten new ones.

But, that's not important since you'll probably end up selling all of your knives to pay for your defense.

That brings up an important point. If this incident happens on your property, your homeowners or renters insurance MAY cover some of your defense. But, many of these policies don't cover criminal defense and those that do are often limited to $50,000 or $100,000. If your case is protracted, if there are separate criminal and civil cases, if there are appeals, etc., you'll easily go over these amounts. And, if the situation happens off of your property, homeowners/renters insurance is probably worthless.

The solution is to buy "umbrella liability insurance." No, this is not insurace that covers you if you stab someone with an umbrella. It's insurance that covers you for civil and criminal liability all of the time.
It's another insurance policy to pay for (though suprisingly cheap). But, if you buy it from the same company that you buy your homeowners or renters insurance and your car insurance from, you may be able to drop the liability portions of those insurance policies because the umbrella policy will cover you (state laws vary). That'll reduce the cost of those policies and offset some of the additional cost of the umbrella policy.

Having a big umbrella policy will help you get a good attorney since he knows he's going to get paid.

Ask your agent.

This is off-topic, but as long as you're digging out your insurance policies to see what you're covered for, notice also any limits on coverage for loss of "collectibles". It's often $5000. I suspect that some of you have knife collections worth more than that. You may have other collectibles around the house that'll also intrude into that coverage.

It's hard to establish the value of collectible knives after they're stolen or burned. So, now would be a good time to document them as well as you can and get credible appraisals for any special pieces.

Finally, some of you may also take interrest in the separate limit many policies have for loss of firearms. It's often $500.
Documentation is important here too. Firearms are commonly stolen. Insurance companies suffer huge losses every year on them, so they're often quite critical of claims.

For a small extra cost, you can get these limits raised. Again, ask you agent, and shop around. Insurance is a highly competitive business.


[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 16 June 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 16 June 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 16 June 1999).]
I agree with what SB said in his post. Good memorizing material. I would add however that you "check your opponent" make sure he doesn't getaway while you are waiting for the paramedics and te police. Also, I would try to keep my opponent alive in the best possible way I can. He can back up my story in court. Either through confession or by the type of injuries he has got or something like that.
I'm afraid that I can not agree.

It's very hard in court to say, "One second, this man threatened my life and I was so afraid of him that I felt the need to apply deadly force. But, a second later, I was comfortable enough with him to try and bandage his wounds."

When he choose to attack you, he gave up any expectation he may have had that you might come to his aid. That was a risk he took.

If you promptly call for help, you are giving him more aid than he would have given you.

Recently, a man died on a street here in Portland. He attacked a police officer and the officer hit him with a batton several times. He fell to the ground unconscious. The police called for medical help immediately, of course. But, there is always some delay.

There was a registered nurse who happened to be walking on the same street, who saw the whole thing, and who rushed up to offer aid.
It caused a bit of a public outcry because even when presented with her nurse's credentials, the officers would not let her go near the unconscious man.

They were correct in their actions. The man had just been so violent that they had felt the need to use deadly force against him. They could not, under those circumstances, let this nurse go near him. Was he really unconscious? What if he was to suddenly wake up? Would he still be violent? Would he attack her?

Had the situation been different, had a peaceful citizen approached the officer and said, "Officer, I'm having chest pains," and then collapsed, the officer would have eagerly welcomed a passing nurse. But this man had shown himself to be violent and unsafe.

Unfortunately, the man did die while waiting for the paramedics. But, when he made the choice to attack another man, he gave up his expectations that society would treat him as a safe, peaceful person. When he made the choice to be a violent person, he accepted that society would treat him as a threatening, unsafe, violent person.

A few years ago, a man sitting at the table next to mine in a restaurant collapsed. I immediately gave aid. But, if a person where to attack me and I was to successfully defend myself, I would not try to aid my attacker beyond calling for help.

Sorry. I know it sounds cold, but it's the way I feel.

I wouldn't exactly finish killing the person, but I wouldn't help him either.

"All of our knives open with one hand, in case you're busy with the other"
As to help or not... Every situation is different. Where one person may choose to help, another may not. I'm not going to say who may be right, because I won't be there at that critical moment. However, regardless of the choice made, be sure to take the reasonable steps to ensure that the bad guy gets medical attention ASAP! You do not want to find out at a later date that the DA feels the bad guy's life could have been saved with prompt attention from the EMTs and a good trauma unit. If you survive the legal process, almost nobody will remember that it was you, after all, acting in self defense.

So CYA, and dial 911 immediately.

Cut the b@stards heart out and eat it.


Good responses above... Just like a shooting. Cooperate - but make no statements with out a lawyer.

I mean, if I went around saying I was an Emperor because some
moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me, people would put me away!

Given the scenario, "your attacker is now neutralized, permanently", I assumed that the vitals have already been checked to come to that conclusion. So, I didn't mention that the first time around.

Checking for vitals might be dangerous, but it is necessary. At the very least it's the humanitarian thing to do. Predators often don't deserve our compassion. But at the same time, we ourselves must not lose our own sense of humanity and decency. Also, you want to know that the BG isn't faking it and suddenly jump up and attack you again when you least expect it.

To safely check for vitals, first check the hands when approaching body. If there are weapons still in hand, do whatever it takes remove it safely. Then, move to a position above the head. Stay away from the arms, but keep them within your visual field at all times. If the body is in any position other than face up, push the shoulder to rotate them around. Watch the arms carefully while doing this.

Of course, when checking the vitals, be sure be on full alert for any surprises. Have your weapon at the ready if you have any. Since we're on bladeforum, let's pretend you're armed with a knife. If you feel necessary, you may want to announce it to your attacker just to be sure. Then, hold the knife in reverse and keep the knife pointed at the neck, with the tip slightly in contact with the skin. If someone is pretending, and they feel the slight sting of the tip of a knife against their neck, they won't make too many sudden moves. Check the pulse with the first two fingers on the jugular. Then, flip your hand over and place the back of your fingers right over the nose to check for breathing. Finally, open one of the eyes with the thumb and first finger of the knife hand (knife still in hand and in reverse), and shine it with your surefire. Check for signs of reaction, such as a twinge in the eyelids, movement of the eyeball, contraction of the pupil, or pupil dilation. Relay all this information to the EMT when they arrive.

After checking the vitals, and having determined that the threat has been "neutralized", then you whip out the cellphone. It is imperative that you call 911 first and specifically request for an ambulance. This shows that you care for the welfare of fellow human beings. I'm hoping you will do this because you ARE a caring human being. Or, at the very least, so the DA won't find any reason to indict you. You see, if you don't, it's going to make you look very bad in court. You WILL be indicted and the prosecution will make you look like an uncaring, cold-blooded killer. And it's going to cost you in many different ways to defend against that, from court costs that will break you to losing your freedom. I can not emphasize this enough. CALL 911 FIRST AND REQUEST FOR AMBULANCE! No exceptions.

[This message has been edited by SB (edited 16 June 1999).]
I really don't think its wise tactically or legally to approach your attacker. Aside from the fact that he may be faking, he may be insane, drunk, and/or high on drugs. In that state he could easily mistake you and your attempts to check vital signs or render aid for a flesh-eating monster from Mars trying to suck his brains out and, in a sort of perverted case of self-defense, attack you again.

I also don't like the idea of focusing my attention on the disabled attacker. Yes, I want to keep an eye on him as he might pop back up, but I also want to be aware of my surroundings. He may have friends waiting in the wings.

You are not safe and the situation is not secure until the place is crawling with police officers. Until then, your focus has got to be on protecting yourself.

Don't forget that just because you've taken your attacker's weapon does not mean that you can consider him disarmed. How many of you carry more than one weapon? Your attacker may have many more knives, guns, and other surprises concealed on him.

The decision to render aid is a personal, moral one and it is also situational. If, for example, the person who attacked you is your own child (it happens), your answer may be quite different than if your attacker is a some street thug.

In general, though, I still assert that it is not wise to approach your attacker.


[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 17 June 1999).]

[This message has been edited by Gollnick (edited 17 June 1999).]
I guess you're right. You offer some very good points. I agree that it is situational. Depending on who you are and what the situation is, we may have no choice but to leave the BGs behind.

[This message has been edited by SB (edited 17 June 1999).]