Thursday, September 15, 2016

NM: Armed Citizen Holds Hit and Run Driver for Police

On Friday, September 9th, 2016, a man driving a Ford Explorer hit a bicyclist in Abuquerque, New Mexico.  The driver did not stop.  The bicycle was lodged under the SUV.  About a mile further on, the driver, who has been identified as a local MMA fighter, 33 year old Henry Martinez, was stopped. He was held at gunpoint by a legally armed man who remains unidentified. From
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A video sent to KRQE News 13 by a viewer shows an armed man holding another man, suspected of hitting a bicyclist and fleeing, at gunpoint until police arrive.

Albuquerque Police confirm a bicyclist was hit by an SUV Friday morning. The bike the person was riding was then dragged by the vehicle as it left the crash scene.

Soon after, however, an armed citizen got the suspect out the SUV and held him at gunpoint while calling police.
The video illustrates some of the difficulties of holding a person at gunpoint.

Link to Video on Youtube

The details of how Martinez was stopped and removed from the Explorer have not been published.

They two men are only 10-15 feet apart, well inside the nominal 21 feet discussed in the Tueller drill.  The armed man has a problem.  How does he notify the police? 

He solves the problem by calling them himself, on his cell phone.  He does not take his eyes off of the suspect, but there are awkward moments.  While I believe he did a public service. It would have been wise to order the suspect down to the ground, and in a position so that the suspect could not observe him. Then he could have called the police from a less precarious position.

A desperate or reckless suspect could have used the phone distraction to charge and attempt a disarm.

While no weapon is seen on the suspect, he is muscular and athletic. He is said to have been pleading with the armed citizen "not to shoot him". 

Do not get in a conversation with a suspect.  It is a distraction.  If you have to shoot, you will have to switch mental gears from talking to shooting.  The classic illustration of this is from the movie, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly".  It shows the scene with Tuco in the bathtub.  After shooting his opponent, he says, "When its time to shoot, shoot! Don't talk."

I am not suggesting that the armed man should have shot Martinez. I am saying that it is bad policy to get into a conversation with someone you are holding at gunpoint. Give clear, authoritative, short commands. In  the military, we call this "command voice". 

You often hear it in police videos.  "Get Down!" would be appropriate here.

In this case, if the armed man knew that the videographer was present, he could have asked them to call the police, allowing him to stay focused on the threat.

Use the resources that you have handy.  Be willing to enlist available help.

It was later determined that Martinez was driving with a revoked license.

There is no indication of any charges against the armed man.

The bicyclist was taken to the hospital.  They are expected to recover.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

Some call this vigilantism.
I call it being a good Citizen.
I would have done that also, observing the 21 foot rule.
How to call the cops? I would be hollering at bystanders to call the cops, telling the truth that this guy just did a hit and run and you want the cops to come.

Truth is, when you are standing there holding a guy at gun point, you BETTER be hollering it out to everyone, lest you get shot yourself by someone confused about the situation.

It is a huge step to point a weapon at another human being. It must be taken serious because it is serious.

Anonymous said...

Any one watching the video? Notice the suspect moving closer and closer , bit by bit? I think I would have said freeze or die. I would have placed him under citizens arrest and held him for the police. a professional fighter has some really fast moves you do not let them close in on you. One more move after you say freeze and bang. a large hole in the leg would have made him freeze. a move after that and his head would be missing a large chunk. he committed a felony you are a witness, why would he not try to put an end to you and try to get away?

Anonymous said...

I have never liked the combat stance for holding a gun. this guy is not using it but he is holding the gun to far forward of his body. You have the best control of a gun when you hold it close to your body. In a stand off situation you do not need the sights. If the subject is close enough to point your finger at them just think of the barrel of the gun as an extension of your finger. Holding the gun to far forward would allow anyone a better chance of disarming you. Unless you are highly trained and can fire in an instant just about anyone can be disarmed even if your finger is on the trigger. If you train to shoot at the slightest move you can be disarmed at the slightest distraction unless you are ready to shoot at all times. Disarming can happen so fast that your mind will not process the information fast enough. One reason I like single six pistols so much. the trigger pull is so short in some hands it would be dangerous. some people just don't feel safe with a short trigger pull. I worked over one action that I had to keep my thumb on the hammer when it was cocked. the trigger pull was so light a strong wind might set it off. always keep your eyes on the persons moves never let them get your attention focused on their eyes. In this video the suspect was taking baby steps toward the gun. If he had been able to get close enough he would have been able to disarm, get control of the gun or kill with deadly hand and feet blows. I guarantee you there are places on your body that if hit correctly will instantly disable or kill you and I don't care how big and muscular you are If you get hit in the right spot you are not going any where but down. the suspect in this case was reported to be a professional fighter. Professional fighters have to know those special spots so they don't kill in the ring. this guy was not in the ring and he had just committed a felony.