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Dissecting a Random Attack


Random attacks. Distributed threats. What’s the answer?

Regarding the recent attack at Inner Harbor (see the video here I decided to dissect some of the comments surrounding the incident. 

“Out of nowhere, they were swarmed and beaten by a large number of teenagers.”

Yep, that’s what all wise predators do. This isn’t new, as a matter of fact, it’s very, very old. This is such a successful tactic, everyone who wants to be successful in an attack will use overwhelming numbers to their advantage.

“They swarmed us,” said Stacey. “They hit my husband in the head. They knocked him out… and then it was just complete bedlam.” “And they punched my nephew in the face and knocked him to the floor,” Stacey said. “My sister went to protect her son, and they were kicking her.

Sounds like a successful application of the shock triad (speed, surprise, and violence of action)… again, nothing new here, the military uses this tactic extensively, as do all other combatant groups out there.

“I was knelling [sic] with my husband screaming ‘Somebody help us, why is nobody helping us?’”

Three reasons (at least) for this behavior i.) people have been trained to deign to authority, ii.) laws are written to protect the miscreants of society, iii.) most people don’t have the confidence (in their skills nor the ability to stay out of jail) should they intervene.

Want to be able to stop this at the source? Change the laws so that citizens can defend themselves against this kind of thing. It’s not rocket science and the average person can figure it out.

“Baltimore City police spokesman T.J. Smith says groups of teens have been a problem in the city.” “It’s always groups of them,” he said. “Someone in that group starts it, and that’s what we saw in this situation.”

No doubt – again, this type of distributed threat is nothing new, welcome to the reality most of the rest of the world has been struggling with.

In March, a group followed a man downtown, hurling insults, which quickly escalated into a physical assault, and a rapid scattering by the attackers. The same technique used last week when two bicyclists were robbed and beaten by a group.

“The disrespect from some of these juveniles is just absolutely unbelievable and stunning,” Smith said. “And it should be to society.”

This type of disrespect is neither unbelievable nor stunning, it’s what predators do. The only real question is, would your family be able to end it before it went too far and someone got killed?

“Maybe if there’d been police on foot, those people would never have been congregating there, looking for a fight, you know looking to hit somebody,” said another victim, Sal.” … “Well we did have cops all over the place, but again they probably got there relatively quickly, but we can’t have cops on every corner in every single block of the city,” according to Smith.

Again, the appeal to authority, an authority that is neither omnipresent nor omnipotent. Get it through your head, when violence finds you, YOU ARE THE FIRST RESPONDER.

While police are reviewing surveillance video of the attack, the victims can’t stop replaying it in their minds. “After this, I can’t sleep at night, seeing what happened over and over again in my head,” Stacey said. “Seeing my family attacked.”

This is called Post Traumatic Stress and can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder if not treated in a timely manner. The family needs to qualified help from someone who deals with police and military PTS as soon as possible. While you are waiting for your appointment practice “being all here” (not reliving the past or trying to predict the future) by practicing combat breathing whenever you experience a “replay” in your mind.

Combat breathing is a deep breathing 4-part breathing exercise where you focus on your breathing for four counts. 4-second inhale, 4-second hold, 4-second exhale, 4-second hold and repeat until you pull yourself down from the experience in your mind.

Combat breathing isn’t a magic mantra, it must be consciously practiced (focus on your breathing and counting) to work.

Two members of the family suffered concussions. Others came away with scrapes and bruises…

Lucky victims, a blow to the wrong person in the wrong place could have (and has in the past) lead to death.

As yet, police have no suspects in the attack. Because the group appears to have been made up of juveniles, if they are found they cannot be identified…. It happened on the day of the Baltimore Marathon, Oct. 21. The event brought a big crowd to the harbor that night. The 10 family members, from grandparents to grandchildren, were walking by the H&M store when they were overwhelmed.

This will continue to be the case until adults start acting like adults, and if it happened “…on the day of the Baltimore Marathon, Oct. 21. The event brought a big crowd to the harbor that night…” there is absolutely no reason a “big crowd” of adults couldn’t have settled it.

by Ron Danielowski – EVP/Co-Founder/Chief Instructor, Distributed Security Inc.
Ron spent 25 years as a multi-agency accredited instructor, organizing, developing, implementing, and overseeing training solutions for numerous federal agencies including the Department of Energy, Federal Air Marshals, and the Department of State. Ron is a Distinguished Marksman and member of the “President’s Hundred” winner of the Marine Infantry Team Trophy Match.

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1 comment on “Dissecting a Random Attack”

  1. Pingback: Dissecting A Random Attack | Western Rifle Shooters Association

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