It was supposed to be a fun afternoon of fishing with his brother, but it didn't turn out the way he planned. He was prepared, and he wants to share his story to help educate us all. What happened to him and his brother, could happen to any of us.
Meet Al and his brother Dan. (We're not using their real names at their request.) The brothers were fishing together at a pond that was part of a park where dog walkers and families frequent to have picnics. The two were unfamiliar with the park, but say they were happy to find a well-kept, public area. It was their first trip to this particular spot, so they decided to stay close together and work their way down the shore while fishing.
Dan tells us what happened next:
"My brother switched to a new clearing about 25 yards ahead of me and soon after I heard an intoxicated man yelling profanities at a walker uphill from us. He then came into my line of sight, aggressively walking towards where my brother went to fish while demanding someone to take off his “mask” (We were both wearing fishing gaiters to protect us from the sun). I dropped my pole and quickly made my way over while hearing him threaten to punch my brother in the face. When I made it to them he was pulling on my brother’s gaiter obviously intoxicated with a beer bottle in his hand. I got in between them and attempted to de-escalate the situation, saying that we meant no trouble and we'd be on our way. Despite my efforts, he not only continued to be belligerent but he also pulled my gaiter down aggressively. Both my brother and I began to retreat back to the parking lot but he continued to follow us while voicing his desire to follow us back to our car. While following us, he chest bumped me multiple times and I had to keep my arm out to keep him from getting too close."
AL AND DAN TAKE ACTION
What would you do in this situation? Walk away? Yell? Call the police? Confront the man? Would you be prepared?
Al decided to call 911 while still trying to get away from the man. The man got even more aggressive when he noticed Al was calling for help. The man got closer to the brothers, moving his arms erratically and making more physical contact with them. That's when Dan says he became "seriously in fear of my life as well as my brother's."
Dan reached for his Mace® Brand police pepper spray and sprayed the man in the face from about 3 feet away. Dan says he had no other choice but to use the pepper spray on the man...
Dan says he sprayed the man in the face, with the stream hitting him on the nose first. Dan moved the stream to each eye while commanding him to stop following them. Then the brothers ran. They ran to get away from the stranger who for some reason, decided that he wanted to confront them. What Dan did gave the brothers enough time to get about 50 yards away from the man, and then police arrived. The man was on his knees, and he was arrested.
A day of fishing at a public park turned out to be a very teachable moment for all of us. Dan says he was prepared because he watched videos on how to use pepper spray, and he regularly trains on how to draw his personal safety gear.
What's the best way to be prepared? Let us be your guide. Will most of us watch videos and practice like Dan did? If you take your personal safety seriously, you should.
At Mace® Brand, we take our mission of providing community and family safety through individual empowerment seriously. We believe there is power in being prepared. And being prepared is what gave Dan and Al enough time to get away from a potentially harmful situation. You just never know.
Another story you would enjoy: Survivor Story - How a Close Call Turned into a Personal Safety Missio (mace.com)