Woman reported attempted abduction – or was it?

by Larry S. Moore

The first reports were that a woman, and Sinclair Community College student, was the target of an abduction
attempt around the downtown Dayton campus. The Dayton Daily News reported:

Dayton police Maj. Larry Faulkner said a woman reported she was stopped Tuesday afternoon by a man who grabbed her arm and started to pull her toward his truck. The woman, a Sinclair student, was sitting on the steps outside the building on West Third waiting for her ride, according to police. Faulkner said the woman told police she felt uneasy about the man in the parked truck, but looked away. Minutes later, the man was suddenly next to her and grabbed her arm. The woman was able to break free and called police. The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s, 5-foot-8, around 140 pounds with black hair.

What would you do if you see something that appears to be abduction? If the person is not with you or your group, do you get involved? Human nature is to be helpful. Combine that with a concealed handgun license and your carry handgun, maybe you can really help. Maybe stop a crime and prevent a missing person report. Can you? Should you?

The Dayton Daily News is now reporting that no charges will be filed what was an attempted abduction.

"We have talked with her. We have talked with him. Both are satisfied that there will be no criminal charges," Maj. Larry Faulkner said Thursday. "It was a deeply personal matter."

Faulkner declined to release any further details.

I think this incident serves as a solid reminder to the CHL-holder. While concealed carry laws may prevent crimes since criminals no longer know who may be armed, it does not authorize the CHL to interject in another situation.

In his book, The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws Buckeye Firearms Association Legislative Chair Ken Hanson notes that "third party self-defense presents numerous pitfalls, and should be used with extreme caution. You almost certainly will not be privy to the totality of the circumstances for the altercation that you are observing, and it is quite possible that
you can end up employing "self-defense" against a non-aggressor who is actually defending himself or herself from attack.

The Ohio Attorney General's Concealed Carry Law Handbook provides description and guidance regarding the use of deadly force. That
includes, "In Ohio, deadly force can be used only to prevent serious bodily harm or death. Deadly force can never be used to protect property only. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of the situation, use of deadly force may lead to criminal charges and/or civil liability."

The AG Handbook also describes reasonable and honest belief of danger; duty to retreat including Ohio's Castle
Doctrine Law; and defense of others. It is the defense of others that includes this: "WARNING: The law specifically discourages citizens from taking matters into their own hands and acting as law enforcement. This is true even if the person thinks he is performing a good deed by protecting someone or helping law enforcement. The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a person risks criminal charges if he interferes in a struggle and protects the person who was at fault, even if he mistakenly believed that person did not create the situation. In other words, if you misinterpret a situation and interfere, you may face criminal charges because your use of deadly force is not justified. If you do not know all the facts and interfere, you will not be justified to use force. It does not matter that you mistakenly believed another was in danger and not at fault."

Sometimes things look like one set of events when the direct opposite may be the case. In many situations, it is better to use the cell phone to dial 911 and let the police sort it out. It can be a tough judgment. We'd all feel horrible if there was an abduction, rape or death. But we don't need to be the one in court spending our life savings to avoid prison.

Outdoor writer and hunter education instructor Larry S. Moore is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Association and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award, the 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year and the 2010 National Wild Turkey Federation/ Women in the Outdoors Hunter Education Instructor of the Year.

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