Apex Self Defense

Protecting the world from miscreants and scum

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Million Hoodie March

Nothing suspicious about this guy

Never Trust A Dude In A Hood

So, by now most of you have heard about the tragic death of Trayvon Martin, the young black teenager who was shot and killed on Feb 26th by a neighborhood watch commander. That neighborhood watch commander, George Zimmerman, claims he acted in self-defense and has not been arrested.

The circumstances, as reported by the media, seem to indicate that Zimmerman may have acted hastily. However, we were not present so we’ll reserve judgment until more information comes to light.

But this isn’t really the topic of today’s blog, just a set-up to the real topic. Apparently, a chap named Daniel Maree has decided to draw attention to this tragedy by holding a march. Nothing wrong with holding a peaceful protest to draw attention to your cause right? After all, we are firm believers in freedom of speech. However, we are troubled by some of Mr. Maree’s stated goals.

He calls it the “Million Hoodie March” referring to the clothing of choice among many fashion conscious, criminal miscreants. “I’ve been in situations, both when I was in high school and now in New York City, where I’ve been walking down the street in a hoodie and I can instantaneously tell I’m being taken as suspicious or people start grabbing their purses when I walk by,” said Maree who was born and raised in South Africa and college educated in the United States.

Just an honest citizen with a knife and hoodie

Are all people who wear hoodies criminals? Of course not! I own one myself. But I don’t usually wear it while walking alone late at night, or in the middle of July. After all, that would give the wrong impression, right? However, you have to use a little common sense and put it in context. Are all people who wear hoodies criminals? No. Are all young men criminals? No.

But, what if you see a male, or group of males under the age of 25, wearing hoodies, in warm weather? Well let’s take a look at the variables. Males under the age of 25 commit the vast majority of street crimes, so it’s reasonable to be cautious and suspicious around a group of them. An attacker wants to remain anonymous and unseen and they tend to prefer a hoodie to hide their facial features. It’s not as obvious as a mask, yet it does a great job at concealing their identity. So it’s reasonable to be suspicious of someone wearing a hoodie, especially if the weather doesn’t necessitate covering your face, and let’s be honest, it rarely does!

Not all hoodie wearers are hoods!

So, a young man, wearing a hoodie, at night, in moderate weather is someone that I would be suspicious of and avoid like the plague. It doesn’t mean you need to give them a MACE shower, just be a little more aware and cautious.

What Maree hopes will come out of this march is a raised sense of solidarity with Trayvon’s parents, as well as the resolve for people to feel more secure in their “personhood” without having to feel their attire criminalizes them. Well I have news for you Mr. Maree, don’t dress like a criminal and you won’t be treated like one. You begrudge people the option of being careful and cautious because your precious feelings are hurt! Get over it!

If your suspicions are wrong, no big deal, all you did was offend someone. There is a wonderful thing that can rectify any unintended offense, it’s called an apology! If your suspicions are right, you could avoid an assault, or perhaps even save your life. Nothing can rectify losing your life. So be careful and don’t be afraid of offending someone, avoid them and keep your guard up if you sense something is wrong. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty for being cautious. An effective self defense strategy first involves being aware of potential threats, then acting on it. If Mr. Maree had his way we’d all let our guard down and increase our risk of becoming a victim, because he had his feelings hurt.

If individuals are so concerned about people profiling them as criminals, they should go out of their way to avoid looking like one. And that means not dressing like a thug Mr. Maree!

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Stupid Criminals

Hey, where's my bike?

Stupidity knows no borders. So it stands to reason that stupid criminals are not limited by borders either. The stupid criminal is an international phenomenon. Case in point; two recent crime stories coming out of Jakarta demonstrate that America may not have a monopoly on stupidity.

Forget Something?
In February, four motorcycle-bound thieves, managed to steal another motorcycle from a rider in Cilincing, North Jakarta, but unfortunately left behind a key piece of evidence.

The four geniuses were riding their motorcycles when they managed to force Priyogo, a local resident on his way home from work, to pull over to the side of the road.

One of the thieves pulled Priyogo from his bike and quickly rode off. His accomplices quickly followed their friend, apparently unaware that he had left behind his own motorcycle.

Priyogo, who was obviously smarter than the thieves, rode away on the thieves’ forgotten motorbike, before the latter realized their mental gaffe. The robbers realized their mistake and tried to catch up with Priyogo, but he outran them and rode straight to the nearest police station. Police seized the “abandoned” bike, and used it’s registration information to track it to the robbers home. Rule #1 If you want to be a successful thief, you have to be smarter than the item you steal!

Sleeping is a good thing, but not at the scene of the crime!

Sleeping Beauty
Any good thief will tell you, there are a few hard and fast rules when it comes to be being successful; Conceal your identity so you won’t be identified, act when few witnesses are present, and remember to leave after you’re done!

Well, two out of three ain’t bad! This next guy followed the first two points to a tee but apparently forgot rule #3. He was caught after falling asleep in the front yard of his victim’s house in Depok, Indonisa one Monday morning in early January.

A local food vendor, making his daily rounds, came upon the house and said his suspicions were aroused when he noticed the man sleeping in the front yard of a home belonging to one of his regular customers. He then called the homeowner, who woke sleeping beauty and realized he was a thief. The homeowner and food vendor apprehended the man and held him until police arrived. “I thought it was odd when I saw someone sleeping in front of the house…..” he said.
Home burglaries are pretty common in all parts of the world, but sleeping burglars are still a unique phenomenon.

The culprit, apparently robbed the house with two friends. The two friends were at least smart enough to remember to leave the scene of the crime and return to their homes before turning in for the night.

And finally a story that will make you proud to be an American.

High Five!
Gerald B. Hardin was arrested and charged in February after he turned himself in for cutting a man’s hand off with a saw in 2008. That man turned out to be his accomplice in a major insurance fraud scheme. Their plan, was to cut off one of their hands, get it reattached at the hospital, and then collect and split the insurance payout for the injury.

However, all did not go according to the plan. They did receive $670,000 from a homeowner’s policy and other policies covering accidental death and dismemberment, but doctors were unsuccessful in reattaching the accomplice’s hand. Hey no big deal, that’s why God gave you two hands right?

Cops eventually figured it out, and Hardin turned himself in. He’s been charged with six crimes, and faces up to 20 years in prison plus $250,000 in fines if convicted.

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Woman bites, pepper sprays man during attack

Don't let this happen to you!

An unsuspecting woman in Huntsville, North Carolina was dragged from her car while stopped at a stop sign and narrowly avoided a sexual assault.

Apparently, just after 7 p.m. while stopped at an intersection, a man approached her vehicle, reached in through an open window and pulled her from the car. He forced her to a secluded location on the median of the road where he attempted to sexually assault her.

Luckily her quick thinking helped her to escape unharmed. While her attacker attempted to silence her, he covered her mouth with his hand. She then bit down on his hand, enabling her to escape his grasp. She had the presence of mind to use her key-chain pepper spray to dose the attacker’s face. Realizing that she wasn’t going down without a fight, he fled the scene with his tail between his legs.

The man was described as a white male between the ages of 45-55 years old with a beard and salt-and-pepper colored hair.

Carrying pepper spray on her key-chain and fighting back by biting him were the difference in stopping the attack. However there were several things she could have done to avoid the attack in the first place. The most obvious is to have the windows rolled up and doors locked. It’s very likely that he specifically targeted her because of the easy access. Chances are, if the windows are rolled up he doesn’t even approach the vehicle. And if he does, he wouldn’t have been able to pull her from the car so easily.

The second thing is awareness of the surroundings. When stopped at a light, stop sign or freeway off ramp you should always scan the area for pedestrians and be prepared in the event they approach your vehicle. Use your mirrors to see behind you and don’t let someone sneak up on you. An attacker always prefers the element of surprise, so be cognizant of your environment.

Tip number three is to always leave enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you in the event you need to escape quick. Run over your attacker if that is your only escape route. If you don’t have enough room to maneuver your car, don’t hesitate to honk your horn to attract attention.

Lastly, key-chain pepper spray is an excellent idea, however it might not be accessible if it’s attached to the keys while in the ignition. An additional pepper spray with visor clip is a great option.

For more information and tips on carjacking prevention and sexual assault prevention visit the self defense articles section of our website.

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Self-defense classes and merchandise sales are on the rise

self defense products sales are up

Keeping Safety Products In Stock

Another day, another story about self defense products flying off the shelves in North Dakota. In response to increases in population and crime, many Williston, North Dakota residents are taking extra measures to feel safer in the region. Williams County Sheriff Scott Busching said concealed weapons permits were at 156 in 2010 and jumped to 550 in 2011.

It’s not just guns that residents are buying. Andy Anderson, owner of Scenic Sports, said pepper spray sales have gone up significantly lately, as well as stun guns.

“I know we’re selling hundreds. We actually ran out for a while in January, so we could have sold a lot more. We ran out, and we were getting them in from every place we could get them in from,” Anderson said.

He added that his home security system company’s phone has been ringing off the hook.

“We just can’t keep up. We don’t dare advertise because we can’t keep up with the people who know us,” Anderson said.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of people taking women’s self defense classes

The increase in safety consciousness has been sparked by recent violent crimes in the area including the brutal murder of a teacher.

It’s unfortunate that it takes a tragedy to spark people’s interest in safety and crime prevention, but if that’s what it takes for people to pay closer attention to their personal safety, and it makes people safer then I guess it’s not in vain.

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Pharmacy worker pepper sprays robber

Pharmacy worker pepper sprays robber

Strong enough for a man, but made for a grizzly!

It’s nice to see scum bags get what’s coming to them. Here’s an inspirational story about a pharmacist, a would be robber and some red-hot grizzly bear pepper spray!

Employees took matters into their own hands recently after an attempted robbery at a pharmacy in Deer Park, Washington.

According to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, a man walked into the Medicine Shoppe around 4:30 p.m. and demanded prescription drugs. Store employees then took action and used pepper spray on him.

It was unknown if the robber had a weapon but he handed the pharmacist a note that indicated he had a firearm. According to employees, the man had robbed the store twice before.

Manager and pharmacist Susan Beller went to the back to grab the narcotics like she had done two times before when he hit them December 5th and 30th. She fought back with a canister of grizzly bear pepper spray they keep behind the counter.

The robber fled, but deputies arrested him after friends called 911 due to concern for their friend. Grizzly bear spray is much hotter than models manufactured specifically for humans, so the robber mostly likely was in excruciating pain!

Stupid Criminal update

Honey, where are the kids?

Well, most people forget things from time to time like mailing the gas bill, or where they put the car keys but this has got to be a first.

Michael S. Kaufman and Kelsey Grobmeier (pictured at right) were charged with theft, criminal trespassing, endangering the welfare of a minor and tampering with physical evidence by police after a family shoplifting trip to a local Walmart went awry.

The cops say the Kentucky geniuses shoplifted a cellphone and some makeup from a Walmart, but forgot their two children as they fled the store. When they returned to the Walmart several hours later, the kids were fine, but the parents were then arrested. Some criminals leave incriminating evidence behind like an ID, a wallet, or fingerprints but live human children? Time to find a new line of work.

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Stupid Criminal All-Stars

We love stupid criminals, so here is our latest installment, enjoy!

Is That A Pair Of Socks, Or Are You Happy To See Me?

Obesity, Nudity, a Stun Gun and ...Socks?

Meet the new Walmart Greeter! An obese southeastern Pennsylvania man was arrested after cops say he walked, bare-naked into a Walmart and stole a pair of socks. And what naked man wants to walk around bare foot? After all, Walmart has a policy against bare feet in it’s stores!

Thirty-two-year-old Verdon Lamont Taylor was arrested after police say he stripped off his clothes in the parking lot and went inside.

Surveillance footage shows the 6-foot-4, 300-pound man strolling around the store. Authorities were forced to use a stun gun to subdue him after he refused to comply with officers’ orders. No word yet on where the stun gun was used on the suspect, but we can only hope it was someplace…….well, other than down there! Ouch! Hurts just thinking about it!

Facebook Fail

Facebook Is a Magnet For Stupid Criminals

This next guy makes naked/sock guy seem like a rocket scientist. A 19-year-old male broke into a home in West Virginia. While rummaging through the house looking for goodies, he realized he hadn’t updated his Facebook status recently, so……drum roll please, he figured, no better time than the present! It doesn’t take a genius to see where this is going.

When the homeowners arrived home, later that evening they discovered some valuables missing. They called 911, and while waiting for the police to arrive, went to their computer to let friends on Facebook know what happened. Well, the genius robber never logged out of his account! There was his personal info for everyone to see, including cops! The man was arrested, convicted of grand theft and is now spending time in prison getting poked, by his new friends.

Electricity and Gas Fumes…A Pleasant Combination!

Daniel Wood - The Human Torch!

Daniel Wood, started the night like any other Tuesday; inhaling some aerosol cans, huffing some gas fumes and running around in traffic. But this wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill artificially induced high, fire breathing, dodging Honda’s and Chevy’s type of night!

After eluding cops and on-coming traffic, the police decided to put an end to his shenanigans by using their taser to subdue him. Unfortunately for Daniel, the electrical charge from a taser and the fumes from the gas he inhaled mixed like oil and water, or more accurately like gas and electricity!

Predictably, Daniel caught on fire and the cops had to put him out and take him to the hospital for burns. A hospital spokesman stated that the burns were only superficial and Daniel would back to normal in no time. We would like to remind you that “normal” is a highly subjective term!

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iPhone Pepper Spray

Self Defense? There's An App For That!

iPhone cases come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but this one is definitely an original. A European company named Piexon has developed SmartGuard, an iPhone case that also serves as a pepper spray case. It’s designed to protect both the phone with a durable case, and the user with a can of pepper spray.

iPepper

A small canister of pepper spray clips into the case along with your iPhone. In the event of an attack it can be quickly deployed. Play Angry Birds on the iPhone then fight off angry robbers with the pepper spray.

According to the manufacturer, it provides 6, 1/2 second bursts at a approximate range of 5 feet. The pepper spray is disposable and replacement units are available. The case retails for about $35.00 and replacement pepper spray canisters sell for around $20 bucks. I’m sure iPhone users will be disappointed that there isn’t an app to disperse the pepper spray, but I’m sure there are enterprising app designers working on one as we speak!

The jury is still out on this product. Not sure if it’s a great idea to have pepper spray that close to your face when answering a call. Of course we advocate people carrying some type of self defense weapon, but we’re unsure how iPhone users will feel about the added bulk. Also, the canister looks pretty small, I doubt if it’s even 2 ounces.

However, if it helps people to protect themselves I guess we’re all for it!

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