Agressive Panhandlers

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by MonsterZero » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:45 pm

I also say 'No cash, sorry.' I've only given cash to one hobo, and that was because I was alone in a crappy neighborhood and I just wanted to get the H-E-double hockey sticks out of there. My philosophy is, if I can't give all of them money, I don't pick favorites. I've never had to get aggressive, but some of the tweakers make me think twice about turning my back on them. Just keep moving, and don't let them launch into a long explanation.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Stercutus » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:04 am

Right before they are about to ask you for money stop and say.. "Hey man, do you happen to have a quarter?"

See what happens then..
He will probably try to roll you for working his corner.

They have heard it all before. They will only leave you alone if they are afraid. So you have to be more aggressive then they are. This is counter to the deescalation approach that is normally the wisest approach when dealing with other bullies and drunks. Give them your best "go fuck yourself" face and then be prepared to back it up with non-lethal/ lethal means.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by doitnstyle1 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:07 am

tell them politely "No" if they persist then use a pocket AIR HORN and blast them in the face a few times everytime they try to talk. This also brings attention to you in a public area and hopefully those undercover police. If they persist or try to grab you then use pepper spray on the ground first and warn them the next one goes in thier face.

For fun I would follow him around and do that everytime they try to ask someone else for money. See how they like the aggressive tactic played on them.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Squeek » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:32 am

I have had this issue come up. I also look them right in the eye and say: are you kidding? I'm married with children, what makes you think I have any money! :D Tis the end of that argument, as I walk away.

In a similar vain; regarding non-lethal weapons. Tazer International has a 'lady tazer'; it's about $450, one time good ride for 30 seconds. You discharge the thing, drop it and run like a rabbit. Tazer will replace the unit for free, with a police case report number. Trust me after a 30 second ride, they aren't going to want to get up too fast. :twisted:
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Kun2112 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:09 am

I spent 10 years working (often very late) in a not good neighborhood ($3mil house two blocks from $30k house) and I lived there for a while too (not in the $3mil house :) ). The aggressive panhandlers generally work the same areas. Learn to recognize them--you will see them often. Some are just annoying, others are dangerous.
This is how I handled it.
Come up with nicknames to remember them by (never call them that though). Place the stories with the nickname, so when he tells story C, ask how story A was resolved: "Hey, did you get enough gas to get your kids back to Memphis OK?" It shows that you remember him and his stories. He will eventually remember you and not bother anymore--if he is the annoying type, that is.
If someone walked toward me in a way I did not like I usually checked my surroundings, turned to face them, dropped my right foot back slightly, dropped my right hand to my side, and bent my elbow 30-40 degrees. I only broke eye contact if there was a street behind them, and then only to focus on a "moving something" for a few seconds at a time. This was in a CCW state. I used my stance and body language to tell them that 1) I considered him a threat, 2) that I was prepared to deal with that threat, and 3) that there was something behind them that I was more interested in. Now, I never had more than pepper spray, but the clothing I wore was suitable for CCW, and my hand was always near the spray. Any less than lethal would work here if CCW is not an option.

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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Rev » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:31 am

Sister was kinda mugged in a gas station parking lot last night on her way here for a visit.

Drunk guy asked for a ride, she said no she's heading for West Virginia (that's what we say since we're right next to it and no one in Ohio knows where we are). He said he just needed a ride down the road, she said no. He started getting a bit aggressive verbally and was preventing her from getting in her car. He then tried to grab her keys. My sister decked him. Before it even progressed that far the gas station employee had called the cops. By the time they arrived he was gone and after taking her statement let her know they'd give her a call when they found him.

My family is proud of her but I'm a little bit troubled.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by MVegas » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:45 am

There is another angle you might be able to work, as I did for many years growing up in Boston. If these guys are on your regular daily route, observe them, and figure out who is who- which of them are working together. Identify the largest clique, and see if you can't "befriend" the most "rational" of them. Now I don't mean invite him back to your place to make out or anything, just a "hey, whatsup, man" as you pass to break the ice and throw a sort of "Hey I know I told you to fuck off last time I saw you but no hard feelings." kind of vibe at him. If you can establish some sort of respectful relationship with one of the group, you'll often find yourself on the "Nah, he's cool" list and get left alone. This did of course usually require that a boundary had already been set by me on a previous occasion (something I got awfully good at) but it can really save a lot of headache.
It also, if it goes particularly well, can have the benefit of keeping your car safe when parked in the neighborhood, girlfriend safe(r) when you aren't with her, etc. but let's not get ahead of ourselves, that's the 201 course. :wink:
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by 00Servo » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:29 am

crypto wrote:The shitty thing is, the guy is being a dick to you and haranguing you for money. Hes already /started/ the confrontation.
Something I learned from Denzel Washington (I forget the movie) is that when they come at you with a story, any story, question it. Every TMI'd detail of it. They tell you that their car broke down on the way to the parking lot they met you at and they left their kids in the car, you ask them why they proceeded here instead of home? Why did they leave their kids alone on the side of the road? If it's cold, ask why they don't have a jacket. Sometimes it shoo's them off. If it doesn't, they're too caught up in their own bs and will try to save the story with some detail or whatever, I never stuck around to find out.

Now that I think about it, everyone's that's asked me for money has had the same story. Now I'm imagining two kids, freezing in a clown car, saying back and forth to each other, "I h-h-have f-f-f-fifteen d-daddys :D"
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by HazeyWolf » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:07 am

Ignore 'em, say "no", smile and pretend to be deaf, pretend to be in a hurry to be somewhere else, carry mace, a cell pone, a decoy wallet, a loaded glock, a fighting knife, and some quick-clot. Fuck'em.

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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Tribunal Power » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:33 am

Stick your finger down your throat and vomit on yourself so that you appear less attractive to potential panhandlers.

Sorry, that advice didn't work anywhere else so I thought maybe it applied here.

Anyway, I've had some guys make trouble over this kind of thing. The worst thing you can do is act intimidated. No matter how freaked out you are, don't let it show-- smile, be calm, make a joke, get serious if you have to, but don't look scared.

In my case, it was a big black guy who wanted twenty bucks. I shrugged and said "Sorry man, I don't have it." He took a few steps to follow the direction I was headed and was persisting. I kept moving but turned around to face him, never showing him my back, and said, "Haven't got it. What am I supposed to do?" He got indignant, and started swearing at me. I shook my head but said nothing, smiled and chuckled a little bit as if I pitied him, kept facing him until I was a good distance away and kept moving. He lost interest.

I had another time where a guy asked me for a dollar and it escalated into an assault charge, but he was far more interested in picking a fight than he was in a dollar. Never figured out what his beef was, but it taught me a good lesson-- some people just want to fight, and we sane folk have to be ready for them. Sometimes not taking no for an answer isn't exactly the right way to put it-- they WANT you to deny them so they can pick a fight.

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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by phil_in_cs » Tue Apr 05, 2011 7:40 am

If you can act, square up like a cop in an interview position and reply "No, I don't have any money. Do you have any warrants?"

They are usually quick to leave at that point.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Jeriah » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:19 am

phil_in_cs wrote:If you can act, square up like a cop in an interview position and reply "No, I don't have any money. Do you have any warrants?"

They are usually quick to leave at that point.
That seems...legally gray, at best. I understand the counter-argument, "What? Anyone can ask a guy if he has warrants!" But it seems like a short slide from there to impersonating a cop. Also, this plan has one major drawback, in that it results in my stopping and talking to the douchebag that wants money. A good plan, for me, means keep moving.

It is kind of funny, though. If I felt pretty safe and had time to kill, and was careful not to imply I was an actual LEO, I can see it being amusing.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:42 am

I get panhandled all the time. Where I live it's against the law.

If they bother me (Harass), I call the cops. If someone harasses me, I have to believe they are harassing others. If panhandlers want the privilage of getting free money then I have the privilage of not being harassed. Generally, I just keep walking and ignore their pleas.

Like others have said, just keep walking. If they grab you, do what you'd do if anyone grabbed you. If someone, anyone, grabs me I'd perform a simple escape. I'd leave it up to them how far they want to take the encounter.

You can't go around being 'proactive' against anyone. Whether they are bums or business men, you can't assault someone in self defense.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by arrowolf » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:48 am

I had a bum put his hands on me in Seattle and tell me I had to give him a quarter. After yanking my arm away and screaming in his face that he had to get his fucking hands off me (in my Alabama Redneck Twang), that was the end of it.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Keith B » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:15 am

Jeriah wrote:
phil_in_cs wrote:If you can act, square up like a cop in an interview position and reply "No, I don't have any money. Do you have any warrants?"

They are usually quick to leave at that point.
That seems...legally gray, at best. I understand the counter-argument, "What? Anyone can ask a guy if he has warrants!" But it seems like a short slide from there to impersonating a cop. Also, this plan has one major drawback, in that it results in my stopping and talking to the douchebag that wants money. A good plan, for me, means keep moving.

It is kind of funny, though. If I felt pretty safe and had time to kill, and was careful not to imply I was an actual LEO, I can see it being amusing.
In most parts of the country, this is not legally grey at all. When you square up on somebody in an FI (field interview) stance, it does two things. 1) It puts you in a position that you can fight if need be, but is not overly aggresive. 2) The panhandler thinks you have training. They deal with cops all the time. The know how they stand, how they talk, what they wear. If you can pull it off they will not mess with you. You also have the right to legally detain a person (citizens arrest) until proper LE arrives. If a crime has been comitted (panhandling) the offender will go to jail, or get a ticket.

Sometimes the only way out is by direct confrontation. Are there better options? Yes. Watching for other threats and exiting the area while looking confident is probably the best option, but you always have to have another plan.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by TDW586 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:25 am

My tactic is pretty simple, but it works for me. Keep in mind that I am a 6', 200 pound physically fit white male with a shaved head, i.e., I look like a Marine or a cop, the former being exactly what I am of course. When someone starts with any kind of begging or panhandling, I glance at them, shake my head and say (and this is very important), "no". That's all. Not "no, sorry", not, "no, I don't have any", nothing but "no". I then continue walking in exactly the same direction I was and (while paying attention to what they do) completely ignore them.

If they're aggressive, they may follow for a second. Continue to ignore them. They will eventually get bored and go hassle someone else.

If they grab me or escalate in some way, that's a different matter. But, in my experience, this doesn't happen all that often.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Fletch » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:37 am

I can't find a pic right now, but there are kids here who will literally grab onto your leg and sit on your foot trying to sell you flowers, and it's bloody impossible to get them off unless you buy the flowers.

Doesn't happen to me, although has happened to some friends, I assume it's because I walk around with my 'game face' on whenever I'm out.

The panhandlers here are so aggressive, but in a passive way that it's really difficult to extricate yourself from them. That and the fact that you just know there are a group of adults *waiting* for you to react so they can jump you make it scary at night.

Most of them though are more of a nuisance than a threat, and it's heartbreaking to know the things they do to their children to turn them into 'beggng machines'

for example:

Babies are taken and have sugar water/heated up boiled sweets poured into their eyes to blind them, or have limbs crippled purposely.

Most beggars hire babies by the day in order to make them look like single parents who need money

makes me rage :evil:
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Braxton » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:28 am

I get this all the time. I have given up on being nice to the bums and crackheads that roam East St. Louis. I have had them see me hooking up to a car and walk two blocks out of there way to ask for money.

My response is simple. I square off on them and look them in the eye, then say FUCK OFF in a loud and threatening tone. It works about 90% of the time. The other 10% will start telling me about how I owe them for being in there "hood" or some other such shit. I usually grab a tow chain and ask them if I look like the kind of guy that they want to fuck with.

So far only one guy wanted to press the issue after that. He was very drunk and could not take no for an answer. He ended up making a grab for my wallet chain. It did not end well for him.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Astrozombie138 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:39 am

Regular Guy wrote:I get panhandled all the time. Where I live it's against the law.

If they bother me (Harass), I call the cops. If someone harasses me, I have to believe they are harassing others. If panhandlers want the privilage of getting free money then I have the privilage of not being harassed. Generally, I just keep walking and ignore their pleas.

Like others have said, just keep walking. If they grab you, do what you'd do if anyone grabbed you. If someone, anyone, grabs me I'd perform a simple escape. I'd leave it up to them how far they want to take the encounter.

You can't go around being 'proactive' against anyone. Whether they are bums or business men, you can't assault someone in self defense.
That is exactly when you can assault someone, in defense of yourself. However, you can not assault someone for asking you for change or being a dick. Just thought I'd clarify that part of your post.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:39 am

Astrozombie138 wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:I get panhandled all the time. Where I live it's against the law.

If they bother me (Harass), I call the cops. If someone harasses me, I have to believe they are harassing others. If panhandlers want the privilage of getting free money then I have the privilage of not being harassed. Generally, I just keep walking and ignore their pleas.

Like others have said, just keep walking. If they grab you, do what you'd do if anyone grabbed you. If someone, anyone, grabs me I'd perform a simple escape. I'd leave it up to them how far they want to take the encounter.

You can't go around being 'proactive' against anyone. Whether they are bums or business men, you can't assault someone in self defense.
That is exactly when you can assault someone, in defense of yourself. However, you can not assault someone for asking you for change or being a dick. Just thought I'd clarify that part of your post.
Yes, that's what I meant. Thanks for the clarification.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by crypto » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:09 pm

Jeriah wrote:
phil_in_cs wrote:If you can act, square up like a cop in an interview position and reply "No, I don't have any money. Do you have any warrants?"

They are usually quick to leave at that point.
That seems...legally gray, at best. I understand the counter-argument, "What? Anyone can ask a guy if he has warrants!" But it seems like a short slide from there to impersonating a cop. .
I used "Any of you boys have ID on you" a month or so ago to get myself out of 3 drunk and aggressive fratboys giving me shit at a gas station.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by KAPendley » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:50 pm

AgentBlack wrote:I've been there done that. I always know, just by the way someone is hanging around they plan to ask for money.
When I was younger, I was nicer and would try to let them down easy or just try to avoid them.
Now that I'm older, been in and out of the Marines, and a father...I put up with zero shit! And if my daughter is with me (which is most of the time), BEWARE!!
I was visiting my folks once. My daughter and I went to breakfast at Biscuitville one morning. This dude was hanging around outside when we pulled up. Sure enough he followed someone else to their car, so we went inside unhindered. I knew when we came out it was gonna be fun. Sure as shit, we came out and there he was...we walked to my truck and here he came. I ignored him at first, but as soon as he was inside my 15 foot comfort zone I did'nt let him say the first word. I opened the door and lifted my girl inside, turned to face him, made direct eye contact, gave him my serial killer stare, pointed right at him so there was no mistake, and with my OUTSIDE voice said "back the fuck away from the truck!" He threw up his hands and did a quick about face, I pretty sure he pissed himself.

See the thing is these folks are used to approaching people they expect will be wishy washy. They pick you, because they think you'll cave. So either look unfriendly to begin with or make them super uncomfortable as soon as they make contact. They swear at you because they figure some how you'll feel bad or they'll scare you into giving it up.
If your more nasty then the people you encounter, you'll have less of these problems. Most of the time these folks are not dangerous, so weapons and such are not needed.
It's simple law of nature, your either predator or prey, and if your not the alpha your always a target for someone who thinks they are.

You don't have to be a huge gym monkey. You don't have to be the badest Navy seal, ninja, MMA fighter on the street. But you DO have to hold your head up, look a man in the eye, and not take any shit. Fuck'em you and your buddy might whip my ass, but it ain't gonna be easy, you ain't gonna like it, and if you live through it your gonna feel it in the morning!

See I have a different view, I'm a dad, I'm always with my kid. So I'm not just responsible for me but a 6yr old girl. To me everyone is a potential threat, not a threat...a potential threat.
So how do the kids say it these days? "You step to me you bess come correct, er I'll strait fuck you up son!" or something like that. :D
You are absolutely spot on. Reading that made my day.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by LyraJean » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:00 pm

I'm 4'10 and weigh around 100 lbs. I'm also a girl. I had someone ask me for money so they could buy their kids some milk. This happened in downtown Columbia SC. There are signs all over saying don't give the panhandlers money. I was outside the art museum waiting for my ride. I told her no, I had no money. She went batsh*t crazy on me. If my ride hadn't shown up I would have walked back inside the museum. I doubt she would have followed me inside.
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Re: Agressive Panhandlers

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:46 pm

LyraJean wrote:I'm 4'10 and weigh around 100 lbs. I'm also a girl. I had someone ask me for money so they could buy their kids some milk. This happened in downtown Columbia SC. There are signs all over saying don't give the panhandlers money. I was outside the art museum waiting for my ride. I told her no, I had no money. She went batsh*t crazy on me. If my ride hadn't shown up I would have walked back inside the museum. I doubt she would have followed me inside.
Wow, in Columbia, SC. Huh.... No, I just being an ass. Yes, Columbia may look nice but there is some crazy here like no where else.
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