Your Tactical Training Scenario…Flash Mob in the Street

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: News and Tactical Advice

  • SumoMe



Take a look at the video below.  Watching the whole video will be useful, but if you just want  a basic idea of the events, fast forward to the three- minute mark.  The driver of the white car ends up surrounded by a crowd of people celebrating in the roadway.  The people aren’t acting exceptionally violent, but the potential for violence is clearly there.  Some verbal threats are made, a window is broken, and his car was damaged but it didn’t seem that he was ever at a risk of being drug out or seriously injured.  Imagine if you were stuck in a similar situation.  What would you do?  Take a couple minutes and watch the video.  It has adult language, mild violence, and some booty shaking, so you may not want to watch it at work or around the kids.


‘Fashion’s Night Out’ Mob Trashes Audi In Greenwich Village



Did you figure out what you would do?  Here are a few things to think about…


– Avoidance is the key.  What signs should you be looking for that might let you know in advance that a dangerous crowd is forming?  Do you check out local events calendars in the areas where you live and travel to learn where and when large groups may be forming so that you can better avoid them?


– Driving away quickly is a good option.  There were several times early in the confrontation when it looked like the driver could have put the car in reverse and escaped.  Don’t let your ego get in the way of your escape plans.  Staying moving is key, but notice how the guy on the bicycle blocked the driver’s path.  If the driver would have bumped the bicyclist or another member of the crowd, things would have likely escalated.  At what point do you consider someone blocking your path to be a threat and how would you deal with it without making things worse?


– At what point would you consider the crowd’s actions to be a lethal force threat justifying the use of a firearm?  When they blocked you passage?  When they broke out your window?  What about if members of the crowd started punching you through the window?  What if they started to drag you out of the car?


Anyone remember the L.A. riots when Reginald Denny was dragged from his truck and beaten? Don’t let this happen to you!


– If you determine lethal force is justified, would it be better to shoot your attackers, use a knife, or run them over with your car?


– Are there any situations when you should abandon the car and try to escape on foot?  When and how would you do that?


– Are there any less lethal alternative weapons that would be useful in a situation like this?


– How would your response options change if you had family members or young children in the car with you?


Every one of you will likely answer these questions differently.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Take a few moments and formulate some answers that best suit your own situation, training, and skill set.  If you need any more information about surviving mob violence, check out my article HERE.





8 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Joel C says:

    A mob like this one is a potentially fearsome threat. They could easily have turned that Audi right on it’s side or dragged that man to the street and killed him. That the crowd in this video seemed relatively satisfied to effectively hold a number of motorists hostage merely for their own amusement and pleasure in no way abates that danger. Who can be asked to determine the crowds’ intent, especially when it may change swift as a wildfire? When I was younger I dimly recall, the notion of a benign mob was unheard of, wasn’t it?

    My own inclination is to drive out of the area with little regard for anyone who would deliberately impede my escape. This goes tenfold if there is family and or children in the car.

    Pick a route of egress and drive slowly but steadily forward, likely laying on the horn the whole while. My hope and intent is that folks will abandon their happy conviction that I will not run them over. If I must dissuade the most stubborn by showing them so, that will be regretful but perhaps sadly necessary.

    (I do fear that a court may disagree me. As I see it, an individual or a crowd who impedes me and tells me I may not leave has already, even if perhaps temporarily, taken from me my freedom. When that happens I have been tacitly notified that they may do with me whatever else they please, no matter my own objections. That’s a scary and dangerous place to be, and it has been achieved by what I think is effectively an act of low level violence by the mob.)

    If they break windows and assault anyone inside the vehicle, that ramps things up tremendously. If I can do so (say, without seeing a passenger dragged out and left behind) I will drive out of their with, frankly, an attitude considerably more reckless of the crowd’s safety than described previously. At that point escape outweighs near all other considerations. Greater acceleration and some more ruthlessness has probably just been justified.

    I would not care to leave my vehicle unless it is rendered inoperable, stuck, or it has become physically dangerous to remain inside it. At this point, alone or with companions, evasion and egress on foot becomes imperative. I would, dependent upon specific circumstances, be willing to shoot anyone who sought to prevent this; for by targeting individuals on foot they have personalized the threat in a way which, psychologically, may not have been as much in their minds when they were blocking a vehicle.

    Those are my first thoughts on the matter. In response to some of your other challenges:

    When lethal force is definitely justified, I’d think that in any circumstance where it is possible the best weapon available is your car. If actively resisting someone or someones who are trying to drag you from the vehicle, I really think a pistol and a knife are of roughly equal utility. The knife, at any rate, will not deafen everyone in the car when it is employed.

    I cannot imagine any less lethal devices currently available to we civilians which would be of much, if any, use in this kind of situation.

  2. Trevor Shepherd says:

    I would not be anywhere near anything called “fashion night out”. Seriously, who drives into areas like that with that much stuff going on anyway? You see slowing traffic and a crowd up ahead, go a different way. I have always had the attitude that I’d rather drive an hour or more out of my way as long as I am moving than sit in traffic even if only briefly. I was only in one mob scene like that in my whole life, driving home from work to Fells Point in Baltimore the evening of 4th of July when everyone and their brother’s neighbor were trying to get to the Inner Harbor for the fireworks show. I realized what a jam up it was becoming, and immediately began driving away from the target of the crowd (downtown/Inner Harbor). I did not even know where I was going or how to get back to my home, but I did not care. I just wanted out of that mob scene and traffic.

  3. Trevor Shepherd says:

    Anyway, I learned my lesson from that experience in Baltimore and I will never drive in that kind of mad house mob scene ever again.

  4. Eric says:

    I’m pretty much with Joel C here. I really don’t want to wait around on the police and depend on the mob to be “nice” and only trash my car instead of dragging me and my wife out of the car and beating us when they get bored with dancing on the hood. As Joel said, they have no right to keep me from going on my way.

    Since this was in Greenwich Village, I’m sure the law is pretty much on the mob’s side when it comes to citizen use of force, but in Texas, when that window was broken, use of deadly force legally option to repel boarders. Among the Penal Code justifications for self-defense, anyone trying unlawfully with force (and it doesn’t have to be much force) to enter an occupied vehicle, or attempting to unlawfully with force remove someone from an occupied vehicle is putting himself gives his intended victim(s) the presumption that use of deadly force is reasonable.

  5. Eric says:

    Greg, by the way, it looks like the date stamps for comments are all horked up. Some of them are accurate, and some of them are way off. I noticed that in yesterday’s post as well. ??

    • Phil Wong says:

      I believe Greg is just re-posting older material, and the older comments from the initial postings are still showing up. New comments on the re-posts will have recent datestamps, of course.

  6. Illini Warrior says:

    A few things have changed since this was first penned back in 2012 …

    chiefly the Zimmerman Case has spread and spread – even into the cop ranks – you’ll ALWAYS be guilty and wrong ….

    the protesters wear facemasks and hoods to remain unidentified while they loot, assault and commit arson – not a bad idea for the guy that has no other choice in defending themselves – you think you’d get a fair shake from the Baltimore DA