“The messy reality of self defense” by Charles Warren

I met a fellow last year who had defended himself successfully. Had previously read about him in the paper. In the paper it said that he had been attacked by a gang of fifteen youths throwing sticks and stones, had shot one, and been arrested.

What happened, according to him, was a bit more complicated. He’s an attorney. He’s black. He lives in Oakland. He is professionally well acquainted with the police. By implication he either works in the District Attorney’s or Public Defender’s office. He bought a home and moved in with his family. A drug gang had a crack house on their street. He and some neighbors monitored and reported their activities to the police on a regular basis.

One evening as he stepped out to buy some takeout food, a gang of young teenagers descended on him, calling names (snitch, pig-loving motherf!@#er…) and throwing things. At one point one turned to another and said, “Enough. Give me the gun.” reaching for something the other handed. At that point the attorney drew his .380 and fired hitting the kid in the shoulder at about 20 yards (one shot, one hit! awesome!). The wounded punk ran about fifty yards and fell. The others scattered. An ambulance, the police, a mob of parents and relatives all appeared in short order. The crowd got ugly and the police took the attorney away. The attorney was not charged. It eventuated, after interrogation of some of the punks, that the wounded one was one of three designated shooters. The wounded one sued. The attorney’s homeowners’ insurance settled without his permission; $50k to the kid, $20k to his mom.


  1. This shows the insanity of our times. A perp is the victim. Wrong is right. Down is up.

    If this were a truly sane, civilized society, the kid–and his mom–would be paying the lawyer.

  2. I am a concelled carry instructor and I will research this and add it to my files. Happy outcome he is alive! It;s not unusal for insurance company to setel without your consent.

    Ron White

  3. Not believable. 1st papagraph it says, “He had . . . been arrested.” Later, it says, “The attorney was not charged.” In other words, one has to be charged with a crime in order to be arrested.

    Insurance? Most insurance policies I’ve seen will not cover intentional acts – only accidents.

  4. David Bunnell says:

    A search of the internet turned up this story.


    Wherein a youth was attacked by a group of young men. The victim went to hide in his mom’s garage and five of the group followed him in and knocked him down with a bottle. He pulled a gun and shot as the attackers fled hitting one in the back.

    The young man who was shot in the back died and his mother sued the shooter and won $38,000 from the shooter’s insurance company.

    I first checked http://www.snopes.com because the story had many hallmarks of an urban legend. It seems very likely that this news report was the original basis for the story.

    David Bunnell

  5. Chuck, haven’t you ever heard of someone being “arrested” by the cop(s) at the scene & then released later. It’s very believable. 15-30 or more people vs one attorney’s word about what happened & getting ugly. They probably “arrested”/took him downtown to satisfy the crowd & for his own protection. Also, this wasn’t an “intentional act”. Sounds like self-defense.

  6. Will H. Yeah, I’ve heard of being “arrested” (I am a former cop) and if we didn’t “charge” (tell them what they were being arrested for), we were subject to false arrest charges ourselves. Perhaps Charles Warren, is not a very good writer. Self-defense is a intentional act. If the lawyer claimed he was negligent or accidentally shot the dude, his insurance would cover. Check with your insurance company (not the agent) and see what they would do if you intentionally shot – bet they tell you they not only won’t “settle/pay” but they won’t even defend you in court (pay for your legal fees).

  7. I’m from the UK and our gun laws are so Draconian that defending yourself here is an absolute minefield. They expect you to watch as innocent people are hurt before you do anything, and even then you must call the police and wait for 30-45 mins for a response.

    My way of dealing with this type of thing is to get down and dirty, as per the Ninja ways. Find out where they are at their weakest and most isolated and then punish them with furious intent. I leave no witness and make sure my victim understands the meaning of true fear/pain. That is his one and only chance to mend his ways, after this I’ll begin to get VERY Serious with them.

    This may sound bad, but we live in a society where the aggressors suddenly turn themselves into victims, and I did over a year in prison by trying to do things the honourable stand up for your self way. I am now threatened with 5 years + in prison if I do any violent crimes, so I have to get imaginative to protect my family/friends/neighbours.

    I HATE bullies and would love to live in an honourable and safe world, but that is not the way. So what choice do we have when the law protects us no more, and in the UK we aren’t even allowed to defend ourself.

    Respects to all true and well tempered martial artists. Always defend the weak.


  8. Chuck. Yeah, maybe Mr. Warren isn’t very clear in his writing.(he did say that it was what he read from the paper & we all know how accurate they can be) The difference between the 1st paragraph and later is -one is info from the paper & one is from “the guy”. My point was that you seemed to be pretty quick to dismiss the whole story based on a minor detail. In my opinion, the point was this guy was involved in a shooting -they sued & got money when he was simply defending himself. Thanks for the heads up though. I will be checking with my insurance co. to see if they would cover a self-defense shooting.

  9. Check this link out…


  10. so much for “free will”.

Speak Your Mind