The Louisville flash mob: another incident

Last weekend I wrote about the growing danger of criminal ‘flash mobs’, highlighting a recent incident in Louisville, Kentucky, where some 200 youths went on the rampage.  Courtesy of an e-mail, I learned today about one of the incidents they sparked.  Here’s an excerpt from the news report.

“Right before we got to the stoplight, we noticed about 50 to 100 teens coming to the middle of the street. It was a one-way street so we couldn’t go any further. All of a sudden, one of them throws a garbage can on our car,” she explained.

Loeffle says after that, the situation quickly escalated. Her boyfriend, Ron Carter, was in the driver’s seat and stopped the car to see what was going on.

They say when he got out, the teens moved in on him.

“Then all of a sudden, I’m getting attacked,” Carter said.  “At that point,  I jump in the driver’s seat and heard them throwing rocks at my car. The rocks were hitting the kids inside the car.”

. . .

The mother says she couldn’t speed away because they were surrounded by the group of teens and she didn’t want to run them over.

That’s when one of them attacked her.

“The boy comes out of nowhere, punches me in the eye, knocks me out,” she said.

She says the next moments were a blur, but somehow, Loeffler, Carter and all five kids made their way to Bader’s Food Mart and were able to get to safety until police got there.

There’s more at the link, plus a video report.

If you had been in that car, what would you have done?  Would you have been prepared to drive over those blocking your path?  Are you habitually armed, so that you would have been able to defend yourself if necessary?

You need to think about those things now, because if you ever find yourself in such a situation, it’ll be too late to make up your mind or prepare for trouble.



  1. I think as this becomes more common people will lose their inhibition and start running over these mobs.

  2. What would I do? Wish I had more ground clearance, keep it in low gear, and prepare to repel boarders if I high-center. Ugly, but not going down without a fight.

  3. Sooner or later, a lot of people are going to get killed doing this.

    Not everyone who pulls a Tiananmen gets away with it, and people sometimes do uncharacteristic things when under stress. Things like hitting the accelerator on the subconscious reasoning that if the cop doesn't catch them, they won't get a ticket.

    Most people are more afraid of getting killed than receiving a speeding ticket.

    Though many are also horrified of the idea of being called racist, and certainly there are those who'll say that feeling threatened when surrounded by angry shouting youths of undefined ethnicity is something that only a racist would do.

  4. In that situation, as long as the vehicle can be moved, MOVE IT! Stomping on it may not be the best tactic, though. Bounce it a foot or two at a time to move people and get the idea transmitted that you are going through them, or over them, their choice. Do it a couple times, and then start driving, and don't stop. Laying on the horn the entire time may assist. (You do have very loud horns, right? Japanese cars have polite horns. Replace, or supplement, them.) Make their ears ring.

    Where it gets ugly is if cars are boxing you in, and they don't move. Some people stop too close to the vehicle ahead of them, leaving no room to drive around them if needed. If this happens, push them far enough that you can get around them. First, see if you can get them to drive off. Don't be afraid to smack them hard. you want to get the drivers' attention. Make him want to get away from the maniac pounding the back of his car more than he is frozen by the crowd around him. If you decide to push, do it smoothly. Stop the bounce routine, get your bumper against them, and start feeding throttle smoothly. If the vehicle won't move much for some reason (idiot driver standing on the brakes, maybe), try pushing on an angle. Most are lighter in the rear. You may be able to pivot it around the front wheels by pushing the rear tires sideways. Once it starts to swing, do NOT stop until you are clear.

    Accept that you will do some damage to your vehicle if involved in any of this sort of thing. Keep going. Don't stop a half block away to look over the damage! You won't be able to fix it there, and neither is anyone else, and no tow truck is going to show up for you. You don't have time for foolishness! You left some pissed off people behind you, and if they can reach you by running, they will. Drive it to a safe area before stopping, or until it won't go any farther. Don't waste time, don't hang out with the vehicle if it breaks down. Beat feet! Call for a ride while you are moving!

  5. When driving, get into (or stay in) the median lane or curb lane when stopping, and always leave half a car length between you and the car in front. If you can see a strip of pavement between your hood line and the bottom of the rear tires of the car ahead you've got enough room to spin the wheel and drive around.
    In the curb lane you can get on the sidewalk to escape, in the median lane you can drive over the grass to get away. If you're in the middle lane, you're trapped.

    Keep doors locked and windows up. It's no trick at all to break a side car window, but a bare hand won't do it.

    Never let your gas tank get below half, and 2/3 is better. That way you're controlling when you need to stop for fuel. Keep tire pressures up – a fully inflated tire can drive over stuff that will puncture an underinflated tire.

    Situational awareness – stay alert to what's going on around you. All the time. 30 seconds can make a huge difference – a flash mob can collect in well under a minute. You're much better off staging an escape when you see a dozen or two gathering than waiting for the next hundred to congregate. While it can happen anywhere, some neighborhoods are more prone to flash mobs than others, avoid them. Always.

    If you see things starting to go sour, drive through a red light if you have to. FYI, you can cross the median and drive through a red-lighted intersection on the wrong side of the road if you have to.

    As pilots can testify one of the most difficult things to bring oneself to do, and one of the smartest, is to know when to "execute the 180." Don't be afraid to turn around and go the other way if things start looking dodgey.

    If you're curious about what's happening, buy a copy of the newspaper the next day and read about it. If it's in the paper at all, the story will be fully sanitized by liberal media to not cast aspersions on anyone who's not white, but better to read a useless story 24 hours later than experience the event first hand.

    Carry a gun. Everywhere. Better yet, carry two. And lots of ammunition.

    Your car is as useful as a gun; blow the horn and bump them if you're trapped, but keep moving. If the crowd starts rocking the car or won't move, apply power as needed and DRIVE AWAY. It's called "acting in self defense". If the situation is dangerous enough to warrant use of a firearm in self defense, it's just as warranted to use a car in the same way.

    And, as Will said above, don't stop nearby – complete your escape.

    Once you have successfully escaped, use your own judgment about contacting the authorities. Cops are not your friend, and neither is the government bureaucracy they support.

  6. The best action would have been to immediately U-Turn and drive away when they saw the crowd of teens. Ignoring all traffic laws, driving over curbs/sidewalks if needed.

    As yourself, when was last time you practiced J-turn and bootlegger turn maneuvers?

    Once surrounded by the mob, you do not have good options.

    A single armed person can't adequately defend a car from a mob. To exit the car will abandon your family to the mob. From within, you have a limited field of fire-your car can be disabled/flipped by those you cannot reach.

    To react quickly enough, your index of suspicion must be such that you will in fact flee from what you later find out to be safe situations.

    You must train yourself so you are not thinking "Hmm, what is this" but rather "This is not normal I'm leaving NOW."

    It is time to review carefully where you live, work, and travel. What changes to you need to make to keep yourself out of this sort of mob violence?

  7. Notice to any cretins who may try that tactic on me and my vehicle: I WILL run you over. If you pursue me, I WILL shoot you. If you don't threaten me, I will have no need to harm you; however, if you make me fear for my life, you better fear for your life!


  8. I would have to agree with Glen. Do a u-turn and get out. I would bet there were not many other cars in the same place.

    If you cannot reverse, hammer down. The mob is an animal with no leash.

    Of course if you can stay out of the area all together that is better.

  9. If you have to make your own escape route, consider why destruction derby drivers run in reverse. Also, if you nudge too vigorously forward, you may have an airbag complicating things.

  10. Thornharp:

    On airbags: I ran a towtruck that patrolled the freeways, and was amazed at crashes that did not deploy bags. I doubt that you could trigger them at the low speeds involved in this scenario.

    As for driving in reverse: Yes, it is safer, due to most of the easily damaged equipment being mounted near or in front of the engine. The drawback is most people can't drive backwards worth a damn. Due to this lack of experience, and the mental block I see people exhibit over it, I would expect most would not even attempt it. Under stress, and too much speed, it is easy for the inexperienced to lose control in reverse, and the result can lead to a non-mobile vehicle.
    It is certainly one of the tactics I would be considering, though!

    Along with that, make sure your rear vision is not blocked by things carried inside the vehicle. The accessory multi-pane mirror by Wink would be excellent in this sort of situation. You can't count on the external mirrors being useable for backing purposes. They could be bumped out of alignment, or broken, or blocked by many close bodies.

  11. I'd be very tempted to hit the gas – reality is, moving forward slowly is probably a better tactic but, especially if my family was in the car, there is no way I'd be stopping for anyone.

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