The incident Van sensei posted reminded me of a staff member who had a run in with panhandler a couple of years ago. The staff person is actually a pretty big guy, around 6 feet tall and around two hundred pounds. He was at the Christies Market on Tremont and Stuart, near Wang Center, after work. Anyone down that way in the evening will know the number of panhandlers there targeting the theatre going crowd. Anyway, he came out of Christies and began to light his pipe. As he was doing this, a panhandler came right up to him to ask him for money. He said, he didn't have any for the guy. The guy got belligerent and in the staff person's face. The staff person went to push the panhandler away. The panhandler, a smaller person, immediately unleashed several punches which dropped the staff person and took off. The staff person had a black eye, blurred vision and headache for several days. He was lucky.
The mistakes: Not paying attention and thus allowing the invasion of his defensive space. Two, when he took action, he should have taken decisive, aggressive action.
P.S. George sensei, sometimes lady luck plays a part of with crazy people. I had and incident when I was a teenage student at Hancock St. After a tough workout on a hot evening, Cookie and I went downstairs to the ice cream shop to get some refreshments before heading home. I came out of the shop and was busily licking away at a cone when I heard a commotion coming my way. I looked up just in time to see this enormous woman barreling in on me, screaming, "GET OUT OF MY WAY!" I caught just that brief glimpse before I was hit in the face with a stream of RAID insecticide. I dropped the cone, wiped frantically at my eyes, turned and hit her with a hard roundhouse kick to the upper arm area. (I SWEAR... This was the first and only time I ever hit a woman with pure intention.) She sort of fell sideways, dropped her insecticide can and a full handbag of assorted vials of pills and other things. She jumped up and came after us (At some point, Cookie entered into the picture). Having vented my anger, I really didn't want to fight with her, nor did Cookie. We started running around a park car with her chasing us. All the while, Cookie was in his toughest voice saying, "Don't mess with us! Don't mess with us! We'll hurt you!" It was actually quite a funny scene.
She finally gave up. She picked up her belongings and went her way down Cambridge St. Cookie and I headed up over Hancock St. towards Chinatown. When we got to the Commons, there were several police cars driving around inside the park area with flashing lights and search beams on. One of the police cars pulled over to us and the officer asked whether we have seen a woman fitting the description of the person we just had an encounter with. Being street kids, Cookie and I quickly looked at each other and said almost in unison, "No." I asked the cop why they were looking for her. The cop said the woman went into the laundromat, on the corner of Joy/Cambridge (the other corner of the block, under the dojo) and stabbed somebody. She then went up Joy St, heading in the same direction we were, and stabbed another person. The cop said the woman may be in the Commons and told us to be careful. Cookie and I didn't say anything and we continued on our way to Chinatown. We both thought, "Sh_t!! We made her flip out!", and were afraid to say anything to the cop.
[This message has been edited by david (edited 09-28-98).]