Your Car is Caught in a Flash Mob, What Do You Do?

Your Car is Caught in a Flash Mob, What Do You Do via Preparedness Advice

Todays post is written by my friend, Ed, on what to do if you are caught in a flash mob or surprise protest while driving.

Howard

You are driving with your family in a rented car in a foreign country on vacation.  You make a wrong turn and find your vehicle and other cars around you swarmed by demonstrators. Car windows start being broken out and down the block you see Molotov’s being thrown.

What do you do?  If you just hit the gas and run folks over, depending on ground clearance of your vehicle you will move only a short distance before getting high centered on bodies. Then you are surrounded by a large group of hostiles you have made angry. Not good.

As proven by the massive London riots of 2011, civil unrest turned terribly violent can happen in any country, from first world to undeveloped nations.

flash mobIf you think you are Jack Bauer and are going to shoot your way out then you better have a lot of ammo to keep them dispersed until the swarm becomes disillusioned and moves on or is driven off by your suppressive fire. And that would have to be sustained 360 degree fire, by the way.

The point is, these types of situations can rapidly turn into a Blackhawk Down scenario. The movie details a very dangerous, complicated tactical problem even for trained and equipped military personnel. Civilians are hardly ready to survive a mob intent on violence just to avoid dying where they stand.

There are numerous videos on YouTube showing motorists smashing through crowds. One car stopped and was swarmed after doing that and was violently descended on. Driver finally just hit the gas and rolled over one “protester.”  You say it can’t happen here, think again. Last night, Black Lives Mattter blocked the 405 Freeway near Los Angeles. It’s reported that LAPD declined to deal with this issue and drivers were left on their own until the crowd dispersed more than an hour later.

flash mobThe most disturbing aspect of these protests or flash mobs is that they are NOT spontaneous, but are planned and orchestrated. Since Ferguson and Baltimore, local police are becoming more and more wary of any forceful intervention. The media is warping the news to fit an agenda. This means that citizens are on their own.

You are totally responsible for your own safety.

You must be situationally aware and avoid large gatherings. One of the best books I’ve come across that teaches this type of mental awareness is Left of Bang Monitor current events constantly to avoid being caught in a freeway or street intersection closure. I have been through this before and it’s an unpleasant sense of déjà vu.

Social media allows these groups to organize inside the police OODA loop, and just disburse before law enforcement can react. When they do respond, everyone has a smart phone with a camera now, and everything ends up on Facebook. It’s just ratchets up the mob behavior and manufactured rage even further. These events are being orchestrated across the country, and I believe things are going to get a lot worse as the election gets closer, because people with an agenda want to influence the outcome. So y’all stay aware and be safe out there!

By the way, watch this and then tell me again how you’re going to just run over people and, “that’s what gas pedals are for.”

How would you deal with a flash mob? Best response is DON’T be there!

Flash mobs can form quickly, you might not have sufficient warning.

If caught in your car at the road closure… keep moving through…… slowly but steadily …gently tap the horn, don’t blast, just frequent little beeps and keep rolling. Once you quit moving you are done….. If you see it ahead down the road……get off on to the shoulder and reverse…. and get out of the area.

UPDATE from Noah: One of my concerns in this scenario is my young kids. They would be absolutely terrified if the protest became violent. I would make sure they were in the back seat, would turn on some music or a story CD, give them a snack — anything to keep them calm. As a dad, it would be very hard to think clearly and rationally if my kids were crying and panicking. That said, if I was trapped for the duration, I’d contact my wife and anyone else in the “need to know” category, sit back, and just wait it out. Staying up to date with scheduled protests is the smartest move — don’t be where the trouble is. (I teach that to my kids all the time!)  

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24 Responses to Your Car is Caught in a Flash Mob, What Do You Do?

  1. Annomymos says:

    You have to pray
    God can n will deliver you
    No matter what
    God is greater than all mobs

    • Shirley Toney says:

      Great Advice. My God is able and willing.

    • Mom of Many says:

      Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

      He has protected me from my enemies before and will do so again.

  2. MeanwhileBackInReality says:

    @Annomymos LMAO. Good luck with that.

  3. DS says:

    Last resort…join the protest…arms raised in solidarity while yelling supportive rhetoric.
    Becoming part of the crowd could camouflage you as you work your way to safety.

  4. McDonna says:

    I am new to all this, so my questions may seem rudimentary. Am I to understand that the only actual strategy is *avoidance* and outside of that, *patience* while the mob controls the environment? These don’t actually seem like strategies to me. Of course, any rational person is going to do their best to avoid an unstable situation. But these things happen even with the best of planning and situational awareness. I truly do not know what to do, and after reading this post – I still don’t.

    I am not trying to be critical at all. Just trying to understand.

    Thanks.

    • Noah says:

      Did you happen to watch the video from LA? There were hundreds of protesters vs. a relatively small number of commuters. The protesters completely took over that section of the freeway. Unless lives are in direct danger, say car windows are being broken, multiple thugs are trying to overturn your vehicle — that sort of thing, do you really want to step out of the relative safety of your car and confront them?

      That’s why this form of thuggish protest is popular and will likely grow in popularity — it’s effective. From their point of view, they have the power — as you rightly point out. I know how frustrating it would be to just sit there, but the ultimate goal is to walk away alive and unharmed.

      You know, there’s one more point to consider. These protesters are all armed with their camera phones. I sure wouldn’t want to be featured on the 6 o’clock news as the maniac who mowed down “peaceful” protesters. Again, I want to get home to my wife and kids. Hard to swallow, though, just sitting there. No red blooded American man or woman likes to feel helpless like that.

  5. Ed Harris says:

    The Bastille Day Attack in Nice, France puts another scary wrinkle in play. Grenades and weapons are found inside a lorry used to mow down revellers gathered for a Bastille Day fireworks display. French TV is reporting 77 confirmed dead and 15 in critical condition. Eyewitnesses say the driver picked up speed to slam the lorry into revellers gathered along the city’s famous waterside Promenade des Anglais. The driver sped along the promenade for some two kilometres (1.3 miles), mowing people down along the way, according to Nice prosecutor Jean-Michel Pretre. Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said the driver had been “neutralised,” adding that authorities are investigating if he acted alone.

    Le Parisien reported earlier that a possible accomplice had fled the scene.

    You don’t want to be trapped in the middle of any large crowd, in any gathering, because it only take one nutjob to turn a celebration into a tragedy. Stay near the edges of the crowds so that you can retreat to a place of comfort and safety, if necessary.

  6. Linda says:

    This is what the left wants. To discourage our police departments so mobs can become more troublesome and at some point before the election, martial law will be declared to ‘protect us all’.

    If you can manage to get turned around, and go back, that seems the best option. Once surrounded, just waiting peacefully may end up not being an option with the thug mentality being perpetuated these days.

    Thank you, Noah, for taking over the blog. I don’t always comment, but it is always interesting to read.

  7. Jeff says:

    Keep a stack of fake 20 dollar bills (obvious fakes, not counterfeit) and throw the money, yelling “here, take this, just let me go”. As they start chasing the “funny money”, charge through.

  8. Dave says:

    I still stick with run the fuckers over. A few blasts from my shotgun I keep under my seat should do the trick to disperse them as well.

    • Leroy says:

      A shotgun under the seat won’t do. It better be short barreled and laying on your lap and you better be fast. Someone right outside your window might have something shorter like a revolver and can beat you to “the draw”.

  9. chung says:

    Even mobs have a sort of different DNA in behavior. Mental acuity helps in only defining which way the mob is expressing its anger.
    a reasonable decisions for immediate action or inaction is better than
    a perfect analyzed one for shielding your loved ones as time runs out
    A tsunami rolling PAST is preferable to one rolling over you. However
    the odds are simply better not to be in contact and retreat or run.
    Blending with the crowd, your behavior protecting family stands out.

  10. BravoHotel says:

    Unless you want to run people over, you have no choice but to wait it out. As long as they don’t start breaking my window to get to me or tearing my car apart I will wait. If they do get violent I always carry and have 60+ rounds ready. I may think about getting some bear Mace for the car now. I also have my back pack with food and water and other supplies in the car at all times.

  11. Ed Harris says:

    Dave, your shotgun won’t get you through, but will only attract the truly aggressive ones to you after they’ve counted rounds and know that you are empty. Then you and your overturned vehicle become a “Mogadishu BBQ.” Good luck with that BTW.

    And please watch your language. It isn’t necessary to make your point. Most of the regulars here frequent this blog to the exclusion of others because it is “G” rated, or and only “PG” for some subject matter. Please keep it civil.

  12. Dee says:

    Although it wasn’t in another country, as I read this post, I remember when I experienced just this. I was a teen, in the 60’s, when some friends and me rode to the big city to see a big name vocalist who was performing. Our chaperon was a college friend who was driving. After getting into the city, we became lost. Driving around trying to figure where we were, we turned a corner — at first we were just curious about why people were in the street. As the car became surrounded, the curiosity changed more to fear. The sound was deafening as people yelled and waved bats and sticks. All the senses were overwhelmed and we just wanted to get away. We couldn’t; we didn’t know where we were but knew these people were angry.
    We just wanted out of there. Freaking out is a nice way of describing the feelings in the car. Kent State had just happened so we were trying to figure what to do.
    Then, from one of us passengers, came this calm soft voice telling the drive what to do, to follow the people but gradually creep over near the curb so when we saw an alley, driver signaled, then turned into it. Fortunately, it was an alley which went through to another street. Once on the other street, we headed away from the direction the mob was headed.
    So, Noah, instead of putting on music or something—instead using your best calming voice, talk to the ones in the car. When scared or even terrorized, you would be surprised how many will be drawn to that calming voice and calm down too. I suspect it also helps the person owning that calm voice to speak that way.
    I have since used the calm voice in many situations where emotions get overwhelming. It works without riling anyone. I also, role play when I see such scenes on screen; sometimes asking those around me to help role play what they would do and what alternatives to watch for as well. BTW: when in this situation—nothing matters but to survive alive and to help those you care about to survive also.

  13. Ed Harris says:

    Dee has it correct. Speaking slowly, and calmly in a low voice is a standard de-escalation technique used with emotionally disturbed persons and prison inmates.

    Read more about it here:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298202/

    http://www.sjsu.edu/counseling/Faculty_Staff/De-Escalating_Aggressive_Behaviors/

  14. fteter says:

    Showing my age here, but I got caught driving in a flash mob during the Rodney King riots in LA. The crowd blocked access to the freeway and surrounded my pickup truck. Then someone stepped out from the crowd hefting a metal baseball bat.

    I was fortunate to get out of the situation before it turned bad. Said a prayer, rolled down my window (really dumb move in hindsight), and pointed my truck pistol at the fellow holding the ball bat. He stepped back, raised his arms, and shouted “let’s all be friends – don’t shoot me”. I hit the gas and the crowd parted enough for me to make the on-ramp.

    In retrospect, I was really…I mean REALLY…lucky to get out with my skin. If I had it to do over again, I think the best move would have been to drive slowly and determinedly through the crowd. Would have kept my gun stowed unless someone tried to get into the vehicle.

  15. P says:

    what about having a few cases of bottled water handy, and hand them out to protesters? Is that stupid?

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