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Avoiding fights in the park

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Jared Lash, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    I had a fun little incident yesterday. Took the kids (two sons, 6 & 3 and a daughter, 4) to a nearby park. We're staying with a friend of my wife while we waiting for our new house to close so it's a park I've only been to once or twice before. My wife's friend is off work (my wife is teaching a class) and so she comes with us.

    Anyway, my kids are playing and I notice a kid (maybe 6 or 7) is being a brat. Two girls - my daughter and another girl - are on the rocking animals (the ones with the giant springs) and he's yanking on the rockers to make them go much faster so I ask him politely to stop so they they don't hit their heads which he reluctantly does. Then he gets his soccer ball and is trying to kick it at the kids on the climbing dome, including my older son. I'm scanning for his parents when he kicks the ball again and misses the kids climbing but manages to drill my 3 year old in the back as he was walking, knocking him down.

    So I scoop up my son (who is upset but not crying) and in my teacher voice (a bit out of practice after being out of the classroom for a few years) I say with a bit of authority, "Don't kick your ball AT people. If you want to kick it, go do it in the grass where there aren't people". Meanwhile my oldest is yelling from the climbing dome, "say sorry to my brother! you need to say sorry" which elicits only a blank stare from the boy.

    My wife's friend points out that there's a smaller section of playground with no on using it about 100 yards away so she gathers the bigger two and we head that way with me carrying my youngest.

    When we're about 20 feet away she tells me that what she assumes is the other boy's dad has walked over from the baseball field and is "mean mugging us" and that "he's dressed like a Norteno". Given that she worked corrections and now is in records for the PD I don't doubt her conclusion especially after I take a quick over the shoulder glance which also verifies that he's now following us.

    Next comes a stream of obscenities. "Hey! Who the F*** are you?! Don't F***ing talk to my son! Turn around b**** a**!"

    I don't see a way that this is going to go well, but with him getting closer I don't want to be holding my son if anything happens so I set him down and tell my wife's friend to keep walking with the kids. When I turn around he's about 3 feet away, fist cocked, when he more or less yells, "What the f***?"

    I'm not really sure how to answer this so I simply and calmly say, "I asked your son to stop kicking his ball at people after he knocked my 3 year old over".

    "It's none of your f***ing business what he does"

    I'm momentarily stunned by the logic involved here so I simply say, "that's fine, we're going over to the other side of the park." But I don't turn because I figure he's just looking to fight and I don't really need to get sucker punched on a Sunday morning. After a pause he waves dismissively and says "whatever, b**** a**" and turns to walk away. Which is when I notice that he's got a poorly concealed gun in the back of his jeans.

    Good times. :rollno:
  2. DaveDeVille

    DaveDeVille ... you talkin' to me ?? Supporting Member

    woah ...
    sounds like you did exactly the right thing .
    kudos to you for keeping your cool ...
    sad thing about this is that this other kid is going to learn that being a bully is ok ,
    and in fact , he may have already been encouraged to act that way .
  3. Wow. REEEEAaaally dodged a bullet there. Makes me shake my head in disbelief that this guy's dad is most likely raising him not to give a crap about others. Glad it ended the way it did; think calling the cops on the guy's most likely unregistered gun would have done you any good?
  4. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Whether it did any good or not, it was called in. My wife's friend lives in a different city than the one she works in the PD for so she doesn't really have any connections, but once we were in the car (we skipped playing at the other side of the park much to my children's dismay) she immediately called it in to the local PD.

    It's nice that she works records in the city that my wife and I work in and where are new house is because she has access to every report that is made. Obviously she doesn't give out sensitive info but when she can send us warnings or let us know how things turned out (like the drunk driver my wife called in a year or so ago) which has been really useful. In this case she won't have any visibility to whether officers came out or what happened if they did.

    We ended up driving a little further to take the kids to a bigger park.
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    The odds are good that both the kid and his dad will be gone from this earth in ten years. Just stay away from them.
  6. Stewie26

    Stewie26 Supporting Member

    The dude is a low life and training his son to be a bully. I think I would have called the cops as they would be very interested in a guy carrying a weapon in a public park.
    I am willing to bet he had warrants out on him. You would be doing a public service in my view.
  7. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    It doesn't sound you live in the neighborhood where the park is, so simply stay away.
  8. Mktrat

    Mktrat Seriously, are we not doing phrasing anymore? Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2013
    The Mitten
    I always laugh at the parent that gets upset (for what ever silly reason) at a park with little ones around and starts screaming obscenities. Classy.

    You should teach a class on how to handle a situation such as this, you are setting a positive example for those little ones. Hats off to you!
  9. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    That was pretty much my takeaway from the whole thing. I know people like to think that children are blank slates that start out angelic and get corrupted by society but the reality is that children start out as pure id. They are (as we all were) selfish and self centered and have to learn to have empathy and compassion for others as well as consequences for their actions.

    I've expressed to my wife that I worry that our kids are too soft but I'll take sensitive and non-violent over being a jerk.

    And I don't know that I deserve any kudos for staying calm as I didn't see any other alternatives. I've been in a few scraps growing up but the last fight I was in was a small brawl outside a bar in college and that was over 13 years ago. Odds are if it was a fight I was getting the worst end of it. And that was before I saw that he was packing. And even if I didn't the best case scenario is that my kids see me beat someone up in the park over nothing. What does that teach them?
  10. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    Tampa, FL.
    I was going to say that I thought most states/cities had laws making parks gun free zones.
  11. Wow...thats crazy!!
    Even though its only 63 degrees here today....I get all warm & fuzzy being Canadian, when i read something like this.
  12. kesslari

    kesslari Groovin' with the Big Dogs Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2007
    Santa Cruz Mtns, California
    Lark in the Morning Instructional Videos; Audix Microphones
    You still deserve kudos for keeping your cool.
    Nasty situation, and a lot of people would not have kept their cool. That you did it for yourself and for your kids - give yourself credit.
    Also kudos for walking out of what could have been a much worse situation.

    While you're at it, give yourself kudos for having some awesome basses :D

  13. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the after party.. Supporting Member

    Mar 31, 2011
    Sandy Eggo
    You did the right thing in my book.
  14. bassinplace


    Dec 1, 2008
    That sucks. You handled it properly, though. I had a similar incident years ago when I was up at Mt. Baldy in the snow with my gf and my dog. I was just standing there with my dog on her leash when a kid inadvertently slid downhill into the dog. She (a German Shepard) nipped in the kid's general direction, but didn't attempt to actually bite the kid. I pulled back on her leash and she heeled.

    The kid's father was standing about 10 feet away from me. He was a carbon copy of the person you had an encounter with and addressed me in the same fashion as what you described. I did the same exact thing, just explained that we were going elsewhere, he hurled some other type of slur at me and the three of us removed ourselves from the situation. There's a-holes everywhere. Just gotta avoid 'em.
  15. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    Which is really kind of sad to me. I'm amazed at how much my views on things changed when I had kids and at the same time amazed that other men seemingly don't change at all after becoming a father. Is it that he'd WANT his children to live the same kind of life that he does? Or that he doesn't see a better way to raise them? I've been thinking a lot about the whole thing from a variety of angles.

    I certainly hope they responded after we left but this is a small town with budget cutbacks to where apparently there are only two patrol cars and a sergeant on duty at the PD most of the time. The town has experienced a lot of growth so lots of new homes, communities etc but still with an old part of town near the wood mill. Lots of delapidated but still cool homes from the 20's & 30's. My wife's friend tells me that a lot of those homes (mostly 2 or 3 bedroom, under 1000 Sq ft) are now gang houses that get raided relatively often. Shame.
  16. Man, if I had done that as a kid it would have been me getting a bollocking for it.

    Glad nobody was hurt, unfortunatley a-holes are everywhere :(
  17. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Not trying to start a debate. But, only law abiding citizens follow the rules. Unless the cops catch up to a thug like this at the park, they can't escalate the charge.

    The sad thing is that every time the thugs kid sees him arrested, the kid learns to hate the good guys, the cops because they take dad away. It's vicious cycle with no easy answer.
  18. matante


    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    What does the fact that she worked corrections have to do with her spotting a norteno? :atoz:

    I commend you for avoiding the fight but in my opinion you didn't do enough. If you see a guy with a gun at a public park you should have called the police immediately so they could come and arrest him. At least get his license plate number. The guy was probably on drugs and the next guy he confronts might not be as lucky as you were.
  19. Fretless1!


    Feb 19, 2007
    Very level headed response. That could have gone south quickly. Kudos!
  20. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2006
    Northern California
    And that's still what I find most times I take my kids to a park. Most parents are involved and monitoring their children to make sure they are safe and treating others well.

    Honestly I have no idea what the gun laws say. I know that concealed carry permits in California have increased with a relatively recent court ruling but are still relatively rare although coincidentally my wife's friend has one though I've never seen her actively carrying. And I'd be very surprised if this guy had a legal carry permit.

    As a side note, I've never owned a gun though I used to trap shoot with my uncle a fair amount when I was younger and enjoyed it. But every time something happens where I am concerned about my family's safety I start thinking about buying a gun and taking a safety course, visiting the range etc. I'm not anti-gun but I also never had an urge to own one but now the thought pops into my head on occasion. In this particular circumstance I don't think it would have helped as either things would have went the same way or possibly much worse if I had a gun. I don't want to start a gun debate, I just thought it was interesting that the notion now enters my mind when it never did before I was married.

    I'm not certain on my terminology but she was employed by the city jail. That would be considered corrections wouldn't it?

    From what little she's discussed it in the past, gang training (activity, identification, etc) was one of many trainings she had while working at the jail. Others were on drug identification etc. In part it was to aid in the booking process including what to search for and identify and in part I understand it was to know which inmates needed to be kept separate from others whether they be members of the same gang or of rival gangs.

    I've definitely replayed the whole incident in my head to see if I thought I did anything wrong (and I don't think so) and if there were things I could have done better (mostly likely yes). There are definitely things I could have done that would have made things far worse.

    I have no idea which car was his. This park area contains a dog park, two playgrounds and four baseball fields (the far one of which was in use for a softball game) and there is parking in a few locations. And since we parked by the dog park it was a long walk back to the car and thus 10 minutes or so later that we actually called the local PD. We certainly could have done it earlier but I wanted my kids to be far from the where the incident occurred (and where he presumably still was) before getting on the phone to call the police.