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Thread: Firsthand account of defensive use of a folding knife in a Hawaii hotel

  1. #1
    CARDINAL FANG LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Firsthand account of defensive use of a folding knife in a Hawaii hotel

    <Posted with the permission of the individual involved, "NWRed" at ARF. Much thanks to him for sharing his hard won knowledge>


    I'm posting a written statement of the events that happened on Tues the 24th in Waikiki, Hawaii.

    I've been working in Honolulu and staying in Waikiki pretty much all of 2015, home for a week in mid February and then went back. I'm home now for good and clear of all criminal charges in the incident. Other then this one event I had a good time working and living in Honolulu. Lots of time at the beach and my coworkers and most of the other locals I met or had interactions with were super friendly.

    Tactically I'm aware I made some mistakes and lived anyhow. 24 hours in a jail cell immediately after the fact to examine your actions is plenty of time to see some flaws. I already had a return ticket for the 27th and that played a part in deciding to talk to the Detective without an attorney. I assumed that telling the truth and hopefully having audio from the 911 calls would assist in my defense. I dont know how big a part it played but the sum total at the end was my exoneration from criminal charges.

    On March 24th at approximately 8:30 PM I was in my hotel room, 3rd floor #327 located approximately halfway down the 100’ long hallway, oriented north-south with an exterior exit/stairway on each end. I was in the bathroom preparing to shower when I heard a commotion in the hallway. I looked through the peephole and saw the door to the adjacent room (#330) was open and there were 2 people visible just inside the doorway. At that time a black or dark colored female was forced/pushed/kicked across the hallway and rammed her face into my door. I went and put on my dirty work pants back on and dialed 911 to report a fight in my hotel.

    I opened the door and there was a white male, late 30s early 40s, and the same female who‘d run into my door, in her 20s-early 30s. They were struggling just inside the doorway to the room across the hall from me. She was saying “stop/help me” etc and appeared to be trying to leave the room and was being restrained. I informed 911 that there was a fight between a white male and a black female on the 3rd floor of my hotel, I was unable to give the exact address, just the name of the hotel. I told the male he needed to leave her alone and he stopped pushing/pulling her into the room and came across the hallway. He struck me, I can’t recall if it was a slap or a punch, but my eyeglasses were knocked off. The female ran off for the north exit to the stairs and after a second the male pursued her.

    I picked up my glasses, closed my door and tossed my glasses on the counter in my bathroom. I grabbed a t-shirt and put on my slip on boots, and called 911 again to update them the aggressor had left the 3rd floor and that I wanted to press charges. I got about 10 feet down the hallway from my door when they both came through the doorway at the end of the hallway. She was upset and saying she just wanted her things, I tried taking pictures while still on the phone with 911. 911 was asking how to get in to my secured hotel, it wasn’t a secured building prior to 10pm, and I told them they needed to hurry up etc. I was able to get some crappy pictures of both the male and female to help identify them if they fled the scene. I retreated to my hotel room’s threshold and stood in the open doorway. He gave her the room keycard and she used it to open the door and then threw the card down the hall. As soon as she was inside the doorway he started pushing her in again. I was still talking to 911 and stepped out of my doorway and started verbally confronting the male telling him to leave her alone/ the cops are coming, that sort of stuff. He came back into the hallway and stood in front of me and told me to mind my own business. He then turned and walked to the south end of the hallway and pulled a key card from his pocket and attempted to enter another room, #334A IIRC. After several unsuccessful tries he realized the black female was leaving room #330 and was heading for the north exit again.

    I stepped into the hallway from my doorway’s threshold and took a few steps backwards towards the north exit to allow him plenty of room to return to #330 without putting myself in his striking distance. He walked straight up to me, I don’t recall if he said anything but I told him he needed to just hang out /cops were coming/leave her alone. He took a swing and I turned my head and took the hit behind my ear on my left. I’m pretty sure he hit me twice and I took out my ZT350, flipped out the blade and held it down behind my right thigh. I told him I didn’t want to fight/had kids to feed/places to be tomorrow. He took another swing , I leaned in to avoid his punch and I stabbed him in his exposed left abdomen. Zero response, he took another swing, I stabbed him a second time.

    I honestly thought I’d missed his body and had just gotten his shirt both times. He kicked me using a straight out “MMA/UFC” type kick in my left hip as I was standing in a Weaver style position, trying to guard my head with my left and the ZT in my right. I backed up a couple steps and he closed the distance and tried to kick me a couple more times and then swung again and I stabbed him another time. I thought I stabbed him in the abdomen 4 times but until I read the police reports I don’t know for certain how many times I actually made contact. At that point I was a little dismayed that he wasn’t slowing down or stopping and recalled a gem from a Surefire magazine article from several years ago about using a knife to defend yourself and stabbed him on the left side of his neck the next time he took a swing.

    He seemed confused at that point and I told him if we keep going, he’s going to die. I told him he was going to bleed to death if he didn’t stop. He finally realized I had a knife and that his shirt was covered in blood. It looked like he had a bubbling red water feature going under his shirt, there was enough pressure that the blood was pulsing through the shirt slightly. He called me a pussy, and a “nigger” for using a knife. I told him he needed to calm down, sit down and apply pressure to his wounds before he bled out. He took a few steps and leaned up against his doorway and I picked up my cell phone from where I’d dropped it and tried to call 911 again.

    A woman stuck her head out of room #334A and asked what was going on, I said the guy on the floor was beating a woman and I stabbed him after he attacked me and he’d been trying to get into her room. She said she heard someone messing with the door and closed her door. Wtf?

    A guy came from one of the rooms on the south end and asked if everything was ok. I told him that guy on the floor was beating a woman and attacked me and got stabbed, please call an ambulance because I couldn’t get my phone to work. He took off running to the north exit, presumably to the lobby. I managed to get my phone to dial 911 again and told them we needed an ambulance immediately, white male stabbed multiple times in need of immediate medical assistance. While I was on the phone he continued to complain about being stabbed, I told him to shut up, calm down and apply pressure or you’re going to die 3 or 4 times.

    Shortly thereafter a police officer came through the north exit and asked what was going on. I explained this guy attacked a woman and me and I stabbed him. He told me to put down my knife and go stand up against the wall down the hallway. I was cuffed and frisked and sat down on the floor. More cops and the ambulance crew finally showed up. The aggressor was named Dominic/Domino/? and was from Chicago. He told the paramedics he’d had 2 drinks per hour, but couldn’t tell them when he started drinking. He couldn’t get the decade right on his date of birth. 1966/1967 versus 1976/1977.

    I was cooperative and spoke when spoken too other then when I saw the black female at the back of the crowd and told the officers watching me that she was the victim. After what seemed like forever the Paramedics took him away on a gurney. I was questioned a little more and taken down to the street. The cops were interviewing the black female and she was pretty upset. They made me hang out in the hotel lobby for 5 minutes or so since there was no other exit on the west side of the hotel while they moved her somewhere else.

    I sat cuffed in the car for another eternity sweating to death and forced to listen some kind of easy listening pop music while the officer stood outside doing paperwork. I was informed that I was being arrested for Attempted Murder 2. I was removed from the car and a Paramedic gave me a once over and asked me some questions. No obvious damage or injuries, a couple minor cuts on my throat and behind my left ear and no visible bruising. They uncuffed 1 hand so I could sign the refusal of medical service forms. 1 and 2 man news crews started showing up and setting up to film me/ the cop cars/street scene/hotel. We finally left and got a block away when the officer was called back to the scene. I was removed from the car and had paper bags taped over my hands to preserve evidence. I was told at that time by a supervisor he felt I probably did the right thing and he was sorry I had to be taken to jail, part of the formality of an investigation.

    I was processed , had my shoes and clothes taken, and stuck in a cell with a tyvek suit, a 2” thick mattress pad and a fleece blanket. I was unable to contact anyone from the jail due not being able to call mainland cell phones collect. I had a couple local co-workers phone numbers in my cell phone but didn’t think about it until after my phone was in property and unable to retrieve it look their numbers up. Around noon on the 25th I was taken to see a detective and gave a voluntary statement without an attorney present. The detective asked why I didn’t flee when confronted, I told him that I’d considered it, but A. I didn’t want the guy chasing the girl down again since it was clear he didn’t have a problem with assaulting her or me and B. I didn’t want to have a fight on the exterior staircase with a low railing (approximately 36“ high on a 3 story staircase). I’m a busted up carpenter with a bad back and a bad foot not a martial artist. Figured my odds were better stalling him in the hallway until the cops arrived. After the interview was over and the recorder was turned off I asked if the other guy was alive and stable, he told me he’d had surgery and was stable. The detective gave me some encouragement but said he had to forward the evidence to the prosecutor who’d make a decision that night or the following day at the latest.

    Back to my cell for another 10 hours until the detective and a corrections officer came to my cell to tell me the prosecutor had declined the charges and determined I’d acted in self defense. The Detective said he felt I did the right thing and was glad I had intervened. I was out on the street in about 20 minutes after that, just slightly over 24 hours in custody. I’d had 1 meal consisting of a jelly sandwich ( no peanut butter) and water and 2 of chicken cup of ramen with a slice of wheat bread and water and had maybe gotten 3 or 4 hours of short naps with the lights on the entire time. I was escorted to an exterior door and left standing in my tyvek suit, barefoot with a plastic bag of the contents of my pockets minus my ZT350 at 10:30 at night.

    When I returned to the hotel around 11PM I was informed I’d been kicked out and would be escorted to my room by their security officer to gather up my things. I asked about a quick shower and was told that I wouldn’t be allowed too, I just needed to vacate the premises. After talking to the security officer in the lobby and on the way up to the room he was pretty sympathetic and told me to take my time packing up, no need to rush. The hotel had replaced about a 10’ long chunk of carpet in front of rooms #330/#327. After a few minutes he said if I wanted a quick shower to feel free, he’d be in the hallway. After I was showered and packed up he said he was sorry but that the hotel would be formally trespassing me when I returned to square up on my bill the following day and he’d prefer to take my picture now rather then in the lobby in front of everyone tomorrow. I took off my hat and smiled for the picture. I was able to check into another hotel at midnight and didn’t sleep well.

    When I returned the following day after work to pay up and get my receipts I spoke with the manager who explained they’d refunded a couple days worth of parking and hotel fees. She asked how I got involved and I gave her the abbreviated version, she was unaware I was the one who called 911 repeatedly. I asked about the trespassing order since it would effect where my company would be able to place people in the future if I was banned from their chain. She said she’d make sure I wasn’t trespassed and was apologetic about the incident and me being kicked out due to corporate policy etc.

    On Friday the 27th I contacted the Detective about getting my orthotic inserts out of my boots and my Galco instructors belt before I left Honolulu that evening and was able to meet him at the station and was escorted to the property room where he got my boots and belt for me. I asked if the other guy was facing any charges and he said the female had been interviewed and based on her statements he’d be facing charges. I asked if he was still hospitalized and was told he’d be there for another week.


    http://khon2.com/2015/03/24/police-m...kiki-stabbing/

    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/2...waikiki-resort
    Last edited by LittleLebowski; 01-26-2016 at 07:33 AM.

  2. #2
    thanks for sharing ll. Fixed blades have been a no go for me for awhile (concealment issues) and I have been looking at this exact knife for awhile now...
    Last edited by breakingtime91; 01-26-2016 at 07:32 AM.

  3. #3
    Member voodoo_man's Avatar
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    Good that he was not charged.

    If this happened locally he may have been...

    Also this is more of a conscious decision to use a folder not a reflexive response action.
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  4. #4
    Strikes me as a great example of "not your fight," and really bad things can happen when you intercede in an ambiguous situation, rather than be a good witness.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  5. #5
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    Gotta agree with voodoo_man and GJM. I suspect here he would have been charged and prosecuted. Also seems like a prime situation for being a good witness not a participant. That being said however, it is an excellent account of what was going through his mind during the fight, expecting a reaction to the cuts and being surprised when there was no apparent reaction. Interesting that he kept presence of mind enough to change tactics or target when he thought his previous strikes were ineffective. Glad it all worked out for him.

  6. #6
    Member voodoo_man's Avatar
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    Just some more thoughts...


    When implementing a blade, you need to have targets and points of contact you are trying to reach at all times. This was missing here. He was hitting timers but not good timers and he was missing switches entirely. This is a huge training issue. If you are going to pulling a blade out you should do so with intent and purpose.

    The interaction itself - be a good witness until the moment you reasonably believe there is the appearance of SBI and/or live threatening violence. "Violent felony" concept of interdiction is usually a good basis to use. People have fights all the time and that doesnt mean they will die from it, and it doesnt mean you should interject yourself into a situation that automatically means you need to go hands on.

    Furthermore, the first thing that should have happened is a cellphone being taken out and the whole thing being video recorded. Witness or not (sometimes the complaining witness/victim run away) you have evidence why you made contact if you have to.

    When you do make contact and decide to take action, go big.
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  7. #7
    Thanks for posting that story. Very interesting and thought provoking. I tend to agree with GJM but you never know until your in it.

    *glad NWRed is out of danger, out of jail, and won the fight.
    Last edited by Irelander; 01-26-2016 at 08:34 AM.
    "Don't get me started on how coddled the modern anus is." -Dwight K. Shrute

  8. #8
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    It's interesting to watch incident videos, like the thug beating up on a big bus driver (who won in the end):
    http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-n...-police-arrive
    and many people seemed surprised that no one stepped in to help the bus driver.

    And here we have an incident where someone does step in to help out, and we're back to the "it's not my fight". On the other hand, it's a domestic incident, and if she turned on the helper, he'd still be in jail.

    I don't look forward to living in a society where everyone stands around and watches bad things happen.
    Last edited by JV_; 01-26-2016 at 08:24 AM.

  9. #9
    For me, the issue is ambiguity. I am all about helping in clear cut situations, but my personal decision is not to get involved where you are unsure.

    For all I know, that interaction is that couple's idea of foreplay, and the first clue would be when the woman shoots you in the back of the head.
    Likes pretty much everything in every caliber.

  10. #10
    CARDINAL FANG LittleLebowski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoo_man View Post
    Just some more thoughts...


    When implementing a blade, you need to have targets and points of contact you are trying to reach at all times. This was missing here. He was hitting timers but not good timers and he was missing switches entirely. This is a huge training issue. If you are going to pulling a blade out you should do so with intent and purpose.

    The interaction itself - be a good witness until the moment you reasonably believe there is the appearance of SBI and/or live threatening violence. "Violent felony" concept of interdiction is usually a good basis to use. People have fights all the time and that doesnt mean they will die from it, and it doesnt mean you should interject yourself into a situation that automatically means you need to go hands on.

    Furthermore, the first thing that should have happened is a cellphone being taken out and the whole thing being video recorded. Witness or not (sometimes the complaining witness/victim run away) you have evidence why you made contact if you have to.

    When you do make contact and decide to take action, go big.
    I think you should try to get this guy some knife training, just saying.

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