Monday morning quarterbacking

Saturday afternoon, Casey and I were out running errands. I got on to the main road–a four lane divided by a wide grass median–and saw something odd at the next light. I was about 200 yards away, but it looked like some teenagers were playing Chinese Fire Drill.

When I got within about 50 yards, I discovered it was two guys wailing on each other. In the middle of the road, in broad daylight. Both had abandoned their vehicles, though one had three freinds with him.

I got on the shoulder and pulled up within about 20 feet of them. There were probably 10-12 cars stopped behind these guys. I unbuckeled my seatbelt, but then observed behavior from both participants that suggested mutual combat rather than a beatdown.

At that point I made the decision to not intervene. My inner libertarian told me, “not your fight, no victims here, let em settle it. ”

I did stick around to the end to make sure nobody was going to get killed, ie no one grabbed a weapon, the freinds didn’t get involved, and no one wound up on the pavement getting his skull bashed in. The whole thing lasted less than a minute, and at the end both guys took off in separate directions. No one was bloody or visibly injured.

I think I did the right thing, setting up the intervention but not going through with it. What do you think? What would you have done differently?

Note: I didn’t call the police because I could see other people already on the phone.

4 comments to Monday morning quarterbacking

  • Sam

    You did exactly right IMHO. I have done the exact same thing once or twice. Observe, be a good witness and make sure it doesnt get out of hand. Honestly sometime two guys just need to beat on each other a bit..

  • Secret Squirrel

    No problem there. A person stumbling on that scene doesn’t know anything about anything (aggressor, victim, etc) and the typical Monkey Dance usually resolves without serious injuries.

  • You did the right thing based on the information at hand. From what you were able to determine, no lives were in immediate danger, and the fact that there were others already on the phone with the police verified you didn’t need to contact them.
    The only thing I’d have suggested would have been to get (write down if possible, text to yourself otherwise) the descriptions of the vehicles, plates, clothing, ages, builds, etc of the people involved. You never know when having that info available could be handy.

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