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As reported via Fox News:

Attacker Sets 2 People on Fire in Washington; 82-Year-Old Man Fights Back With Cane

Thursday, February 01, 2007

SEATTLE — A man splashed three strangers with lighter fluid and set fire to the hair of two of them in the downtown area after his first target, an 82-year-old man, bashed him with a metal cane, police and witnesses said.

No serious injuries were reported and Paul Alexander Pearson, 51, of Seattle, was arrested for investigation of assault and held without bail in the King County Jail, police Officer Debra Brown said.

Gus Jones, 82, of Seattle, apparently the first to be attacked, told The Seattle Times that "someone threw lighter fluid all on my back and I had to rap them with my cane" during the lunch hour Wednesday at an intersection by Benaroya Hall, home of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

Jones, recovering from a broken hip, fell to the pavement but was not set afire.

"I cussed him out," Jones told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. "I bent my cane."

Soon afterward, flames shot 3 feet high from a 41-year-old woman's hair before passers-by used their jackets to quell the fire, a 33-year-old bank analyst who refused to be identified by name told the Post-Intelligencer.

"Her hair was going crazy," he said. "This woman erupted into flames."

Kristen McKie, 35, of Port Orchard, who works downtown, said she was walking alongside and the flames jumped to her left arm and the back of her jacket, scorching some of her hair.

The bank analyst said he and two other men chased the man with the lighter fluid into an alley, cornered him and brought him back to the street, where they turned him over to police.

Neither woman was taken to a hospital, Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said.

A Zig Zag lighter was recovered, Officer Jeffery R. Kappel said.

There was no apparent motive, he said.

"It was a random act of violence," Kappel said. "He's got no relation to any of the victims."

The story can be found at; http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,249498,00.html

- Janq

Lessons learned: My mom told me the truism back when I was a shorty like 7 yrs. old as she was "learnin'" me how to fight to survive; "Boy, everything's a weapon!". My mom was and still is very much anti-gun even as her dad & brothers were avid hunters for food (not sport) and she married a cop. But at the same time she was pro-CCW, of anything else but a gun. She'd bought me my first pocket knife (a 2" folder) and for years all the way through my HS days she'd have me practice with and on her using it and what ever else might be on my person in addition to hands, feet, arms, legs, and knees toward not so much winning a fight but surviving by ending it as quickly as possible. Unconventional she was and very much old school thanks to her growing up amongst five brothers and living in the then Jim Crow south of MS. I suspect the gentleman in this story is same. Old school. A cane is a very good weapon, and best of all it's legal to carry in the open as well it's to most folk by appearnces completely benign. Remember evrything is a weapon. Your shoes, belt, the pen/pencil in your pocket, your shirt, their shirt (!), the keyboard I'm typing this on, and even the bag of lunch food that might be sitting on your desk...
 

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Janq,
You bring up a great point...a high number of "street crimes" and assaults are crimes of opportunity. Part of being safe is being aware...not just of the people around you but of the objects and structures around you.

I worked in the bars for many years, and have tossed out more than my share of drunks. Many made threats...but I remember 2 that tried to follow through.
One was so drunk and undersized by me that his suprise attack in the parking lot was foiled by my palm to his forehead.

The other caught me in a bad location at a bad time. He cornered me at about 4 am after I locked up the bar and was walking to my truck, I had long forgetten about his promise to come back and "take care of me later" and was happily strolling along when he popped up from behind a parked car. He was close to my size and a lot drunker than I left him earlier, so I was a little concerned.

I backed up on the sidewalk and against the wall and was about to try and bluff him with a Bruce Lee lookin' karate stance when my arm grazed the mailbox for the business next to the bar. It was a cheap metal one that was hung on the wall near their entrance, and it came partially un-hung when I bumped it. All I had in my pocket was a wad of 1 dollar bills, and I didn't think a fist would do the trick, so I grabbed the metal mailbox and snatched it off the wall.

As soon as I turned back toward my attacker he lowered his head and was coming at me like a linebacker ready to make a tackle. I swung the mailbox and made contact, causing him to stumble. He continued to try and tackle me and I continued to try and fit that mailbox in his ear. We were at it for probably a full minute before he decided that plan A was not working and retreated to the parking lot. I ran to my truck and got to the house in record time.

The next day I had calmed down and realized that I owed my neighboring business a mailbox. I bought a replacement and hung it for them after explaining what had happened (and finding blood and tooth parts on the sidewalk). I had a good laugh with that business owner as I installed the mailbox... but I remembered to leave the mounting screws a little loose...just in case.

Long story I know, but the moral is to keep your head up and eyes open in every situation. You never know.
 

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Dan_ntx said:
Janq,
You bring up a great point...a high number of "street crimes" and assaults are crimes of opportunity. Part of being safe is being aware...not just of the people around you but of the objects and structures around you.


The moral is to keep your head up and eyes open in every situation. You never know.
+1

Try to stay as alert of everything around you as possible - while identifing potential threats you must also identify possible means of escape and items on your person or close by that can be used as weapons



think back to the scene in Pulp Fiction where Bruce Willis picks up several items to determine effectiveness before selecting the sword
 
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