Assault Not Imminent But Possible
- Head, neck, shoulders go back (person making themselves look bigger)
- Face is red, twitching, jerking
- Lips pushed forward bearing teeth (you see the same things in dogs before attack)
- Breathing is fast and shallow (oxygenating the body preparing for fight, flight, hyper vigilance)
- Beads of sweat appear about the face/neck
- Thousand mile glare
- Exaggerated movements
- Finger pointing/ head pecking
- Totally ignores you
- Gives you excessive attention during normal conversation such as direct uninterrupted eye contact
- Goes from totally un-cooperative to totally cooperative ( people do not go from hot to cold they de-escalate over time)
- Acts stoned or drunk
- Directs anger towards other inanimate items such as tables, chairs, walls
If you find yourself confronted by a subject presenting these signs, awareness/self protection strategies should go up, and distance should be created. Your body language should be assertive but not threatening and don’t be afraid to allow the person to vent verbally.
Assault Is Imminent:
Assault Is Imminent
- face goes from red to white (during a physical confrontation the blood will leave the surface of the body and pool to the big muscles and internal organs of the body needed for survival) In my job as a police officer I see this all the time and when I do one of two things are going to happen, the suspect is either going to fight or run
- Lips tighten over teeth
- Breathing is fast and deep
- Change of stance, their body blades and shoulder drops
- Hands closed into a fist (not uncommon to see the whites of knuckles due to hands being so tight)
- Bobbing up and down or rocking back and forth on feet (this is the bodies way to hide/ mask the initial movement of a first strike)
- Target glare (here you will see your opponent look to where he is going to hit, or where he is going to run/escape)
- Putting head and shin down (body wants to protect the airway, this action does so to a degree)
- Eye brows brought forward into a frown (again the body wants to naturally protect the visual system, this action does so to a degree)
- Stops all movements/ freezes in place
- Dropping centre or lowering of body (no different to that of a cat or dog getting ready to pounce)
- Shedding cloths (very common, you will see your attacker take his hat, coat, shirt, or bag off just prior to the assault)
- One syllable replies ( go from full sentences to one syllable replies….. reptilian brain is clicking in)
In this group of signs, you have about 1-1.5 seconds to act before your attacker either attacks or runs. If walking and talking your way out is inappropriate or unreasonable, then I teach “First Strike” philosophy, and continue on with a compound attack until your attacker is no longer a risk.
In both the Assault not Imminent and Assault Imminent phases, I do teach my students (in some situations) to bring to the attention of the attacker what they are seeing why:
1) The attacker may not know what they are doing. A lot of these signs are autonomic in nature, meaning they happen without conscious thought.
2) The bigger reason, I believe, is for this purpose; most attackers will only attack you when they believe that they have the element of surprise. By sharing with them what you see, you take this primary tactic away from them.
IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN YOU SHOULD NOT LET THE PERSON KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SEEING, THUS USING THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!!!!!!!!!!