No matter how much I insist that I will steer clear of popular but time-consuming social media sites such as Facebook, I’m pulled back inside — like Silvio in Sopranos.
Still, every now and then, I’ll come across a post which makes it worth my while. As an example, here are contrasting videos from which we can watch and learn. Both contain violent attacks, so view them with discretion:
No. 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPB7CV5s3dQ No. 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGsi5tjcuQs
Both of these Florida convenience store parking lot incidents were captured by surveillance video.
In the first video, which shows the shooting of a man in August 2018, concealed carry permit holder Michael Drejka decides it is his job to enforce public decency. He shoots Markeis McGlockton, who had shoved him to the ground before backing away. Drejka has subsequently pleaded not guilty to the charge of manslaughter.
The second video, from September 2018, needs careful review. In it, a woman named Julia Napiontek, 18, attacks a barefoot blonde woman and her children. When the beating is over, Napiontek and boyfriend Brandon Clanton, 18, walk away — but then unexpectedly return to continue the attack. At one point, an 11-year-old victim flees across the parking lot. The blonde female victim runs after her and they take cover near the fuel tanks as Clanton and Napiontek get in a car and drive away. Clanton does not appear to hit any of the female victims but can be seen scuffling with a male victim who had been inside the store when the attack began.
A still image from a surveillance camera outside a Silver Springs, Florida, convenience store Sept. 22, 2018, shows a woman identified as Julia Marie Napiontek attacking a family of strangers — including an 11-year-old girl — in what sheriff’s officials said was an unprovoked attack. A bystander calmly watches the beating. Napiontek and her accomplice Brandon Clanton, both 18, have been charged with battery in the case. Napiontek is also charged with aggravated child abuse; Clanton, with battery of a police officer. (Photo courtesy of Marion County Sheriff’s Office)
An uninvolved male bystander is seen calmly watching the attack while sipping from a fountain drink. He shrugs and walks away.
According to the YouTube video script, “The victims told deputies that they did not previously know their attackers, and that there was no motive for the confrontation.”
According to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, “Deputies pulled the surveillance footage from the store and easily identified the assailants.” The sheriff arrested Napiontek and charged her with battery and aggravated child abuse. They arrested Clanton for battery and assault on a law enforcement officer.
The assault was not the first time Clanton has been charged with violently attacking a stranger. Clanton was apparently out of jail on bond after being charged with aggravated child abuse in an August attack on a 17-year-old boy at another convenience store … again without provocation. The victim in that attack had gone into the store to buy a drink for his grandmother and ended up needing seven stitches to his face.
Since the attacks, Napiontek has been released on bond from the Marion County Jail. Repeat offender Clanton is being held without bail at the time of this writing.
Many aspects of this incident are disturbing. First, the unprovoked and apparently random nature of the attack. Second, the guy who watches and then simply walks away.
I’ve been in various altercations in life. Growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, boys routinely scuffled with fists and rocks. It was expected. Now, parents immediately call a lawyer and the local SWAT team comes screeching onto the playground.
These days, I carry a .380 in a cross-draw holster. As someone who is neither a parking lot monitor nor a licensed defender of public mores, I’m pretty sure that I would never be in a situation similar to Drejka’s (which led to the death of McGlockton).
On the other hand, I watch video No. 2 and wonder. An unprovoked, random attack can certainly happen anywhere and at any time.
So what would you do? What should the “innocent bystander” have done? What’s the right thing here? Isn’t protection from this type of assault one of the reasons we carry?