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Case study 3. Cans of Soup

This third case study is about a mugging attempt where the victim was attacked by two muggers. There are some key pieces of information in 69yr old Tony Edwards' story so take note as you read through. As usual, an analysis of the attack and the key take aways will be included at the bottom.

The Incident

Mr Edwards

Mr Edwards

Mr Edwards was walking to the shops at night (which he doesn't normally do but had nothing for tea), looking down at the ground. The ground hadn't been surfaced and Mr Edwards didn't want to fall.

Mr Edwards explains "Suddenly these two jumped me. I told them to go away, politely, but one went behind me and just took my legs from under me. It was then that the kicking started".

"I have been in worse pickles in my wrestling days so I retained the presence of mind to get up".

"I swung out with the shopping -- two tins of soup and a loaf of bread -- and connected".

As this happened a person nearby yelled out and the two men fled.

69yr old Tony Edwards told Police that the two muggers would be easy to find. They've each got a lump on their head. One lump says 'Tomato Soup' and the other one 'Mulligatawny'. He was carrying two cans of soup and a loaf of bread in a plastic bag at the time of the attack and swiftly struck them with it.

So who is Mr Edwards?

Mr Edwards travelled the world wrestling circuit in the 60's, including living in Singapore for three years. He also appeared on television as 'The Outlaw', a masked wrestler. He was part of a four man team with a wild west theme. Quite the character.

Certainly, Mr Edwards is not someone that a couple of mugs would want to attack, especially in his day. I am sure they got quite the shock when they saw Mr Edwards get up off the ground and start swinging those cans of food around. One can only assume that he asked them if that is all they've got.

Mr Edwards in his younger days

Mr Edwards in his younger days

Mr Edwards also faced a similar attack about ten years ago. On that occasion it resulted in one attacker winded and the other struck in the throat.

- Source.

Lessons Learnt

What are the Key Lessons from this Case Study?

Now this case, though a fun story, shows us familiar areas where the risks of attack can be mitigated. It was fortunate that Mr Edwards can handle himself. Others may not be so lucky. Nor should we rely on being able to fight. Once the fight has begun, the outcome and consequences are unpredictable.

Street, Night, Alone, Not Aware...

"Mr Edwards was walking to the shops at night (which he doesn't normally do but had nothing for tea)"

The first key piece of information out of this story was that Mr Edwards was walking along the street at night. Going to some place at night is the highest threat time for muggings as we already learnt in Understanding Modern Violence. Doing this, we are like wildebeest walking through an area where predators sit back and watch for an appropriate victim.

"...looking down at the ground"

Secondly, as he was walking along during this highest threat time, location and activity for muggings, he was looking down. He was unaware. What does a Predator look for in its victim? Someone who will be an easy target. Mr Edwards was elderly, was walking by a Predators location, and was completely unaware of his surroundings. Naturally, the Predator (Predators) decided yes, they would go for this target. This is how Predators work and this case highlights just one example of this occurring in real life.

At this stage of the attack (prior to it going physical), the entire incident could have been avoided. When you are doing an activity that is the highest risk activity for muggings (going from one place to another), at the highest risk time (at night) at the highest risk place (on the street), you need to be very aware of your surroundings. The best option is to avoid doing this altogether. But if you MUST...

Look ahead, look around. Scan. You may need to walk on the road if there is no traffic so you can stay away from hidden pathways and driveways where people can hide and launch surprise ambush attacks.

By looking up, ahead and around, any Predators will see that you are aware of the threat and will probably not be an easy score as you at least seem aware of the danger. You seem prepared. If you are prepared you will probably not be an easy target. They cannot catch you by surprise. They will probably let you go and wait for someone else.

Also, by looking up and around, you will see the potential threat earlier and can take avoidance action, such as crossing the street or turning around.

"Suddenly these two jumped me"

The Predators launched a surprise attack. This is what they always try to do. As we have already learnt, Predators do not attack like Alpha Males, escalating through posturing and emotions building to the physical aspect. Predators are calm and use the element of surprise. Most people who are mugged often recall something very similar to Mr Edwards did about a sudden attack.

Once the attack began, further insight demonstrating how Predators think and operate is evident. Once Mr Edwards began fighting back, the Predators realised that their chosen target was going to fight back. This is not what they want. So they stopped the attack and fled when someone called out. This is key also. If worst case scenario you do not see the predator prior to them initiating their ambush, at least you always have a chance if you do decide to fight back. Again, this is Plan B and not Plan A.

However, it is often much better to just give the muggers what they want, especially if there are two or more and they have weapons. Is what is in your wallet/purse worth your life? Just give it to them. But if they want you to go with them somewhere... that is something else. You may need to fight back. If you understand modern violence you will understand that at least you have a fighting chance, especially if it is a last resort measure to guarentee your survival.

By looking at this case, we can examine how the attack happened in order to identify high risk times and places for muggings and actions that we can engage in (or not engage in), to minimise our chances of becoming chosen as a victim. Once again, understanding modern violence, adapting our lifestyle and using our awareness is vital.