• Please note this new thread in the Announcements forum regarding updated management of the site. Jeff Duda has agreed to assume ownership and lead management responsibilities during what is anticipated to be a 3-12-month interim period while we perform some updates to the site, including changing the hosting. The staff will do their best to provide timely and transparent updates throughout this transition period.

  • A website update occured last week that rendered some of the page display styles obsolete. If you have logged onto the site and are experiencing a strange or messy appearance, it is likely due to this factor. An inadvertent mistake in the meantime likely made this issue worse. It has hopefully now been fixed. See this thread for details on the fix. --Jeff

Jeff Piotrowski Almost Stabbed in Texas

Jeff's situation is a really rare one that I don't know how anyone could have seen coming. You might expect someone like that in a rough neighborhood, not wandering on a road near a tornado damage path.

This could of been a 'Rough' neighborhood that got hit by the tornado. Tornadoes don't discriminate. It'll hit a mansion or crack house. Never know who you're going to be dealing with. It's quite interesting that as soon as Jeff speed talks Cops are here or coming. The guy freaks & asked for an attorney. Make me believe he could of thought Jeff was a cop or authoritative figure. And possibly that he was in trouble. Doesn't make any of it right. Just an observation. I'll be sticking closer to the car and giving others a bit more space out storm chasing.
I'm a big 2nd amendment man. My wife keeps a .38 under wraps in her Camaro SS convertible 100% of the time. It wouldn't take much for her to be stopped at a stoplight or stop sign and some maniac with a knife to slice right thru her ragtop and get at her. I feel very comfortable having her drive alone....even on I-10 when she makes occasional runs between Tucson and Phoenix, knowing that she's got her pistol. She's never had to use it...hopefully never will. But if the need arises...she's ready.
@Shane Adams ...if you ever find your way up to the denver area, feel free to shoot me a message and I'll take you out to my local range, if you're interested, and we can fire off some .22s. I shoot for fun only...I don't hunt, and hope to never need to use my guns to defend myself. For me it's a fun past time that I grew up with, so I understand your POV, but I love helping others get into it. My wife wasn't a shooter...now she giggles every time she double taps a pumpkin with her .22...and she's getting pretty good.

Offer is out there. If you're not interested, we can just grab a beer instead.
That's very cool of you to make that offer to Shane, Marc. Very cool. Some range time with Shane, and he might find that he actually LOVES shooting. It's always better to be prepared than to be the victim.
Very glad he made it out okay. Sad times we live in... I used to pick up hitchhikers just to be a good guy... but you can't do that anymore. Now it is getting too dangerous to make sure someone on the side of the road isn't injured! At least he got away with what could had been a lot worse! Be safe out there folks, apparently, tornadoes are not the only threat!
I too used to pick up hitchhikers.....and I used to hitchhike all over the place myself. This was years ago....there's no way I'd do either one now. People are wound up real tight nowadays.....and you throw chemicals like meth into their systems at the same time, and well....I don't need to elaborate. Hitchhiking in the '70's, I used to keep a big blade in a leather sheath strapped to the inside of my right leg, down by the top of my sock. Only a couple of times did I think I may have to pull it, but thankfully was able to diffuse the situation verbally each time. Pulling a gun or a knife....even if it's in self-defense....must be the LAST option, always. Almost worse than whatever you might receive from your attacker is the years and copious expense of the defense attorneys you're have to hire to simply defend your "defending yourself"...along with all the time devoted to depositions, hearings, meetings with attorneys, plea deals, etc. etc. etc. Your life will be locked in a damn nightmare for a LONG time. But....I guess it beats being severely beaten, raped or killed by your attacker. But not by much. Nothing much worse than going thru the absolute nightmare of the legal system...I swear to God.
I would not suspect this to become a common occurrence, but proof that threats are not just storms or car accidents. I would suggest checking laws of all states you plan to chase in to see what is acceptable and what is not, especially in the case of carrying firearms. The size of knife blades could play a factor as well and could turn a simple traffic ticking for a rolling stop into a legal nightmare. Also know that open carry does NOT mean concealed. A firearm out of sight in a glove box, center console or under the seat would fall under the concealed category and could seriously get ugly in a hurry. My personal thoughts are that some level of protection should always be considered but should not place you in potential jeopardy with the law. We know there are some areas in which LEO's would get super excited to bust a chaser(s) packing heat illegally.

That was my $.05 worth.
I have ccw and carry anytime and anywhere it is legal to do so... course living in the Chicago metro area is what caused me to get ccw training and permit. if I am in an unfamiliar area I absolutely will be armed for my protection as well as the peoples protection who are with me.

Warren Faidley

I think this near tragedy opens up even bigger questions about helping people in general. If that guy knew how to use a knife, of if he was smart enough to get Jeff or someone else out of their vehicle it could have ended a lot differently. I have to admit that over the years I've questioned my attitude towards assisting people at any type of accident or disaster. Just recently, I was on the scene of a multiple fatality accident in CO and now attorneys are calling to schedule a deposition. Although the questioning does not involve my actions as an EMT-T, but rather, the weather conditions involved in the accident, I still have to retain legal counsel since I was involved. Although most states have "Good Samaritan" laws, there is no guarantee you will not require expensive legal counsel to protect yourself. Fortunately, I have access to multiple family lawyers, but it's still a pain.

In this case, rendering aid to anyone who appears to be "out of it" is risky. People can be dangerous for any number of reasons, not just criminal intent. Jeff did the right thing by staying in his car. During Hurricane Andrew, I had some guys flag me down (like there was some type of emergency) then try to hijack my vehicle and grab my photo gear through a window -- but I was ready, with my feet on the brake and accelerator so I punched it and drove off rapidly, running over at least one foot.
Warren, I'll have you know, that was my foot you ran over!!! :)

Seriously though, you make some very valid points. With me being in a prison environment for 17 years (working, not living there) I have become very aware of my surroundings wherever I go. I've never had a bad incident happen to me while chasing, but there's always a first time for everything.
I'm not really familiar with what was going on in the video, where it was located or if that area was impacted. I'm going to go on the assumption that the area in particular where this happened was impacted shortly before by a tornado. If that is the case, then it is a probability that the guy experienced something that was very traumatic to him and caused behavior that was normal for him. I could be wrong, but I'm not going to be quick to conclude the guy was on drugs.

This happened in Collin Co on HWY 78, which is nothing more than a two lane asphalt road in very rural part of Collin Co just north of Dallas where the tornado touched down in Copeville. I am with the VFD/EMT in this part of Collin Co if that tells you how rural this is compared to just the opposite side of the county where the Dallas Cowboys headquarters is. While it is pretty much just farm land there are some very nice homes and a couple of nice neighborhoods but, there is also a lot of trailer homes and there is some drugs in the rougher areas of those parts. Joey makes a good point above that if a person has mental issues and goes through a traumatic situation their mental state is in shock and they really don't know what is going on. Being in that line of volunteer work we see it happen often, MVAs, domestic violence, etc. and it not be drug related but, I wouldn't rule that out knowing that part of the county. I did hear the call come in for Collin Co EMS to respond and briefly heard the call notes but I was in Rowlett assisting on mutual aid so didn't pay that much attention. I know he was transported to an area hospital for medical treatment as I heard them when they checked out. A good rule of thumb is when in disaster areas proceed with caution as you don't know the condition of people's mental state. The first reaction is to rush in a help which is fine and normal reaction of any caring human being but, it can also be risky when you have a disaster which effects masses.

In regards to carrying, I have my CHL so I carry anyways regardless of the situation as there are some crazies out there. I will tell this story and make it quick. I was pulled over one time and when they run your tags here in Texas it will notify the officer if you are a CHL holder. Officer approached my window and asked the normal questions and stated he was aware I was a CHL holder and asked if I had any weapons in the vehicle. I stated yes I do and proceeded to tell him where it was. Legally that is all he is allowed to ask me but, he asked me if it was chambered. I told him it was not. The officer got irate but, in a father figure kind of way. Gave me this long lecture that if I have been given that right to carry that firearm it needs to be chambered at all times that there are crazy people in this world. It was kind of cool of the officer to act that way to have my safety in his regard. Most just want to know if it is in the vehicle and where and say nothing more about it.