How To Respond In A Violent Domestic Situation

Posted at 7:50 PM, Jun 15, 2016

Over the weekend, 21-year-old Dalton Kelley was arrested for aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault. 

Police said he forced a woman he used to have a relationship with into a car and assaulted her, then let her go. 

The situation started in the parking lot of the Anytime Fitness Center on Mallory Lane. According to Franklin Police, Kelley posted bail.

So what do you do in a parking lot when a domestic situation turns violent? NewsChannel5's Alexandra Koehn took some of her questions to Lieutenant Charles Warner at the Franklin Police Department.

Alexandra Koehn said, “So Charlie every day we find ourselves in parking lots walking to our cars, maybe not really looking, what are some tips that we can do to protect ourselves?”

Charles Warner said, “One of the main things that people really need to do is keep their hands free. Obviously if someone comes up to you and tries to grab you or force you into the car or away from that location you can’t do much if your hands are full but if your hands are free, there’s a whole lot you can do as far as pushing away. Turning and running, there’s a lot that can be done with just your two hands. 

Question: “If I’m walking right now and going to get in my car, maybe someone comes up beside me and I don’t know if they’re just trying to be friendly…Should I open the door? Should I keep the door closed? Should I keep it locked so I can run?”

Warner said, “Back away from them. The best thing you can do is back away from them. If you can put some space between you and the persons that approached, that gives you that much more time to react to whatever comes next. Because they may be asking for directions. They may recognize you from a meeting that you had with them earlier that week. They may not mean you any harm but if you can just back away for a minute and give yourself a little bit of space that will give you the time you need to assess that situation and respond appropriately."

Question: “Some people would even tell them, don’t fight, don’t put up a fight. Because you will get injured. That was some of the old tips. That’s over right?” 

Warner said, “That’s the worst advice that anybody could possibly give at this point. Not fighting I mean if someone grabs you and takes you into their car, nothing good is going to come from that right. Absolutely nothing. If they take you from one location to another, your danger increases greatly. Never go anywhere with anyone. I tell this to kids. I tell this to moms. To single people whoever it is! Never get in a car and let someone take you from one location to another because your danger risk goes up greatly.”

Question: "And when you might know the person, maybe it’s an ex-husband, an ex-boyfriend or some type of relationship with… your guard is down. Which is so hard because maybe they’re just trying to have that casual conversation?

Warner said, The fact is that you know the danger level. If you know someone and you have been in a relationship with them and that relationship  has been a little rocky, you know that things aren’t good and that there is a danger. And so put that space between ya. Because no matter if it’s a stranger or someone that you know well. It gives you time to assess it and it actually makes them have to move a little more to grab you or do whatever’s going to come next."

Question: "So say you are trying to put me into a car, what would you do if you were a suspect? You would probably grab me right?

Warner said, “If someone comes up behind you as you’re trying to open your car door, back away. Don’t let yourself get pinned in. If you take a step to your left, you’re out of there. 

Question: “So say we were in that parking lot at that thrift store, some of the cars are right next to each other, if I’m walking to my car maybe put some groceries in the back and I’m heading to get in and someone gets out of this car from right here what should I do? Should I just start backing?

Warner said,“Yes start backing up because all of a sudden you’ve got all this room. If you back out of that situation it’s amazing how much room you actually have. That distance is your best friend in situations where you’re trying to assess danger to decide if someone means you harm or maybe they’re just trying to say hello... If I were to grab onto you you want to push me away and scream and you wana hit me scratch nails, once they grab onto you, all bets are off. At that point this is not good, you no longer have to assess where that is going. You know if someone is grabbing onto you, you are in danger. And you’ve got to fight like heck to get out of that situation. As quickly as you can."