Sean Taylor: What Would You Do?

Well the arrests in the Sean Taylor murder have been made and the Miami Herald has the best story on it out there. Real yeoman effort by Larry Lebowitz, R.C. White, Manny Garcia, and David Ovalle. Wait, Manny Garcia? That's right, they dusted the editor (and former ace reporter) off the shelf for this one. You gotta like that.

South Florida is going to breath a little bit easier now. It wasn't random -- Taylor's house was targeted because it was Taylor's house. It seems at least two of the suspects had ties to him, one of them through his half-sister, Sasha Johnson, who lives in Fort Myers (I killed the short post from last evening on that angle because the TV report I featured might have been a little misleading -- oh, and whoever posted that comment, please repost, it was a good one).

It's also somehow reassuring to learn that the motive was burglary and not murder. I'm going to go ahead and assume that it's true that the burglars burst into Taylor's bedroom down and then shot him. The probable scenario is that they're breaking into the bedroom to get a safe or whatever they think might be in there, completely unaware that Taylor, his girlfriend, and his baby daughter are in there. Taylor waits in silence for them and then, when they get through the door, goes after them with his machete. He's shot in the confrontation.

Think if it was you. You're in bed and you hear a noise. We've all been in that situation before. One time a long while ago, long before we got the dog, there were two loud noises that woke me and my wife up. I got up and stood there in the dark in my underwear, thinking about what to do. There were essentially three choices:

1. Stay silent and wait, either for the intruder to leave or for a chance to get him. 2. Yell out to let the intruder know you're there and will kill him if needs be. 3. Venture out to confront the intruder.

I went with the second option, deciding they should know they were in for some hell if they wanted some. I yelled something like, "Listen motherfucker, come back here and you're going to get your head blown off!"

I waited a little while and it was nothing. A loose pan fell off a shelf or something. But I wonder if Taylor had done that if he would still be alive. If those idiot kids from Fort Myers would have gotten out of there as fast as possible when they heard him yell.

Made me wonder what the hell you're supposed to do in that situation. I found this on WikiHow:

1. Be proactive and take immediate action - do not be passive and stay in bed thinking about a rational cause for the noise.

2. Shut your bedroom door, lock it and place a barricade behind it - a chair lodged under the handle, or a heavy dresser pushed in place will be adequate.

3. Turn the light on and contact the police on a cell phone - the land line may be cut or the intruder could listen in to your call.

4. Arm yourself with something adequate - a bat, a golf club, a firearm if you have one. Be prepared to use it if the intruder breaks through your barricade.

5. Make noise if you are confident - jump up and down, shout out that you have called the police. The noise may scare the intruder away. This may also increase your adrenaline and better equip you to handle a possible confrontation.

6. Open your window - if an intruder breaks through your barricade, you will at least have an escape route. You can also shout to the police when they arrive.

7. When the police arrive, stay in your locked room until they have cleared the house and knocked on your door.

8. Ask the police to check your attic/loft and basement. Your worst fears could be realised if, once the police have gone, the intruder is still in your house.

9. Consider staying with a friend or neighbour for the rest of the evening. If you wake to see someone standing at the end of your bed, act IMMEDIATELY. Know that immediately means "without hesitation".

10. Throw objects at the intruder, aiming for his face, head and chest. Use pillows, books, alarm clocks, your drinking glass - anything you can put your hands on.

11. Run to your bedroom door if you believe you can make it - otherwise you may have to engage the intruder and neutralise him.

12. Strike the eyes, nose, throat, neck and groin if you get into a fight. If the intruder has a weapon, consider disarming him and using it for your own protection.

13. These rules apply if the intruder is making his way toward you -- throw objects, scream, punch, kick, bite, stab -- do whatever is necessary to preserve your life.

I love that: "If the intruder has a weapon, consider disarming him and using it for your own protection." The greatest "easier said than done" advice I've ever heard.

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Bob Norman
Contact: Bob Norman