UPDATE: See Yahoo! News’ coverage of this story here, or watch the video below:
Many of you have probably seen the new shocking Live Leak video of a motorist driving a Range Rover in New York City. In the video, the driver has a frightening confrontation with a large group of motorcyclists who create a road block by surrounding the vehicle, repeatedly try to force open the car doors, and spawn a chase that lasts several minutes. The chase ends as the driver is violently pulled out of his vehicle and is severely beaten in the street in front of his wife and five-month-old child. Although we don’t have all the facts (see Daily Mail article for more details) and we weren’t able to see what happened before the initial confrontation occurred, from a security perspective, our goal with this post is to analyze the situation and provide important feedback to clients and potential clients regarding how to react if faced with a similar scenario. We also want to demonstrate how armoring can help a motorist stay safe while under this type of attack (jump to TAC demo video).
It’s relevant to note that the man driving the Range Rover was traveling with his wife and small child in the vehicle and likely feared for his life and those of his loved ones while being chased by this pack of motorcyclists. The video begins with a group of bikers surrounding the Range Rover, slowing down in front of it to create a roadblock, and trying to force the vehicle to stop. One of the bikers appears to taunt the driver and intentionally slows down, forcing a small collision to occur. Normally, the right the thing to do in the event of a collision is to get out and exchange insurance information—obviously, that’s not a wise decision when you’re surrounded by a gang of angry bikers who apparently hold some ill will against you.
The first mistake we notice in the video is that the man driving the Range Rover (Alexian Lien) allows a forced stop by the gang group of bikers. One of the initial concepts that we teach our clients is to NEVER STOP the vehicle and to always keep moving in the event of an attack.
Fortunately (for Mr. Lien), after one of the motorcyclists tries to open the door to his vehicle, he steps on the gas and temporarily escapes. Unfortunately (for the bikers), the Range Rover made short work of the motley crew and plowed through what appears to be a couple of bikes and one of the riders.
While we don’t know what was happening inside the vehicle after the Range Rover escaped the initial confrontation, our recommended course of action would have been to keep driving on the freeway as long as possible while calling the police and allowing them time to respond and defuse the situation. We don’t know if the driver did that or not, but avoiding a high-speed conflict is always preferable to a tactical Hollywood car chase. While waiting for the police is great, in a dangerous scenario where you’re being chased by bikers, sometimes that isn’t an option.
For our clients, one of the second concepts we teach is to USE YOUR VEHICLE TO YOUR TACTICAL ADVANTAGE—employ evasive driving techniques, ram potential attackers off the road, go off-road if possible where your pursuers can’t follow, and use the defensive capabilities of your car as an offensive deterrent. If the vehicle is equipped, use defensive counter-measures:
- Engage the secure-door-deadbolt-locking system to prevent forced extraction of your, your associates, or your loved ones from the vehicle.
- Active the siren/strobe light system to draw attention, move traffic out of your path, and intimidate/deter attackers.
- Turn on the electric-shocking door handles to keep assailants from opening your doors.
- Deploy the smokescreen system to lose pursuers and mask your getaway.
- Activate the road-spike strip system to burst the tires of your attackers.
- And if all else fails, make good use of your dual ram bumpers and get away by all means necessary.
One of the third concepts that we teach our clients is ALWAYS BE ARMED. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a legal option for Mr. Lien due to NYC’s Draconian, oppressive gun laws. Had Mr. Lien been armed, this entire scenario could have ended much differently and his attackers might have been deterred from the onset of the conflict.
Obviously, the biggest asset that would have helped Mr. Lien to stay safe in this situation and any other life threatening attack while driving is an armored vehicle. Near the end of the video, the bikers eventually force the driver to stop, smash the door windows, pull Mr. Lien out the vehicle, and brutally assault him in front of his wife and infant child.
If Mr. Lien’s vehicle had been armored, the bikers likely would have never been able to penetrate the glass and the vehicle’s occupants could have remained safe inside until help arrived.
Below is a video demonstration showing how armored glass reacts after being struck repeatedly by a hard object and then shot. We took two of our toughest guys, one with armed with a motorcycle helmet like in the video and the other armed with a steel pipe, and let them try to break through the glass. After they gave the glass a beating, we let our sharp shooter blast the window with a 9mm pistol. We won’t give away the ending, but you can imagine how different Alexian Lien’s experience might have been if his vehicle were armored.
Life is Valuable. Protect It.