Attempted Kidnapping Caught on Camera

Attempted Kidnapping Caught on Camera

There’s a BIG difference between a carjacking and a kidnapping, and you need to know the responses to each to practice Active Self Protection effectively! What would you have done in this man’s situation

Original video of the attempted kidnapping:


News story of the kidnapping attempt and the follow-up:


What does this video teach us about our self-defense against kidnapping?


  1. Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. I think that this man was pretty aware of his surroundings before the kidnapping attempt, and being able to see it coming was evidence that he was thinking and processing as the kidnapping attempt continued as well. Awareness always pays!


  1. Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. The attacker used the transitional space to hide and launch the kidnapping attempt from ambush.


  1. If you do not have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from an attacker, then your only option is to submit to their demands and hope it works out for the best. I would never suggest that a helpless person try to defend themselves against a carjacking or armed robbery, though of course if it’s a matter of life and death you must do whatever you can. When this became a kidnapping, the time for compliance was over! The point, though, is not to be a helpless victim! This is the heart of Active Self Protection, to motivate you to train and help you develop the attitude, skills, and plan so that you can choose to protect yourself if it makes sense in the moment rather than being forced into compliance with a violent felon.


  1. Situational awareness is useful for more than seeing the attack coming, but also for knowing what is happening during the attack. In particular, if your awareness is strong you might get to see an attacker put their gun away to use both hands during a kidnapping, or you might see that the robber’s gun malfunctions or is empty. That information can give you the cue to act definitively to defend yourself by running or by counter-attacking the aggressor. This is not only why awareness is important, but knowledge of firearms and tools is as well!


  1. You must establish some “bright lines” of when you’ll fight for your life, no matter the odds. Sometimes it might be best to give in, but there are some situations that are so dire that any odds are better than none. For me, being tied up is one of those bright lines. The second is being taken to a second location, i.e. a kidnapping. In a kidnapping situation I will fight to the death right where I am. You must establish your own “bright lines” of defense that you know it’s time to go right now.


  1. Never, ever, under any circumstances allow yourself to be taken to a second location. Kidnapping almost never ends well. The odds of terrible things happening to you rise exponentially when an attacker is allowed to get you isolated and in private. You must make the decision that if an attacker tries to take you to a second location that you will fight to the death to prevent that. This takes spiritual fitness, the courage to know what you’re willing to fight for.


  1. Many times the best solution to being attacked is simply to run. Escape is a fine choice if nothing compels you to stand and fight! Clearly if you have kids or other vulnerable loved ones with you, you won’t be able to run away, but if that’s not an issue then running away may well be the best strategy available. If you can run from an attack and get to safety, then by all means do. A kidnapping doesn’t mean you have to fight the kidnapper to the death…running is perfectly acceptable!


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at




Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

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