Self-Defense: Skateboards as Deadly Weapons
Updated: Jan 30, 2022
C'mon, man! They're just skateboards.
Just like knives, it's part of our normalcy bias to dismiss the threat common tools and objects can entail.
And you are not alone if you are dismissive of the threat a skateboard brings to a fight. Take this direct quote from Thomas Binger, the Kenosha County prosecutor in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse:
Binger: "Nobody’s ever died as a result of being hit with a skateboard. Now you point a gun at somebody. You’ve got the right to defend yourself. But being kicked or being hit, you don’t bring a gun to a fistfight. You don’t bring a gun when somebody is hitting you with a skateboard."
We have to take this quote in the context in which it was given. Binger is trying to show that Rittenhouse did not meet the requirements to claim self-defense when he shot Anthony Huber when Huber hit Rittenhouse with his skateboard as illustrated in the photo below.
Okay, so you don't get the whole flavor for the attack from a still photo. What we are seeing is that the man now identified as Maurice Freeland (r.), the previously unidentified so-called "jump-kick man", is rolling over after landing a kick to Rittenhouse's face after Rittenhouse tripped and fell while fleeing the mob. Huber (center top) has rushed in on the now prone Rittenhouse and struck Rittenhouse in the back of the neck with Huber's skateboard.
After Huber struck Rittenhouse he grabbed the barrel of Rittenhouse's AR-15 during which time Rittenhouse discharged the rifle once, striking Huber in the chest.
But, but, no one has ever died from being hit with a skateboard. It's just a little street justice, right?
First, a guy named Todd Starnes presumably used this new thing called Google and found out Prosecutor Binger is wrong. People do die after being hit with skateboards:
"August 3rd from the Chicago Sun Times stars skateboarder charged with beating man to death with a skateboard...September 21st, 2017, The NBC affiliate in San Diego -- homeless man brutally beaten to death with a skateboard has died. August 1st, 2021, skateboarder Terry Kennedy may face murder charges after beating man to death with skateboard. May 11th, 2013, the CBS affiliate in Los Angeles, a 25-year-old man nearly beaten to death by 40 teenagers using grace. You want to take a wild guess what? They were using a skateboard...June 10th, 2021, North Dakota teenager dies after attack while skateboarding. And it goes on and on and on. You know, we may be the only radio show that’s actually gone out there and done our homework. I mean, when you get to when you’re going to come out there and say nobody’s ever died from being beaten to death with a skateboard, that’s a load of hooey anyway."
If you can hit someone with it or stab someone with it, it's used in attacks. Check out the chart below taken from FBI statistics:
Seriously, you must be prepared to counter the blunt instrument or the edged weapon attack. Anything can be used violently. Check out the case with the photo below of the guitar -- yes a guitar.
The point here is that anything can be used as a weapon. And we can be largely nonchalant regarding potential weapons because they are familiar -- and they serve a non-violent purpose. For example, you might see a young guy with a screwdriver in his back pocket. Okay, a screwdriver. At one point during the last couple of decades, cops saw that screwdriver as a potential burglary tool. Especially if the person carrying it was not a tradesman. In this day and age, it's more likely the screwdriver is being carried as a weapon.
Be advised. People DO die from getting hit with skateboards. And fists. And boots. And rocks. And bottles. And hammers. And whatever else a bad guy can get his hands on.
Do not dismiss the damage a skateboard or any other implement can do. We are all vulnerable in the head and neck area. We must protect our head and neck first. We should expect the blows to be primarily aimed at our head. It's a caveman thing to swing fists and clubs at the opponent's head.
Your self-defense training needs to cover:
Gauging the distance between you and the attacker. We need to aggressively manage this distance.
We want to be either all the way out of the arc of his swings or all the way in to clinch with him to be inside his blows.
When we clinch, we want to entangle his limbs in such a way to keep our head safe and to keep him from following up with more blows.
We want to work our way to his side or his back.
Be aware of his weapon and your weapon. We want to be able to entangle his while keeping ours positioned so we can draw.
Look to either take him down or break the clinch to get space.
Train for this. And then, train like your life depends on it.