A news report from California tells of a police officer had to shoot two out of five men who were attacking him for no reason, killing one of them.
The officer, whose name has not been released, had been eating with a group of family and friends at the Bank of Mexican Food restaurant in the heart of Old Town Temecula on Saturday evening, when he felt ill and stepped outside for some fresh air, said Riverside County sheriff's spokesman Jerry Franchville.
The officer was sitting outside the restaurant about 7:15 p.m. when he was suddenly hit from behind with a heavy object, possibly a chair, Franchville said. The blow knocked the officer to the ground, temporarily dazing him.
Bleeding from the head and blood running into his eyes, the officer realized he was being attacked by four or five men, Franchville said. The officer identified himself as a police officer and begged for the men to stop beating him.
Several witnesses not connected to the officer or his attackers heard the officer identify himself as a police officer, and some even saw him flash his badge, Franchville said.
Despite the officer's cries for the attack to stop, the beating continued, Franchville said. The officer pulled out his gun and fired five times, hitting Shaun Adam Vilan twice in the chest and arm, and 22-year-old Taylor Willis twice in the thigh.
Vilan, who was on parole for assault with a deadly weapon, later died at a local hospital. Willis remained hospitalized Tuesday evening.
The attack was unprovoked, Franchville said.
The really interesting part comes later in the article, where the criminal record of Mr. Vilan is described.
Vilan, who was on parole after spending six years in state prison for two assaults, had a lengthy history of ganging up on people and attacking them, according to court records. His convictions included two unprovoked assaults in 1996 and 1998, which involve Vilan smashing two people in the face with beer bottles.
In a 1996 attack, Vilan smashed a man in the face with a beer bottle, and continued to hold the broken bottle over his victim's face until the man's brother hit Vilan over the head with a wrench.
In the 1998 incident, Vilan, who was on bail at the time, approached a guest at a birthday party and sniffed him, saying, "You smell like white trash." The two men squared off, but before any punches could be thrown, Vilan smashed a beer bottle in the face of the man who stepped between them, court records show.
An October 2001 opinion by Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District, also show a series of allged assaults for which Vilan was never charged, including a birthday party in August 1996 when Vilan and a friend were said to have brutally beat a guest who tried to stop them from ransacking the bedroom of the host's father, punching him and stomping on his head with steel-toed boots.
A month later, Vilan and two other men were accused of jumping the brother of one of Vilan's previous victims, punching him, knocking him to the ground and kicking him, court records show.
In November 1997, according to court accounts, Vilan and two other men attacked a man eating in his car with his girlfriend outside a fast-food restaurant, punching and kicking him.
Two months later, Vilan punched a man in the face three times just for looking at him, according to court records.
"None of the victims did any provoking – Vilan and his cohorts did all the provoking. All the victims were outnumbered. All the encounters featured 'low blows,' i.e., unfair fighting by Vilan and his cohorts," wrote Manuel A. Ramirez, presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, 4rth Appellate District, in the October 2001 opinion rejecting Vilan's appeal that evidence admitted in his two trials was improperly admitted.
Note that despite all these offenses, despite such a horrendous record of unprovoked violence against total strangers, this scumbag was out on the streets - not in prison.
There are thousands - yes, THOUSANDS - more like him on US streets right now.
I know. I used to work with them in prison. I've seen the "revolving door" of the justice system.
If you think you're safe on the streets - think again.
Learn to observe your surroundings, detect anything out of place, and avoid it.
And learn to defend yourself in an effective way, with effective tools.
You may need them one day.
That off-duty officer certainly did.