assaulted at the tennis court a new one for me

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by _mats_, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Ok, this is an amazing story, this happened to me yesterday and still cannot believe it.

    Playing a friendly doubles match like we do every Tue, Thurs and Sats (not league or USTA) with this group.

    I played with and against this guy who is approx 70yrs old (im 33), I do not know why but he never liked me, while I never had anything against him.

    Anyway he was being negative about everything on my game as usual (this time mostly because I had to give up some balls because of a sprained knee, saying that I should stay home before playing tennis like that and not able to chase some balls otherwise I should not show up to play etc..)

    We were playing and a ball was called out, I hit a backhand to the server returning the ball for him to serve, but I mis-timed it and it went to this 70yrs old (it did not even hit him as he put his racquet in front) an honest mistake, I apologized, but he was bent over this.

    Thing is at the end the match he says very nervously "you should know what the "F" you are doing etc" and leaves, so I talk to the other players to see if I should go talk to him or not, one advises me to , the other not to.

    So, I decided to go and talk to him and assure him it was a mistake, I specifically told him I had nothing against him even though he never liked me (or hated me for some unknown reason).

    Things get interesting and he starts shaking and using the S and F word (there were a couple HS kids playing who stopped and came closer to see what was going on).

    He then shoves his index in my chest and goes off about some crazy stuff using foul language, just 2 inches from my face.. I tried to get him to calm down and I specifically said "(name here), I want to make friends not enemies" in a very calm voice.. then he said "well you made one today (enemy I assume?) and he headbutted me on the nose.. I stood there motionless in complete awe at what just happened which was vicious and bizarre.

    At that point I feel something streaming down I touched it and with the index I showed him blood.. without saying a word, he then knew he screwed up instantly as he said "and don't go telling I headbutted you, that was my "CAP that hit you!!" it was ridiculous.

    Another player who happened to be behind me witnessing everything came over and handed me a tissue and offered his phone number, name etc.. and told me I should call the police..

    I got home and did so, did not press charges as the officer told me that would put him in jail, but I filed an incident report instead, I didnt want to ruin this guy's life for headbutting me, so the police are going to let him know they know about this and contact my witness(es) since there were other HS kids on the court.

    I still have NOTHING against the guy (except that he assaulted me) I honestly feel bad for the guy, who obviously is very unstable, it was an extremely odd situation.

    Needless to say I will still have to see him when we play, I will not play with or against him again though, I would politely decline, but I cannot let him bully me out of the fun of tennis and public courts.

    BTW, he has had issues with almost any other playing since the 70's.

    Had to tell a story, still very shocked (wish it was an Aprils fool joke too!) sadly, it wasnt :cry:
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
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  2. Caloi

    Caloi Semi-Pro

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    You got bullied...by a 70 year old?! That's a tough scenario you've layed out. I don't handle bully's well. I'd just as soon kick the ass of a 7 year old bullying my kid as much as a 70 year old guy bullying anyone at the courts. I don't have any advice for you other than to say good luck. Hopefully he'll calm down next time you meet up.
     
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  3. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Caloi, yes ! I know its funny, sad, unbelievable, everything.

    I don't know where you are, but here in the states I if retribute the action and there is such an age gap, I would be in trouble tenfold, in this case Im extremely surprised and thankful I remained calm (mostly shocked, since I didnt understand what was going on), otherwise I would be in deep right now, and I have a son, a wife.. not a good scenario to be in jail.

    That is the reason I was nice to him and did not press charges, this guy is a HS coach (believe it or not) and did not want to ruin his life either, but if he is this unstable and polemical with everyone I would be surprised if this is the first time he goes this far.

    Thanks for the post Caloi !
     
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  4. Bad Dog

    Bad Dog Semi-Pro

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    Very sorry to hear of your experience; there are jerks everywhere in life, and one of those jerks just happened to find you on the tennis court. People age in one of two ways: gracefully or bitterly. Your opponent aged bitterly, and it sounds like he is simply angry at the world.
     
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  5. spiderman123

    spiderman123 Professional

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    If he has always been a trouble maker, If I were you, I would have stopped playing with/against him a long time ago.

    As a family man, you must be knowing that time out playing tennis comes at a premium and I would not want to waste that precious time with such characters. The good people in this world far outnumber the bad ones and it should not be difficult to find a pleasant group to play with. My 2 cents.
     
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  6. saram

    saram Legend

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    Holy crap!

    I might have pressed charges based on one thing--his telling you not to tell anyone he assaulted you. That shows that he knows his behavior is wrong, that it is wrong to assault someone and he really does not care.

    Regardless of age--no one has the right to intimidate nor assault anyone else on this planet.

    I'll also reach out virtually here and offer to shake your hand commend you for not reacting to violence with violence. VERY well done, Sir.
     
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  7. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Thanks for the comments Saram, Spiderman and Bad Dog

    Really appreciate it ! I agree with everything, I should have not played him long ago, that is very true, I will now remove myself from these situations, very good advice.

    Saram, I thought about it for a long time, about 1 hr before I called the cops, I wanted to have a clear head knowing that I would change this guy's life drastically, its a big thing to do, I think this leaves a precedent, in case he does not have another incident filed already, but that is up to the Police to assess, thanks for the handshake appreciated !

    Thanks again for the support, I mean it
     
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  8. Jimmyk459

    Jimmyk459 Rookie

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    Its called a nice clean ***** SLAP!!! learn to use it...
     
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  9. pabletion

    pabletion Professional

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    my my.... you did handle the situation much more calmly than I would have... Good man not to put him in jail, and maybe he'll be embarrassed enough with the police having him know about it...

    what I would do from now on, completely ignore him and if he ever says anything again, press charges and maybe put a restraining order against him (since youre in the States ;), if it was here in my country I would threaten to kick his ass!!!)

    Ive held my ground against a couple of geezers at my club, they act kinda like bullies I dont know why the hell!!?? One is a crazy man who gets angry at anything, he takes his grandsons to lessons and hes a complete a-hole..., yells at them for being lazy or not play well, to hustle... etc etc. Hes so loud and annoying! One time I was on the next court I just went SHHHHHH!!!! TOO LOUD! out loud and he kinda got rattled; nothing happened, but Im sure he wasnt used to getting asked to keep it down.
     
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  10. saram

    saram Legend

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    No, that is absolutely NOT the right thing to do.
     
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  11. Serpententacle

    Serpententacle Hall of Fame

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    Are you sure this isn't an April Fools fake out?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
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  12. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Absolutely not, this just happened yesterday, I wish it was, trust me, I only wish it did not happen.
     
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  13. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    What courts were these at? Are you somewhere near Seattle? I'm just curious since I see PNW in your location and I'm there too.

    I think beating up a 70 year old is worse than being beaten up by one...?
     
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  14. Gorecki

    Gorecki G.O.A.T.

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    well mats. you are a very nice person. way better than i am. i would have beat the crap out of him...:evil:
     
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  15. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Hi Kimbahpnam.. I am in Kitsap county, across the sound, I do not intend to burn this guy online either, so let's just say Kitsap.

    As far as beating/get "beat" in a way, yes thats the way I look at it now, and Im glad it went the way it went.

    Thanks !
     
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  16. Jack the Hack

    Jack the Hack Hall of Fame

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    Just my 2 cents...

    I think that by not pressing charges, you are letting this guy get away from his responsibility. As you've reported, you were assaulted on the tennis court. If the guy gets away with it this time, he'll likely do it to someone else later (either on the court or in another setting). The fact that he's 70 years old should only indicate that he's never grown up or had to face the consequences of his anger problem. The fact that you mentioned that he is currently a high school tennis coach just reinforces the idea to me that he needs to be held accountable.

    (I'm a former college and high school coach, and I always felt that my behaviour was held to a higher standard on and off the court. I understand anger, but crossing the line to assault means that he needs help... and pressing charges may be the only way to insure that he gets it.)
     
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  17. Jim A

    Jim A Professional

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    I'd play again and probably just crush one overhead into his chest, but I guess I'm like that. Being "part of the game" stuff happens on the court

    It would take a lot to get me to that point, I'm pretty calm 99.9% of the time..but someone headbutting me and giving me a bloody nose (and running the risk of breaking my nose) would probably do it...
     
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  18. dwhiteside

    dwhiteside Semi-Pro

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    The guy obviously has some psychological issues, if he'd do that. Not mentally stable in terms of aggression and anger management. Definitely distance yourself from him as much as possible.

    What was he saying more specifically when you approached him between when you said "I have nothing against you" and when he headbutted you? (You referred to using the S and F word... why? What types of things was he saying?) This is very interesting and definitely strange and offputting :(. That'd soil my tennis experience at that club for a while!
     
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  19. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    There are conditions like onset of Alzheimers and Parkinsons where behavior can change and old people act stubbornly and belligerently.

    Let it go.
     
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  20. l_gonzalez

    l_gonzalez Professional

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    man, i find it amazing that you kept your cool. Kudos to you. Anyone assaults me anywhere and instinct just takes over. If that had been me in your shoes, i probably would have punched the guy and that would have turned out horribly as only bad things can happen when you punch a 70 year old man...

    Violence on the tennis court is not unheard of though and it's happened to me quite a few times.

    Beat a guy at a junior tournament once (we were both 16) and he was far from a happy camper and stormed out without shaking my hand or anything. Next thing i know, i'm on my way home waiting at the bus stop and I see the guy coming at me in a menacing way... drops his tennis bag and just starts wailing on me! I hit back and then his friends got involved and my friends got involved, within minutes the police had turned up and put most of us in the back of a police van...

    Another time a couple of years ago i played a league match in a rough part of town against a local guy. He was cheating throughout but i didn't argue much as he was a big guy (well over 6ft and 200lbs+) I won, and when i shook his hand i said "Bad luck mate, good luck in your next match"... and he absolutely lost it! He was like: "Luck?! this ain't about luck you little s**t, i'm a better player, you just robbed me you *%@@@*%" and he just started ranting and went crazy, grabbed me by the neck and threw me to the ground. I ran out of the court and he started chasing me around, threw a brick at me (missed) and then he picked up some kind of steel pipe that he found and chased me with that in his hand. I was scared for my life but then the police turned up and saved my ass. Later i found out the guy had done 5 years in jail for aggravated assault.... just goes to show you never know who you're gonna come up against on an internet tennis league.

    I also had a major incident when a group of about 20 kids from a nearby gipsy campsite stormed our tennis club armed with baseball bats, chains and all kinds of improvised weapons and robbed everyone that was there...
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They don't, but their testerone level reduces and they become less competitive in general (though they may be the opposite in their own age circle).
     
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  22. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Well, all kinds of things, he made a maneuver on the court so that I would be on one end to prove that I could not move, and I pointed out to him that it looked intentional and there was no need for it, and then he lashed out at me, saying that he did not need to do that to make me look bad, that I make myself look bad the way I hit the ball (I know, ridiculous comment/reason to headbutt someone).

    And from there it went in-crescendo, he said almost literally if I can remember, "You dont know S... now get the F.. home and out of these F.. courts and dont show up again" all of this 2'' from my face.

    I was super calm all the way (shocked), I mentioned the friends bit and then the headbutt.

    l_gonzalez, those are really bad experiences, the fact that you both were 16 played a huge role too, not surprised the guy did 5yrs for aggravated assault though.
     
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  23. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Phew just a quick update.

    Got a phone call from one of the players I play with to show his support, he almost had a fistfight with this guy 5 or 6 years ago, and he encouraged to keep coming out and play with them, (just not "with" this guy particularly), and told me not to get affected by this bad experience.

    So all is good, there is definitely a pattern and that is a little re-assuring to me, I never had a problem with anyone else.

    sigh... I take this as experience, that obsession is definitely not a good thing.

    Thanks again for the support !
     
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  24. EasleyTennis

    EasleyTennis Rookie

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    It's actually considered battery if he hit you. I don't see how you didn't jack him in the face after he did that..
     
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  25. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Thanks, I did not know the legal distinction, had to look it up in wikipedia, ok yes, it was battery.

    The officer wanted me to acknowledge that if I pressed charges he WILL go to jail, he even emphasized the "will".

    I did not think it was that severe, this sets a precedent in case anything else happens, verbal abuse and I will call them again.

    Thanks again -
     
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  26. 10sfreak

    10sfreak Semi-Pro

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    OP, by not pressing charges against the old geezer, you may have inadverdently set him up for a REAL ass-whoopin' in the future. See, he got away with it this time, so he might feel emboldened to do the same thing to someone else, who might not be quite as patient as you are.
     
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  27. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Next time mats, snatch that old man's walker from him then ground and pound that old geezer.
     
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  28. chilllaxin006

    chilllaxin006 Rookie

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    april fools day anyone
     
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  29. Patrick_St

    Patrick_St Rookie

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    Sounds like an April Fools' Day prank to me.
     
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  30. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Yes I dont know, I might see him tomorrow or sat. weather permitting hope I can resume playing tennis without further incidents.

    To the people claiming April's fools, its understandable, I would probably think the same.

    Thanks again -
     
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  31. maverick66

    maverick66 Hall of Fame

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    i would have pressed the charges. if hes man enough to throw the head butt let him be man enough to deal with the consequences.
     
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  32. mauricem

    mauricem Rookie

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    Public courts or a tennis club? If the latter then surely that would be grounds to have his membership revoked.

    What about the rest of this "friendly" group, sounds like they need to man up and tell him hes not welcome anymore especially as this was evidence of a pattern of intimidatory behavior

    Even though I'm not litigious by nature I think a civil damages suit might be worth considering if for no other reason than to reinforce the consequences of actions to this old bas*******

    Congrats on keeping your cool, something coming out of left field like that its difficult to know how to react.
     
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  33. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Thanks, it came SO out of left field that I was at a loss of words and actions.

    Again, I will see how things develop Thurs. or Sat., 3 of the people that play in the group showed support, I will talk to them and see what they plan on doing, this guy has been playing tennis since 68' and is embedded in the local tennis scene, but there is some pattern definitely, so I will talk to them and see what they plan on doing, my guess is they wont do anything and just play.

    Our group plays at a high school, and sometimes on a different public courts when the HS has team practice.

    Again, I will feel things out Thurs, or Sat. and see how he acts, I will keep my distance, and if anything comes up I will call the police on the spot.

    If he never interacts with me again and I get to play in peace with the rest, im cool with that at this point I think.

    Thanks again for reading, Ive seen a lot of drama posted here and now it is my turn, I could not see this coming in a million years.
     
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  34. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    That is horrible, especially in a "friendly match"
     
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  35. moonbat

    moonbat Semi-Pro

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    It's assault AND battery and I think you and your buds should get together and ban the guy. How's your nose?
     
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  36. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    You should have pressed charges and then told him that his headbutt just
    landed him a free night in the pen and the words head & butt are going to have
    a whole new meaning for him...
     
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  37. BorisBecker1872

    BorisBecker1872 New User

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    Interesting story. I would have had the police ARREST him. He did, after all, assault you. You did do the right thing in not attacking him back as that would not be right given his age. Unfortunate incident.
     
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  38. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    What an idiot... I'd be immensely thankful if i was able to play tennis at that age...
    You should have had him sent to jail.. Give him a chance to think about things... You're too nice, _Mats_...
    *hug for you*
     
    #38
  39. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    angry old guys are a tough riddle to solve. their anger is compounded by the fact they know if they really haul off and try to punch you, they're getting knocked on their ass. so the rage builds, compounded by frustration at their own advanced age and physical impotence, they start to shake, and usually, some comically small bit of violence slips out (a finger push, your head butt, an awkward half-shove, etc.)

    nothing to do but walk away. however in your case, i might have said, 'ok, because i'm a good guy, i won't call the police, but (smash) when you learn how to behave, you can buy yourself another tennis racket.'
     
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  40. sciwriter

    sciwriter New User

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    You should have pressed charges. I have been dealing with similarly crazy old guys. Your assailant will learn only by spending time in jail.
     
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  41. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Old man or not once he assaulted me anything I did in retaliation would have been considered self defense.

    Im not saying I would try to hurt the old man seriously but I surely would have returned the headbutt or maybe laid him out.
     
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  42. darthpwner

    darthpwner Banned

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    Wow thats 1 crazy old fart. u shouldve been like saram's friend and tried to kill him with a tennis ball after the incident
     
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  43. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Moonbat, my nose is just fine, it just bled a little bit on the spot, thats the reason this unknown player came over with a tissue and help.

    Onehandbh, I looked it up and battery could land from 2 to 5 years in jail though, it was too much, I did not know this until I called the Police and the officer confirmed this and wanted me to acknowledge it, it seemed harsh, but at the same time he cant go around doing this and not expecting consequences, so I thought the incident report was good enough, with a police visit and that staying on the record.

    I there is a minor incident from now on I have that as a precedent.

    Thanks for the comments -
     
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  44. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    You did the right thing by not escalating the situation. First because beating up an old person, even in self-defense, is a lose-lose. Second, there is a chance that old guy can still hand out ass-whoopins, and getting your ass handed to you by an old man doesn't look a whole lot better than handing his to him. FWIW, I have known guys who have permits to carry a concealed weapon and keep a pistol in their tennis bag.


    To all you young guys who think every 70 year old out there is a pushover I wish you could have met my late uncle. He was a former Army intelligence and security officer and was 6'3" 225 from his mid-20s to his mid-70s and could hand out hand-to-hand ass-whippings with the best of them. Give him an additional implement of destruction, say for example a tennis racquet, and he could be positively scary.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
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  45. jmjmkim

    jmjmkim Semi-Pro

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    GOM = Grumpy Old Man
     
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  46. Gemini

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    You're right. The original poster did do the right thing by not escalating the situation but I have to disagree that beating up on an "old" person is a lose-lose. If that "old" person is fully-capable of doing me serious harm with his bare hands (and most definitely with a weapon), as you illustrate with your uncle, the greatest thing I potentially have to lose in that altercation is my life.

    I never see true self-defense (no matter the age, gender, etc. of my assailant) as a loss when I'm trying to save my own life or at least minimize the damage.

    As for the OP, you're a better person than I am in this situation. The fact that this guy battered you after his verbal tirade would've been enough for me to snap on him given my mood as of late.
     
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  47. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    fait accompli?

    I've had a similar situation occur to me, although it was verbal abuse to a female hitting partner of mine by another male whom I had never played with, but had been invited to hit with on several occassions.

    When the verbal abuse happened, he was on the court next to us and was apparently bothered by our presence, and he decided to take it out on my partner. I immediately stopped play, went over to him and told him if he was willing to pay for our court that he could establish the ground rules, otherwise he best mind his own business.

    Afterwards, I spoke to the club management about him and learned he had quite a reputation for this sort of thing. He had shown up at my club only after being kicked out of another nearby club for countless accounts of verbal abuse. My club's owners had to move people around to contain the damage caused by this guy and was perilously close to revoking his membership.

    Over the course of the next 6 months, the guys hitting partners list kept shrinking, to the point where he simply vanished (I think he moved to a different location, much like a virus moving to a different host after the current host rejects). The moral of the story is these kind of people eventually seal their own fate. I suggest you ask your hitting buddies to adopt a zero-tolerance policy and this guy will either start behaving (unlikely, given that he is 70) or simply go away.
     
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  48. _mats_

    _mats_ Rookie

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    Jrod -

    I will see what I can do, truth is after posting it here now this thing is consuming me as I think of it all day long.

    I might go to the Police station to see what my options are in case he remains belligerent and/or defiant about what happened.

    Thanks -
     
    #48
  49. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I agree. After all, he did assault you so you have every right to understand your options.

    Regardless, asking your buddies to institute a zero-tolerance policy should be appealing to them as well. I can't believe anyone could be so hard up to play to tolerate this kind of behavior. There are lots of nice, rational, fun people to play with. Why bother with him at all?
     
    #49
  50. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Messages:
    24,466
    Location:
    FT. Lauderdale, Florida
    any pictures?? videos??? :)

    J/k. Sorry to hear about this. Better to just stay away from him. You did the right thing in:

    1. not kickiing his ***
    2. filing an incident with the police.

    good luck.
     
    #50

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