If Rittenhouse had been disarmed by the victims, what would have happened to him?

I only started following this case for real a day or so before closing arguments, and right now the jury is deliberating. While that’s happening I thought it would be interesting to think about what would have happened if things went slightly different that night. This is a different question/discussion that the actual trial thread, which I did read at least some of (it’s long).

I watched the footage and read accounts of what seemed to have happened. I’m not asking what should/shouldn’t have happened, but what if:

  • 2 of the people killed seemed to be going for Rittenhouse’s rifle and got shot a split second before or during the scuffle. What if either of them had actually got a good 2-handed grip? The rifle was tethered to Rittenhouse so I don’t think it could have been yanked clear away from him… but the chances of getting shot would go way down (compared to standing several feet away from the shooter) if someone is fighting for control of the gun.

Even if they couldn’t take the gun completely away, it would have bought time and let other people rush in and join the struggle. Has there ever been a time when someone was armed, got swarmed by people, and then lost control of the gun? What happens or would happen? Is the gun man always brutally beaten? Is it realistic to think that the crowd might just sit on the kid until the cops show up?

I’m pretty sure Rittenhouse would have been beaten if he was forcibly disarmed. Or at least someone would have gotten a few good kicks in. They may have sat on him till the cops came, once they saw he was not a threat anymore. But they would be angry and Rittenhouse could have even been beaten to death, although I don’t think that was the most likely outcome. They may not want to kill him, as most people don’t want to be charged with murder.

Did you ask the magic 8 ball to determine they would have beaten him?

That’s exactly what I was thinking. They’d pin him to the ground until someone could get a cop’s attention and explain the situation.
Sure, it might not have been very comfortable for him and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone did land a kick or a punch, but I don’t think they would have beaten him to a bloody pulp. A few broken ribs or a bruised face, but I’m guessing not much more than that.

No, I’m speculating and giving my opinion. Hopefully that is clear from context.

Seems pretty clear that, at a minimum, they would have beaten the crap out of him. You don’t basically go after a guy with a rifle, especially one that isn’t actively shooting anyone, for any reason other than you want to do something to the guy. I’d say he would have been lucky to only get the crap beaten out of him. Groups of people often overdo things when they get riled up, and it’s pretty obvious these guys were riled.

I don’t think so, but it would be pure speculation. My WAG is they would have beaten him up badly, but maybe they would have made some sort of citizens arrest. If they were thinking rationally, however, they would have not been going after a guy with a gun in the first place. It would have been interesting to see what happened had they actually taken his gun from him, legally, as they would have had to make the case that they were in danger…which I think would have been a hard case to make by them, especially if they beat this kid up and especially if he hadn’t fired a shot yet. It would have been an easier case after the first shooting to say they were trying to protect others or felt they were in danger, but not before that first shooting.

Why would they have to prove anything? If you shoot someone, I grab your gun, pin you to the ground and wait for the cops. Then I tell cops that you shot that guy over there and hand the cops your gun…I’m not sure I’d have any legal issues to worry about.
What do you think I’d be charged with? Stealing your gun?

This was assuming they took his gun before he shot anyone…i.e. what they were originally trying to do. He hadn’t shot anyone when this whole thing started. Thus, taking his gun (and perhaps beating him up) would have been pre-shooting and more difficult to explain.

Had they taken his gun after the first shooting, then you are right…they probably would have been on pretty solid legal ground, though it would depend on exactly what they did after taking the gun as to whether they got off scot-free.

Assault? An unlawful arrest or something along the lines of kidnapping (or whatever the legal term is for unlawfully holding someone)? ETA: Also, KY is an open carry state, so yeah…they probably could have been charged with attempted theft. Again, if this all happened before the first shooting.

The internet is full of videos where people were chased down during a riot, then savagely beaten unconscious and hospitalized. The people doing the beating don’t wait for the cops to arrive, because, you know, they savagely beat someone.

Then you have to look at who the people chasing him were. The first guy, Rosenbaum, had already done time for 11 counts of sodomizing children between the ages of 9 and 11. He was also a violent person with two domestic battery charges and an open warrant for skipping bail. He had also just been released from a mental hospital for being suicidal.

Huber, the second guy killed, had multiple charges of domestic abuse and disprderly conduct, including an attempted strangulation of his spouse, a weapons charge and drug charges among others. He had been in and out of correctional facilities since 2016

Grosskuitz, the guy with the Glock who survived, has a lengthy arrest record for spousal abuse, theft, burglary, property damage, using a firearm while intoxicated, among others. He had previously been charged with multiple weapons offenses, and was prohibited from carrying the Glock he had.

These were not concerned citizens trying to make an arrest. They were violent criminals looking to cause trouble, and found it,

In my opinion, had Rittenhouse been caught the best he could have hoped for was a severe, life-threatening beating. And he had every reason to believe they were going to kill him. Especially since at least Rosenbaum was shouting “I’m going to kill you.”

You can read about their violent records here:

Isn’t that how it played out? The people that were trying to take his gun away were trying to take it away because he had just shot someone, not preemptively.
Since the OP asked about if either of the two people attempting to disarm him had managed to do so, I assume we’re talking about what happened after the first shooting.

I think regardless of how any other aspect of anything played out, if someone disarms someone after they’ve shot another person, they’re not likely to be charged with anything (that’s assuming no other injuries or deaths happen because of it. )

But I think the question may have been a bit ambiguous and agree with you that if you disarm someone that’s just walking down the street for no other reason than ‘they have a gun and I don’t want them to have a gun’, I could see that causing legal issues.

It is in Wisconsin as well. In fact, while not common, it’s not exactly uncommon to see people open carrying. One guy I know, a few years back, started open carrying. Seeing this guy buying flowers in a little mom and pop store with an AR-15 slung around his neck is a bit jarring. Super nice guy, but it makes people really uncomfortable.

The first guy (and I think the 2 others) WERE trying to take his gun from him originally…before the shooting. It’s not like Rittenhouse just started randomly shooting people. So, no…they were preemptively trying to take the gun from him originally, and my answer was based on this scenario. I did address if this happened after the first shooting…I think they would have been on firmer legal grounds, but this depends on exactly what they did after they took the gun away. Based on Sam’s post I’m not sanguine as to them making a simple citizens arrest and waiting for the police to come in and take him away.

Then we are talking about two different points in the timeline. I did address this part.

Sorry, I actually haven’t followed the case very closely and thought it was in KY. But, yeah, WI is also open carry, so same thing applies. He could in fact carry that weapon legally (there are a ton of caveats to this btw) as long as he wasn’t attempting to conceal it, which it doesn’t seem like he was.

My state is also open carry, so you see people from time to time going around armed.

This is strictly asking for opinions so I’ll move it to IMHO.

If someone takes a gun away from you, you have legit reason to believe that the next thing they’ll do is open fire on you with the gun. This is why cops go into 100% beatdown mode when someone tries to snatch their handgun from their holster, for instance.

I will never understand wanting to carry a rifle. A handgun is relatively unobtrusive but having to carry a rifle around is a pain in the ass. I tried my best to not carry a rifle in Iraq let alone going to buy flowers in the US.

The dead guys were riled up because he was there shooting people? And grabbing his gun was there way of being riled up, when it was pointed at them? ffs

I’d probably put my hands up and begin backing away, but then I’m 5’ 3" and 110 pounds.

Yeah, it didn’t look very comfortable for him either since he had to actually hold it the entire time. I don’t even think he’s a 2A guy. He runs a private security firm (mostly for inner city apartment complexes) and I think he thinks it helps him look the part.

I don’t know about that exact scenario, but there was this example from last year:

[Nitpick] The incident(s) in question involving Rittenhouse took place in Wisconsin, not Kentucky. Although to be fair Wisconsin is also considered to be an open carry state for firearms. [/nitpick]

I caught some of the trial while I was work. The lawyers sort of dug into the legality of Rittenhouse either possessing or carrying that rifle. Bottom line - Rittenhouse did, actually, obey the law in regards to ownership and carry. Which brought the question back to whether or not Rittenhouse was justified in killing someone else.

Mine, too (with a bunch of legal caveats I’m not going to delve into). The store I work at has a couple customers (outside of cops and security guards who are armed as part of their jobs) who come into the store with their guns. The Store Director sometimes asks them to please leave the weapons outside in their car (our preference) but we can’t force them to do that.

In this case, Rittenhouse was, apparently, able to legally obtain and carry a rifle but not yet old enough to do the same with a handgun in either his state of residence or in Wisconsin. (Disclaimer: IANAL or expert on gun carry in Wisconsin. Or anywhere else for that matter.)

Yeah, that’s the real question. All the rest of this is legal nitpicking. The meat of the trial is if he was justified in any of the killings/shootings, and as far as I know (and at this time) that’s still being debated by the jury. I don’t have any legal insights into this one way or another, as, like you, I’m not a lawyer or know that much about the law, especially this specific case which I’ve only followed a bit here and there.

There are a ton of caveats and rules. Often businesses will post their preference for customers to not bring firearms into their establishments, even saying they can refuse service if this is broken. There are a ton of places you also can’t bring firearms onto legally. When I had a carry conceal license…back when we were still using flintlocks…I recall having to learn all of the restrictions for both carry conceal and open carry, and where you can’t bring a firearm into. Honestly, even if I wanted to carry a firearm it’s more of a hassle than it’s worth, IMHO anyway. Plus, carrying a gun can get you into just the situation the main player in this drama is in right now…definitely not worth it. Again, IMHO.