Pedestrian self-defense?

I am a pedestrian 66 year old with a solid hardwood walking stick. I start walking across the crosswalk when it is my turn and. instead of stopping until a finish crossing a vehicle starts slowly rolling across to “encourage me” to speed it up and get out of his way. If I use my stick to take out a headlight or put a crease in his hood should I be able to claim self-defense?

I was carefully NOT told by a responding police officer that hitting the idiot riding his motorcycle on the sidewalk with my rake ONCE would have been a surprise reaction to a close call, but TWICE would have been chargeable as an assault.

Do you have evidence that the car was still in motion when it got close enough for you hit it with your stick? Driver could say they were stopped and you walked over to hit their car with your stick. If you have a witness or video you should be good.

did you fear for your personal safety?

I was still crossing and they are not stopping so, yeah.

Several years ago I was walking home from work and witnessed just about the same scenario described in the OP. Irate pedestrian, in his 30s or so, started banging on the hood of the car. Two guys jumped out and started hitting him. He reared back and swung at them with the heavy wine bottle he was carrying. The wine bottle shot out of his hand, flew about 10 feet, and hit me right in the middle of my forehead. Big cut, lots of blood, the two guys in the car fled. The ambulance took the pedestrian and me to emergency. He got 4 stitches, I got 7. The doctor heard the story and realized I was the innocent bystander. That meant I got freezing before he stitched me up. The irate pedestrian didn’t, and snivelled the whole time. I had two blackened eyes and a swollen face; with the gash and stitches in my forehead, I looked like Worf for two weeks.

So, i need to tell my weirdest “driving in NYC” story. I was stopped at a light, and a little old lady started crossing the street in front of me. She tripped, and fell in the middle of the road. Then the light turned green.

As i am not a sociopath, l kept my foot in the brake and shifted into “park” just to be safe. But the people behind me hadn’t seen her, and this being NYC, they starting honking.

After what felt like a long time, and a LOT of honking horns, some other pedestrian helped the old lady to her feet, at which point she became visible to the other drivers, and the horns stopped as they realized what had happened. And she even cleared the intersection before the light cycled, so i guess it wasn’t really all that long.

Anyway …

Maybe pretend to stumble and flail out with the cane?

Czarcasm, I’m also a full-time pedestrian in my 60s. I’ve encountered your situation several times. The first time was at a crosswalk with flashing yellow pedestrian lights. A car stopped. I took one step in front of it, and the driver surged forward a few inches. I yelled, “Hey!” and took two more steps, and it surged again and didn’t stop. I rolled off the driver’s side fender and limped across.

A similar thing happened a year later at a different crosswalk. The bicyclist behind me yelled a few choice words at the driver and stopped to check on me. Another time, I was crossing with the walk signal at a T intersection, and a driver kept surge-stopping and screamed at me to “wait for the fucking walk signal.” I pointed to the “WALK” on the walk signal, but he refused to look.

The number of vehicle vs. pedestrian fatalities has skyrocketed in recent years. I think a lot of that is road rage.

Holy frick. That’s horrible. I take it they never found the two guys in the car?

I imagine if someone took you to court over this you’d likely make a sympathetic witness. You were minding your own business when this strange vehicle kept inching closer and you struck it for fear it wouldn’t stop.

While I don’t use a cane, when I was in my early 40s I adopted the custom of striking vehicles (when possible) if they didn’t respect my right-of-way as as pedestrian. Usually that means just slapping the palm of my hand pretty hard against a door or side panel. Once in downtown Little Rock, Mrs. Odesio and I waited patiently for the light to turn green and an SUV decided it was the perfect time to make a right after we stepped out onto the street. I managed to slam the bottom of my balled fist into the back passenger side window pretty hard and the driver stopped his vehicle when he made it through the intersection. I thought he was going to exit his vehicle but he just honked at me, I gave him the finger, and he decided driving away was the best course of action. Another driver got a good laugh at of the situation so at least something positive came from it all.

I think I’m more worried about someone wanting to fight me for hitting their vehicle than I am getting charged with anything.

Yeah. Don’t think I’d be hitting cars in Little Rock. That’s kinda scary.

Nope, nothing done about them. The pedestrian was terrified I was going to sue him until we bumped into each other at the grocery store and I assured him I wasn’t going to.

I don’t think a plea in court would matter if you get run over or shot or battered to death in a road rage attack.

It seems imprudent to do that. A small stick against a ???lb. rolling weapon.

I don’t know the answer as to what to do about it. The way people are these days it’s your life either way. Getting struck by a slow roll or shot? I think I’ll choose the slow roll and cross my fingers.
There’s no way to win. You’re gonna lose no matter what.

But I’ll do it myyyyy wayyyyy.

Alas, too many potentially negative consequences just to inflict a little auto body damage. You kinda have to let karma deal with it.

Recently, a cyclist hit a car that tried to knock him down while he was on a road where bikes have priority. The driver stopped, and the cyclist ended up with a slashed throat for his audacity. He survived.

Tellingly, when the event was reported in the local press, dozens of people managed to find “excuses” for the driver.

Whilst I sympathise (and of course you had right of way), I really don’t advise hitting the car.

  1. How is it ‘self-defence’?

  2. If police are called, it could be just your word against his - and you’ve done criminal damage to the car.

  3. If the driver decides to run you over (or gets out and beats you up), would you think it was worth it?!

Perhaps instead you could get across safely, take the licence plate details and drop into a police station to discuss it.

What you need is the Pedestrian Crossing Brick.

I’ve told this story somewhere else.

The pedestrian is not always right. Once when my cousin was stopped a few cars back from a red light a ped on a cell phone walked into the side of her car. She was not stopped in a crosswalk. Just waiting for the red light.

With that kind of situational awareness, I don’t give the ped long to live.

I am also 66. I’ve learned that there is wisdom in learning to let things go and going on happily with your day.

Easier said than done sometimes, I acknowledge. But something I strive toward.