Aaron Kreag had been an Army combat medic and a security contractor in Iraq, but tactical training came in handy last year while driving to the movies with his wife.
It was the day after Christmas, and the couple hoped to catch a matinee in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They had almost reached the theater when Kreag noticed a red sports utility vehicle stopped in the right-turn lane of an intersection.
RELATED STORY: 7 Things to Know About Domestic Violence
“The driver-side door was ajar and stuff was flying out the passenger side—belongings and clothing,” Kreag recalled. “My first thought was maybe this was a medical emergency.” Kreag got out to help, but he soon realized the driver was beating a woman in the passenger seat.
“He was punching the heck out of her,” Kreag explained. “Then he goes from punches to elbows. She’s hunched over, not defending herself, and he’s raining these sharp elbows on her head and neck.”
Kreag, a self-defense and CCW license instructor, drew his .45-caliber pistol and saw the attacker’s rage shift from the woman to him.
RELATED STORY: Domestic Violence – Understanding The Abuser And The Abused
“I’m telling him, ‘Show me your hands, get out of your vehicle, get on the ground,’” Kreag recalled. “By this time he’s really amped up, breathing heavy, and we’re hollering back and forth at each other.
“He slowly complied and got out of the vehicle, but he was still hollering at me, saying, ‘Don’t shoot me! You’re going to shoot me!’”
Kreag continued, “I was thinking, I need to de-escalate this if I can. I said, ‘I will take my finger off the trigger and relax a bit if you do the same. Stay calm and we’ll be good.’ That kind of took things down a few notches.”
RELATED STORY: 11 Domestic Violence Statistics
Patrol officers arrived with weapons drawn. They ordered Kreag to put his pistol on the pavement, and he complied. Both were cuffed, but once officers figured out what happened, Kreag was released and the driver went to jail.
Kreag said he had no regrets after the incident. “I’m just glad it did end the way it ended.”
Tell Us Your Story: Combat Handguns pays $100 for each “It Happened to Me!” letter that we print. Send yours to Combat Handguns, 1115 Broadway, New York, NY, 10010, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, address, email and phone number (including area code). A signed release is required prior to publication.