Troy, Michigan – According to the Oakland Press on January 19, 2016:

“Troy police have arrested a 21-year-old man after he allegedly stabbed a security volunteer at the Christ the King Syriac Church on John R. Road on Sunday.

Police said the suspect, Brian Boulus of Center Line, was approaching the church door when the security volunteer saw that Boulus had a knife.

Boulus was told to put the knife back in his car before entering the church but he pulled the knife and stabbed the victim and then fled the scene.

Police said the victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported to Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital by Alliance Mobile Health.  The wound was described as a slash mark to the stomach caused by a small kitchen knife.

“Multiple witnesses observed the incident, which occurred outside of the building. Investigation revealed that Boulus is a disgruntled member of the church,” Troy police said.

Boulus was arraigned on Tuesday in front of Magistrate Waldmann on a charge of assault with intent to commit murder. His bond was set at $100,000 cash or surety.”

Training Considerations

While most everybody who goes to church is generally peace loving, from time to time emotional situations do occur, and as we see on a weekly basis anything can happen anywhere at anytime.

There are a lot of facts about the case we don’t know.  However, we do know a volunteer was paying attention, confronted an armed person he saw as a threat, and he stopped him from entering into the church where he could carry out his plan of violence

We don’t know what caused this man to act out, but there are a few things to consider.  Knives of all sizes can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time.  Anyone slashing or stabbing is committing a felonious assault, the person being assaulted is at risk of serious physical harm (permanent injury) or death and the laws of self defense come into play here – no matter the size of the knife.  I would be reasonable to guess the volunteer thought his life was in jeopardy at the moment the subject lunged for him.

The volunteer, I can only think, was trying to keep the suspect outside and away from the group inside the church.  Whether he was made aware of a stewing problem with the suspect by the pastor or church board isn’t known.  While I find it admirable he risked his personal safety to save others, I was left with the thought; Why didn’t he lock the door?  Was it because he didn’t really believe the suspect would use the knife?  Was there a relationship between the two?  Was he shocked and surprised without a plan of action?

There are two considerations when dealing with a subject with a knife.  The first one is that if you decide to engage someone holding a knife without a weapon of your own (even if you have a weapon), there is a high probability you will be stabbed or slashed.  There will be blood, often times alot of it.

While I don’t relish the thought of fighting someone with a knife in any sense of the imagination, the two key actions one must take are to neutralize the arm/hand with a knife by moving toward the threat and blunting the arm’s action with a gross motor skill movement like an arm trap and at the same time deliver a crushing blow to the eyes and throat (not being able to see or breath may stop his aggressive action).

Unless this is practiced, it will be very tough to do.

If there is any notice of an aggressor armed with a knife, a first choice for me at least is a tactical retreat, so that I can mount a defense by locking or barricading a door stopping him from entering or allowing myself the opportunity to grab a metal folding chair to keep some kind of tactical gap combined with a striking weapon.  Other options include pepper spray, a baton, Taser or firearm.  If I were standing in the volunteer’s place, I would see this as an immediate threat to my life, and if I couldn’t retreat, I would act to save my life.

The prosecutor agreed as the suspect has been charged with attempted murder.


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