Do It Yourself

FLASH MOB: And I Thought Black Friday Was Dangerous…



Over the Christmas holiday, my wife and I decided to take a much needed break from social media.

When we returned to Facebook several days later, I was greeted with  less  than jolly news…

Instead of updates from friends and family on how their Christmas was, the standard family drama, updates from nieces, nephews, and cousins on what they were gifted with on Christmas morning; I was greeted with this:

On Christmas Night over 600 kids and teenagers swarmed a movie theater in Jacksonville, Florida violently attacking moviegoers, an off duty police officer, and each other in one of the largest flash mobs to date.


Somewhere around 600 crazed teens swarmed the theater attacking people and stealing everything in sight. 62 police officers were dispatched to the theater, where they had to fire pepper spray into the crowd to get them to disperse.

At the same time, another flash mob swarmed a mall in  Brooklyn, New York. In this case, over 400 teens stormed a Brooklyn mall violently attacking security guards, shoppers and each other. Local reports say that while part of the flash mob was violently raiding stores around the mall, another large group of teens strategically targeted innocent shoppers as part of the now infamous knockout game.

Both Attacks planned on Social Media

According to police, the teens in both areas used social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to plan the violent attacks and mass looting events.

Even while events unfolded, teens were still taking to the internet to brag about beating up innocent people and looting stores.

(Originally seen on

And I thought Black Friday was bad…

This just goes to show both how turbulent our society has become and how impressionable our youth can be.

You never know when a violent flash mob or riot will break out and when one hits, you can never be fully prepared.

But there are a few tips you can follow to survive a riot.

Stay calm and keep your emotions in check. Riots happen when intense emotions boil to the surface and explode into violence. You stand a much better chance of surviving a riot by keeping your own emotions in check. In the heat of the moment, your adrenaline and survival instincts will kick in, but try to think rationally and pursue safety in a methodical manner. Do not fall victim to the mob mentality.  Below are a few tips that will help guide you safely out of a mob or riot situation.

Avoid confrontation. Keep your head down, while at the same time looking for a safe exit. Do not involve yourself in the violence, even if you are struck or pushed, just keep moving.

Walk. If you run or move erratically, you might attract unwanted attention.

Don’t Stop Moving.   If you stop you run the risk of getting crushed by the sheer force of a mob of people moving in one direction

Get inside and stay there. Typically riots happen in the streets. If you can get inside you are in a much better position to wait it out.

Keep your doors and windows locked. Do not stand in front of the windows gawking. Move to interior rooms, this will reduce the danger of being hit by stones, bullets, or other items. Try to find at least two possible exits in case you need to evacuate the building in a hurry.

If you’re caught up in a car, stay calm.  If your vehicle does become a target, quickly and calmly leave it behind, your Toyota is not worth dying for. If people block your escape route, honk your horn, and carefully drive through or around them at a moderate speed, and they should get out of the way. This is a last resort; never put someone else’s life in danger unless they are putting yours there first. Driving towards police lines can be interpreted by the police as use of a deadly weapon and in the heat of the moment they may react with deadly force.

Stay on the sidelines and back away slowly. If you’re caught up in a riot, don’t take sides. Be as inconspicuous as possible, and slowly and carefully move to the outside of the mob. Stay close to outskirts of the mob but try to avoid bottlenecks such as tunnels, pillars, high fences and long sections of walls. The more time you spend in the middle of a riot, the greater your chance of being injured or killed.

That said, in most circumstances it’s better to move out of a riot slowly. It can also be dangerous to move against a crowd, so go with the flow until you are able to escape into a doorway or up a side street or alley. If you find yourself in the middle, you should not try to move in a different direction, but follow the flow and slowly make your way to the outside. This requires patience in order to work properly.

Watch your footing. If you fall down, pull yourself up into a ball. Protect your face, ears and internal organs. In this position you are a smaller object that can be easily avoided. You will receive much less damage than if you were flat out on your back or stomach. If others trip on you they will help create a larger “pile” that other rioters will avoid. Panicked crowds move fast and release an unbelievable amount of energy; once a crowd gets moving it is very hard to stop, and the flow of people could literally sweep you off your feet.

It is interesting to note that the force of only 6 to 7 average sized individuals pushing in the same direction can generate up to 1000 lbs. of force. This is more than enough to bend steel railings and topple brick walls. During a stampede, people can even die while standing up, simply from the pressure applied to their bodies. This massive constricting pressure will cause them to black out and eventually suffocate.

When pressure is applied to your side, you may have a better chance at survival, just because your rib cage is protecting the brunt of the force, but you still have the ability to breathe. If you plan on being in a situation where a crowd will form, the most important thing you can do is to make yourself familiar with the surroundings and make mental notes of any possible alternate exits. No matter where you are, make sure you always know how to get out.

Make yourself aware of the ground you are standing on, and know that trying to navigate in a crowd of moving people when the ground is uneven or wet can be extremely hazardous, causing you to fall and quickly become trampled.

Make yourself completely aware of the general atmosphere of the event, as panic can often be anticipated. When in danger, those extra few seconds can make all the difference, giving you the possibility of taking advantage of your escape route.

Always stay closer to the escape route. Again; if you find yourself in the middle of a moving crowd do not fight against it, and do not stand still or sit down, because you could easily get crushed.

Instead, move in the same direction of the crowd, making sure to take advantage of any space that opens up between people to move perpendicular to the crowd where the flow is weaker.

Keep your hands up by your chest, like a boxer – it gives you movement and acts as a buffer to protect your chest. The worst scenario is to be pushed by the crowd against a fixed object.

Do whatever you can to keep away from walls, fences or barricades, as the crowd pressure can build up rapidly and cause you to suffocate or worse. The crowd will move much like a wave in that after you’re pushed forward, just like an ocean wave there will be a slight lull. In that lull is your chance to move.

You need to take a diagonal path between pockets of people. There will almost always be a space between people that you can slip into. This will take time as you may only be able to move a few steps after each surge but eventually you will make it to a safe zone outside of the crowd.

Want more? Check out other articles on our site:

Ferguson Riots: What You Need to Know

10 Riot Survival Tips for Patriots

In a Riot, You Don’t Have Time To Get All Choked Up!

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  1. Mariowen

    December 30, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    This is all well and good; however, if you are in the middle of a group of 600 mobsters, you probably are going to have a difficult time getting away. It is a fight or flight issue. If you are stuck and can’t get out, do some damage of your own. One of these days, these thugs need to be taught some major lessons. If 600 come towards you and you can, as a large group, do physical damage to 400 of them, then they will think twice about their next move. If you just fade into the woodwork and allow them to do this, it will embolden them and the next time they will come with 900 and weapons. It is time in our crazy society, for good upstanding American citizens to stand up and fight for ourselves and those who are around us and can’t take care of themselves. I think if half of the movie crowd was ready to defend themselves and their families, it would make a difference. There is a time to run, and a time to stand up for what is right. I think in America, it is time to stand up and put up a fight. You might not take out all of them, but enough could go home with enough damage that they will think twice about their next attack – and that is just what it is: an attack on America. Stop running.

    • Phil

      January 3, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      You’ve obviously not seen this type of violence up close and personal. I’m retired special forces and been in numerous seriously dangerous situations in my 35 years military and law enforcement experience, both in warfare and in domestic situations. Being a “fool” don’t mean you’re brave, just stupid and dead. Sorry to be so blunt but this isn’t an issue that should be treated lightly. “Bravery” without wisdom gets people killed, sometimes someone besides yourself. Hope you think twice. Good luck.

  2. Old Soldier

    January 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    I am sick of a “group of youths”. Were these black thugs? Sounds like most of the flash mobs in NYC that were black but the media always says “youths”. If the mobs were black, time to pay attention to accumulating black youths as a sign of danger. Don’t mince words being PC. To hell with Sharpton, Rangel and Jackson. Thugs are thugs and if the black thugs are targeting Jews and whites, time to say so and pay attention.

  3. Matt

    January 2, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Since I’m wheelchair bound, being stuck in a flash-mob is the least of my worries, since I am always aware of the people around me, and especially behind me.

    The only way for someone like me (can’t walk)to extricate myself from a mob would be to have a large caliber handgun, shot into the air first to get the mob’s attention, then used to blast a hole in the wall of bodies, and hopefully get away, after the mob seeks to flee from the crazy man in the wheelchair shooting a .45 long Colt at everything that’s in his way.

    I was in a similar situation that pitted me against a 250 lb. black teenager who had somehow taken possession of my hard plastic transfer board, and was about to start beating me with it. Thank God I had the foresight to realize my hospital is in a seedy part of East Hollywood, and to not go armed was taking a big chance.

    So here we are, inside the abandoned waiting room of Kaiser’s Edgemont facility. My wife had gone to pick up my medications a block away, and here I am stuck with someone who obviously would take great delight in beating the crap out of me with my own transfer board.

    Lucky for me my Charter Arms .38 Special undercover was loaded with hollow points +P ammo, and the black kid being an obviously street smart miscreant noticed my right hand in my fanny pack, and a look of determination on my face. Lucky for both of us, a Kaiser Security Guard suddenly walked between us and said “OK Break it up, give him back his transfer board before I call for backup.” At which time the giant teenager muttered something about racist crackers, and threw my transfer board at me (it missed)while backing through the sliding automatic glass door leading to Edgemont Street.

    My wife also had an encounter with my bad dream while walking into the waiting room, my erstwhile attacker bumped into my wife hard enough for her to drop her purse and a bag full of meds. The big black creep started laughing and was almost hit by a car as he illegally tried to cross Edgemont against the light.

    I gave a full report to the Security Guard, and my darling wife and I got the hell out of Dodge. No more after hours hospital visits at Kaiser Sunset. This town is starting to resemble a scene from “Blade Runner.”

  4. Justice

    January 3, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Just want to point out that “The Knockout Game” was a complete pile of bs when it was first reported. The story was compiled using surveillance footage of random acts of violence. It didn’t become a phenomenon until it was widely reported.

  5. RICH

    January 3, 2014 at 5:02 PM


  6. ablinow(youtube it)

    January 4, 2014 at 6:18 PM

    A real soldier right here for sure. Wisdom. Peace bro

  7. bwebby

    January 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    I really hope people don’t think all ‘youths’ are the same. I am a ‘youth’ and I wouldn’t dream of participating in a flash mob or anything like this. It is sad that there are so many that give good kids a bad name in society. Thanks for the advice on what to do if one strikes

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