Watch For These Signs That Suggest Someone May Physically Attack You

Posted on: 31 January 2017

Detaining people suspected of breaking the law is an important part of your job when you work as a security guard for a company like Security Unlimited. Whether you've stopped someone who is trespassing in an office complex after dark or a retail store's loss-prevention officer has called you for help with a shoplifter, you'll often find yourself standing next to a suspect as you wait for the police to arrive. Sometimes, these suspects will be aggressive from the start — other times, a person may initially seem calm, but quickly become aggressive upon realizing the severity of the situation. In this type of encounter, the suspect may physically attack you in an effort to escape. Here are some subtle warning signs that an attack could be coming.

The Person's Breathing Changes

The rhythm of someone's breathing can say a lot about his or her level of calmness. Someone who is calm while being detained may simply breathe normally, while someone who is agitated may breathe rapidly. You should notice, however, a dramatic change in the person's breath. For example, if someone has been calm but is now taking short, shallow breaths or appears to be holding his or her breath, the person may be preparing to physically confront you.

The Person Balls His/Her Hands

How someone holds his or her hands can also be an indicator of whether the person is calm or whether he or she may be thinking of physically attacking you. People who are rapidly increasing in tension will often ball their hands into fists. They may also move their fists around a little, which can be further evidence that the person is moving into an agitated state in which his or her behavior may be unpredictable. Raising the fists from a low position to a higher position, such as from around the thighs to around the waist, can further indicate a pending attack.

The Person Moves Closer To You

Be aware of a suspect who changes his or her physical location to be closer to you. It's ideal to maintain a safe distance between you and the suspect unless you're physically holding onto him or her. For example, if you're standing next to the suspect who is currently cooperating, try to stay at least an arm's width away. If the person closes this gap between you, view this as a sign of aggression and respond accordingly. For example, you may order the person to step back.


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