When you first read this article’s title, you presumably thought we were referring to the American mafia. However, this time around, we are talking about mob attacks as in crowds of people rushing towards your client. And not in a friendly manner. If you are, for some reason, alone in protecting your principal at a specific site, you will undoubtedly face problems.
This will be the case, especially if an angry mob or some dotty fans confront you. You don’t want to be lonely in such a situation, which is why producing a thorough security risk assessment is of the essence.
We will say that again differently: protect your principals before you actually need to protect them physically. That’s why one of the best methods in this sense is conducting a risk assessment. The benefits are enormous, and the financial expenditure for composing one is minimal.
If something were to happen still, ensure you have the much needed first aid kit and other equipment at hand. For more helpful suggestions on which tools to use in your daily job, read The Most Useful Executive Protection Tools. They will come in handy, especially during this type of attack.
Where Mob Attacks Come From
So, what are the reasons behind mob attacks?
Mostly, they happen because the people in question expect something from the principal you are protecting. They expect an autograph, to take a photo with them or just have a short talk. Of course, this isn’t a finite list, but only an overview of the most frequent motivations.
Now think about your client having to chat with every single one of the hundreds of fans. That’s a big no-no in executive protection. This is because there is no way you can control the situation with such large crowds, even if you install crowd control barriers.
Always have this in mind: Potential mob or individual attacks can happen during a concert, in a bar, or on the street. Wherever your client goes, the attackers follow.
In any case, what do you do if an enraged or reckless mob rushes toward you and your principal? Is there anything you can do about it? Hope so! But if not, read on carefully.
Celebrities Who Survived Mob Attacks
To avoid extreme situations like the Notorious B.I.G. murder and Bill Gates’ pieing, perhaps you should try out a different technique from their security details. Although all humans are fallible, including executive protection agents, there are many things you can do to stop a potential mob attack.
But first, let’s take a look at all the celebrities who made it through to the end and possible preventative measures.
The Brad Pitt Swift Punch Incident
While attending his wife’s movie premiere, Brad Pitt was struck in the face by 25-year-old Vitalii Sediuk. This guy is a serial red carpet offender since he already participated in different celebrity attacks. Luckily, Pitt’s security guards were quick to respond and apprehended the culprit.
Although not too quick, after all.
The thing about this attack is that Pitt’s security detail even allowed anybody to come so near to him. Not the least because he even had a chance to punch the celebrity. This leaves us wondering: What else could the attacker have done if he had a firearm or a knife?
We bet the guys working with Pitt’s security detail didn’t read our Close Protection 101 article.
When Comedy Isn’t Funny
Unlike what you would expect, comedians are also targets of vicious attacks. Yes, sometimes it’s because of the jokes they make, but other times there doesn’t seem to be any apparent reason. We don’t know what Steve Brown did to deserve a man jumping on stage and assaulting him. The attacker used the mic stand and stool to strike him, but the comedy champion ended up being okay.
The biggest issue with comedy performances is that the comedian is darn close to the audience. Even more so, the stage is low and accessible to all spectators. Anyone can reach out and grab the star, and it might be too late until after you intervene. However, installing crowd control barriers indoors might seem off to the audience members.
In this case, there is no clear-cut solution, but to have executive protection agents sitting in the front rows. That’s the easiest and most efficient way to prevent or mitigate attacks. It might cause some weird looks from the audience, but who cares.
Fandom Can Hurt You After All
American television and social media personality, Tila Tequila, was fiercely attacked during a performance. People from the crowd, allegedly fans, threw rocks and bottles at her ― and more than a few. She barely got away, fleeing in an S.U.V. surrounded by hundreds of people.
This is where a special security risk assessment comes in. If the executive protection company conducted one, they would know what to expect and where to take the celebrity. They would be aware of the attackers’ plans and the infrastructure surrounding the stage.
That would serve them to make appropriate plans. Sadly, they reacted poorly, and the entire incident produced significant injuries to the victim.
We are guessing that Tila Tequila didn’t work with the security company in charge of the event ever again.
A Protection Wall Won’t Do the Trick
The Selena Gomez incident is one of the best-known mob attacks of all time. Both paparazzi and fans were out there, each trying to accomplish something. Get a selfie with her or some spicy insight into her life. Likely, they didn’t even notice that it could all turn into a stampede at one point.
And it almost did.
This incident teaches us that we ― as executive protection agents, should avoid going through crowds. Additionally, having our transportation ready as close to the building entrance is preferable.
Why? Well, ask Selena Gomez and her security company.
The key to preventing mob attacks is observing the crowd as both a group of individuals and a single organism all at once. It may not be easy at first, but it could save lives.
To wrap it up, always consider the following guidelines when working with large and even small crowds:
- Predict what could happen before it does by using a security risk assessment and your previous experience.
- Keep your vehicles close to the event building your celebrity is entering and exiting.
- Have agents sit in front rows during concerts or comedy shows.
- Avoid walking through crowds and getting too close to fans.
- View the crowd as both a unified entity and a group of diverse individuals.
- Know the surrounding infrastructure and streets to plan for an exit strategy.
Not necessarily in this order, these techniques are as valuable as they come. They will keep everyone safe and fend off potential mob attacks. So it’s in your best interest to make sure to apply them.