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“Defender has no obligation to retreat:” Undersheriff reminds citizens of their right to defend themselves following concert brawl

Undersheriff Eric Kirsch (left) reminds citizens of his county of their right to defend themselves following viral video of a fight at a concert (right).

A brawl that took place at a Morgan Wallen concert in Pennsylvania last week has prompted the undersheriff of a Kansas law enforcement agency to clarify the Sunflower State’s self-defense protocol.

Wabaunsee County Undersheriff Eric Kirsch, who recently had to take on the role of his superior due to the sheriff becoming temporarily incapacitated, released a statement to the public in the aftermath of the viral scuffle that took place in Pittsburgh.

While Pittsburgh and Wabaunsee County may as well be on different planets, the Marine officer-turned-lawman saw this event as a teachable moment to discuss Kansas’ “Stand Your Ground” law.

“My Lords and Ladies, please do whatever you can to avoid confrontation,” he began with a playful address to the public.

“Dial 911, walk away, please exhaust all options to defuse/de-escalate. That said, what looks perfect on paper is not always the case in the real world so IF you are attacked, (in KS), you MAY absolutely defend yourself or someone else from imminent or active physical harm befalling them or you. We got hit up in DM’s that asked us to address this recently. . . so we shall.

You’ve probably seen the video, it’s been shared 12 million times & we’ll share it too in the comments. On 30AUG23, at a Morgan Wallen Concert in Pittsburgh, PA, what started as a verbal argument quickly escalated into a physical attack. A woman was physically attacked by one assailant, then a second jumped in.

As the two assailants were battering the single victim, a woman in a romper and White Cowgirl Boots suddenly spawned on the scene and immediately intervened. ‘White Boots’ is Ms. Delanie DiSabato & the woman being attacked by the two other women was her Mother.

In a recent interview with Barstool Sports, ‘White Boots’ DiSabato said she could hear the commotion while she was inside a nearby port-a-potty. White Boots exited, observed the carnage being inflicted upon her Mother, flipped on Die Hard then brought the pain.”

It should be noted that DiSabato confirmed that she’d never been in a fight before, and no arrests were made in regard to the fight.

Giving insight from both his time in service and as a lawman, Kirsch continued.

“MARINE/COP: COMBATIVES ANALYSIS: It was refreshing to see White Boots immediately turn her attention to the primary aggressor and remove her off her Mother with appropriate force. Once she removed the second attacker and made her Mother safe, she IMMEDIATELY disengaged from further physical intervention once the active attack on her Mother ended. RESTRAINT! Huzzah!”

Kirsch then warned his local residents to avoid brawling over trivial matters, and to use force only when absolutely necessary- even if the law states force can be used before then.

“Folks, Fighting is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS in EVERY situation, end of story,” he wrote. “DO WHATEVER YOU CAN to avoid it, yet if you cannot avoid it, you MAY absolutely defend yourself, it’s important you know that. That said, once the threat is gone, you have no right to continue the same activity used to intervene. Get away, get safe, and please call 911.”

“In our wonderful state, a DEFENDER can use whatever level of force they think is necessary/reasonable to meet an equivalent threat, up to and including lethal force in order to protect themselves or someone else,” he continued. “A defender has no obligation to retreat. Lethal force cannot be used to protect property unless that property happens to be an occupied vehicle or dwelling where an assailant is attempting to make unlawful forcible entry.”

According to Kansas statute KSA 21-5222:

“Same; defense of a person; no duty to retreat.

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent it appears to such person and such person reasonably believes that such use of force is necessary to defend such person or a third person against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force.

(b) A person is justified in the use of deadly force under circumstances described in subsection (a) if such person reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to such person or a third person.

(c) Nothing in this section shall require a person to retreat if such person is using force to protect such person or a third person.”

Known as “WB2” on the WBSO Facebook page, Kirsch is known for witty banter and eye-catching public service posts. The comment sections of several posts indicate that the county residents are quite fond of their undersheriff, who takes a particularly strong stance on protecting children from abuse.

In his posts, it shows that “WB2” chooses his words wisely, most likely because he is engaged to a fellow veteran [a former helicopter pilot] who took on a career shift as an attorney.

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