I am wondering what steps members would take to deal with an extremly agressive panhandler. This happened a few years ago in New Orleans before I had much training or real life experience, but it has continued to bother me when I remember how I dealt with it. I think the way I resolved it may have put future innocents in more danger as a result. I basically gave the guy money just to "leave us alone" (I think about three or four dollars). My spouse and I were walking down Boubon Street. This pandhandler was approaching people and asking if they would like to have a shoe shine. He had no shoe-shine equipment. I should have immediately crossed to the other side of the street but it was very crowded and for some reason did not even notice this guy until I was right on top of him. He was a wiry little muscular guy---perhaps a homeless veteran but I am only guessing. He looked like he could handle himself and appeared to be counting on his ability to escalate in front of other pedestrians in order to get what he wanted. He dropped to his knees in front of me, spit on my atletic shoes, and began to "polish" them with the sleeve of his coat. I immediately pulled away and ordered him to "leave us alone". He was more than ready to escalate the situation and demanded money for the "shoe shine". I again ordered him to leave us alone and attempted to walk around him. He then got directly in front of me (within arm's length) and refused to step aside. I was armed but did not have a taser or pepper spray. I could have hit him or attempted a brachial stun or other technique if I wanted to escalate to physical agression. He did not display a weapon or threaten with a weapon. What I did was say to the guy, "look, here is $4.00". It is not for you spitting on my shoes and rubbing them with your sleeve. It is for you to get away from us and leave us alone. I remember it thinking what a bad decision it was........I basically told this guy "look, if you are willing to be hyper-aggressive, it will pay off". How far would members go in dealing with this type of aggressive panhandling? Would you use pepper spray? A Taser? Do the same thing?