Saturday, August 26, 2006

Standoff

We answered a call last night from a woman whose husband called her and threatened to kill himself. She went home and found an empty shotgun case and an empty handgun case. They live in a nice complex of expensive condominiums. Several patrol cars and dozens of officers arrived and started setting up a perimeter. We assumed he was armed with at least two guns and were extra careful since suicidal subjects can be the most dangerous.

I was just about to eat my lunch nearby but raced to the scene to help. I was assigned to an arrest team (a group of three officers with one designated as lethal (handgun), one less-lethal (stunbag shotgun), and one "hands-on" (in case he's unarmed and tries to fight.) My team positioned itself at the end of the building he lived in.

Then, we learned he was the maintenance man for the complex and had keys to all of the units. He had already left his unit and was somewhere else in the complex. We scrambled around to get into safer positions since we didn't know where he was.

Our best guess was one of a few vacant units or a maintenance shed in the pool area. We focused on the maintenance room after hearing noises inside. It had no windows and double-metal doors. My team was just outside the door and around a corner to this shed. He was on the phone with a sergeant but wouldn't say where he was. My team had guns pointed at the door (except for me -I was the designated hands-on guy). All of a sudden, he came out of the shed and quickly approached my team. One of the guys on my team advised, "he's got a gun" on the radio. He walked directly towards us but I didn't see a gun in his hand. He saw us and turned around and walked out of the pool area in the opposite direction.

A team of officers confronted him there and took him into custody. He did not have a gun (just a big key chain full of keys). He was upset because the management wrote him up for the third time for poor work. They told him he had one last chance before being fired. He decided to take that chance, get drunk on Jack Daniels, and turn the property into a war zone. I'm not sure he'll be working there for long. After puking his guts out, he was transported to a mental health facility for evaluation.

Earlier, a man insisted on police coming to his house to document some illegal dumping. I expected to see hazardous or excessive wasted dumped on his property. I arrived and was greeted by an old man who was irate about someone placing bagged grass clippings into the community trash can in the alley behind his property. He became even more angry when I told him placing bagged trash into a garbage can was not illegal and was, in fact commendable. He said, "But the trash can is now full and it won't be picked up for two days -What am I supposed to do if I have some trash to throw away." I offered the phone number to waste services for help but he did not want to hear it.

He gave me the license plate of the vehicle he saw in the alley and asked me to find the culprit. I explained there was no crime and, therefor, was unable to conduct any follow-up investigation. He then asked, "Well can you put out a bulletin so if some other officer sees his car, they can stop him?" I held back my laughter (and the flood of sarcastic responses brewing inside) and responded, "No." He then said, "I know you've got other important things to do but I'm gonna call you every time someone puts trash in my garbage can." I again, restrained myself from saying what I wanted to and replied, "Okay."

3 Comments:

At August 28, 2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous Ronda said...

I am very glad to hear that that guy did not have a gun. I am not glad to hear you were the "hands on" guy. Makes me a bit nervous...

Keep Safe, as always, we are proud of you.
Love,
Ronda, Doug, Emmy, and Luke.

 
At August 29, 2006 8:25 PM, Anonymous gamma said...

I'm not too sure I like the idea of you being the "hands on" guy....could'nt you be the "wait in the car" guy?............Please remove your pepper spray pic, it's not good!! Be careful and stand back whenever possible. Mom

 
At September 01, 2006 12:37 PM, Anonymous LC said...

Being the hands on guy doesn't sound like the best job. I think you should be the guy in back position! LC

 

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