Thus I have Spoken

April 29, 2006

Interesting Interaction with Law Enforcement

Filed under: Blogging,Life — steamdragon @ 9:32 am

At the local gas stop, getting coffee and smokes, when an altercation breaks out behind me.

pivot to see what is going on, looks at first like a father has caught his son drinking and driving.

So I shrug, and turn back to taking care of my change, and such.

As the door is closing, I hear the (not) father say he is an off duty sheriffs deputy.

Uh oh… Not the father…
Civilian clothes, no ID… is he LEO or not? (Why did THAT thought pop into my head?)
Then he starts slapping the kid around, and the kid pushes him off and tries to leave.

The (not) father chases the kid down and slaps the kid three more times and shoves the kid into the side of the building.

I ask the clerk to call local LEO, and (stupidly) go to intervene. Actions and claim of ODDS (Off Duty Deputy Sheriff) are just not adding up in my mind.

I yell, "Officer!" no repsonse "Officer!!!" no respnse. "DEPUTY!" no response. "HEY MISTER!"

This gets a response. The kid breaks free, and moves away. (Not) father turns his back on the kid. and faces me.

At this point, I conclude that he is NOT an ODDS… No LEO is going to turn his back on the closest threat.
I interpose myself betweenthe two of them facing the not ODDS because at this point I feel he is both the agressor, and the greatest threat. The kid is the victim in my determination. I asked (not) ODDS to calm down.

He again says he is a deputy, and I say,"Sir that is fine, can I see some ID?"
"I don't have it with me…"

Now I'm cretain sure he isn't LEO.

But all I say is, "You can't just beat the kid up, no matter what. It is un-professional, and 'conduct unbecoming'."

Meanwhile, kid is jumping around and trying to get past me while yelling who knows what, and I tell the kid, "Sit down and STFU." To my great surprise, he does. Both.

(Not) ODDS starts saying something about my not being one to make the call about his actions in this instance, and I say, "Your choices are to take him into custody, or walk away, not beat the kid up."

Scared half to death clerk, waves from the door, saying that local PD is on the way. I tell her "Thanks!"

(Not) ODDS then walks over to his truck and starts rummaging behind the seat, and I beat feet for the store. If he comes out with a gun I want cover.

I get my coffee and smokes, and my change from the clerk (poor girl), while trying to monitor the situation outside.

Mainly I'm watchig for (not) ODDS to produce a gun. I never see one. I cannot see what he might have retrieved from his truck. I am VERY RELIEVED to see local PDs' arrival.

Officer Jones (not his real name) is taking charge of the situation as go back outside.

I remain outside his interest, and quiet at this point, and go to my truck, to put my coffee and smokes away.

Officer Jones (NHRN) obviously knows the kid from past encounters, and after a (very) few words, takes kid into custody, placing him (cuffed) into the back of the patrol car. This action brings him within about ten feet of me, so I call his name to get his attention, and hand him my state issued CHL (permit) and advise him that I am armed, as state law requires. (Advising LEO, not 'being armed')

He askes the location of my gun, and tells me he is going to retreave it, takes my NAA .22 mag out of my front pocket, looks at it, looks at me, and says, "This all?"

"Yes," I reply, and he hands it back while asking what I want.

I put my last chance away and tell him, that I was involved in the incident by stepping between the beligerents.

"Is this your current address? "

"Yes, that's it."

"Fine, Go home and I'll stop by later…"

and hands me back my CHL.

About 45 minutes later, Officer Jones (not his real name) arrives at my home.

This timing figures, because I have just sat down on the toilet for some relief.

As soon as I can, (oof) I complete my immediate business, and go downstairs to discuss the (prior, not current) situation.

Officer Jones (NHRN) told me that after I left, (per his instruction) he ended up citing the kid for underage consumption, and did nothing on the assault because ethe kid didn't want to press it.

Turns out that the ODDS is actualy a member of a neighboring county department. (Oh S*it!) but had screwed the situation up enough that he was the Bad Guy this time. And Officer Jones, (NHRN) had told him so.

Officer Jones (NHRN) also told me that OODS had nearly had an unfortunate accident when he (ODDS) saw my last chance gun being retrieved.

Officer Jones (NHRN) asked me why I didn't respect the ODDS statement that he (ODDS) was LEO.

I tried to explane how my perceptons of body language, vocabulary, and all of ODDS just didn't add up. That throughout the incident, nothing the ODDS did or said lent credence to the idea he was a LEO.

Officer Jones (NHRN) said that was funny, because ODDS thought I was a LEO of some kind, because of the way I handled the situation, and the reactions of both the kid, and himself when I became involved, and that ODDS was surprised that I had not identified what department I worked for. This was interesting to me because of the prevoius comment that ODDS was *startled* by my being armed.
Officer Jones (NHRN) then ventured the thought that ODDS would have a fit if he found out that I'm just an "Ordinary Joe."

Officer Jones (NHRN) and I exchanged a few pleasentries and technical tips on my actions after his arrival on scene.

He advised me that I had done everything correctly as far as he was concerned. Told me I had done the right thing by intervening and thanked me for my conduct throughout. We called it a good night, and he left to continue his shift.

Please note, folksies, that at no time did I draw my gun in this incident. It was never to that point of "fear of grave harm." But at the same time, I was glad I had dropped my last chance into my pocket to go to the store.

I'd like to believe that -given the exact same situation- I would have intervened even if I had not been armed.

But I am not certain of that. I know I'm not a hero. And as far as my phisical shape is concerned it can only be listed as "D) totaly out of."
I hope ODDS isn't too pissed at me for my intervention…

This concludes my after action report.




  1. Is it a true story? It’s interesting, and another scenario the anti-gun crowd can look to for reassurance. Regular, law-abiding people shouldn’t be denied the opportunity to carry a handgun.

    I had a funny incident with the Long Beach, Calif. cops a few years back. I was parallel parked on the street, and in the morning I went to leave, and saw that I was blocked in. Cars were touching my bumper front and rear — and I was late for a job interview!

    I called the cops, and two squads arrived plus a SWAT van. They said they were close by, and bored, so why not stop by to see the non-emergency call?

    They couldn’t do anything for me, but the SWAT commander said if he were me, he’d get the car out of there the hard way in two seconds. We got a good laugh out of it.

    — Don

    Comment by Don Long — April 29, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

  2. Yes, Don, This happened to me… (To borrow a phrase)

    In fact, blogging it helped me keep it straight in my head for when Officer Jones (Not His Real Name) came by to hear what I had to say.
    JUst goes to show, you never know when you might need it. And Thank God, that I didn’t this time.
    Thanks for commenting, Don.

    Comment by steamdragon — April 29, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

  3. Commendable work.

    I witnessed a similar event when a man – unknown to the neighborhood pulled into a driveway, jumped out of his car, opened a neighbor’s door and dragged a teenager from the house. As he threw the kid down and started slamming him in to the ground we (thinking it was the neighbor kid being assaulted) reacted.

    My brother tackled low; I tackled high, and once the teenager was separated from his assailent, we backed off.

    When the police arrived we found out that the teenager was in fact the man’s son, who refused to return home in the man’s custody. Rather than get into his father’s car, the teenager struggled with a police officer. He was then maced and taken into police custody. (He preferred that over his father’s custody).

    Domestic situations are some of the most dangerous and unpredictable for law enforcement to deal with. It was good work by you to keep the emotions out of the conflict and see the situation through to its resolution.


    Comment by USCitizen — April 30, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

  4. Thanks, USC… a “domestic” as we first thought, I would have cheered. A father confronting a son over underage drinking, and driving is something to be celebrated in this day and age.

    This thing is getting strange, however…

    I have been invited to the Sheriffs office to “discuss this incident.”
    Now, this “invitation” has come directly from the Sheriff, who is a member of the board at my gun club, and evidently a reader of this blog.

    He asked me to “come down,” yesterday, durring a trap shoot at the club. The part that bothers me, he didn’t specify a time, or eaven a day. Just “Sometime this week.”

    Now, I’ve known the Sheriff socialy a few years, now, mostly from the club. I even worked on his re-election campaign a bit. But when he brought up this thing, -I had told no one about it other than on this blog- my hackles went right up.
    He might be a ‘friend,’ but he is a cop, first. I never invite him into my house. I didn’t make any commitment, just saying, “I’ll see what I can do,”

    Thankfuly, my lawyer is also a club member, and doesn’t mind Sunday calls.
    My lawyer says I did right calling him. He is going to call today (Monday), to ask for particulars of reason for my presence.
    If I am being investigated, this would not be a good thing. If the deputy involved is being investigated, it would be a bad thing. If the sheriff is planning to yank my CHL, and bust me for “failure to notify,” it would be the worst thing.

    I’m kinda hiding this in comments, until there is some resolution of the situation. Then I’ll blog it in a post of its own.

    Comment by steamdragon — May 1, 2006 @ 6:15 am

  5. So far as I’m concerned, it looks like you did the right thing. You defused the situation at least as far as stopping the violence, you got local law enforcement involved, and you kept things from escalating. If I ever get in your neck of the woods I’ll buy you a cold one as an attaboy.


    Comment by James R. Rummel — May 2, 2006 @ 1:21 am

  6. Failure to notify requires a cop to be present.

    If he refused to present ID, then he isn’t a cop, regardless of what he does during the day.

    Yea …. you need a lawyer.

    Comment by Kristopher — May 2, 2006 @ 2:56 pm

  7. Thanks for living up to Peel’s Nine Principles of Modern Policing. I hope everything turns out OK for you, and that the ODDS and his buddies don’t try to take their offense at your actions out on you in the future. That kind of thing apparently happens from place to place from time to time.

    Good on ya, mate!

    Comment by Kevin Baker — May 2, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

  8. This is getting too bizarre…
    But I’m not in any trouble.
    The Sheriff has asked me not to blog about it until its’ all final, and eventhen he is requesting that I let him review prior to posting…

    Y’all will understand.

    Like the man said, “Sometimes, out of adversity…”

    Comment by steamdragon — May 2, 2006 @ 6:07 pm

  9. The Sheriff has asked me not to blog about it until its’ all final, and eventhen he is requesting that I let him review prior to posting…

    Ahhhhieeeeeee! “That’s CENSORHIP,” said with only a slight tongue in cheek flair.

    Good for you, SteamD. I would’ve been so very tempted to pull my sidearm, but you did the right thing, absolutely.

    Now, what else “Aren’t you blogging about?” (LOL)

    Comment by David Drake — May 2, 2006 @ 7:52 pm

  10. *scratching head* Huh? */scratching head*

    I duknow…

    Comment by steamdragon — May 2, 2006 @ 8:15 pm

  11. I hope this all goes well. Your story has me concerned, but it sounds like you are “okay” at this time. I certainly hope so. What you did was right, and it’d be pretty crappy to get brunt of something where you did no wrong. Though with the way the world is it wouldn’t surprise me either.

    Good work for doing the right thing, and good luck. Please keep us posted when you can.

    Comment by Bryan Montford — May 3, 2006 @ 4:08 am

  12. Thanks, Bryan, I apreciate the kind thoughts.

    The incedent is past with no harm no foul.

    But the strangeness -To Be Continued…

    Has got to wait a little longer.

    Comment by steamdragon — May 3, 2006 @ 9:04 pm

  13. Now, what else “Aren’t you blogging about?” (LOL)
    *scratching head* Huh? */scratching head*

    Nothing intended….i was just jokin around.

    Your post is fantastic. I was just having some fun about the line “The Sheriff has asked me not to blog about it until its’ all final, and eventhen he is requesting that I let him review prior to posting…” that’s all.

    Comment by David Drake — May 5, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

  14. I got it, Dave, I was retuning the poke…

    And since the resolution post is now up…

    Comment by steamdragon — May 6, 2006 @ 9:19 am

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