Monday, August 30, 2010
I was working a 10 hour shift from 6 PM to 4 AM and had just begun my watch when I was crusing down 82nd Avenue, minding my own business, just being content to let folks know I was on patrol when suddenly I saw two cars racing towards me at break neck speed. They were trying to run each other off the road or into some other car.
In an attempt to stop this insane behavior I threw on my overhead lights to let them know they were now under the watchful eye of the police. When the lead driver saw me he braked hard turning into a well know tavern that attracted a rough crowd and had large pot holes for a parking lot. The man and woman in this vehicle quickly jumped out of their car and ran into the tavern to seek refuge among friends. At the same time, the other car tried to follow them into the parking lot but was going too fast when he hit one of the large pot holes flipping the vehicle on its top and slid into the other car. As I was exiting my patrol car I called for Code 3 cover and fire rescue.
This man (I will call him Hard Hat) crawled out of the driver’s door window. He was very muscular looking, rough and tough, with huge arms and a barrel chest. He was wearing well worn construction clothing covered with cement dust indicating he was a concrete cutter. He also had a baseball bat and was screaming for the wimp (the other driver) to come out of the tavern and face him like a man. By now tavern patrons were boiling into the parking lot to see what was going on. A crowd of 40 or more were gathering and I was very concerned many of them would be Hard Hat’s friends.
I got between Hard Hat and the tavern door ordering Hard Hat to put the bat down and submit to questioning for threatening to kill the other man with the bat. When he saw I meant business he turned and walked to 82nd Avenue and stuck out his thumb hitchhiking for a ride. I couldn’t believe someone would stop to pick him up but sure enough a motorist attempted to stop for him until he saw me waving him off. I then told Hard Hat he was under arrest for failing to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident since he was trying to leave the scene of the accident.
I also told him that I considered his bat to be a deadly weapon and if he didn’t drop it I was going to shoot him. He threw the bat towards me missing my head as it landed in a large blackberry patch on the side of the parking lot. That was good because I knew he couldn’t retrieve it and no one else could get to it. I was going to have trouble containing this suspect and the crowd was now full circle around us egging Hard Hat on.
Fire rescue had arrived but they were not inclined to rescue me or get involved so they just watched. The circle was tightening and there was nowhere for Hard Hat or myself to go except face to face. I kept stalling hoping cover officers would soon arrive; I could hear their sirens in the distance. Once again I ordered Hard Hat to submit to arrest but this time he quickly put his right hand in the small of his back as if he was reaching for a weapon. I drew my revolver and was waiting for the slightest glimmer of metal before I shot at him. I was very concerned as we were surrounded by tavern patrons that were now in our cross fire. I felt like this was a showdown at the OK Corral and lead would soon be flying.
I ordered him to show me his hands and to get down on the ground but instead he quickly threw both hands in front of him in a shooters stance. In this split second I didn’t see gun metal so I didn’t shoot. I then felt he was trying to get me to shoot him to show the women in the other car his true love for her. Next he put his left hand behind his back and advanced towards me and when he was about five feet from me he again swung both hands around like he had a weapon while positioning himself in a shooters stance. Again, I didn’t see gun metal so I didn’t shoot.
I was close enough now to Hard Hat that I knew I had to engage him in a physical contest of strength to subdue and arrest him. Boy was I in trouble! I holster my weapon as I moved towards him grabbing his right arm and tripping him to the ground. Once on the ground I got on top of him and wrenched his arm behind him and put one handcuff on his right wrist. While I was doing this he did a one armed push up with me on this back, with his left arm! I knew then I was really in trouble and quickly decided I needed to do something before he got control of me.
I made a tactical error at this point thinking I could smack him in the head with the butt of my revolver. As I was swinging it towards his head he ducked just enough that my arm hit his head causing my service revolver to fly through the air and into the crowd. I ordered one of the firefighters to pick up the weapon and put it in his large turnout coat pocket for safe keeping. I said it with enough authority he assisted as requested.
I had a boot gun but there was no way I was going to be able to get to it at this point. I struggled to get Hard Hat’s left arm behind his back to handcuff him but he was too strong. I could still hear sirens coming in the distance but they were not close enough. At last, one of the ambulance medics stepped in and helped me pull his left arm behind him to get him handcuffed. All of the time I was wrestling with Hard Hat I was afraid someone from the crowd would jump onto my back to help rescue him from being arrested.
Finally, cover officers arrived and helped me load Hard Hat into my patrol car, because he was not volunteering to cooperate in any way. Cover officers found the couple from the other vehicle and learned the woman was Hard Hat’s sometimes girlfriend and when he saw her in the other guy’s car he flipped out, made a wild U-turn and tried to run them off the road.
As I checked Hard Hat’s criminal record, I learned he had been arrested just two days earlier for carrying a concealed weapon on his belt in the small of his back. At times like this I often wondered if being a grocery bagger wouldn’t be a better vocation.
Loyalty in intimate relationships is important to harmonious living. I had a case where one jilted lover put a car bomb in the new boyfriend’s car and when he opened the door it killed him. The jilted lover went to the penitentiary for the rest of his life. The Lord understood the strength of passion in relationships and from the beginning of time has commanded us to not commit adultery or fool around with someone else’s companion.
The Lord tells us many times in the scriptures:
Matt 5:27 Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, ...
To learn more about the importance of keeping Heavenly Father's commandments and to have peace in our lives and relationships click on Mormon.org
Posted by Elder Watts at 4:08 PM