This is a story about my encounter with a violent man and the Police response.
If you are interested in police encounters, (hater or lover alike) read through the entire account, all of it is 100% true (and yes, wordy, sorry)
I was driving home from work last week when I was involved in a hair raising incident, the route I take goes through a typical mid level city
neighborhood. I turned a corner and saw that there were cars backed up which is unusual because I take this route because it is never busy. I realize
that they are all stopped at a stop sign up ahead and cars are pulling U-Turns, I think "Oh great" an accident, what fool caused this" , so I get
to "my turn" at the stop sign and I see it isn't an accident, it's a tall man in his underwear in the middle of the street standing over a very
overweight woman repeatedly hitting her.. HARD
Note: I know now that the guy is Haitian, so I will refer to him as such because I do not know his name.
This isn't a slur, dig or attempt to profile, it just is.
I stared at them for what seemed like an eternity, I don't encounter stuff like this .. ever.
It felt like I stared for 10 minutes but actually it was probably no more than 15 seconds. My mind was racing, what do I do? There are several men
standing around doing nothing, some are trying to talk to the guy, but no one is doing anything. he's just beating her repeatedly. The cars behind me
are pulling U-turns. (this makes me mad) I can't just leave and let this guy beat her like that. I am not a hero; I just pretend to be one in my mind
(like most of us).
I see one guy getting close to him but not doing anything but saying things like "calm down.." 'take it easy".
Dozens of people just watching. I am getting pissed, I pull through the stop sign to the other side of the street, turn off the ignition and pocket
the keys (also took my radio out of it's deck and felt like an ass for doing it, I was in a "bad" neighborhood)
Now keep in mind, I am not a cop, not trained in any of this...
I walk over to the commotion "purposefully", nod to one guy who is relatively close to the Haitian and then to the other one talking to him. I have
only the slightest idea of what I am going to do, I figure I am going to use my voice in a powerful way to get this guys attention then just wing it.
Before I do that one of the guys gives the Haitian a slight shove that knocks him off balance just a tad. (I didn’t notice at the time that this guy
looked a LOT like the Haitian) Anyway, my brain immediately made my body do something I always thought I could do but never thought I truly would
I grabbed the Haitian around the throat from the back, kicked my foot into the back of his knee and down we went.
Thankfully, after the slight tumble, his arms ended up crossed and I was in a position to grab his forearm near the upper wrist which was over the
other arm and put my knee on the side of his head into the dirt. He was fairly incapacitated.
I was not really scared, but I was.. I don't know how to describe it. I knew that if I let this guy up he'd probably hurt me or the woman but at the
same time I didn't want to hurt him. In a calm voice (totally contradictory to my inside demeanor) I told one guy to grab his other forearm and the
other to hold his knees down so he couldn't get up. The other guy (knee) declined to help. But I'd gotten some help on the arms. The Haitian was
strong, but he was out of gas due to hitting the woman.
The Haitian started chanting weird stuff and saying he was going to kill me, his wife and lots of other people.
He started stirring like he was getting his strength back and he was beginning to wiggle free, so I did the only thing I could, put more force into
his arms and drove his head into the dirt harder with my weight on my knee. This slowed him down some.
I tried to explain I didn't want to hurt him and I would ease up if he did, but I didn't seem to be getting through.
To my alarm. No police yet.. Where the hell were they? It felt like I was holding him for 10 minutes.
After all of this, still no one else helped except us two "white" guys. Did I mention that? Did I also mention that it was about now that I
realized that almost everyone else milling about was Haitian as well? No? Seems like I might have wanted to consider this possibility before jumping
the gun. Just as one of the bigger guys was starting to come towards me I hear screech of tires and a siren. Then I am hoping beyond hope they get
there quick because I am losing my grip from all the blood (did I mention that?) making my hands slippery.
All of a sudden a young cop practically dives over me trying to jam the cuffs on the Haitian, but he is doing it wrong, he is trying to get them
around a meaty part of his forearm just above where I am holding instead of the wrist. He's starts yelling "you're gonna get tazed if you don't
relax". I am thinking "Don't taze him bro" (I don't want the supplemental shock)
Ok, time out here, I know what you're thinking... the guy is incapacitated, a cop, two guys on him, no need to taze him right?
Well... not so much, see the guy is just about to get lose, the cop only has half a cuff on a huge forearm, he is struggling mightily and someone is
about to get hurt.
Ok, back in... he repeats his attempt and his commands... "you're gonna get tazed if you don't relax."
I am thinking, IDIOT, cuff the wrist! Cuff the wrist!!
Right about then a barking police dog scared the one o'clock sub sandwich out of me and I let go and jumped back about 8 feet. Then three cops were
on him and got him cuffed. Sweet shaky bliss engulfed me.
A fourth cop got into the face of the guy who was coming toward me just a second or two ago yelling "Back up, I'll taze you, back up back up back
up" He was seriously threatening the guy over and over. To me initially it all looked like it was going to spiral out of control. For a second I
thought of all the reports on ATS and how I might be involved in an unjustified tazing or abuse.
But nothing happened beyond that. The officers were professional if not seemingly overly authoritative and belligerent.
That was just my first reaction. After a few minutes in cuffs they started talking to the guy normal.
After about 30 minutes of my calming down, I realized they did EXACTLY what they were supposed to do.
They seemed overly authoritative and belligerent but it fit the situation to get it all in order. A cell phone camera might not have given the whole
story, or worse, would have made ME look like an abuser.
They came in, acted like they were in charge, got everyone back quickly and took down the "suspect".
The other white guy happened to be visiting someone and neither of us knew that we were probably very lucky to have gotten out of that unhurt. Two
bystanders said everyone thought I was a cop. (I find that funny since my body felt like it was shaking uncontrollably during the entire situation)
I guess my point of relating this story as it regards to the police is
1. Every situation can potentially be life threatening to those involved.
2. Not all cops are out to get us.
3. We do not realize how adrenalin will totally take a person over.
4. The whole story should always be considered when all you have is a clip.
5. I never want to be a cop, ever.
Now, this isn't a defense for police who abuse suspects or anything like that, this is just for those of you who think every cop is an ass and is
corrupt. There are good officers, and those officers are put in harms way every day.
My point of relating this story as my part being involved is just getting it off my chest and into print.
It was a big deal to me, I felt like I helped in some way, one less punch in the head for some woman who will undoubtedly be punched again shortly. It
may have not been much, but it helps to know I am not a totally useless scumbag who would just stand around.
I've always secretly worried about that.