What has always amazed me, and what you will
come to learn, is how stupid and irrational people
can be. Let's get started on this. You're on patrol
on a clear summer day, and you receive a call for a
residential burglary in progress. The dispatcher
tells you the burglar is breaking through the back
door, and there's a woman and a small child inside.
As you turn into the alley, you spot a guy running
out of one of the houses in the block. This has got
to be your man, because, when he spots you, he
really takes off. No lights and siren here. He cuts
down a narrow alley, and the foot chase is on.
You're young and in good physical condition, but
the suspect is also young. You never lose sight of
him as you close to about 15 to 20 feet behind
him. It quickly becomes evident to you that this
chase will end when one of you wears out. Your
suspect is not stupid, for he's listening to you as
you give your dispatcher, and other police officers
who are searching for you, your location. Every
time he hears you give a location and direction, he
changes direction. This marathon goes on for
about six blocks; until, you chase him into a school
yard. The school yard thing is no big deal...
remember, it's Summertime, and school is not in
session. It's just you and him. You ran it out of
him, and now he's leaning forward with his palms on
his knees as he gasps for air.
I wasn't about to let this idiot ruin my day. As he
took his second step, I holstered my gun while
simultaneously drawing my nightstick from its ring
with my other hand. I took a batters stance and
said, "Come on." It turned out he wasn't a total
idiot. That stick stopped him cold in his tracks. He
had taken a calculated risk that I wouldn't shoot
him while correctly calculating that I would put him
down with that stick. Now, think about what you
would have done if you'd been in my place. What if
the two of you weren't pretty evenly matched
physically? What if the guy was a lot bigger than
This story gets even better. This guy didn't actually
commit any crime. Yes, he did kick in a door, but it
was his door attached to his house. His wife called
the police, but she neglected to tell the operator
that the burglar was her husband. You say, "Oh,
domestic violence!" Not exactly, there was no
assault. There was an argument, because she'd
locked him out. When she told him she'd called the
police, he ran from the house... a real dangerous
husband, this one. I told you he took a calculated
risk that I wouldn't shoot him, but, on the other
hand, he could have been saying to himself, "I'll
show her... I'll get this cop to shoot me."
You're not in any better shape, but you're the cop,
so you can't be as obvious about your discomfort.
His back is to you as you look him over closely.
He's wearing a polo shirt and slacks, so any bulges
indicating a concealed weapon would be evident.
Additionally, while you were chasing him, his arms
were always swinging. If he had a gun, one hand
would have been close to his body to control the
weapon. Back-up police officers are on the way, so
you just want to get him on the ground until help
arrives. You pull your service pistol, and you tell
the guy to lie down on the ground. With his hands
still on his knees, he does a duck walk turn to face
you. You repeat the order for him to lie down.
You'd think, as tired as this guy is, he'd have no
problem with lying down.
Instead, he stares at you for a few seconds, before
he stands upright. He rolls his head from side to
side as he keeps looking away from you. You've
got a good look at him now, and you're certain he
has no weapon. You're also certain that the guy is
becoming agitated. Suddenly, he slaps his chest
twice with the palms of his hands and shouts,
"Shoot me... shoot me! Go ahead... shoot me!"
Before you can reply, he starts walking toward you,
slapping his chest and shouting the "shoot me"
thing over and over. Can you believe this guy?
What kind of person would be this irrational? You'll
learn that a lot of people are this irrational.
"Shoot me... shoot me! Go ahead... shoot
me!" Before you can reply, he starts walking
toward you, slapping his chest and shouting
the "shoot me" thing over and over."
~ Barry M. Baker
|Copyright © 2019 Barry M. Baker