First Liar Hasn’t Got a Chance

I started this dog running with an e-mail to some cop buddies reminiscing about a particular Sergeant we worked for.  What I got in return was an indication that in fishing and cop stories, First Liar Hasn’t got a Chance. Here’s what started it:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Eight Virginia police officers were recovering on Tuesday from injuries during an attack by a naked man who allegedly set fire to his apartment, police said.
The incident took place when Fairfax County police officers responded to a domestic incident on Monday at an apartment in Fairfax, a Washington suburb, police said in a statement.
Hussani White, 26, of Fairfax, who was naked, allegedly attacked two officers in a stairwell and hit them several times. He dragged an officer down a flight of stairs, police said.
More officers responded and pepper spray was used on White. He allegedly stuffed electronics and other items into his oven and set fire to the kitchen just before police arrived.
Five officers were treated for pepper spray exposure, smoke inhalation and other injuries, the statement said.
Three other officers were checked for smoke inhalation at a hospital. White was charged with assault and attempted arson.

My observation was as follows the names have been changed to protect the guilty and innocent alike.

When Doug and I started in law enforcement we had Sergeant  “The Mini Brute” who stood maybe 5’6″, maybe 130 lbs dripping wet, with gun belt. He dearly loved a fight. I watched him run across the hood of three patrol cars and and launch himself in a racing dive onto a group of Job Corps students fighting with an officer. Whether it was a night stick or Mace everybody got hit or sprayed. He would flail away until he was the last man standing and he always was.

Different era different rules, we figured if we got whacked by “friendly fire” we hadn’t been assaulted or injured to speak of.

Now-a-days just hearing about it second hand at the bar after shift probably qualifies for PTSD,

It wasn’t long before I got the following reply:

The hand held stun guns were brand new on the market and some of the models were rather unpredictable in the results – so new that PD’s weren’t sure if we were allowed to carry them or not, but since when did that ever slow down a cop’s fascination with a new “belt toy”. At the same time, Terrell Hills, Hollywood Park and I think Leon Valley were working off duty jobs at three large night clubs here in town – Denim and Diamonds (C&W), Illusions (black R&B and whatever you call the predecessor to rap) and Sneakers (hard rock). Not only was the work steady and money good, but all three locations provided our own little version of the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, the famous US Army Ordnance Depot in MD.

Within a matter of a week or so, we had two trial runs of these stun guns in the hands of people who should not have had them. A brawl broke out at Illusions (go figure, what are the odds) and “Rabbit”, a well meaning, over enthused patrolman drew his stun gun and proceeded to go to work. He never connected with any of the original participants, but he did manage to flatten our captain, two sergeants, your truly, and the manager of the club, a retired MP with the temperament of a rattle snake with a bad fang. To his credit, his “hit and retreat” method prevented any of us from being shocked to the point of shitting our pants, but its a wonder we didn’t tear him apart afterwards. Mac, the manager was scrambling in his desk for his pistol before we got him settled down.

The other “trial” took place at D&D when another well meaning officer was trying to eject a problem customer that had decided – 1. he wasn’t going to give up his beer (don’t really blame him, it was freshly open and still full) and 2. while he wasn’t combative, he was huge and regardless of our attempts, he wasn’t moving – stone statue leaning against a pool table. This guy was stewed and to say he wasn’t responsive to any attempts so far would be an understatement. Officer Friendly’s face lit up – here was his chance to try it out. That’s not really fair – he had already tried out the stunner – on himself a few nights before while sitting in a recliner in front of the TV at home. He flipped himself ass over teakettle, broke the recliner and wiped out that corner of the living room. I said he was friendly, not bright. Friendly had hold of the statue’s right arm, standing to the left, the other officer had hold of the statue’s left arm, standing to the right. As Friendly applied the stun gun, he knew what he was doing and released his grip on the statue so as not to conduct the shock into his own body. The other officer was concentrating on the size of the statue and had no idea what Friendly was doing……………… can see this coming, can’t you. Friendly buried the prongs in the statue’s chest and hit the button. The statue just stood there staring lovingly at his beer showing no reaction whatsoever, but the other officer was launched up onto the pool table, emitting a strangled pitiful moan and landed like a sack of wet mail.

The stun guns were banned at the clubs after that – no so much banned officially, we just made it clear that if any of the officers was seen carrying one, the rest of us were free to open fire on him with no warning.