Pepper Spray and Little Johnny

If you’ve not heard, an eight year old boy was pepper sprayed recently in Colorado. Check out the article and one video interview of the tyke here.
Below, you’ll see a clip with some other information as well. Give that a look see as well.

Can you make a leap and guess what my opinion on this one is? Yeah…good job by the cops on scene. The teachers had barricaded themselves. The kid threatened them with a sharp instrument and has a history of “behavioral issues” at school. Here’s an interesting aside…the school this kid goes to is in the Columbine school system. Think they’re a little sensitive to threats on school grounds? Justifiably so, I might add.

So, here’s an 82 lb. kid wielding a sharpened piece of wood trim. According to mom, the cops have been called on this kid twice before and they “talked him down”. Unfortunately, no other information was provided about those two previous incidents. Think it’s safe to assume they didn’t involve him wielding a weapon? Yeah, me too. And yes…I said weapon. All kinds of everyday items can be used as weapons, people. Don’t be so naive.

Well, why didn’t the cops disarm the kid physically using what one blogger (that I will refrain from demeaning….only barely) referred to as their “crime fighting skills learned in the academy”? This could only be written by someone who has no clue as to what training actually occurs in your average police academy. It’s called pain compliance. We’re not friggin’ ninjas, everybody. Most of us don’t know karate (that’s pronounced Kar-rah-TEY, of course) and have a very limited well from which to pull.

They’re aren’t any classes about disarming a child in the academy. On the other hand, there are classes about disarming people. None of them involve being overly kind. So, Mr. Blogger, along with those that agree, what you are saying is you wanted the cops to hurt this kid. Don’t bother to argue…this is what your ignorance buys you.

You know what else? We’re not required to put ourselves in a situation in which we can get ourselves hurt. What?!?! MC, that’s just crazy! You’re a police officer and are paid to do just that, aren’t you? Well, yes…and no. What I mean by that is we are trained to handle things in such a way as to limit and, hopefully, reduce possible injuries to all involved. That includes the officer(s), suspect(s), and the witness(es). We have a number of tools at our disposal. We are allowed to use whatever force is necessary to effect an arrest and overcome any resistance offered.
For example, an officer can’t shoot someone who is verbally abusive; however, if articulated properly (the person becomes physically threatening/combative, etc.), an officer may be able to use physical force and/or chemical force to gain compliance.

Let’s take a look at this kid. According to all the reading/viewing I’ve done on this story, the kid threatened staff saying, “I’m going to kill you” while holding an implement that could have made good on that threat. He was certainly a threat to other students. The kid admitted in an interview to “making something sharp”.

He was apparently frightening enough for staff to call the police and subsequently barricade themselves. What did mom have to say about her darling child? She said he’s a “normal 8 year old”. Mom said the kid doesn’t have any issues at home (where I’m sure he doesn’t ride rough shod all over her…please note the sarcasm here) or anywhere else. His issues only seem to manifest at school. You know, where’s there’s structure. Huh.

Want to hear something else that is frightening? The kids said, “I’ve got anger things. It’s just who I am. It’s never going to go away.” Look for wingless flies, limping cats, and dogs that growl at this kid when he comes near. Get that kid into therapy.


You know what I’d like to see? This will totally shock you. How’s about some responsibility from mom? Instead of her mollycoddling (thanks, Dad) this little brat and subsequently society doing the same, why not teach him some consequences to his behavior? You think there was ADD, ADHD, insert-excuse-for-why-you’re-kid-is-a-pain-in-the-ass-here medications 50 years ago? Nope. You know what there was, though? Parents who weren’t afraid to hand out some justice and *gasp* a swat or two when it’s called for.

Let’s recap. The cops deescalated the situation with minimal injuries (pepper spray hurts, but it won’t result in a visit to the doctor for stitches, casts, and/or pain med). No one got hurt and little Johnny is no longer at the same school. He’s now enrolled at a school for kids with “emotional issues”. I hope he gets the help and therapy he needs. In my personal and professional opinion, I don’t think he’s gonna get the structure he so very desperately needs at home.

And just as an aside, mainstream media, can you get your facts straight regarding the chemical agent used, please? One outlet reported it as “mace” and others as “pepper spray”. What’s the big deal, you ask? Here’s the big deal…I’ve been exposed to both. I’d rather gargle with mace than ever be hit with pepper spray again. Yes, the difference is (almost) that great.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

25 thoughts on “Pepper Spray and Little Johnny

  1. When I first read this I was willing to give mommy the benefit of the doubt that there was something so behaviourly [is that a word? :-)] wrong with the kid that he was completely out of control — something like early onset schizophrenia or something else causing psychotic behaviour.

    But when mommy pulled out the "they just should have reasoned with him! it has worked before!" bullshit I realized what we had here was the bad combination of Kid With Serious Problems & Parent(s) With Head Up Butt.

    20+ yrs ago this kid would have been shut up in an institution. As horrible as that is, the future I forsee for this kid is prison, and I'm terrified of how many people will be injured (or worse) before that happens.

  2. I'm a mom to two precious little snowflakes. That being said, if my six or 11yo ever fashioned a weapon out of ANYTHING and threatened to kill someone with it…

    And it was the third time the police was called for this child?

    I'm with you and the cops on this one.

    And I have a feeling had the weapon been wrestled away from him and he had gotten as much as a splinter Mom would have sued.

    Parents need to take some responsibility here.

  3. I saw this mother on tv and she kept INSISTING he was only this way at school. I would have been stunned to hear the words "I'm gonna kill you" coming from my child's mouth at 8 years of age. Guess that blogger who was all upset that an 82 pound kid was pepper sprayed, hasn't seen the story of the 12 yr old who stabbed a cop three times.

  4. Let me try this again. I'm sorry, Google keeps deleting me.

    I'm a mom to two precious snowflakes myself. One turned six today, the other is 11. If either one of them had ever dared fashion a weapon out of ANYTHING and then threatened to harm ANYONE or ANYTHING… Well, pepper spray would be the least of their concerns.

    And if the cops had wrestled that weapon (and it was a weapon) out of that boy's hands and he had gotten as much as a splinter out of it, I'm sure Mom would still be suing. And this was the THIRD time the cops had been called.

    I'm on the cops side on this one. Parents need to be a little more accountable for what their kids do.

  5. Holy crap! 186 (and counting) comments on a P-1 article? I think the little sociopath-soon-to-be-psychopath my have struck a nerve!

    "Normal eight year old boy?" OK, to be fair, most mom's aren't equipped to handle a kid who's even capable of this, but this particular mom isn't fit to raise a potted plant.

    Sadly, I think this kid's problems go WAY beyond bad parenting, although I do wonder how his mom is going to justify it when he finishes off that cute little puppy.

    The cop did exactly the right thing, and I feel sorry for the crap he's getting. I feel worse for the cop who's probably going to be force to "stop" him a hundred pounds from now.

  6. the blogger who said "crime fighting skills learned in the academy"… LOL. I'm not even in law enforcement at all and if I had just seen quote that in passing I would've thought it was sarcasm, not genuoine criticism of the cops.

  7. great, another annoying soon-to-be a-hole that we have to share society with.

    maybe he'll bother moe the bully next time and get what he deserves.

  8. The asinine blogger called it "non-violent" crime fighting skills learned in the academy. Yeah. Let's see you take down someone who is determined to be violent by non-violent means. Then you can teach the police how to do it, and everyone will be happy.

    If it were my kid saying he was going to kill people, I'd ask the police to use a taser.

  9. Hopefully they hit him with a can of Fox 5.3 so that his experience will not be soon forgotten.

    I will never forget that day in the academy.

  10. Anyone here been in the business long enough to remember really old school officers taking a kid like this behind the building and providing the obviously necessary fatherly butt-whipping? I do. One of the worst things libs accomplished was having corporal punishment removed from the schools.

  11. The mother of that child is so far in denial that she had better watch out for crocodiles. The taser and sprays are excellent tools and the officer should be congratulated for solving the situation without permanent injury being caused to either party. Anyone who thinks the officer should put himself at greater risk just to benefit the aggressor needs their head read. The officer has a right to go home to his own family uninjured. Unfortunately I feel the media attention will only inflame future aggressive behaviour in this kid as infamy as well as fame brings its own 15 minutes of glory. Regrettably the police will no doubt be seeing this kid again at some time in the future. Good luck to the officer who at that time has to deal with him and I hope he uses whatever tool that best sees to his own safety.

  12. Ugh. The media attention on this is ridiculous. We have done the same thing here and no parents have gone national. Maybe if Aidan's parents had been parents, he wouldn't be so naughty. Special or not…kids can behave better if they are parented better. I agree with you that the cops did well.

  13. "Let's see you take down someone who is determined to be violent by non-violent means. Then you can teach the police how to do it, and everyone will be happy."

    Don't you understand? You just have to be accepting of the violent criminal the way they are, and show them that they are loved. Then they will lay down their weapons and go forth as productive members of society. 😉

  14. Plain and simple…he had a weapon and the police used their least aggressive weapon to apprehend him. Excellent job by the officers! I applaud them.

  15. Sounds to me as if the threat was neutralized and the situation was resolved without any long standing repercussions. The teachers went home safe, the students went home safe, the police officers went home safe, and so did the mental kid. What exactly are people complaining about?

    Sadly this situation was a loose loose for the police officer. No matter WHAT he did, he would have wound up on the news as the cop who picked on the little kid.

  16. In one of the first articles I read about this on MSN had some very interesting and telling info form the boy. I am NOT quoting- only paraphrasing as I can't remember word for word, but accurately. The boy sheepishly said that yes, he probably deserved what he got because of what he did. But there was mom, still going on about how her sweet, innocent little boy should have been handled with kid gloves by the big bad police. Kinda puts a new spin on it, huh?

  17. Good post. I think the officers were right to spice the kid. (Spice is LA slang for pepper spray BTW.) I suspect some of the outrage is a result of helicopter parents who go batshyte whenever a big bad mean policeman does anything to a child harsher than a tsk-tsk. My mom was never afraid to use her favorite wooden spoon for a little remedial redirection when necessary and I lived to tell it so I have no pity for squishy parenting.

  18. Very well written! My husband is a cop and so often we hear stories like this where the cop is doing his job…a good job…and it gets spun around to look like he was in the wrong. The majority of people out there have no clue what they're talking about when it comes to these stories. Thanks for shedding some light (and talking some sense) on this subject.

  19. Maybe the kid just needed to be heard. Maybe he was on medication.

    But by all means, in a society that worships cowardice, call the SWAT team in ! Everyone must always be afraid, even if that fear leads to harming a little kid.

    • Really? Do you know that for sure, or from experience?
      Or are you really that naive?

  20. : And yes…I said weapon. All kinds of everyday items can be used as weapons, people. Don’t be so naive.
    Agree with you on that. I’ve seen all kinds of makeshift weapons (mostly constructed by ingenious friends).
    Also, just about anything can be a weapon, especially your steel toed boots (ouch, my shins! 😛 )

    : It’s called pain compliance. We’re not friggin’ ninjas, everybody.
    Yeah, I’ve seen quite few methods of dealing with the “suspects” or “perps”. You have to use what you have at hand to deal with the situation. If you expect some George Segal Aikido, keep watching the movies. That kind of stuff just doesn’t normally happen.

    : What did mom have to say about her darling child? She said he’s a “normal 8 year old”.
    Yeah, I’ve met some of those “normal 8 year old” and found that through circumstance and bad parenting (yes, there are some awful parents out there), they can be little monsters…

    : Look for wingless flies, limping cats, and dogs that growl at this kid when he comes near. Get that kid into therapy. Now.

    : I’d rather gargle with mace than ever be hit with pepper spray again. Yes, the difference is (almost) that great.
    Agree with you on that. Mace is quite uncomfortable, but pepper spray, ouch!
    If you really want to know the difference, try it out on yourself, or have your idiot friends (we all have at least one) try it out.
    With pepper spray, you’ll probably want to tear off your face and get a new one or gouge out your eyes (not really, but it feels that way).

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