This Statie deserved a commendation…

Submitted to the facebook page by Joi Weaver:

Although this was recorded 18 years ago, I and my fellow LEOs face this kind of behavior more frequently than you’d like to think. Don’t believe me? Try this story on for size…

Last year, I stopped a soccer mom (mini-van and all) for speeding. She commenced to throw the biggest fit I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes. Not only did she refuse to sign the ticket, she ended up resisting when I directed her back to her vehicle (after she jumped out and began yelling like a crazy person).
Once that line is crossed, there is no going back. This was a busy morning on a fairly busy street. I couldn’t have her running out into traffic and getting killed. I told her to get back in her car and she refused (keep in mind, my direction to return her to her vehicle was for both her safety and mine). I tried to gently grab her arm and escort her back to her van. She ripped her arm away from me (I think at one point I heard the *ding ding* of the bell…) and the fight was on.
All I was trying to do was to protect her (from herself), so I didn’t want to do any of those swell moves we learn during defensive tactics. I didn’t want to pepper spray her or dump her on the ground. Not only would it look like I’m kicking the shit out of this poor woman (unfortunately, we always have to keep other’s perspectives in mind, now, don’t we?), but her eight year old son was in the damn van.
Consequently, I end up fighting with this 40 something soccer mom. She eventually jumped back in the van and clutched her kid to her chest. She was in full “I’m losing my mind” mode. I wasn’t about to rip her son out of her arms and make a bad situation worse. At no point did I feel she was a threat to my safety (other than darting out into traffic and having to chase her) and I didn’t think she was going to hurt her son. Some times people just go, well, bat-shit crazy. Apparently, it was her turn.
I talked her out of the van and she ended up going to jail for resisting arrest. One of the cool things about this story is that other officers did an area canvass and every last witness said the lady just lost her mind and started screaming at me. I was very glad I didn’t dump her or otherwise put any legit hurt on her. It’s not always necessary to resolve a situation. If it hadn’t been me that’d set her off, it was going to be the bank teller or the grocery clerk or the soccer coach. Someone was going to get an earful off of this lady at some point during her day. Unfortunately for her, she chose me and got a free trip to jail for it.
To her credit, she came in the next day and apologized for her behavior. She said she had never acted like that before and she was ashamed. I’ve not dealt with her since. Some days just suck, huh?
Could I legally have used more force on her than I did? Damn straight. Could the Statie in the video handled his situation a little differently and have been justified? More than likely. Point is, we don’t always have to be knuckle-dragging Neanderthals to get the job done. I applaud his ability to stay calm in the face of abject idiocy.
Me? I don’t have the patience and would’ve ended up saying something smartass to the guy….’course then I would blog about it, so, you know…win/win.

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

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7 thoughts on “This Statie deserved a commendation…

  1. Nicely handled, both you and the guy in the video. Yeah, you'd be well within guidelines to escalate to force, but good choice not to. In your soccer mom's case, it sounds like an anxiety attack and not just hysterics to try and get out of a ticket, especially if the lady came back and apologized. Hopefully it was a wakeup call for her and she was able to get some assistance.

    How does this compare to the recent video of a Seattle trooper who ended up punching a girl in the face? Would not escalating have been a reasonable choice in that situation, or are the differences I'm not catching?

    "If you don't pick that up, I'm going to write you a summons for littering." Best. Comeback. Ever.

  2. I was recently on a ride-along, and saw a woman being stopped for a simple speeding ticket lay on the horn, wave her arms out the window, and basically throw a major freak out because she was inconvenienced for a whole five minutes.

    I don't know how you guys do it, but you've all got cooler heads than I do….

  3. First off, you know that Statie was fired for this right? To much background to type.

    I've have a few of these situations myself. One, the driver got out, approached me saying I "better call for backup" and then the fight was on. She eventually caused herself to fall as I tried to push her out of traffic and she fell and broke her own arm. The single female witness said it looked like the "guy" (was actually a large lady) was trying to get my gun.

  4. @Mr. Police Man

    Care to at least mention some names so we can look it up? Here in California, this guy was borderline 5150 material. Letting that guy drive away in that state of mind was a huge judgment lapse on the officer's part.

  5. Sadly, the story behind this video is a lot uglier :(.

    The officer's name is Stephen Murray from Maine State Police, and the driver is Harold Waltz who was a local known for his high-strung temper.

    Apparently the officer racked up a stack of complaints about his attitude and the investigation of this incident eventually showed that the officer went out of his way to rile up the driver before turning on the camera and acting all cool.

    A lot of the info boils down to "friend of a friend said" but he was either fired or forced to resign due to this and many other incidents.