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Overreacting to a situation that may or may not have been imagined, advise please

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  • Overreacting to a situation that may or may not have been imagined, advise please

    My brother has a history of intense anxiety, is prone to panicking, and has a tendency to believe in an anxiety-inflated version of reality. He was recently in a driving situation which has led him to believe that "the cops are looking for him" and that he cannot drive his car ever again, or else he will "get caught and go to jail."


    I had him tell me what happened a few different times, in a few different ways, over the course of a week and his story has stayed the same. From what I can gather, I suspect that he was speeding a bit (about 10 mph over) on a 2-lane road near his home, going down a hill while a police officer was coming up the hill. There was some traffic in the uphill direction, but not much, if any, going downhill. The police car pulled to the side of the road and turned his lights on (my brother only saw this in his mirrors, after he had passed the police car). Continuing down the hill, my brother lost sight of the police officer. Then, without knowing whether or not the police officer had been signalling to him or some other car, my brother turned off the road into a neighborhood and hid.


    Not wanting to exacerbate my brother's mental health issues and cause a crisis, I have lent him my car until we decide on the next steps to take. My inclination is to just walk into the nearest police station and find someone to talk to. However, because it is possible that my brother is right and that the police are looking for him, I would like to hear some advice before taking any action.

    All LEO thoughts on this are welcome and appreciated!

  • #2
    So you're going to aid and abet his breaking the law.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • SunnyDays
      SunnyDays commented
      Editing a comment
      While I believe that it's possible that there may have been misdemeanor speeding, I have no knowledge whatsoever that laws has been broken and that's what I'm trying to get clarity on. I've tried to ask my question more simply below.

  • #3
    Originally posted by SunnyDays View Post
    My brother has a history of intense anxiety, is prone to panicking, and has a tendency to believe in an anxiety-inflated version of reality. He was recently in a driving situation which has led him to believe that "the cops are looking for him" and that he cannot drive his car ever again, or else he will "get caught and go to jail."


    I had him tell me what happened a few different times, in a few different ways, over the course of a week and his story has stayed the same. From what I can gather, I suspect that he was speeding a bit (about 10 mph over) on a 2-lane road near his home, going down a hill while a police officer was coming up the hill. There was some traffic in the uphill direction, but not much, if any, going downhill. The police car pulled to the side of the road and turned his lights on (my brother only saw this in his mirrors, after he had passed the police car). Continuing down the hill, my brother lost sight of the police officer. Then, without knowing whether or not the police officer had been signalling to him or some other car, my brother turned off the road into a neighborhood and hid.


    Not wanting to exacerbate my brother's mental health issues and cause a crisis, I have lent him my car until we decide on the next steps to take. My inclination is to just walk into the nearest police station and find someone to talk to. However, because it is possible that my brother is right and that the police are looking for him, I would like to hear some advice before taking any action.

    All LEO thoughts on this are welcome and appreciated!
    Saved.
    Now go home and get your shine box!

    Comment


    • #4
      I'm not sure I completely understand what you are asking, but here it goes anyway:

      1) If you believe your brother has mental health issues then encourage him to see a mental health professional.

      2) If it is important enough for the police to speak with him they will find him.

      Comment


      • SunnyDays
        SunnyDays commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for your thoughts. I've tried to ask my question more simply in a separate post below.

        Basically, I'm gathering information to better understand if evading/eluding occurred or is likely to have occurred, so that I can make an informed decision:

        1. Go to the police.
        2. Go to an attorney.
        3. (per your suggestion) If it is important enough for the police to speak with him they will find him.
        4. Any other ideas that might get posted...

    • #5
      OP here, due to the responses so far, let me try to ask my question better:

      If a driver was not being followed by a police officer, did not see a police officer trying to get turned around to pursue, and it was unclear to that driver who or what the flashing lights were for, was it illegal to panic and hide?

      Comment


      • #6
        Originally posted by SunnyDays View Post
        OP here, due to the responses so far, let me try to ask my question better:

        If a driver was not being followed by a police officer, did not see a police officer trying to get turned around to pursue, and it was unclear to that driver who or what the flashing lights were for, was it illegal to panic and hide?
        The officer may or may not have intended to pull your brother over for speeding. In the scenario you described...if I wanted to pull him over I would have turned around and not activated my lights until I was right behind him AND in an area that is safe for both of us to stop. It would have been pretty clear that I wanted him to pull over. On the other hand, if I received a high priority call I'd immediately activate my lights, turn around and respond to the call...in which case I would appreciate your brother and other drivers getting out of my way.

        Chances are that the officer happened to be responding to another call that just came in. Even if he did intend to pull over your brother I wouldn't worry about it. If there was any ambiguity as to what the officer intended then I don't see charges of eluding going anywhere. I've had speeders "disappear" on me a couple of times (usually when behind a stopped school bus) and I didn't waste another thought on it. If it was something more significant and I had the license plate I'd follow up at their last known address. It's been over a week since the incident and they haven't come to talk to him, so I'd say he's in the clear. However, if it causes you or him anxiety then feel free to call the non-emergency number or stop by the station.

        Comment


        • SunnyDays
          SunnyDays commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks for the reply - this makes so much sense. I'm going to share this with my brother.

      • #7
        One night many moons ago, I responded to help one of my coworkers on a traffic stop where the driver check came back with an armed and dangerous felony warrant. So... off I go, lights and siren wailing. One stretch of the road went around a curve, and down a hill to a stop light. At this particular moment, there was a car stopped at the bottom of the hill in front of me, waiting at the red light. As I come up behind the car at probably 50-60 mph, the car suddenly takes off, running the light. The driver punches it up, also doing 50-60mph in a 35 zone.. We're just about in a high speed chase, even though I never intended to stop the guy. Pretty soon we're doing 60-70, then 75. This goes on for about two minutes, swerving in and out around a few slower cars. I was dumbfounded, thinking what the hell is he doing? I didn't know if I should call in the attempt to stop in or not. I just wanted to go back up my partner. The driver suddenly hooks a right turn and books it. I kept on going straight and got to my partner's stop. I never did get a plate or even a vehicle description. Just the damnedest thing.

        The point to this is... Just because you see a police car with its lights on, or even if he's just calmly driving along behind you... does NOT mean the officer is after YOU, or has even taken notice of you. There's no need to freak out, run and hide, or wet your pants. If the officer is behind you and turns the lights on, just pull over to the right and stop. He may stop behind you, or he may go right on past.

        Your brother may have a severe case of paranoia, but if you're considering talking to a lawyer before you and he 'turn yourselves in", then you've got a mild case yourself.
        Last edited by Curt5811; 09-25-2017, 07:22 PM.
        You can trust just about every officer you work with to risk their life to save yours, but don't ever leave your lunch in the breakroom refrigerator.

        Comment


        • SunnyDays
          SunnyDays commented
          Editing a comment
          What a story! I'll be sharing that with my brother. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • #8
        Don't waste the $$ on an attorney. Read what has been posted above. Does you brother take meds? If not, there are a lot of things that can alleviate that kind of suffering. Paranoia and Anxiety = no way to live.
        Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

        Comment


        • #9
          A little late to the party. I've studied mental health only a little bit, but what you're describing sounds more like he's suffering from paranoia. Extreme anxiety can be accompanied with paranoia, but delusions don't typically form from anxiety. PTSD, OCD, things like that are associated with anxiety. But delusions are part of something more severe... like paranoia, personality disorders, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc. He's essentially believing in a false reality and should seek help from a mental health professional ASAP. I know in my area there is emergency services with the department of human services that are there on call for EDPs

          Comment


          • #10
            The word "hid" in his explanation is intriguing. Why did he hide from the PD?
            John 3:16

            Comment


            • #11
              Sounds like you should encourage your brother to seek counselling and treatment. Leave the Police out of this equation.
              #32936 - Royal Canadian Mounted Police - 1975-10-27 / 2010-12-29
              Proud Dad of #54266 - RCMP - 2007-02-12 to date
              RCMP Veterans Association - Regina Division member
              Mounted Police Professional Association of Canada - Associate (Retired) member
              "Smile" - no!

              Comment

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