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The 5am "Oh SH*T"

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  • The 5am "Oh SH*T"

    It was 5 am and I'd just finished watching the replay of the Olympic coverage I missed. The local news came on. I rarely watch the local news.

    For a while, I'd heard about a local man, arrested and charged with killing a Trooper (Eric Nicholson) in South Carolina back in Dec. 2000. I'd heard the story on the radio a few times. He was stopped while riding a moped. The trooper hadn't even exited his care when John Wood opened fire.

    It took the jury 2 hours to find the dirt bag guilty on Tuesday. He's up for the death sentence.

    Anyway, the local news was blabbing about how he'd been arrested something like 6 times in this county, from trespassing to theft....no violent crimes. And apparently his defense attorney made some attempt to convince the jury that the shooting was almost "self-defense" because Wood was afraid of the police.

    I look up to see his picture for the first time......... wait a second...... I know this cat . I pulled him over before and stroked him a ticket. (please spare the jokes about knowing why he's afraid of cops, I'm being serious). My blood ran cold at that point....... I never thought that I was giving the old "press hard, you're making 5 copies" to a timebomb looking for a cop to go off on.

    I don't rattle really easy, falling asleep was not terribly easy after that.

    [ 02-14-2002: Message edited by: Niteshift ]

  • #2
    I bet that was a real eye opener, night. I think that would be like getting hit in the face with some ice water making you really think about your mortality. I have not experianced a situation like that that I can recall (guess there is some good out of memory loss) but I am sure if it happened to me it would be a real eye opener too.

    Klar
    Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.

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    • #3
      Good reminder there. Everyone we stop may be the one who tries to kill us. Never let your guard down, never quit and always go home at the end of the shift.
      Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

      I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

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      • #4
        I went to a "domestic" on a Tuesday night, and the guy was leaving when I got there. He just looked back at me and at her, and smiled, and got into the truck with his buddies. I kept eye contact with him until they were gone.

        Two nights later, he got high, came back, found another guy already in the house, and a fight ensued. LE was called (I was off) and a good friend had to shoot and kill him when he came at him with a knife.

        Two days time difference...
        People have more fun than anybody.

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        • #5
          Back last spring, I picked up a juvenile for hitchiking and took him to the complex so his parent/guardian could pick him up. Being a juvenile and on a Sunday, the only place for him was in dispatch. He was extrememly polite...I even found out his dad(parents divorced) was a cop in Colorado(talked to him on the phone).

          ANYway....THE NEXT DAY...this kid and 2 buddies, hold up a convenience store less than 5 miles from my house...and are the suspects in another unsolved armed robbery.

          You NEVER know....
          "When you guys get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a *****."
          -Commanding General, 1st Marine Division

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          • #6
            A couple of years ago, I stopped a vehicle for Careless Operation, and DWI on the Interstate.

            It was about 3am and of course I was being very cautious. It was also about 30 degrees, so it was rather cold out.

            Anyway, with my guard up as usual, I check warrants, because I notice all the gang tats on this kid. Dispatch tells me that he wasn't wanted, so I let my guard down a bit.

            I tell the driver to go back to his car, while I go to mine to run him on the MDT. While I'm sitting in the car, dispatch tells me to clear for traffic.

            I do so and they ask me the driver's name again. After I tell them, they told me to use caution, because he was wanted for Second Degree Murder....WTF! Two minutes earlier he wasn't wanted, and now he is!

            Now the OH S**t factor hits... I immediately call for back up and try to wait for them to get there before I take him into custody. I get out of my unit and the BG gets out too. I order him down at gunpoint and wait for backup.

            I also notice a passenger in the car. After units arrived, I found out that the passenger was also wanted for Accessory to Murder and that the driver had a .380 under his seat that was the murder weapon.

            Needless to say, a dispatcher got written up that night for not paying attention and basically for not keeping officer safety in mind when I could have been his next victim.

            [ 02-14-2002: Message edited by: cajuncop ]
            Attitude is a reflection of leadership.

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            • #7
              It's scary to think of how close you've come to being the news story yourself.

              My wife was travelling to Dallas with our two young sons, ages then 6 & 4. She came upon an elderly woman just outside Jacksonville trying to change a flat tire. My wife stopped to lend her a hand & a man came walking up. He looked like a bum but offered to change the tire. After the tire was fixed, it was apparant that all were going the same direction & the man asked for a ride on into town. Even though the elderly woman offered him a ride, my wife felt that the woman was nervous about it & thought she would stand a better chance safety-wise having the two kids (like they could do anything) so she offered as well. The bum probably felt the nervousness of the elderly woman & accepted my wife's offer.

              As they started on their way, my oldest son leaned over the back of the front seat, put his toy gun up to the man, & said, "My Daddy's a policeman so you better act right." The man acted like he was scared & he & my wife laughed it off with my wife telling our son that this man was very nice & had done a nice thing helping the elderly woman. A few miles down the road she let him out & he thanked her for the ride.

              About a year or so later we're watching the news story of a man being caught & confessing to dozens of murders, some in the East Texas area. They showed his face & my wife started stammering, "That's him, that's him!" She had given a ride to Henry Lee Lucas & lived to tell about it.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Pigskin:
                She had given a ride to Henry Lee Lucas & lived to tell about it.
                Now that is what I call an "Oh SH*T"...That's pretty scary.
                Attitude is a reflection of leadership.

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                • #9
                  Pigskin,

                  Please don't take any of this the wrong way, but what the hell was your wife thinking? To give a ride to a complete stranger, especially with young children in the car is absurd. I understand kindness and generosity, but no way would I have done that. There aren't many people in this world I trust, especially when my children's safety is concerned.

                  Maybe it's me. Maybe it's just a Pennsylvania thing.

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                  • #10
                    Damn it's a small world!!!

                    I was off duty the day Trooper Nicholson was shot and killed in Greenville SC. After the shooting several local agencies were involved in a long and grueling manhunt and shoot out with Wood and a female accomplice. My previous agency paged out their SRT and blood hound tracking teams. We were enroute to assist in the hunt when Wood was shot in the face by an Anderson County Sheriff's Office deputy.

                    Upon hearing the news that the manhunt was over and we were to return to the LEC, we pulled our vehicles over and said a prayer for Trp. Nicholson and his family. The trip home was probably the worst ride of my entire life, I have never felt so disapointed as I did that day. A brother was gone, and there was nothing we could do.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kateykakes:
                      Pigskin,

                      Please don't take any of this the wrong way, but what the hell was your wife thinking? To give a ride to a complete stranger, especially with young children in the car is absurd. I understand kindness and generosity, but no way would I have done that. There aren't many people in this world I trust, especially when my children's safety is concerned.

                      Maybe it's me. Maybe it's just a Pennsylvania thing.
                      She may have been trying to help someone. I realize what you mean, but if no one will help anybody, that's a prety sad state of affairs. Not everybody will try to kill you.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MikeTx:


                        She may have been trying to help someone. I realize what you mean, but if no one will help anybody, that's a prety sad state of affairs. Not everybody will try to kill you.
                        I WILL NOT take that chance, especially being a woman. i dont care about the state of affairs, i care about my life. it only takes one person to try to kill you.
                        "You did what you knew how to do...and when you knew better, you did better." ~~Maya Angelou

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jellybean40:
                          I WILL NOT take that chance, especially being a woman. i dont care about the state of affairs, i care about my life. it only takes one person to try to kill you.

                          Thank you, Jellybean!!!

                          Mike, you'd feel comfortable with your wife letting a strange man get in her car, not knowing if it could be her last day because of some psycho?

                          I'm more the type to call a taxi for the person and give money than worry about risking my life, or better yet, putting my children's lives in danger.

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                          • #14
                            Mike, you'd feel comfortable with your wife letting a strange man get in her car, not
                            knowing if it could be her last day because of some psycho?
                            Of course that is not what I said. Perhaps you ladies should take charge of your own safety.

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                            • #15
                              A long time ago, as a young guy, long before I "settled down" and became a cop/got married/had kids I hitch hiked for nearly 2 glorious years around Europe. It was fantastic as you might well imagine. Just magic really. I owe a lot to the great folks who picked me up and not one did me wrong. Not one. Maybe I was just lucky, who knows?

                              After returning to Australia I tend to feel guilty if I pass by a hitch hiker. BUT I look pretty carefully at who I am picking up - young guys/girls with back packs qualify most quickly and often. Single guys with no travelling gear I might well drive by unless they are obviously with a broken down car. If I am by myeslf I will take more risks than if I have kids in my car. I would not feel comfortable with my wife taking the risks I do (and it is ultimately a risk) BUT I really agree with the comment about what kind of world would it be if no one took a risk about helping anyone else. The fact is though that this good and kind lady probably came very close to death in taking that risk of helping. Therefore I can understand and sympathise with those who will not pick up hitchhikers - and I found out about this the other day myself because my car broke down and I had to walk all the way home!

                              "Hi there, my name is Swampy, I'll be your arresting officer today Sir!"

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