An experience every concealed carrier prepares for, but no reasonable carrier wants, came to a Pennsylvania doctor Thursday, when, for reasons that are unclear (except that the guy is a certified nutball), a certified nutball opened fire on his caseworker and the doc.
The doctor pulled out his own firearm, and when the shooting was over, the doc was grazed, but standing; and the nutball was on his way to another wing of the hospital, where his three gunshot wounds (one in the arm but two in the torso) have been treated.
The suspect, Richard Plotts, of Upper Darby, Pa., was reported in critical condition after the shooting at 2:20 p.m. in an office at the Mercy Wellness Center of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan said at an evening news conference.
The unidentified 52-year-old doctor shot Plotts three times and suffered a graze wound when the suspect returned fire, Whelan said at an evening news conference. Two guns were recovered.
Another doctor and caseworker tackled Plotts in a hallway and held him until police arrived.
Whelan said Plotts, who has a history of unspecified psychiatric problems, and his caseworker arrived at the doctor’s third-floor office about 2 p.m., Whalen said. Soon after, another staffer heard a loud argument and opened the door to find the suspect pointing a gun at the doctor. The worker then closed the door and call 911.
Unfortunately Plotts’s caseworker, a 53-year-old woman who has not been identified, was killed by Plotts’s shots. According to another story, Plotts was known to be combative.
The doctor who saved his life, and who knows how many others (possibly even nutball Plotts’s, because these nutballs’ shooting sprees usually culminate in self-destruction) may have lost his job in the process.
Hospital spokeswoman Bernice Ho described Plotts as a “victim” in a prepared statement, and condemned the doctor for violating Mercy Health Systems’ corporate weapons policy, which is to die in place in the 20 minutes it takes for a 911 call to turn into a cop on the scene.
Not everyone was as quick as Ho to blast the doctor. (Well, Potts was apparently all for blasting him, in his own way). District attorney Jack Whelan said the doctor, “from all accounts, would have acted in self-defense… his life was in jeopardy.” Police Chief Donald Molineaux was even more explicit in his praise for the defensive doctor:
I believe the doctor saved lives. Without that firearm, this guy (the patient) could’ve went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.
Even after receiving life-threatening wounds, Plotts still tried to flee, but another doctor and caseworker tackled and disarmed him. They were also praised by the authorities.
It is as simple as this: will you take responsibility for your safety, or will you trust to luck or chance that no Richard Plotts will insert himself into your life? If the doctor had taken the advice of Michael Bloomberg or Shannon Watts he would be dead. Hell, even Bloomberg and Watts don’t take their own advice — they’re wealthy enough yto have paid bodyguards.
What would you do if you were police chief, and video surfaced of your officers… doing this?
In most places, the answer comes down to “obfuscate and run out the clock.” It even shows in what people call this: defense lawyers and, God help us, “community activists,” call it “police brutality.” Even the most censorious and judgmental cops call it “excessive force,” recognizing that in police work, especially with intoxicated, noncompliant suspects, sometimes force is necessary, but a good man keeps a lid on it. These guys recognized no lid.
So, you’re the Chief, what do you do? Remember, too, you have to lead this department and every officer will want to know whether your actions show intolerance of bad behavior, or just a white shirt who doesn’t have any of his blue shirt’s backs. What do you do?
Here’s what Lee Bitomski, the Chief (he was #2 at time of the incident, but the then-Chief retired before it came to light) in the small, decidedly blue-collar beach town of Seabrook, New Hampshire, did, according to Seacoast Online:
The town fired two of its police officers and reprimanded two others Wednesday for their involvement in or failure to report an alleged police brutality incident that occurred inside the station.
Police Chief Lee Bitomske has previously described the assault of then-19-year-old Michael Bergeron Jr. as a “dark cloud” that was hanging over the department since station surveillance video of the incident went viral in January..
He and other officials said Wednesday, though, that the termination of officers Mark Richardson and Adam Laurent, the two-day suspension of Officer Keith Dietenhofer and the demotion of Lt. John Wasson, the three officers’ supervisor, may have “lifted” that cloud.
The two guys who were fired are Richardson, the big gorilla who slams the stoned kid’s face into the wall, and Laurent, the guy who pepper-sprays him after his second bounce off the wall and down. Dietenhofer and Wasson were complicit more in the non-reporting and cover-up of the incident, and Wasson, who before the incident was exposed was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant wasn’t just “demoted,” he rocketed all the way back down to Patrolman for his failure of ethical leadership in this case.
Dietenhofer was not fired, because his report was more a lie of omission than commission, but the report was critical enough of his integrity that he will have considerable difficulty testifying in cases contested by capable criminal defense attorneys.
Laurent’s stated reason for spraying Bergeron was interesting: he had observed that a person can’t spit after being sprayed, and Bergeron had been trying to spit on the cops. He didn’t do that any more after he got a face full of wall followed by pepper spray. But other facets of Laurent’s report and testimony are contradicted by the video, calling his credibility into question.
Richardson also faces criminal charges for assault while a police officer, which is a specific crime in New Hampshire. (Everybody holds cops to a higher standard, but the Granite State writes it into the law books).
Is that a perfect outcome? We don’t know. We have read the independent report (a very good technique for a small PD that’s too little and too tight to do its own internal investigation, by the way) and we’ll let you read it yourself and draw your own conclusions. The report does make it clear that Bergeron (the kid who dents the concrete-block wall with his face) was a problem suspect, alternatively cooperative and belligerent, but it also makes it clear that the officers were wrong, did wrong, and knew they did wrong. Here it is:
So is the outcome (one charge, two firings, one big demotion, one small suspension) perfect? Probably not. But we do think it’s about as good as you can expect from a government agency. Compare, for example:
Who’s been demoted and fired in the VA’s policies that scammed the taxpayers out of millions in undeserved bonuses, and led to the deaths of scores if not hundreds of deaths? Nobody and no one.
Who’s been fired in the ATF’s gunwalking operations, still not fully exposed, which provided thousands of powerful weapons to ATF pals in Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations, guns that have gone on to be used in the murders of at least two US Federal Agents and literally hundreds of Mexicans? Nobody and no one.
And who’s been fired in the egregious case where an untrained cop on an untrained SWAT team threw a flash-bang grenade in a 19-month-old baby’s crib? Nobody. No one. (Aside: in that case, the baby’s come home, having relearned to walk after suffering from burns, a coma, and possibly some degree of permanent brain damage — something you’ll only learn in the English press as our guys are too busy pitching in on Hillary!’s book tour).
The key failure, and the key problem, of representative government and particularly of law enforcement in the 21st Century is Accountability.
Bergeron, the suspect, asked to play this video at his trial. The judge said no, so after the trial was over he put it on YouTube, where it went viral — and ultimately unleashed this investigation, and these consequences. Truth wants a way out. And everybody knew the truth of it.
Officer Dietenhofer said as he recalled his thoughts about the incident that he was concerned
about Bergeron after he was sprayed with OC, also thinking “oh, shit, that must have hurt”
referring to the slam against the wall.
A wall, by the way, has a lot of utility as a weapon. You just have to use it when your use of force is justified. Officer Richardson, the 6’6″ 270-lb cop who applied the wall to the face of the 6’2″ 145-pound Bergeron, gets to make that argument to a jury of his peers soon. We would not exchange places with him.
We recognize it’s hard to make hairsplitting decisions about use of force when some mouthy kid is trying to spit on you, and full of beer (or drug) muscles and the associated belligerence. But that’s just when you have to do it. It’s not fair at all, but there it is.
Now, you might wonder what happened to Michael Bergeron, the belligerent teenage suspect who got his belligerence knocked out of him that night in 2009, and went on to post the video that started a couple of misfit cops on their way to a more suitable career. We wish we could report he went to MIT and is a research chemist, but you probably know that’s not coming — any research chemistry he ever did was of the recreational pharmaceutical variety.
Presently, he’s doing 3 1/2 to 7 in state prison for burglary. One supposes you could argue that the cops beat him into criminality, but what are the odds? More likely, he’s living proof that sometimes a second chance is wasted on a guy.
This post has been updated from its original posting. We replaced the image-based .pdf of the Seabrook report with an OCR’d version that allows you to select and copy text. We haven’t checked the OCR, but it’s usually pretty good with the program we use. -Eds.
Update II — we added some links to Bergeron’s unrelated criminal cases. He appears to be a career burglar (or maybe more comprehensively, a career druggie who supports his habit with burglary).
Now, our usual reaction to Hollywood dual-wielding gunplay is the same kind of sneering that Simon Pegg’s character gets to early in Hot Fuzz, when he’s still a responsible police officer who takes firearms seriously, not influenced by Hollywood tropes, unlike the character asking him.
But if you’re Jerry Miculek, you can pull it off. And actually hit stuff:
Frankly, we wish we shot like this guy back when we shot as much as this guy. (Of course, we had never heard of Jerry then, and just wished we could shoot like Paul Poole. Whose reaction was: “Bwah-haw-HAW! Boy, you ain’t gonna ever shoot like me. Instead, we gonna make you a 79 gunner — you need an AREA FIRE WEAPON! Bwah-haw-HAW!” RIP, Paul; YSMFDYND, ‘cept you did).
Anyway, can you do what Jerry does here? Don’t think we can. Pretty sure we’re not gonna try.
True, he didn’t do it “whilst leaping through the air,” as Nick Frost’s character asked Pegg, but we’d hate to call Jerry on that, ’cause he might pull it off, too.
Best supporting role: the SIG arm brace (or equivalent), which turns any AR pistol into an effective cousin of the innovative but commercially unsuccessful Gwinn/Bushmaster Arm Pistol.
ATK, a major defense and ammunition firm, likes to support the NSSF and the shooting sports. When they heard that the ongoing tightness of rimfire ammo supply was threatening Rimfire Challenge matches, they acted in the way you might expect, knowing the above, and that they’re the largest rimfire ammo manufacturer, under their CCI brand:
Adding to its Platinum-level support for the NSSF Rimfire Challenge program, ATK Sporting also will participate in the Rimfire Challenge Ammo Roundup, which will help ensure the program’s target shooters have a reliable source of ammunition.
The Rimfire Challenge Ammo Roundup will serve as a fulfillment center for match directors to purchase ammunition for events.
The company will provide 600,000 rounds of CCI rimfire ammunition to the Ammo Roundup program.
“Action rimfire sports like the NSSF Rimfire Challenge are paving the way for a whole new generation of shooters,” said Ryan Bronson, Senior Manager of Conservation and Public Policy at ATK Sporting Group. “We are happy to provide CCI ammunition to help support a program that is promoting exciting and safe trigger time for both the new shooters and folks that have been shooting for years.”
The Rimfire Challenge was the Ruger Rimfire Challenge until Ruger bowed out, claiming it had gotten to big to handle, and risking the future of the matches — sponsorless, they couldn’t survive. NSSF stepped in and the Challenge continued seamlessly.
The Rimfire Challenge combines .22 rifles and pistols, new shooters, and steel-plate targets to make appealing and fun matches. Here’s an FAQ in .pdf form. Here’s a schematic of a typical stage:
The shooter and’s with a firearm loaded, aimed at the start steak. On audible signal here she begins to engage the plates, usually in any order, except for the stoplight. The stop plate is engaged last. (If you shoot it first, “stage over” and you’re going to do lousy on points). The scoring is based on the time to hit all the targets plus any penalties (penalties are assessed for each miss, encouraging accuracy).
The stages are relatively easy and that, and the audible clang of slug on steel, makes them rewarding for a new shooter. It would have been a shame if they ran out of ammo. Well done, ATK!
Murder victim Perry Renn. This is the guy the perp’s family and WISH-TV blame for his ambush murder.
One thing that’s extremely rare these days, or any other, is criminals engaging police with rifles, especially so-called “assault rifles.” But it does happen. In this case, a career criminal, Major Davis Jr., ambushed an Indianapolis police officer with a civilian AK, which was legally purchased by his mother, who lacks the rap sheet that’s the pride of all the men in the family.
It’s not clear whether he was laying for this particular PO, or just any cop in general. He blamed the police for the death of his career criminal father, and the officer he murdered was one of the arresting officers in the incident that ended in his father’s death. Renn, a career cop with a good reputation, and other police officers were responding to a shots fired call.
Most people have no idea what the criminal class is actually like. Fortunately. Here is a glimpse of it; it is one of the more than half of Indianapolis murders this year that a ten-year sentence for murderer’s previous felony would have prevented (or at least, delayed).
Officer Perry Renn, a 22-year veteran who served on IMPD’s North District, died after a shootout with Davis Saturday night.
Probable cause documents show Officer Nicholas Gallico was on patrol in the area of 34th and Forest Manor Avenue around 9:30 p.m. Saturday when a civilian who was riding along in his patrol car noticed Davis appeared to be flagging the officer down. Gallico got out of his car and saw Davis walking toward him, with his hands behind his back. After ordering Davis to show his hands, he replied “no,” and began walking backwards. Two women were at the scene with Davis, one appeared to try to get him to back up, the other told the officer everything was okay.
Renn, 52, arrived at the scene a short time later, on the opposite side of Davis from Gallico on an alley. Gallico said he heard Renn say something to Davis after the suspect raised an AK-47 rifle in Renn’s direction, but could not make out what was said. Gallico told investigators he was sure Davis fired first and that Renn returned fire immediately.
That story says that the murderer flagged another cop car down, but the Metro Police statement said they were responding to a shots fired call. As is usual soon after an incident, it will take a while to sort out who said what, and some of the testimony will conflict because (1) human memory is imperfect and (2) a lot of the witnesses appear to be members of the Davis crime family, which guarantees bogus testimony.
It’s very rare for a cop to actually be outgunned, but this was one of those cases. Poor Renn was in a rifle fight, armed only with a pistol. Despite that, he put Davis down, dead; unfortunately, paramedics resuscitated Davis. They worked just as hard on Renn (if not harder), but one of the AK rounds had sliced through Renn’s vest and then through his heart. There was no saving the valiant cop.
Murderer Major Davis Jr., a career criminal (this is a mugshot from a previous felony). This is the guy we blame.
Major Davis Jr. is a career criminal, mostly as a drug dealer, although he’s also been busted with weapons before. Davis Jr. was dealing crack from his car before he even had a driver’s license, and he never in his young life (he’s 25) has gone more than a couple years without a felony. Drugs and crime are the family business; while Jr. only has a couple pages of arrests, his father Major Davis Sr. was lugged 12 times before finally getting vapor lock on his lucky 13th. (Or maybe it was, Indianapolis’s lucky day).
Naturally, Davis’s family were quick to condemn the police for shooting their little bundle of joy (and death), and a local TV reporter, Jessica Smith of WISH-TV, was quick to give them a platform. A Davis relative complained that Davis is “scarred for life.”
“Major is not a bad person, in spite of what happened,” she said, a few bullet holes in a room-temperature cop notwithstanding. “Things happen,” she said, as if the murder of Perry Renn was just some inexplicable burden laid upon the Renn family by cruel and distant pagan gods, or the arbitrary finger of fate.
But things like ambushed cops don’t just happen. People make them happen. Specifically, criminals make them happen. What sort of definition can one possibly have of “a bad person” that cannot be stretched to accommodate Major Davis Jr.?
The one-sided WISH-TV report drew such a barrage of negative comments that News Director Steve Bray prepended a long, self-serving editorial note to the piece, defending the station’s complete impartiality between cops and cop killers, and defending Smith:
We wanted to give insight into the mind of the people/family who were involved so there was some context and exposure for you into this world….. It was difficult for many of us to watch and understand mostly for the reporter who did the story. Her father is a veteran of IMPD.
But that professed above-it-all impartiality manifested itself in sentences like this, which is Smith talking, not some skell from the Davis crime family:
Now, the Davis family is worried about their son’s reputation and again, questioning police tactics.
What reputation? Reputation, my eye. The kid was and is a complete waste of protoplasm. That’s his reputation. That’s the whole freaking family’s reputation.
Smith gets another, “And again, questioning police tactics,” in after that. Her father was a cop on this force? Maybe she has some daddy issues.
Hey, we’re not condemning reporters. Just questioning news tactics.
Editor’s Note: We usually try to start with a weapons technical post before going off on a rant like this. But our tech post today is hanging fire a bit. That’s troublesome, because it’s nuclear (just a little one though). We’re going to give it a few kicks and see if we can get it loose this afternoon, OK? – Ed.
100 of these wound up in a landfill. Not doing that risked a lot more of the taxpayers’ money.
It is our considered opinion that you should not use this product. Last SF company before retirement bought 90 or 100 of them circa 2003 (an SF company has 84 officers & men if at full strength, plus operational floats) and we discovered the same thing everybody else has: the Serpa has three serious safety-of-use problems, either of which alone would be enough to recommend retiring and destroying the holster and using anything else. Even Mexican carry.
We understand why the Serpa holster was designed. Pistol retention is a serious problem for anyone that tangles hand to hand with hostile persons. The police are more likely than armed forces to throw down mano a mano, but any soldier or Marine in ground combat can wind up in that place, the good old unsought fist fight or grapple-for-the-gun game. Many police forces, and some military units, specify a retention holster for just that reason. But there are a number of ways to design a retention holster. There are three reasons that the Serpa is the wrong way:
Safety of Use Issue #3: Stuck Pistol Syndrome
The Serpa does provide positive retention — sometimes too positive, especially if grit, sand, gravel or mung in general gets into it. If it gets into the retention release mechanism, Jesus Christ Himself isn’t getting that thing open. That’s rather a problem, because if you’re like us, you don’t generally go to unholster a gun until the situation has already gone uncomfortably nonlinear. The only thing worse than pulling your gun too soon is pulling it too late. The only thing worse than pulling it too late is attempting to pull it, and then failing to pull it at all, after signalling that you were going to. This problem by itself should be enough to disqualify this holster family.
Safety of Use Issue #2: It’s Slow
No matter how much you drill, the trigger-finger release is going to be slower than some of your other options. Worse, it’s going to be less consistent, because from time to time you may address the holstered firearm a little differently, and it doesn’t take much change in alignment to miss the flipping catch. If you miss the catch, you have to grope around, all while the clock is ticking. There are holsters that don’t make you do all this, so this problem by itself, also, should also suffice to disqualify this holster family.
Safety of Use Issue #1: Increased ND Risk
This is the biggest Serpa problem that people talk about. By using your trigger finger to disconnect the gun, and then having that finger fall on your trigger you great we increase the odds you’ll touch off a round with the pistol aligned somewhere other than at the proper target.
This video (NSFW but understandable language) shows an experienced shooter having a very typical Serpa ND. In the slo-mo at about 0:57-59 you can see exactly how it happened.
In this case, there was a combination of negative transfer of training from the more conventional 5.11 holster that this shooter used with another pistol, and the Serpa putting his index finger too close to the projectile initiator, too early in the draw sequence. Tex says he doesn’t blame the holster, he blames himself; fair enough, you can’t have an ND without human input. But his tools made the ND easier, instead of raising obstacles to an ND.
As we’ve said, every one of these issues is serious enough to warrant discarding the Serpa holster (and any holster that works like it, with an index-finger release paddle). But the increased ND risk with the Serpa is, in our opinion, the most consequential of these issues and the one that, even if you dismiss the other two, needs to sink in before you have a mishap like Tex’s.
We’re not sure even he knows how lucky he is. Mere inches from the channel that .45 slug dug in his thigh is one of the superhighways of the circulatory system, the femoral artery. A bullet in that artery would have led to his incapacitation in minutes, and ultimately, death, unless the right first aid was available extremely rapidly. He seemed to us to be alone on the range. How often have you shot, alone? It’s a calculated risk.
Doing it with a Serpa makes the calculation all wrong.
It’s not just us
We aren’t the only ones who just say no to Serpa. For example, Paul Howe wrote in 2005:
Another problem … a recent student …. exerted excessive pressure from his trigger finger to the unlock button and when drawing the weapon, drug the finger along the holster and into the trigger guard, discharging the airsoft weapon prematurely into his leg during his draw sequence.
Trigger fingers are just that, for the trigger. I think it should remain straight and have one function, to index the trigger.
I have banned for almost two years now Serpa style (trigger finger paddle release) holsters from my classes – several other instructors and training facilities have done the same. …. I understand many shooters use Serpa holsters on a regular basis with no issues whatsoever. However an open enrollment class environment has its own set of challenges … and a trigger finger paddle release holster is asking for trouble.
At this point, pistol-training.com is going to follow the lead of other instructors such as Larry Vickers and ban the SERPA (and the various cheap knockoffs on the market) from classes beginning in 2012. I have been suggesting to students that they bring something else to classes up until now and will continue that for anyone who is already registered for a class in 2011.
[T]he SERPA retention mechanism certainly lends itself to such accidents more than most other holsters. Instead of keeping your trigger finger well clear of the gun during the initial part of the drawstroke, the SERPA and its clones require you to press your trigger finger toward the trigger as you draw.
A lot more instructors say about the same thing. Travis Haley, Chris Costa, and a lot of guys you never heard of but that have seen these things cause one problem after another even on what should be a routine flat range. Rational Gun has a list of some of them, but Google will find you even more. (For example, RG has a link about the FLETC ban, but we don’t believe he mentioned the IDPA ban on the Serpa).
Yet this thing is still on the market, and people (and worse, agencies) are still buying them. Don’t Be That Guy™.
This picture’s from Colorado, not NH, but it’s a rare pic of a black bear sow and her cub flagrante delicto pilfering a chicken.Story here. They yelled at ‘em; up here, we blow ‘em away.
New Hampshire is seeing a surge in agricultural and residential bear shootings, and the spread of hobby chicken farming and the backyard coops that have grown popular in recent years are being fingered by wildlife biologists. It isn’t the scent of the chickens that draw the bruins, but the scent of the feed; for some reason that’s irresistible to the bears.
Of course, once they’ve eaten the feed, they turn to the birds. If the farmer hasn’t shot them — and shootings this year are up 25% already over historical annual numbers, with months of bear activity left to run. We could actually see a doubling of bear shootings.
Fish and Game bear biologist Andrew Timmins said that in June alone, homeowners shot and killed at least 12 bears, usually the state’s annual average total.
“We’re easily at 15 now, and we still have two more full months of what we consider bear conflict season,” Timmins told the Concord Monitor.
About 75 percent of the bears shot and killed so far this year were getting into coops when they were shot by the owners.
The number of complaints about bear-chicken conflicts has dramatically increased over the last decade, from a low of 12 in 2001 to a high of 127 in 2012.
“It’s pretty eye-opening,” Timmins said. “These are the ones we have documented — not everybody calls.”
No one (PETA nut jobs excluded, we suppose) questions the propriety of the farmers defending their stock. For one thing, if you let Bruin go after making a meal of your birds, he’ll be back to see if you’ve restocked.
We’re wondering if it was a bear that got Khalid bin Mahfouz the cat last year. He was a trusting soul, which was why we didn’t let him out much. We initially blamed fishers as we have a robust population of those, too, but the wildlife biologists assured us that fishers don’t normally predate cats, preferring rodents. There are bear (and other large mammals, especially whitetail deer) around even here on the seacoast, but they are shy and timid, and their preferred strategy vis-a-vis homo sapiens is to bug out before the human can see them.
The bears in New Hampshire are common black bears. They are not endangered (indeed, they may be at record population levels) and they are not aggressive towards humans. In addition to the farmers’ shootings of invasive bears, there is a bear hunting season here and in the neighboring states of Vermont and Maine. In NH, at least, you may hunt with dogs or bait the bears. (Fun fact about government statistics: that same page lists the 2013 bear harvest as 569 and 570. Did somebody bagSchrödinger’s bear?)
Maybe that’s why so many otherwise rational folks in the Granite State are putting chicken coops in their back yards?
Meet Dallas Archer, a Tennessee woman who’s taken Mexican carry to a new, er, place.
A Kingsport woman arrested for driving on a suspended license is now facing more charges after jailers say they discovered a hidden gun.
Kingsport Police say Dallas Archer, pictured above, had a loaded .22-caliber revolver hidden inside her body.
They’re not more specific than, “inside her body,” which makes us curious, but notreally all that curious, if you know what we mean, and we think you do. At least it was a .22, but then, that’s probably a function of her youth. When she’s 45, the gun will be, too.
It was found by jailers who were searching her while booking her into the city jail.
It’s never a good idea to hide a firearm inside one of your standard-issue biological orifices. For one thing, the lady warders at the women’s lockup always seem to include a few women who like poking around in other women’s orifices. It’s most unlikely that your hideaway gun will go undiscovered by prurient visual and digital examination.
After checking the gun records, officers discovered the gun had been stolen in 2013.
No idea what kind of “gun records” they have in TN, but we’re kind of thinking it was just a list or database of stolen guns, possibly the ATF’s.
She’s now facing additional charges for possession of stolen property and bringing contraband into the jail.
If she hadn’t been doing the basic Dumb Criminal Thing of driving while suspended, she probably could have continued tooling around Kingsport indefinitely with all kinds of hardware jammed into the folds and recesses of her body. But then, criminal masterminds are the stuff of fiction. Real criminals seem to come in “Dumb”, “Dumber”, and “TSA Potential” degrees.
We hate reading these things, don’t you? If only the cops hated doing these things, we wouldn’t have to write anout these things. But the cops gotta do ‘em, we gotta write ‘em, and you gotta read ‘em: that’s the way the world works.
ITEM 17 Apr 14: Cop assaults Air Force officer in his own home. A Monterey County Sheriff’s Office deputy responding to a suspicious man call walked into a home uninvited, and seeing a man there, beat him into submission. He was Air Force captain Nicolas Aquino, the legitimate renter. The cop left, albeit without an apology. Weeks later, the cop and the DA charged Aquino with, we are not making this up, obstruction of justice.
At least seven weapons, large amounts of ammunition and firearms magazines were purchased over several months, with orders often placed in coded conversations over jail telephone lines, according to an investigation by a task force led by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The weapons turned up in local crimes, and agents said they are not discounting the possibility that more guns will be traced back to the straw purchasers or another cell of buyers associated with the group. Federal authorities said Wednesday this is the first large-scale conspiracy case involving the straw purchase of firearms to be prosecuted in Minnesota. They described it as unique because of the specific and repeated purchase requests that gang members passed along to the school employee and the corrections officer, who is now a fugitive.
As a rule of thumb, if your prison guard is a fugitive, someone’s not doing it right. It turns out she did it for luuuurrve. Details:
The corrections officer was identified as Jacquelyn Burnes, 29, of Maple Grove. ATF agents served an arrest warrant at her parents’ home in Osseo on Wednesday morning but didn’t find her there. She was fired in late March after authorities were alerted to her involvement with the gang members. Burnes allegedly purchased three firearms in January and February for her boyfriend, Diontre Hill, whom she met while working last summer as a guard at the county workhouse in Plymouth, according to authorities. Burnes and Hill developed a romantic relationship while he was in jail and it continued after his release.
As a rule of thumb, again, felons aren’t supposed to have access to weapons. When they’re getting gunned-up by the “only ones,” it kind of makes the gun controller’s bleats about the doings of legit citizen gun owners look pretty weak. The two indicted straw buyers were buying for boyfriends who were already felons. One of them had an 8 year old daughter who survived being shot in the eye by Diontre Hill.
(Helpful hint: if your boyfriend is shooting your kids in the eye, it’s past time to pick a new guy. Maybe this needs to be an Ad Council PSA or billboard campaign).
While the ATF argues that most gun crime is driven by the law-abiding gun owners, the average “time to crime” — the time between first legal retail sale of a firearm and its use or recovery in criminal hands — is a matter of years. The guns these airheaded women bought their thug boyfriends were used in crimes in as little as eight days from the girl signing for them.
Not to get all nautical (or at least joint), but BZ to the ATF for this one. These are the busts we like to see them doing. Hell, talk to the field agents, these are the busts they like to be doing.
Proof positive that even if you’re a cop, you ought to read Andrew Branca’s The Law of Self-Defense. If you’re not going to do that, take a word from us on when is the best time to fire a “warning shot”: never. And this Deputy reportedly fired the shot because local JD’s rang his doorbell and ran off. Proportionality, amigo. It got a bad rap thanks to Macnamara and Rusk and all those clowns, but it’s not just a good idea: in most jurisdictions, it’s the law. He’s suspended, charged, and might even be fired, all because of the dumb-ass shot he fired when he let his temper override his prefrontal cortex.
He’s damn lucky he didn’t hit one of the kids. He’d be another one of the self-defense Thou Shalt Not stories even more than he already is. With great power comes what, again?
ITEM 15 May 14: Let’s blow up a baby!
(Because this post sat in the queue for weeks, this is old news. Still….) The Habersham County, GA, SWAT team had the right address, at least according to the criminal they were running as an informant. (They made no effort to cross-check his information). But they now say that they didn’t know the suspect had moved on to another residence. Because he was a meth dealer who might flush the drugs if he was given any warning, and he had a history of carrying guns (in fact, he was on bail on a felon-in-possession charge) they made a combat assault at 0300 — rounding up the family that had moved in after their house burned down. Unfortunately, their fangs-out approach led one of the less astute among them to throw a flash-bang grenade inside a baby’s folding crib. The 18-month-old is in an induced coma, and may or may not survive, but if so is likely to have crippling and disfiguring injuries. But hey, all the cops made it to Miller Time unscathed!
At first, Sheriff Joey Terrell suggested that his men were upset about this outcome and didn’t want it, but within hours, cursory “investigations” by the District Attorney and Georgia Bureau of Investigation had cleared his men, and he changed his tune: the baby had it coming. Because it was in a “known drug location.” And now he wants your prayers — for him and his cops, as well as the baby. True, nobody has blown any of the cops’ faces off, unlike what the cops did to the baby, but people are saying mean things about him on the internet.
Terrell didn’t find any drugs. The suspect was arrested with no drama at his new home — in daylight, without grenades. Now they want to charge him with the injuries or death of the baby, because their overreaction was a predictable consequence of his dopery.
They have more than one kind of dope in Habersham County.
Flash-bangs were developed for extremely-well-trained SOF to use in counter-terrorist hostage rescues. Can a small-county band of Deputy Dawgs deploy them safely? Doesn’t look that way. A lot of things are very, very different in a CT raid. One of them is that you go in with intent to kill all the terrorists, and ideally none of the hostages. (And we’re not always successful. A JSOC element inadvertently killed a captive reporter with a frag in Afghanistan, in a confused night operation).
ITEM 27 May 14: The city of Bridgeport, CT agreed to pay $200k to an incarcerated felon (who’s doing time for drug dealing and felon-in-pos-of-firearm) for the violent stomping three officers gave him while he was tased and down on his arrest three years ago. The city, the department, and the three officers, Joseph Lawlor, Elson Morales, and Clive Higgins, denied any wrongdoing until someone brought to the city’s attention citizen video of the incident in January, 2013. The video demonstrates conclusively that the felon was telling the truth about the beating. (Hey, it’s rare but it happens). The officers have not been reprimanded or otherwise disciplined, and at first remained on the beat, but they have been on free fully-paid vacation since the video was posted over a year ago.
ITEM 30 May 14: Ardmore, OK sergeant Barry Antwine is charged with poisoning dogs in his neighborhood with anti-freeze. 6 dogs died and others were injured. (Apparently he’s not the K9 handler). He’s on the usual extra vacation. Amazingly, he was a school resource officer until last year, when his 1996 record for rape and child molestation was discovered (the case was handled by pretrial diversion. He got hired after that, how?). This video, shot by a neighbor, shows one of the dogs — a little puppy — expiring at a veterinary hospital, and the anti-freeze left in Antwine’s driveway:
It defies description, just how wrong that is. Helpful hint: if you’re thinking of hiring a kiddie diddler as a sworn officer, keep thinking forever so long as you never get to doing. Repeat after us Hognose’s Five Laws of Criminality:
For some men, “crime” is just flat their job. For others, “criminal” is their identity. Good luck expecting anything different from them.
The best guide to future behavior is past behavior. (Exercise for the reader: What 8-year-old in your third grade class was definitely destined for prison? How old was he when he first went?)
The only thing that has ever made a child molester stop doing it is sustained cessation of respiration, blood flow, and brain wave activity. This is true for a lot of sex criminals, too. (Real ones, not guys who said something nasty about a fat chick at their college).
No one ever stops after one crime. He only stops when he is stopped.
Most crimes go unsolved, but all criminals get caught sooner or later.
If you consider those to be immutable laws, as we do, you would organize a criminal justice system rather different from the lawyer- and judge-conceived loony bin we have today.