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03-21-2002, 15:12 #1JerseyBoy Guest
There has been a scenario that has really got me thinking on how to respond, and was hoping for some input:
"You get a call about a disturbance at an apartment building. You arrive and hear a woman screaming for help upstairs. In the lobby there are eight Hell's Angels blocking your way. They tell you you're not going upstairs. You can expect no backup for 45 minutes. The woman continues to scream. What do you do?"
I would first start out by simply stating to the eight Hell's Angels that I am not here to start any trouble and am not looking to get them into any trouble, that I have just responded to a call about a disturbance, and need to see what it is about. Obviously this will do nothing to our 8 friends in letting me go up the stairs, so I could yell to the female and ask what is going on. Of course all of my attempts will lead me that I need to get up those stairs in order to assist this woman.
Now, looking at the situation, I don't think even the Worlds strongest man could wrestle eight Hells Angels to the ground on his own. I don't want to put myself in any danger because what help is a useless hurt cop to the woman. In the scenario, they didn't mention that any of them have any type of weapons, (that I could see) I could pull my weapon in order to defend myself if any of them tried to approach me, and make my way up the stairs to assist. However if the weapon didn't seem to scare off one of the pursuers, I would have to reholster, and possibly go for pepper spray, and make my way up the stairs.
I often play this scenario on my head and know however I will answer the board, they will slowly build it up to make it more difficult to answer.
I am just looking for input if my answer seems I am too laid back, or too overly aggressive.
03-21-2002, 16:00 #2
I'm not going to fully analyze this, cause I'm running late for a meeting, but why did you pull your gun.
Don't pull your gun unless you are going to use it. By pulling it at the time you did, you just made the situation jump from conversational to confrontational. I would say try like hell to verbally de-escalate the situation but be firm with your insistence that you need to proceed up the steps to answer the call and go about your merry way.
Also, be sure to keep in constant radio communication with dispatch and other officers...updating them of the situation and the intensity in which you think it has reached. Often dispatch will help you judge how long and other officers will be trying harder to get there quicker.
I know they might be hell's angels, but they are people too. Don't think immediately you are going to get into a confrontation, let their actions speak for them. Now, I'm not saying don't have a heightened sense about you...but keep a level head. Well I guess I have analyzed it now...and I am officially late for that meeting.
03-21-2002, 16:21 #3
Pull your gun out when all lesser means have failed. And once it out, you have better be able to justify it. I would have said something like...
I would tell them I was here for the lady, not for then, and I can't leave until I see if she is ok. If they didnt let me up I would tell them they will all be arrested for interfiering, and then you could use pepper spray to get by them.
I would arrest all of them that I could. I am not sure that would happen, and if backup is 45 min out. Things could get rough.
There is no right answer for a question like that. Just stick to one asnwer, the one that you would do. Not what I would do, and stick with it.God Created Cops So Firefighters Could Have Heros!
03-21-2002, 20:23 #4five-oh Guest
If you don't do something and the woman ends up dead while you stand outside and chit chat with some big guys because you were scared of them----lawsuit coming.
However you could articulate the facts about backup being forty-five minutes out and the fact that based on your training and experience you know that HA members frequently are armed.
Once you were blocked from the stairs they immediately escalated the situation from conversational to confrontational. If you choose to use OC be prepared to quickly switch to using deadly force as OC doesn't work on everyone.
You could what if this one to death. What it boils down to is how well you write your report after you do what you do. I know my weapon is out and I would be ready to use it.
03-21-2002, 21:02 #5
If the Hell's Angels are blocking your way and telling you your not going up, they probably have something to do with the woman screaming. Hence they are party to a crime.
A lone officer will not win against 8 Hells Angels (or any group for that matter), and you will not get everyone with pepper spray. You also risk exposing yourself to the affects of OC.
Try to talk them down. Inform them that there are other officers outside and that they are coming in momentarily. If they don't allow you to go up the stairs, they could be arrested for obstructing or worse. Pulling out your weapon is last resort and should only be done if you intend to use it.
See if there are other ways to get upstairs. Good Luck!"Just cleaning out the old locker, she stinks like a** but I'll sure miss her.. I guess you could say that about all my girls."
- State Trooper Rodney Farva
03-21-2002, 21:56 #6Originally posted by Mongo
Don't pull your gun unless you are going to use it.
I know they might be hell's angels, but they are people too.
I normally won't address specific scenario questions, but I will say this...assume that talking to them (briefly) fails...if I begin moving around a GROUP of people, and one or more of them begins coming at me and ignores my commands, then I would see that as a deadly force situation.
03-22-2002, 07:32 #7Originally posted by Mongo
I know they might be hell's angels, but they are people too. Don't think immediately you are going to get into a confrontation, let their actions speak for them. Now, I'm not saying don't have a heightened sense about you...but keep a level head.
Originally posted by five-oh Once you were blocked from the stairs they immediately escalated the situation from conversational to confrontational.
This is a wide open scenario, and with more people involved in interpretation, becomes even wider. Realistically, everybody would react differently b/c of their experiences, training, confidence, etc, etc, etc...and the list goes on. Thanks to this thread though, I know you at least got me thinking of the what if's and various circumstances - which will ultimately help me.
03-22-2002, 09:47 #8JerseyBoy Guest
With me pulling out my weapon is as nsedet put it. "Being prepared" to use it. I also agree that they immediatly escelated the situation with them blocking the doorway. I'm also going to assume that they have some type of weapon. All probability, knives. This is my reason for drawing my weapon. Not necissarily pointing it at them, more having it out making a point.
See if there are other ways to get upstairs.
Thanks for the responses. I have been hitting a brick wall with this scenario.
03-22-2002, 13:56 #9five-oh Guest
In my experience with dealing with organized groups that are known for criminal activities, once they feel that you are not in control you're headin up the creek without your paddle. Pleading with someone who is up to no good is a sign of weakness and they quickly learn that they have the upper hand and your job has become more difficult. If you pull your weapon you'd better be pointing it at who you think will be the first one you will need to shoot. Looking down the barrel of a loaded gun is quite the persuader. Let them think/know that you are willing and able to use it.
If you choose not to do anything though at least make a point of backing over their Harleys before you leave!!! They'll move then.
03-26-2002, 02:06 #10relative Guest
Not having any real LE experience, but having a ton of interview/oral board experience I can truly say that whatever you answer is going to fail as they come up with greater and greater problems. So, I think, what they are looking for, what the real correct answer is, is that you don't waiver in your answer when they say, "Well what about X and Y" You need to be firm in your answer. If they bring up something you didnt think about, let them know that that would be a good option as well, but you stick with your answer because of A, B, C reasons.
Also, they want to see if you can adapt and think on your feet. Thats it. There really are 100 different answers you could think of that would be OKAY as long as you are able to justify it and back it up with sound reason.
03-30-2002, 19:29 #11Bite and Hold Moderator
- Join Date
- Nov 2000
I agree with you relative. There are many solutions to the scenario but the board is more than likely looking to see that you stick with one solution and not second-guess yourself. (As long as the solution is a valid one.)
My .02 also.
03-30-2002, 21:59 #12trooper Guest
Run back to your car grab your M16, put it on full auto, handle the Hells Angels. Go handle the disturbance. Go home. I wish life was that simple.
04-01-2002, 20:27 #13lightemup Guest
Tell them that you were responding to a call of a bunch of juveniles taking parts off of 8 motorcycles out in front of the complex and that you need to find the owners. When they tell you their the owners and run out of the complex for their machines like a bunch of babies, get your ass up to the screaming woman, then when they come up after you, lock yourself in the room......... And then if they break their way in the room, then you got a couple more charges against them..