What NOT to do!

What NOT to do!
Posted on 06/20/2012

Recently, a call came into police dispatch reporting a suspicious vehicle. Three men in dark clothing had been parked in the complainant’s driveway and then had gone to the back of his neighbor’s home.

CHPD officers were dispatched to the area. They arrived blacked-out and parked strategically several houses away. As they approached the home on foot and stood at the top of the driveway, they heard a woman yelling.  A frantic young lady emerged from the darkness screaming for help as she ran toward the uniformed officers. She was being chased by two men in ski masks.

The officers drew their side arms, identifying themselves as the police and ordering the men to the ground.  One complied instantly, but the second man didn’t respond to the police commands and continued to close the gap on the officers, who were now shielding the woman. The cops continued to order the man to stop, and at the last instant he complied and was forced into a prone position on the ground as a third subject appeared from behind the concealment of shrubbery.

As the woman was trying to compose herself, she told officers she had just arrived home from work when these men tried to grab her. The girl’s father then came out the front door in response to the ruckus. As the officers investigated the situation further, they learned that the men were members of the young woman’s church congregation and thought it would be fun to “prank” her when she arrived home late at night.

There are so many reasons why this was a terrible idea, not the least of which was that by not complying with officers’ orders, one young man could have tragically lost his life that night. I have spoken to these well-trained and experienced officers, and they were shaken by coming so close to having to decide whether or not to fire their weapons. They showed remarkable composure and restraint. This situation could have gone very badly, but one must also consider the consequence if the attack had been real and the officers had waited to react for just a few extra seconds.

Parents and youth organization leaders, please speak with your staff and kids about appropriate ways to have fun. Teach about boundaries and encourage common sense. There are often unintended consequences of pranks, and they can go horribly wrong.  I would guess those boys never envisioned that the neighbor would see them and call police. This is definitely an example of what NOT to do for fun!