Why Police are Paranoid

Police officers are paranoid, and for good reason:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Metro police officer stabbed a homeless man in the leg Friday morning after the man attempted to reach for his gun in the bathroom of a well-known Nashville bakery.

Police spokesperson Don Aaron told Nashville's News 2 Officer Marty Crowder entered Provence Breads and Cafe located on the corner of Church Street and Sixth Avenue downtown around 10 a.m. to use the restroom.

Aaron described the bathroom as "small" with only one urinal and one stall.

As Crowder was using the urinal, Aaron said the homeless man, identified as 43-year-old James Collier, entered the restroom, locked the door behind him and cornered the officer.

Crowder asked the man to step back but he refused.

Moments later, Collier reached for Crowder's department-issued gun and a scuffle ensued. Officer Crowder pulled out a knife from his vest and stabbed the man in upper thigh in an attempt to protect his weapon...

Both Collier and the officer were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center...

Well done by the officer in winning the struggle.

When I worked as a police officer in uniform, where possible, I carefully selected my restroom stops.

I tried to limit it to agency facilities like booking, the station, or the city's gas facility; as well as a kind overnight employee at the local convenience store (named "Floyd" if anyone remembers he was the topic of a guest post entitled Failing Floyd: A Life Lesson I wrote over at Raindog Blue's blog last year) would let me use the company's bathroom--which was for one person and locked.

It is stories like this one that support an officer's paranoid little voice that is constantly telling him or her to be suspicious of anything and everything.

As such, they are prepared when a pit-stop transforms into a life-and-death struggle.

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I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend.

15 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

Wow. I can't imagine being attacked while taking a piss.

It's unfortunate that the assailant had to be stabbed, and there was no taser available, but chances are he was incredibly unstable if he was going for an officer's gun in a bathroom. I'm sure it would have been very difficult to restrain him without wounding him.

Clarissa Draper said...

I'm glad he won too. You know the man taking his gun would have only used it for wrong.

Wife of a Crime Fighter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wife of a Crime Fighter said...

It's not paranoia if you've become educated in the possibilities of what can happen to you. After time on the job, the stories of bizarre incidents collect in your mind.

One time, my husband entertained the idea of a post shift happy hour but chose sleep instead. The officers that went out were sitting at the bar having their first drink when two men entered it with shot guns for monetary reasons. To their surprise, it was a law enforcement watering hole, thus no money was stolen.

Glad all were safe, as well as, my husband didn't get caught in the paperwork and investigation due to use of force being used while an alcoholic beverage was consumed.

Brian Miller said...

dude what a vulnerable position to be in when attacked...i would have to say justified use of force...

Chip "Rocket Man" Allen said...

I'd say the homeless person was lucky not to have been shot with a back up weapon which most officers carry here.

Bossy Betty said...

Yikes. I can see why there is paranoia....

BobKat said...

I think in this case we should all take a lesson in caution! I know you didn't intend to do it, but once again, a story about a unstable "homeless person". The last was the woman who disappeared in CA, near the homeless camp.

Fact is, paranoia is a real feeling, and I would have to believe police are (or would hope) better able to use paranoia to their advantage - in that it should be an intuitive thing, second nature.

Again, a lesson for all of us.

Stephanie Faris said...

Happy ending! I live in Nashville and worked downtown for the first 14 years of my professional life. We're slightly outside of the downtown area now...but working downtown was an entirely different culture. You walked to lunch and passed six or seven homeless people begging for money. Recently there were reports of people being mugged...in NASHVILLE! Even our downtown isn't all that dangerous (at least not traditionally) but it seems like downtown is a little more like the big cities than anywhere else in the Nashville area.

Anyway, I fully agree with officers being able to protect themselves, but have you noticed on Cops how quickly they go to their Tasers? It seems a few times they've been a little heavy handed with the device...

RD said...

The homeless man was luck he was not shot by the officer.

secret agent woman said...

That could actually have gone much worse for the homeless guy.

Bob G. said...

Slamdunk:
There more reasons than just THIS to be "paranoid" these days...and sometimes NOT just for the LEOs out there.
In these cases, the paranoia is more justified than many realize.

Glad the officer in your story came out the winner!

Excellent post.

Roll safe out there.

Dawn said...

I have to say that being a on a police force has to be one very brave thing to do! (I would rather do an Ironman;))
I truly appreciate the police/firemen who put their lives on the line...even in a bathroom! for all of us.

ooglebloops said...

He's lucky! Hopefully the local news did not turn that story around to make the cop look like the bad guy, which happens all too often nowadays.
My husband has been a cop for 35 years, and the stories he can tell.

Lisah said...

It could have ended much much worse for both of them. Unfortunately we all should be aware of these situations.