Oct 13, 2006

Past Injuries.... Part II

     A while back, I wrote about having to be shot by a little gun-like thing that shoots small darts and electrifies you like a moth in a bug zapper; these things are called Tasers (“Training Day”). 


     Another of those experiences came when we all had to find out what it was like to be sprayed with OC (short for Oleoresin Capsaicin).  This product comes in an aerosol can, from distilling hot peppers.  But before you rush out and buy some to put on your tamales, be aware of how powerful this stuff really is. 


     Was working patrol when a call came out of a “Beer run,” that is, a shoplift where beer was taken.  The dispatcher gave a description of the suspect, and a direction of travel (on foot) that would place him in the area where I was.  Around the next corner, there he was, 6-pack of Coors still in hand.  I pulled up, got out of my car, and approached the suspect, who was doing his best to look invisible.  I walked up to him and told him, “Hold it,” which doesn’t really make sense; we are either telling people to hold it, or drop it… us cops really should make up our minds. 


     Anyway, the guy turned and stopped, then did the totally unexpected; he threw his entire 6-pack of Coors at my head.  Most alcoholics would rather throw their liver at you than their booze.  The beer missed my head, perhaps because of my really fast reflexes, or the fact that he was already so drunk he was not able to throw well.  Needless to say, the foot chase was on.  I initially caught him in the first few steps, but I just got his coat, and he shed that like a lizard dropping his own tail.  Next, I grabbed one of his shirts, which also came off, and we were running again.  It is not my intention to slowly strip people before I arrest them, often it just turns out that way- taking them into custody, one piece of clothing at a time. 


     I then remembered the OC can on my belt; I caught up to him a third time, this time wrapping my right hand in his t-shirt and spraying him with OC.   He pulled away a last time, pulling my hand with his shirt.  I heard a “snapping” sound, which I thought was his shirt tearing, and he took off again, with me running after him.  Now, those last few things happened very fast; in fact, so fast that the OC was still in a small, dense cloud in front of me where I had just sprayed.  When I ran forward, my face went into that cloud, evenly and completely distributing it between my eyes and lungs. 


     Do you all recall “Return of the Jedi?  Remember the scene where the evil emperor says to the hero Luke, “Your anger has made you powerful?”   In spite of my having become blinded and unable to breathe, I was so angry, that I caught the guy one last time, and did not let go.  Once back-up arrived and put handcuffs on the guy, I ripped the contacts out of my eyes, and looked around for a water source.  I found a faucet in an alley, turned it on and stuck my face under it.  I must have looked like a salmon trying to swim upstream into the pipe. 


     A few minutes later, when the OC was all washed off, I noticed that the middle finger of my right hand was swollen to about twice normal size.  An X-ray later showed that the second bone in that finger had snapped in two as it was twisted up in the thief’s t-shirt.  A splint was placed on the finger, and the final indignity was having to “give the bird” every time someone wanted to see my injury. 


     I thought I would also include a photo of me now, showing the stupid "bust level" splint that you get when you have three pins placed into the top of your arm.



psychfun said...

You do not look too happy! I LOVE that t-shirt! Well I mean the saying on it! I KNOW what it says! HA! Must be because I have that personality also! ;-) That is what I tell everyone!

I swear you guys should just go into professional hockey for the injuries you get! HA! I should talk! Ha!

Well, I had a lovely can on my keychain & one day when I got home & was getting out of the car I had my keys in my hand & leaned on the steering wheel. Yep there is a safety but it turned? Yep, started to inhale & didn't even realize it. Yep, called the paramedics just to make sure. It wasn't that bad just irritated throat & nose for a while. Can't remember if my eyes had a problem though.

I even traveled on a plane with it (mid 90s) about 4 times before I was stopped. I didn't even realize. Tells us what security was like then.  They were nice & let me put it in my car for when I returned. Don't have one now & considering I've had some stalking students I've had to do something about I wonder why not?

Hope you are feeling better soon!

siennastarr said...

Oh, I just love your stories!  I know I shouldn't laugh at some of your euphemisms (sp) but they are kind of funny.  Ow to the finger though, and the OC getting in your eyes!  Not good!  It's weird how you don't realize that you're hurt till everything calms down.

Since this is the first picture I have ever seen of you, I must confess that you do look a bit annoyed..  or maybe that's cynical?  At any rate hope the arms get's to feeling better..


dawngepfer said...

Dave, your t-shirt says it all...

mosie1944 said...

Thanks for the smiles.

bgilmore725 said...

The story had me chuckling, Dave, but when I scrolled on down and saw the picture I was cracking up!! Love the expression on your face... and the new picture of you surfing in the sidebar... is that as recent as your injury? Bea

bgilmore725 said...

BTW, not laughing at your injury... just the pose and the expression... you know what I mean! <grin>   Bea

scotthlori said...

Nice to see the face behind the words!!  =)


Who I am… underneath it all:  

Precious Metal (A Spiritual Journal)

dragoneyes1164 said...

LOL. That stinks but again, it's funny.

reconcilinglife said...

Love your stories. Hope your arm heals well.Bam

mindercella33 said...

                    CYNDY, MENDOTA, IL.

tpiez4me said...

I'm so sorry for laughing at you....NOT!  But you're right - running into that fog - things happen faster than you can keep up with.  And drunks are a funny one - they have the amazing ability to do the unexpected stuff - and almost get away!  Thanks for the laugh, but where's the picture of the injured finger????  That would get a lot of laughs!!!!

shayshaydc said...

Sucks doesn't it???????? http://journals.aol.com/shayshaydc/Golfaholic

nelishianatl said...

My son told me about those things when he went through BLET training.  He said to run away from it, not into it.  But sometimes those things cannot be helped.  I wish you'd have kicked his butt.  I know that's not regulation, but still.  I'm on your side.  That really sucks like a Hoover.

lanurseprn said...

All of this action over some beer...?  Wow you've got a rough job!  I could NEVER do what you do!