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Old March 3, 2014, 09:30 AM   #1
johnelmore
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How to handle or How not to handle the mentally impaired...

This is a video I found on Youtube which is a classic example of how not to handle someone who is obviously impaired either by drugs, alcohol or mental disability:

http://youtu.be/itPY54C_guM

In this video, the man on the ground is obviously intoxicated with alcohol. My experience is that people intoxicated with alcohol can sometimes summon up brute strength and not be able to feel painful blows. In fact, fighting them will shoot adrenaline through their system and make them much stronger then you think is possible. I have seen guys take doors off their hinges and punch through car windows with their bare fists. In this video the intoxicated man flips the other man through the air.

The first rule is to try not to handle them at all and keep your distance. If you must handle them and are alone then try non-confrontational verbal commands while keeping a safe distance away. "Hey, are you ok?" "Im here to help you out." If they are not responsive then try poking them with your foot and watch for breathing. You should never stand over them or straddle them as they might take that as an act of aggression and go into incredible hulk mode.

If you absolutely must physically handle them, then only do so as a group of 3 or more people. Do not pile on the person as you will kill them either by breaking their neck or crushing their rib-cage.

Its important to realize the person on the ground in this video is suffering from an illness which is alcoholism. They have a disease and so they should be afforded a degree of care no matter their behavior. When you come upon a person who has an illness and creating a disturbance then conventional holds or ways of dealing with this will not be helpful and may even result in more harm.

In the video, you see a classic example of how not to handle someone who is mentally impaired. Coming upon them in an aggressive manner, standing over them, grabbing them, punching/kicking them and trying to wrestle with them. The intoxicated man will win every time as the adrenaline surges through them. Pepper spray and tasers will not keep the man on the ground. However, non-aggressive and passive tactics will keep the peace.

The person who is responsible for this shooting is the man you see trying to handle the intoxicated individual. Obviously, he lacks training on how to handle a person with a mental impairment.
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Old March 3, 2014, 09:41 AM   #2
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Pretty obvious that cop wasn't on his HS wrestling team.
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Old March 3, 2014, 10:16 AM   #3
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Dealing with MOAB situations....

The best way of dealing with intoxicated subjects for a regular person is to avoid it. Don't get into any confrontations or arguments. Contact law enforcement & let a trained deputy or police officer deal with it.
Untrained or improperly trained people can injury or kill a intoxicated subject by mistake.

Currently many armed professionals & corrections are learning what's called MOAB(mgmt of aggressive behavior). Taking documented courses or learning these skills can help you contain & control a combative subject.
I also wouldn't go by the "three people" plan either. Doing security work, I've been alone or had to contact any "back up" during most incidents.
As for subjects who are drunk or aggressive, I've learned to stay back a few feet(and off center), speak slowly and clearly, keep repeating or reminding the person of what they need to do, avoid any humor/sarcasism/lingo/etc.
Keep in mind that alcohol is a depressant & not every subject will behave or react the exact same way.
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Old March 3, 2014, 10:43 AM   #4
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I'd do as Clyde said unless they have injuries that need attention and they are not exhibiting any violent traits.

But even then it can go south so I'd keep my wits about me (and pepper spray.)

Remember folks, the Good Samaritan found the guy half beaten to death and was no threat to him. To many people take the Good Samaritan tale to mean to risk their lives and turning their backs on potential dangers.

If you are going to be a Good Samaritan..be also a good Sarmatian knight.

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Old March 3, 2014, 12:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
In the video, you see a classic example of how not to handle someone who is mentally impaired. Coming upon them in an aggressive manner, standing over them, grabbing them, punching/kicking them and trying to wrestle with them.
I agree.

Also there may be other reasons for behaving as if intoxicated. Diabetes and low blood sugar levels for instance.
Some wear Medic Alert bracelets.
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Old March 3, 2014, 12:40 PM   #6
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KC incident....

I saw a few national media reports & links about this incident last week.
I'd add that it's not entirely fair to base any judgements or to infer anything just yet because of a video clip.
There may be several other issues or actions that are not recorded.
I've already seen this new event compared to the GZ incident in Sanford Florida.


It's far to early to assume what took place or why the off duty cop/hotel guard did what he did.

I'd agree too that a person could have a violent episode or lash out over a # of things; PTSD, medication reactions, alcohol, OD, etc. This may be the root cause but it's unfair or unrealistic to expect a first responder(sworn LE) or a security guard(most of whom have little or no formal training) to be like a ER doctor/social worker.
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Old March 3, 2014, 12:40 PM   #7
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Probably more semantics than anything, but I don't really agree that 'alcoholism' is equated with 'mental disability'. A person under the influence has their judgment impaired, least thats my opinion.

From my experience working as a bouncer the last 7 or 8 years now, I can say that there are times when a person has to go one-on-one with an intoxicated person. Do we treat drunks any differently? Not really, nor do police officers who respond to our calls for assistance when we have arrested drunks for bad behavior.

What I would have liked to seen in the video is the officer doing more to control the subject via non-lethal methods. Pepper spray is a good choice, so is a taser, even a baton. But even all of those may fail to subdue a subject.

Dealing with drunks, yes they might be under an immense adrenalin dump and they might display more strength than normal, but the sober person who has to subdue them has more going for them. For starters, they are in full control of their mental faculties. They should be able to figure out a persons weaknesses.

'Aggressive stance'? No such thing. Or, don't assume its wrong since we dont know the context of the situation in the video. From my experience, I may have argued and spent 15 minutes trying to de-escalate a drunken fool, and spent all my patience trying to talk them out of the bar. But no one around ever sees that. They only see (and try to object to) the last possible solution of me (and hopefully one or two of my fellow doormen) going hands on and forcibly removing them from the bar.
I have taken a few punches in my years. Had my face scratched viciously. I have never hit anyone though. Never kicked. Never choked. I did not have the luxury of doing any wrestling in high school. I have only had minimal training of joint manipulation and ground tactics. I use those to gain control of a subjects arms or legs. I have used pepper spray when applicable (not at my current bar, but the previous one), and I know it doesnt always work as planned.

The officer in this video, if he didnt have the non-lethal options, probably felt he had no choice as his head was being beaten to the pavement but to draw and fire.
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Old March 3, 2014, 03:54 PM   #8
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Whether firemen and cops fight is not really relevant so I deleted them. Offered nothing to the issues of the OP.
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Old March 3, 2014, 04:02 PM   #9
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Alcoholism is an illness as is drug addiction. I cant say what type of illness exactly because I am not a medical professional, but I know its an illness. Ive known quite a few people like the one in this video and their actions are no fault of their own. Their actions should not be taken personally or handled with violence. They are addicted to a substance and that is determining their demeanor.

So I think they should be approached as any mentally ill person is approached...very carefully and with great care.
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Old March 3, 2014, 04:04 PM   #10
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In my experience I try and talk to them like you are talking to a small child. Speak so they can understand you and tell them exactly what you want them to do. Just treat them with respect. Especially when they are amped up and going off. Like others have said unless you have training and its not an emergency it's best to call the police. The mentally ill cane be very difficult to deal with, plus sometimes they can get very violent and get very strong. We deal with them all the time in corrections. Some of the guys we deal with can go from easy going to tearing stuff up at the flip of a switch. And sometimes they are very hard to reason with.
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Old March 3, 2014, 06:25 PM   #11
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Ok. Like I said, it might just be a matter of semantics regarding 'mentally disabled' or that an alcoholic is suffering an 'illness'. No need for us to debate that since thats not the crux of the subject matter here.

What is at topic is handling someone who is not in control of their actions, due to being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Whether a police officer, or armed civilian, or security guard, yes drunks need to be handled with caution.

Once a situation becomes volatile, my belief is that passive and non-aggressive options are out the window. Basically, at that point, all negotiations to get the subject to comply have failed. And now that person poses a threat to either staff or other people. Calling police is not an option then. Even a 911 call for assistance can result in a long wait if there are other more important things for officers to deal with. Which might mean in my line of work, I might find myself going hands-on by myself to extract someone from the bar, or to take them to the ground if they have committed a crime we wish to have charges filed for (assault/vandalism). If the drunken subject is close enough for me to get my arms around their torso, they will go to the ground thanks to gravity. Once on the ground, controlling a limb is my goal until I get assistance. If there is no assistance, I can be patient and wait. Armbars are useful. So are crossfaces. "Where the head goes, the body will follow". If I have assistance, one of us per arm, works pretty well. A third person controls legs in a figure 4.
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Old March 3, 2014, 07:11 PM   #12
James K
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There have been some recent incidents of police officers trying to subdue a mentally unbalanced person and botching the effort badly, in one case causing the person's death. For officers, that is bad, both personally and professionally, but their office generally protects them from the inevitable law suit. For anyone else, the result could be disastrous. Unless the person is so out of control that he/she poses a threat of death or grievous bodily injury (e.g., is armed or physically large enough to be dangerous) the best thing to do is stay away and call the police.

If the person is armed and dangerous, or is attacking someone who is unable to protect himself or herself, then it is the same situation as if the attacker were a a criminal; self defense or the defense of the innocent has to take precedence over concern for the attacker, whether a criminal or a mentally disturbed person.

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Old March 3, 2014, 09:03 PM   #13
spacemanspiff
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http://www.kmbc.com/news/video-shows...ghter/24670642

See above link, there was more to it, the drunk guy fought with a cab driver, the off duty officer who was working security at the hotel (assuming the hotel the drunk guy was being dropped off at) went to help the cab driver, the drunk guy ran, off duty officer pursued.
The officer was cleared in the shooting, no charges filed against him. Self defense.

Edit - I am failing to find any documented corroboration that the deceased was an alcoholic.
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Old March 4, 2014, 02:14 AM   #14
johnelmore
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Police officers enjoy a higher status then average Americans. There are very few cases where an officer was found guilty for killing someone while on duty. Even in extreme cases like the one on the BART train where the officer pulled his pistol firing on a man thinking it was a taser the officer received only a year in prison. Certainly he should have received more.

If the man on top was not an officer but a concerned citizen then they would not have been cleared of the charges. So to say he was cleared of the charges we must make light of the fact the obvious difference between officers and civilians. Civilians have a far higher standard that they must meet in self defense situations whereas the officers bar is a low one.
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Old March 4, 2014, 09:22 AM   #15
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Unpredictable behavior is the only predictable when dealing with an imparied individual. While helping might be your objective, your own safety is paramount. In these days of cell phones everywhere, that is your best rescue tool. Stand back and call 911.
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Old March 4, 2014, 09:58 AM   #16
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getting drunk or high on drugs is a choice the individual makes for him or herself.

If more addicts saw this video maybe more of them would think twice about chasing the next high and the streets would be safer for everyone
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Old March 4, 2014, 12:42 PM   #17
ClydeFrog
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Post #14 ....

I disagree with several of the points in post #14.
Sworn LE officers, on duty or off, have a obligation to enforce the law or make arrests. If a subject resists arrest or is non-compliant then a LE officer can use the force necessary to invoke an arrest.
If you view the cell phone clip(posted by the TFL forum member), the intoxicated fire-fighter clearly fights, kicks and punches the uniformed guard(sworn LE officer). There's no mis-understanding or distorting those facts.
Now, I do agree that cops sometimes get more credit or consideration than armed citizens or private security sometimes.
A few years ago, a young off duty police officer in Salt Lake City Utah shot a unarmed subject who was savagely beating the police officer's brother in a crowded nightclub. The PD cleared the officer & he was neither charged or faced formal discipline for the incident.
Now, would a private citizen or CCW license holder be cleared as quickly? I doubt it.
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Old March 4, 2014, 01:35 PM   #18
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ClydeFrog Wrote;
Quote:
Sworn LE officers, on duty or off, have a obligation to enforce the law or make arrests. If a subject resists arrest or is non-compliant then a LE officer can use the force necessary to invoke an arrest.
If you view the cell phone clip(posted by the TFL forum member), the intoxicated fire-fighter clearly fights, kicks and punches the uniformed guard(sworn LE officer). There's no mis-understanding or distorting those facts.
Now, I do agree that cops sometimes get more credit or consideration than armed citizens or private security sometimes.
I don't think anyone mis-understood the situation however, it is a fact that LE has a much lower standard to meet when it comes to a self defense situation than the average joe due to those obligations you described.
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Old March 4, 2014, 01:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OuTcAsT
...it is a fact that LE has a much lower standard to meet when it comes to a self defense situation than the average joe due to those obligations you described.
It's not so much a question of a lower standard. It's that the standard takes into account an LEO's obligations.

An LEO may be required to introduce himself into potentially dangerous situations. A private citizen has no such duty. A private citizen may avoid some risks which an LEO would be expected to assume.
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Old March 4, 2014, 03:48 PM   #20
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I'm still waiting to discover proof that the firefighter was an 'alcoholic'. johnelmore, do you have this evidence? If not, do you personally know those involved so you can make such a statement?

As said before, I don't believe in giving special treatment to suspected 'victims' of alcoholism or drug addiction. If anything, talking to them as if they are children or simple will not de-escalate any volatile situation they are involved in.
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Last edited by spacemanspiff; March 4, 2014 at 08:27 PM. Reason: me no spell so gud
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Old March 4, 2014, 07:59 PM   #21
johnelmore
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There are quite a few signs of alcoholism here, but I cant say 100 % this person is an alcoholic. As for special treatment of course you give them special treatment. I would not approach this person in the same way I approach others.
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Old March 4, 2014, 08:34 PM   #22
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A drunk is a drunk is a drunk is a drunk.
For my line of bar security work, we have no seperate protocols for dealing with a nonalcoholic drunk vs an alcoholic drunk.

From a practical/tactical standpoint, how would you distinguish between the two when you are faced with a violent incident involving a drunk? How would you know the person is suffering the illness of alcoholism? Or would you just treat all drunks as if they are alcoholics?
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Old March 4, 2014, 08:40 PM   #23
Angelo Demuerte
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Quoting the OP -
Quote:
The intoxicated man will win every time as the adrenaline surges through them. Pepper spray and tasers will not keep the man on the ground. However, non-aggressive and passive tactics will keep the peace.

Do you really believe this? If you do, I have some news that may disturb you. Intoxicated people do not win all the time. TASERS and pepper spray are deployed in use of force situations against intoxicated persons on a regular basis in a successful manner.
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Old March 4, 2014, 09:10 PM   #24
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Obit; true story....

Many years ago, I read a obit of a older gent who was well respected in the community.
In the description of the man & his background was an account of how he was in a confrontation with a armed bank robber who fled a crime scene in the 1940s. The man talked the robber into surrendering to police!
He was known to have a clear, deep voice & was well known for his speeches/oratory skills.

Some people can resolve or handle critical incidents better than others. It takes training, skill, experience, and yes, even a bit of luck sometimes.
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Old March 4, 2014, 09:33 PM   #25
Angelo Demuerte
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People can be talked down. I don't deny that. But the statement made that "the intoxicated man will win every time", is something I just can not agree with.

Some people can be talked into handcuffs while intoxicated, some people, not so much.
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