View Full Version : Poor decisions, all around.

May 18, 2009, 09:06 AM
A local cop was shot in Rhode Island yesterday when he went to a suspects house to deliver a message for a neighboring PD. It turns out, the suspect ran over and killed someone with his car.


The ridiculous part is that the cop went to a person's house who is a known violent offender, on probation, by himself. He got shot for his troubles when the suspect attacked him from behind and took his gun. Poor decision #1.

Poor decision #2: What is not detailed in the article is that as the suspect was holding the gun over the cop and attempting to execute him, a neighbor ran out of his house and chased the bad guy away. The assailant then proceeded to steal the cops car. The neighbor clearly saved the cops life, a good thing, but he ran, unarmed, at an armed man shooting a cop. If someone is willing to shoot a cop, he isn't going to have any qualms about shooting you. Or so one would think.

It's a miracle no one is dead (except for the person who got run over in the first place). I am starting to think that everyone in Rhode Island, good guys and bad guys, are a little nuts.

May 18, 2009, 09:34 AM
I agree that the officer should not have been sent to the home alone in the first place…but, I’m glad that the neighbor had enough courage to help, even if he wasn’t armed himself.

If people would standup for one another a little more there wouldn’t be so much crime in the first place.

Once I was put into a similar situation, where I was called upon to help an office in a parking lot that was being attacked and I didn’t think twice about it. Police officers risk their lives for us everyday…

May 18, 2009, 09:52 AM
I am truly sorry for the officer that lost his life in the line of duty, but it seems there are factions of LE that treat civilians not much better. No one lost their life here, but it could have gotten ugly. It appears in both cases, a little research previous to entering could have saved a lot of hassles.

Just sayin'


WALLINGFORD - A usually quiet mobile home park was shaken Friday morning when about 15 officers from the U.S. bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local police descended on one of their neighbor's homes with force.

"They had their guns drawn and were surrounding the house," said Jennifer Monroe of Hosford Bridge Road. "These weren't small guns, they were machine guns. It wasn't normal."

Lynne Boynton, of 15 Hosford Bridge Road, went to her husband's truck for coffee money at about 6 a.m. and was pushed to the driveway and handcuffed with an officer's knee in her back and a gun to her head.

ATF officers surrounded her father-in-law's home at Western Sands Mobile Home Park and used a battering ram to enter the unlocked home in the rear, Boynton said.

"They were pouring out of there like crazy," said Monroe, who can easily see the front door. "They had Lynne in handcuffs. We were like 'What are they looking for?' "

Once inside, officers pulled Gilman Boynton and Paul Boynton out of bed, the men said. Paul Boynton said three or four officers threw him to the floor and put a gun to his head. Gilman Boynton, 76, who suffers from a heart condition, was made to sit in the living room, he said.

“Don't I have any rights?" a visibly shaken Gilman Boynton said. "I've been living here for over 40 years. The police have been here and seen my guns."

The family was told by ATF officers that the agency received a tip six weeks ago that a convicted felon was living at the home and had access to guns, Lynne Boynton said. Paul Boynton was arrested 34 years ago at the age of 17 with a friend who had forged a check. He hasn't been arrested since, he said.

Gilman Boynton is a gun collector, who keeps his rifles in a locked case on the wall, and a Beretta pistol in a safe. On Friday, ATF officers confiscated 14 rifles from the gun case and took his permits, he said. After breaking the safe, the ATF officers left the Beretta with a magazine cartridge still in the safe in Boynton's dresser.

"If they are so worried about guns, why did they leave a pistol in the safe and the holster?" Lynne Boynton said. "It was humiliating; I've never been handcuffed in my life."

According to a search and seizure warrant signed by U.S. District Court Judge Joan G. Margolis in New Haven Thursday, the agents were authorized to seize firearms, ammunition, holsters and destructive devices. They were also looking for personal property that identified the residents, including canceled mail, deeds, leases, rental agreements, photographs, personal telephone books, diaries, utility and telephone bills, statements, identification documents and keys.

The confiscated guns and the arrest warrant must be presented to Margolis in court.

There were no arrests during Friday's raid.

Paul Boynton said he is not a gun enthusiast and didn't make the connection between his 34-year-old conviction and his father's collection.

"This could have been handled so much easier," Boynton said. "All they had to do was have an officer come to my door and tell me."

The Boynton's rear door was bashed and has to be secured. Garbage bags, clothing, jewelry, a television and other household items were dumped in heaps in the various rooms. Paul Boynton, who suffers from herniated discs and other back problems, was having difficulty walking.

The officers called a medic for Gilman Boynton to check his vital signs, and asked if he wanted to be hospitalized. He refused.

"At the end of it when they didn't find nothing, they were real nice," Gilman Boynton said.

Neighbor Natalie Monroe, mother of Jennifer, said in the 21 years she's lived there, she's never seen any disturbances across the street and was shaken at the sight of her neighbor lying in her driveway in handcuffs. She was also concerned about the effects all the excitement would have on Gilman Boynton's health.

"We were floored," Natalie Monroe said. "We were like what the heck is going on? I've never seen anything like this. They went through all their vehicles."

A Wallingford Police Department detective said the department sent several officers to the scene at the request of the ATF. But the department had no knowledge of the details in the case, and referred questions to the bureau. Telephone messages left at the ATF's field offices in New Haven and Boston were not returned.

The officers told the family that Paul Boynton could still be arrested because the keys to the gun rack were hanging up in the kitchen, Lynne Boynton said.

"But I had to help them open it," Gilman Boynton said.

[email protected]
(203) 317-2255

Brian Pfleuger
May 18, 2009, 09:58 AM
Recall the recent incident wherein the 2 officers confronted the known violent offender at a SHOOTING RANGE!?!

Sending one officer to a guys house to "give him a message" must seem like picking daisies, comparatively. Easy assignment, except, oops, maybe not.

Capt. Charlie
May 18, 2009, 11:41 AM
Sending one officer to a guys house to "give him a message" must seem like picking daisies, comparatively. Easy assignment, except, oops, maybe not.
Exactly. "Deliver message" calls are very common in LE. Usually, we get no details other than the name, address, and the message "call the hospital" (never good news :() or "you need to go to _____ right away".

The problem can originate with dispatch. In the old days, we had to rely on the collective memories of all our guys to provide a warning about a specific address or person.

Today, a lot of the larger departments have CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch), in which a list of all previous trouble calls to that address or involving that person, pops up when dispatch initially enters the call. It's up to the dispatcher (who has a far more important role in LE than most think) to transmit "use caution; prior history of domestics", etc., to the officers. Sometimes they drop the ball.

Even if there is no history, you can walk in on the unexpected. I had a gun shoved in my face on a message call. It was an old guy living in a bad neighborhood that was having trouble with some of his neighbors.

That ended well, but it reinforces that old cop's saying, "There's no such thing as a routine call".

Typically, however, most departments are always short of manpower. It just isn't possible to send more than one officer on each and every call.

May 18, 2009, 04:03 PM
I can only hope my neighbors are as brave as that mans was.

May 18, 2009, 08:56 PM
Another example of the rogue ATF agency at work.:barf:

May 19, 2009, 07:53 AM
So I'm trying to figure out your point...Do you feel that the lone officer should have brought a SWAT team to deliver the message, or that the ATF should have sent a single officer to confiscate the guns from the felon?

"Rogue" ATF? We may not like some of the laws that the BATF-E are asked to enforce, but they're job is still to enforce them - not interpret them and make their own judgement about whether to follow them. If the assignement is to confiscate multiple guns from a felon, then bring enough force to ensure all officers go home safe.

It IS still illegal to be in possesion of guns as a felon, right? That this guy "forgot" he was a felon and/or "forgot" about the guns in his possesion is irrelevant. And asking LEOs to interpret all of this guy's memory loss when deciding on tactics is asinine. To call these LEOs "rogue" is equally asinine.

May 19, 2009, 12:02 PM
In most of the high profile ATF blunders there was not sufficent planning, or intelligence, and the execution was horrible. My only point is that they need better leadership and decision making. It seems as though they get a case and jump without thinking it through. Most SWAT teams in smaller jurisdictions execute better than the ATF does. The problem is that they have a bunch of cowboys who dont do these types of missions on a regular basis and when they get the chance they charge in full bore when it is not necessary.
The lone officer should have had backup at the very least before dealing with someone with that history. Even traffic stops, that reveal a person with a lengthy record, a smart officer calls for a backup unit before getting into any potential for conflict.

May 19, 2009, 01:19 PM
Quote "It IS still illegal to be in possesion of guns as a felon, right? That this guy "forgot" he was a felon and/or "forgot" about the guns in his possesion is irrelevant."

Except the "felon" was not the owner of the guns. The older man was the owner. The "felon" was his son, who did some jail time when he was 17. Most states give the kid a clean slate when they turn 18. (Which is why I placed the term felon in quotes.) If I remember correctly, this is to prevent a stupid mistake committed in one's youth from following one to the grave. In this case, the boy's friend committed a crime, and the boy just had the bad judgment of hanging around with the fellow, resulting in them both being sent to jail.

And I am sure all of us at least once in our life has had a friend that was trouble from the get go, but still had the poor judgment to hang out with him.


May 19, 2009, 02:11 PM
It is incorrect that a felony earned as a juvenile disappears as an adult.

And I expect that very few if any forum members have exercised such poor judgment as juveniles so as to have earned felony convictions.

But that's off topic.


As to topic, I hope the officer fully recovers, learns from the experience, and shares with others as time goes on.

May 20, 2009, 11:56 AM
As is pointed out above, felonies are not necessarily expunged from your record after turning 18. Further, your characterization of the felony as just "some jail time when he was 17" and a "stupid mistake" and "bad judgement", while all factually correct, are irrelevant. A felon is a felon is a felon.

Further, the felon need not "own" the guns for a violation to have occured. It is generally illegal to provide a felon with access to firearms (even if only via proximity). That means that it may have been illegal to keep fireamrs around if a known felon is lilving there. The guns being in the safe may provide an out, but it depends on who had access to the safe, and it sounds like there was at least on gun outside the safe.