View Full Version : Real life is not like TV

August 12, 2009, 02:44 PM
Last week, left late and stuck in rush-hour traffic (stop-n-go, but mainly the former) where two major highways cross. People like to use the shoulder as a private lane, to get past the bottle neck. Lots of accidents occur when they need to merge back in and can't easily (because they drive up to the very end of the shoulder, to the actual intersection). Lots of fights occur (I guess because sitting in a traffic-jam + the unfairness of trying to cut + feeling that somebody else caused the accident).

So now, a state trooper's vehicle parks on the shoulder for rush-hour. No more bypassing traffic on the shoulder.

I'm barely moving, in condition white, when I see a big pickup truck come flying up the shoulder, jam on the brakes behind the state police vehicle. A huge guy jumps out, charges the police car, and slams his fists on the trunk twice. The trooper's door flies open, he rushes out as the huge guy is charging him...

The trooper gets lifted off his feet and swung around. I see big smiles and realize they are hugging. :) I can see them talking happily (but can't hear anything).

There was a brief instant where I thought I was surely going to see somebody die violently. I had no adrenaline rush, or any thought to doing anything at all. In complete TV-mode. It took me a few seconds to wake up and be shocked. If the officer had needed help, I would have wasted a lot of valuable time.

Tucker 1371
August 12, 2009, 02:50 PM
I try not to armchair-quaterback if I can avoid it but in this situation it seems like if it HAD been an altercation the best thing you could have done is waited until the officer was down on the ground and then prevented the attacker from doing any further damage and/or calling the police.

August 12, 2009, 08:19 PM
Personally, I think this was incredibly poor judgement by the person in the truck. Any passerby with a ccw could have seen this taking place stopped drawn down on the guy trying to protect the officer and someone could have ended up deader than **** over this. The really tragic part is more than likely it would have been the wannabe good citizen trying to help the officer that would have been killed.

I hate to sound like an ass but I think I would have made a call to the local state patrol office and talked to a watch commander and told them how close you came to getting involved in this and how blatantly stupid and dangerous the behavior was.

August 12, 2009, 08:47 PM
I think I would have made a call to the local state patrol office

I understand what you mean and agreed for a second, then thought, "What control did the trooper have over the situation?" The guy in the truck already did his thing - running at a high speed up the shoulder, banging on the cruiser, making an observer think there was about to be a violent confrontation - before the trooper had any opportunity to react. Not saying it was good, just that the the guy in the pickup was the one whose behavior was worthy of criticism, and the trooper didn't have much influence in the situation.

August 12, 2009, 08:55 PM
Actually, I think the "TV mode" sure beats being in adrenaline pumping act before thinking mode because things are not always what they seem. Especially since the big guy had not pulled a gun, it is unlikely he would have been able to kill or hurt the police officer badly before you could have reacted, assuming that he did start punching him. As a previous poster suggested, you could then have drawn and ordered him to BACK AWAY NOW! if that had been necessary.

At least, that's how it looks to me. I daresay that other people with a lot more experience will speak up, though, so listen to them if they disagree vehemently. :-)

Dr. Strangelove
August 12, 2009, 10:07 PM
Real life is not like TV

It sure isn't and this thread and several others on TFL lately should serve to show us what happens when people intervene in situations where they have no personal involvement and no understanding of what is really happening.

If you haven't already, give this thread a read to see what happens when people substitute guns for brains:


Check the laws for your state regarding brandishing a firearm and felony assault, and then decide if your freedom, gun ownership rights, and possibly your life are worth getting involved in a situation where you "think" you know what is happening.

James K
August 12, 2009, 10:34 PM
My guess would be that the trooper either was in contact with the driver of the truck or he saw the truck in his mirror, recognized it, and wasn't concerned, else he would have exited his vehicle with his gun in his hand.

It does show, though, the danger of an armed citizen jumping to the wrong conclusion with possible tragic results. And it illustrates the reason CCW laws usually limit the citizen's armed response to defending himself and his family, people he knows are innocent, from attack by criminals, people he has reason to believe are a danger.

As an old instructor once told us, "Don't p*** until you know which way the wind is blowing!"


August 13, 2009, 12:58 AM
I think the calling of the WC is totally uncalled for. What is the problem, a Copper's buddy visited him on a boring detail you misunderstood the situation.
Maybe the pickup driver is just back from the sandbox and can't wait to see buddy/brother/son/dad.

Case closed.

August 13, 2009, 09:58 PM
I am not a cop or a peace officer or a Jedi. I will not jump out of my car in traffic and start towards a situation that does not directly involve me. If the officer CLEARLY was at risk I would consider all options while keeping costant assessment of development. he officer has a radio, and access to reinforcements.
Think...what would you do if you didnt have a gun?? Was the "attacker" armed??

Would feel pretty bad double tapped on the ground while officer and his friend call for an ambulance through the traffic.

TV mode...watch and see first.

August 21, 2009, 11:12 PM

I think the calling of the WC is totally uncalled for. What is the problem, a Copper's buddy visited him on a boring detail you misunderstood the situation.
Maybe the pickup driver is just back from the sandbox and can't wait to see buddy/brother/son/dad.

Case closed.

The problem is simple it was inpprpriate behavior involving a police officer that may or may not have led civilians watching to belive the officer's life may have been in danger.

You see it as no big deal. I disagree. At the very least I would have had my cell phone with 911 dialed in and ready to punch connect. In this day and age where every action is scrutinized over and over this was an incredibly stupid lack of good judgement.

August 21, 2009, 11:30 PM
I just don't understand. How was it inappropiate? Do Coppers have to be robotic. If the friend was wielding a club or other weapon you would have a point. But getting your undergarments in a bunch about a boisterous greeting is little over the top. There are people that complain about everything a Copper does

August 22, 2009, 07:24 AM
If more people would understand that Real life is not TV then things would be a lot different. The real problem comes when TV shows such as Mythbusters try to sound as if they were realistic and scientific. In you situation I wonder how many people thought the same as you did about intervening? The biggest lesson is be sure of the situtation before you jump in. How about a woman yelling RAPE and you jump in only to find out that she was trying to extort the fellow and he was fighting back.