View Full Version : Should I have called the cops?

April 11, 2011, 07:59 PM
Hey guys, I had a situation last week. I'm gonna tell the story as I saw it. What am I looking for? Was I too hesitant to act? Was there a better response? etc. Please respectful and helpful advice only :) Thanks in advance.
I am 25, I USED to be a skateboarder and from time to time I get the itch to go roll around. Our local park is in the middle of a normal park, basketball, baseball, and all that. There are 4 kids from ages 12 to maybe 14 skating around when I get there. The area can become a sketchy crime infested place after dark, but this is an hour or 2 before sunset. Obviously the gun stays in the truck while skateboarding, so I put it in glove box and enter fence and skate. After an hour I notice a group of 4 thugs (you know the kind) the guys that are not there for baseball or good clean fun. So, my radar goes off and I ease toward the exit just in case. I overhear 2 of the skater kids saying that those guys coming our way were supposed to be in a fight today. I then decide, time to head out. The Lead thug pulls a tazer and makes it crackle and chases some of the kids around. It seemed playful but I pre-dialed 911 on my cellphone (there are usually cops in the park) and grabbed gun (glock 19 if it matters to anyone) and holstered it sitting in my truck. The scene plays out, noone was hurt and I left. My intentions were if the tazer made contact with someone I was calling the cops. The gun wasn't coming out unless a kid got tazed and was being beaten/stomped in a life threatening way. Should I have acted sooner? At all?

April 11, 2011, 08:09 PM
I think you did fine by not getting involved any more than you were.

April 11, 2011, 08:12 PM
As irresponsible as the tazer guy's actions were, there was nothing there to report or act upon. If you had called, it would be LEO taking a statement from you, while pretending to keep an eye out for the guy with the tazer that's already left from the scene. You acted accordingly.

April 11, 2011, 08:14 PM
From my understanding the more times the Police are called to a specific area the more they know where to patrol,increases law enforcement activity.Only thing I've done different is drive to someplace safer or just leave,no use to possibly get involved as the Police have no idea who you are or if your part of the group.Especially with a firearm in the vehicle.
Just my opinion.

Otherwise ya did the right thing by my book.

April 11, 2011, 08:30 PM
Not going to add anything to scenario and say "but" or "if"

You did very well. Actually, too well. I'm kinda shocked. Though, sometimes best bet is just not get involved at all.

They wanted to be there. It was a tazer...the law states (not saying you were but they would say this) that " a permit carry does not make you a free lance police officer" which is true. What you did was great.

About to break my "but" "if" deal now...

BUT and IF it was a woman....whoooooooole different ball game brother ;)

April 11, 2011, 08:46 PM
I don't consider chasing people with a taser to be "playful" behavior. I would have called the cops and reported it with a description of the offender(s). As far as I know, there's no law that requires you to stick around for an interview.

April 11, 2011, 08:49 PM
You did everything correctly.

A Wise man once told me after I received my carry permit
"Son, just remember that card didn't come with a badge and cuffs or a secret decoder ring".

April 11, 2011, 09:38 PM
You did the right thing not getting directly involved, IMO. I see absolutely no problem with calling the police if you thought the playfulness was one sided, but if the chasee's seemed like they were willing participants, your call. It sounds like the "tazer" was actually a stun device, from the way you describe it, and depending where you are, may qualify as a weapon, so if the thugs were using it to intimidate, that changes things, and the law should probably have a little talk with them.

April 11, 2011, 10:00 PM
Yea, sorry it was a stun device. I don't know what Ga law says about them, the kids being chased seemed scared but not REALLY scared. Not running away but running far enough not to be shocked. The guys left and things were cool. I figured if I saw an officer I'd mention it but I didn't see one on the way out. I had recently heard of thugs using these to "down" people and mug them, so I was pretty worried I was about to see it happen. Thanks for the input guys

pro tc
April 11, 2011, 11:43 PM
you did fine. im only worried about myself wife and kids. the rest of the public can fend for itself. just call the police if you see a crime.

April 12, 2011, 12:14 AM
You did the right thing. Obviously, the kids know the thugs better than you do, so they saw no danger while you did.The thugs however, broke the law.The last time I checked, there are rules governing the use of Taser and those guys definitely broke it.Someone needed to remind them, maybe the cops or another thug :). Just like guns, there is a background check before you purchase a Taser. How rigorous that is may be a different ball game.

The best defense before things really hit up is to walk away from the threat, which you did but the kids did not because they did not see those thugs as being a threat.

A more troubling scenario would have been if one of the thugs had pointed an unloaded gun for the fun of it at one of the kids (which you had no way of knowing at the time that it was unloaded) would you have shot him in defense of the kid and called the cops or just call the cops and wait to see what happens ? :eek:

"...and do not lead us into temptation,..." Matt 6:13a.

April 12, 2011, 08:16 AM
You did not do the right thing. You did an acceptable thing in the minds of many, which is unfortunate. Calling the authorities when 4 "thugs" show up and de facto threaten children with a stun device would be the "right" thing to do. It does not make you a vigilante, it does not mean you are acting like the cop you are not. It would entail no interaction with anyone but the police if you in fact even stuck around once they showed up. What the thug learned from this is that he can show up with a stun gun, threaten kids in front of folks in a public park, and no one will do a thing about it. Answer this..did you course of action make things better or worse. What would the risk have been to you sir if you would have placed a simple telephone call.

April 12, 2011, 09:10 AM
I have to agree with those who say you should have called it in. Threatening kids with a tazer would likely be considered assault and/or child abuse in many or most jurisdictions. As wisely stated above, phoning in a report is not being a vigilante; it is being a good citizen. How long would it have taken for the incident to progress from a threat to harmful violence? And how long would it have taken the police to respond? In the worst case, you could have been forced into making a more difficult decision about whether to employ lethal force in defense of an innocent.

A thug chasing and threatening children with a tazer is worth a 911 call, IMO.

April 12, 2011, 09:14 AM
Kid might have been playing with the Tazer, or he might have been undecided on whether to zap somebody. Plus, the kids you talked to indicated that fight was supposed to have gone down, or be going down.

I'd have called 911. Worst case, the police would show, nothing would have happened, and the skater kids would think I'm a tool; or, worst case, an assault would go down, an arrest would be made, and the thug kids might figure out I'd made the call - depending on if they knew me on sight, or if I lived near the skate park.

My guess is the prospect of one or both those cases was a factor in the call not having been made.

April 12, 2011, 09:17 AM
I cant say that I'd have done anything differently. While I see chasing someone with a tazer a bit menacing I would have only pre-dialed 911 and would have only made the call once sparks really started to fly.

April 12, 2011, 09:49 AM
you did the right thing! and you acted responsibly

April 12, 2011, 09:54 AM
I would have simply left. I ain't no hero and I don't want to be. If something were going down that required the police to intervene then I hope someone else was there to make that call. I would rather cooperate with a wild boar then the police or the government. I simply don't trust them. That said you did the responsible thing.

April 12, 2011, 09:56 AM
A kid was being terrorized and nobody did anything to stop it. I can understand not wanting to confront 4 thugs but to let a kid be harassed like that with nothing being done about it is not the right thing. At the very least, a call to the police was in order.

April 12, 2011, 10:05 AM
It wasn't my kid or even kin and I ain't no cop! It isn't a question of fear; of course I would be afraid, but if I thought it had to be done then I would do it. Nothing like having no choice to overcome fear, but he had a choice and if it had gotten out of hand he said he was gonna call, now me... like I said.

April 12, 2011, 10:09 AM
I woulda called the police in that situation but not 911...allowing some punk azz to play around with a taser only reinforces that its ok to do so in a public place. Not cool in my book.

April 12, 2011, 10:18 AM
IMO you should've called 911 with a description of what was going on & let the on duty officers handle it. As some one else pointed out a call will get police response & let them know what's going on.

I know here we want the calls on any suspicious activity.

April 12, 2011, 10:43 AM
A child being chased by a thug with a stun gun is assault...call the police and tell them what you saw...Rod

April 12, 2011, 11:04 AM
Since the kids did not flee the scene, and they apparently knew the thugs, the event is apparently common and acceptable in their circle. A stranger inerfering in such an incident can turn what would be a safe bit of bullying into an escalated event. Anytime I see people who are familiar withother involved in disagreements I remain observant but uninvolved until the provoked becomes an endangered underdog. Although it seems right to protect everyone, sometimes it is less of an incident if we let them get it out of their system, because we are unwelcome intruders.

April 12, 2011, 11:24 AM
I would have called. Considering that stun guns can be lethal I don't consider it "harmless" bullying.

Fear of talking to the cops? That's not an adult attitude.

April 12, 2011, 11:45 AM
The sheriff's office in a county in Maryland two years ago; burst into a home, killed the owners two dogs, detained in restraints him, his wife and his very elderly mother. Turns out they had the wrong house; he was in fact the Mayor of his small town, in that county. You want to trust the police, go right ahead, but i don't! If you consider it 'childish' to fear an obvious danger, well :rolleyes:

April 12, 2011, 12:05 PM
So all LEO's and their agencies are worthless mnero?

April 12, 2011, 01:07 PM
Worthless; of course not, and like it or not we need them in a country of 350 million people. They are dangerous and I don't trust them, but they certainly do better then either anarchy or military law which are the alternatives.

April 12, 2011, 01:23 PM
I agree with Jhenry if it was my kids being chased. I would hope someone would have left there comfort zone to help protect them. At least by reporting to the Police what was happening.

April 12, 2011, 02:26 PM
A Wise man once told me after I received my carry permit
"Son, just remember that card didn't come with a badge and cuffs or a secret decoder ring".

A CCW has nothing to do with this. A call to 911 should have been made. Making that call doesnt make you a cop...it makes you a concientious and law-abiding citizen. A tazer is, at a minimum, a debilitating weapon. And how it was being used by these persons was easily reckless endangerment. That situation the OP witnessed definitely warranted a call to the 911.

April 12, 2011, 05:31 PM
The guy with the tazer didn't know what he was up to.

EVERY time you cycle the tazer, going "BZZZZZTT" you're

scorching the contacts with thousands of volts of juice.

This wear is cumulative and gets more severe with every


Sure hope that clown actually has an effective tazer when he needs it...

(Or do I?)

That said, OP, IMO you had a good grip on the situation.

Highest marks for situational awareness!!;)

April 13, 2011, 01:55 PM
A child being chased by a thug with a stun gun is assault...call the police and tell them what you saw...Rod

In Ohio it would be called Aggravated Menacing. Now if they cops show up and the kids say they knew the thugs were just messing around, and they were not afraid and didn't fear harm, no case.

At the very least the cops get a free pat down on the thugs.

April 13, 2011, 01:58 PM
Worthless; of course not, and like it or not we need them in a country of 350 million people. They are dangerous and I don't trust them, but they certainly do better then either anarchy or military law which are the alternatives.

Wow...what a way to go through life!

Sent from my kick ass HTC EVO!

April 13, 2011, 03:28 PM
I would have said something to the 4 kids.

Years ago I was driving down the street on my motorcycle, 4 large guys were piling on a teen boy. I got off the scoot and told my girl to go and call 911 was before cell phones. I got them off that boy, 2 got banged up but what the heck it was a kid in trouble. Cops show up, kid was in a home and tried to run away. Cops told them men they cannot dog pile a kid in an effort to get him back into the building.

Awhile before that a couple boys were grabbed and found dead later on, jubert is now dead but that fear was prevailent and on everyones mind.

Cops said thanks and I went on my way.

April 16, 2011, 01:58 PM
mnero: In this situation, calling 911 and being interviewed by police, is much different than (rightly or wrongly) being an person of interest.

I completely agree that law enforcement has done many bad things. One of the reasons we know that Tasers and stun guns can be deadly is because of their abuse by law enforcement. But the fact remains that police officers are public servants. As such you as a member of the public should have no fear of calling them. The people who should be fearful are the guys with the stun gun.