COP STORIES: HOSTAGE SITUATIONS
On 07.07.2010. someone started a blog titled "Police stories". Unknown author published his stories under a pen name "Good blogger". In less than a year he wrote multiple stories portraying police life in his country.
Then suddenly, without explanation he disappeared. Last post he published was a short one. "Because of personal problems, this week's story has been skipped. I hope the situation will be resolved by the next week. Greetings!"
What happened to him and why did he stop writing his blog was never revealed.
This is the fifth story he published.
Hostage situations aren’t common in our country, which is perhaps surprising if you take into account how many people have PTSD, and how many of them illegally possesses weapons.
On one occasion, an army veteran in a psychological crisis took his family and a couple of neighbors as hostages in his apartment.
He was armed with a semi-automatic rifle.
The negotiators were able to persuade him to release everyone who was with him in the apartment, but he himself did not want to surrender. After a few hours of unsuccessful negotiation, it was decided that SWAT team will break in into the apartment.
It is scary to see them, as always. Black uniforms, kevlar vests, balaclava helmets … Wonderful.
His wife, who was first hostage released, drafted the layout of an apartment on a piece of paper. In short, right after the front door, there was a corridor which ended with a kitchen living room where her armed husband was. SWAT team agreed that one of them will bust down the door, after which he will move to the side, while other members of the team will barge in lined up in a row.
It was agreed that first in a row will carry a large ballistic shield and
will walk straight, while others will walk behind him, and when they
enter the living room, each of them should cover a certain lateral angle.
Something similar is often seen in movies and documentaries.
Problem with this intervention was that only the first in the line saw where they are going (through the window on the shield), while others were supposed to blindly follow him until they would reach the living room, where they should scatter.
Good side of this tactic is that they are completely covered
from the front shoots – where the potential striker was expected.
The problem was that wife made a mistake drawing the apartment. A start of a corridor was at a 90-degree angle which meant that after opening the door, you’re faced with a wall-in-the-face.
When first SWAT member barged in with a shield, he slammed into the wall, and others were bumping into him. It was like in a cartoon. Confusion did not last long, only seconds or two.
Luckily, a veteran was standing in the kitchen and was eating lunch from a pot on the stove, and the rifle was left leaning against the wall.
SWAT jumped into the room and they overpowered him. However funny it was when they were bumping to each other at the start, it is formidable how quickly they regained composure and have reorganized.
They are legendary.
Sometimes, mere appearance of the SWAT team is enough to make the person surrender.
However, sometimes we do not have the time to wait for them.
Once, a mental patient was driving in the back of the city bus. He was suffering from various mental illnesses, and he spent the entire day drinking alcohol. Of course, he also drank his therapy medications, and he became paranoid in the bus on the way home. He had with him a scalpel, the kind that construction workers use. He pulled it out, and started waving a scalpel at people in the bus. Driver pulled over the bus, and most passengers ran out. Only two girls stayed trapped as they were also located in the back of the bus, where he was rampaging. We came in quickly, surrounded the bus, and started waiting. He was inside waving a scalpel, screaming, while the girls cried. He ordered the driver to close the middle and rear door, which he did, so only fron door of the bus remained open. Considering hostage situation was taking place in the bus, it was not possible to go in quickly and surprise him. So, one of the colleagues went in, he sat in the middle of the bus, and started talking to the man in order to occupy his attention, so that he would no do anything to the girls. Plan was that he keeps him occupied till the SWAT team arrives.
It is horribly hard to calm down theese kind of people, and a colleague made a mistake, he said something (can't remember what) that angered him and he started running towards him with a scalpel.
However, while running towards a colleague, he accidentally hit his hand of a seat of the bus and dropped the scalpel. It was hilarious to watch this. He was standing there confused, watching at the scalpel on the floor of the bus, and a colleague was sitting a few feets away also watching towards the scalpel. Girls in the back were watching the scalpel, we were outside and watched the scalpel. As if time stopped. Of course, this moment didn’t last long. When a psycho kneeled to reach the scalple, a colleague jumped on him and hit him knee in the head. All of us ran into the bus to help him. The driver immediately opened all door, and we were all over the place. Altough he resisted arrest and he put up quite a fight, we were able to take him down. However, a different problem arose. While we were fighting with him, girsl who were in back of the bus, ran out of the bus. Not just out of the bus, they disappeared. We couldn’t find them anywhere. He got a perpetrator, but lost the victims.
Luckily, it turned out that they ran few blocks away as they were panicked, but then they calmed down and called the police. We were able to trace them, a psycho ended inside a psychiatric ward, and all was well.
This kind of situations are terrible. One wrong word and a tragedy may occur. In fact, you can do everything right and a tragedy still may occur. To succeed sometimes you just have to be lucky.
As cops, sometimes we really depend on luck.