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EdCarroll
12-30-2005, 02:52 PM
I am writing a cozey mystery and have a few background questions.

The climax occurs aboard a transit bus. When a passenger recognises the killer, who is sitting in the back of the bus, the driver radios the Transit dispatcher. The dispatcher telephones the police who agree to apprehend the killer.

After a dramatic struggle and race the driver stops and releases the air from the doors. At this point the killer has the victim in a choke hold near the front of the bus. The first cop boards the bus and says, “First we all need to calm down here.” Meanwhile, his partner enters through the back door and subdues the killer and cuffs him.

Originally the second sentry was to contact him on the back of the thigh with a taser, but I discovered that most police departments do not employ tasers.

So my question is:
Do you think a person could effectively use a collapsible baton on a transit bus?
If not, what would you do to subdue and cuff the killer who is choking the girl?

Thank you,
Ed

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Frank Zafiro
12-31-2005, 10:59 AM
I am writing a cozey mystery and have a few background questions.

The climax occurs aboard a transit bus. When a passenger recognises the killer, who is sitting in the back of the bus, the driver radios the Transit dispatcher. The dispatcher telephones the police who agree to apprehend the killer.

After a dramatic struggle and race the driver stops and releases the air from the doors. At this point the killer has the victim in a choke hold near the front of the bus. The first cop boards the bus and says, “First we all need to calm down here.” Meanwhile, his partner enters through the back door and subdues the killer and cuffs him.

Originally the second sentry was to contact him on the back of the thigh with a taser, but I discovered that most police departments do not employ tasers.

So my question is:
Do you think a person could effectively use a collapsible baton on a transit bus?
If not, what would you do to subdue and cuff the killer who is choking the girl?

Thank you,
Ed


Answer to the baton is a qualified yes...depending on how wide the bus aisle is or the space between seats.

The reason is that most collapsible batons are better used in a slashing fashion rather than a stabbing/thrusting manner and you'd need the room to do this (although a thrust/jab with a side-handle or straight stick baton is almost always more powerful than a slash--and can be done in tighter quarters). Especially early in the development of the asp/collapsible batons, you always ran the risk of thrusting it into the target and having it...collapse. I believe the newer ones are less susceptible to this, however.

As to your second question, I'd go back to your statement regarding TASERs. I would say that most mid-to-large sized departments are equipped with these tools. It is simply too effective an option not to employ. I'm not sure how urban an environment your setting is, but it's something to consider. My agency is about 260 officers in a community of 200,000 (450,000 in the greater metro area)...and Seattle had them at least a year before us.

With the TASER, of course, you would have two options. The most effective is to deploy the TASER and fire the two darts (just modified fish hooks) at the suspect. However, I think in this situation, the safety of the hostage is going to be paramount and foremost on the mind of the responding officers. So, to avoid the risk of TASing the hostage, one officer might deploy his/her TASER, but remove the cartridge containing the hooks and line, exposing the electrodes. This allows for a 'touch-stun,' which at our agency is classified as nothing more than a pain compliance technique (because of it's comparative effectiveness). It still delivers a jolt, just to a very localized area.

If you care, I can go into this some more, but there is plenty of info out there on the net, too. The difference between 'touch stun' and deploying the darts is the difference between pain compliance and a neurological/physiological impairment that is involuntary...so HUGE.

Of course, the positive side of the 'touch stun' for the officer is that it lessens the likelihood of the hostage being injured by mistake, as he can touch it directly to the suspect.

Say there are no TASERs. The safety of the hostage is still paramount. However, I can tell you this, if you're looking for realism...if the suspect had no weapons, but was choking the hostage, an officer would be justified in considering the suspect's actions to be life-threatening. The response to life-threatening force is deadly force. In other words, if the suspect is choking the hostage to death, the cop could easily justify drawing his weapon and shooting the suspect.

Safe to do? Another question entirely. What is the backdrop, should he miss? How clear is the shot? How close is he?

More likely what would happen would be the bum's rush. The two cops would slam into the bad guy from opposite sides and each take an arm to get the hostage free. Again, since choking someone is life-threatening, the cops would be justified in their response in just about any action they took against the suspect until the hostage was freed...punching him in the face, groin, eye gouge, whatever.

Another consideration might be the comparative size of the hostage and the suspect. If the suspect is 6-4, 220 and the hostage is 5-2, 105, I'd be a little worried that he could snap her like a rag doll and would probably take a chance on the shot. Conversely, if they were more comparatively sized, closing and grappling would be my choice, particularly with backup (who may at any moment be in the backdrop of my fire zone, anyway!).

Your police officer in this situation will have to take in a huge amount of information, weigh it and make a decision in a very short amount of time. He will always try to use the least amount of force necessary (unless you're writing him as a sadistic person), but enough to ensure that things get done.

It ain't easy. It ain't always pretty. But it is what it is...and if you're the one in the chokehold, you want someone there that can make the decision and then implement it.

Anyway, hope that helps...be happy to clarify anything.

Mike Coombes
12-31-2005, 01:19 PM
Do it like the British Police do on the London underground - just shoot him 6 times in the head. Or to be more accurate, shoot someone completely innocent 6 times in the head.

ideagirl
01-10-2006, 09:26 PM
Do it like the British Police do on the London underground - just shoot him 6 times in the head. Or to be more accurate, shoot someone completely innocent 6 times in the head.

*clap clap clap*

Julie Worth
01-10-2006, 09:37 PM
I can't imagine your cop saying, “First we all need to calm down here.” And the second cop would probably grab the perp with a forearm around the throat and yank him backwards.

DaveKuzminski
01-11-2006, 06:54 AM
It would depend upon where in the country it occurred. Cases in point:

The Texas Tower Sniper started shooting at people, if I recall correctly, some time in the 60s. Though the cops reacted quickly, so did a lot of civilians. I think it would be safe in many situations to assume that civilians would tend to react if they felt they were in danger.

The lack of a response was what bothered so many Americans when Kitty Genovese was murdered. They were used to someone taking a stand and not permitting something like that to happen. Unfortunately, it seemed to be a predictor of a change in behavior and attitude.