By Tom in Oregon
As a disclosure, I was a full-time police officer during my first defensive gun use, so I was allowed to carry concealed as long as I had ID with me. I have been retired for a bit over two years now. The problem during this particular time was that I was working undercover and had been for some time. I had a fake ID, and was told to not carry anything police-related. I was allowed to carry a gun, but if I got arrested for it, I’d need to make a phone call for some splainin’ to do. Besides working for my own department, I was frequently on loan to other departments as I had a fresh face, and could walk the walk . . .
One fall day, I had left the house dressed in grubbies as usual. My undercover car was a 74 Monte Carlo beater. I took the two kids to the baby sitter across town and realized I had left something at the house. So, back the way I came. As I wound my way through some residential streets, I got a bit paranoid as a car behind me seemed to be following me. (Paranoia comes fast and easy when you’re undercover).
I made a mental note of the license plate and double checked the GLOCK 17 I had jammed into my waist.
I was stopped by a red light. The car that had been behind me had the couple acting a bit animated while seeming to stare at me. The old saying, “Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you” crossed my mind. As the light turned green, they seemed even more animated. He’s in the passenger seat, waiving his arms around. She’s driving, and looking like she was yelling at him.
Across the intersection, now we are in a school zone. Another half a block and this gal is riding my ass like Freddie Mercury in a San Francisco bath house. Suddenly the car starts to pass me. I’m thinking, “Really! We’re in a school zone.”
Then the car veers in front of me and locks up the brakes, blocking me against a curb with the school playground on my right. The next thing I know, the guy is getting out of the passenger seat. He’s got a tire iron in his right hand, cocked, and coming at me.
Chronostasis has set in. My seatbelt is on. Crap is on the passenger seat, so no retreat there. Getting out of the drivers side would just put me closer to him. Distance equals time, and time equals options. I’ve got about 20 feet. I’m out of time. Only one option.
Front sight, front sight, front sight. Trigger press. Backstop is his accomplice, too bad for her. Beyond that, a filbert orchard. Good to go. I scream, “DROP IT”!
He drops the tire iron (I can still hear that sound). He then drops to his knees and puts his hands on top of his head. WTF?
The gal driving begins to laugh hysterically. Double WTF? Then he starts laughing. Really, WTF?
I blindly dig in my backpack and find my walkie talkie. I never did hear what I sounded like on the playback tape from our dispatch center, but in quick order, the on-duty uniformed officer got there. Cuff and stuff, times two.
They were a creepy pair. Goth before anyone knew what goth was. She had two black eyes, along with black makeup. They were Wiccan. Of the not nice Wiccan variety. Neighbors complaining about bonfires and chanting. An odd couple.
As I’m writing up my report and probable cause affidavit for the charges, I find out that the dynamic duo had been at the coast the week before, robbing tourists in a similar fashion. One would drive by pedestrians, the other would hang out the passenger window of the car and use a baseball bat to smack an unsuspecting person. They would stop, grab the purse and shopping bags then drive off. They were out on their own recognizance, pending trial when they ran across me.
The truly funny part is that they thought I was a drug dealer and I might have some money or drugs. Back to jail, and they didn’t collect $200.00. (I saw them in traffic about a week later due to jail overcrowding).
In retrospect, I felt that training and a lot of range time had really kicked in. During the period when time slowed down, I took into consideration my escape routes, (in this case, the lack thereof), target, backstop. It was all there. And, I didn’t have to shoot. Because training. It was a good feeling.