Kentucky Cop Leaves AR Leaning Against A Car

Freetanding KY AR (courtesy facebook.com)

So there’s a domestic violence call-out in Dayton, Kentucky. “Police officers from Dayton and Bellevue responded,” fox19.com reports. “Authorities say a man involved exited a home in the area and fired a round into the air. They say he was taken into custody and transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.” So that’s that. Now about that AR . . .

A local resident at the scene saw a patrol rifle casually leaning against a car, minding its own business, bothering no one. Matt Haas being a Facebooker, the high school guidance counselor figured, rightly, it would make an interesting post.

Matt Haas is bored and wants you to know it (courtesy facebook.com)

The post went viral — or at least as viral as you’d expect in a quiet town of 5,313 souls. (That’s Matt’s most recent post above.) The town was so abuzz about police irresponsibility Dayton and Bellevue PD felt obliged to release a statement.

Short version: a Bellevue cop didn’t leave his rifle leaning against a car. Long version:

While on scene, a Bellevue Officer was able to make contact with the father, who was in cell phone communication with his son. The son was in possession of multiple firearms inside the residence and refused to come out.

The Bellevue officer established rapport with the son via cell phone and was able to talk the son out of the residence. At this time, the Bellevue officer had his department issued rifle and was behind cover.

The son agreed to meet with the Bellevue officer, outside of the residence, if he would get rid of his patrol rifle. To establish a rapport, and end this situation peacefully, the Bellevue Officer handed his patrol rifle to a Dayton Police officer for safekeeping. Ultimately, the son surrendered to police and was taken into custody.

AR at Dayton DV (courtesy facebook.com)

Unfortunately, the Bellevue officer was unaware that his patrol rifle was left unattended.

After the incident concluded, a concerned citizen then notified police on the scene about the rifle left leaning against a vehicle. An internal investigation conducted by the Bellevue Police Department concluded a Bellevue Police officer did not leave the rifle unattended.

The body camera video from the Bellevue officer has been released to local news agencies in an effort to show transparency of the facts. The footage clearly shows that no Bellevue officer left a patrol rifle unattended.

So who did leave the “assault rifle” unattended at the scene?

After the Bellevue/Dayton PD statement failed to stop town tongues wagging, the Bellevue PD felt compelled to throw the Dayton PD under the proverbial bus. Like this:

Unfortunately, during the course of the incident, another agency’s patrol rifle was accidentally set down when the officers were going “hands on” with the suspect. Thank you to the neighbors for making this observance and bringing it to the officer’s attention. It is unfortunate that this accident happened, but we as police officers are human and do make mistakes.

That last statement should have been the first. Talking to rcnky.com, Bellevue PD Chief Colonel Lee Estepp called the incident “a rookie mistake” and identified the rookie who abandoned the AR curbside:

“Basically, Officer Lockman is a young officer, he’s new to Dayton and I think it was just a mistake,” Estepp said. The chief noted that the suspect’s hands were visible and that Chapman was comfortable relinquishing his firearm, handing it off to [Dayton Police Officer Brett] Lockman. “Normally, in a perfect world, you would walk back to your cruiser and put it in your car (but) he’s not going to leave the suspect on the porch and walk back to his car.”

Yeah I blame an imperfect world. Anyway, small town humor . . .

Meme from Dayton KY (courtesy facebook.com)

comments

  1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Meh, stuff happens. I can see how Officer Lockman kept his focus on the suspect — rightly so I might add — and then forgot about the rifle when things calmed down 5 or 10 minutes later.

    This is why all people need to have a reasonable, healthy respect — not hysterical PHOBIA — for firearms. If I had been strolling down the sidewalk and saw that rifle sitting there, I would have calmly and casually secured it while considering what to do next, which would have probably been calmly and casually calling the local police department.

    What I just described in the previous paragraph is an excellent example of “common sense gun control” that everyone will support, even ardent Second Amendment enthusiasts.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      By the way, I strongly suspect that the young woman who just walked past the rifle in that photo did not even notice the rifle.

    2. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Touch a rifle in the middle of a crime scene? You’re a braver man than I Gunga Din.

      1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

        No yellow tape. Nothing in the photos to indicate it was a crime scene.

        1. avatar anonymoose says:

          Oh boy, a free gun!

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Anonymoose, my thought would be “it’s a trap, a perfectly baited trap.”

    3. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

      So we’re agreed, and you’re on record now, that nobody should be allowed to carry a firearm in public.

      “WHAT??????!!!!! I never said ANYTHING like that!”

      Actually, you basically just did: “Meh. Stuff happens.” With that insouciant throwaway line, you put the lie to every pro-gunner who tries to allay an anti’s hysteria. Now we all know that when a pro-gunner claims that guns are safe and don’t just go off, there’s an implicit concession that “Meh, stuff happens”, and going off might just happen, too.

      1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

        Actually, it’s a point to throw in the face of any anti-gun twit any time they are going on about how only the police should be armed. That and Lee Paige.

      2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Jonathan – Houston,

        First of all, gun-grabbers will twist whatever we say, no matter how iron-clad. And if we say nothing, gun grabbers will fabricate something for us.

        Second, I don’t see all the supposed concern or risk that you suggested. The only real risk connected to leaving a loaded rifle sitting against a car is a young child finding the rifle and shooting his/herself or someone else. And even that risk should not exist since parents should not let young children roam without supervision. Children that are old enough to roam without parental supervision are old enough to know NOT to play with a rifle found on the street. And adults of course know NOT to play with a rifle found on the street.

        It would be different if someone left a grenade, landmine, TNT, or nitroglycerin on the street. A rifle is none of those things.

    4. avatar Big Bill says:

      You’re absolutely right, stuff happens. Even to LEOs.
      Why is it, then, that when such stuff happens to us, it’s a criminal offense?
      And when this stuff happens to LEOs who are, we are told, specifically chosen and trained to not let this stuff happen we see no disciplinary action taken?
      Well, a, cynic might say it’s because there are two sets of rules; one for us, and one for them. And, IMHO, it would be very hard to convince that cynic that he’s wrong.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Come on Bill. That’s ridiculous. There are many sets of rules. The more politically connected one is, the better the rules are, all the way up to the “Clinton” level where even national security rules don’t apply.

    5. avatar Mikial says:

      Have to disagree with you here. I’ve been a Probation Officer, a soldier and a private security operator. You do not lose your weapon . . . and leaving it leaning against a car in a residential neighborhood is losing it. Sorry, but there needs to be a higher standard than that.

    6. avatar AZgunner says:

      Pro-tip: do not pick up an officer’s rifle during a tense call for service if you see it on the ground. Point it out, sure. But picking it up is asking for some serious trouble. And by serious trouble I mean- If I turn around and see Joe Citizen with my partner’s AR, my sidearm is leaving the holster immediately.

  2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    This was cause for an automatic, Article 15, action back when I was in the army. Loose your weapon, loose your rank. If the police were really militarized, this cop would receive a pay cut ASAP, thru military punishment.

    1. avatar Geoff says:

      Loose
      not firmly or tightly fixed in place; detached or able to be detached.
      Lose
      1. be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something).
      2. become unable to find (something or someone).

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Loose the attitude!

        1. avatar Stereodude says:

          He does seem a little uptight. 😛

    2. avatar drunkEODguy says:

      This goes back to what I say about cops and the constant issues people have with them. Often times the complaints about cops are unwarranted or unnecessary, if you do stupid things you win stupid prizes. However, for all the legit complaints of improper force or use of authority or negligence a simple fix would be an extra legal system similar to UCMJ. People who are authorized to enforce laws and carry lethal weapons to do so should be held to a higher, not lower, standard.

  3. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    That school kid with the backpack is lucky the rifle didn’t jump up and shoot her elevendy-seven times!

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      The magical Black Totem of Semi Automatic Death determined it just wasn’t her day to die.

  4. avatar little horn says:

    fucking cry babies. apparently that YOUNG GIRL is more of a man than the young man that took the picture.

  5. avatar Joel IV says:

    Proof that guns don’t kill children.

  6. avatar pieslapper says:

    BLOOD IN THE STREETS!!! Oh wait, that didn’t happen.

  7. avatar Joel IV says:

    I wonder what the rookie’s punishment will be.

    When I was working in Iraq I saw a young Corporal carrying an M107 in the DFAC. I looked at it and said, “That’s something you don’t in the dining hall every day.”
    “No, Sir, you don’t. Remember when we had incoming yesterday?”
    “Yes.”
    “Well, I was overseeing a crew of guys who were filling sand bags when we had the incoming. We all dove for the bunker like we are supposed to, and after the all clear I told everyone to get inside for a head count. I left my M4 laying on the berm where we were filling the bags and my Lieutenant walked by and saw it. He got the Sgt. Major to find out who’s weapon it was. Sgt. Major said if I couldn’t keep up with that little M4, that maybe I needed something bigger.”
    “How long do you…”
    “Two weeks, Sir.”

    30lbs of fun.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      That’s funny right there. I don’t care who you are.

      So, do you think the absent-minded cop should be issued an M107 for two weeks?

      1. avatar Eric Lawrence says:

        One bullet in his chest pocket.

  8. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    News agencies usually report police rifles as patrol rifles. The same rifle in my hands is an “assault weapon”. And they say they’re not biased?!

  9. avatar James M says:

    I’m pro 2nd amendment. But leaving a loaded firearm accessable to a child is a major issue. How often do we see hunters leaning a rifle against a tree or vehicle and it falls over and fires? How about the two cousins that found a lever action rifle, decided to play, and one shot the other in the head? Accidents happen. Mainly to those irresponsible. How many of us would leave a rifle leaning against a vehicle and walk away?

  10. avatar Ben says:

    Had the officer had a 2 point sling instead of the single point he could have quickly slung the rifle over his shoulder on his back. Less threatening to the person he was talking to and not unsecured.

    1. avatar Don from CTq says:

      I thought EXACTLY the same thing.

      I’m no expert, but I much prefer a 2 point sling. I like the viking tactical sling. Fast and easy.

      A friend who was “over there” says single point slings are only good for checkpoints. But what do I know.

      Either way, sling it over his back and he becomes less threatening .

    2. avatar Rick says:

      They had the cam footage on the local news here, Dayton KY is across the river from Cincinnati.

      The suspect asked the officer to put his gun down and he’d get off the porch and get nice and arrested, so the officer passed his rifle to the rookie, who subsequently put it down to assist in handcuffing and escorting the guy to the car.

      The suspect had threatened his father with a gun, and fired at least one round into the air. Its not the level of no harm no fowl, but its a teaching moment. It wasn’t just two officers responding, it was multiple from multiple departments, so he could, and should, have done it differently, but he’s not the devil. Part of the issue was that when the officer asked the rookie where his rifle was, he couldn’t remember until another guy came up and said a neighbor was going apeshift.

  11. avatar former water walker says:

    Can we agree the rookie cop is an idiot?!? Try that on the Southside of Chicago😩😖😏

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      That’s a little harsh.
      But there should be consequences.

  12. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    I’m fine with the Bellevue officer handing his rifle off to the Dayton officer. That’s safe.

    The Dayton officer then propping it up against a car is mistake #1. Even the owner’s manual on AR’s caution against doing so, as in can slide down, fall, and discharge.

    Dayton officer then leaving it unattended is mistake #2. Aside from unattended negligent discharge, it could have been stolen, or used against officers on the scene (you never know what twists and turns a domestic disturbance call will take), or found by curious boys who end up shooting someone.

    Sorry, Officer Lockman, I’d suspend you thirty days without pay and send you to an NRA rifle proficiency class, at your own expense. I’d put a letter if reprimand in his file, too.

  13. avatar ThatGunGuy says:

    if you or I did this…

  14. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    Hey they’re better trained than you or I, right?

    That said, should have had someone say “hey, hold my gun.” It would have been easy enough to have a keeper for it.

  15. avatar ironicatbest says:

    This is true, in 1978 a sheriff carried and.45 Thompson in an attachment on his door panel. He was at a vehicle stop conversing with the perp , his door was open. We pulled up, my balksy friend jumped out and secured his weapon. We sped off, shot it dry and threw it in a river

    1. avatar Don from CT says:

      I’m guesssing the statue of limitations is up for something like that.

      1. avatar Don from CT says:

        Statute

        1. avatar Arc says:

          I think limitations expire around 7 years.

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          They vary wildly and there are all sorts of things that toll (pause) the limitations period.

  16. avatar rb says:

    At least it didn’t start shooting people by itself.that’s what most anti’s think.

  17. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    In a responsible mature society the above picture raises no alarms and there is no witch hunt.

    In a SJW society full of affirmation starved halfwits looking for headlines and relevance, anything can be an issue that needs immediate publically scrutinized resolution.

  18. avatar W says:

    The rare but oft-decried “weapon of war” “on our streets.”

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    What really happened is that the AR was just standing there, minding its own business and absentmindedly scratching its magwell, when an autonomous cop car drove up and leaned on the gun.

    Which makes just as much sense as any other crock the cops are telling us.

  20. avatar MLee says:

    I would have made sure the officers knew they had a rifle over there. Picking it up and holding it high and yelling FROM MY COLD DEAD HANDS, then setting it down and running inside would have been a fun fantasy.

  21. avatar billy-bob says:

    Black Rifles just want to be free?

  22. avatar RCC says:

    For some recruit training exercises (assault courses) they used to issue sand filled pipe with carrying handle instead of rifles. Once recruits were up to speed then real rifles.

    Sounds like officer needs to carry one of these for a month or two before he gets an unloaded firearm.

  23. avatar Jay B says:

    What is a police officer doing with an ar-15 in the first place? Completely unnecessary in just about every single scenario.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      True! But of course a firearm, in general, is unnecessary for almost any scenario. Any situation calling for a pistol probably calls for a rifle, if you can have one.

      The trick is knowing which scenario is going to be the one. Domestic assaults are defintely up there. I suppose you could try adopting the English model of waiting until a few people get decapitated until you call for the armed cops.

    2. avatar Red in CO says:

      How do you figure? Domestic calls are some of the most volatile ones out there. If you were going into a situation with a non-trivial possibility of gunfire being exchanged, would you rather have a pistol or a rifle on your person?

  24. avatar Bruce Cisne says:

    With all the fuss bout what the police did or didn’t do, I call foul on Matt Hass(hat). He recognized a dangerous situation but acted irresponsibly himself. Finding any weapon in the street, a good law abiding permit holding citizen as myself would have stood by the weapon as a good witness, not touching it to preserve evidence and then call 911 to report it. Leaving it unattended and posting it online is as stupid of a mistake as the officer who left it there. Just my 2 cents.

  25. avatar Southern Cross says:

    And here we have the trained professionals who are supposedly superior in firearms than us mere civilians.

  26. avatar Arc says:

    I left my rifle behind once in SOI west, I don’t think I was noticed by the instructor and promptly sneaked back to the packs and picked it up.

    I did see a corpsman forget this riffleraffle behind once, he hurried back to get it since we were just leaving.

    Fun times when a squad leader leaves his M4 in the porta shitter. Another squad leader picked it up and let the other one run around for a while… I think?

    People aren’t perfect.

  27. avatar Hannibal says:

    Well… that was dumb. As mistakes go, it wasn’t the worst but it’s bad.

    Somone who treats firearms with the respect one should would’t do that, so I’d worry about what other ‘oopsies’ the guy has done or will do…

  28. avatar Kenny says:

    Wow!! Relax people!! People do still make mistakes? The rifle never started shooting at people. Nobody picked it up?? It never fell over? No child got near it? The pit bull next door never bit the trigger and fired it?? JESUS!!!

  29. avatar Holdfast says:

    Clearly never has been in the military. If your weapon goes more than arms length from you, it’s your ass.
    And there are no acceptable excuses.

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