A Broward County Sheriff's Office vehicle is parked outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Parkland, Fla. Students at the school returned Wednesday, to a more secure campus as they began their first new school year since a gunman killed 17 people in the freshman building. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
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It’s something we’ve repeated time and time again: you are on your own. You are your own first responder. No one is coming to save you. (No, not even the police. They tend to function as more of a clean-up crew than a rescue squad.) Recently a disabled man in Florida found out just how on-your-own you can be when he dealt with a home invasion and begged for help while law enforcement hung out down the street.

The Tampa Bay Times reported:

He had just stepped from the shower and was settling in for the night when he caught a glimpse of a figure outside his window.

Seventy-year-old Bill Norkunas, a childhood polio survivor, headed over to the light and flicked it on hoping to scare away whoever was there. Instead, the light was a beacon drawing a young man to his front door, a door made of glass.

And then for the next 15 minutes, Norkunas stood there, barefoot and unclothed, with his crutches, on one side of the glass pane trying to steady a gun in his trembling hand while the stranger stood on the other side, pounding on the door, banging it with his hip or gnawing at the thick hurricane-grade glass with a garden paver.

Okay. So Norkunas had a firearm — first rule complete, have a gun — and he was prepared (apparently) to defend himself. Then he called 911…and this happened:

And as bewildering, and just as terrifying to him, is the knowledge that a squad of sheriff’s deputies responded to his Tamarac neighborhood, but none came close to his home to stop the man. Instead, they waited down the street until he walked over to them and surrendered, witnesses told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Bet you can’t guess what county those deputies hailed from. Go on…give it a go.

Here’s part of the statement released by the sheriff’s department:

“Within days of the incident in Tamarac, the Broward Sheriff’s Office began a thorough review into how the deputies on scene handled the response to this fluid and rapidly evolving situation. The review into this incident is ongoing.”

“Fluid and rapidly evolving.” Almost like a school shooting.

According to reports and witness statements, as well as the department’s own admission, the responding deputies stayed 500 yards away and around a corner from Norkunas’ door as the attempted home invasion played out. For 15 minutes. While the disabled man’s neighbors apparently flooded 911 with calls pleading for law enforcement to help the man.

As for Norkunas himself, his interaction with 911 began with the expected plea for help. Within two minutes of having the 911 operator on the line, Norkunas asked if he’s allowed to shoot his assailant if the man breaks through the door. Three minutes into the call Norkunas is heard telling the stranger outside his door that if he doesn’t leave he’ll be shot. Four minutes in, Norkunas is demanding 911 get law enforcement on the scene. And then, three minutes after that demand, came this:

Norkunas’ voice is weary: “Sheriff, hurry up please.”

Three more minutes pass [making it approximately 10 minutes into the assault on his front door]. “Where the hell are the cruisers?…They are still not here. Jesus Christ. There’s still no cruisers. Come to my house, please, please.

He tells the dispatcher his glass door is smashed in and he doesn’t know what to do. The dispatcher tells him the deputies are canvassing the area to “makes sure no one else gets hurt.”

Then…

A dispatcher hears the glass breaking and alerts the 18 deputies who had been assigned to go to Norkunas’ home, according to a dispatcher’s log that documents the call and response.

Let that sink in. Eighteen deputies had been assigned to respond to Norkunas’ call for help during what could easily have become a deadly home invasion. None of them actually responded to his residence. Instead, they stayed around the corner 500 yards – 1500 feet – away. You might even say they set up a perimeter.

Scot Peterson Parkland broward coward
This Feb. 14, 2018 frame from security video provided by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office shows deputy Scot Peterson, right, outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The video released Thursday, March 15, shows Peterson going toward the high school building while a gunman massacred 17 students and staff members, but stayed outside with his handgun drawn. (Courtesy of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

Rodney Jacobs, the assistant director of the Civil Investigative Panel, which is a police oversight committee for Miami, Florida, had this to say about the total lack of police assistance:

“The law doesn’t require law enforcement officers to protect you from other people.”

That, of course, is true. But wait, there’s more:

Norkunas said a sergeant explained procedures for setting up a perimeter so that Johnson could not escape, but also admitted they could have done better.

Good news! Broward County law enforcement set up a perimeter — yet again — at a safe distance so they could (maybe) apprehend the home invader after he did what…broke in and maimed or murdered Norkunas? Excellent, they’ll make sure the coroner knows where to pick up the body.

There’s a lot to unpack here from a clear lack of training on Norkunas’ part – read the article and you get a pretty good picture of how unprepared he was – to the failure to respond by law enforcement to the fact this wasn’t just about Norkunas. Apparently the would-be home invader also went wandering off, frightening Norkunas’ neighbors, who were also busily dialing 911 for help.

So here we have an entire neighborhood unprepared to protect themselves, a group of people living under the impression that if anything bad were to happen, police would be just a phone call away. Not so much.

It is vitally important to not only be properly trained, but to be familiar with your firearms and the self-defense laws where you live and travel. It’s also a wise idea to have good carry insurance. It’s also helpful to know that while police have no legal duty to come to your assistance, in some jurisdictions, they actively avoid it if at all possible.

How would you have handled this situation?

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82 COMMENTS

  1. Fu#_!ng Broward County strikes again..tits on a hog personified,thy name is Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

  2. He s, crippled with polio. No jury would convict him.

    He could of emptied it into the criminal. The asshole is blatant in his assault and asking for it. Tearung at the door constitutes a threatening act.

    Bet he’s out of jail in a day.

    “Make sure no one else get a hurt ”

    Yeah mission accomplished BCSO.

    • Considering the way this went down it sounds like he had a “glass” door made from hurricane resistant glass.

      If that glass is anything above the minimum standard for Miami-Dade (say Florida Building Code, FEMA ICC-500 or others) I doubt most common handguns would launch a bullet that would penetrate it with a JHP round.

      They might go through but it sure as shit wouldn’t be reliable, especially with the higher ratings for impact resistant glass.

        • I don’t think you get how tough serious hurricane glass is.

          Mostly 17 rounds of handgun ammo isn’t going to punch through it unless you manage to keyhole numerous rounds. 9mm JHP is going to provide about half the energy you need to get through FBC rated hurricane glass. It MIGHT get through Miami Dade rated glass but FMJ would have a much better chance. But it’s probably not going to do a lot of damage on the other side, with less residual energy left than a BB gun has at the muzzle.

          I won’t bother with nerding out about ICC-500 glass since it would be unlikely he had that on his door but at that point you’re talking .270 Weatherby Magnum or better.

          There’s not much a guy reliant on crutches could use that would do this reliably and it’s helpful to remember that the Parkland shooter attempted to shoot through hurricane glass repeatedly with 5.56 or .223 and… failed.

      • And that can get you killed just as easily as not having a firearm.
        Rule#1 Know why you want a firearm
        Rule # 2 If it’s going to be for self protection
        Rule #2A Make your Peace with Whatever Deity you worship and more importantly Yourself that you Can and Will shoot another person or kill if need be to Survive. This Rule is as important as Rule #3
        Rule #3 Then get some training and purchase a firearm.
        Rule # 4 Practice Practice Practice and get more training if you feel the need.
        Rule#4A Make Peace with Yourself that you can/will shoot and kill another person if need be to Survive.
        Without Rules 2A and 4A being resolved in your own mind hesitation Could get you Seriously Hurt or Killed.
        Just having a firearm with all the training and practice in the world mean nothing if you can’t take the shot when your life is on the line.

        • It’s everyone’s choice whether they want to take a life in defense of their own- or, for that matter, someone else.

          There’s no rule that says he has to. Even if he has a gun, there’s no rule that he has to use it. The vast majority of defensive gun uses end without a shot being fired. If he wants to take that risk, it’s his to take.

      • After retiring from the military, and working in civilian jobs, I had, over time, six people ask me about obtaining a firearm for protection (I did not own one, but I guess being former military some folks thought I would be knowledgeable). In each case I informed the questioner that the first thing they needed to do was to get their mind in position to be ready, willing and able to kill another human…and if it became necessary to kill, do so without hesitation or remorse. At the time these questions were raised, none of the questioners purchased a firearm. In the last five or so years, I haven’t talked firearms with anyone that I don’t know owns a firearm. (except for brother-in-law, and that is for entertainment value)

        • Yessir. First question I ask a new comer is the firearm for self defense? If yes the next question is are you willing to take a life?

          In my experience those that decide they cannot kill have mostly been men. Very few women that ask me that question show any hesitation when I ask them if they were ready to kill. Makes one think.

    • Castle Doctrine in Florida, if the fucktard was able to beat in the door and enter the home NO JURY would convict the homeowner for shooting and killing the evildoer. In fact the Castle Doctrine would prohibit local law enforcement from doing anything beyond congratulating the home owner for a good shoot.

  3. But, actually going in and doing something useful in this situation would mean hours of paperwork and other annoying things.

  4. if they are not there to protect people what good are they and why are they there drawing a check shut the dept down and hire a security company

  5. Dont need any more examples of that, do we? Yeah, I’ll make the obligatory call, but the 911 operator should probably hold the phone away from her ear after! Could get very noisy.

  6. Scott Israel’s legacy lives on in Broward’s policies and cowardly Deputies…Wow!

    Dispatch: “Don’t worry Sir. After you’re injured or dead we’ll get the suspect in our containment perimeter” *

    So, a containment perimeter with a radius of 1500 feet gives a circumference of almost 9500 feet (encompassing an area of well over 7 million square feet). That’s roughly 528 linear feet of circumference for each of the “responding” Deputies to keep the BG from escaping, after the crime, in a built up area with houses, landscaping, etc…yea, just another poor excuse for the Cowards of Broward to avoid their jobs and responsibilities and still collect their pay and benefits.

    * fictional quote

    • Nobody is crazy enough to try my house. The dogs will eat you. If I shoot you first and call the cops, the dogs will eat you before they get there. They aren’t really mean. They just really like to eat.

    • @Darkman

      Thank you for the video. Those BSO jackoffs should be relieved of duty and fired for malfeasance…just like their former Sheriff.

  7. Law enforcement is worthless. they treat most as insurgents and law abiding citizens as a burden. I had a recent issue with LEO from a CPS standpoint, had SO come into my house, no warrant, no court order in hand, the dispatch stated they were assisting an agency and I was former LEO so they felt I was a threat. CPS knew I was not there. Kidnapped my grandchildren because my stepdaughter is a fighting the system in court for a different issue. LEO are a joke anymore, they will never be there to help you. remember, you have not signed a contract with any government entity regarding surrendering your rights. also remember, mentioning the constitution only pisses these knuckle dragging baboons off, because they are pretty much just badges and guns with a sense of power which they do not have. Also remember your rights do not matter to the SS of local law enforcement.

    • Anyone else remember this old joke?

      Guy calls 911 and says there are two guys breaking into his shed. 911 operator says all the police are busy right now, but one will be over later to take a report. Guy calls 911 a few minutes later and says, take your time, I shot them. About a minute later three police cruisers show up with lights on and sirens blaring. The police shine the spotlights on the shed and the two guys walk out and are taken into custody unharmed. The police officer yells at the homeowner, I thought you said you shot them. The homeowner yells back, I thought you were all too busy right now.

  8. If it wasn’t already bad enough that case law states police have no obligation whatsoever to actually do the job of protecting the public, the fact that we had a year of riots after every time police actually DID use justified force to do their actual job there was a riot. Couple in the fact that Joe won and BLM/ANTIFA gets an absolute pass for everything they did and you get a nation of Ferguson Effect policing for God only knows how long.

  9. Klamath Falls Herald and News: Thursday, June 14th, 2012/Letters To The Editor

    I read the Aug. 31 article, “Klamath Falls transient arrested for assault, burglary” online in the Herald and News: Home invasions, forced entry and vile criminal conduct like this justify deadly force. Period. Also, restraining orders mean nothing to depraved lowlifes who, by definition, are predatory criminals.
    Felons and habitual criminals don’t respect proper boundaries and thus deserve to be dealt with accordingly. There remain a lot of myths about restraining orders and so-called “911 police protection.” A lot of naive people who have placed their trust in restraining orders and dialing 911 are dead.

    Let’s dispel some commonly held myths about such false security.

    In 1992 JPFO, Inc. released its special report titled, “Dial 911 and Die.” This report remains accessible for reading via http://www.jpfo.org. Enter “search” at this site. The bottom line: The private citizen, not police, is responsible for homeland security and personal protection.

    This isn’t to say law enforcement won’t respond to the pleas of a panicked caller who calls 911. However, based on numerous court rulings, police have no legal obligation to respond when called during a life-threatening emergency as alluded to in this news article. Neither should they be, for that matter.

    Law enforcement resources in Southern Oregon and Northern California have been hampered by fiscal and budget cutbacks. There aren’t enough police and sheriff’s personnel to cover the populace. Thus the venerable, versatile, classic .38 caliber revolver, or other firearm, remains the most economical affordable self-defense/house protection weapon for the common masses who can’t afford to hire an armed security or bodyguard.

    The quintessential .38 Special/.357 Magnum in the hand beats the police dispatcher on the phone. And to those who would dare criticize and censor me for asserting this statement: Dr. Sarah Thompson’s report, “Raging Against Self Defense,” is likewise available at JFPO’s Web site.

    James A. Farmer, Ashland
    Since October 2016 a resident of Merrill, Oregon in Klamath County.
    Long Live The State of Jefferson!

      • Home defense. Shotgun any gauge with the personal defense ammo selections now available even a .410 is a viable option especially for someone who is not well versed with handguns.

      • Both handguns and shotguns continue to define homeland security into the 21st century. For a bygone generation of rural folk, especially those who resided in a farming/ranching community where the local Grange Hall existed (a once common polling place for voters on election day), the old 12 gauge Winchester Model 97 “hammer” pump action shotgun (1897-1957) designed by John M. Browning often defined homeland security, among other common firearms.

  10. there are three branches of government, they all three suck ass. there are three parts of the justice system. criminal, judicial and correctional. The cops are just thugs any more, the judges are worthless and the jails, parole system and probation system are mostly privatized and worthless as well. all three are organized crime, they are all corrupted. any cop worth a shit quits after about 5-7 years. want to truly help others, be a firefighter or ems.

  11. All likely hired and trained by Scott Israel, the entire department should have been canned after the school cluster fuck.

  12. I would have immediately yelled to the would-be home invader:
    1) Go away!
    2) You will suffer grave injuries if you break in!

    After verbally challenging the would-be home invader, I would turn off the lights inside and set up behind concealment with a 20 gauge shotgun (loaded slugs) and a loaded handgun on my hip for backup.

    Next, I would attempt to contact one or two trusted neighbors for backup.

    Finally, I would wait quietly and see how things play out.

  13. I don’t see the problem. They had a perimeter, the old man said he had a gun and would shoot him if he gets in, it sounds like they thought, OK, if the douche gets in, he’s going to get smoked, let’s sit back and wait for the screaming to start……..oh wait!

    **sarc**

  14. Memorize:
    * Police have no legal duty to protect individuals.
    * Police have no legal liability when they fail to protect individuals.
    * Police not specifically assigned as bodyguards have virtually no ability to protect individuals.

    The police don’t protect individuals. They draw chalk outlines around individuals unable or unwilling to protect themselves.

    If you’re not able and willing to protect YOURSELF, you’re just not going to get protected AT ALL.

    Anybody who tells you different is a LIAR.

  15. And yet if he had shot the scumbag those same cops would have happily thrown him into a concrete box. Anarcho tyranny at its absolute finest. I keep hearing that “we need the police”, why is that again? So they can refuse to protect you and then punish you for protecting yourself?

    • You don’t understand. Law enforcement requires criminals.

      “Did you really think we want those laws observed?” said Dr. Ferris. “We want them to be broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against… We’re after power and we mean it… There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced or objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Reardon, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”

  16. All this talk about defunding police, I can think of an excellent place to start. The problem is that people would draw the wrong conclusion when it turned out that absolutely nothing changed without the BCSO.

    • Yea, their dark green uniforms with a contrasting, bright, wide Safety Yellow (Hex #EED202) stripe down the back so the BSO Deputies can have a guidon to follow while running away from danger.

      The average pay for a BSO Deputy is around 65K…the good citizens of the county are not getting their money’s worth.

  17. Here, in S.D.,if an officer asks for your help, you must comply or you can be arrested. Guess Fla. cops aren’t required to stop crime, just clean up the mess.

  18. Keep this article and link handy for the next time the FOP or other Florida (especially Broward Co.) contacts you regarding fund raising. Cowards!

    • Back before I started screening my calls, I got a boiler room call soliciting funds for the FOP.

      I asked them if they supported the then in force AWB. It was a VERY uncomfortable conversation for them. When they finally stopped babbling “We support the officers!” and admitted they supported racially invidious gun controls, I ended the conversation with “I will not be giving you any money and will be telling everyone I know to do likewise.”

  19. You are not only on your own to defend yourself, you should realize that depending on government for ANYTHING is a losing proposition. Quit eating garbage, start exercising, start a savings account, concentrate on the basics, simplify your life. You’ll feel better and more in control of your life.

  20. In spite of Broward County law enforcement ineptness, I would not defund them. I’d redirect their funding to a wholesale replacement of them. In the mean time, while transitioning to an effective organization, I’d assign state police to serve and help train a new Sheriff and new deputies. Obviously, the new sheriff hasn’t made much progress.

    And the Stoneman example continues to be used to demand disarming peaceable, lawful citizens. Seems this area of the state believes making the U.S. safer for criminals will make it safer for their victims. Ask yourself, do you believe being disarmed makes you safer? What kind of political leader would disarm his people while howling about the peril they face?

    • Those morons would have demanded that London remove its anti-aircraft guns during the Blitz to end “air raid violence”.

    • Broward doesn’t NEED BSO, though. Each city can and once did have its own PD. Former BSO weasel Ken Jenne conned cities into believing they could save money if they’d disband their PDs and instead pay BSO to work their streets. (That worked out real well in Cooper City, when they started pulling people over AS THEY PULLED OUT OF THEIR OWN DRIVEWAYS.)

      Now, you see where THAT got us.

      Hey, whatever happened to Ken Jenne? Anyone know?

      Note this-Broward doesn’t have vast tracts of rural land between towns. It’s one massive urban/suburban sprawl, with every town overlapping others like a fish’s scales. There’s absolutely no need of a bloated SO if every city takes care of itself with its own PD. It’s common for a chase to involve 3 or more agencies!

      One more thing-despite its massive budget, BSO has 2 of its 3 helos grounded indefinitely, because it can’t seem to find money for parts.

  21. This is why I am totally on the side of Antifa: defund the police. Let citizens handle the problems themselves. If all those neighbors calling 911 knew they weren’t going to get arrested by police for shooting the miscreant, how long do you think he would have lasted?

    • The police and [Anti]fa have more in common than they have differences. I have no more love for a violent sociopath in a black hoodie than I do for one with a badge. They’re BOTH about violent domination of those who do not bow down to them.

  22. Quote: “There’s a lot to unpack here from a clear lack of training on Norkunas’ part – read the article and you get a pretty good picture of how unprepared he was”

    Focusing blame on the victim is disgusting. Especially when the victim is a disabled senior citizen. Especially when that disabled senior citizen was armed and still managed to drive off the perp without being physically harmed in the process.

    As for me, a similarly disabled senior citizen, it is the perp may have been physically harmed.

  23. “Back before I started screening my calls, I got a boiler room call soliciting funds for the FOP.”

    Interesting.

    My interaction with fundraisers for “the police” has been that the callers are definitely not police, but paid fundraisers. After a bit of research, I found that the fundraisers get 90% of the funds.

    YMMV

  24. “I think that is the hippocritic oath!!”

    Tried to merge hippocratic, hippopotamus and Dimwitocratic into one word.

  25. Thank your local BLM chapter. If the police in many locales, mostly urban, already weren’t outright complacent or derisive towards defending the public thanks to having no legal requirement to do so the fact is that they’ll be blasted all over national news, fired, stigmatized, and never again able to live in society if they actually do their job and some fool makes it get messy. Expect this to only amplify thanks to who appears to be taking office in January. For you young folks, take a look at NYC in the 70’s-80’s, or several other major metro’s like Miami or Chicago from that time period. That’s where we’re headed back too until the common person again loses all patience for gutter trash criminals and the pendulum swings back again in about one or two decades.

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