Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: D.C. Park Policeman


So you’re a park policeman. They give you a badge, a gun, and hopefully at least a little rudimentary training on things one might encounter in a park. Like critters.

One U.S. Park Police officer, last name unknown, shot himself while trying to remove a furry little raccoon attached to his leg yesterday while working in Washington, D.C. He fired upwards of nine shots before surrendering to the four-legged masked bandit, one of them perforating his foot. The cop was airlifted to a local hospital.

Assuming he returns to work, can you imagine the ribbing the officer’s going to get from his co-workers?  “You needed how many shots to knock the raccoon off your leg?”

No word on whether the amorous raccoon was actually injured in the melee, but ABC7’s report seems to suggest the critter was still alive despite the brave officer’s hail of bullets.

Park Police say Animal Control officers have been tasked with taking the raccoon away.

Here’s hoping Ranger Rick makes a full and speedy recovery.




  1. avatar Stu in AZ says:

    It’s a good thing those rangers are only issued firearms with reasonable restrictions on magazine size or this trained officer might’ve killed himself.

    1. avatar Tommy Gunn says:

      way too many folks these days have no experience with wildlife except what they’ve seen in Disney movies.

      Glad this yahoo didn’t kill anyone. Maybe a visit to a real national park would do him some good.

  2. avatar ^Sammy says:

    Dan & Rocky Racoon???

  3. avatar FedUp says:

    Federal Park Police. The agency that concluded there was no evidence of foul play in the death of Vince Foster.

    Give that man the Lee Paige award for this month.

    I’ll give Lee this much. They didn’t strap him to a gurney and air lift him in a helicopter like that park wuss, he was the only one professional enough to try to finish his demonstration while bleeding from a foot wound.

    Do we have any evidence, other than the words of Park Police, that the coon actually attacked the officer? Normally if there isn’t any proof, I assume that dog shooters are either cowardly idiots or vicious animal abusers. I’ll accept either video of the coon attack or photos of claw scratches or bite wounds.

    1. avatar Swobard says:

      Thank you! It warms my heart to be reminded of Lee Paige every now & again…

  4. avatar Kendahl says:

    What was the raccoon doing to the cop’s leg? My nephew once embarrassed the family by wearing a tee shirt that showed a mongrel dog humping a guy’s leg. Caption on the shirt was, “Safe Sex.”

  5. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    Raccoons carry rabies. Chances are the cute little racoon was rabid. So how would deal with a rabid racoon attached to your leg? 44 mag? 454 Casull? Perhaps a 500 S&W?

    1. avatar Cloudbuster says:

      Pointy stick?

      1. avatar Badwolf says:

        Also baylisascaris. It’s a nasty parasite.

    2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I don’t know what these guys normally carry on their duty belt, but I bet pepper spray would have done the trick.

      1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

        If it was rabid pepper spray would do ziltch.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Correct and pepper spray (1) takes time to pull out and deploy (more time than a pistol in my experience) and (2) takes time to take effect.

          So… how many seconds of bite time is ranger rick supposed to give ricky the racoon?

    3. avatar Steve Day says:

      Any warm-blooded animal can carry rabies.

      Unless the necropsy test for rabies comes back positive there is zero evidence to suggest it was rabid.

      It may have been a female who had babies nearby. They protect their young ferociously like most mothers.

      1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

        Maybe, but then he would have been very close to her den and unless she is moving them that would probably be up a tree.

        Racoons are not cute fuzzy wuzzies. They are nasty creatures that can be aggressive whether tbey are rabid or not. If you see a racoon during the day you best avoid it or shoot it because it is probably rabid.

        1. avatar That's right (you're not from Texas)... says:

          Your thinking of skunks!

      2. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

        Coons are nocturnal. That”s why you hunt them at night.

      3. avatar Hannibal says:

        No, there isn’t ‘zero evidence.’ Anyone who has a lick of sense from being outdoors knows that a racoon attacking a human, especially in daytime hours, is a huge indicator for rabies. I have never seen it happen due to some sort of bear-like mother situation. Could it happen? Sure, and a unicorn carrying a horny, 25 year old time-traveling Selma Hayek could burst into my house right now. I’m not betting my leg on it. And I’ll bet my toe on getting it off me. Uh, the racoon.

    4. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Or, having lived in a park in close proximity to humans and most likely lost its fear of humans, the racoon was simply looking for food. I’ve had that happen before. It’s pretty common behavior for half-way tame baby racoons who have lost or become separated from their mother.

  6. avatar frankt says:

    Sounds goofy, but how is defense against an (allegedly) rabid animal the size of a medium dog a case of “irresponsible gun owner”?

    The article you linked says nothing of the nine shots or “amorous raccoon” or “attached to his leg” or any of the other details you seem to have made up. Also,30 seconds of Googling would’ve told you what happened to the raccoon (he was shot by another officer).

    Amateurish, careless post that diminishes the IGOD title.

    1. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

      The article does indeed state that neighbors heard nine shots. The story also carries the notice at the end that it had been updated after its first posting. Unless the Way-Back Machine caught the original we have no way of knowing what details may have been removed.

      You may be essentially correct in your criticism, but we do not have good beyond-reasonable-doubt evidence of that.

  7. avatar Alan Esworthy says:

    The officer was taken to the hospital and police say the injuries are not life-threatening.

    Life-threatening, no. Career-threatening, could be.

  8. avatar Michael says:

    So two deputies in Fresno shot (one by another deputy, one by self) and now this….not sure cops hould have guns at this point

  9. avatar AR says:

    At least he had “only” a 9mm, otherwise he’d have wiped out the whole Eastern Racoon population.

  10. avatar S.CROCK says:

    You can’t make this stuff up!

  11. avatar Hannibal says:

    It was a rabid racoon attacking him, not a lovelorn critter humping. If I had a rabid racoon trying to gnaw my leg off I might be willing to risk shooting a toe off.

    1. avatar Steve Day says:

      Do you have any evidence the raccoon had the rabies virus or are you speculating?

      I’d await test results before assigning labels to an animal that may have had a different side of the story.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        If a raccoon approaches and attacks in daylight hours it is safe to assume it is rabid. Or, more accurately, it is extremely UNSAFE to believe that it is not. The officer in question presumably quite reasonably surmised that it was rabid, given the statements that citizens should “stay away from it, it’s rabid” (in other reports). It doesn’t matter what test reports say since we don’t have access to a time machine and the person getting bit has no use of future test reports.

        That said, let’s assume that the animal is not rabid. Still going to be calm and collected while it chews your leg? Ever seen what a racoon can do?

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Did somebody say the event occurred during daylight hours?

        2. avatar Hannibal says:

          “The incident took place around noon on Horse Stable Lane in Northwest…”

      2. avatar Jay says:

        He’s a cop. Take his word for it, all raccoons are rabid, all dogs too.

  12. avatar W says:

    Jeesh. Talk about metaphors. DC officer shoots self in foot while dealing with minor problem.

  13. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Good thing it wasn’t a fly on his nose.

  14. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Well at least he was an approved government minion.

    If it had been a commoner with a gun, there would be dead bodies everywhere.

    You need that reich-approved training to only shoot yourself and prevent wanton destruction.

  15. avatar Robb says:

    “Air lifted”? For a foot wound? Why? I hope he gets the $7000+ bill for that.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Internet friend of mine took a 20 minute ride on a medical chopper last month. Bill was $27k. He didn’t say how much the insurance paid, just that his co-pay was $100.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Good insurance! Like 10 years back my wife fell down the stairs and ended up on a chopper to the hospital, my copay was $850. I don’t recall the total. We paid it with a smile, it most assuredly saved her life, she was bleeding out internally from a lacerated liver.

  16. avatar jwm says:

    Take it from an old country boy. Raccoons are about the cutest animal out there. And pound for pound they are about the meanest.

    I’d be ashamed of myself if I let one get close enough to be in contact with it. We used to settle their egg eating, chicken killing hash with a .22 or a load of #6.

    Nothing cuter than a raccoon. Especially a dead one.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      My dad was too. He wouldn’t let the shepherds out to chase off the varmints because he knew who would come out with the short end of the stick–and he didn’t want to pay the vet bills to get his dogs sewn up.

  17. avatar Accur81 says:

    Well, that sucks. A lot of cops need a whole lot more gun training, particularly those from big, anti-gun cities.

    I hope the station he works at has police with as much sarcasm as ours.

    Also: pepper spray. It works on critters and won’t leave a hole in your leg.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Pepper spray won’t convince a rabid raccoon to let go of one’s leg. For all we know, maybe he tried it.

  18. avatar GS650G says:

    Just imagine Joe Citizen pulling this stunt anywhere in the country and they would be arrested.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      I’m just glad it’s at least theoretically possible (finally, after multiple court battles) for Joe Citizen to be carrying a loaded handgun in DC.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        You mean the same way someone in NJ can?

  19. avatar Ralph says:

    So the helicopter lands near the wounded officer with a bullet hole in his foot and the pilot tells him to hop in.

  20. avatar Doug says:

    The cute picture of a momma raccoon with babies is unhelpful. You needed to use a pic of a very rabid coon. They’re not so cute.
    Nocturnal animal out in the day = not acting normal.
    Usually shy animal acting unaware of a human, or even acting aggressive = probably very sick, very probably rabid.
    Don’t let that thing near you, a child, or your dog.
    I thought that was common knowledge.

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Yep. That sugar sweet photo of the raccoons kinda reminds me of the msm’s pictures of trayvon. manipulating the public.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I get the feeling some ‘POTG’ haven’t got that much knowledge about forest critters based on the comments here.

  21. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Sounds like they need to consider culling the herd.

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