Bad: Crazed Woman Assaults Officer with 10 ft Flag Pole on Veterans Day

This is a discussion on Bad: Crazed Woman Assaults Officer with 10 ft Flag Pole on Veterans Day within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Officer Corey Mertz of the Junction City, OR police department got quite a big surprise this Veterans Day when he responded to a call about ...

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Thread: Bad: Crazed Woman Assaults Officer with 10 ft Flag Pole on Veterans Day

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    Distinguished Member Array LanceORYGUN's Avatar
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    Bad: Crazed Woman Assaults Officer with 10 ft Flag Pole on Veterans Day

    Officer Corey Mertz of the Junction City, OR police department got quite a big surprise this Veterans Day when he responded to a call about the robbery of a convenience store on Ivy Street.

    Officer Mertz spotted a suspect matching the description of the woman who had robbed the store three blocks from the store. However, when he found the woman, she was now carrying a 10 ft flagpole with an American Flag attached to it. She had stole the flag pole and flag from a nearby Veterans Day decoration.

    The suspect, Mechelle Stone, screamed obscenities at Officer Mertz, and then charged him with the pole, striking him in the chest. Temporarily stunned, Mertz then Tasered the woman. However, when the Taser proved ineffective, he then pepper sprayed her too. Finally, a backup officer arrived on the scene, and the two men wrestled the crazed woman to the ground, and successfully handcuffed her.

    Stone is now a resident inside the Lane County Jail.

    Did this officer make the right decisions here? How would you have reacted to a crazy woman screaming obscenities at you, and charging at you with a 10 ft flag pole? What is the most appropriate defense for such a bizarre attack?

    http://kezi.com/news/local/194815

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    That was insane
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Parry the flag pole, then backhand her with my glove.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    Seat of my pants says she gets one charge with the flagpole, and even though my linebacker days are a few decades back I think I'd be able to sidestep her. Unless she's putting others at risk, I'd keep my distance and wait for assistance. Lethal weapons would not be called for.
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    What the officer could have done?

    Salute, then shoot!

    Seriously, he probably could have pulled the trigger, but not having been there...he handled it as he saw best.
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    Member Array Hkchris's Avatar
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    I guess she would touch him with a ten foot pole.

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    Parry the flag pole, then backhand her with my glove.
    Yeah. I'm not seeing the Taser and OC here. This is some disturbed, crazy woman, with a flag pole. Any cop worthy of his badge should be able to disarm and subdue an individual like this without recourse to the pain weapons.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    she would only get one swing with me, get in close, render the pole ineffective...
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LanceORYGUN View Post
    Did this officer make the right decisions here?
    The LEO was assaulted physically by a person lashing out and refusing to comply with demands to drop her "weapon" and submit to arrest. She was then hit with a Taser and then pepper spray. Seems reasonable to me. Her physical assault on the officer was not justified. Force beyond what was used on the suspect to control her was not justified, as yet. It seems to me a textbook situation calling for the application of non-lethal compliance tools, Taser and spray.
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    Too bad there wasn't another flag pole handy for the officer and a video camera to capture it all.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Mehtodology comes into play.

    When multiple officers are attempting to restrain/cuff a combative individual, it is often possible to overcome that combativeness by physical power and sheer force of numbers.

    When one officer is confronting a combative individual, sometimes that individual can be physically overpowered by the officer and restrained/cuffed, but often that is not the case. If a premature attempt is made to restrain/cuff the individual, this is often unproductive and on rare occasion disasterous. What in my experience is more productive, is for the combative individual be brought to a point, within the confines of force policy, that being restrained/cuffed is preferred to the current activity. Succinctly put, do not attempt to restrain/cuff the individual until they are ready to be restrained/cuffed. How this is achieved, can vary a great deal, depending on the individuals and circumstances involved. I once found it necessary to punch a 5' 2" female in the nose to accomplish it.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    I think the officer acted in a "textbook" manner. Sometimes it is much safer for the suspect to get Tased than to go "hands on" with them. The Taser is a short lived pain compliance device, not a lethal weapon. I can do MUCH more permanent damage to a female suspect with my hands than I can with my Taser. The ONLY reason she got sprayed as well was because the Taser was ineffective (which they sometimes are).

    The officer absolutely made the right decisions here.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shockwave View Post
    Yeah. I'm not seeing the Taser and OC here. This is some disturbed, crazy woman, with a flag pole. Any cop worthy of his badge should be able to disarm and subdue an individual like this without recourse to the pain weapons.
    Any "cop worthy of his badge" knows that it's SAFER for the suspect (and the officer) to use the pain compliance tools than to go hands on.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Coming from a time prior to the taser and oc, my solutions tend to be hands on.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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    OK, I'm going to take different approach here, and possibly some won't agree with me, but it may cause some to think, as that is my goal.

    The question was, "did the officer do the right thing?" I submit that he did not. Being that she was armed with a deadly instrument, the flag pole. Once she proved unwilling to drop the weapon and comply, she should've been shot, or at least the officer or anyone else in those shoes, would've been justified in shooting her, providing there was a parity in numbers, IMO. Once the second officer arrived on the scene then the justification for using the deadly weapon becomes murkier in my opinion.

    I respectfully submit that not enough people are shot when they should be. Being that the woman was able to strike the officer, he was correct in using more than just verbal compliance tools in gaining compliance here, but if the second officer hadn't arrived on scene, and she had continued to use the deadly instrument in a deadly manner, the officer would've been justified and most likely should've, used deadly force to stop the attack.

    I can understand not wanting to use deadly force against another, but using deadly force isn't the same as wanting to use deadly force.

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    Last edited by BikerRN; November 12th, 2010 at 02:36 PM. Reason: claify subject/spelling

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