Monday, December 18

The Miracle on a Swat Call Out

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Serving on the SWAT team is not only an honor but there are tremendous responsibilities that come with the position.  People’s lives depend on your proficiency and training and if there is one mistake made, you can find yourself in one hell of a predicament.  I made two mistakes.    

I just got home and walked through the door from a long day at work.  Dinner was about ready and my wife at the time was in the other room taking care of our baby son.  The phone rang and I answered it, “This is Scott.”  The voice on the other end was the SWAT Sergeant, “hey, we have a SWAT call out, be at the station in one hour… I’ll see you there,” and he hung up.  A surge of adrenaline started to course through my body.

I went into the other room to say hello to my wife and kiss my little “sonny B” on the forehead.  I love the smell of a baby’s forehead because there is just something about it that seems so pure.  “I got to get back to work,” I said shrugging my shoulders and sounding sorry… again.  The wife of a Cop is a very special woman who has to be very strong, consistently put up with the never-ending abnormality of the relationship and keep guessing if you will come home safely. 

As I was about to walk out of the house I stopped at the front door and could hear my son upstairs crying, “What if that is the last thing I hear,” I thought.  I listened for a few more seconds holding onto every sound, shut the door quietly and left. 

The team was in the briefing room when the Sergeant walked in and barked, “Alright, listen up… we will be serving a Narcotics warrant tonight.”  Many of our duties as a SWAT team were to assist the Narcotic Division serve their search warrants.  The SWAT team would make entry into the drug house, secure the location by taking everyone into custody and then leave to allow the “Naco Cops” to do their thing.  “I am passing around a picture of the suspect we are looking for,” the Sergeant continued, “so take a good look… this suspect is highly dangerous… he was in a Cuban prison for murderingtwelve people but Castro let him out and put him on a boat to come to the USA.”  I looked at the suspect’s face and starred trying to memorize every detail.  I felt strange tonight, something was off and I did not feel right… no explanation, it just felt eerie.

The Sergeant started to give us our assignments, “Johnson, you throw the flash grenade threw the window and Hallock, you take the battering ram and open the door for us.  After receiving our assignments, we all piled into the SWAT van and drove to the location.  Since I was a big tough and strong SWAT Cop, naturally I had picked up the heaviest battering ram. My assignment was to wait until the flash grenade blew up, smash open the door and step aside to allow a six-man team to make a dynamic entry into the house.  That extra heavy battering ram was my first mistake.

On the ride over the energy in the van was high.  I was quiet and still feeling strange.  After our arrival, it went down very quickly.  The team ran to the house, took up their positions and the grenade thrown, blowing up the inside of the house with a powerful blast.  All of the windows to the house shattered and a million candlepower of light flashed brightly blinding anyone who looked at it.  I hit the door full speed with the battering ram.  To my surprise, the door had blown open a little bit and was ajar so as I hit it, the heavy battering ram carried me right inside the house, my second mistake.

I was now standing face to face with the suspect, who had been sitting on a couch, but was now on his feet pointing a gun at my face pulling the trigger.  Since I had the battering ram I did not have my weapon drawn, “He’s got a gun,” I yelled as I pulled my gun still holding onto the battering ram.  I fired once at the suspect with one hand cowboy style.  Time seems to slow down as the brain takes over in extremely stressful moments.  It was as if I was standing next to my body watching everything in slow motion as it played out.  I could see the suspects body flinch as I shot my gun at him.   He also had a confused look on his face as to why his gun was not firing as his finger was frantically pulling the trigger, but nothing was happening.  “He’s got a gun,” I yelled again as I shot a second shot.   The suspect flinched again then fell to the floor.

I saw the right side of the suspects neck bleeding as he was being handcuffed.  “Must have been some shrapnel or you grazed him,” said one of the Officers.  “I found the suspects gun,” said another Officer, “Looks like his gun’s safety is on.”  “The safety… what a miracle… man Hallock, you were lucky,” some Officers added.   

As I drove home, I pondered about the whole event.  How I had felt so strange, the suspect’s gun pointed right at my face and what could have happened and that no one really got hurt.  When I walked through the door to my house, there was my baby son sitting on the floor playing.  He looked up, and smiled.  I walked over, grabbed him up right away and held him tightly.

Later on during the court case, the judge asked the suspect one question, “Sir, what were you trying to do?”  To which the suspect arrogantly replied, “I tried to kill that Cop when he came through the door.”  He was found guilty of attempted murder on a Police Officer and he received life in prison.

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