Bugging Out


Bugging Out

"I work for a small town with a little less than 2,000 residents. We're out in the country and only have one officer on at a time, so I'm on my own for the most part. Sheriff deputies will come back me up if a serious call comes out or I radio for assistance. The deputies are out patrolling the county, and are usually 15-20 minutes away, going lights and sirens, so I have to account for that in any situation I find myself in. I'm on my own for at least 15 minutes.

On a fall night, around 2 a.m, a call comes out for a check welfare a few miles outside of town. A woman had called dispatch asking us to check on her ex-husband because he hadn't been acting himself lately. Being that this call is outside my city, it is technically a Sheriff call to handle, but since it's only a few miles away and deputies were way out, I didn't mind taking it for them.

I head over to the house and put together a plan in my head of what I will say and how this will play out during my short drive. Calls like this are routine and end with me determining that the person is physically and mentally ok or me determining that the person is hurt or a danger to themselves or others and needs to go to the hospital. If my silver tongue can't convince them to go of their own free will, I have to force them. My silver tongue hasn't failed me yet.

I pull up to the house, the place is surrounded by dense woods and has about a quarter mile driveway. I can see a light on in the front bay window. I get out of my squad, walk up to the front door, and give it a few normal knocks. No answer. Give it a few harder knocks. Still no answer. I radio dispatch and tell them I'm not getting an answer at the door. I ask them to check our system for a phone number and try giving him a call and ask him to come to the door. Dispatch tells me they already have him on the line.

Twenty seconds later, dispatch radios that he called in and told them I better leave because he's sitting in the woods with his weapon aimed at me as we speak.

My head shot up quickly, while I looked out into the pitch black trees and I slowly walked back to my squad. I was oddly calm until the last few steps before reaching my squad when I felt the panic of someone running up behind you. I jumped in my squad and pinned it out of there. And for the record, from what I could see after getting in my squad, there was no one running up behind me.

Several hours later, he gave himself up without anyone getting hurt."

A Tragedy That Hit Close To Home
A Tragedy That Hit Close To Home

"I have a friend who is a cop, and most of his stories are shocking to hear. He's seen everything from picking up pieces of a person on train tracks to having a stab wound from an addict, but the one that always stuck with me was when he was called to a possible suicide from a fellow police officer with whom he had worked. Apparently, she had been on stress leave because the job had just been getting to her. There was an incident she had attended that pushed her over the edge. Anyway, he shows up to her house to find that she climbed inside of a wheelie bin (trash bin, big enough for a person to fit in) and shot herself through the mouth. Obviously being in the force herself she got in the bin so there was minimal clean up for the officers who found her."

This Must Be One Seriously Crazy Dude
This Must Be One Seriously Crazy Dude

"My dad is an officer, and he told me a story that I thought was creepy. One time, he was asked to do a shift in a private prison in London. It was in the same place as loads of other buildings and therefore seemed to blend in as just a regular place. Turns out, this prison only had one man. This one guy was kept in a cell made of plexiglass or something. There was a little tray thing that went in and out, which they used to give him food, water, as well as knives(!) as they let him prep his own food. It was designed so that if you're putting things in, he can't reach through so there was never any direct contact with this guy. He always had to give his knives back too. My dad said that when he went there, he had to be let in cause the place is ALWAYS locked, and you have to be let in from the inside and there are two officers inside for these exact responsibilities, and only ever two. Whenever my dad asks anyone in the force about said prison/prisoner, no one's heard of it, and he's never found out who this guy was who was seemingly so dangerous that he was a lone prisoner, never had interaction with officers, or released from his cell!"

Geezers In The Boonies In A Fight

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Geezers In The Boonies In A Fight

"Here's a story my uncle told me from his days as a cop.

Back in his day, he worked a sector called the dark sector, named so for two reasons: one being lack of radio contact, two being the fact that most people who lived there only had dark sides.

Well, one night my uncle gets sent on a disturbance call out in the boonies. He had been working that area for nearly 12 years at that point and that was the first time he'd been to this little cabin. That's what it was, a small cabin in the woods, late at night.

The call had said there were awful noises going on there. So my uncle knocks on the door only to find it left partially open. He announces himself and walks in. What he sees makes his hand go for his weapon and the hair on his neck stand straight.

From the floor to the ceiling, all over the walls was blood. He cleared the house, expecting to find dead bodies, body parts, or worse, a killer. He didn't find anything. He left and did his report. He later found out that the old couple living there got wasted and got into a fight. They drove to the hospital and both of them were alive. Crazy how two geezers created such chaos."

A Shocking Discovery

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A Shocking Discovery

"About nine years ago, we got a call from a payphone: 'There's a dead body in the abandoned building at the corner of 1st and Main.' An officer responds to the area and can't find anything that would be considered an abandoned building. The caller hung up without leaving any information. And the payphone that he called from was several miles from that area. So the officer clears out the call having no contact.

The next day we get another phone call from another payphone. 'There's a dead body inside the abandoned building at the corner of 1st and Main.' Again they hang up without offering any other information. This time I get dispatched the report. I head up to the area of that intersection and start looking around. I live and work in a fairly sizable metropolitan area, and this was when the economy was still booming. Abandoned buildings were hard to come by at that time. I drive through. There are only shopping plazas and small industrial complexes within the vicinity of that intersection, and I can't come up with anything.

I start driving a little bit further in each direction. But I remember that there's some new construction that hasn't been finished yet. And I wonder if they think that those are considered abandoned. I get out of my car and walk through a bunch of businesses that are still in the framing stages. But I can't find anything. As I leave the area, I'm now more than a mile from the original call location. As I pull out onto the major roadway, I stop for traffic and look in front of me.

There it is. A gigantic electrical component factory that has been vacant for probably 15 years. It has a nine-foot wall around the entire perimeter and the landscaping is still maintained. It doesn't stick out like a sore thumb right away. That added to the fact that I'm far away from where the caller said it should be. But then again, it's abandoned. It's definitely abandoned and has been for a long time. I call for another unit to back me up and we go check it out.

We use a drainage pipe to climb up and over the nine-foot wall to get inside the perimeter. We start walking the building checking every door. When I say this place is big, I mean it's huge. It's over 100,000 square feet. It's like an old abandoned Motorola, or Freescale, or Intel type building. It has gigantic coolers on the outside, pipes running all over which way, ductwork running down the sides of the buildings, loading docks, and a basement.

Every door we come across is locked and secured. We continue walking around looking for anything out of place. As I get about three-quarters of the way around the building, I pull a door and it flings open. I call my backup who comes over to me. We knock, announce, and enter the building. As we step into a hallway that leads about 100 yards down with doors on either side, the door we just stepped into closes. And it's black. Pitch black. Can't see my nose on my face black.

We start moving through the building, trying to clear each room. But this place is absolutely gigantic and each room is connected to what seems like four other rooms. We stepped into one room and the door closes behind us. It must've been some old clean room or something. It was the weirdest thing because there was no sound. Nothing. I couldn't hear the traffic outside, or the grumble of electricity or air moving. All the sounds that we heard throughout the rest of the building were gone in this one room. When I spoke to my partner our voices didn't even echo. It must've had some kind of sound canceling insulation or something. But it freaked me out.

The floor had random 12-inch holes in it, that led down to a basement that was flooded by over six feet of water. Wire, ceiling panels, and wire jacketing were hanging from the ceiling. There was broken glass, broken pieces of metal and brick, holes in the drywall, and abandoned equipment all over. I clearly remember thinking to myself that if there ever was a time that I would be attacked by skinless zombie dogs, this would be it.

As though this stuff wasn't freaky enough, I'm actively looking for a dead body.

We end up moving through the building clearing it as best we can until we get to what was definitely the industrial part of the building. Gigantic boilers, evaporative coolers, and components that run the building. Oh, and spiders. A TON of spiders.

We stepped into a room and find that it is a dead-end. We've reached the end of the building and we don't have any further to go. The room contains five large electrical cabinets. They are about eight-feet tall, and each about four-feet wide, sitting next to each other. And they look exactly how I would design the lab of an evil genius if I had to make a sci-fi movie.

The entire thing was covered with dials, levers, and red and green buttons. But only the panel in the middle was still illuminated. It had one study glowing red light on it. The first and only light I saw in that entire building.

My partner calls out to me 'You got anything?' I replied 'No. Nothing in here. Looks like this was a gigantic waste of time. Just let me take a look behind these cabinets and will be good to head back to our cars.' The panels have about 18 to 24 inches of room on each and between them and the wall and the wall behind them. I walk over to the left side and peek my head around...

And bam, there he is. A dead guy on the ground, pinned between the wall and the cabinet. He's on his back, arms in front of his chest like a T-Rex, and he has some injuries. And I nearly shot him. Not going to lie. He scared the living stuffing out of me. Even though I spent the last hour actively looking for him, I still wasn't ready for it.

So skip ahead to calling detectives etc. At the time, stripping copper was fairly new, at least to our area. I didn't recognize what the wire jacketing meant, as I hadn't seen it before. These two knuckleheads in breaking into this abandoned factory for God knows how long and systematically stripping every piece of metal out of it. And they made it all the way to the last room. The only room that still has power running to it.

See, the middle panel, you controlled the fire suppression system for the building. And the owner's insurance policy required that it remained active. When these guys opened up the panels, they must've thought they hit the mother load. Each one contained an inch and a half copper cable. Now an inch and a half copper cable is worth quite a bit of money, but it also conducts quite a bit of electricity. They cut through the first one successfully, leaving the sharp ends exposed inside of the cabinet. But when this poor sap started cutting into the second one he got the right of his lifetime. Not only did he electrocute himself, but the current coursing through his arms pulled him into the cabinet stabbing one of the exposed ends of the previous cable into his chest. This kills the copper thief."

One Freaking Place Setting

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One Freaking Place Setting

"I live in a small quiet town of roughly 2,000 people, and usually take the night shift because it's much easier than dealing with old people constantly calling 911 over petty things. It's also worth mentioning that the opioid epidemic has started to become a problem in our area, and people have been getting nastier. I've responded to some crazy situations (such as a high 20-year-old woman screaming and rolling around in her own feces in a fast food joint) but nothing will top this call.

I was responding to a call about 20 minutes away from town that was supposedly a break-in, but the person on the phone wasn't making much sense and probably was mentally ill and was warned to be cautious when entering the home.

I pull up to this house that is just off one of the main highways that run through our county and it is really run down. The roof is sagging, all the lights are out, moss and vines growing everywhere. Some kind of Halloween substance den. No car in the driveway, which is odd because you need a car to get anywhere since it took 20 minutes to get to town.
I knock on the door and announce who I am and why I was there. No response. I twisted the door handle and sure enough, it was unlocked. With a hand on my weapon and my flashlight out, I entered the house. It smelled awful. I can only describe the smell as burning garbage and cat urine. It's pitch black, there's dirt, bits of food wrappers, and empty pop cans all over the floor. The foyer was dirty, but the living room was a disaster. Piles of garbage and God know what else that is at least four-feet high take up most of what I assumed was a living room at one point. The smell made my eyes water and burn, and I fought not to gag. The foyer was connected to the living room, then there was a hallway on the left and a staircase on the right. I heard shuffling noises coming from the kitchen, so I headed that way. I called out again, announcing who I am and why I was there, and a friendly reminder that cops carry weapons. I will admit, I was starting to sweat a little.

As I entered the kitchen, there seemed to be no one there, and thankfully, no more piles of rotting garbage. There was a countertop that covered the corner of the wall, and somehow was spotless compared to the rest of the dirt and garbage-filled house, but did have a few objects on it. There was a perfectly clean plate, fork, and knife all set up as if someone was about to sit down and eat a meal, and a single piece of paper on the plate."

Freaked In The Middle Of Nowhere

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Freaked In The Middle Of Nowhere

"I was called to a one-vehicle accident in the middle of nowhere late one night. I come upon a car that has rolled over but wound up upright. It had been driven some distance after that and then abandoned. Miles from anywhere, no one around, and a freshly stuffed car.

I had to inventory the vehicle and investigate the accident/ID the driver. I'm all lit up so that anyone driving down that road wouldn't hit me, but I'm as tactically vulnerable as it's possible to be because, due to the lights, I can't see anything going on more than 20 yards to either side. That was a long 45 minutes waiting for the tow truck. Just me and the crickets and God only knows who or what staring back at me from the cover of darkness in the tall grass. No other cars ever did come along."

Finding A Body

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Finding A Body

"I was working midnights. My sergeant and I got dispatched to assist a neighboring police agency to locate a suicidal subject. The man was reportedly armed with a weapon and sent a suicidal text message to his wife from his phone, which was pinging to his place of employment in our city. The accuracy of the ping was approximately 300 feet.

We show up at his place of employment, which consists of multiple buildings in a business district. We locate his car backed up next to a door to their administrative building. Car hood was still warm, keys and phone tossed in the driver's seat. Check the door to the building... unlocked.

A two-story building, maybe 10,000 square feet of single offices, bathrooms, closets, etc. There were plenty of places for this armed fella to be hiding. We cleared this dark, quiet building, calling out this guys name hoping he would answer. But the more we called out, the louder the silence grew, the more stressed things became. We cleared the building and made no contact. We checked a couple other buildings on the property but with the same result.

Next to these buildings is an open field with chest-high grass, overgrown, but easy to walk through. In the dark, weapon and flashlights drawn, we tactfully and carefully checked the field, calling out for this guy, but still had no contact. Can't find him anywhere.

We return to the administrative building and notice an RV parked on the back side of the building. We go back to check, and as I look under the RV, I see him laying on his side; arms awkwardly above his head and he is looking directly at me, but something is off. We are making eye contact but it's a one-way nonverbal conversation. We move in, weapons drawn, yelling commands; it was chaotic. He was dead.

All that and the dude had taken his own life before we even got the call to go look for him. But I will never forget those two hours of looking in dark rooms and chest high grass, calling out to him and the deafening silence. And I definitely won't forget that one-way conversation we had when I found him and looked him in the eyes."

Gone Crazy

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Gone Crazy

"I'm not an officer, but I work with a guy who recently left 'the force' for a less stressful job, and he has shared a number of his experiences, and every one of them is undeniably intriguing. He's a younger guy but from his stories, you think he'd been doing it for decades; nonsensical calls about the neighbor's cat to car chases and homicides. But if there is one thing that strikes a nerve with him, it is every time he had to subdue someone who had taken bath salts. In one story, he mentioned that after cuffing a man who was blitzed off bath salts, he started wigging out because he thought spiders were crawling all over him. The man's way of coping with this was to start biting large chunks out of forearms, repeatedly and without hesitation.

The other one I can remember is getting a call from a crazed man. He said they showed up on site and there was a 6-foot-5-inch tall, 300-pound man built like NFL defensive lineman that had taken bath salts. My colleague said he was tazed three times with supplemental help from a few billy clubs before he went down. He went unconscious, so the crew was able to cuff him and strap him down in the back of an ambulance to be transported for medical help. Halfway back to the hospital, the dude comes back to and manages to get out of being strapped down. Luckily, the two officers were able to tighten him back down before things got too chaotic. But yeah, bath salts; apparently it turns people into zombies."

Mr. Pantsless

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Mr. Pantsless

"In the city I work in, a lot of people couldn't afford to set off fireworks for the new year. But they could afford to shoot bullets into the air from the weapons they had stolen. As a result, our customary tradition was to park under a freeway overpass and wait for the bullets to finish dropping. I wish I was kidding.

It was nearly midnight, and I was partnered with Johnson. I was driving that day. Another car was out on a car crash call and we were looking for a good place to park.

'Dispatch to Unit 2, are you available for a crash? Unit 3 is tied up on another one.'

'Unit 2, go ahead.' It's a non-injury crash, blocking some lanes. We were en route. A few seconds after getting the call, we spotted a car weaving, crossing almost fully into adjacent lanes. I pulled in behind it to watch it. I could see the side mirrors were broken, and barely hanging on to the car.

I told Johnson, 'I think we're going to have to stop this car.'

Johnson relayed that to Dispatch, 'Unit 2, we're diverting for a stop, northbound 87 at 60th.'

I turned on the emergency lights, and the car started slowing down and drifting to the right. We came up to the 60th exit and passed it. Okay, we'll try the next one. We passed the next exit. Johnson went over the megaphone, 'Pull over. Pull over. Pull over.'

The driver made a lane change to the left and punched it. Johnson asked me, 'Failure to yield?' I confirmed, 'Failure to yield.'

Johnson notified dispatch, 'Unit 2, failure to yield. Northbound 87 passing 35th. Black Ford sedan. Original want was driving while wasted. Light traffic. The vehicle is in the...' Johnson paused as the vehicle drifted across all four lanes, back and forth. Our heads drifted left and right in unison as we watched it in front of us. Johnson continued, 'Vehicle is all over the road. The driver also appears to be throwing things out the window.' We never figured out what that was, but the guess was that is was illegal substances

We approached another exit, and the driver put their foot on the floor on the brake pedal. The car didn't have anti-lock brakes, so all the tires locked and filled the road with smoke. At the last second, the driver released the brakes and took the exit. We followed.

'Unit 2, exited at 10th. Just blew a red light! Continuing north on...' Johnson looked for a street sign. I helped him, 'Miller Street.'

'Continuing north on Miller Street.' Our K-9 unit was set up there and jumped into the pursuit behind us. 'Speeds at 70mph, continuing on Miller...taking the on-ramp, back northbound on 87.'

Lights flashing, sirens blaring, and six more patrol cars converging on our location. We got back on the freeway at a busier area, and we had to start dodging traffic. We passed a few more exits until the driver tried another brake-lock-exit-dive attempt, which didn't come close to working.

'Heading down the frontage road. Just blew a stop sign...and another...and another.' We crested a hill when suddenly the car disappeared in a puff of smoke. 'TC TC!' TC is short for a traffic collision.

We stopped near the hill and ran to the edge with our weapons drawn, aimed down but ready. As we looked over the edge, we saw...nothing. No car. It led to a bicycle path. As we headed that way, a guy came around the corner, walking his dog. He told us, 'Hey, there's a guy down there with no pants on.'

A couple seconds later, we found Mr. Pantsless. We had him lay on the ground, and he complied with all our commands. As Johnson went to go handcuff him, Johnson slipped and sliced his hand. Johnson recovered and got the suspect in cuffs.

As I spoke with the suspect, he was obviously high, probably from speed. He ended up having a warrant for some pervert crimes. He had also just done a pantsless run through some shrubs, which led to multiple cuts. Combine Johnson's cut and the suspects cuts, and Johnson got a ride to the hospital for exposure, plus a year of testing for communicable diseases.

I transported Mr. Pantsless to the hospital, then the local jail. The local jail took one look at him and said, 'We're not taking him. He's too high.' I then transported him to the county jail, which isn't allowed to deny prisoners.

Final charges were driving while wasted, being under the influence of a prohibited substance, driving on a suspended license, felony evading, and littering. Mr. Pantsless took a plea deal, got probation, and was back on the street two weeks later.

While we were in pursuit, it went past midnight. I forever remember that as the night I pursued into the new year."

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