1 !! Volumes 13 Program 10 Ohio Officer Groundfight/ Off-Duty MO Officer Kills Four While DUI DUTY SHEET and LESSON PLAN IN THE LINE OF DUTY is produced exclusively as an interactive sharing resource for the law enforcement community. No commercial use or access to the public at large is permitted without the authorization of L.O.D., Inc. This program contains actual video of real police incidents with no reenactments or simulations. The program is protected by copyright. Reproduction in any form is strictly prohibited without authorization from L.O.D., Inc. The material included in this program is designed for informational purposes only. IN THE LINE OF DUTY makes no representation regarding the effectiveness or appropriateness of any action or technique depicted herein. It is not intended to replace or supersede existing training policies or guidelines of individual law enforcement agencies.!
2 SYNOPSIS: In this program, an Ohio officer stops a vehicle for a suspected hit-and-run incident. The stop soon turns into a violent physical confrontation. Many issues are covered such as knowing when to move up the force continuum, detecting signs that a suspect is getting ready to engage you physically and reacting when your taser doesn t work properly. THE INCIDENT: Officer Jason Deaton (Middletown, OH P.D.) was working second shift when he received a hitskip call. He was able to locate the suspected blue van and engaged in a pursuit. He pulled behind the vehicle and threw on his lights; however, the vehicle did not stop. Deaton notified dispatch and continued the pursuit. The suspect started to slow down and eventually came to a stop in a residential neighborhood. When Officer Deaton approached the vehicle, the suspect was talking on his cell phone and did not even recognize the officer s presence. It was only after the officer ordered the suspect to get off the phone that he actually acknowledged Deaton. The suspect threw his phone on the dash alerting Deaton that this individual was angry and could possibly become combative, either verbally or physically. This was confirmed as the suspect immediately started arguing with Deaton, claiming he did not have to pull over because Deaton did not have his siren on at the time. The suspect notified Officer Deaton that he was in law enforcement and knew how to do the job. It was at this time that the suspect started to reach for something and Deaton immediately pulled out his taser. The suspect was able to produce a security badge and Deaton informed him that it was not a police badge. The suspect continued to argue telling Deaton that he came from a family of police officers. At this time, Deaton got on the radio and asked backup to step it up because he was starting to get an uneasy feeling about this suspect. The suspect was much larger than Deaton and the officer knew that help might be needed in case of a physical confrontation. He seemed to calm down for a bit and had advised Officer Deaton that he had been struck by a vehicle and was reporting it. This, he said, was the reason he had been talking on his cell phone in the first place. Deaton then had the suspect step out of the vehicle. It was then that the officer realized the suspect was much bigger and Deaton took a step back to create some separation between the two. The suspect kept making many movements with his hands towards Officer Deaton. The officer had pulled out his taser to protect himself. Deaton then had the suspect turn around and was about to put him in cuffs. He was not under arrest at this time but was doing so for the matter of safety. Deaton was able to place one of the cuffs on
3 the suspect s left hand. It was at this moment that he felt the suspect s muscles tense up and then he spun around toward Deaton. Still holding the taser in his right hand, Deaton deployed it: one of the barbs struck the suspect s belt and the other struck him in the back having no effect on the suspect. This action sent the suspect into attack mode. He started punching Deaton connecting with a right-cross to his face. The officer was still holding onto the other handcuff with his left hand while holding on to the taser with his right. Deaton felt that if he let go of the cuff, the suspect could use it as a weapon against him. Also, by holding on to the cuff he felt he could still have some control over the subject. Even though the taser did not work, he still felt he could use it as a dry stun. The suspect connected on a few punches and Deaton was able to fight back with a few punches of his own. As the officer was punching him, he was also using his taser to dry stun the subject. They both fell on the hood of Deaton s cruiser and then wrestled back and forth. Deaton was able to get underneath the subject and gain some leverage. The two both fell back against the subject s van; Deaton dry-stunning him the whole time. The officer was able to spin him around and his backup arrived just in time to taser the subject and get him to the ground. Once the suspect was in custody, Deaton noticed he had blood all over himself. One of the punches had broken his sunglasses and he had cuts on his face. Officers arriving on scene were able to calm Deaton down and help him decompress.
4 LESSONS LEARNED: Know when to elevate to lethal force Be physically prepared for the fight Are you prepared to stay in the fight Be prepared to attack the situation Get suspect detained as soon as possible Don t ever let suspect lull you into complacency Don t rely solely on your taser Use every training opportunity to increase your skills on use of the force continuum Every call can be a dangerous call Trust your instinct EPILOG: Officer Deaton had been a Middletown officer three years at the time of the incident. It was his first job in law enforcement. Officer Deaton ended up with three titanium plates in his face. One over his eyebrow, one over his temple and a cheekbone. He still experiences a tingling sensation in his face. This is particularly the case when he eats anything cold. The subject ended up with cuts and abrasions. There was never any confirmation the subject s family members were law enforcement officers as he had claimed. It was confirmed that on one occasion he d worked as a bouncer at a concert hall. He had one prior for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He was charged with felonious assault, resisting, impersonating a police officer, hit-skip and fleeing the scene. There was only slight damage to the car of the woman he had hit. Officer Deaton still patrols for the Middletown P.D. as of this production.
5 QUESTIONS:!" What do you feel were the main red flags that went up before Officer Deaton asked the subject to exit his vehicle? Be specific. #" How much would the subject s size have impacted your decision-making coupled with those red flags? $" Would you have called for and waited for back-up to arrive prior to handcuffing the man? If not, why not? %" If you had decided to await back-up before handcuffing the subject, would you have had him remain in his vehicle? Exit his vehicle? Explain. &" Did you agree with Officer Deaton when he made the decision to hold on to the one handcuff during the fight? If not, explain? '" Would you have pushed the subject away and attempted to put space between the two of you when the fight began? (" At what point, if any, would you have considered moving up the force continuum to lethal force? Be specific. )" Officer Deaton said he felt the man, although much larger, was beginning to lose his will to continue the fight; that he, Deaton, was determined not to lose---had more staying power---and more heart. How important is having more heart and determination in such a confrontation---in your opinion? *" Would you have done anything differently that day if you d been in Officer Deaton s shoes that day? If so, what?!+" What do you feel are the key lessons learned from this incident?
6 BACKUP: An off-duty suburban St.Louis police officer crashes her car into another vehicle after driving on the wrong side of the road, killing four and injuring another. Christine Miller (Sunset Hils P.D.) had a receipt in her purse for five cosmopolitans. A blood sample taken 45 minutes after the crash showed her blood alcohol content at hours after the crash, it was.169. Miller and the bar that served her alcohol agreed to pay million dollars to compensate the families of the four that were killed and the one that was injured. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.
7 Volume 13 Program 10 LESSON PLAN Synopsis: Time: Objectives: In this program, an Ohio officer stops a vehicle for a suspected hit-and-run incident. The stop soon turns into a violent physical confrontation. Many issues are covered such as knowing when to move up the force continuum, detecting signs that a suspect is getting ready to engage you physically and reacting when your taser doesn t work properly. One hour Upon completion of this course, officers should be able to: Obj. A: Identify the signs for a potential physical confrontation. Obj. B: Know when to elevate to lethal force. Obj. C: Learn to never be lulled into a sense of complacency. INSTRUCTOR S NOTES/LAB GUIDE Obj. A: Obj. B: Obj. C: Identify the signs for a potential physical confrontation. 1. Suspect does not acknowledge your presence. 2. Suspect becomes immediately argumentative. 3. Obvious lying by the suspect. 4. Watch for deadly hands. 5. Suspect s muscles tense up. Know when to elevate to lethal force. 1. Be physically prepared for the fight. 2. Be prepared to attack the situation. 3. When one level of the force continuum isn t working, move quickly to the next level. 4. Be proactive, not reactive. Learn never to be lulled into a sense of complacency. 1. Even if a suspect appears to calm down, keep your guard up. 2. Trust your instinct. 3. Every call can be a dangerous call.