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A Somewhat Scary Incident(12 posts)

A Somewhat Scary IncidentPsyDoc
Mar 12, 2001 3:56 AM
Yesterday on my ride, I had an interesting thing happen. I was riding down North Valdosta Road in Valdosta, GA and I notice that there is a guy walking toward me who is about 1/2 mile away. As I got closer to him, I notice that he has this dazed look on his face like he was looking at something 1,000 yards down the road. The guy was oblivious to me and really looked like he was in trouble. His mouth was open like he needed water or something and I almost stopped to ask him if he needed help. But, once I saw the KNIFE he was holding in his right hand I quickly decided against it. As I rode by, I gave him as much of a buffer zone as I safely could. The guy had the knife handle gripped tightly in his right hand with the blade of the knife facing upward and pointing away from his body.

I get about 200 yards past him and I stop to call 911. I explain everything to the 911 operator and she takes my name and number and tells me officers should be there in a couple of minutes. So, I continue on my ride. On my way back from my turn around point, I see the guy again sitting up against a street sign with no law
enforcement around. So, again, I ride a several hundred yards ahead, as there was no place to safely stop, and call 911 again. I tell them where the guy is at and the woman tells me officers will be there within a minute. Now, I want to see how this thing plays out, so I turn around and head back to the spot where I saw him.

When I get back to the spot, there is one city patrol car there with the officer already out and yelling commands at the guy. Within a couple of minutes, two county patrol cars and four city patrol cars are coming fast on North Valdosta Road with flashing lights and blarring sirens. Now, the officers have the guy surrounded, but from the look on his face you can see the emotional distress and the officers are being really cautious. You can see that the guy is crying and really unsable. At several points in time, the guy begins yelling something, flailing his arms around, and he gets to his feet. The officers were always able to make him sit back down without force. At one point, all the officers began approaching him, but I really could not make out what was happening as I was on the other side of the road.

Shortly thereafter, an ambulance pulls up and the EMT's go do their thing. I was too far away to see, but apparently the guy had been cutting himself when he was sitting up against the street sign. The officers were able to get the knife away from the guy, but one officer ended up slicing his right index finger pretty bad. The guy had dropped the knife, so I figure that when the officer reached for the knife the guy hit or kicked at the officer's hand and the officer's hand hit the knife.

After the guy was taken away in the ambulance, I rode over to the officers and explained that I was the guy who called it in and asked if the guy would be o.k. The officers think the guy was either on drugs or mentally unstable...yeah, I came to the same conclusion myself.

I am just glad this incident did not have an alternative outcome.
that sucksjbrown2036
Mar 12, 2001 5:14 AM
I'm sorry you had to see that.
re: A Somewhat Scary IncidentLazy
Mar 12, 2001 6:28 AM
Wow, that's scary indeed, sad too. Very considerate of you to call 911 not once but twice. I wonder how many people drove right by this guy without even noticing him? I hope he's ok.
not to change the subject, but...4bykn
Mar 12, 2001 10:16 AM
Just curious, how do you carry your cell phone? I've seen those "cell safe" cases that will hold your phone safely, but I dont want to give up one of my water bottles. I was wondering if you or anybody else reading this carries thier phone in a jersey pocket, and if so how do you protect it from sweat, road shock, etc
not to change the subject, but...ColnagoFE
Mar 12, 2001 11:10 AM
I just throw it in my back jersey pocket. never had a problem with it. if it looks like rain or for longer rides i throw it inside a small ziplock bag for rain protection. also a good idea in the summer where you will be sweating through your jersey.
not to change the subject, but...G
Mar 12, 2001 11:36 AM
I have used a zip loc bag and have a Cell Safe Case. I just carry it in my jersey pocket(case also). Those cases are made of hard plastic and have a foam lining and a rubber seal(for a measure of water protection). It is bulky, but when I go for long rides I will put up with it; also can carry keys and my ID in the case. Looking at a smaller phone now to fit in my seat pack.
Cell phonesE3
Mar 12, 2001 12:21 PM
Ditto on the ziplock bag. My wife insists that I tote a cell phone, so I have a StarTac to throw in my jersey. It is compact and very light weight.

Somebody should build a tool kit into a cell phone.
not to change the subject, but...Ian
Mar 12, 2001 12:26 PM
I carry it in my saddle bag. I old one barely fit, but I could stuff it in there. The new one (Nokia 8200 series) fits no problem. I wrap it in a Ziplock, in Florida we never know when we will get an afternoon thunderstorm.
Here in San Diego we've had similar incidents ...Humma Hah
Mar 12, 2001 5:19 PM
... with that not-so-good outcome. They're trying to equip the police with non-lethal weapons, but we've had some mentally distressed people killed by the police recently, when the subject charged before the police could think to go get their less lethal alternative. One guy was swinging a stick, a 12-year-old kid tried to run down an officer with a car, and in one case, a relative called the police to come help their bezerk kin, and the cops ended up killing the guy.

I have to salute officers willing to try to take a knife away from someone who seems bent on harming themselves, or possibly others. Many would just as soon shoot, and if you picture yourself in their shoes for a long career, you can understand why.
Good work by the Cop'sDINOSAUR
Mar 13, 2001 6:20 AM
You have to commend the Officer's for handling the situation and not shooting the deranged person. Stuff like this happens all the time.
The only time Cop's make the front page is when end up blowing someone away.Like others have said, consider carrying a cel phone.
I pack one in my jersey pocket. It's about the size of a credit card.
You never know what is going to happen out there...
re: A Somewhat Scary IncidentSouthern Rebel
Mar 13, 2001 6:26 AM
Those Georgia cops are tame....Yonder down the road and over the border in Jacksonville the cops here would have pounded the guy with thier night sticks and boots. All the broken and crushed ribs would have been from "Applying CRP to save the suspects life."
Not the Valdosta I rememberbianchi boy
Mar 13, 2001 4:29 PM
I lived there from 1983-84 near VSU and worked as a reporter for the VD Times. I covered the police beat, among other things, and don't remember much excitement in that regard. The biggest news we had that year was a huge flood resulting from 17" of rain dumped by a tropical storm in 24 hours. All of the rivers and floodplains were flooded for months after that.

Have you ever ridden in the Pecan City Pedalers Century? I remember that as a very nice ride, pretty countryside and rolling terrain. My wife and I moved to Savannah after one year in Valdosta, but I still have very fond memories of the town. Savannah was nice too, and I still miss living there after moving to NC 15 years ago.