Chain saw attacker had BAC of 0.495 ("Suicide by cop")


March 30, 2005, 03:57 PM
Chain saw attacker had BAC of 0.495 ("Suicide by cop")
Citizen's Voice ^ | 3/30/2005 | Robert Kalinowski

William Henkle had more than 20 alcoholic drinks in his system when he attacked police with a chain saw outside his Forty Fort home last month, toxicology tests reveal.

Henkle, who was killed by a flurry of police bullets following the attack, had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.495 percent, according to test results recently received by the Luzerne County coroner's office.

The 40-year-old's blood-alcohol concentration was more than six times the amount (0.08) to be considered legally drunk in Pennsylvania.

No traces of illegal drugs were found in the two blood samples and one urine sample tested at National Medical Services, a toxicology laboratory in Willow Grove, Montgomery County.

Henkle's death was labeled "suicide by cop" by state police and justifiable homicide by the county district attorney's office.

Investigators say he baited police to his home at 378 River St. around 5 a.m. on Feb. 21 with a false 911 call of him having a heart attack. He then relentlessly pursued officers with the chain saw outside his residence for several minutes, police said.

Police fired nearly 40 bullets at Henkle, hitting him about 15 times, during the altercation.

Prior to police firing the deadly bullets, Henkle was first pepper sprayed in the face, but laughed and continued to charge at officers. After striking a state trooper with the chain saw, he was then shot three times, but regrouped and attacked again, police said.

Luzerne County Coroner Dr. George Hudock said it's possible - though he can't be sure - that Henkle was not phased by the pepper spray and got back on his feet after the initial gunshots because the amount of alcohol in his system.

"Alcohol is like an anesthetic. You get really drunk and you don't feel a thing," he said. "I've seen cases where people involved in major auto accidents, who have a broken leg, say they're fine because they're drunk."

The amount of alcohol running through Henkle's veins could "theoretically" have been enough to kill Henkle, Dr. Hudock said.

Some medical experts say a blood-alcohol concentration between 0.30 percent and 0.40 percent could render one unconscious and make them vomit, and a blood alcohol concentration of 0.40 and up could lead to a coma and possible death due to respiratory arrest, Dr. Hudock said.

However, each case and each person is different, he said. Though 0.495 on the blood alcohol concentration scale is high, Dr. Hudock said he's seen higher levels from people who remained conscious.

He remembers one person arrested for driving under the influence years ago in Luzerne County having a BAC of 0.80 percent.

Police said Henkle had a history of mental illness. It's still unknown if he was taking medication for the illness around the time he was killed.

Dr. Hudock said the he ordered toxicology tests for commonly abused drugs. There is another test for prescription drugs, but that was not ordered, he said.

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Bear Gulch
March 30, 2005, 04:07 PM
Don't bring a knife to a gun fight, not even a motorized one!

Standing Wolf
March 30, 2005, 04:59 PM
Guess he had quite a buzz while it lasted.

March 30, 2005, 05:07 PM
Police fired nearly 40 bullets at Henkle, hitting him about 15 times, during the altercation.

This hit/miss ratio seems very common in these types of stories, but it always amazes me it's that low.

I understand stress and other factors, but that's less than 50%. I'm not cop-bashing or anything, but does anyone else find this marksmanship pretty crappy?

March 30, 2005, 05:14 PM
I would think they were shooting on the move, worried about getting hit with a damn chainsaw. :uhoh:

March 30, 2005, 06:02 PM
Got shotgun?


March 30, 2005, 07:24 PM
When your adrenalin spikes through the ceiling all sorts of cool things happen. Tunnel vision, excelerated heartrate, auditory deprivation.
My sister in law was involved in a shooting that was really bad(Opened fire on a victim that was chasing a robbery suspect) . She and two other officers popped off something like 27 rounds without a hit as the victim ran past them in a dark alley. The range was about twenty feet. She got a week off without pay for that one.

March 30, 2005, 09:21 PM
I suspect the low hit/miss ratio is a result of both fewer training requirements and reliance on spray-and-pray shooting. I remember in the old days (actually not that long ago) when the local PD in my neighborhood was infamous for ending all gunfights with a single shot to the head of the bad guy. They were still using revolvers back then, so they had to make their shots count. Frankly I find I always shoot better when I have fewer bullets, esp. in high-intensity hunting situations when fewer rounds force me to slow down and take my aim rather than just capping off.

You know, in the interests of science I may well do some experiments on squirrels this spring. I've got a single-shot adapter for my CZ-452 that would work very well. And squirrel are surprisingly tough. If you don't hit them right they can most certainly take several followup shots to finish. I could shoot 25 with the adapter and 25 with the ten round mag in place and compare my one-shot kill rates.

Steve in PA
March 31, 2005, 03:20 AM
Ah yes, all the experts come out of the wood work now.

None of the depts who responded teach or instruct "spray-and-pray". The guy was a moving target armed with a running chainsaw. I wonder how all the experts around here would be if their paper targets shot back. :rolleyes:

I bumped into one of the officers (not from my dept) who was involved at Wally-World the other night. Actually he was the one who maced the guy. He said the guy just stood there, took a deep breath of the mace and started laughing saying something like, "this ***** doesn'y bother me"....... then took off after the closest officer.

50 Freak
March 31, 2005, 03:47 AM
Sounds like the police granted his wishes. Darwinism at work.

And I agree 15 out of 40. Pretty crappy shooting. They should practice more by doing a bunch of pushups right before they shoot at the range. The pushups mimic the adrenaline rush and with practice you can learn to control your aim better. ;)

One time at the range I shot rapid fire at a 8.5x11 piece of typing paper with my G19. Missed pretty much all my shots. Went home in disgust and started doing the pushups at the range (outdoor of course, and usually with no one watching...cause I'm shy :D ) Any ways the above technique works and now I can pretty much get all my rounds into the paper.

March 31, 2005, 08:19 AM
Hey steve, what happened to the officer he tagged with the saw? Is he ok?

Steve in PA
March 31, 2005, 01:11 PM
The trooper who was attacked is ok. I don't think he was seriously injured.

FYI, we do pushups, jumping jacks, drag heavy bags when we run our tactical/stress course. One of my officers was a shooter in this incident too.

Those darn pesky paper targets just haven't learned to shoot back yet have they?

March 31, 2005, 01:47 PM
Those darn pesky paper targets just haven't learned to shoot back yet have they?

Technically, neither did this guy. He had a chain saw, not a gun. ;)

15 out of 40 isn't bad considering what was going on. You've got officers watching a psychopath suck up rounds, seemingly enjoying it, while running at you full speed doing his best "Evil Dead Ash" impression. Personally, I would have had to count on his tripping on the steamy pile I'd left in his path.

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