(CO) Fight with computer brings SWAT team


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Drizzt
January 14, 2003, 06:44 PM
Fight with computer brings SWAT team
No charges filed after misunderstanding cleared up

By Mary Butler, Camera Staff Writer
January 9, 2003

A 32-year-old Boulder man who had opened his apartment's patio door to enjoy Wednesday's unusually warm weather was later overheard screaming threats and seen waving what appeared to be a handgun, prompting a maintenance worker to call police.

Officers, as a precaution, evacuated the man's apartment building and called SWAT officers to assist in defusing the situation.

It turned out that the man was simply upset at his computer — which he had called a "bitch" he "wanted to kill," police said — and the gun was a plastic pellet gun, not the .45-caliber automatic handgun it was made to resemble.

"It was alarming and concerning and expensive for us, but the man's conduct didn't warrant any criminal charges," Deputy Police Chief Dave Hayes said.

Three people were evacuated from the man's eight-unit building, at 3350 Bridger Trail in the Remington Post condominium complex at the intersection of 30th Street and Iris Avenue.

The 3 p.m. incident was resolved by about 4:30 p.m. The man, whose name wasn't released because he wasn't arrested on suspicion of any crime, was cooperative once police contacted him. Police did not confiscate the pellet gun, but with the man's permission, they took another firearm from his home "for safekeeping."

"He was very surprised, embarrassed and apologetic," Hayes said.

Hundreds of people driving near the housing complex — which is adjacent to banks, a grocery store and the Alterra retirement community — were detoured as police officers directed traffic to keep residents of the complex from going home. Many people watched from sidewalks to find out why SWAT officers were carrying large rifles around the housing complex.

http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/city_news/article/0,1713,BDC_2422_1661447,00.html

:o

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Blackhawk
January 14, 2003, 06:47 PM
Police did not confiscate the pellet gun, but with the man's permission, they took another firearm from his home "for safekeeping." What'd wid 'dat? :confused:

Monkeyleg
January 14, 2003, 06:54 PM
Hmmm...maybe there should be a new question on the 4473's: have you ever experienced the Blue Screen of Death?

Jason Demond
January 14, 2003, 06:59 PM
:eek:

blades67
January 14, 2003, 07:02 PM
I wouldn't have let the SWAT team take anything from my house, embarrassed or not.:rolleyes:

2nd Amendment
January 14, 2003, 07:04 PM
Took another firearm for "safekeeping"...hmmmm

Sorry, any LEO wants to do that to me, get a warrant and arrest me...and be prepared to meet my lawyers: Dewey, Screwem & Howe.

80fl
January 14, 2003, 07:06 PM
I once gave my computer the finger.....I think I'll go down to my friendly ATF office and turn in my "arsenal"; I just don't feel safe around myself sometimes.:rolleyes:

Airwolf
January 14, 2003, 07:07 PM
http://flymeaway.net/images/pcangry.gif

:evil:

El Tejon
January 14, 2003, 07:10 PM
Sounds like Red Mall Ninjas need to go down for Criminal Conversion.:confused:

nualle
January 14, 2003, 07:22 PM
he wasn't arrested on suspicion of any crime [snip] [Police] took another firearm from his home "for safekeeping."
Sick and wrong. :fire:

NewShooter78
January 14, 2003, 07:23 PM
Why would he let them take his gun for "safekeeping"? Under what authority do they have to do that?

Skunkabilly
January 14, 2003, 07:35 PM
He should be careful. Those teflon coated BBs can penetrat 14 layers of LCD displays.

bedlamite
January 14, 2003, 07:40 PM
they took another firearm from his home "for safekeeping."

Wonder what it'll take if he ever wants to get it back? a court order? or will it be destroyed as a public nusiance.

Tropical Z
January 14, 2003, 07:50 PM
Jack booted THUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:fire:

redneck
January 14, 2003, 08:00 PM
safekeeping? SAFEKEEPING:scrutiny:

What the heck does that mean? Drop by our range an shoot it whenever you want? .....its in the big safe behind booking, go ahead an get it. The combo is R4 L10 R30 :rolleyes:



It was stolen. Unless the moron really did understand that he didn't have to let them take it, in which case he threw it away. When SWAT shuts down your block, and swoops into your apartment because you did something stupid your probably too happy to hear its a misunderstanding, and too worried about them changing their mind to consider being anything but cooperative.

TallPine
January 14, 2003, 09:43 PM
It would have made more sense if they had taken his computer instead.

See, you just can't trust common people with those evil black boxes.

DeltaElite
January 14, 2003, 09:50 PM
I guess knocking on his door was out of the question. :rolleyes:

Oh well, off to nappy land. :p

Standing Wolf
January 14, 2003, 10:26 PM
It's a Boulder thing. We Americans wouldn't understand.

Coronach
January 14, 2003, 11:42 PM
ROTFLOL! OK...so the cops get calls about a man firing off shots, and they dare to respond in a manner befitting a shots-fired run...and once they make contact with the homeowner (note: no mention of door-kicking), he willingly hands over a firearm for safekeeping...and furthermore, is not arrested or even charged...and the cops are the bad guys?

Uhm...have any of you ever consider spin-doctoring as a career choice?

I wouldn't have let the SWAT team take anything from my house, embarrassed or not.andTook another firearm for "safekeeping"...hmmmm

Sorry, any LEO wants to do that to me, get a warrant and arrest me...and be prepared to meet my lawyers: Dewey, Screwem & Howe.That is an excellent response. If ever asked by a police officer if they may secure your firearm for safekeeping, the response you would like to choose is "No."

This is not the option he chose. Its his property, if he wants to allow the police to store it for safekeeping, he is free to do so. His gun, his choice.Sounds like Red Mall Ninjas need to go down for Criminal Conversion.:rolleyes: The only way they would have done anything wrong is if it is not returned when he requests it. And before anyone out there asks "yeah, how often are they returned?" the answer is "everyday."Sick and wrong.What, that he chose a different course than you would have? Thats not very open minded.Why would he let them take his gun for "safekeeping"? Under what authority do they have to do that?Note, these are two completely unrelated questions. Why would he do it? I have no idea. But people do it every day. "Here...I don't want this gun in my house." We take it to the property room and give them a receipt. Under what authority do they have to do it? Well...he gave it to them.Wonder what it'll take if he ever wants to get it back? a court order? or will it be destroyed as a public nusiance.Unless there is somethine unreported in the story (imagine that!), he will take his receipt to the local Property Room and they will hand him his property back. Its pretty easy. Happens every day.Jack booted THUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:rolleyes: Dare I ask...why?safekeeping? SAFEKEEPING

What the heck does that mean? Drop by our range an shoot it whenever you want? .....its in the big safe behind booking, go ahead an get it. The combo is R4 L10 R30No, it means it is being stored by the police for safekeeping, and can be claimed by the owner at any time. We do it with found property, items turned in to us, cars involved in wrecks where the owner was transported to the hospital, you name it, we store it.It was stolen. Unless the moron really did understand that he didn't have to let them take it, in which case he threw it away. When SWAT shuts down your block, and swoops into your apartment because you did something stupid your probably too happy to hear its a misunderstanding, and too worried about them changing their mind to consider being anything but cooperative.Again, its only stolen if its not returned when he asks for it. He gave it to them. This is not at all unheard-of. There are MANY times that we go on runs where someone is obviously none too stable (as might describe this guy, no?) and armed, and we ask if we could store their firearm in the property room until whatever the current stress subsides. This is most often done at domestics, or suicide calls. We give them a receipt and take the gun to the property room. And if they decline to allow us to do this, the gun remains. AFAIK, this is standard practice everywhere, and it is very amusing that THR is so flustered over this.

And, you know? I'm missing the part where they "swooped into the apartment." I'm guessing you were there, then. How did that go, exactly?

And if this HAD been a man firing off shots, the police would be excoriated if they had not blocked off the area to protect everyone and taken the precautions that they had. Get real.I guess knocking on his door was out of the question.I'm guessing that they eventually did just that.

Mike

Blackhawk
January 15, 2003, 12:05 AM
Mike, your practiced patience and diplomacy is amazing! :D

DeltaElite
January 15, 2003, 12:15 AM
Yah, they finally knocked, after assembling the SWAT team. :rolleyes:
Of course, if there had been a victim shot, they would have been long dead by the time an approach was made.
I don't care to wait for SWAT when there is an indication that a party may be injured, but then I am an exception rather than the rule.
I still go through doors without an automatic weapon, helmet, balaclava and eight other wannbee Ninjas behind me. ;)

Now in defense of the officers, many agencies have gone to a requirement that they do just what those guys did, best hope you don't need medical attention while awaiting the response of a SWAT team.

Average Guy
January 15, 2003, 01:32 AM
Many people watched from sidewalks to find out why SWAT officers were carrying large rifles around the housing complex.

Because SWAT don't carry no SMALL rifles!

El Tejon
January 15, 2003, 07:42 AM
Cor, no, if they defrauded or tricked our computer commando, the SQUAT team could go down for Crim Con (or whatever they call it in Red). "Now, we have to take your guns." Why? "Uhhh, standard procedure." [Buzzer sounds]

Don't know what happened but sounds like the ideal time to convene the grand jury and go SQUAT hunting.:)

Beren
January 15, 2003, 08:12 AM
Nothing to see here. Please move along.

We don't know that the man was threatened or coerced into surrendering his firearm, and I am not at all concerned that he gave it to the police for safekeeping.

OBVIOUSLY the moron isn't stable in the first place or he wouldn't have been shouting at his computer while waving a replica firearm around!! Hello, McFly!

I can't see that the police did ANYTHING wrong in this case - and I'll always be among the first to jump on their backs if they DO infringe our rights.

Coronach
January 15, 2003, 09:15 AM
I don't care to wait for SWAT when there is an indication that a party may be injured, but then I am an exception rather than the rule.I'll agree 100%. Was there any indication of this? Seeing as how there was no mention of it in the newspaper story, and there were actually no victims (and no gun used, heh!), I 'm guessing they got it as a "nut job cranking off rounds" call.

Sure, they could've made contact with him prior to this (we would have), but if there is no indication of a victim, why risk an escalation? Not knowing what they knew, I'll not second guess them.

Cor, no, if they defrauded or tricked our computer commando, the SQUAT team could go down for Crim Con (or whatever they call it in Red). "Now, we have to take your guns." Why? "Uhhh, standard procedure." [Buzzer sounds]:rolleyes: Silliness. Now, if the firearm is not returned...

Mike

DeltaElite
January 15, 2003, 09:33 AM
Cor,
True enough, I was working under the mistaken assumption that with him reportedly yelling b--- and waving the gun around implicated that he had said "b---" with him and it was human. ;)
My mistake.
I hate wasting my time waiting on SWAT, really cuts into my time napping under a shade tree. :D

Now back to your scheduled programming.

El Tejon
January 15, 2003, 09:34 AM
Cor, is there a police exception to Fraud or Theft by Trickery? Could be an exception, don't know Red law.

Besides call the grand jury, the `puter commando could also sue. Many states have civil counterparts of Criminal Conversion where an individual may recover triple damages and attorney fees for his damages. Don't know if Red has this or not.

Criminal Conversion was the taking, not the keeping. However, I am certain the DA is not inclined to go hunting his own po-po. Never a popular move.:D

cordex
January 15, 2003, 09:47 AM
OBVIOUSLY the moron isn't stable in the first place or he wouldn't have been shouting at his computer while waving a replica firearm around!! Hello, McFly!
:scrutiny:
Maybe it's just me, but it doesn't seem that stability can be accurately determined from these particular manifestations of frustration over a stubborn computer. Many are the times that I've seen people become profoundly unhappy with their computer to the point of yelling, and some would no doubt have drawn down on their monitor with a replica gun (something they know will do no real harm) had one been available. But I don't have a psych degree, and I don't claim to be an expert.

Still, it's one thing to practice point-shooting your monitor with an airsoft everytime you get BSoDed, and another to do so only partially in sight of witnesses.

Sometimes eager citizens do more harm than good, though.
I remember a case not to long ago where a man came stumbling home drunk. He couldn't find his keys, so he climbed in through a window (his own home, mind you - nothing wrong with that). A neighbor spotted him and called the cops. It seems that there was a possibility that the neighbor had recognized him, but was just giving him a hard time.
Anyway, police burst into the guy's home with the intent of stopping a criminal. The guy jumps out of bed still intoxicated and sees a group of men running into his bedroom, so he grabs a knife and goes at them. Cops shoot, man dies.
Everyone ('cept maybe the "concerned neighbor") was acting appropriately based on their knowledge of the situation and with the best intentions. The man was trying to defend his home against intruders, the police were trying to stop a potential robbery and then trying to defend their own lives.
This was discussed at length on TFL.
Bad calls can lead to bad situations without cops always being JBTs.

This was a bad situation that could have been much worse had the SWAT been a bit more trigger-happy. The cops seemed to do very well, all told. Without knowing if the gentleman was pressured into giving up his firearm and if he will get it back, I won't judge that.

Tamara
January 15, 2003, 10:05 AM
OBVIOUSLY the moron isn't stable in the first place or he wouldn't have been shouting at his computer while waving a replica firearm around!! Hello, McFly!

Obviously! I usually go straight to lobbing the offending piece of hardware through the nearest window, myself. ;)

"We're gonna need to take your guns."
"You're gonna need a bigger truck." :D

JohnBT
January 15, 2003, 10:32 AM
Maybe the gentleman, upon reflection, realized that he was a danger to himself and that having a gun around was a bad idea. Maybe the voices said that it was okay to let the police have the gun.

I really don't care. He let them take it. He was there. It was his decision to make. He can deal with it in the morning if he gets his head screwed on straight.

John

J Miller
January 15, 2003, 10:36 AM
OBVIOUSLY the moron isn't stable in the first place or he wouldn't have been shouting at his computer while waving a replica firearm around!!

Being stable is not for the average person to decide. It varies from moment to moment.
I could say that an officer pointing a gun at an uncooperative suspect and screaming at the top of his lungs for the suspect to drop his weapon wasn't stable because he was screaming.
It isn't true, but he was screaming and waving a gun, right?

I believe someone should call the PD and politely ask them what they would have done in this or a hypothecicle (sic) situation had the person refused to allow them to take his gun.
Just for the information of it.

As for being unstable and waving a replica gun at the computer I have have yelled and threatened my computer with a real gun! Loaded no less. :cuss: Was I unstable? No. Was I a threat to anyone? NO. Would I have had a visit from the SWAT team if someone had seen what I did? I live in Springfield, IL, you decide. After all the BS was over would I have allowed the PD to take my guns for "safe keeping"? HELL NO!

It apears to me that two things apply here.
One; there is more to this story than we know, so we are second guessing everything.

Two; we are making a mountain out of a mole hill.
From what I read in the original post, the situation was handled very well. I hope that the original poster will watch for an update and report if anything else comes from this incident.

Oh, after threatening this computer with a gun it quit messing up. Go figure.:D

El Tejon
January 15, 2003, 10:42 AM
John, maybe so, but that's why you call grand juries. Maybe consent, maybe no consent, maybe fraud--call the grand jury, see what happened.

bogie
January 15, 2003, 10:45 AM
Well, it's a good thing that I donated my old (and working) confusers to Goodwill last year.

thumbtack
January 15, 2003, 11:27 AM
This is not the first time this has happened, over the past few years I have read about several occasions when LEOs were called only to find someone screaming at their computer. I doubt this will be the last. I am just glad no one got hurt.

Azrael256
January 15, 2003, 11:30 AM
OBVIOUSLY the moron isn't stable in the first place or he wouldn't have been shouting at his computer while waving a replica firearm around!! Hello, McFly!

I won't make any comment about the guy's stability upstairs, since I have no real knowledge of him, but it doesn't seem that you've ever worked in IT. I know dozens of people who have actually shot their computers. 7.62x39 does a real number on a Compaq. Granted that all but one was shot under rather controlled circumstances (range or something like it), but it is evidence that a computer really can frustrate a person to the point of carbon-on-silicon violence.

El Tejon
January 15, 2003, 11:49 AM
"Office Space"!:D

Strings
January 15, 2003, 12:05 PM
I've done the "point gun at 'puter and *mumble, grumble*". Only response *I* ever got was my wife giving me grief about not being able to hit it at that range...

I'm with most here: if he gave permission for them to take the gun, no harm/no foul...

DMK
January 15, 2003, 12:11 PM
If that were that case, and as it appears, he was acting irrationally, and as it appears, he did give them permission to take the firearm, I see no harm or foul.

Betty
January 15, 2003, 12:46 PM
:p

I would love to shoot my office computer (and the rest of the production staff here would like to do the same to theirs). It always crashes on deadline. Always. I've run TechTool, Diskwarrior, and done jusy about everything there is to do to this box of circuits.

I swear it's possessed! (Can Preacherman do excorcisms?) I curse at it all the time. (Sometimes I pretend I'm the computer and answer back in a squeaky voice.)

"I HATE YOU! WHY DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO DO THIS TO ME!"
"You just wait 'til tomorrow when you start working on S.W.A.T. I'm designing a new pop-up bomb warning just for you. heh heh heh"

Okay. End rant. If I do get a new computer at work, the old one is going to meet Mr. Mosin and his bayonet.
:scrutiny:

Intune
January 15, 2003, 01:03 PM
Sounds like the police did a good job. I wonder sometimes if they can perform their jobs in ANY manner that would suit everyone. The LEO's who post here must have rhino hide but I bet sometimes the negativity gets under it.

rock jock
January 15, 2003, 01:22 PM
Mike,

The article implies that the man did not volunteer the gun, but was rather asked to turn it over. The question is, why? Because he threatened his computer? If so, lock us all up and throw away the key.

AZTOY
January 15, 2003, 02:29 PM
WOULD THIS BE I GOOD REASON TO SHOOT YOUR COMPUTER:what: http://www.uq.edu.au/education/extra/images/FwTechSupport0.jpg

rick458
January 15, 2003, 02:30 PM
I saw the funniest cartoon a few years back
One man was drawn down on another man who was backed up against a copier the man with the pistol was saying "just get out of the wat Scott this has nothing to do with you".
I was posted next to a Copier that I would have loved to use for a reef starter.:D

nualle
January 15, 2003, 04:21 PM
What I find "sick and wrong" is that, having determined that the man had committed no crime and endangered noone, the police nonetheless took upon itself the storage of his gun. Sure, it was his choice to submit to that... but upon what basis did the State request it?

With only the Camera report to go on, we're all making assumptions. Coronach assumes that the man's choice was made freely (without the threat [explicit or implicit] of some other legal repercussion should he choose to retain his gun). I assume the reverse... that heavily armed men with the legal authority to say what goes in one's own home tend to predispose the resident unfamiliar with this scenario to assent to just about anything they suggest, regardless of legal niceties.

I'm closed-minded for having this opinion? So be it.

JohnBT
January 15, 2003, 04:25 PM
El Tejon - You've lost me with the grand jury stuff.

The article says the man let them take the gun.

"...but with the man's permission.."

He let them take it. They asked, he said yes. That is what we know from the article.

What's with the grand jury stuff?

They could have taken him in on what, in Virginia, is called a Green Warrant for mental health observation if they believed that he was a danger to himself or others. He could get the 72-hour observation period and hearing to be commited or released.

Again. What is it with the grand jury stuff?

If they asked and he said no they had other options you know - like locking his butt up for disturbing the peace or something.

John

El Tejon
January 15, 2003, 04:34 PM
John, grand juries can be used to investigate a purported crime. The grand jury could be used to determine whether the po-po had consent or whether the `puter commando was tricked or defrauded into consent, such as "give us the gun or go to jail" that you describe.

The criminal investigation would be independent of the state crim conv. civil lawsuit or the federal 1983 lawsuit.

The officers did NOT take him to a mental hospital. They only took his property.

The criminal investigation of the officers involved would be dependent upon Red law. Further, even if the officers did commit a crime, unlikely for the Red DA to hunt his own, even if special prosecutor appointed.:)

cordex
January 15, 2003, 05:25 PM
If they asked and he said no they had other options you know - like locking his butt up for disturbing the peace or something.
Yeah! How dare he do something that a peeping-Tom busybody could possibly misinterpret?

JohnBT
January 15, 2003, 10:38 PM
I don't about how it is where you live, but around here they don't take silly little cases like this one to a grand jury.

They don't even arrest the person for acting funny and jumping up and down - hey, wait a minute, they didn't arrest this guy either.

And we'll never know what the police would have done if the gentleman had refused to hand over his gun.

I guess I'll never understand what all the hoopla is all about.

John

El Tejon
January 15, 2003, 10:56 PM
John, I'm not talking about arresting or investigating the `puter commando. I'm talking about calling the grand jury to investigate the mall ninjas for taking his property to see whether this taking was lawful or not. May be, may not be.

Around here we do investigate suspected police corruption. The hoopla amongst us serfs is about ensuring that no one is above the law, not even the Knights of the LE Order.

4v50 Gary
January 15, 2003, 11:12 PM
Nothing wrong here. Call made that there were threats of death being made and a gun was seen. Wasn't an "active shooter" situation and SWAT could be sent in. The officers were well trained and everybody involved is alive and unhurt. The man gives consent for the cops to take his gun and he'll get it back.

BTW, guess there's new laws that prevent computer abuse. First spousal abuse became a crime. Animal abuse got criminalized. Now computers? Thankfully not and we can still yet at them. Just don't wave BB or replica guns at one if a neighbor or passerby can see you.

Mike Irwin
January 15, 2003, 11:24 PM
STUPID :cuss: :cuss: MORON NEEDS :cuss: :cuss: ANGER MANAGEMENT COURSES! :cuss: :cuss:


Wow. Apparently, so do I... :)

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