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Dillon County (SC) deputy shoots man throwing baseballs

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Sportcat, Jul 31, 2005.

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  1. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

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    http://www.wistv.com/Global/story.asp?S=3662743&nav=0RaMcmRr

    Dillon County deputy shoots man throwing baseballs

    (Dillon-AP) July 31, 2005 - Dillon County Sheriff Harold Grice says a deputy shot a man twice in the legs after he would not stop throwing baseballs at cars and people.

    Grice says the man in a baseball uniform was throwing baseballs outside the Dillon Video Store on state Highway 34 Saturday morning. The sheriff says when Corporal Charles Hester arrived, Thomas Gaeta kept throwing baseballs and bats, so the officer shot him twice in the legs.

    Grice says Gaeta was taken to the hospital and released to the jail, where he was charged with possession of a deadly weapon, assaulting a police officer, and malicious damage to property.
     
  2. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Ya know how we sometimes denigrate SWAT and "perimeter forming" and such?

    Right here woulda been a good use. But I doubt the County had one on call with riot shields so the Deputy did what he could, in the time he had.

    Which team's uniform? Cause if it was the Yankees, the Deputy should have aimed higher. :evil:
     
  3. p35

    p35 Member

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    Sounds bad at first, but in fact it makes more sense than jumping a guy who's obviously not thinking straight and has a baseball bat. In those rural areas, backup can be a long wait.

    Of course, if he had had beanbag rounds for his shotgun available, it would have been one more option short of lethal force. Recently a deputy around here used one to take the fight right out of a drunk who was throwing kitchen knives at him. Drunk went to jail with just a bad bruise, and the deputy didn't get hurt. Somewhat better outcome all around.
     
  4. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    Attention all police occifers!!!!

    THIS is a prime example of a case where the use of a tazer would have been okay. Guess the deputy didn't have one available. Tazer for grown up with bats and baseballs = okay. Tazers for 7 year old with a piece of glass = NOT okay. See the difference now?

    Greg
     
  5. Sportcat

    Sportcat Member

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    Dillon County is one of the poorer ones in SC. I'm pretty sure officers there do not have the latest and greatest technology.

    Sounds liked things worked out for the best if the BG has been released from the hospital, is in jail, and the deputy went home to his family.
     
  6. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Member

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    Tazer? I dunno. Getting close enough to accurately taze while someone with a bat & balls is hitting at me sounds pretty sporty. Acouple of big cops with shields or shottie with bean-bag rnds makes more sense.

    The story's not too details, so assuming the benefit of the doubt, IMO the officer did the best he could with what he had under the circumstances. He still might be open to a malicious woulnding suit depending on how whacked/litegeous the perp and/or is family is. Hope everything works out OK for all involved.
     
  7. roo_ster

    roo_ster Member

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    I used to be able to chuck a baseball at a pretty good clip. A baseball to the melon can put your lights out.

    I can't say I blame the cop, but the best situation is a few cops in riot gear & shields to advance & subdue the wanna-be Rolly Fingers.
     
  8. Spreadfire Arms

    Spreadfire Arms Member

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    according to Taser International's website:

    http://www.taser.com/law/download/spec_sheets/x26.htm

    It has a maximum range of 21 feet.

    an average human has a reach of 32-33 inches. then you add in a 32-33" baseball bat. so the bad guy has about a circle of force of about 6 feet.

    but add that to the fact that he is mobile and can move towards a victim quickly at the rate of at least 10 feet/second (derived roughly from the 21-foot rule). so the 21 foot rule is actually more like 23+ feet here if you add in the wingspan of the baseball bat.

    i think the Taser could have been applied with the presence of more officers at the scene.

    to have one officer deal with this guy was not a good thing. OTOH, if two officers were there, one could have deployed with pepper and a firearm, while the other deploy with a taser and a firearm.

    they could have then used more available options. i suspect the officer, even if he had a taser, may not feel comfortable deploying it by himself without a cover officer ready with a firearm in the event it needed to be used.

    just my two cents.
     
  9. GRB

    GRB member

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    What I see in your post is the ranting of an anti-cop! Using a TASER in a situation like this one would likely have resulted in the officer being wounded or killed. This case did not require an officer getting in close enough to effectively fire a TASER (TASER not tazer, it basically is an acronym for Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle). Remember the guy was not swinging a baseball bat, he was THROWING baseballs and bats. Likewise, such would not require the use of soft or hard techniques prior to being employed; a TASER likely would fall into one of these two lower force levels in most departments and agencies. Yet, it certainly may have required deadly force if the officer (not occifer) decided it was appropriate and legal based on the situation at hand. Baseball bats and baseballs being thrown at civilians (well able to cause severe injuries or death at further than TASER range) in passing cars and at the officer constitutes the use of deadly force by the guy in the baseball uniform. Depending on the situation that was unfolding it may have been the only reasonable alternative to answer it with like force.

    As for using a TASER on a 7 year old armed with a deadly weapon, that could be a tough call. Next time you are stabbed by a young kid, let me know what you think then. Why even bring up such in this thread in the first place?

    One last thing for some of the other posters here. It amzes me how many of you think the cop would have done better to have waited for back-up, for a team with a shield and a shotgun with bean-bags to take the guy out or, something similar. This surprises me because this is THR and most of the folks on this site usually rant on about how comabt ready they are to shoot their guns in self defense and how they would shoot to kill, Yet when an officer does it - well there is just always a better way according to quite a few on this site. Amazing.

    best regards,
    Glenn B
     
  10. Biker

    Biker Member

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    On the plus side, I believe that the cop would've been legally justified in making the guy very dead. However, although I can't say for sure, it sounds like he purposefully shot for the legs instead of com in order to try to spare the guy his life. And I know, I know....he could've hit the femoral artery, so forth...my point is, it appears that the cop tried to solve the problem with the least damaging outcome as possible to all concerned.
    Biker
     
  11. Tylden

    Tylden Member

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    If the man was throwing baseballs and bats at cars on the highway, I can see where he was definately endangering the lives of others. If not by being hit by one , by causing a potentially fatal traffic accident. On the other hand, I do think rubber bullets or bean bag rounds would have been more appropriate. I can't see where this could be a budget buster even for a small town. I wonder if he'll have to carry his bullet in his pocket like Barney Fife ? lol
     
  12. DMF

    DMF Member

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    Non-compliant suspect using baseballs and baseball bats as weapons. All we have here is a 4 sentence media report, so it's impossible to say whether this was justified or not, but it's easy to see where it is possible the officer felt there was a credible threat of death or serious bodily injury to himself or others.
     
  13. carebear

    carebear Member

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    I wonder how many he had? Did he load up his combat wheelbarrow with them? Cause that could be dozens. :D
     
  14. GRB

    GRB member

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    Those duffle bags they often use to carry baseball gear could hold quite alarge number of both.
     
  15. GRB

    GRB member

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    Now there is an idea. I'll start to carry a spare mag of rubber bullets with me, yeajh thats the ticket, maybe in my shirt pocket like Barney - LOL. Just hope I never reload with that mag when I need the real thing.

    Rubber bullets indeed, that was perfect as per the the Brits and, look at them now.

    all the best, Gb
     
  16. Andrew Rothman

    Andrew Rothman Member

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    I've seen traffic completely stopped on the highway for less.

    Granted, we weren't there, but I'm guessing there were less-lethal options.
     
  17. carebear

    carebear Member

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    It's not the deputy's job to get into a pitch off with this guy. He's lucky he didn't just bean him with the cruiser. :D
     
  18. rich636

    rich636 Member

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    They should put locks on baseballs....this is an outrage!!
     
  19. AK-74me

    AK-74me Member

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    The cop should of just dressed up like an umpire and then run up to the guy and get in a belly to belly, spit in your face argument over balls and strikes before giving him the 'ol heev hoe ( your out of here). Everyone would of went home happy.
     
  20. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    Call me what you want. I have a few very good friends that are cops. What they are not is above the law or other citizens and they don't have a chip on their shoulders. Being a police officer is a job--not a superhero or robocop. What I see today is a migration away from honest to goodness police work to a more militant style approach. That's not a good thing to me. I won't paint it with a broad brush because this phenomena does not affect all young police officers, just some. But, it only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch ya know. Not withstanding this particular example, a great deal of confrontations can be resolved by de-escalation techniques instead of force. I see a lot of force being used when other methods were not attempted.

    Flame suit on...PM me if you have a problem with me because I won't be back to this thread.

    Greg
     
  21. Spot77

    Spot77 Member

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    HA! And background checks too!

    "Close the Baseball Museum Loophole!!!!"

    "No immunity for baseball and bat manufacturers!"
     
  22. TheDutchman

    TheDutchman Member

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    If that guy is throwing baseball and bats at me, I would throws some lead at him too. I am pretty sure most people on this forum would do the same as the officer.
     
  23. Spreadfire Arms

    Spreadfire Arms Member

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    as a former LE officer, i do not see how people who have never done police work can have such a strong opinion and Monday-morning-quarterback an officer's decision to shoot without all of the facts.

    i am not specifically stating tarpleyg did not have any experience/training/etc. however i think he said he had friends that were cops.

    i've said it before, internet makes it easy for cop wanna-be's, second-guessers, mall-ninjas, and the like interject their non-trained, non-professional, and non-experienced opinion into a deadly force situation involving LE officers.

    that's not to say they don't have the right to their own opinion, but for someone who's never had any sort of LE training, their opinion as to whether or not deadly force was applied correctly in an officer-involved shooting isn't normally considered valuable in any legal arena. yes, jurors, who are most likely untrained, may have to decide the fate of an officer in court, but, that would mean the department, District Attorney, and/or Grand Jury would first have to think that the shooting was improper in order for it to get there.
     
  24. Ky Larry

    Ky Larry Member

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    The police office did the right thing, under the curcumstances. I doubt the BG had an arm like Nolan Ryan (100 MPH+ fast ball) but even still a baseball can break bones.. The LEO stopped a threat to himself and the public. He could just as easily put a full mag in the BG's X-ring.
     
  25. MikeIsaj

    MikeIsaj Member

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    A baseball can kill you! And you don't have to be Nolan Ryan.

    The story isn't nearly complete enough to form any strong opinion. I assume the deputy didn't have the back up to isolate the actor from the public. If someone was throwing baseballs at me, I would consider that a threat of death or serious bodily injury. No one has commented on shooting him in the legs. It worked this time but odds are it usually won't. If you miss, you are almost certain to have a ricochet flying who knows where. Center mass all the time.
     
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