A disgruntled Californian satellite TV and internet customer was earlier this week cuffed on "suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and displaying a firearm in a threatening manner" after ordering a repairman to fix his service at gunpoint. According to the The San Diego Union-Tribune, Gary Thomson …
With my ISP / TV / Phone supplier the use of firearms is about the only way to get your service fixed.
Posted anymousely 'cos i KNOW they read these comments.
Insert predictable Microsoft Vista comment here.
OK, forgetting the asshattery of someone waving a shotgun around, there are three claims against him:
Suspected assault with a deadly weapon. How? Has someone *maybe* been assaulted with a shotgun??? They *may* be dead but we'll have to check with them first???
making criminal threats and displaying a firearm in a threatening manner
Uh, aren't these the same thing? If you're displaying a firearm in a threatening manner, that IS making criminal threats. Or else how can you be displaying it in a threatening manner WITHOUT saying something like "I'm gunna shoot yuh with m' squirly rifle"?
I suppose if the "defendant" were smart enough to go "WTF?" themselves, they'll be done for "resisting arrest" too...
I guess he didn't appreciate the joke of 'not supporting Vista'.
US man threatens TV repairman with shotgun’
Presumably the location.
Something similar happened to me....
...in the early 90's I was a field support tech, supporting Tulip desktop computers. I went to a call with a disk crash, in west london, the support contract staing that the disk be swapped out. The chap had no backup's and, of course all his work was on the disk. He wouldn't let me leave and threatened to shoot the computer unless it was resolved. While the guy was drinking neat brandies and fiddling with the safety on the 12 bore, I frantically called my support desk, trying to get the to agree to recover the data, which eventually they did, and I was allowed to go on my way!!
I'd be quick to reach for a gun too
Considering he has to *live* in that horrible place we associate with MS's latest fiasco of an OS.
I think this is Gates' fault.
That'll explain why the unit needed repair, and the users frustration:
Location, location, location.
No more Vista jokes.
Obligatory Simpsons Reference
"No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy".
"He later reported the incident, at his boss's insistence"
I'd be straight round to the cop shop.
No more jokes...
Californian says Hasta la Vista to shoddy support...
Sounds about right
Yeah that's normal, something like this is always going to come around every few months...
Average American with little intelligence + guns which are exceptionally easy to get hold of = chaos.
Whether it's hold up's with morons like this or the recent news of another idiot on a killing spree it's going to happen when you allow guns on the street & I'm getting tired of reading about these stories...
Because Vista has been mentioned and someone has to say it....
If he had been using Linux or a Mac he would not have had the problem in the first place.......
Not just in America
Average American with little intelligence + guns which are exceptionally easy to get hold of = chaos.
Going back about 6 or 7 years now. One of our field engineers was threatened at knifepoint by a customer in Liverpool when repairing her home computer. He managed to alert one of the support desk staff by generally being weird on the phone until the support desk staff member asked if everything was alright to which he simply replied "No". He was asked if he needed police assistance to which he simply replaied "Yes". A very harrowing day for our engineer and a loss of custody for the customer. But it's not just Merkins that are crazy, us Brits have our fair share of unstableness.
Surely that should be Stablelessness.
Taxi for one. Mine's the welder's apron...
Re: Not just in America
"But it's not just Merkins that are crazy, us Brits have our fair share of unstableness."
That's just our lovable island eccentricity.
RE: Not just in America
Yeah - it was liverpool... case closed!!
I can't really talk though - I live in Manchester, gun capital of the UK... what's strange though is that against what the BBC and newspapers claim is happenning up here, I've never even heard a gun, never mind seen one.
The area I live in is so safe my father in law decided to leave his brand new Audi running to defrost it while he went inside to finish his tea and toast.... which then a group of guys took off his hands for no charge... the car, not the toast...
The paris icon, because my guess is this guy was actually stressed because he couldn't download his latest paris pics.... which to be fair, would upset any shotgun owner.
Yeah, stick to The Man, Mark! Effing police won't let me threaten people with my shotgun.
Where's the effing freedom? True freedom! Freedom to take my video camera into the theater! Freedom to hit my wife when my carrots are too salty! Freedom to enjoy naked pictures of children! Freedom to shit in a cop's hat! Not this sham capitalist freedom.
Goddamn Americans. Everyone knows that violence only happens in America. Americans are so stupid. Just look at this election nonsense. If only it was more like Kenya. I hear they're sane there.
Is that where you go while waiting for XP SP3?
I'm a field tech in an even more rural American locale than this fellow. I have a concealed weapon permit and pack my own heat into jobs.
Really, why wouldn't I? People in this country are fucking deranged.
Yep, it's California.
In England, they'd just have threatened to hit the guy in the head with a cricket bat. It's much more civil, and you stand a chance of scoring a six if you do a good job.
I blame the meeja.
If you watch every action movie out there we're led to believe that waving a gun at someone is the way to get them to do whatever you want. The baddie will point at gun at someone and threaten them so they unlock the safe. The cops will point a gun at someone and tell them to "freeze". When the hero breaks into the flat at the end, he points his gun through the door. It seems to me that the message is "If you want something and someone may not give it to you, point a gun at them".
Darn good thing the techie could fix the fault. What if the PSU was burned out and he didn't have a spare??
That said. They don't say HOW the customer "threatened" the repairman. Maybe all he did was clean the guns whilst the repairman was fixing the telly - and seemed pissed (as well you might) when the chap was 4 hours late and the customer misinterpreted his irritated demeanor as threatening when it was merely frustrated! Well, there is no law against cleaning your gun collection and no law against being grumpy and moody.
We're just kinda assuming he pointed the gun at the hapless techie and made threats!
Rofl @ Joe - you sir are a genius!
"Freedom to shit in a cop's hat" made me laugh. And, of course, now all I can think about is the Police Academy movies...
More common than you might think....
My uncle was a telephone company lineman in the midwest USA. One disgruntled old lady let her German shepherd out into the yard while my uncle was up the pole and wouldn't tie the dog up until my uncle agreed to take some unnecessary charges off of her most recent phone bill. After waiting for an hour my uncle killed the dog with a well-thrown hand ax. When the old woman called the cops they told her if SHE ever did anytyhing like that again they'd make sure she went with them, not the repairman.
Assault with a deadly..... beast? canine? mammal?
Yeah, that's it, assault with a deadly mammal. I like the sound of that.
Re: More common than you might think....
*hums 'Wichitar Lineman' loudly to blot out thoughts of unneccessary dog death*
it isn't about letting the asshats of the world threaten people with shotguns (READ the frigging message, not just the bits you want), it's about how the police in trying to get conviction rates up add reduntant claims.
One incident: threatening someone with a shotgun.
Three crimes ? ?? ?? ?
a) plea bargain: we'll do you for all three if you don't cop to one of them
b) three crimes solved with one conviction
reply to anonymous coward: oh yeah
I'm right there with ya dude.....Kentucky CDW permit in the wallet and a Smith & Wesson 642 J with Crimson Trace laser grip in the pocket.
Some idiot would have ended up with a red laser dot on his forehead, ready to be traded out with something more substantial if he refused to put the shotty down.
That shit in a cops hat is part of the IT crowd (series in the UK) lampooning the ridiculous OTTness of the piracy advert the MPAA show on DVDs and in cinemas nowadays.
It is funny, but not really an attack against what I said, but more like bolstering it (over egging the pudding to make crime seem more dangerous or crimefighting more effective or just to browbeat the public into respecting their authoritah).
Of course, had the woman tried to then hit him with the deceased canine, it would have been "assault with a dead mammal".
I'm going, I'm going...
ahh the good old days.....
Received repeated calls from a disgruntled guy that bought his Apricot PC from PC World. The PC was repeatedly crashing, as was the business he was trying to run from said PC. Needless to say, no back ups..... As per company policy I redirected him to PC Worlds support operation and thought no more of it for an hour or two.
Engineer at desk next door then starts getting calls from same customer and starts looking alarmed, she has apparently been informed by him that he is heading to the ferry port armed with a shotgun. This duly reported to a manager who calms her frayed nerves and tells her, "no, this kind of thing happens all the time".....
We then get a call from the guys partner who asks if he has called us...... strange.... Then informs that said chap has vanished, along with the PC in question, his work van and his shotgun, crucially though, not his meds. He was under doctors orders it transpiresm as both his marriage and business were failing possibly as a result of his mental health.
Thankfully the ferry port in Ireland that he was attempting to journey forth from was alerted and the bloke was wrestled to the ground by the local coppers.
It's not just the US.... People do get wound up by tech. For myself, my own hot button - it's my car a lovely wee sportscar - or it was.... A dealership supposed to be replacing a reversing lamp bulb last week actually stuck it on a bollard, in my presence. Cause - testosterone poisoning in the pillock detailed to get the car into the service bay. Angry.....? I reckon everyone within a hundred yards could work that one out.
I have Dish for my TV service and if my experiences are typical, I don't blame him one bit. The servicemen are always late, and then they show up with a service ticket that bears no resemblance to the service requested. He wanted his TV fixed, and the serviceman probably had a ticket for an install of the wrong type of service.
Only in California (and other restricted states).
Take a moment to study the gun laws of the US. The majority of states allow *law abiding* citizens to legally carry concealed weapons. California is not one of those states. The bad guy therefore is relatively safe to assume anyone showing up on his doorsteps is not packing heat. IL & NY are other high crime states which do not allow law abiding citizens to legally protect themselves. See the trend here?
Fortunately, I live in a state where I can legally carry a concealed weapon. This fact gives the bad guy pause. The bad guy simply does not know if I am legally armed and prepared to defend myself. (Whether I am or not is beside the point). And therefore it is a deterrent which provides for my personal safety.
Remember, this is about allowing *law abiding* citizens to *legally* provide for their personal protection. Cops are not there to protect us (as has been held up in numerous court cases). They only arrive after the fact to secure & clean up the mess.
I cannot imagine living in such a place where the government does not allow me to defend myself. It must be really scary to live your life in a constant fear because you cannot provide for your own safety.
I need a sheep icon to represent the herd mentality which brought about these stupid disarmament laws. Paris is the closest icon to a sheep.
RE: Re: More common than you might think....
unneccessary (sic) dog death?
umm... if I was threatened by someone with their dog... and in a tight spot with no way to contact someone from my position, but had a tool that would take out the dog... I'd take out the dog. there's no way I'd let the dog bite/maul/etc me if I had the option to take it out.
so following your point... would you have rather the old lady been brought up on assault charges if the dog did bite the guy? or if the guy did get killed by the dog... brought up on murder charges? One techie down, but the dog's ok?
and I thought El Reg liked techies... I guess I was mistaken. Remind me never to visit... mmmkay?
<initiate flame war now>
blah blah "americans" "guns" and other predictable socialist w@nk
so it would've been all okay if it had been a knife, machete, cricket bat, or anything else, but it's "OMG a GUUUUUNNNNN!!! "
the same @sshats who complain that government is taking over more and more of their rights, are the same ones who want more and more rights taken away.
If it hadn't been a white guy with the gun, you'd not have seen the story-it'd have been just another day in Oakland. Had it been a big knife and threats of beheading by a "swarthy young Asian male" (never Arabic anymore) you'd have been afraid to even mention it. An "undocumented immigrant" with a machete, well it would have been all the repairman's fault and the "undocumented" would have the whole "hispanic community" up in arms, and the ambulance chasing Al Sharptonesque lawyers would be workin' the courts.
Funny, a dozen terrorists from the same religion each day and it's all "you can't judge the rest based on the few". But one gun story a month and it's "ban those EEVIL gunz!!11!!"
Because there's nothing a government likes better than unarmed sheeple. Shame on Europeans for forgetting that. Or is not forgetfulness, but selling out, hoping to be part of the ruling elite by kissing @rse now? Hoping to be at the left hand of the Devil instead of in his path?
RE: justifiable threats
You don't blame him one bit?! Surely you can't be serious?! You've got a problem with your telly and you think it's perfectly alright to threaten a person with a shotgun when they try and HELP you?!
I think you need more help than with your dish...
What a cheap ass cable company to incompetent to equip their drivers with adequate street maps or navigation systems !
Although such incidents of shotgun waving for quickie repairs are so common in Texas , Florida and Louisiana , the local press don't bother any more to report these incidents !
On the other note of hilarity , due to the cheap ass nature of all US Employers they tend to dock your pay for the time taken to either vote on super Tuesday or allow service people to fix and/or install appliances in your home in normal working hours , such is life in the land of the paranoid where even the government does not trust it's own citizens to do the right thing but come to think of it neither does the government either !
Have a nice day you all ! Ha! Ha! Ha!
Solder of fortune
I see the gun lobby has arrived. I do agree with them to some extent though. I'm certainly not about to give up my Weller.
I was bitten by a customer once because I tried to stop them leaving without paying for repairs to their monitor.
Apparently, according to the police, I was in the wrong, although he was owe us for the repairs, it was his property and he had the right to take it, if we wanted payment we would need to take it to the small claims court... we never did get the money for that repair....
Bastards... all of them... (customers)
In fact that reminds me of a job that I had before that working in a 24 hour garage when the toilet was out of order a guy came in and pissed all over the cerial isle... funny now but at 3 in the morning you dont want to be cleaning up piss soaked corn flakes...
Apparently that wasnt a crime either, it was a public order offence and to be charged the event would have needed to be witnesed first hand by a policeman/woman/CSO etc...
Its getting to the point where crime is falling because everyting is being made legal... Wanna snort coke of a prozzies arse? next year you will be able to do it whilst driving (as long as you are hands free)
His cable company wasn't Virgin Media by any chance? They still can't find out why my cable TV is broken about 30% of the time and it's been almost a year along with 7 new V+ boxes!
I've been tempted to threaten them, although not with a firearm (I'm not that stupid) however I just have to resort to calling them out once a week, I think I'm on first name terms with most of the engineers in the area!
@Jason Harvey - Flame war initiated
What's the matter with you ?? I love dogs !! Especially when they are well cooked !! Wanton slaying of dogs is a crime. They should only be killed for the pot !! They also need the proper spices and flavouring !!
Philistine !! Big Mac-lover !!
@AC - "Only in California"
"I cannot imagine living in such a place where the government does not allow me to defend myself. It must be really scary to live your life in a constant fear because you cannot provide for your own safety."
I don't think there are many countries that stop you defending yourself, though many draw the line at personal weapons. It is strange but if you do not expect to be attacked with a concealed weapon then you do not fear it happening to you. If guns are illegal then the expectation is that you will not experience one. I know it must sound crazy but I have lived my entire life in countries that do not allow me to carry a gun and have managed to avoid "living in constant fear". Strangely, I feel a little nervy when watching armed police walking round airports. Go figure.
Incidentally, I have witnessed exactly one illigal firearm (9mm handgun) during my life so far, during the decade I spent in Manchester. I guess it is kinda ironic that the proud owner was merkin (and, unconnected, a complete wanker too).
here in Maryland
in my area ,you do not have the right of self defense.You are allowed to run,unless of course the one threatening you is the officer, who if you do run, might fire the "horizontal" warning shot... duck..
"...at 3 in the morning you dont want to be cleaning up piss soaked corn flakes..."
And at 8 in the morning, I don't want to be eating those cleaned up corn flakes!
Funny, I've lived in a multitude of countries and the only ones I've ever felt unsafe in are the ones where people are allowed to have guns. Ban guns and you significantly reduce gun crime! Who would a thunk it!
Take Aus for example, we still hold the record for the most number of people killed in a psychotic gun rampage (outside of the military of course! And depsite America's repeated attempts to take back the title). After the Port Arthur Massacre we introduced much tougher gun laws and we have not had another mass shooting incident since. Its only been 12 years though so i guess its just not soon enough for any actual conclusions to be drawn, eh?
@ Red Bren
8 am you will be fine, it takes at least 6 hours to properly dry the flakes in the bakery oven.
I would say anyone picking up "reduced" cereal from the bargain counter from 10am onwards would be at risk of getting more sodium in their flakes than the ingredients listing might lead them to believe.
I wouldn't blame him,
While I'm not in the US, I do have friends there, and trust me, one particular friend was so fed up with Dish that he eventually dropped the service and went for a competing one. From what he told me, Dish is a difficult entity to deal with- they want things their way or no way. I.e. they lack a lot of channels that he's interested in, and in one instance, one channel went 24 hours, but this Dish still kept to airing the channel up until evening, then swapping it out to another channel and running it 'til next morning. As a result, he was watching a particular movie at one time, and suddenly they swapped out. He got so peeved off that he made a fuss of it to their tech support (which promptly told him to live with it), on TV forums he frequented, and finally, biting the bullet and throwing off Dish altogether upon stumbling on spam sent by the competing company promising him the channels he waned, the fact that they actually followed suit and aired the network channels as separate without swapping out, and at a competitive rate to boot.
*sigh* now if they would only have competing satellite companies in Malaysia.
@ Only in California (and other restricted states).
Reminds me of a letter carrier (postie in the UK) I used to know. He transferred from Los Angeles and was telling me about an incident there when he was fairly new to the job. Another carrier from his station was delivering mail in a somewhat undesirable neighborhood, and one house had a five foot fence around it. The mailbox was outside the fence, and placed in such a way that the carrier had to stand with his back to the fence to place mail in the box or get hit by passing cars. The owner had a rather aggressive dog (shall we say vicious?). When the carrier was placing mail in the box (back to the fence, remember?), the dog tried to come over the fence, but only got its head over... and promptly bit down on the carrier's neck... and kept on chewing until it finally dropped back over into the yard some long period of time later. Carrier goes across the street, blood all over his upper body, asks the construction crew to call the post office for him. Carrier picks up a nice 4-6 foot long piece of steel rebar. Carrier returns to the fence, opens the gate and goes through. When the dog attacks him again, he uses the rebar like a baseball bat, and kept on using it until the dog was dead, and STILL kept on using it until his supervisor, who had arrived by this time, pulled him off. Meanwhile dog's owner is going into hysterics about her dog. Police come out, listen to both sides, and charge the dog's owner with harboring a vicious animal. Carrier goes to hospital for treatment and a couple of months off to recover. Both carrier and dog owner file lawsuits (this is California, after all). Carrier gets large chunk of money from dog owner, aided by medical report and photographs his supervisor had taken. Judge rules carrier's actions temporary insanity and throws dog owner case out of court.
IT angle?... there isn't one, rebar is very low tech
Late Night Larry
@blah blah "americans" "guns" and other predictable socialist w@nk
So.. as a European, what freedoms am I missing out on exactly...?
A society where everyone is entitled to carry round a concealed, long range, deadly weapon, doesn't strike me as the utopian free society that you hint it is.
A neighbourhood arms race. What a relaxing place it must be to live in.