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back to article Blind one-legged man wins arse-kicking contest

A partially-sighted, one-legged man who had consumed a substantial quantity of rum was accused of attempted murder after he set about four American policemen single-handed earlier this week brandishing an assortment of cutting and stabbing weapons. The understandably alarmed plods subdued their assailant by the use of a Taser …

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Well none of you has ever tried to put mister second base

In a set of handcuffs have you?

It is not easy.

Trust me.

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Paris Hilton

Shouldnt that be that blind one-legged LOSES arse-kicking contest?

"On arrival, the officers found James Ray Howard, 42, "shirtless on his front lawn"

One officer discharged his Taser, planting the weapon's twin barbs into Howard's head and shoulder and zapping him with a crippling electric current."

So the guy is off his head and shirtless and can barely see them and they shoot him in the head with a taser. Those police guys are hard core.

Paris because she would know how to properly treat a blind one-legged guy

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Pint

Missed it by *THAT* much....

Greetings and Salutations....

How sad that this fell almost a full week after the official "Talk Like A Pirate" day. (http://www.talklikeapirate.com/). Ignoring the human tragedy here, it would have made it even funnier.

Of course, this is also a good example of the way that Prosecutors all around the world try to inflate the seriousness of the crime, to make their records look even more impressive. Keeping the citizenry in a state of panic over this apparent mad attempt at Bloody Murder is a sure bet to keep that slippery slope to the desired Totalitarian State well lubricated.

Considering the facts given, I think the court's final finding of misdemeanor resisting arrest to actually be the most sane and logical charge. However, a few years ago, all that would have happened would have been that the cops would have grabbed the guy, tossed him in a cell overnight to sober up, and sent him home with no official record generated.

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Tasers

Only to be used as an alternative to lethal firearms, or in the hands of a bunch of roid raging rozzers with nothing better to do than use implements of torture against disabled people.

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Joke

Of course he had to plead guilty.

He didn't have a leg to stand on.

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Silver badge

Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!

So that's were Long John went...

I hope for him his wife comes back soon, though she might have good reasons to stay away...

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Coat

c'mon, the guy deserves a bit of sympathy...

After all, it's tough enough to be missing a foot, but they went and disarmed him as well!

Mine's the one with no sleeves.

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Dead Vulture

Tut tut...

You've been very very lax recently, and even a story like this, one a Friday, which is literally screaming for the treatment, fails to get Playmobil'ed

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Of course it was attempted murder!

Shooting someone who has taken a large quantity of unknown medication in the head with a Taser!

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Go

I call PIRATE!

He has to be a pirate, what other explanation is there? The things missing from this story are a peg leg and a parrot.

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Anonymous Coward

WTF

Maybe I misread the article but as I understand it this person was pissed up sitting on his own property. Why didn't the arsehole cops just leave him alone?

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Two out of three ain't bad..

>cops' advantages in numbers, limbs and un-addled mental processes

These are american police-people so the last 'advantage' could be the matter of some debate.

Just sayin'

I can just see a UK police-person saying 'c'mon chum stop being a silly -arse and hop over here please, good, now what's all this then?'

One cup of tea later and everyone goes home happy.

(sings to the tune of 'Monty Pythons I like chinese')

I like my meds,

I like my meds,

they really go to my head.

etc.

ttfn

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Coat

oh dear...

Well I guess all that rum explains being legless, this guy's anything but 'armless though!

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Joke

Throw the book at 'em.

After all (drumroll) he wasn't completely legless.

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In the head?

I'd be rather surprised to learn that you're supposed to aim tasers at people's heads. Were the police also so flustered that they couldn't aim?

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Pirate

Arr, this fella must be given a Pirate callsign, me hearties!

Such a brave man cannot have his deeds of courage go without even a footnote in history.

For his utmost pirattitude and bravery (using cold steel melee weapons against cowardly projectile-spitting so-called law-enforcing landlubbers), this man deserves an El Reg Pirattitude Award®.

Better yet, a poll must be taken, to give this brave heart a pirate callsign, Which chould be baptism name for El Reg's <piratename> Pirattitude Award, which would be given only for the bravest folks making current and upcoming generations remember the meaning of the word 'Pirattitude' .

May his daredevil accomplishments be remebered forever in the seas of the internet! Yo-ho!

Arr!

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IR

Dictionary

Is this some new meaning of the word "win"?

The police disarmed him and immobilised him, no reports of a single cop getting so much as a scratch. I'm betting that Pueblo PD isn't all that used to having to contend with anything more than someone playing their stereo too loud.

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@Dave Mundt

Dave: At least they had a Taser available to him, Taser probes hurt a lot less than bullets.

LAPD probably would have just shot him from the car and driven on.

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Go

And yet --

Paging Mr Spigott...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty68LPKRQQQ

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Arr! Indeed!

Take that man aft! The Pueblo police may have been vaguely threatened by the fact that he had no shirt. He was lucky to avoid an instant death sentence!

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g e
Silver badge

Head? THE HEAD???

WTF happens if that shit hits you in the eye?????

Are these rentacop-standard 'officers' numbskulls, shit shots or as drunk as the guy they're nailing ?

Jeebus

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WTF?

To those idiots.. yes, I mean you!

If you have NEVER faced a knife before, I suggest you give these coppers some slack...

I really do not care 2 hoots who brandishes a knife, ANY knife of that description can be lethal. Cops know this because they are on the front line.

If me own nan went lula with a knife, I'd fully expect them to TASER her if they can't reason with her.

I will say it again, those of you who have never ever faced a knife before, think again before you post shit like this.

One passing word of advice. If anyone ever brandishes a knife at you, you distract and RUN like F#$# or if you can't, comply. Only as a last resort do you ever fight - you may have to but this is beyond the scope of this post.

Do NOT ever think any fancy martial arts moves are gonna work with any certainty to prevent you from harm. Do NOT *ever* make that mistake. Believe you me *I* know.

If you want to learn how dangerous knives actually are, google Paul Vunak's free online videos.

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FAIL

Misinformed, Inaccurate, Biased & Irrational

Ah the joys of reading the rantings of the Armchair Experts:

1.Taser cartridges fire their two wired barbs simultaneously but with slightly differing, non parallel, trajectories. In practice they can be as much as 3' apart before reaching their maximum range of 21 feet and you cannot be certain in which orientation these barbs will leave the weapon.

Obviously both barbs must be embed before the current can circulate and it is not uncommon for one barb to completely miss; in fact at maximum range it is technically possible for both to pass on either side of an average sized human (well maybe not an average sized American but you get my point). The red aiming dot is only ever a rough guide and therefore absolute accuracy is physically impossible, all that matters for effective use is that both barbs strike somewhere.

2. At surprisingly large distances, someone moving towards you with bladed/edged weapon can close you down quicker than you can draw and use a holstered weapon; particularly if you did not foresee or anticipate it and especially at night. They can and usually do remain capable of stabbing/slashing you even after being shot with a handgun as numerous US Officer and civilian woundings will testify. In this regard Tasers are more effective than firearms as they are capable of physically stopping someone.

In training, you are usually compelled to start moving backwards in order to give yourself sufficient time to draw and use a Taser. If a concealed blade is drawn within that 21 feet you're out of luck and will invariably get cut. Such practical experience usually ensures that officers will draw a Taser whenever they see any hint of a weapon; indeed you shouldn't be doing the job if you don't. In the real world, adrenaline and unconscious muscle memory ultimately dictates how you actually respond, training only goes so far.

3. The report clearly states that the man moved threateningly towards them, it also said he was only footless and not leg-less (as the tagline implied) so that any wearing of a prosthetic foot would probably be undetectable. It does not say if he was wearing a prosthetic foot but its a reasonable assumption that he was not walking on his stump. It is therefore highly likely that the officers would have had no reason to factor in such a disability and treated him as able bodied.

4. Likewise, without an eye patch or a guide dog, you cannot readily tell a partially sighted person apart from anyone else. Furthermore, partial sightedness makes you no less deadly with bladed and edged weapons, particularly if using wild slashing movements.

5. Drunk and intoxicated people are inherently more dangerous and unpredictable than calm and sober ones.

6. The report stated that they were initially sent to a man publicly threatening suicide with such weapons, which would have inevitably primed them to anticipate someone already on the edge or capable of impulsive and irrational behaviour. This should automatically warrant at least two double crewed cars in anticipation of potentially being compelled to go hands-on. Again, had this not have been the case a number of people would be doing the wrong job.

7. The quickest, surest and safest way - for all concerned - to prevent someone from imminently stabbing or slashing themselves to death is to Taser them.

8. No Police Officer is obliged to place themselves, or expose anyone else, to unnecessary physical danger unless absolutely unavoidable; indeed legislation dictates this (H&S Act in the UK amongst others). You are simply not paid enough to become a human punch bag and you quite reasonably hope to finish your day's work in the same state in which you started it. Your family and friends prefer it that way. It is, after all, just a job.

However, the increased frequency of risk you face is profoundly higher than the average "man-on-the-street"; every officer becomes injured and assaulted at some stage, many seriously so. Every experienced officer can relate accounts of colleagues forced to retire through debilitating injury and, over time, this profoundly effects your decision making and self-exposure to risk, particularly as you grow older.

In conclusion: Based on the information supplied in the account, the officer's actions seem reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances and the least dangerous and effective way of resolving the situation. Once the talking solution was negated - by the man starting threateningly towards the officers with his weapons - I would like to believe that I would respond in exactly the same way as those officers did - and suspect that so would you if placed in the same circumstances with the same knowledge and training.

As to the charging policy, I can't constructively comment on that as they work to a different criteria than here in the UK; save to say that any decisions made were likely to have been taken by a District Attorney and not any Police Officers at all.

All in all; this is largely a routine non-story to all but the people immediately involved and has own gained momemtum through sensationalist reporting - that and the usual eagerness of the woefully misinformed to jump on a passing bandwagon.

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Grenade

Re: Of course he had to plead guilty.

He did not.

Blindness, missing limb chunks, prescription medication and being totally inadequate after some alcohol. The odds are pretty much 9:1 that he is a diabetic.

He can claim diminished responsibility all right. In fact, I would not be so sure about the pint. Probably he thinks he drunk a pint. More likely he had a couple of shots at most. So unless the police had him blood-analysed ASAP they are going to have some trouble proving anything. By the way, it has to be blood - breathalising does not work properly on diabetics either.

So in fact, all he needs is a good lawyer.

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Joke

Re Pieces of eight! Pieces of eight!

Pieces of seven! Pieces of seven!

Parroty error.

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Stop

You shouldn't report this....

In case it gives North Wales Police ideas above their mental capacity.

AC in case I drive through the NWP Gestapo patch...

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Coat

Bloody Hell!

"The legless one-legged scuffler was then disarmed "

Isn't enough that the poor bastard has only one leg without taking his arms off him as well?

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IT Angle

As someone who is shirtless in his front lawn any day I'm scared!

"On arrival, the officers found James Ray Howard, 42, "shirtless on his front lawn"

Hmm. Makes me really scared. I mean, just to mention this fact, as if it indicated something wrong with that chap. I think, it wasn't 'shortless', then? I for one would rather keep a bunch of miles off the place, where 'shirtlessness' is used as prologue for anything from misdemeanor to murder.

Okay, his weaponry incites fear, but also in that respect, the formulation "brandishing a steak knife and a 12-inch metal spike" invites doubts. What does this supposedly mean? Swaying a kitchen knife at what? A BBQ-sausage? And the metal spike? In the other hand? What is a 12-inch metal spike by the way? An extremely long nail? A gardening tool? Or the other tool needed to prick into his sausages at grilling? Threatening remarks? No, nothing about gestures.

Sure, he ought not be let off the hook, even if he only called them 'pigs' or whatnot. That's no civilised behaviour. But tasering him, and slapping some 'first-degree' on him shows highly uncivilised behaviour on the side of the Colorado Peace Officers.

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Let me get this straight, commentards

A drunken man is brandishing weapons in his front lawn, apparently in a threatening enough manner to warrant a call to the cops. When the cops arrive, he threatens them and, it seems, goes to attack them. The cops then use the least lethal method they have for stopping him without getting stabbed.

Your response? ARGLE BARGLE AMERIKKKAN COPS, TASER BLARGH TOTALITARIAN POLICE STATE. Bravo, commentards, bravo.

Also, @g e, the guy's legally blind, I don't think hitting him in the eye would change much... Also I'm going to guess he was shot in the *back* with the Taser, probably as he was facing (or trying to locate and face) another officer. It's not particularly hard to flank a blind man.

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@g e

You'll have someone's eye out, of course. Then they get to complete their pirate ensemble with an eyepatch.

Remember, it's only funny till someone gets hurt - then it's hilarious.

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Reid Malenfant

I agree. To much urge round here to rant about the police and give "stories" about how some friend of a friend was shot by the police because he looked at them funny.

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@Reid Malenfant

Thank you for posting that. I'm continually amazed by the knee-jerk arrogance displayed by such a large percentage of reg posters. And to them - if you want to fight the good fight against police injustice, you'd do wonders for your credibility if you waited for actual police injustice before you started flinging drunken punches.

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FAIL

Toddlers

Why toddlers? Because any officer that cant disarm a drunk, disabled blind man with out using potential deadly force might as well be replaced by one (a toddler that is).

For the record I have myself successfully countered 2 assaults with knife. If you know what you are doing its fairly easy. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD clearly lags the confidence and/or training it takes to do it. The phrase: "fancy martial arts moves". Should be a clear indicator, if his retarder name isen´t, that this person has no clue about armed vs. unarmed combat/defence.

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Flame

Re AC "Toddlers"

You may very well be trolling but, regardless of that, I found your comments so contemptuous I felt compelled to respond.

Please re-read my above post and this time try to digest the points made:

1. You are guilty of the most common error made by so many Register posters, namely by offering comments based entirely on 3rd party hindsight which, without due qualification, makes you sound ingenuous at best, foolish at worst.

As I've already pointed out; based on the information supplied it was unlikely that the officers knew he was disabled or partially sighted until AFTER his arrest. All anybody can do is take a threat at face value and deal with it accordingly. If you are what you claim you are you should know that.

2. Of the 140,000+ UK Police Officers I'd be surprised if more than 10% of them have ever done anything beyond the most rudimentary martial arts training; far more seem interested in rugby than anything else!

The OST package (Officer Safety Training) is okay so far as it goes, but with such limited time, money and resources the basic 2 training days/year will never give you much more than only the most essential handcuffing, baton and captor spray techniques.

IMO even the new SPEAR package is, in reality, little more than a gesture and can never supply officer's with the correct levels of skill and EXPERIENCE to really make a difference. Like so much of our on-the-job-training it ensures that the organisation doesn't fall foul of their H&S Act obligations.

3. Easy is it? You sound like certain of my colleagues who mistakenly believe themselves invincible based on over confidence, Instructor's hype and extreme good fortune. I too have successfully defended myself, and others from attack, I have also been horribly injured but then after 30 years I can count such incidents into triple figures and - eventually - you'll lose out to probability.

If your two alleged attacks were so easily defeated then you should consider yourself lucky and accept it at that. Hand to hand combat leaves little margin for error and people are far too unpredictable to have any certainty of who or what you're dealing with until its far too late. Deluded over-confidence is a killer, if you have been properly trained you should know that!

Only a moron believes that Martial Arts renders you invulnerable.

Aside from being a long serving officer I have been a martial artist for a very long time and now teach. I will say to you what I tell all my students, never ever be fooled into tackling anyone with a knife unless you are left with absolutely no other choice and/or the PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES provide you with some kind of advantage or physical defence.

Everything else falls into the realm of the stupid and, I'm afraid, your comments imply you're no stranger to that place.

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Damn

I think he needs counselling more than time inside or a (longer?) criminal record.

That and to move out of his mother's house and divorce his wife.

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Megaphone

let me just get this right...

..a bunch of Reg readers who weren't there are absolutely convinced that 4 cops confronted with an agressive, pissed-up, drug-affected shirtless man waving 2 sharp weapons at them should have tackled him in hand-to-hand combat and, without doing him any injury, arrested him. And that this would have been better than tasering him (from which he seems to have suffered no real ill-effects).

My martial arts teacher also taught us some moves that were definitely NOT for use in any competition, but purely for self defense on the streets. He was 6 foot 6 of solid, ex-marines muscle, seemingly afraid of no-one, and his view was that knives are too unpredictable - take on someone with a knife and one unlucky move means you die. Those aren't good odds.

I object to "over-enthusiastic" policing that gets reported in the UK and the US as much as anyone else, but I do have to say that when I've seen US cops in action in real life they generally give people every opportunity to do what they are told. If this guy came straight at them this actually seems a perfectly reasonable response.

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@the backlash

Obviously you'd be an idiot to go toe-to-toe with a madman wielding sharp objects. No argument there. You can't claim this was a misuse of the Taser.

However, the way in which the crime magically plummeted from murder to assault to resisting arrest doesn't do plod any favours. He tried to kill us! Really? Well, actually, I guess he wasn't trying to kill us, but he was definitely attacking us. Oh? Well, we did start it.

Yes, he got a plea bargain, but if you can't convince a jury to convict someone who's attacked officers of the law in broad daylight, surrounded by a surfeit of reliable witnesses, whether or not they've pleaded guilty, then either you are so bad at prosecution it's a wonder you can write your own name, or it's because they didn't commit that offence.

That kind of hysterical behaviour is all too common nowadays (you can be arrested for being threateningly tall, for God's sake), and colours everything else the cops do, including their decisions whether or not to deploy potentially lethal cattle prod guns.

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@Reid Malenfant

So the fact that he was in a whel chair missing legs is not a clue that he might be disabled ??

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FAIL

@ Kain Preacher - A fool!

Oh good, another one!

Its not hard is it? All you have to do is to READ the article and THINK BEFORE YOU TYPE!

At no point does it mention a wheel chair; not even the merest suggestion of one - this is all in your head! Indeed the article clearly stated that he moved towards the officers. Granted, it doesn't say if he was crawling on his belly but I suspect had he done so that would probably have become the main thrust of the story .... no?

Yes, the tagline uses the emotive "leg-less" description (I also alluded to sensationalist reporting) but the article clearly states he was ONLY MISSING A FOOT and not the whole leg - again, the implications of which I clearly described in my first posting - and you don't appear to have understood a word of it.

It is because of people like you that I repeatedly have to state "BASED ON THE INFORMATION SUPPLIED IN THE ACCOUNT" ..... and still that's not enough for the hard of thinking.

Moron!

If you wait patiently another bandwagon should be arriving shortly - try not to trip as you climb on!

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