Good talk on blocks

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:01 pm

It is that time of the year.

MENTAL CASES-

In any major urban area, street contacts with mentally or emotionally disturbed persons are practically unavoidable.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, one of every three Americans will suffer some form of serious mental or emotional illness at some point in his life.

The most common group of mentally disturbed persons you will encounter is the “street person”, typically a homeless drifter, or “bum”, usually shabbily dressed, unkempt, bearded, and dirty.

A lot of people will try to tell you that these people are helpless, harmless victims of the failed mental health care system. This is not typically true.

It is now extremely difficult in this country to involuntarily commit someone for a mental illness, even a serious one.

Even disturbed persons who kill are typically stabilized with medication and released back into the public, with the frail hope that they will continue to faithfully take their medication without supervision.

Most mentally ill street people have been placed in care homes or mental institutions at some point, but since they cannot be held there against their will, they left and went back on the street.

In my experience, many of these persons prefer uncertain life on the street to the structured and confining life in an institution. Of course, once on the street and broke, they have no access to medications, and no one to evaluate their progress or deterioration.

In my area, for instance, I used to patrol a residential area, which was a short distance from the main concentration of hospitals, including mental health facilities. We would arrest these "disturbed persons” for theft, burglary, or assault so many times we knew them all by name.

Some were not violent, some were. In court, the judges recognized them as persistent offenders, but understood that they were seriously mentally ill, so were reluctant to put them in jail.

In jail, true criminals victimized these typically poorly physically conditioned people horribly.

The judges were powerless to commit these individuals to mental institutions for any length of time, as the admitting psychiatrists would judge them not to be “an imminent threat to their own safety or that of others”. Back on the street they went in 24 hours.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:02 pm

One night one of these “repeat customers” of ours, a fifty-ish female of slight build, knocked a man down, sat astride his chest, and cut his heart out with a steak knife. Sometimes three of four of us would have to “pile up” on one of these offenders to get him into custody without having to kill him. Harmless? Hardly.


A large percentage of these street people are armed, with usually crude weapons such as knives, screwdrivers, straight razors, or improvised weapons. They are often very territorial about “their home”, which may be a cozy spot behind your office’s dumpster.

They also tend to be very touchy about personal space, and inadvertently getting too close to one may be interpreted as the worst sort of aggressive attack against him, resulting in a furious assault against the “intruder” (you!).


Aside from the obvious “bum” be on the lookout for behavior such as a shuffling, uncoordinated gait; a vacant, “thousand-yard stare”; incoherent mumbling; talking to himself or unseen associates; and other bizarre behavior.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:03 pm

With anyone you suspect to be mentally disturbed, try these tips to avoid or de-escalate a contact:


1. Remember his personal space, and don’t invade it.

2. Do not try to touch him, unless you are prepared to fight him.

3. Do not make sudden, rapid, or startling movements.

4. Speak quietly and slowly. Do not shout.

5. Try to increase distance, and get an obstacle (parked car, fence, etc.) between you, as if he is armed it is probably with an edged weapon.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:06 pm


On the street, you must learn to "shift gears" mentally, to match the threat level encountered. There is a sliding scale of readiness, going from a state of being oblivious and unprepared to a condition of being ready to instantly do lethal violence if forced. One cannot live stuck at either end of this spectrum.

If you try to live at the bottom of the scale, you will fall victim to an accident or to a criminal, eventually. It's just a matter of "when", not "if". On the other hand, you can't go through your daily routine with your hand hovering over your holstered pistol, ready to shoot if anything moves!

What you must learn to do is escalate and de-escalate up and down this scale as the circumstances around you dictate. This is an easily learned system, and one that will help you be in the right frame of mind to deal with any conflict you encounter.

If you should find yourself faced with a life-threatening attack by a criminal, as a typical normal person, you will be faced by three enormous difficulties. They are:

1. Recognizing the presence of the predator in time;
2. Realizing, internalizing, and accepting that THAT MAN, RIGHT THERE, is about to kill you for reasons you do not understand; if you don't stop him; and
3. Overcoming your reluctance to do lethal violence against a fellow human being.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:08 pm

The two most dangerous adversaries: the psychopathic violent criminal
and ignorance.

The psychopathic violent criminal is not a movie
character but a living beast that enjoys senseless acts of brutality—the maiming
or killing of innocent people—to release his seething rage.


He may be lucid or
acting under the influence of mind-altering substances. He may be a prison-trained
monster, or he may have learned as he went.


He may be anyone from a
next door neighbor or ex-husband to a rogue police officer or seemingly inno-cent
mother.


He attacks instantly and decisively, relying on surprise or subter-fuge
either armed or bare-handed.


He gives no quarter and cares little about
being killed himself. This is what you may come up against.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:10 pm


Street gangs become surrogate families of sorts for many members, providing the companionship, support, affirmation, and respect missing from their home life.

This mutual bond among gang members is the source of one cause of violence against non-members.

“Dissing” a gang member (showing disrespect to him or his associates) causes him to lose face in the eyes of his peers, unless redeemed by violence against the person showing the real or imagined disrespect.


Since there are usually multiple members present, you are faced with an attack by all of them (fight one, fight them all).

Other attacks are motivated by desire for your money, and carjacking is a common crime among youthful offenders, who take a new vehicle each night to use in the “cruising”, robberies, and drive-by shootings they have planned for the evening’s entertainment.

In some organizations, gang members must commit a serious crime, such as shooting a stranger (you) in the presence of a senior gang member in order to move up in the social order. Regardless of the intent, these are dangerous individuals, and they must be taken seriously as a threat.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:11 pm

The other predominately white threat group is the “biker gang” or “outlaw bikers”. Bikers live in a culture all their own, in a world dominated by their motorcycle, degradation of women, drugs, and violence.

Bikers seldom work in the traditional sense, but make their living from prostituting their “old ladies”, selling drugs, and working as enforcers for other criminal enterprises.

Bikers tend to be extremely violence prone, especially if they perceive weakness in a victim or opponent, and they tend to be both well armed and often, better skilled than most other gang types. This makes them formidable adversaries.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:12 pm

Visualization, or imagery, is one of the most effective tools available to you for mental conditioning. This is vital to success in a fight.

Under stress, your subconscious mind will immediately take over and direct your body to do whatever the subconscious has been programmed to do.

If you have been programmed through training to respond correctly, you will. Panic is simply the lack of a pre-programmed response.

Since your subconscious doesn’t know what to do, it does nothing.

(When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!) Obviously, your odds of surviving improve drastically if you have pre-programmed the correct tactical responses before a crisis.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:45 pm

Bismarck said, “A smart man learns from his own mistakes, a wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”

This is especially true in this business, where mistakes can be fatal. The easiest way to learn from the mistakes of others is to read a big city newspaper each day as you eat your breakfast.

Look in the local news and select two instances reporting the criminal victimization of some unfortunate person. Take five or ten minutes to read these two accounts and actually analyze them. Ask yourself two questions, and make yourself come up with an answer.



The first question is, “What did the victim do to put himself in this situation?” Once you learn a bit about criminal behavior, you realize that above all, criminals are opportunists.


They capitalize on circumstances created by inattentive, complacent, lazy, and unobservant victims. Very soon you will learn to recognize the behavior or activity on the part of the victim that facilitated or even precipitated the crime.


This will hold true in probably 95% of the cases you study. Once you have identified the specific victim behavior that caused the attack, you are reinforcing in your subconscious that this is negative, or harmful behavior.

Day after day, by doing this, you are programming your subconscious to avoid that type of behavior. If you don’t present the opportunity, the criminal cannot take advantage of it.


The next question is, “Alright, I was stupid and got into this mess, how do I get myself out of it?” Make yourself think up a solution to the tactical situation.


In this manner, you are getting practice every single day in making tactical decisions. If you make tactical decisions every day of your life, they will come easily to you if you find yourself in dangerous circumstances. If you have never practiced this decision making process, how do you expect to do it well under extreme stress?

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:47 pm


SELECTION- The criminal views you as a prospective victim. He looks at your “victim potential”, on two separate bases.

First, do you have the type of car he wants, are you wearing expensive watches and jewelry, have you flashed a roll of cash, do you fit his rape victim profile? We think of this as, “Do you have what I want?”. If the answer is, “Yes.”, he moves to the next question.


Then he evaluates you as a threat to him. First and foremost, are you paying attention to your surroundings? Are you aware of his presence? Do you look like you might be a physical problem?

Do you look like you might be armed? I assure you he goes through these questions. We think of this as, “Can I get what I want from you, safely?”.



If the answer to either question, “Do you have what I want, and can I get it from you, safely?”, is “NO”, then off he goes, in search of easier prey.

Thugs are not looking for a fight. What they’re looking for is the easy mark. Someone they can get to, get what they want from, and get away from, without being hurt and without being caught.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:52 pm

"Man Shot Dead While Attacking Neighbor"
Candace J. Samolinski

Robert J. Metz made it a point to know most everyone in his neighborhood, beeping his car horn whenever he drove by anyone who was outside.

If somebody was building something, the 47-year-old construction worker was there to offer advice and often lend a hand.

But his happy-go-lucky demeanor masked a mental illness that was slowly consuming Metz, relatives say.

Maria Pittaras, 28, was something of an enigma in the neighborhood. She moved to the Turtle Lakes subdivision at the Pasco- Hillsborough counties line about a year ago, just around the corner from Metz and his wife, Carolyn, Pittaras' father recalls.

Neighbors didn't see her outside much; she did most of her real estate-related work from home. She kept her yard immaculate and occasionally entertained friends with outdoor barbecues, neighbors say.

Pittaras and Metz weren't friends, but their worlds collided early Wednesday morning. Pasco County sheriff's deputies say Metz donned a mask and crept into the woman's bedroom, awakening her with a knife to her throat.

She managed to grab her gun from her nightstand and shot the intruder; he died almost instantly. Sheriff's officials later determined the shooting was in self-defense and won't bring charges.

The violent episode, the first of its kind there, has divided a neighborhood already grappling with increasing property crimes. But the young woman's father feels no ambivalence.

``I gave her that gun for protection. She is a good girl,' said Spiros Pittaras of Palm Harbor. ``She feels terrible about this. That man's mental problems are finished ... hers are just beginning.'

SOMETIME BEFORE 2 a.m., Metz donned a dark mask and gloves, grabbed a knife and crawled into his neighbor's home through a window, sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.

Metz crept into the bedroom as the woman slept, jumped on top of her and held the knife to her throat. She grabbed her .38-caliber pistol and fired two shots, striking Metz in the neck, Doll said.

Somewhere around that time, Carolyn Metz awoke with a start and found herself alone in bed. She looked around the house, then wandered outside, relatives say. When she saw the sheriff's patrol cars, she knew something was terribly wrong.

More than an hour later, she learned her husband was dead. Those closest to Robert Metz say they witnessed his gradual slide into a nightmare of manic depression over the last few weeks.

They watched helplessly as he stopped taking his medication and his personality changed. Relatives, who didn't want to be identified in the newspaper, said he likely was in the grips of his mental illness when he went into Pittaras' home.

Still, many neighbors find that explanation hard to believe.

``Why would a married man with kids pick that particular house?' Maurice Sanders asked. ``There has to be more to it than anyone is saying. He was the nicest guy in the world and wouldn't hurt anyone. Maybe he was just trying to scare her.'

Others say Pittaras did the right thing in shooting Metz.

``I'm shocked something like this happened in our neighborhood,' said Steve Bridges. ``It just goes to show that you never really know people. If you enter someone else's house in the middle of the night, you are definitely taking your life into your own hands.'

Metz's family, which includes two grown children who live out of state, gathered at his home Wednesday to share in their grief.

Pittaras also is struggling to come to terms with the shooting, her father said.

``She's a big girl and she will have to decide if she wants to go back to that house,' he said. ``This is a terrible thing to have happened. Anyone, especially women, should understand why she had to do what she did.'
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:53 pm

GUN BATTLE AT CLOSE QUARTERS

It was four in the morning on a rainy night in October. The small ranch house in the South Beach section of Staten Island was an unlikely location for a desperate death struggle. The young woman in the basement apartment became concerned as she noticed her boyfriend making repeated trips into the bathroom.

The boyfriend used cocaine and was apparently using the drug repeatedly during the night. Each time that he did so, she noticed that his physical condition was deteriorating. Finally, she became alarmed when "Anthony" seemed to have great difficulty breathing.

She went upstairs to the main part of the house and informed his father, mother, and sister, of his physical condition. His sister called 911 and the father ran to the basement. His son was totally nude and disoriented.

He suddenly became aggressive and assaulted his father. The father slammed the door to his son's room and held it shut to await the arrival of the police.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:56 pm

The 911 call, originally "Signal 10-54, difficult breathing" had been assigned to 122 Precinct Sector Henry.

Police Officer Stephen LaSpina and his partner Police Officer Angela Leszczynski arrived quickly and the three women directed them to the basement. They ran downstairs and found the father desperately trying to hold the door closed.

When the cops called for "Anthony" to stop, he became silent. When Officer LaSpina opened the door a crack, the naked and violent son lunged at him.

The cop slammed the door shut with the aid of the father. Officer Leszczynski ran to get the protective shield from the radio car.

LaSpina struggled to hold the door shut as he shouted over his portable radio that he now had a violent EDP (emotionally disturbed person). As the barricaded male hammered against the door, LaSpina called for the response of the Emergency Service Unit, "forthwith."

Meanwhile, Police Officer Manus O'Donnell and Officer Michael Ahr of the Housing Police Sector arrived as a backup. They ran downstairs to assist LaSpina. Suddenly, the barricaded male punched a hole through the door and splinters flew as his fist penetrated the wood.

LaSpina took a quick look into the hole in the door and was luckily unhurt as "Anthony" discharged a handgun through the opening. The slug struck the father in the wrist.

O'Donnell dove behind a washing machine as the father shouted, "The sonovabitch shot me!"
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:58 pm


LaSpina and the father retreated to the left side of the door. Officer Ahr pushed the women up the stairs out of the line of fire.

O'Donnell shouted, "Don't open the door!"

"Anthony" opened the door and stepped out with the gun in his hand. He pointed the weapon directly at LaSpina. LaSpina had part of his body covered by the wall as he fired his revolver from less than five feet.

O'Donnell fired numerous rounds from his position. The crazed and naked gunman retreated back into the room as the cops called "Signal 10-13, shots fired" over the police radio.

Sergeant James Reinhold and Police Officer Joseph Luzzi, Staten Island Highway/Emergency Service Unit (HESSI) were on patrol near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge when they heard the upgraded call of a "barricaded EDP".


They were using the unmarked supervisor's car. It was a large sedan and had a lot of ESU equipment in the trunk. Every call of a violent emotionally disturbed person, and especially a "barricaded EDP" necessitated the immediate response of the precinct patrol sergeant, as well as the Duty Captain of the Borough.

If the situation deteriorated into a hostage situation, the detectives on Nightwatch, the Citywide Hostage Negotiation Unit, and the Assistant Chief of Police of the Borough was notified to respond. The procedures worked well under best case scenarios.


If it was high noon on a weekday, all those notifications would be a breeze, but this was a late tour. It was four in the morning. In actual practice, Sergeant Reinhold knew that he would be making most of the critical decisions in this situation.

He knew he would be making the life and death decisions as those others were pulling on their shoes and socks.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:09 pm

In the terror and confusion of the firefight, Reinhold turned and saw Officer LaSpina with the father standing behind and to the side.

There was much shouting by the father and the Officers. The Sergeant called for silence as he tried to establish verbal contact with the son. Those efforts met with no response from "Anthony".

LaSpina whispered to the Sergeant that he could see movement through the bullet holes in the wall. He said he could fire through the wall if necessary. Reinhold nodded and whispered up the stairs to Luzzi to be ready to use the Ithaca. He knew he only had three more rounds in his service revolver.

There was no time to reload now. Suddenly, the wild shooter reappeared at the door and pointed the automatic pistol at Reinhold. The Sergeant fired his last three rounds as Luzzi let go with the Ithaca. The roar of the shotgun blast smothered the short popping sounds of the revolvers as Reinhold and LaSpina pumped shots at their assailant.
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