Police standoffs in movies are always cool, with lots of tension, ticking clocks and often ending with Bruce Willis throwing a European through a window.
Real life, as we so often see, is much, much stupider.
Thomas Clemens took his wife, her friend and their twin infant daughters hostage, thereby scoring a 4x "women and children" innocent victim combo bonus. The police found him with an AK-47 in one hand, a 12-gauge in the other, a Glock and a Magnum tucked into his waistband--and presumably the most terrified pair of testicles in the world just below the barrels.
This was a serious problem for the police, who know there are many ways a situation like this can go wrong, and not a lot where it can go right. Then sergeant Richard Horner asked "Wait a minute... what if he's retarded?"
Horner, hereafter to be known as Saint Manly the King, approached Mr. Clemens, who was adding to his "Armed Asshole Of The Year" resume by swigging beer with one hand while waving automatic weapons around with the other (alas, he failed to mix the two up, thereby saving the world the hassle).
Horner casually asked Thomas if he could have a swig of the beer.Thomas figured "Hey, this guy likes beer like I do--and he has a gun like I do! Maybe these police fellas aren't so bad!" When he leaned over to share the beer, the cops piled on and violent subduing ensued.
"Where did I go wrong? I guess I'll never know."
Nobody was hurt, and Thomas had to live with the fact that he probably could have held out if he had just been a little more of an alcoholic.
When a Michigan sheriff and two deputies went to serve a warrant on John Shulick, he didn't react well. He came down the stairs, smashed the sheriff in the face with the butt of a shotgun, then sprinted back inside. Police from all over the area sped to the scene, and the standoff was on.
More than 60 cops showed up, guns trained on the building. All roads were closed. People huddled in their homes, anticipating the well-armed madman going out in a Scarface-style hail of bullets.
Hours passed. The man wouldn't respond to pleas, orders or threats. He wouldn't say anything at all, in fact. The siege dragged on for 35 hours. It seemed as if nothing would break the will of this psychopath. The police fired tear gas canisters, presumably to relieve the monotony, but there was no response, mainly since Shulick's furniture is incapable of human speech.
"But we do know how to love."
That is to say, Shulick wasn't home. What the cops didn't know was after his confrontation with the sheriff, he bolted out of a back door to the building. The cops had been having a tense standoff with an empty apartment. A confused Shulick was apprehended shortly thereafter hiding on a neighbor's boat.
We guess it could have been worse. They could have found out they were having a standoff with a cardboard cutout, as cops in New Jersey did.
John Knight did what many men dream of doing: he took a lawyer hostage. But to ruin whatever popular support that may have earned him, he also threatened to detonate a bomb he had with him, in downtown Jacksonville (an area including a daycare, if you're looking for pro-tips on making terrorism even worse).
He didn't want a million dollars, or the release of his comrades, or for the FBI to cut the power so that he could break into a secret vault and steal millions of dollars.
No, he wanted the judge who sentenced him to one day of jail, five years ago, to resign. And he wanted her to do it on live TV. And if you think the lawyer he was holding hostage had anything to do with her or that case, you vastly overestimate the intelligence of the armed assholes.
You may be surprised to learn that Judge Tanner did what the guy asked, issuing the resignation right into Channel 4 cameras. It ended the standoff and Mr. Knight was apprehended, presumably being pretty damned proud of himself. Unfortunately for him, the law allows for people to say things on TV that aren't actually true. The only person who thought the judge saying "I resign" into a camera made the resignation legally binding was the crazy man.
"I would also like the spacemen on my television to take me on adventures with them, please."
We'd better watch out for his release, though. If he threatened to blow up a building after one day in jail, he's going to need the country's entire nuclear arsenal when he gets out this time.
What happens when you're over 60, spend half your life as a respected police officer and decide to buy the poorer kids in your precinct some toys? You get attacked by a SWAT team. If that doesn't seem obvious to you, good job on not being the Grinch or working in the Boston Police Department.
"When you get him in your sights, take the shot."
Someone thought Police Captain Christine Michalosky's purchases of four shopping carts of cheap toys signaled dangerous instability, and that the sexagenarian might do something "desperate." Like what, Boston? Raise a tiny little army of Barbies? Also, your response to somebody maybe being upset is to make goddamn sure by deploying machine guns? We can only imagine the Boston suicide negotiator: "Jump, you pansy, I've got ten bucks says your head pops!"
The Boston PD, seen here attending a child's Christening.
And while we certainly don't want to generalize about life in Boston, when the concept of doing something nice is so alien to your city that it demands immediate armed response, you might want to get the fuck out of there.
A group of over-armed confederetards called "The Republic of Texas" barricaded themselves in their embassy and, announcing that Texas was illegally annexed in 1845, claimed that the last century and a half simply didn't count. Congratulations if you guessed that the "embassy" was a trailer.
Their toilet doubles as a conference room and Parliament.
These living embodiments of everything wrong with the South declared that they would re-enact the Alamo, albeit a significantly smaller and stupider version (an Alamette?) rather than surrender. But when faced with actual professionals who obviously shot things other than beer cans, the Republic rebels promptly sobered the fuck up and surrendered. They did insist on it being described as "a Texas-wide cease fire," because when men with guns have to explain that your mobile home is not a country, preserving your dignity is important.
"Republic" leader Richard McLaren surrendered to police with 24 pipe bombs, 10 rifles, multiple pistols, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and wearing a goddamn cowboy hat, raising the serious possibility that he's a racist stereotype of Texans that somehow escaped into reality off of somebody's t-shirt.
Hey, remember that porno where the guy in the police uniform confronts a chick and says, "Ma'am, we saw you with drugs. I'm going to have to search you," and she says, "I'm sorry, officer, but they're in my vagina"?
Oh, wait, that wasn't a porno. It was a news story in the San Francisco Chronicle.
"Your vagina, eh? How about I remove it with my nightstick. Seriously. Get it out or I'll beat you to death."
The cops had busted the woman (a suspected drug dealer) when she had the ingenious idea of cramming the bag of crack up her crotch. The police took her to the hospital and, search warrant in hand, demanded staff retrieve the evidence for them. The staff refused, quoting regulations and lack of equipment. But we're pretty sure they just looked at a woman whose panic response was "fix problem by grabbing it and shoving it into my vagina" and didn't want to get within 10 feet without a HAZMAT team.The cops weren't happy, and even threatened to arrest one doctor for refusing to cooperate.
Now, as a society we have very good reasons for not allowing officers to scream "FOR JUSTICE!" and jam their hands into any pelvis they want. We're also all for medical ethics. But it seems like when someone stuffs their genitals with narcotics, the violating has already been done. When the patient is such a crack-whore that she literally has a vagina full of crack, it's probably for her benefit as much as anyone's that you get that shit out of there.
And, if possible, can the nurse who extracts it look like this?
The dealer eventually realized that the police weren't just going to let her go ("We would have gotten away with it too if it wasn't for your meddling labia!") and handed over the crack, which we're assuming the police refused to handle with anything other than one of those remote-control bomb squad robots.
For more insanity from the people who are supposed to be helping and protecting us, check out 5 Horrifying Tales Of 911 Incompetence and 7 Ridiculous Cases Where Animals Were Put On Trial.
And check out Cracked's standoff with Internet vigilantes in our Top Picks section (it was Brockway's fault).
Let us pitch you a sitcom ...
Sometimes the follow-up is worse than original headline-grabbing story.
Some people in entertainment don't even bother trying to come up with fresh ideas.