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:: Saturday, March 29, 2003 ::

SWAT Team Hostages

Wednesday morning, Grant & Dad & I were sitting on the patio outside the hotel, next to the convention center. Two cops on bikes approached us and told us that they were going to have a SWAT team training exercise and that if we saw guys with guns not to worry, they were just training.

About 15 minutes later or so, two other cops came up to us in the all-black combat gear that seems to be their standard uniform. They repeated to us that there would be an exercise, and invited us to participate in their exercise as "hostages." We agreed.

The scenario was that we were to run out of the doorway of the convention center pretending to be handcuffed to one of the two cops. The other was to join dad & I in the exercise. Grant was the photographer. All went as planned, and Grant got a few pictures. We fell onto the ground when the "bad guy" was "hit" and the SWAT team swarmed in and peeled us off the "dead bad guy" and thanked us for our trouble.

As we turned to walk away, we got second thoughts and asked if we could take our picture with the SWAT team. They gladly complied, so somewhere there's a great shot of all of us surrounded by lethal weaponry.

All of a sudden, one of the bike cops came up and said that there was a felony arrest going down about 2 blocks away. The team all adjusted their weapons (I don't know if they chambered any rounds or not) and hustled down the street in formation.

We ran to the curb to see what was going on two blocks away. We could hear the "step away from the passenger side of the van" coming over a loudspeaker. Some pedestrians were pushed out of the way by the SWAT team.

All the time, we thought this was another part of the training exercise. So we decided to try to get closer to see what was going on. But someone stopped us. This was for real! They soon had a guy in a red shirt down on the pavement, cuffed, and put in an unmarked car. The SWAT team covered the regular cops throughout the whole incident.

A fellow observer commented that, "Those guys picked the wrong day to rob the bank... they've got to be sh---ing bricks about now."

We concurred.

So I suppose that this is the second "Strange encounter with the cops" that I've had in a few weeks' time. I rather enjoyed this one (more so than the last).

:: Matt 3/29/2003 11:15:00 PM :: permalink :: ::
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