In his column, "Naked Suspects: No Laughing Matter," PoliceOne columnist Chuck Remsberg discussed the serious risks even naked suspects can pose.
We asked P-1 members to share their own stories of encounters with naked subjects and your response, which ranged from humorous to poignant, was outstanding. In this PoliceOne Mailbag article we share a cross section of what we heard from you.
Members Respond to Dealing with Naked Suspects
I worked for the city of South Bend, Ind., uniform patrol in one of the tougher neighborhoods. I recieved a call that a naked man had ran through a glass doorway into a very large church just outside my beat area. I was the first to arrive on the scene and found that the 10-96 male had ran through a double glass door and was being held down by 6 members of the church staff. The church was full and the male party was screaming scripture backwards.
When I ran to the naked male all of the members holding him down jumped off of him. I was able to restrain him by myself and he was transported to the hospital in shackles. I found no other reason for him to do what he did other than he was 10-96 and he had no cuts or was any blood found considering he just ran through a glass door. He was found not to be intoxicated in any way.
Fast forward 2 weeks, I heard a call go out again about a naked man on the roof of the house screaming scripture at the people watching. Myself and another officer rolled up and found the male standing on the roof of the house totally naked and acting out of his mind, it was the same male from 2 weeks before. After several other officers arrived I advised my Captain that I was going to climb onto the roof and try to talk the male down. The house was a 2-story, built in the 20s with a steep roof line. Since the male was naked I removed my gun belt but retained my cuffs and climbed up the back deck to get onto the roof.
While I waited for the fire department to arrive I tried to start a conversation with the male but he would not talk to me and acted like I was not there. As I tried to get closer to him he would back away and walk down to the edge of the roof. At one point when I was almost close enough to grab him he jumped from one roof to the other which was about 10 feet away. When I backed away he jumped back to the roof I was on and continued screaming at the crowd. Finally after about 1 hour I was able to get him to jump down onto the first story porch roof where we had placed 2 other officers and we were able to tackel him and get him cuffed. We loaded him into the ladder trucks bucket and lowered him to the ground and again took him the the hospital where he is to this day. Thankfully no one was hurt and all is well.
Officer Rod Laureys South Bend (IN) PD
We received a call regarding a male who had been pounding on a citizen's door demanding to see a female that did not live there. When ordered off the property by the homeowner, he walked past his car and started down the street taking off his clothes as he walked. While responding we were advised of a naked male in the parking lot of a church behind the local K-Mart.
My first officer arrived a minute or two before me. As I drove up the hill toward the church, the subject ran out of the parking lot and directly toward my unit. I stopped and he ran to the front of my unit, stopped, and placed his hands on my hood. I exited, thinking "this is an easy arrest," and started to handcuff him.
When the first cuff snapped on he pulled free (badly scratching my hood). I emptied an entire canister of Pepper Spray at point blank range toward his nose and eyes, with no visible effects. By that time two other officers were with me, and we attempted to swarm him. He carried all three of us (probably close to 400 lbs., total ) several feet from the front of my car to the back of another car, where he attempted to bite one of my officers.
We managed to get him on the ground where he promptly attempted to bite my finger (fortunately I was wearing Kevlar lined gloves). Getting him onto his stomach, we managed to finish cuffing him, and applied a hobble. He was face down on the pavement with an officer laying across his legs, another across his back, and my 250 lbs distributed with 1 foot on his buttocks, and another between his shoulders. The subject was repeatedly lifting the three of us several inches off the ground.
Two city officers arrived, took one look, and grabbed riot batons out of their cars. The EMS squad arrived, and we secured him on their cot. I detailed two units to ride with the squad. We were able to determine that he had gotten off work at Damon's in a city about 1-2 hours south of our county. It is believed that he drove up to visit friends at Kent State University, and evidently indulged in some LSD, prior to showing up at the citizen's door.
That was the last time I ever took a "naked subject" call lightly.
Lt. Duane M. Dawson Portage County (OH) SO
I was on patrol with the Seargent, this call was regarding a person who tried to hang herself. As soon as we arrived to the scene, we found this girl, around 24, naked on this filthy room. We took control of the situation, there was a man who helped cut down the robe.
What struck me most, was the fact that I knew this girl. In my regular job I am a high school teacher. I was this girl's teacher at least 9 years before. She was under the influence of drugs. We helped her get dressed. While on the floor, sitting down, and even though she was in her ordeal, once she look at me, the first thing she said was that I had taught her United States History. At this point the Emergency Care Unit was taking care of her.
Somehow, we are never prepared to encounter this situation. Oddly enough, to find this girl in such a drama, gave more sense to what I am doing as a policeman: To serve and protect those who need us most and care for them.
Auxiliary Police Angel Mejias-Reyes Manati District- Arecibo Command Post Island of Puerto Rico
While working in the North Jail I noticed an inmate standing in the corner of the Inmate Services room much like a kid on time out. This large room is used for such things as church services, hair cuts, education classes...and also serves as a holding area when not being used for something else.
I thought little of the scene until I looked in again and saw the inmate was in the same place but now had something on his head which was about the color of dark butterscotch pudding. As soon as I approached the inmate there was no mistaking the odor nor the site of feces smeared on the guy's head, face and of course his hands.
The inmate would not speak but complied when I told him to put his hands behind his back to be handcuffed. After donning rubber gloves, I cuffed him and led him out.
The only place we could clean him up was in the booking area of the Main Jail next door. This required an elevator trip down to the tunnel, about and eighth of a mile walk to the elevators for the Main Jail jail and a ride up to the first floor to the inmate dressing room where a shower available.
I did quite well, actually. Though there were momentary involuntary gagging spells on my part I managed to get the guy all the way to the dress-in shower. Another officer assisted in disrobing Poo-Poo man and I guided him into the shower.
Warm water flowed over the inmate and with it the amplified and horrendous odor of human excrement. You think a baby's diaper is smelly? Trust me,'taint nothing like this.
Did I remain the stalwart hero C/O? Not on your life! I lost my lunch in front of my colleagues much to their delight.
The only good thing about the whole ordeal was the fact that I didn't soil my uniform. After my stomach settled I was able to return to work and - of course - write a report.
Paul Sullivan C/O IV (retired) Fresno County (CA) SD
Ok, I get a call of some type of disturbance at an apartment in the...uh, lower end of the low rent district. Three officers are sent, but I get there before anyone else. I go to the door of the single story one room apartment, which faces outside. I listen at the door and can hear some strange music, which was found to be the result of a stuck rap music CD. Who can tell with rap? I could also hear someone lying on the floor on the other side of the door, rambling in unrelated gibberish, talking to no one in particular. I knocked on the door, and heard immediate banging and crashing on the inside. Fearing that someone was injured, held against his or her will, or worse, I opened the door. Inside I saw a completely naked black male, dripping in sweat, still speaking gibberish. When he saw me, he headed for the door and me, wild eyed and frantic. He started screaming obscenities at me, and was yelling "Shoot me, shoot me!"
I was still standing outside the apartment when he got to the door. I put my hand against his chest, stopped him and told him to stay where he was and calm down. He stepped back, and started for the door again, still yelling "Shoot me, shoot me!" I pulled my O.C. spray, aimed between his eyes and started spraying. He took a step back and opened his mouth as wide as he could. I continued spraying until he closed his mouth and took another step back. I gave him the adult dose.
He then turned and ran to the bathroom. Knowing that he was obviously a few french fries short of a happy meal, I put my spray up and pulled my gun as I entered the apartment, and put a bed between me and the room he had gone into. I could see that there was no one else in the apartment, but could hear him crashing around in the bathroom. The music was still blasting from his stereo when he came out of the bathroom. He was now frothing at the mouth, which complimented his wild eyes and gibberish. Once out of the bathroom, he turned around, bent over and spread both cheeks. You think maybe in his own sweet little way he was asking me out? He then turned back around. As he moved forward, I put my hand on his head and placed him face down on the bed, as the other officers entered the apartment. I handcuffed him and kept him on the bed. I unplugged the stereo and looked around the apartment, which was pretty much trashed.
Once cuffed, he began intentionally convulsing and tearing up what was left of his apartment. We moved furniture out of his way as he crashed against the walls and ran into furniture. Finally I put him on the floor and held his head down while another officer held his feet. He was writhing, cussing and trying to spit on us. I had an officer get a pillowcase off of his bed, and I put it over his head so he couldn't spit on us. We called for a stretcher, and while waiting he kept raising his butt in the air, trying to put it in the other officer's face. We had just met and he was already two timing me. Finally a stretcher arrived, and he was placed on it and strapped down. He was taken to the hospital, where he was given some serious drugs to put him out. He was then taken to the psychiatric ward for observation.
Officer Phil Smith Lakeland (FL) PD
I was working an early Sunday morning watch with the California Highway Patrol. I was dispatch to cover my beat 24-7 on Highway 17 that goes from Los Gatos to Santa Cruz through the Santa Cruz Mountains.
It was approximately 0545 and I was dispatched to investigate a report that a single naked Blonde Female was hitchhiking South Bound Highway 17 at the Saratoga Ave. interchange from the City of Los Gatos toward Santa Cruz. I arrived at approximately 0600 hours and confirmed that there was in fact a solo stark naked Blonde Female standing at the edge of Highway 17 trying to hitch a ride.
The young lady was a very good looking, well endowed 22 year old standing at the shoulder holding a sleeping bag in her left hand down at her side. When I pulled up, I gave a full description of the circumstances to our San Jose CHP Radio Dispatcher. The female never appeared to be upset or concerned with my presence.
I exited my Patrol Vehicle and confronted her and advised her she was in violation of California Vehicle Code for attempting to hitchhike on the Freeway. She did not seem to be concerned.
I calmly asked her why she was trying to hitchhike on the freeway with no clothes on. Again not acting surprised at my question, she advised that she just like to make men happy. (At no time did I note any sign of intoxication and she was a very intelligent conversationalist.)
Getting no where, I told her I was going to arrest her and transport her to the nearest police station where I could get a female to assist and transport her to County Jail. I handcuffed her with her hand behind her back and wrapped her sleeping bag around her and placed her in the front seat for transport.
I called all the times and mileage in and transported her to the Los Gatos Police Department and requested a CHP Sergeant to meet me there.
All went well until my sergeant arrived at the police station and started to interview the young lady and wanted to know if I had touched her inappropriately at any time. She talked to the sergeant and was polite but laughed in his face and told him that I had been a perfect gentlemen the whole time.
She was transported to County Jail and booked with no incident and put on a 72 hour mental hold. That was the last I ever hear on the incident. She apparently plead guilty to the various violations and passed her 72 hour hold with flying colors.
Dennis G. McKain, M.S. Retired CHP 6614
On Christmas morning in 1985 I was on patrol in the Hyattsville district (Prince George's County Maryland) and received a call for a "black female walking naked in the median of a major roadway, reading a bible." Upon arrival, the female demonstrated signs of psychosis and was shaking uncontrollably due to the frigid temperature. Chanting "Jesus take the devil out of me." There was evidence of a possible sexual assault and she was not responding to commands. While waiting for fire board to respond and transport her to the hospital (emergency commitment) for evaluation, the female made various attempts to enter the busy traffic street. In the intersection of the roadway a violent struggle ensued as myself and another officer were able to overwhelm and subdue the female. She was taken to the hospital and later discovered to have been under the influence of (PCP) Phencyclidine.
Robert E. Taylor, Jr. Greenbelt (MD) PD
I was called to a taxi skip, from Tucson to Mescal AZ approx 40 mile taxi ride, a female suspect in her twenties told the taxi driver she had to enter her residence to get the fare money from her mother, the suspect left the residence through the back door without paying the fare. The suspects mother was not at home, I contacted the taxi driver who was waiting outside the residence, he could only provide a first name and description. I later identified the suspect female, who had an outstanding felony warrant out of Tucson Az.
I went to the suspects residence to arrest her on the warrant, my plan was to talk with her about the taxi skip (because she is a runner), which her mother had later paid, which they didn't know I already knew. The Mescal area is a bad area for cell phones and police radios. I knocked on the door and I was greeted by the mother, I advised her I was investigating the taxi skip, prior to knocking on the I contacted our dispatch to confirm the warrant. I asked the mother if the suspect was here at the residence, she stated yes. The mother told me she paid the taxi fare, I was stalling waiting for the warrant info.
The suspect came into the living room, which I noticed she was very attractive for having a felony warrant. The suspect was very agitated that I was there asking questions about the taxi fare. I advised the mother the taxi company had not contacted me to drop the complaint. The suspect left the living room to a bedroom, while her mother was contacting the taxi company by phone so they could tell me the fare was paid. In the mean time I'm still waiting for dispatch to contact me. I left the residence and went to my patrol vehicle to contact dispatch because I couldn't stall any longer.
dispatch finally confirmed the warrant, I went back into the residence advising the mother of the warrant when the bedroom door came open with my suspect standing there stark naked, we both looked at each other, and I advised her she was under arrest for the warrant. The suspect thought I had left after learning the taxi fare was paid and left the room to take a shower. I allowed the suspect to get dressed, I transported the suspect to jail approx 35 mile away. While enroute to the jail the suspect told me of her drug problems that caused the warrant and wished to clean her life up.
Detective Robert Gerencser Cochise County (AZ) SD
Another officer and I were dispatched to a small sandwich shop in our downtown district in reference to a disturbance. Upon our arrival, we found a naked women covered in her own feces running through the restaraunt. The terrified customers were standing on top of their chairs and tables in an effort to stay away from her.
My partner and I suited up in our rain gear, protective masks and double latex gloves. We then secured an emergency blanket from the rescue unit that responded. Our firefighter counterparts stood far away to, as they put it, "ensure nobody else entered the store" as my partner and I went in.
We chased her through the store and tackled her in the restroom. Rescue personnel then entered and helped us secure her to a stretcher. She was taken to a local mental health center for a pyschological evaluation.
We threw away our rain coats :) and went back to work!