It's always up to cops to step up to the plate and tackle the worst scenarios humanly possible. When no one else either wants or is able to take care of disturbing people, disgusting houses, and savage outbursts, these cops will get the job done, no matter what. These heroic men and women lived through some of the most unsettling and disturbing cases out there, often with some wild memories haunting them years and years later. Content has been edited for clarity.
"My dad is a cop, and this happened while I was on a ride-along with him quite a few years ago. After eating our lunch, we went down to a runoff point so he could finish some of his reports. I was on my phone watching some videos, when he got called in to check something that was happening up the road. I was sitting in the car the entire time this happened.
We headed up the road to a construction site, where a bunch of people were just standing around looking weird. They were dressed in weird suits and obviously fake construction costumes with fake hardhats. A representative of the construction company had called the police down when these people showed up and didn't say a single thing for hours. Backup had arrived and about six cops were trying to get these two dozen people to say anything.
After a half hour passed, every single one of the trespassers began to dance and music began to blare from portable speakers. It went on until the song ended, at which point one of the dancers stood up and said, 'Danielle, Kyle has an important question for you.'
Everyone was motionless until the person who stood up started looking around and asked if either of those people were there.
It took another five minutes before a threat of arresting everyone came to head and got the leader to finally begin talking about what was going on. Turns out someone had hired a flash mob crew (they were a bigger thing back then) for a marriage proposal, but no one showed up. After all of that was done, my dad found out that the person who hired the flash mob did so to rob a jewelry store up the road, and assumed that the flash mob would draw all the police to the site. He didn't have enough intelligence to realize a flash mob trespassing on a mostly empty machine free yard would rank higher than an armed robbery of a jewelry store.
The idea was logical but the execution and targets were absurd. He bragged about it, and was stupid enough to think that saying, 'You can't prove the flash mob was me!' when literally no one asked him about the flash mob. His name was actually Kyle, his wife is actually named Danielle, and he paid the flash mob crew with his own money. I would pay to have a video of his lawyer's face, I doubt it was a fun day for them."
"During practical training, we had a call from Burger King employees at a highway stop. It was something along the lines of 'a seemingly disoriented woman is being rude to customers.'
We arrive at the rest stop. We can easily make out who we're going to have to deal with. There was a woman in her 40s, holding a cup like a spy-glass, eyeing me and my colleagues and mumbling something. She was calmly sitting on a chair outside that Burger King. An employee approached us to give some more details. She had been there for several days, staying inside during the day and sleeping outside or in her car when the BK was closed.
We proceed to ask her our usual questions. Who are you, where do you live, what are you doing here, etc. So, she's from Poland (which she referred to as Earth 2), but appears to live in Germany now. Her car broke down and she said she's waiting for her husband. Her husband was a man called God. Rapture would be near, and all non-believers would be going to purgatory while everyone else is warped to Earth 2. Through her cup, she could see whether a person was good or bad. My colleague was supposedly the devil, but also 'a very handsome man'. So she would refuse to speak with him other than saying, 'You are handsome, but I refuse to talk to you.'
I wondered whether she was actually insane or had dementia, so I asked her two simple questions. I asked her to read the time from my analogue watch (which she could). I also asked whether she saw space ships zipping past her at night. She did. So yeah, insanity it was. Her car breaking down was a God-send because Jesus was actually buried right next to this Burger King. While we were waiting for paramedics to arrive and check her, my devilish colleague brought her some water. She refused to drink it because it came from the devil, and she would only drink from her own empty cup. My colleague just empties his cup into hers. I have never seen someone look so angry.
I calmly told her that her cup cleaned the water, and that it could no longer be poisoned, even IF my colleague was the devil. She happily drank it. My colleague later told me that he thought for a second that I was going insane as well. Paramedics somehow found nothing wrong with her. We told her to get her car fixed and to stop harassing customers, and everyone went their ways. What I found a little bit sad was that her cup had pictures of her with a man and a boy on it. I still wonder whether she lost them somehow and went insane, whether they split because of her going crazy, or whether she just took a spiritual vacation at Burger King and returned to her ordinary life after that. I never heard from her again."
"It was my first day on the job with a small department. We got an animal complaint at a house along the river. The woman states that there are some angry geese in her yard that won't let her out her door. My FTO (field training officer) and I roll up. Sure enough, a gaggle of eight big angry geese in the yard are basically barricading the little old lady in her house. We try to make noise and scatter them. They have no fear and go on the offensive. We retreat to take cover behind the squad car as we formulate a plan. We decide we will use the dog control poles, which we normally used to wrangle loose dogs from a safe distance away. The FTO gives me the brand-new pole that has yet to be used.
The FTO and I both grab a pole and head back into battle. I get close to one and it takes off running. I follow in hot pursuit. I get within reach and make a diving leap with the pole. I somehow manage to get the noose around its neck and pull it tight. As my body crashes to the ground, the pole falls free of my grasp. I watch in shock as the goose runs into the river, dragging the brand-new control pole behind. I figured the goose would slip the noose once in the water and the pole would go to the bottom of the river. Now the chief is gonna be angry that I lost the brand-new pole in the river.
Well, the next day we got a call from a bus driver, reporting kids on the bus we're upset that they could see a dead goose as they crossed the bridge. It appeared someone strangled it with some kind of pole. Sure enough that goose from the day before never shook the noose and managed to get the pole stuck on a piece of drift wood. He pulled the noose tight and strangled himself right in view of the school kids heading over the bridge on the bus. The FTO and I headed over to the boat launch and commandeered a pontoon boat, headed to the dead goose, and plucked it from the river. The boater was not quite sure what to think of the whole ordeal, but we all ended up having a good laugh and I got our new animal control pole back!
I never lived it down."
"Definitely the time that an older, mentally ill woman tried to burn her house down because she believed that was the only way to disarm the atom bomb in her attic. I got her to walk with me to my car and get in the back by telling her it was the only place she'd be safe. When I got in and started driving, she started yelling that I couldn't take her to jail, because she hadn't done anything wrong. I calmly informed her that we were going to the hospital, which prompted even louder yelling of, 'I'm not crazy!'
I replied, 'I don't think you're crazy.'
She screamed, 'Then why are you taking me to the hospital?!'
I told her, 'Well, you were next to that atom bomb, right? We have to get you checked for radiation poisoning.'
Her eyes got wide and she said, 'Oh no! I didn't think about that, you better hurry!'
"My friend is a deputy in rural Louisiana. He responded to a call from an elderly man who lived outside of town in a nice little house, near a pretty dense area of swamp. Dispatch said he was having some trouble with his stove, was hungry, and didn’t know who else to call. So two of us head out there and we’re greeted by a nice, but clearly a little off, older gentleman. We ask him what’s wrong with the stove, thinking we just need to light the pilot or something, and he shows us inside. His house is well-kept, but he has a lot of spiritual stuff around.
So we get to the kitchen and the stove is chained shut, so today is clearly not going to involve lighting a pilot or flipping a breaker. The dude has a chain, a padlock, and a bunch of rope holding the stove closed. He proceeds to tell us there’s a demon in the stove. He doesn’t want it to get into the house, so he’s locked the oven door so it can’t escape. He asks if we’ll take it out to the waters edge and let the demon go.
We played along, carried the stove outside, and rolled it down to a creek bank on a cart, a short distance from the house. He’s inside watching out the window as we unchain the door and let the '“demo'n” out. We roll it back up to the house, plug it back in, and he thanks us like a hundred times since he can now cook again without worrying about the demon in the stove.
We stop by to check in on him now since we know he’s out there alone, and he’s honestly a pretty cool dude, just really into spiritual/voodoo type stuff. Nice guy though, and we’ve now bonded over letting a demon out of the stove. By far one of the strangest calls I’ve ever been on."
"I’m on midnight shift. I worked in a small town (under 30,000 people) when we got a shots fired call. Usually these are an old lady who hears something she thinks is a weapon, but we can never locate the source and just go back. This was different. I could hear the stress in the dispatcher’s voice as she told me it was an open-line call. This means the caller was still on the phone giving information in real time. The caller was yelling into the phone so loudly, it was bleeding over into the dispatcher’s mic when she connected me. I could hear the screaming.
The other three officers and I rush to this apartment complex. It’s a single-story unit shaped like a horseshoe with a big open courtyard. It’s about 2 a.m. on a weekday and it’s dead quiet. I’m jumping bushes and crossing lawns with my department weapon on me while my partners are moving parallel to me. We get to the edge of the complex. We can hear the yelling. The door to one of the apartments opens and the screaming subjects start to spill out. We don’t know who is who, so we enter with weapons drawn, giving commands for everyone to show hands and drop to their knees. Everyone complies.
I give cover to the three other units who start handcuffing and checking people for weapons. These people tell us the people who fired shots already left in a car (which they describe). We go to clear the apartment when a male comes out covered in blood. He was ghost white from the blood loss. He is clutching his left arm, which I can see has been cut to the bone from elbow to wrist, and he has arterial spurt. I realize he is minutes from death and apply a tourniquet that everyone that works in this area carries on their belt. This guy loses consciousness. We clear the apartment quickly to make sure there are no unseen threats and then radio for EMS and fire to enter.
The surgeon said 2 minutes later without that tourniquet, the guy would have bled to death. We find out that the whole thing was a secret deal gone bad and the sellers tried to take the money and split. Amazingly, no one was shot. I spent the rest of the shift searching for these criminals and writing reports. The suspects drove 1800 miles to Oregon, where they were arrested. The adrenaline I felt that night was insane."
"Dad tells the story of a guy he knew who kept getting caught for writing bad checks. He was such a big guy, he wouldn’t fit in the police car, so they would just meet him at the magistrate office and write him tickets. A year or so after this kept happening, he got a call that there was a domestic dispute at the house. So they rush over there and he’s got an axe in his hand sitting on the front porch all bloody. They approach and tell him to put the axe down, which he does. He proceeded to tell them that his wife is in the bathtub, or at least her head is. But guy was completely open and cooperative, didn’t run or anything. He asked if he could meet them at the magistrate office, and Dad was like, 'Nah dawg, you’re gonna have to get in the car this time.'"
"My uncle is a cop in Florida, and since I just visited, he told me his crazy story of the week. A squad had been called to this house probably about a dozen times within the last six months. This woman and her boyfriend had both been in and out of jail, both for domestic violence, and the boyfriend had some possession charges as well. The woman had just been released on parole after beating her mother (this wasn’t her first time). The 911 call was from the woman, saying that her boyfriend was dead, and she had come home to witness this. He had been stabbed in the place between the neck and the shoulder over and over, I’m not sure how many times. He was also stabbed in the chest after he was dead. She was perfectly calm on the phone and in person. They pretty much immediately arrested her. At the station she changed her story multiple times. At her trial, she said that they had been fighting but said that she didn’t kill him. Forensic evidence, neighbor testimony, her mother’s testimony, and police officers who arrived on the scene were more than enough to convict."
"I used to work with a command center of a security/surveillance company. We had had both burglary alarms and panic alarms in our sites. One thing we had was called the red phone. If you picked it up, it would automatically call us and send us a panic alarm. So in dire need, you could just knock it off the hook to alert us to pull the cameras, or you could actually call us with no need to dial. I grabbed the call from a gas station around 4 a.m. while another associate got the alarm. I do my opening spiel and am immediately answered with screaming. Well I call out to the person with the alarm to dispatch police, because that is not a good sign.
Turns out the employee was sitting on a counter that was against the windows looking out over the pumps. A car comes flying into the lot and rams that window. The counter slides forward, launching the employee like a catapult. Somehow the employee landed on his feet approximately 10 to 15 feet away, and he ran out of the store. The driver got out of his car, and while continually screaming, stomped around the store. He went to the back room, where the phone was, picked it up and started screaming into it. Then he dropped it, grabbed the bottles they stored back there, and proceeded to throw them one after another into the store.
The employee is standing in lot just watching this dumbfounded. The man then stomped to the snack cake isle, dropped his pants, pooped on the floor, and then grabbed fistfuls of snack cakes to clean himself with. He decided at that point, he did not need the pants, so he left them there. That's where the man notices the employee and runs out to the lot, no pants on, and begins to chase that employee, still screaming. He chases him out of camera view, and when the employee comes back into view, you see a shirt come flying at him.
Well about this time the cops arrive to find a large exposed man chasing an employee around the lot, screaming like the demons have him. The cop jumps out of his car and issues orders. The man, as he had been so rational to this point, strangely ignores them and charges the cop. Well, a good old taser stopped that really quick. After 50,000 volts, the man suddenly calmed right down, and they arrested him without incident."
"A friend of mine was a cop in training, and once he had to respond to a call about someone being too loud at night. Standard stuff for a mid sized city, but normally it isn't in a nice neighborhood, unlike this case. He arrives with some other officers for the guy who called them in, and he says his neighbor is crazy. He (the neighbor) is insisting the city has dug tons of secret tunnels beneath, and an invasion army from the shadow government will come out. My friend looks at the house of the crazy neighbor and just sees something that is crawling like a giant lizard on the outside wall of the house. The house was old and had wood elements in the outside wall, and it was definitely climbable. The guy said that the crazy man hasn't opened his front door for months and only climbs in and out of his upstairs window. The police try to explain that, since there is no observable disturbance at the moment, and the neighbor doesn't seem to pose a threat for himself or others, there really isn't much they can do.
Meanwhile, the commotion has riled up half the neighborhood, and people start complaining that they are afraid that the crazy man will hurt their children. The cops go over to the crazy guy's house to check it out. My friend sees something flying out the window. He walks up to the object and picks it up. It's an old VCR, and it was completely covered in human feces. My friend is trying to clean his police gloves, while the angry mob has moved in front of crazy guy's house. A woman shouts, 'Well if you can't take him, I'll break into his house so he'll be a danger to me!'
The crazy guy looks out of the window and yells, 'TAKE THIS, I'LL KILL YOU!' and casually sticks a huge nail in his nose, causing blood to gush out.
Now he is a threat to himself so police will have to intervene. They break open his door and notice there is tons of furniture blocking the hallway. The guy is standing there, no clothing on, with a makeshift spear in his hand. He tries to stab them and they back off. My friend and his two colleagues decide to call for backup. Backup arrives and they carry riot gear with them. So they all move forward into the house. The guy had moved back deeper into the building, they noticed that everything was covered in poo. Turned out later that the crazy guy had just stopped using the bathroom a few weeks ago and just pooped everywhere.
So the cops start to move forward and see him standing in the living room with his spear. My friend pepper sprays him right in the face, but it doesn't seem to have much effect. The rest of the officers were all coughing and gagging, because the poop smell mixed with pepper spray was getting to them. The guy grabs a turned over table he had hit tons of nails in and pushes it towards the police. One of the backup guys hits him in the hand with his baton, and you can hear the bones break. The guy didn't even flinch. He ran into his bathroom without closing the door. He's jumping to the left and right of the door, only showing his face for a second with a creepy smile, before disappearing behind the wall again.
Somehow, this crazy guy grabbed the baton from one of the backup cops and is beating it against the riot shields. Two of the cops rushed forward and pushed him into the bath tub. While trying to get him handcuffed, one cop finds the light switch in the bathroom and turns it on. The bath tub is three quarters full of feces. They finally cuff this guy. While carrying him out, my friend notices that despite the entire house being smeared with poo, the toilet was surprisingly clean.
The EMT had to give the man a shot to sedate him. While cleaning the areas they saw, they realized this man wasn't actually tan. His skin was just that dirty. The cops' entire uniforms had to be thrown away because they couldn't get rid of all the feces. They all hit the shower for a very, very long scrub."
"The one shooting my police officer dad speaks about was a situation that is terrifying to think about, and added to my father's existing PTSD issues from Vietnam. He and his partner were called to a domestic dispute, the neighbors called in because it was getting louder than usual. They parked on the street at the end of the driveway to the home, and the moment they exited the car, the man pushed his wife and two kids out the door on the end of his weapon. They all proceeded to have a shouting match while the man continued to hold his wife and kids hostage. They were pleading of course for him to put it down, let them go, and everything could be sorted out peacefully then. He wasn't having it.
During the argument, the man pointed the weapon at my father and his partner and fired at them. My dad and his partner returned fire at the same time. My dad ended the story there for many years, saying, 'The man died there, either my shot or my partner's connected.'
My mother filled in the blank. The partner's shot went high, my dad's got him in the chest, just below the shoulder. He was dead before EMTs arrived. About twenty years afterwards, he finally opened up about the PTSD he had from this incident. 'We were right, and every day I think about it, there's nothing I would change about what we did. Given all the circumstances, it was the right decision. If he was willing to attempt to attack the police, we couldn't know what would happen to his family after he had shot us. Still, I shot him and killed him while his wife and young kids stood right next to him. They might someday understand why I did what I did, might understand what a bad person their dad was. But I still killed their dad, right in front of them.'
Now that I'm a father too, I get exactly where he's coming from and why he can't shake the circumstances, even though he is convinced he did the best he could with the situation.
He was also stationed at the infamous Rampart station during the Rodney King Riots when these occurred as a patrol supervisor. We didn't see him for roughly a month, as he was often in the field managing a small group of officers who would move from one intersection to another, mounting high visibility defense for over 24 hours to discourage rioting. This job amounted to them finding a 'high ground' they could park the patrol cars in. Half the officers would then stand around the cars in tactical gear while the other half slept in the cars.
When he was a supervisor, one of LA's endless car pursuits entered his division's territory. His officers joined the chase, and then entered a new division as it kept going. He knew the supervisor of that division's patrol, so he hopped in a car to head over and help co-ordinate the chase. By the time he got there, the chase had turned to a foot chase. He radioed the other supervisor to meet him in the station parking lot as he listened to officers calling out updates on location. He had a gut feeling, and as he and the supervisor listened, started walking towards one of the walls. Sure enough, the suspect, completely lost, hopped over the fence. 'Literally caught the guy in my arms as he came over.'
He even staked out one of LA's homeless killers, the Skid Row Stabber. This guy specifically targeted men who appeared to be homeless. So my dad was part of a task force that would assign one officer a night to be the bait. He remembers tearing up his clothes, putting them on, rolling around in the dirt, then on the street, and finally pouring a cheap bottle out on them. He never washed this outfit, so that it just got progressively nastier while he was on the task force. He would then lie down in one of the killer's known preferred areas, with his backup weapon underneath his body. He said he did actually manage to fall asleep a couple times, but even knowing there were a handful of nearby officers hidden and waiting for him to start screaming, he was too scared to do anything but lie there and shiver."
"I was dispatched to a call where the only details were, 'There is a man going from door to door in an apartment complex yelling at people.'
'Okay, no problem,' I think.
My partner and I respond to the apartment complex and start walking around. We didn’t have much of a description, so I knocked on the caller's door. She tells me, 'A guy in his early 30s, dressed in a bra and panties, was pounding on my door asking for me to play Devo. He went that way.'
'Not the weirdest thing I’ve heard,' I think.
We turn the corner around the building she pointed to, and sure enough, I see a guy about 6’2”, wearing a bra and a thong. He moved his arms in a manner which appeared to be in the middle of a feverish wank session. Turns out I was wrong.
My partner and I identify ourselves as police and ask to see his hands. To my surprise, he was holding his privates stretched as far as he could hold it in one hand, and sawing at the shaft with a steak knife with the other. I began to yell at him to drop the knife and pulled out my taser, while my partner put on latex gloves. It was at that point he finally accomplished his goal and cut his member off, which he threw at me. Thankfully, this went over my shoulder into some bushes. We took him into custody and attempted to put pressure on his mangled genitalia.
About 5 minutes later, the fire department arrived and asked what happened, I told him he cut his privates off and threw it in the bushes. They didn’t believe me. I showed them the quarter remaining shaft and pointed to the bushes. It took the fire department rookie about 5 minutes to locate and bag the said object.
He lived, no idea if his privates were reattached or not."
"When I was little, we lived on a main avenue in a small town. My (then police officer) dad had serious anger problems with people speeding on our street. Like instant screaming, red-faced, throwing rocks anger. He would always write their plates down and call them in to our local PD. My brother and I would joke about it all the time.
Years later when I was in college, my dad told me a story. One hot summer day, he was riding passenger side in an unmarked car looking for someone who had just robbed a store. They passed a group of kids playing ball on the sidewalk. A moment later he heard a loud bang, looked in the rear view, and saw one of the kids flying straight up into the air. Someone had been speeding up the street and slammed into the kid who had stepped off the curb to get their ball.
My dad’s partner turned the car around, and my dad called in for an ambulance. By the time they pulled up, another car had already driven over the kid and stopped. The kid’s head was pinned between the muffler and the street. So they got every able-bodied man on the block to come and lift the car up on one side so they could slide the kid out. But when they did, his head was falling apart. Dad said he was holding the top of the kid’s skull on with one hand, and that his torso sounded like there was broken glass inside. He just held him and told him to hang in there, but the kid died in his arms before the ambulance even arrived.
This all happened when my brother and I were about the same age. Some days when my dad got home from work, he would come and immediately hug my brother and I. I’m guessing this was one of those days."
"My brother is a cop and he often shares his stories with me. He tells me that he received a call from a dispatcher, saying that there have been screams reported in an apartment building. There were no other details.
My brother reports to the scene, just outside the door of the apartment building. Sure enough, there’s yelling. A lady is belligerently yelling, 'Get it out, get it out!'
My brother pounds on the locked door. The lady eventually responds, saying, 'I can’t get to the door, please help me! Maybe my son can get the door. I need to get it out!'
My brother waits a bit, still not knowing what’s going on. He hears a voice of a little boy, saying that he can’t reach the door knob to unlock it. My brother talks him through some steps he can take to unlock the door. Finally, the little boy is able to unlock it. He opens the door. A violently putrid smell hits me brother immediately. The little boy seems clueless and quiet. My brother notices burnt spoons and illegal substances scattered across the floor. He follows the voice to the room, still yelling, 'Please help, get it out!'
He enters the room and there is blood splattered absolutely everywhere, including the floor and the walls. He sees a man with his fist inside the yelling woman’s privates. She continues to yell, 'Get it out, I can feel the demon inside me, get it out!'
Not sure how the whole situation was deescalated. However, after further investigation, turns out the addict couple went to a psychic/fortune-teller, where the lady was told that she has something evil inside her. Shortly after, the couple made their way to the apartment and hook up. As he is inside her, he says, 'I think I can feel the demon inside you! Can you feel it?'
And she responds, 'Yes, I do feel it! Put your hand in there! Get the demon out! Get it out!' Which leads to the scene that my brother walks into."