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Lock down!

Had an interesting night last night. At 10:45, Michelle and I went upstairs to go to bed and we were looking for something for one of the kids when BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG on the door. I figured it was kids joking around. Then a few seconds later, again, BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG! So I went downstairs and tried to look out the peephole – our porch light is broken – thinking if I opened it, someone was gonna push their way in or some sort of home invasion scenario was going to unfold. But I could hear what sounded like intercoms. So I opened the door a crack, fighting to keep the dogs back.

“It’s the police. Stay in your house. We have a situation across the street.”

So, I ran upstairs to peek outside. By now, both kids were awake, and Michelle and I were being not so sly spying out the upstairs window. There was a police truck just off to the right of our house in the middle of the street. And a few cops hiding in various places. Even a K9 unit was there. I could hear voices, so I figured there were cops down by our garage below us, just like I could see cops back against the garage door across the street. Then I saw more cops – with guns drawn – in the garage of the house to the left of the one across from us.

Interesting. So, we kept watching, wondering what might be going on. Michelle works for Metro and suspected there was someone who had locked themselves inside. A few minutes later, a cop rushed a woman in handcuffs away from the house and then about seven more cops followed. Now there were even more of them on the street, maybe 20 or so. Then they pulled out one of those bullet-proof shields you see SWAT guys use and the cops that came out of the house lined up behind it and backed away carefully. They were doing the hand signals like you see in the movies. Seemed surreal.

Michelle called 311 and all they would tell us was that someone had barricaded themselves in the house. She tried to get hold of one of her co-workers as i was pulling out the camera when another BANGBANGBANGBANGBANG. I answered the door and the cop said that we needed to evacuate. All things considered, we most likely would have been fine, but the kids were freaking out. Michelle knew that if a barricade didn’t end in a few minutes, it usually lasted hours and there was no way any of us was going to sleep until it was over. So we decided to bail and go sleep at her mom’s house.

So we piled into the truck in the garage and headed out the back way – which was blocked by every assortment of vehicle imaginable. Cop cars. SWAT trucks. A police/fire trailer that Michelle thought might have robots (cool!). Laptops setup in the back of pickups. Police tape blocking the street. Dozens of people in all sorts of uniforms. Even a negotiator (which was also cool). We had to wait for them to clear the road so we could get through and saw the woman who’d been taken out in handcuffs walking with a police officer (no longer handcuffed).

When we came back this morning, the front door of the barricade house was lying on the ground and the front window was shattered. The back tires of all the cars there were flat. Out next-door neighbor was outside and told us what he’d seen (he hadn’t bailed). He said a SWAT truck pulled up in front of the car on the street and then they flattened all the tires. They threw in smoke bombs and flash bombs. And then set up a charge on the front door, ran a line out to the street and blew it open. No battering ram. EXPLOSIVES. The blast shattered the front window. Finally, they got the guy out – who was drunk as hell, staggering around and swinging his bottle of whatever. Apparently they tazed him and that was pretty much the end of it.

EXPLOSIVES! Damn, I wish we’d stayed. Dazed and tazed. Still not sure exactly what was going on. Our suspicion is a domestic violence call. The cops said they hadn’t had problems with them before. We also thought it might be drug-related since there have been some people coming and going that don’t look familiar. Whatever it was, the chick is back and the door and windows have just finished being boarded up. Fun!

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