PRINCESS ANNE, MD. – An attempted armed robbery remains under investigation, after police say a man confronted a pastor during a meeting at a Princess Anne church.
The Princess Anne Police Department says on Thursday, just before 7:15 PM, officers responded to the St. Andrews Episcopal Church Parish House, on Washington Street, in reference to an attempted armed robbery. Police learned that a suspect went into the Parish House while a meeting was underway and displayed a holster with what was believed to be a handgun in it.
According to the report, the suspect then demanded that the victims place their cell phones on a table, and the suspect then confronted the Pastor. Officers report that the suspect pointed the holster at the pastor, but the pastor asked the suspect to leave at which point the suspect did leave without obtaining any property from the victims.
Law enforcement describes the suspect as a man standing approximately 6′ to 6’4″ tall, and weighing approximately 235 to 275 lbs.
STOCKTON, CA — A pastor of a church north of downtown was attacked and robbed by a lone assailant Sunday evening, police reported.
The victim, who was not identified other than his position at the church, was not injured.
The attack occurred about 6 p.m. at Flock of God Heritage Church of God in Christ 800 block of North Center Street. The small church provides homeless outreach, offering free meals and free clothing.
The assailant entered the church office and took the pastor’s cellphone after attacking him. He then fled on foot in an unknown direction, according to police.
He was described as a man in his 30s, 6 feet tall, last seen wearing a black beanie and black leather jacket.
When training new people in police work, one of the things most new recruits forget again and again is the flashlight. I usually get that confused puppy look when I suggest to a new officer he grab his flashlight on a bright sunny day at 10 o’clock in the morning.
No words are spoken, the look says, “A flashlight in the daytime? I don’t get it!”
I smile and say, “You just never know when you might need a flashlight.”
This is a hard won lesson taught to me the hard way. As a rookie, going into a home on a bright sunny day, I didn’t think I needed a flashlight – until I needed a flashlight.
Every department has a frequent flyer or two they know on a first name basis. In this case, a 30ish man who was mentally ill and continuously refused to take his medication. The problem was he locked himself in his bedroom and his poor mother never knew if he was armed or not. He usually had a large butcher knife with him.
When you are young, you are dumb. There is no getting around it. Every young man in his early twenties is dumb or does dumb things, and I most certainly qualified. On this particular day, he rushed to his room on our arrival. Upon opening his bedroom door, I was met with complete darkness.
This is before the days of weapon mounted lights and Tasers. He was standing in the corner of the room and I reached back to my flashlight ring and felt the emptiness where my light should have been, but it was back in the car where it wasn’t needed.
Have you ever had a situation you hadn’t trained for? This was one. I reached in to turn on the overhead light. It didn’t work. Behind me I heard my back-up officer encouraging me to turn on a light.
We were exposed standing in the fatal funnel known as a doorway. It was my fault.
I backed out and my experienced, veteran back up officer who actually had a flashlight came forward and used his light to brighten up the room.
There the suspect stood in the corner with his trusty knife. The veteran officer delivered curt commands convincing the man to drop the knife and come out.
Thankfully, he complied, and my foolish mistake cost me nothing this time.
I’ve never been without a light again. I went out and bought a rechargeable $150 rechargeable model and it stayed on my belt for the next decade. Now flashlights are far less expensive and get the job done.
A Couple Considerations
We used to carry 4-D cell lights that were huge and heavy. These days, a smaller 500 Lumens LED light with a belt clip will deliver more power than the old style 4-D cell flashlights.
I believe your security team should have readily accessible, light flashlights they can wear on their belt with an easy on and easy off switch. Whether the team member is armed or not, flashlights can be handy when doing an outside 360 degree inspection in the dark, inspecting less traveled areas during worship times, or on an escort walking a lady to her car.
Of course, a less likely chance of an armed intruder or burglar hiding in a room is always a possibility, I wouldn’t enter a darkened area without a flashlight in my reactionary hand. At the very least, it can be used as a striking tool with a hammer fist if necessary causing less damage to your hands.
Practice light discipline. In a tactical situation, never enter a room with the beam switched on full time. Open the door, engage the light to get a quick picture and turn it off. If you can, switch on the room light if it is practical to do so, but make sure you do it on the move.
A Cool Christmas Present
I hadn’t thought of this until a few days ago, but we were contacted by Jeremy, a CSA member and team leader, who wanted to buy his team members a flashlight for Christmas. I thought that was rather nice, and I wanted to share the idea with you.
We have two models. The first is a 500 Lumen zoomable model with a clip and rechargeable battery. The second is a 1200 Lumen flashlight doesn’t have the clip, but fits nicely in a pocket. Jeremy went with the 500 Lumen model because he liked the clip, and I would have to agree he made a great choice.
I will put a video up soon on proper light considerations in tactical situations. Have a Merry Christmas my friend, thank you for what you do.
[Video Credit: WKRN]
The faster you can intervene when someone is shot or suffering stab wounds, the more likely it is they will survive the incident. The problem is most people have no idea what to do when they see someone bleeding. Not so for Minerva Gonzalez. Relying on her nursing skills saved a a pastor’s life in the Antioch church shooting incident.
She applied pressure to Pastor Joey Spann’s wounds after he was shot and comforted him until medic units arrived.
Pastor Spann was among several people who were injured, and one woman died, at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ.
Rosa-Gonzalez was recognized for her actions and spent Monday morning receiving several awards for her bravery and courageousness.
She says she never expected a nightmare like the one she lived through to unfold right in front of her eyes, but when it did, she acted.
The nurse ultimately saved his life.
Rosa-Gonzalez says she doesn’t look at herself as a hero but just wanted to the right thing—help someone in need.
The FBI arrested an Ohio man, 28 year old Wei Li yesterday on allegations that he sent a threatening text message to his estranged wife stating he would commit a mass shooting at her church and Las Vegas casinos. He stated he had already run several dry runs and that the incident “would go down in history.”
The criminal complaint doesn’t name specific casinos where the alleged perpetrator planned to carry out the attack, nor the church where his wife was a member. The FBI did say the church was large, with at least 1,000 people attending a typical service.
According to Casino.org
In texts obtained by police, Li told his wife, “You made me do this.” He also sent her photos posing with guns and knives. When detained by federal investigators and asked to unlock his phone, Li quickly deleted a text chain. He’s been charged with sending interstate threatening communications, and destruction of evidence. Li, who remains in custody on $500,000 bond, told law enforcement that he wasn’t going to carry out the attack. Should he be found guilty of transmitting threatening interstate communications, he could face more than 20 years in prison.”
The reason this man was arrested is because his estranged wife took the threats seriously, told someone, and allowed the system to work on her behalf. I’ve said it once, and I will say it again, domestic violence can explode quickly. Churches are especially vulnerable due to the emotional nature of domestic violence and the fact that churches often provide counseling services.
All too often, the danger signals are ignored often resulting in injury, attempted murder and murder being committed against estranged wives and clergy due to missed or ignored signals.
Encourage your pastor to share information he or she deems threatening to the church, disseminate basic information to the team, and consider having someone who threatens violence trespassed from the property. All efforts to guard the domestic violence victim’s dignity should be made. However, your team cannot be on the alert for things they do not know about.