I just read an article on the front page of the paper that leaned strongly in the direction of saying cops in general use too much force in dealing with unruly children. For the most part, that is a crock. It should be taken case-by-case.

At age 86, I was raised in a time when it was OK for my father to raise a blister on my backside. Because of that, I seldom misbehaved during my 86 years. My wife might have something more to say about that.

Back in May of this year our home was rammed for the second time by an impaired driver at 1 a.m. Having spent a third of my life in the military and being raised a farm boy, I have always had a gun near at hand. When I fell out of bed I dialed 911  and when it appeared that the driver and crew were still having a party around our destroyed living room wall. I leaned out of my door and fired a round in the air. It had the desired effect of stopping the party, but when the officer showed up in quick time, what he first saw was an old man standing in his doorway with a forgotten gun still in his hand. His adrenalin was up and my temper about my destroyed house led him to place me in handcuffs after a brief exchange of views. He did not manhandle me and I offered no physical resistance. My attitude however, got me charged with menacing the driver, who said I was shooting at him. I just finished three months of dealing with the court. Not a pleasant experience, I will state.

At the time of the incident I thought I was treated unfairly, but in the morning I sat at the kitchen table and put myself in the shoes of the officer who responded so quickly to my 911 call. When he stepped out of his car, he had no idea what kind of a nut he might be dealing with and I made his dangerous job just a bit more difficult. I am sorry about that. Peace officers are no different than any of us, except that when they leave the house they face way more dangers than any of us do.

I digress a bit, but to get back to the subject, I am incensed when I read an officer is called to handle a child the parents can’t or don’t want to cope with. And then the parents loudly protest when the officer takes positive action when they are bitten or spit upon. The handcuffs did not hurt me and the experience will fade, just as it will from the minds of the kids you are too lazy or too incompetent  to properly raise. I have nothing more to say about it all at the moment.

Thomas Pickett

Ashtabula Township

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