All cops have their holy crap moments. These are circumstances that you simply cannot believe happened. You shake your head and someone says, “You should write about all the crazy stuff you experience.”

I’ve found enough material for two books and I have more in reserve. I’m convinced that most police officers have plenty of tales to entertain the masses. That is why TV shows featuring law enforcement characters do so well.

Here are the stories that I will label as my top ten holy crap moments:

  1. Stepping on a pile of clothes in a walk-in closet more than two hours into searching a home during a warrant service, and discovering a live body was concealed at the bottom of the pile.
  2. Clearing a house after it was gassed several hours into a SWAT callout, and watching the suspect fall from the attic through the drywall-ceiling butt first.
  3. Searching through bowel movements in the hospital emergency room for more than 12 hours looking for 10 balloons of heroin. (This was not holy crap, but literal dung.)
  4. Stepping on an unidentified gooey substance clearing a home following a homicide, and later discovering it was the victim’s breast-implant that exploded as one of several rounds peppered her body.
  5. Hitting the wrong house during a high-risk gang related search warrant. (It’s a long story. You can read about it in The Spirit behind Badge 145 Chapter 13 is titled, Lord, Please Help Me Help My Stupid Self.)
  6. Finding a suspect standing on a 4 inch ledge outside a third story hotel room window about 15 minutes after we entered the place during a parole search. (We nicknamed him “McFly” after the character from Back to the Future.)
  7. Throwing a flash bang into the home of an outlaw biker, seeing it explode at his feet, and noticing he didn’t even flinch while clutching his Dirty Harry .44 Magnum. (But at least he was smart enough to drop it.)
  8. Seeing a double-headed axe descending from above and thinking my ticket was about to get punched.
  9. Experiencing the attack of one of our police K9’s because he thought I was the bad guy we sought. (I have the scars to prove it.)
  10. Broadsiding and upending a small sports car that turned in front of me just as I was about to go into pursuit of a wanted suspect.

Holy Crap Continues

There is no doubt about it, police work is unique. For good measure I will also throw in the time I fell into a swimming pool while fighting a suspect. The plunge seemed to occur in slow motion.“This only happens on TV,” were my thoughts as our entangled bodies fell into the water. Yet this happened to me in the real world of cops and robbers. For an added degree of difficulty, try placing handcuffs on a guy passed out from a carotid sleeper hold (rear naked choke) while making sure he didn’t drown.

I better wrap this up. The more I ponder my holy crap moments, the more I recall. Like the time my narco partners and I lost a vehicle during surveillance while it carried a suitcase containing $500,000 in drug cartel money. Fortunately, we found it during a search warrant service at a stash pad weeks later. But at the time you can be assured it was one of those moments.


Now that I’ve fanned the flames and stoked the fire, what are some of your holy crap moments? Don’t be shy. They are hilarious, let’s hear them!

Jim McNeff, editor-in-chief, Law Enforcement Today

(Photograph courtesy Detective Juan Beltran DHSPD)