Don't hate, deescalate

Disclaimer: This article has nothing to do with exercise and contains adult language that may be inappropriate for small children.

It all started innocently enough with me commuting to work down a busy thoroughfare. Ahead of me, the street light flicked to red and traffic came to a stop. The cars were backed up quite deeply, and I was a little ways from the actual light, but I could see that up ahead that there was a car pulled over to the far right side of the road along with a few police. It seemed like a minor fender-bender or traffic stop, but nothing serious as the cars were not damaged and there were a few people, who appeared in good health, milling about on the sidewalk.

A police car heading from the opposite direction proceeded to jump the median and pull halfway into my side of the street. He positioned his car such that it was perpendicular to the flow of traffic, effectively blocking the middle of the three lanes. He left considerable space on both sides of his vehicle, so when traffic began moving again, most of the cars began funneling towards the right. I, however, was in the far left lane, and quite close to the police car, so this seemed like an undesirable option as it would require that I make a sharp right hand turn into a heavy stream of traffic. It seemed logical then to make my way around to the left.

My logic proved to be faulty as an extremely irate officer began charging towards me as soon as I cleared the cruiser. I don’t know what he thought I was up to, but it apparently warranted a display of force. He unholstered his firearm and held it with his right hand while motioning at me with his left. I should mention that he did not actually point it at me, but it was not a subtle gesture. “What do you think you’re doing?!” he shouted as he walked towards me. Rather than being a smart ass I decided to deescalate the situation (thank you Krav Maga!) by slowly raising my hands to show him that I was, in fact, not packing heat. “I apologize officer; I thought you were taking care of that situation over there.” I said to him while indicating via a glance and a nod towards the other police cars. Still holding his gun, he barked at me to get off the road.

He regarded me and my vehicle in a manner similar to that of a dog owner whose pooch has just shit on his bed. “Genius!” he yelled, meaning that I was clearly an idiot. “I’m sorry sir,” I said, meaning that he was clearly a douche bag. I had no intention of sticking around to find out the extent of his grip on reality so I made my way off of the road and into an adjacent parking lot.

Unsure if I had committed some sort of citable offense, I quickly made my way through the parking lot and onto a side street. Driving back towards the main road, I paused at the intersection to survey the scene. Traffic had, in the minutes since my departure, resumed its normal course. The belligerent police officer had apparently pulled his car out of the middle of the road to join his pals on the curb.

The purpose of his momentary traffic blockade will forever be a mystery, but the roots of his anger seem clear. I had, in his eyes, disregarded his authority and upset the delicate balance of power between officer and citizen. My actions were tantamount to a kick in the balls and he responded as such. I shudder to think what would have happened had I shit on his bed.

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About Unknown

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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  1. OK that was a way too scary encounter - geez...think of how horrible had it been if you were not cognizant and self-aware enough to understand that the cop's anger was his fault and not your doing. Kudos to you...take care!
    Oh, and hilarious story, too!