30 Apr Dangers of Domestic Disputes
In Albuquerque, NM a postal worker came to the aid of a woman who was involved in a domestic dispute with her seventeen-year-old son. As the altercation deteriorated, the postal worker felt compelled to intervene. When the postal worker became the focus of the woman’s son, the postal worker used his chemical spray on the teenager. The teenager then went into his house and returned with a gun where he immediately shot and killed the postal worker.
Domestic disturbances can be very deadly for too many reasons. There are so many dynamics at play that even the professionals who get called in to handle them sometimes fall victim to the deadly altercations.
Anytime the elements of alcohol and/or drugs, mental health issues, and dysfunctional family issues, there is a recipe for a problem waiting for the fuse to be lit. As a former law enforcement officer, I have responded to too many family disturbances to calls. If violence had not already occurred, each of these incidents had the potential for violence. The violent acts can and did range anywhere from a physical altercation between two or more people in the same household to attacks on one another using bottles and other objects. And at the furthest extreme, these domestic situations have resulted in shootings and stabbings.
Trying to keep the peace can be extremely dangerous for anyone who attempts to take on that role. The is a strange family dynamic that happens when one family member (who may have been the victim) can and will turn on anyone who may intervene.
Police officers who respond to these domestic calls have learned that they cannot respond alone, they must respond with at least two officers. Significant training is provided to these officers that allows them to control the situation and tip the balance of safety in their favor.
This is to say that if you witness a domestic disturbance, the best advice I can provide is to call 9-1-1 and allow law enforcement to respond. Once the professionals arrive, they are equipped mentally and physically to react to any level of violence.