Free Write Friday-Without a Paddle; The Real Police (Swat) Story

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How would you like to see this scene, multiplied by 10, standing outside your door?  I have!

A friend and fellow blogger, Charles Mashburn wrote a story for Free Write Friday today titled Police! Open Up!  (find it here at:  I thought “Wow, he has a police story too!”  After going to read his post, I left with a smile on my face and thoughts running through my mind on what I was going to do with this prompt.  Surprise!!  No poem this time but rather a true life experience with the state/county/local police and S.W.A.T.

This is a very long story but I will try to tell you a shortened version of the events for expediency.

It happened approximately 8-9 years ago.  My daughter told Mark and I that her dad was being mean to her and had slapped her across the face more than once.  After much discussion over the course of the weekend, we decided that we were not sending her home with him come Sunday on her next visit (she was in his custody at this time due to numerous reasons, a major one being that I had recently been homeless).

When the follow visit began, we started making arrangements to carry out our plan.  Sara went to spend the night on Saturday with her sister.  Her dad had no idea where her house was and we figured that was the best place to hide her.

On Sunday, around an hour or so before her dad was to pick her up, I called the local Sheriff department and asked to meet with an Deputy at a nearby convenience store.  I took all of my paperwork with me showing that I had joint custody; the different police reports that I had copies of showing calls made on her father; the report of when he kidnapped her from a grocery store and the police came; etc.

When the Deputy arrived, he was a bit confused on why I had called.  He stated that it was a civil matter and that I had to go through the courts.  He said that he didn’t believe nor disbelieve me but he had been lied to plenty before and was reluctant to believe anything that anyone said.

Finally, at the end of our meeting, I looked him straight in the eyes and said, “It is my intention to not return Sara to her dad and go to court.  What I am hoping to accomplish by meeting with you is this; when I do not give her back, he will go ballistic!  I don’t know what he will do but I do know there is going to be trouble because of how volatile he is.  I want you to inform all of the local agencies about your prior knowledge of this situation so that if he calls in an Amber Alert, everybody won’t be out there running around needlessly looking for her!”   It goes without saying that I was quite frustrated by this point and knew that I was running out of time.

The Deputy said that he would file the report as soon as he got back to the station and thanked me for wanting to save them some effort.  We parted and I drove the short distance back to our trailer.  As soon as I pulled in the driveway, Sara’s dad and his sister pulled up and blocked the driveway so that I could not back out.  I quickly got out and hurried inside.  As I came through the door, I looked at Mark and said (like in the Poltergeist Movie), “They’re here!”

What ensued after that point and lasted for no less than 2-3 hours was the biggest fiasco I had ever thought to be a part of.  The police were called alright and by the time he and his sister were done with them, they thought we were holding Sara hostage at gunpoint!  Although we were in the county jurisdiction, we were just outside the city limits and that is who was called to respond.  They sent several squad cars plus S.W.A.T, called in the State Police and that’s who arrived first.  It was only after about a half-hour later that the Sheriff Deputy that I talked to had showed up with another deputy.

When all was said and done, that young man got into his cruiser and began slamming his clipboard on the steering wheel saying, “Why didn’t I listen to her!!”  over and over again.

If anyone wants to hear the whole story in detail, let me know and I will do it in a series that will blow your mind (I think).  I know it does mine still today and although we laugh about it now, Mark is lucky that the officer who had a shotgun to the back of his head didn’t have a nervous trigger finger.  Things could have ended a lot differently than they did!

But, as they always do, our Guardian Angels were surrounding us.


Phrase Prompt

O.k., I know you have all heard that old saying, “…up shit creek without a paddle”, right? (Or maybe it’s just a southern thing, I don’t know.) Well, if you haven’t let me just break it down for ya. We have all been in a mess, a pickle, in a …tight spot, right? When times were hard and you couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, hence…up shit creek without a paddle. Often times we are able to look back on those situations and find humor, a lesson learned or just realize that it really wasn’t as bad as we thought…or maybe it was but you survived. Some great stories can almost always be found from these…ripples in life and for FWF, I’d like you to share them. Be poetic, be humorous, be inspirational…just don’t forget to be real, raw and most importantly, just write! You know what to do.

7 thoughts on “Free Write Friday-Without a Paddle; The Real Police (Swat) Story

    1. Thanks Charlie!! And yes we most certainly do 🙂 I have read that story of yours before too, more than once! It is awful for a child to experience such things from a parent. It was a harrowing few hours for us that night too. There had to have been at least 30 cops surrounding us “kidnappers and hostage takers” with our “REALLY BIG GUNS!” If they hadn’t busted in our trailer and I wasn’t being attacked by her dad, a gun would have never entered the picture!!! It was purely self-defense on our part. Too much, lol!


    1. LOL! Me too Becca! Believe it or not, I have others I could have told but this was the first one that came to mind 🙂 grins, Terri


  1. you do have a great sense of humor when dealing with issues, i think i could learn a few things from you. i am not sure how to turn over on my back and look at life this way. what is the trick?

    1. Thanks Terry! I think it is multiple things; my Irish heritage, my dad’s influence and the knack of being able to laugh at myself even before anyone else does. The saying, “I cracked myself up!” often applies to me 🙂 Of course, having faith that whatever happens here is only momentary and I’m going to a better place one day makes a world of difference too! xxxxxxx

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