From the Archives…Bubba’s Bad Temper Pt II

The pre-Chronicles retrospect of favorite posts continues with part 2 of the 3 part posts about a patient who didn’t exactly behave himself.  My partner on this job recently went light duty and pulled strings to let me keep her spot warm while she’s gone.

Originally Published June 25th, 2009

blog medicRound 1 seemed normal enough, at least as normal as things get in the big scary City some nights.

Round 2 begins as I’m assisting Bubba down the stairs and he decides an elbow to my face would make his night better.
Luckily, I watch a lot of movies. Not fighting movies or martial arts movies, Happy is a lover, not a fighter, but I enjoy a good strategy and tactics film when I can.

I had 3 options as Bubba took his first of many swings.
Option 1 – Let him hit me. Um, no.
Option 2 – Try to duck or dodge out of the way. I’m not one for choosing the direction of an assault and I figured I had a 1 in 3 chance of moving the correct way.
Option 3 – Close the range to target.

What came to my mind in a flash was the Hunt for Red October. When he turns into the path of the torpedo before it can arm itself. My reasoning after the fact seems perfect, in the moment I just needed him to chill.

The bottom of the stairs had along it’s side a large wrought iron ornamental security gate, the kind we have to force open most days.

As Bubba moved with the elbow, I forced my shoulder into his, jamming him into the gate. My right leg got up under him to throw him off balance while my left hand dropped the computer and squeezed Bubba against that gate. I knew if he got me off balance and I went to the ground I was going to get hurt.

My partner was already on the radio screaming for police assistance. She had to scream to be heard over the screaming of, in ascending order of volume, Me, Bubba, the girlfriend:and mom, who’s voice had found new heights.

Bubba was my height and had at least 20 pounds on me. I was tired and sober, he was drunk and rested. My only hope was to keep him against that gate until the cavalry arrived. All I wanted to hear was the screaming of the police sirens.

I was able to get his right hand into mine and forced behind his back, now near my waist. His left arm, the one that swung the first time was pinned between him and the gate, not moving for now.

The scene from Pulp Fiction when Julius is telling Honey Bunny to be cool was playing over and over in my head and I’m sure lines from the scene were coming out of my mouth. All I remember is wanting to keep his 230 pound frame off balance and against the gate which was almost more than my one leg could do.

After what seemed like hours of holding him he began to calm and still no sirens filling the night air, only screaming. He promised he was “OK,”and I reminded him that I had no problem keeping him there all night if I had to, a thought my leg would most certainly disagree with.

I decided, possibly foolishly, to let him back down to the ground, partly for a rest and partly because he had indeed calmed. I kept his right hand behind him and made a reach for the left wrist, controlling both rather well considering the circumstances, I thought, and we slowly made the drunken, angry stumble towards the ambulance, feeling him squirming and trying to get free the whole time.

There in the middle of the street, mother still screaming and us now screaming at her to go back inside, Bubba sees an opportunity to try knocking me down again. He’s got one leg up on the rear step of the ambulance and one hand on the rail to climb in when, I’m told later by my partner, Bubba takes a swing. All I recall was seeing him shift his weight and losing my cheerful disposition.

He quickly found himself flat on the cot as I tackled him into the ambulance, landing one leg on his hip and one arm on his chest. I’m not entirely sure it was one maneuver but I would have loved to see the video.

As we’re struggling now in the ambulance, as if by stealth, a sea of blue rushes the back and there are no less than 3 boys in blue saying and doing things that I can not. They have him four pointed and are able to clearly shout over the rest of the commotion outside where I can make out at lest 2 more officers dealing with mom and the girlfriend.

I look at my partner and share a look of, “Holy s*it, did that just happen?”

I took off my duty jacket and took a deep breath throwing it to the bench seat in frustration, suddenly feeling the strain in my shoulders and legs from holding him for what turned out to be 4 minutes against that gate.

The officer looked to me and told me he was impressed I didn’t fight back. What I had taken as staggering towards the ambulance, they had seen from afar as him struggling and swinging elbows, all while I’m walking behind him.

The final part of our tale, Round 3, will be covered tomorrow morning, Friday as a perfect You Make the Call.

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