Police Officers Share Their Best "Oh Sh*t" Moments

Police Officers Share Their Best "Oh Sh*t" Moments
Kage Nesbitt / EyeEm/ GettyImages

Being a police officer means putting your life on the line for the safety of others. That itself should be enough to send many officers home every night with thoughts of, "Oh man, that was crazy." Occasionally, though, there are those nights where it's all just a little too much. You find yourself saying to you or your partner, "Oh...sh*t."

(TRIGGER WARNING: Some stories involve gunshot wounds and suicide.)

Reddit user, u/ilkersever, wanted to hear the best of the worst when they asked:

Police officers of reddit, what was your "oh sh*t" moment?

Perhaps Not The Most Comfortable Bed

We were looking for a guy who stole guns from his ex and found him under a pile of clothes in a closet at a different house. Unfortunately there was like 7 kids sleeping in the same room so I start getting them out of there while my partner cuffs the guy who is pretending to sleep. We decide to drag him out and I go to move the mattress to get it out of the way and we find the stolen guns under where the kids were sleeping.


A Surprise To Remember

My husband has been a police officer for over 20 years. One night he was patrolling the downtown area when he noticed a purse someone had left behind. He opened the bag to check for id and found a turd. Some lady took a big a-- sh-t in her handbag and left it behind. He'll talk about autopsies and burnt bodies, but that is the one story he would rather forget.


Not What It Appears

This happened August of last year, was about 1-2 in the morning when a 911 hang up call came in where all that was heard was screaming and swearing.

I was the closest unit, riding alone as my partner had been voluntold for another assignment that set of days, so when I got out into the area, I was initially waiting for backup however as I was walking up to the house, I heard several voices screaming.

Rushing up to the house, the first thing I noticed was blood.... everywhere. The floor, the walls, the door, all covered to shoulder height. A distraught woman screamed and pointed me towards the living room.

Once I get into the living room, I see a male and female on a couch, both covered in blood. The male had a massive laceration on his right forearm, and the female had taken a belt and snake wrapped it around his arm to try and stop the bleeding. Seeing how the belt was applied, I knew it wasn't doing anything to stop the blood flow, so I pulled out my tourniquet and as I prepped it said to the guy "This is gonna hurt like hell, but it'll stop the bleeding"

I applied the tourniquet just above the top of his bicep, and knew it was on properly when he told me his hand had started to go numb. It was at that point I noticed a second deep gash on his tricep that went down to the bone.

It took EMS about 15 minutes to get to the house, and the paramedic made it abundantly clear that had I not applied the tourniquet, the male would have bled out long before they were able to get there.

In the end, turns out the guy had come home drunk, and forgot his keys... climbed up to a second story window and punched his way into the house, with near deadly results.


Not What It Appeared To Be

As a rookie I was responding to an alarm at restaurant that was supposed to be "haunted by a women" The first officer that arrived was an older officer that didn't do much and didn't ever get excited on the radio. As soon as he arrived he asked for a second unit in a high pitched tone. As I pulled in he had his shotgun out and he was leaned up over his hood. My first thought was " oh sh-t someone is breaking in ".

When I ran up to him and asked what up. All he said was as he pulled up and his lights hit the building a women jumped off the roof and disappeared. He was clearly shook. Me and another officer checked the building and found no evidence that someone had been there. It made an impression on me and I never went back to the restaurant at night without another officer.


Improper Testing

I was a rookie cop in a small town. I was driving to a check on a report of a large group of kids causing a disturbance at a school parking lot late at night. I realized I had not tested my PA speaker, which I planned on using to disperse the crowd. On my way to the call, slowly rolling down a residential street at 2am with my windows down, I decide to tap my PA mic a couple times to check it. First two taps, can't tell if its working. I slow down. I tap the mic several more times. Definitely hear the loud speakers that time. At that moment, I hear "what the f-ck are you doing?!" I look out my passenger window and see this old dude sitting on his porch in his underwear, looking pissed. Our eyes locked, I realized I had no decent excuse for clicking my loud speaker in a quiet neighborhood in the middle of the night, so I didn't say anything back to him and I floored it up the road.

Definitely an oh sh-t moment at the time (maybe different than what OP is looking for but I get tired of traditional "war stories"). The awkward on this encounter was through the roof.


Nothing Better To Do In The Countryside

I worked in a pretty rural farming community. One night some time after midnight we get a call of some young men shooting Amish horses and maybe some cows.

We had a general location, direction of travel, color of car, no make or model. I found a car of the same color in the vicinity. I called it out and initiated a traffic stop. About that time I was joined by several cars from multiple jurisdictions.

We conducted a full felony stop at gunpoint. As I was taking one of the suspects to my car, my sergeant tells me that this is obviously the wrong vehicle. The occupants of the vehicle ended up being under 21 and had consumed some alcoholic beverages that night.

We explained to him the reason for the stop was that we take minors consuming alcohol very serious in our County.

Never did find a vehicle that was shooting the horses and cows.


Saying Good-Bye To Family

Not me but my dad. This was when he was a relatively new cop. Responded to a car crash, potentially fatal. Arrived at the scene and realized that the victim was my uncle, his sister's husband. The wreck was too bad, there wasn't much they could do. He had to watch his brother-in-law die.


"Oh Sh*t" By Association

During the first week of ride-alongs right out of the academy, one of my best friends responds to a disturbance at a hotel. The whole week up until this had been pretty fluff. He, the officer who was training him, and another, all pile into an elevator and go up a few floors to where the disturbance was.

The elevator door opens and there is a guy standing waiting for them with a gun. All 4 open fire like something out of a movie. Officers walked away without a scratch. C

An "oh sh-t" moment for him and a "what the f-ck" moment for me as he told me over a few beers the next day. Talk about earning your keep from day one


"Nightmares For Days"

Went to an accident call about a sports car wrapped around a tree. The car and tree were engulfed in a massive fireball. One of the residents nearby managed to save the driver but received third degree burns on his hands in the process.

Couldn't save the passenger and I didn't make it in time to do anything. She melted to the seat. Driver was shit faced and had no idea. I had nightmares for days and still remember the smell.


What Could Have Been...

American officer here, Midwest. I was backing up another officer on his traffic stop, it was about 1 AM. Driver was very intoxicated. Other subjects were in the vehicle. Each person in the vehicle is well known to us for gun violence and drug trafficking.

After securing the driver for his violations we determined contraband was in the vehicle from driver admission, observing and open bottle of alcohol, and smell of burnt cannabis (it's illegal in my state to possess cannabis at this time).

We ask thr two to exit the vehicle for a search. As they begin to exit they jump out and knock an officer down, hurting his elbow and knee. They then take off running in seperate directions.

3 officers take off after one, catch him. He was tazed due to resistance and posessing a stolen firearm. (For note he is a convicted felon)

I took off after the other subject, by myself without realizing it. I chase him on foot for about a block. I'm about 10 feet from him, not gaining or losing ground but keeping pace. I see him reach into his back waist band and profuce a handgun.

Out of reaction I start to unholster my firearm. Before I even draw down on him he begins to turn towards me.

For some reason, whether by accident or intentionally I really dont know, he dropped the gun. We paused and just looked at each other for probably a whole second.

He began running again and I re holstered and continued running after him. This epic heart thumping chase ended with him tripping over a gutter and my catching him with no actual force being used.

Also my catch was a convicted felon and the firearm was stolen.

P.s I typrrd from mobile so please excuse typos.


Tough To Put Down

Got a call for a emotionally disturbed person. Arrive on scene and a 350lb man built like an NFL lineman is passed out of on the floor face down. His wife says he suffers from PTSD from the first Iraq war and that he was an army ranger. He had been drinking heavily. His son is on scene and about 16 years old. The man begins to wake up and proceeds to smash his forehead into the ground, repeatedly. We call for an ambulance. A small pool of blood begins to form on the floor. The wife grabs a rag and goes to wipe it up when this guy's head jerks up real quick, his face contorted in rage. He grabs the wife by the neck and throws her clear across the room onto the couch. We immediately jump on him but he is preternaturally strong.

There are four of us and we are each fighting one limb. The kid jumps in and helps us get two sets of cuffs on him because one set was not wide enough to connect his wrists behind his back. I ride in the ambulance to the hospital with him while he glares at me angrily reciting his military registration number and telling me I won't get any information out of him and that I'm a towel head (I don't remotely look like I'm from the region). The entire ride I hope that he doesn't break out of the cuffs. If I'm being honest, I'm not sure we would've gained control of him if the kid hadn't helped.


Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, And Dodge

Was on a traffic stop. My Sergeant came and backed me up due to having to possibly tow the vehicle. My Sergeants vehicle was behind mine and we were both in the right lane. My Sergeant was sitting in his car and I exited my car to go talk to him. As I walked closer to his car I heard a vehicle's engine rev all the way out but I couldn't see it.

For a split second I knew what was going to happen and though oh sh-t but couldn't react fast enough. The vehicle I heard smashed into the back of my Sergeants SUV which struck me, throwing me into the road. The driver was completely hammered and didn't have a license. This happened last Sunday and I have surgery in a couple weeks for my knee and my Sergeant has a broken back.


Power To Do Many Things

It was actually before I was sworn in, still as a cadet in the Highway Patrol: Loading live rounds into my service revolver for the first time.

Like, these could kill someone.


Rough Start

I pulled up on a teen sleeping in a vehicle at the end of a country road. When I ran the license plate, I found out that he was reported as a runaway. The doors on the vehicle were locked, so I knocked on the window to wake him up. Once he woke up and realized what was going on, he shot himself in the mouth with a rifle he had hidden under his blanket. Rough way to start my shift.


Sometimes, You Just Need To Talk

Was doing a welfare check at a house for a suicidal male. Only person living at the house, car in driveway, and house was locked up. Gathered some more info and was told where a key was. Opened the door, announced myself and starting searching the house expecting to find a dead body. Opened a closet door and the guy was hiding in there with a rifle next to him.

If he wanted me dead I wouldn't be typing this. Dude was having some issues. Sat and talked for about half an hour. Told me he heard me but didn't want to talk to anyone. Got him the help he needed.


Are you a police officer with a story to tell that would blow minds? Share it with us.

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