De-escalation

Thursday Share Day
Writers LOVE words. Can the right words change the nation? Yes.
The other day a friend sent this news article over to me, and I’m letting you all in on it. This is not the first time I’ve read about the Bellingham Police using their Crisis Negotiator Team to de-escalate a situation. In an era of bullets being used to de-escalate violence, it’s refreshing to find a place on this planet that really, actually, uses words. Let me know what you think.

“On May 18, 2021 Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) passenger LaKisha A. Bolden, 44, apparently upset the bus on which she was riding was not headed downtown, got sufficiently angry with the bus driver that he needed to make an unscheduled stop. Bolden looked like she was walking off the bus when, completely unprovoked, pulled out a 4-inch knife and attacked another rider, stabbing her four times. After Bellingham Police arrived on scene and de-escalated the situation, Bolden was subsequently arrested, without further incident, for assault in the first degree and booked into the Whatcom County Jail.

Bolden and several other riders were on a WTA bus travelling on Old Fairhaven Parkway, when she realized they were not heading downtown and got angry about that. The driver safely pulled the bus over to let Bolden off. It appeared Bolden was leaving, but instead pulled out a knife and stabbed another rider. The injured rider fought back and was able to get distance from Bolden and flee the bus to safety. The rest of the riders and bus driver also safely made it off the bus. Bolden remained alone on the bus, still armed with the knife.

Bellingham Police (BPD) arrived and established a safety perimeter around the bus and shut down traffic on Old Fairhaven Parkway for the safety of motorists. The bus was disabled to prevent Bolden from being able to create a further crisis and danger to the public by driving it away. While the patrol officers maintained a safe distance, members of the BPD Crisis Negotiator Team (CNT) were called to establish contact with Bolden, engage in conversation to de-escalate the situation and have Bolden surrender.

Shortly after starting the conversation with Bolden, crisis negotiators were able to convince Bolden to step off the bus and surrender peacefully. Bolden was handcuffed and arrested for assault 1st degree and taken to the Whatcom County Jail.

The victim of the stabbing went to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Emergency Department for treatment for non-life-threatening stab wounds to her hand and leg.”

https://cob.org/news/2021/suspect-stabs-another-passenger-four-times-on-wta-bus-in-unprovoked-attack

Here is my current mood expressed in a meme. Take care of yourself and those you love. -Shannon

Kidnapped

This time of year I often think about my Grandma Mimi.

In April 1998, my cousin Susan called late in the evening with the news. Before I could say one word she cried out “Grandma was kidnapped!” My cousin went on to give me an account of events: early in the morning grandma had a break in, was held hostage, pistol whipped, taken from her home, rescued by the police late in the afternoon, has been released from the hospital, and was going to be interviewed by the local news station tomorrow. I was speechless! That’s a call you don’t get every day.

At the time of the kidnapping Grandma Mimi was 86, and lived alone at her home in Anacortes, Washington. A female perpetrator gained access into Mimi’s home by pretending to be a pregnant woman in pain, needing a phone.  The two kidnappers, a boyfriend/girlfriend team, told grandma their plan was to take her to their isolated mountain cabin, issue demands to the family and wait for the money. However, on their way to the cabin the kidnappers got restless, began fighting over the plan, and started driving up and down Interstate 5 indecisively.

From the backseat Grandma could hear the new plan unfolding; they no longer wanted to hold her for ransom instead they just wanted to kill her and throw her body into the woods. They pulled over to a remote road just off I-5, dragged her out of the car, grandma’s back to the woods.

Putting the gun up to her head the kidnapper asked if she was ready to die. Grandma didn’t hesitate, “ I’ve lived a long and wonderful life. I’m ready to go. Go ahead and shoot.” What an incredible statement! Surprisingly, she said it with such conviction, the kidnapper was unable to pull the trigger!

Frustrated, they threw her back into the car and kept driving. The driver was on meth and her erratic driving caught the eye of an attentive road side worker, who called it in to 911 as a possible DUI. Glancing up over the back seat, Grandma could see two cop cars rolling down the on ramp racing towards them,lights on. “They looked like angels coming down from heaven!”, she later shared with us.

Grandma was rescued and the kidnappers were charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree kidnapping for allegedly abducting an 86-year-old woman from her home and terrorizing her.

Grandma lived on into her 90’s, and passed away in her home a while ago.  She lived a full life, good and bad times.

Not many of us get an opportunity, like a gun to the head, to say with such conviction, “I am ready to die.” It’s true you can find new life in many places, but some people find new life at the wrong end of a gun.

***

Kidnapped

Spring always puts me in a sentimental mood. You know, it’s all a part of that inane idea to get rid of the old and bring in the new; spring clean the garage, backyard and the soul. Some projects take up so much time I feel like they’ve kidnapped me! During the tedious task of cleaning out my bookcase, my mind drifted on that thread of thought. I started to relive the day I heard the news of my Grandma’s kidnapping. My grandma was really kidnapped, not by an “organize the closets” project, but by real psychotic people! While I sprayed more wood cleaner onto the dust rag, I pondered the lessons of that story.

In April 1998, forteen years ago this month, my cousin Susan called me late in the evening with the news. Before I could say one word she cried out “Grandma was kidnapped!” My cousin went on to give me an account of events: early in the morning grandma had a break in, was held hostage, pistol whipped, rescued by the police late in the afternoon, has been released from the hospital, and was going to be interviewed by the local news station tomorrow. I was speechless! That’s a call you don’t get every day.

At the time of the kidnapping Grandma Mimi was 86, and lived alone at her home in Anacortes Washington. The two kidnappers told grandma their plan was to take her to their isolated mountain cabin, issue demands to the family and wait for the money. However, on their way to the cabin the kidnappers got restless, began fighting over the plan, and started driving up and down Interstate 5 indecisively.

From the backseat Grandma could hear the new plan unfolding; they no longer wanted to hold her for ransom instead they just wanted to kill her and throw her in the woods. They pulled over to a remote road just off I-5, dragged her out of the car, grandmas back to the woods. Putting the gun up to her head the kidnapper asked if she was ready to die. Grandma didn’t hesitate, “I’ve lived a long and wonderful life. I’m ready to go. Go ahead and shoot.” What an incredible statement! Surprisingly, she said it with such conviction, the kidnapper was unable to pull the trigger!

Frustrated, they threw her back into the car and kept driving. The driver was on meth and her erratic driving caught the eye of an attentive road side worker, who called it in to 911 as a possible DUI. Glancing up over the back seat, Grandma could see two cop cars rolling down the on ramp towards them with lights on. “They looked like angels coming down from heaven!” she said.

Grandma was rescued and the kidnappers were charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree kidnapping for allegedly abducting an 86-year-old woman from her home and terrorizing her.

Grandma had a full life, good and bad times. Not many of us get an opportunity, like a gun to the head, to say with such conviction, “I am ready to go.” It’s true you can find new life in many places, but some people find new life at the wrong end of a gun.

This is a story that has become a part of my heritage and will stay polished in my memory, kept high in a safe place, to be displayed and discussed when appropriate times allow, not too unlike the knick knacks on my freshly polished shelf.

Kidnapped

Spring always puts me in a sentimental mood. You know, it’s all a part of that inane idea to get rid of the old and bring in the new; spring clean the garage, backyard and the soul. Some projects take up so much time I feel like they’ve kidnapped me! During the tedious task of cleaning out my bookcase, my mind drifted on that thread of thought. I started to relive the day I heard the news of my Grandma’s kidnapping. My grandma was really kidnapped, not by an “organize the closets” project, but by real psychotic people! While I sprayed more wood cleaner onto the dust rag, I pondered the lessons of that story.

In April 1998, thirteen years ago this month, my cousin Susan called me late in the evening with the news. Before I could say one word she cried out “Grandma was kidnapped!” My cousin went on to give me an account of events: early in the morning grandma had a break in, was held hostage, pistol whipped, rescued by the police late in the afternoon, has been released from the hospital, and was going to be interviewed by the local news station tomorrow. I was speechless! That’s a call you don’t get every day.

At the time of the kidnapping Grandma Mimi was 86, and lived alone at her home in Anacortes Washington. The two kidnappers told grandma their plan was to take her to their isolated mountain cabin, issue demands to the family and wait for the money. However, on their way to the cabin the kidnappers got restless, began fighting over the plan, and started driving up and down Interstate 5 indecisively.

From the backseat Grandma could hear the new plan unfolding; they no longer wanted to hold her for ransom instead they just wanted to kill her and throw her in the woods. They pulled over to a remote road just off I-5, dragged her out of the car, grandmas back to the woods. Putting the gun up to her head the kidnapper asked if she was ready to die. Grandma didn’t hesitate, “I’ve lived a long and wonderful life. I’m ready to go. Go ahead and shoot.” What an incredible statement! Surprisingly, she said it with such conviction, the kidnapper was unable to pull the trigger!

Frustrated, they threw her back into the car and kept driving. The driver was on meth and her erratic driving caught the eye of an attentive road side worker, who called it in to 911 as a possible DUI. Glancing up over the back seat, Grandma could see two cop cars rolling down the on ramp towards them with lights on. “They looked like angels coming down from heaven!” she said.

Grandma was rescued and the kidnappers were charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and second-degree kidnapping for allegedly abducting an 86-year-old woman from her home and terrorizing her.

Grandma had a full life, good and bad times. Not many of us get an opportunity, like a gun to the head, to say with such conviction, “I am ready to go.” It’s true you can find new life in many places, but some people find new life at the wrong end of a gun.

This is a story that has become a part of my heritage and will stay polished in my memory, kept high in a safe place, to be displayed and discussed when appropriate times allow, not too unlike the knick knacks on my freshly polished shelf.