Business as usual was rudely interrupted on Monday when a disgruntled man with a baseball ball began swinging away the a suburban Los Angeles police station. Thanks to the security cameras at the station, we have some entertaining video to go with the bazaar episode. The end is actually quite well executed.
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The surveillance video shows Christopher Rivas, 28 of West Covina, approach the station with a bat in hand. He seems oddly hesitant for a man approaching a police station with a bat.
At first, he swings at a window. When it doesn’t break, he takes some swings at the frame, and then at the frame of the door.
Inside the building, people scattered. An officer inside moves some of them out of harm’s way, and then everyone springs into action.
Rivas’s motives for the attack are unknown, but the officers who were present showed incredible patience. Under the circumstances, lethal force was warranted. And it could have been necessary, had Rivas turned the bat on any officers or any of the bystanders.
Yet the officers present looked for a different opportunity. The way Rivas presented himself as a threat must have led them to believe this was a case of suicide by cop, but they didn’t take that final step.
Instead, an officer who had been watching the situation from outside of the building approached him from behind. The video ends with an epic tackle. Rivas never saw it coming. That much is evident from the angle of his head in the picture above.
The officer who took him down may not have shot and killed him, but he wasn’t going to allow Rivas any opportunity to swing that bat, either.
Rivas was slightly injured in the fall, but he was disarmed before any of the officers were harmed.
After his arrest for assault with a deadly weapon and resisting arrest, Rivas was taken to a local hospital for treatment of his wounds, and kept there for a psychological evaluation.
The police in West Covina are pleased with the way the officers reacted. Gun fire out of (or into) the building would have put innocent bystanders at risk. Yet the officers had the wisdom to accurately asses the threat Rivas posed, and handled the situation exactly like the professionals that they are.