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  • Brad Parker

How Do You De-Escalate an Angry Man with a Sword?


sword taken from criminal in Seattle
He's attacking police officers and trying to break into your house.

It's Sunday night and there is an angry guy walking around your neighborhood with a sword.


Yes, a sword that looks like a Roman Gladius sword.

evidence photo of a sword taken from criminal
This two-foot long sword was wielded by a Seattle man.

You call the cops and Seattle's finest arrive on the scene and now face the problem:


When officers arrived, the man approached a police vehicle and struck the driver’s door with the sword.

According to police, the man was in a state of crisis.

After refusing the officer’s demands to drop the sword, the man walked away from police, breaking the windshield of a car parked on the block.

Officers followed the man, continuing to instruct him to drop the sword.

After damaging the door of a house with the sword, the man tried to open the door of a home.

To make a long story shorter, after the man tried to enter someone's home, the police used a less lethal round from a 40mm grenade launcher to get the man to drop the sword so they could subdue him and make the arrest.


What If We Had to Defend Against the Man with the Sword?


40mm less than lethal riot baton round
You can see how large a 40mm projectile is from this example.

From the short published accounts, it appears the Seattle Police did an admirable job of de-escalating a potentially deadly scenario. They followed him and deployed a specialized piece of equipment which shoots a large bullet-shaped projectile which undoubtedly persuaded the man to drop the sword.


But, you and I don't have a grenade launcher. An angry man (remember the report says the man was "in a state of crisis". What does this mean? Is he screaming? Is he threatening?)


Now he's trying to break into our house:

  • Am I expected to de-escalate this scenario because this person might be mentally ill?

  • What options do we have to keep the man out of our home?

  • What options do we have to defend ourselves from an angry man with a dangerous, lethal weapon?

We need to think about these questions before we run into a situation like this. In this case Seattle PD had the officers it needed to respond. We've seen a number of scenarios over the last two years where municipalities did not have the resources to protect us.


And, if you think the whole sword scenario is too bizarre to worry about, the Seattle area has had other sword incidents:



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