I’m a cop, and I try to intervene whenever I see bad things happening, even when I’m off duty.
So here’s my story. I’ve dealt with domestic violence calls for my whole career, but it was rare to actually see someone abusing their spouse in public.
I was having a coffee at a local diner when I saw a woman walk in. She appeared sad, and upon closer inspection, appeared to be concealing a black eye and had bruises on her wrist. I figured something was up, but it wasn’t until a man walked into the place and threw his car keys at her.
He immediately proceeded to berate her for about just everything I can think of. She wasn’t doing the dishes right, the nail polish she bought looked ugly on her fingers, her dye job cost 75 dollars. The works.
The husband left to go to the bathroom after a few minutes of this.
I feel mildly ashamed that I didn’t intervene when he was berating her, but after he’d left, I made eye contact with the woman, who appeared to be visibly distraught, and started talking to her. She tried making excuses for the guy, saying it was her fault that he was throwing such a shit fit.
After a few minutes of talking to her, the husband reemerged from the back and started asking her why she was talking to me.
I had to put my foot down and told him to back off. He told me to mind my own business. I told him to calm down, but he was having none of it.
He was livid and threatening to leave with his wife. He yanked her by the wrists so hard that she almost fell off the chair. I knew I couldn’t let her go home with him. I pulled out my badge and identified myself as a police officer and asked the woman if she’d like to press charges for assault.
She agreed to do so. That was all I needed to put this guy away and keep her safe, at least for awhile. I called for backup and we arrested the guy on the spot.
I attend a lot of domestic calls and this is exactly how homicides are initiated…they start with physical abuse and then develop into something very dark. Please call the police if you witness or experience any kind of physical abuse…a mere phone call can save a life.