Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Old Bulls

As we get older, we get meaner ... cops that is. We may be grampas that love to bounce our grandkids kids on arthritic knees but we can still put the fear of God into people when we have to.

Say hello to 65 year old retired Boston police superintendant Robert Hayden. The Boston Globe reports:

Shortly before landing, Bob Hayden and a flight attendant had agreed on a signal: When she waved the plastic handcuffs, he would discreetly leave his seat and restrain an unruly passenger who had frightened some of the 150 people on board a Minneapolis-to-Boston flight Saturday night with erratic behavior.

Hayden, a 65-year-old former police commander, had enlisted a gray-haired gentleman sitting next to him to assist. The man turned out to be a former US Marine.

I hate to correct this reporter, but there just ain't so such animal as a former Marine (except for John Murtha) or a former cop. Retired yes, former no.

"I had looked around the plane for help, and all the younger guys had averted their eyes. When I asked the guy next to me if he was up to it, all he said was, 'Retired captain. USMC.' I said, 'You'll do,' " Hayden recalled. "So, basically, a couple of grandfathers took care of the situation."

The incident on Northwest Airlines Flight 720 ended peacefully, but not before Hayden, a former Boston police deputy superintendent and former Lawrence police chief, and the retired Marine had handcuffed one man and stood guard over another until the plane touched down safely at Logan International Airport around 7:50 p.m.

It's not so much what you got, but the desire to use it that shows. Sometimes just a hard look is enough. Other times you have to teach a short course in Police Etiquette 101 to get someone's attention.

Hayden said the unruly man's behavior upset some passengers. One told Hayden he man had said, "Your lives are going to change today forever," as he shouted and refused to take his seat before takeoff and at various times during the nearly three-hour flight. He said that at one point the man lay on his back and was screaming, moaning, and thrashing on the floor.

Maybe this idiot had a flashback from watching "Snakes On A Plane" or something. Or maybe he had a premonition... a retired cop ramming a size twelve up your ass can also change your life forever.

When the captain announced preparations for landing, the man jumped up shouting, the flight attendant held up the handcuffs, and Hayden and the Marine came bounding down the aisle. Hayden said he and the retired Marine, whose name he never got, received an ovation from fellow passengers, and "some free air

Hayden's wife of 42 years, Katie, who was also on the flight, was less impressed. Even as her husband struggled with the agitated passenger, she barely looked up from "The Richest Man in Babylon," the book she was reading.

And God bless our long suffering wives.

"The woman sitting in front of us was very upset and asked me how I could just sit there reading," Katie Hayden said. "Bob's been shot at. He's been stabbed. He's taken knives away. He knows how to handle those situations. I figured he would go up there and step on somebody's neck, and that would be the end of it. I knew how that situation would end. I didn't know how the book would end."

How about a big thank you and a round of applause for Bob and the unknown USMC Captain for a job well done!

Forty-two years married to a cop also desires a medal ... God bless you too Mrs. Hayden!

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