Hug leads to charges against Iowa City man

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A hug has landed an Iowa City man in hot water.

An Iowa City man who thought a police officer just “needed a hug” faces several charges including assault on a peace officer and public intoxication.

Police say 21-year-old Luke Schreder was arrested on Saturday.
According to police records, Schreder ran up to the officer and stuck out his arms. The officer told him to “get away,” but Schreder didn’t take the hint and embraced the officer.

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This made me chuckle. It is a bit of an over0reaction on the part of the officer. This is right up there with last weeks story of a man being change with battery of a police officer for passing gas while getting booked for DUI.

I was an officer and having a drunk guy come at you or grab you when you’ve told them to stay back is not a joke. The officer cannot know what is in the drunk’s mind and believe me they can go from “happy drunk” to obnoxious or violent drunk in a blink of an eye. The first thing to go when someone drinks is their good judgment.

Officers are trained to keep people at a physical distance for safety reasons. I had a guy who looked perfectly harmless initially go for my gun within one minute of my arrival on scene. He closed the distance between us very quickly and I had to knock him off my holster. Luckily it was a special safety holster that does not allow the gun to be pulled straight out.

I was able to fight the guy off until back up arrived, but it was no joke. It turned out that he was on PCP and out of his mind. He was about my height, but really scrawny looking. It took 3 officers and a whole lot of wrestling to get him secured because of the superhuman strength and lack of pain perception he got from the drugs. Not humorous at all.

Even if the person does not mean any harm to the officer, they have no right to touch another person without their permission. Officers don’t give up all of their basic human rights when they don the uniform. The idiot in this news story deserves his 2 misdemeanor charges. They won’t ruin his life and maybe he will learn something in the process.

JC, while I understand this, the point is, this guy did not do anything to the police officer. After the officer gained control of the situation, simply telling this guy why it is a bad idea to give an armed officer a hug would be sufficient. Criminal charges are not really called for.

A misdemeanor is not going to wreck someone’s life, but it certainly will get through to the person once they sober up in the drunk tank minus their belt and shoelaces.

Talking to a person drunk enough to come at an officer in that manner is like talking to yourself. I dealt with drunks many 1000s of times over the years of working patrol in a college town, so I can tell you that coming at an officer even with a “hug” requires a special level of drunken stupidity that most people never approach whether tipsy or very trashed.

It is easy for someone who is the Monday morning quarterback to 2nd guess the officer’s decision. If some slobbering drunk comes at you or a family member, then it will be your chance to decide the appropriate level of action needed. Until then, I would suggest giving the benefit of the doubt to a professionally-trained law enforcement officer rather than the drunk.

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