Cop Talk 4, Domestic Violence

When police officers respond to a domestic violence run, they face danger that can put their lives in jeopardy. The psychology of the people involved can be puzzling at times. Johnny Russell adds this selection to Cop Talk. I am sure many police officers can identify with the following situation.

Steve and Danielle

Shock and awe overtook the neighbors of Danielle’s little apartment complex. They were surprised at the sound of a glass table being thrown through the front bay window of the apartment she shared with Steve her boyfriend and the father to Danielle’s nine month old daughter, Casey.

Heads swiveled as the tiny smashed and shattered glass fragments zipped out from the casement and onto the front walkway. People on foot in front used their hands as a shield from being pelted from what seemed like automatic rifle fire.

The neighbors telephoned police.

Danielle was on the front porch gripping her left wrist in pain as I approached. She said, “It was Steve. He grabbed me and twisted my wrist.”

To determine the extent of her injury, I gently took her hand. Applying mild pressure as I worked my way up, I got closer to her wrist. She screamed in pain. I feared that it was sprained or worst, but she declined an ambulance.

“Steve and I need to talk.” I started for the door of the apartment. “Steve left westbound on Balboa Avenue just before you got here.” She gave me a quick description of him.

“Would you be okay with me leaving for a few minutes to try and find him.” She said, “OK.”

I jumped into my police car and raced away. After driving through the area I was unable to locate Steve, so I returned to Danielle's home.

Danielle told me that she and Steve had been together for about three years. Earlier during their relationship, Danielle let Steve move in and together they lived in her apartment. As time went by Danielle realized that Steve was not the "working" kind so she terminated their living arrangement, forcing Steve to go back home to live with his mother.

The current arrangement she has with Steve is that he is allowed to visit and stay over two or three days a week, but not allowed to have the door key.

On the day Danielle telephoned police, Baby Casey got sick and Danielle had to take her to the hospital, Danielle tried to call Steve who was nowhere to be found. After being up all night with Casey at the hospital, Danielle returned to find Steve inside her apartment. Danielle was upset that Steve had broken inside her apartment and demanded he leave.

Steve became enraged and began cursing at Danielle. He grabbed Danielle's neck and began to choke her until she began to cry. He picked up the glass living room table top and flung it through the living room bay window smashing both the table top and the front bay window.

Steve was picked up the next day at his mother's house. Two months later Steve was in court. Danielle came to court denying Steve committed any crimes against her.

Johnny Russell is an accomplished writer and member of The Public Safety Writers Association ( You can access some of Johnny Russell’s work at

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us Johnny.

Stay safe my brothers and sisters.

First Blood by Johnny Russell

Please send any comments or stories you may want to appear on Cop Talk to Bob Haig at

“Cop Talk” Archives

Home PageAbout the BookFirefighting LinksAbout R. J. HaigPhoto GalleryTrail of the FirewriterFire TalkCop Talk