Thursday, July 30, 2009


Motorcop's 5150 post here, reminded me of a good 5150 story that happened back when I was a reserve...

I got dispatched as cover on a 5150. A brother and sister called to have their other brother evaluated for 5150 because he "wanted to leave".


Umm, hang on a sec. You can't commit someone just because he wants to leave.

So we arrive and meet with the supposed crazy one.

He's in the kitchen fixing himself some scrambled eggs, looking to all the world like a thoroughly un-crazy individual. I started talking to the guy while my partner got more info from the family. He still seemed perfectly normal. Eventually we got him to sit down out in the living room and chat with us.

"How do you feel?"


"Are you thinking about hurting yourself?"

"What? No. Why would I do that?"

We told him we heard he wanted to leave, and asked where he wanted to go. He told us he just wanted to go away. But he didn't want to take anything with him, because he wouldn't need any of it. But he didn't want to kill himself or hurt himself.

After about half an hour of talking in circles, we weren't entirely convinced he needed to be evaluated, but he was far enough on that side of the fence that my partner went out to get a 5150 form. Then I got a picture of the real 5150.

There we were, just me and not-so-crazy dude, sitting there in his living room.

"So, does the aluminum foil on the TV antenna make the stations come in better?"

"No. That's so they can't watch me through the television. They talk to me and watch me through the TV."

"Oh, really? What do they say?"

"They tell me I need to go far away. To a better place. The cable TV man came out yesterday, and he put a camera in the clock, because they can't see me through the TV anymore."

Right about then, my partner returned with the 5150 form.

I told him he missed the show...


Front Porch Society said...


It is always the darn televisions. They will get you every time! lol.

Beat And Release said...

We found a dead guy with multiple stab wounds in a hotel room years ago. As I'm standing outside the door with another experienced investigator I said, "Jack, we're dealing with a nutjob." How did we know before we even got close enough to observe the 75 stab wounds? The television was by the door and the cable was unplugged from the back and lying on the floor.

Ummmmhmmmmm. They only do that when the CIA is beaming messages to them or spying on them through the t.v. Turned out we were right. The kid will never go to trial for killing his father in such a horrible way. In fact, he was released as "cured" by the shrinks last year. His mom moved out of state she was so afraid of him.

Manda said...

My brother is like that, he seems perfectly normal at first. But if you talk to him long enough it all comes flooding out. I wish he would stay on his meds... he could have had a semi-normal life.

Sandra G. said...

Isn't it amazing that on the surface some mental health patients seem 'normal'?

And then they let slip with a bizarre saying/behaviour/action and you realize why they are on medication (which is a good thing).

Mad Jack said...

Main Lady is a licensed clinical psychologist, retired from the State hospital. Anyway, the first time I had to drop something off at the office for her I ran into a friendly group of people hanging around what appeared to be a waiting room. They all seemed okay to me; no crazier than the idiots I meet and have to deal with everyday. It turns out they were all patients.

Anyway, in the years that we've been together I've seen the two extremes: On one side, a psychiatrist gave a client in the violent ward a weekend pass. The client went home and promptly beat his invalid mother to death with a lug wrench. One the other side, when my father (a WWII vet) had a debilitating stroke he said he felt miserable (he did) and said he wished he were dead (very likely). A young, politically correct and oh so sensitive nurse heard him and alerted the hospital psychiatrist who promptly had a now disabled and frightened world war II veteran committed, locked up where we weren't allowed to visit and placed on suicide watch. I can't prove it, but I believe that the psychiatrist did this without actually seeing my father in person. It was three days before we could get him loose.

In both these examples the psychiatrist acted incorrectly, and in both cases the psychiatrist suffered no inconvenience, reprimand or punishment for their misdeeds.

Officer "Smith" said...

It's not always the telvision though. I once had one of our regular 5150's tell me she had been speaking with the Chief of Police through her microwave oven...

TheBronze said...


How do you know she wasn't?


Officer "Smith" said...

Honestly, I don't...

Chris said...

I was in my room and I was just like staring at the wall thinking about everything.
But then again I was thinking about nothing
And then my mom came in and I didn't even know she was there.
She called my name and I didn't hear her and then she started screaming: MIKE! MIKE!
And I go:
What, what's the matter?
She goes:
What's the matter with you?
I go:
There's nothing wrong mom.
She's all:
Don't tell me that, you're on drugs!
I go:
No mom I'm not on drugs I'm okay, I was just thinking you know, why don't you get me a Pepsi.
She goes:
NO you're on drugs!
I go:
Mom I'm okay, I'm just thinking.
She goes:
No you're not thinking, you're on drugs! Normal people don't be acting that way!
I go:
Mom just get me a Pepsi, please
All I want is a Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me
All I wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to me.
Just a Pepsi.

Officer "Smith" said...

Thanks Chris, I'm glad somebody got it.

Chris said...

Sure thing. Excellent taste in music, BTW. Officer Smith, fan of 80's punk bands. Who woulda thunk it? I bet your mohawk was red, white, and blue. :)

Oh, and I really enjoy your blog.