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Officer Assist Injury

Discussion in 'Accidents, Injuries, Negligence' started by KMKC, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. KMKC

    KMKC Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Missouri
    During the stop suspected thief which was believed to be under the influence of drugs, an altercation began with the officer and the suspect. The officer was struggling to subdue the person and I assisted. There was a large hunting knife involved. During the altercation I sustained a rotator cuff injury (not from the knife). I do not want a large settlement but I could use assistance with medical costs/copays. Should I approach the Police Department, Police Officer, or The store owner, for assistance?
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You voluntarily entered the fray so I don't see anybody responsible for your injuries other than the thief himself (and you, of course). Good luck collecting anything from a criminal.

    You mention store. What's that about. Were you employed by the store when this happened and the thief stole from your employer?

    If yes, you might qualify for worker's compensation.

    If no, you've go nowhere to go with this because you willingly took the risk of injury by getting into it.
     
  3. KMKC

    KMKC Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Nowhere to go I guess. I was not an employee just a vendor. Its easy to see why people do not get involved when officers are in distress.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The police get paid to risk their lives every day. Even they will tell you not to get into police encounters and to just be the best witness you can be.
     
  5. KMKC

    KMKC Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Normally I would think that. But with recent news about Officers not being assisted in their time of need, all of the potential weapons that were near, the person under the influence and reaching for his pocket, the person twice the size of the officer and getting the better of the PO; I just couldn't watch. Especially since I had been a Parole Officer, had some training and would have wanted someone to help me in that situation. Thanks for your help.
    Call for Civilian Backup
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2016
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    You have options to assist you with your medical costs, and potential rehabilitation.

    You are a good citizen.
    Thank you for helping our police officers.

    In MO, there is help:
    ..
    ..
    Missouri Revised Statutes Chapter 563
    Section 563.051.2
    ...
    ...
    Section: 563.0051 Until December 31, 2016--Private person's use of force in making an arrest. RSMO 563.051
    ..
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    What you did was justified under MO state statues as noted above, in essence, you were aiding a law enforcement official, and the officer endorsed your help when you stepped forward to assist, because you weren't told to "back off". Hence, the approval was tacit, and no doubt appreciated.
    ..
    You need to seek medical treatment immediately from Missouri licensed physicians, avoid chiropractors.
    ..
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    Contact the officer, and request he document your role in the arrest.
    Contact the chief and inform him or her of your injuries received while assisting Officer Friendly.
    Ask the chief how you go receive assistance with your medical bills you are now receiving because of the injuries incurred while assisting Officer Friendly with the arrest of Freddy Felonious on December 9, 2016 at Cheap-O-Mart?
    ..
    ..
    Inform your employer of your injuries received while assisting Officer Friendly of West Badlands, MO Police Department as he struggled to arrest a violent thief.
    ..
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    Talk to a couple lawyers in the county where you reside.
    That's just to further understand how you get compensated for medical bills.
    ..
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    MO crime victims compensation program - this will probably be your best route for financial assistance:
    ..
    read it, learn it, apply for assistance, follow all their rules:
    ..>
    ..>
    Department of Public Safety | Crime Victims' Compensation Program
    ,,,
    ,,,
    Department of Public Safety - Victims' Services Directory
    0000
    0000
    Department of Public Safety - Victim Rights Complaint
    ///
    ///
    Section 595.209 of the Missouri Revised Statutes

    Section 595.209 of the Missouri Revised Statutes specifies that victims of certain dangerous felonies are automatically afforded these rights. Victims of all other crimes and witnesses of crimes are also guaranteed these rights but they must submit a written request to the appropriate agency (i.e. law enforcement agencies, juvenile authorities, custodial authorities, prosecutors, probation and parole, etc.) to ensure that their rights are afford to them.
    |||
    |||
    Inquiries will only be conducted if the victim of the violation puts in the request. All other complaints about victim rights violations will be housed in a database for tracking purposes.

    If you are a victim or a family member of a victim of crime and believe that your rights as a crime victim have been violated, you may request an inquiry from the CVSU office by taking the following steps:

    Make a written request to CVSU to conduct an inquiry.
    In your complaint, include your name, address and a telephone number where you can be reached.
    Provide a brief explanation of the criminal incident, attaching any copies of additional information you wish for us to take into consideration.
    Clearly and concisely explain your complaint and against whom the complaint is made.

    How to Submit the Complaint

    To submit a complaint, you can email, fax, or send the complaint by mail.
    ..
    Email: [email protected]
    [[
    Fax: (573) 751-5399
    [[


    Mail an addressed envelope to:
    Department of Public Safety
    Crime Victim Services Unit
    1101 Riverside Drive
    Lewis and Clark Building, 4th Floor West
    P.O. Box 749
    Jefferson City, MO 65102
    \\\\
    \\\\
    The form you will complete to begin the formal request for financial assistance:
    ===
    ===
    http://dps.mo.gov/dir/programs/cvsu/documents/victim-complaint-form.pdf
    _____
    _____
     
    KMKC and Highwayman like this.
  7. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    The statute cited above is a defense should you have been charged with a crime in connection with your assistance. It does not confer any liability to the police department for injuries sustained.

    Reading through the materials on the crime victim fund, it is unlikely you qualify as you voluntarily subjected yourself to possible harm. You weren't the victim of a crime yourself.

    This wouldn't fall under WC as apprehending suspected thieves is not part of your job. You were acting as a private citizen, not on behalf of your employer at the time.

    The store has no liability for your injuries. They certainly didn't ask the suspect to resist arrest.

    This is one to submit to your own health insurance.
     
  8. Disabled Vet

    Disabled Vet Active Member

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    Life is rough sometimes... I would have stepped up without a pause to help. With that being said... If you did get a injury you could speak with a few lawyers to see if you have a route to take.
     
  9. KMKC

    KMKC Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I spoke to a major law firm. They said I have a case, made me go through several steps before I actually spoke to an attorney, four week later spoke directly to the attorney which said he wasn't interested because "just too much work" to get a settlement.

    A man in rehab told me that some people are just born with the "step up and help gene" and that he wasn't sure if he could have done it. I suppose I have that gene and this will not be the last time I step up. But its just very frustrating that I am a 50 year old, out of shape woman and the big, 20-something guys stood around and watched the cop struggle. What has our world come to?
     
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  10. ElleMD

    ElleMD Well-Known Member

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    Interfering with a police officer's job is dangerous at best. They are armed, trained, and not inclined to appreciate a civilian's interference. That is especially true if said civilian is out of shape and likely to be injured. That just means the officer now has 2 civilians to worry about, not just one. Jumping into the fray may seem like it is helpful, but that is rarely the case.
     
  11. KMKC

    KMKC Law Topic Starter New Member

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    So what you are saying is that under no circumstances should a person "interfere" with a person in trouble? It seems that there is an awful lot of information to the contrary in the news lately. I appreciate the advice but its likely that if the situation were to arise again; I would react the same way. My parents raised me to help someone in need and an officer getting his fanny kicked by a thief seems to be as good as place as any.
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Its been my experience, if the officer doesn't need your help, you'll be told to step back.
    I've helped a couple times myself, and I've never been rebuked.
    Its always been welcomed, and I have a several letters of thanks to support my efforts.
    Good on you for stepping in where you thought you could help.
     
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  13. KMKC

    KMKC Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you so much for your support!! I questioned it when it happened but when the large knife came out and I was able to remove it from the scene without anyone getting hurt; it made a minor shoulder injury seem worth it. When the thoughts cross my mind I ask what if I had not "interfered"? The officer would likely have been stabbed/cut or the suspect would be dead. The officer was totally unaware of the knife until the altercation was over. He was visibly shaken up when he found out. It seems that helpers help and sometimes people just cant or won't step up. Sometimes you gotta go with your gut.

    Thanks again for supporting my position.
     

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