32 Police Officers Share Their Weirdest And Scariest Moments On The Job

“Most officers see more accidents, more dead bodies, more ‘blood and guts’ in one single day than many people see in their lifetime,” says Gary Yandura, Brookhaven’s Chief of Police. And that takes a toll.

On the other hand, it’s no secret that in light of police brutality, the excessive and unwarranted use of force by law enforcement that has made headlines recently, it’s easy to turn a blind eye to the challenges that police officers endure while on duty. However, this thread from AskReddit gives us an honest glimpse.

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“Police officers of Reddit, what was your ‘oh s***’ moment?” the Redditor u/ilkersever asked and received a whopping 31k upvotes and almost 7.5k comments. Below are some of the most interesting stories that happened to police officers while out at work.


The kid drowned at a local pool so I had to tag along with the ambulances for an investigation. I got there first and saw his father holding him crying and my heart sank. I ran over there and tried to perform CPR to the best of my ability for about 10 minutes before the ambulance arrived… he woke up right as it pulled onto our street. I preceded to visit him in the hospital and now he swears he wants to be a police officer.

Image credits: NewFederalist00


Not me, but my friend is a cop. He pulled up to an accident scene once involving a motorcycle. Gets out of his car, starts walking over, and sees the guy’s helmet. Figures he’ll be nice and bring it over to the guy. Well, as it turns out, the guy was still in the helmet.

Image credits: Altaroa


Not me but my grandpa was on the California Highway Patrol for 20 years.
He always told the story of how he pulled over this guy for a busted taillight. My grandpa asks him for his license and registration, and the guy says, “how’d you catch me so fast?”

Grandpa said the hair on the back of his neck never again stood up half so fast. Turned out the guy had robbed a bank not five minutes before.

Image credits: StudlyPenguin


I’m putting this story in just to lighten the mood. I observed this, I’m not a cop. Two cop cars were rounding the corner of an intersection, in opposite directions. They crash but were going slowly enough that no one was hurt. They both got out of their cars, laughing, pulling out their ticket pads, and started writing each other tickets.

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As a rookie, I was responding to an alarm at the restaurant that was supposed to be “haunted by a woman.” The first officer that arrived was an older officer that didn’t do much and didn’t even get excited on the radio. As soon as he arrived he asked for a second unit in a high-pitched tone. As I pulled in he had his shotgun out and he was leaned up over his hood. My first thought was “ oh s**t someone is breaking in “. When I ran up to him and asked what was up. All he said was as he pulled up and his lights hit the building a woman jumped off the roof and disappeared. He was clearly shaking. I and another officer checked the building and found no evidence that someone had been there. It made an impression on me and I never went back to the restaurant at night without another officer.

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I pulled up on a teen sleeping in a vehicle at the end of a country road. When I ran the license plate, I found out that he was reported as a runaway. The doors on the vehicle were locked, so I knocked on the window to wake him up. Once he woke up and realized what was going on, he shot himself in the mouth with a rifle he had hidden under his blanket. Rough way to start my shift.

Image credits: reddit


My husband has been a police officer for over 20 years. One night he was patrolling the downtown area when he noticed a purse someone had left behind. He opened the bag to check for id and found a turd. Some lady [pooped] in her handbag and left it behind. He’ll talk about autopsies and burnt bodies, but that is the one story he would rather forget.

Image credits: crispytofubites


Former paramedic here: I responded to a crash on the highway that required the extrication of the driver. I hop in the back seat and hold c-spine as the fire starts taking off the door, cutting posts, etc.

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The driver starts asking where Mollie and Fred are, and if they’re ok. I’m confused because she was the only occupant of the car. I ask her if she’s talking about the other car and she says “No, they’re my pet tarantula and snake.” I look in the floorboard and there are the remains of two terrariums, but no Mollie or Fred.

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Nothing makes you go “oh s**t” more than stopping an obvious drunk, feeling like you could be stopping a homicide in progress, to realizing you know the person…maybe you know them really well.

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My older brother is a cop. He got a call about a [disturbed] teenager behind a school with a knife. He rolled up to the spot and when the kid noticed him he immediately started hacking at his own neck with the knife. My brother sprints over to him and tases him. Saved the kid’s life

Image credits: WetParchmentPaper


Not me personally (well, yes and no), but my mother is a police officer and she was pregnant (with me). She went to a call, on the last day before she starts her maternity leave, about a man who was locked in his house and threatening to [take his own life]. She entered the premises with other officers, and like an idiot (I love my mom but…) the pregnant lady takes point. She entered the bathroom where the guy was holed up, and he was sitting in a bathtub with a revolver pointed right at the door, so she yells “GUN!” and pushes the other officer with her back outside. When they finally claimed the guy and got the gun from him they checked it and said it looked like all the primers had been struck but since it was really old ammunition they didn’t go off. She went on her maternity leave and had me and said she almost didn’t go back because of that. Now she’s a police chief.

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Got a call for an emotionally disturbed person. Arrive on scene and a 350lb man built like an NFL lineman is passed out of on the floor face down. His wife says he suffers from PTSD from the first Iraq war and that he was an army ranger. He had been drinking heavily. His son is on scene and about 16 years old. The man begins to wake up and proceeds to smash his forehead into the ground, repeatedly. We call for an ambulance. A small pool of blood begins to form on the floor. The wife grabs a rag and goes to wipe it up when this guy’s head jerks up real quick, his face contorted in rage. He grabs the wife by the neck and throws her clear across the room onto the couch. We immediately jump on him but he is preternaturally strong. There are four of us and we are each fighting one limb. The kid jumps in and helps us get two sets of cuffs on him because one set was not wide enough to connect his wrists behind his back. I ride in the ambulance to the hospital with him while he glares at me angrily reciting his military registration number and telling me I won’t get any information out of him and that I’m a towel head (I don’t remotely look like I’m from the region). The entire ride I hope that he doesn’t break out of the cuffs. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure we would’ve gained control of him if the kid hadn’t helped.

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This happened in August of last year, was about 1-2 in the morning when a 911 hang-up call came in where all that was heard was screaming and swearing.

I was the closest unit, riding alone as my partner had been voluntold for another assignment that set of days, so when I got out into the area, I was initially waiting for backup however as I was walking up to the house, I heard several voices screaming.

Rushing up to the house, the first thing I noticed was blood…. everywhere. The floor, the walls, the door, are all covered to shoulder height. A distraught woman screamed and pointed me towards the living room.

Once I get into the living room, I see a male and female on a couch, both covered in blood. The male had a massive laceration on his right forearm, and the female had taken a belt and snake wrapped it around his arm to try and stop the bleeding. Seeing how the belt was applied, I knew it wasn’t doing anything to stop the blood flow, so I pulled out my tourniquet and as I prepped it said to the guy “This is gonna hurt like hell, but it’ll stop the bleeding”

I applied the tourniquet just above the top of his bicep and knew it was on properly when he told me his hand had started to go numb. It was at that point I noticed a second deep gash on his tricep that went down to the bone.

It took EMS about 15 minutes to get to the house, and the paramedic made it abundantly clear that had I not applied the tourniquet, the male would have bled out long before they were able to get there.

In the end, turns out the guy had come home drunk and forgot his keys… climbed up to a second-story window, and punched his way into the house, with near-deadly results.

Image credits: Pol5085


A law prof in Australia spent 20 years as a cop before becoming a lawyer and eventually teaching. In explaining the battered wife syndrome defense to murder, he told a story of a call to a little old lady’s house where she had said on the phone that she had [taken out] her husband. Before this incident, he didn’t really understand why it existed. Why doesn’t the woman just leave? Why doesn’t she just go to someone else’s house?

Prof shows up at the door and is greeted by a little old lady saying ‘come in, would you like some tea?’ He goes in and she starts putting some cakes on a tray and pouring tea. He wonders if she’s all there.

He asked, “so you said that you [took out] your husband on the phone, would I be able to see him?” She directs him to the living room where the old man was on a lazy boy chair, bottle in hand, and a tomahawk in his skull. Meanwhile, the old lady is asking if he takes sugar or milk in his tea.

The prof said at this moment he realized why the defense of battered wife existed. The drunk old guy had been beating her for years, controlled all the money, and didn’t let her have friends. She had nowhere to go even if she left him. So on this day, after saying he was going to beat her if his sports team lost, she took matters into her own hands.

He said this was the moment he realized that sometimes there are situations where life doesn’t make sense and people take the only way they can see.

Image credits: fortuneandfameinc


Ex-cop from NSW Australian here. A guy once passed away in a motorcycle accident. We went to deliver the message to his girlfriend. After reading the collision report the truck driver said he just pulled straight in front of him like he deliberately was trying to take his own life. She was not answering so we forced entry. The shelves of the fridge were on the kitchen floor. Opening the fridge we discovered multiple pillowcases with her cut-up body inside. That was certainly an ‘oh s**t’ moment.

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My mate had an oh s**t moment on his first week of solo traffic patrols.

Pulled a drunk guy over and the trunk literally had 2 people just chilling in it asleep

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Was at a traffic stop. My Sergeant came and backed me up due to having to possibly tow the vehicle. My Sergeant’s vehicle was behind mine and we were both in the right lane. My Sergeant was sitting in his car and I exited my car to go talk to him. As I walked closer to his car I heard a vehicle’s engine rev all the way out but I couldn’t see it. For a split second, I knew what was going to happen and thought oh s**t but couldn’t react fast enough. The vehicle I heard smashed into the back of my Sergeant SUV which struck me, throwing me into the road. The driver was completely hammered and didn’t have a license. This happened last Sunday and I have surgery in a couple of weeks for my knee and my Sergeant has a broken back.

Image credits: Terracehunt


When I was responding to a simple trespass after a warning call and upon me making contact with the trespassed individual, he charged me and my zone partner with a pair of scissors.

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Just checked onto my shift. As I turned my patrol car on, my radio was in a mid-broadcast about an accident just outside the city I work in. I voluntarily checked in route to help out the best I could. While heading there, I was informed that it was actually closer to the next city over but that I would still be the first one there. I was then told it was a head-on collision. I arrived on the scene about a minute later. It was in fact a head-on collision. 5 people from one vehicle were not wearing seatbelts. All 5 were fatally injured beyond any measure. There was nothing I could do. A doctor showed up on the scene shortly after me. Nothing he could do. I watched 2 adults and 3 children [pass away] in front of my eyes. The 6-year-old little girl just stared at me unblinking as she passed… I still get emotional.

They were students at our elementary school. I knew them because I routinely go to that school just to see the little kids and give them junior police stickers, take pictures with them and let them play with my gadgets and police car. I went to the memorial service that the school put on for the girls to pay my respects. Their father was there and didn’t know who I was or that I was the first one there or what I saw. He was talking to another father, clearly in between denial and anger phases, about how he wished he knew what officer it was on the scene so he could [take his life] for not doing anything and why didn’t he do anything and blamed me for their [passing way]. That was really hard to hear. I wish I was a superhero and could have used magic powers to save those poor children. I’m sorry little ones. You deserved to live your lives.

Image credits: thefourohfour


We were looking for a guy who stole guns from his ex and found him under a pile of clothes in a closet at a different house. Unfortunately, there were like 7 kids sleeping in the same room so I start getting them out of there while my partner cuffed the guy who was pretending to sleep. We decided to drag him out and I go to move the mattress to get it out of the way and we found the stolen guns under where the kids were sleeping.

Image credits: handsprings


Back when I was an MP, I was assigned to write up abandoned vehicles on an area on a post and found a nasty one with busted out windows no plates while checking it out noticed a couple of wires running from the front to the back. Lifted something in the back and [found this]

A lot of phone calls above my head determined that it was an unlabeled training tool that had been left just laying out in the public by some unit on the post. The next day it had “training” spray-painted on the side to keep anyone only from having the same oh-s**t moment.

Image credits: TastingTheKoolaid


We happened to be right on top of the scene when a carjacking with a gun call went out. I saw the car fishtailing in the snow half a block away. We started to chase, and the driver bailed immediately in the driveway of an apartment. I chased him up a hill while my partner ran around the building to cut him off. Just as I crested the hill, a shot rang out – he fired blindly behind him, the old “to whom it may concern” shot. We chased him through a church parking lot where the bingo game was just letting out, so no return fire. Caught him in a backyard behind the church. The department gave us nice plaques. And cake.

Image credits: reddit


Not a cop, but an Animal Control Officer. Got a call about a family dog that had been attacked an hour ago by something wild. Got there to find said family dog’s skin rotting off with most of it gone and complete with maggots due to massive infection. Later found out it was from either a chemical burn or boiling water poured on the dog. Two. Weeks. Ago. The dog was taken to ER and euthed immediately due to only viable skin being skin on the dog’s head. The family still insisted it was a wild animal and it happened that night.

I have no faith in humanity.

Image credits: allisonlee11


Not me, but my brother.

My brother was hit by a drunk driver on Interstate 30 in Fort Worth in July 2017. Went flying, laid there for a second, and then got up and arrested the guy who hit him.

Image credits: molliejeanners


Former Paramedic.

Known former gang member, and seriously bad dude who was suffering from epilepsy. It was known that when he was postictal (after the seizure) he would “revert to his gangland days” and anyone in uniform he wanted to fight. Hey look, ambulance drivers wear uniforms.

Got a call to his known address, me and my partner are the first to arrive on the scene. I already had the Valium and Versed drawn up and was ready to hit him with a “knock you out” dose. As I got to the door his mother (a very sweet lady) was hollering he’s coming to!!!

I jumped on top of him and with all my might hold him down and rode him like I was on the Pro Bull Riding Rodeo Tour. My partner was able to get the meds into him IM which takes longer to work than IV so I had to do that for the next 5-7 min till Fire showed up. I was exhausted and not really wanting to get my a*s beat rode that bull till 5 more guys took over, I rolled off and was just done.

3 hours later I ended up back at the hospital and he was in there. He apologized, always did, and said he never fought with anyone as tough as me. Thank god for being 40# heavier and a pocket full of mind-altering drugs.

Image credits: 4Sammich


I’m not an officer but my friend’s dad was. He got a call that someone took their own life at a residence and he didn’t find out until he drove over that it was the guy’s daughter’s 5th birthday. He got drunk with the other dads and they decided to play Russian roulette, with 1911.

Image credits: prickly_tomato1


My cousin is a cop in St. Louis. After graduating from the academy, his very first night on patrol was the night the Ferguson riots started.

Image credits: thebachmann


My husband got a call for a psychiatric emergency when working as an Emt. A kid on a 4 wheeler saw a pickup crash into a stone wall in a field and called the police, who called EMS. Apparently, the driver had driven into the wall intentionally and stabbed himself in the abdomen as well, and then [bled out] or [passed away] of head injuries until someone found him. As my so was leaning in to turn off the engine the truck ran out of gas. That was the weirdest one he’s told me.

Image credits: reddit


Police paramedic- Went to a bad MVA. When I got home from work I noticed my boot was clicking on my kitchen floor. I thought it was a stone stuck in the tread but it was leftover bits of a fragmented skull. There was some brain in there too.

I decided to trash the boots. I mean, they weren’t totally worn out, but then again I’m not scrubbing brain matter out of my boots at 5 am in my kitchen sink.

Image credits: ZN4STY


Was a police intern, maybe about my second month in. I got to ride around and help with traffic stops and basically just help the officer on duty. Fairly small town, nothing ever really happened there – mostly just drunks and domestic calls. One afternoon I was with a cop new to the force, fresh from working in the prison. Great guy, anyhow, we are running a speed check on the outskirts of town and find a guy on a motorcycle speeding with no helmet (illegal at the time). Hit the lights, pulls over with no incident. We get out, guy doesn’t even turn around, barely answers the questions through his teeth. Back to the cruiser and run his license. Comes back with several out-of-state warrants with a BOLA attached due to an armed assault against a police officer. We both looked at each other and back at the dude on the motorcycle. Officer immediately unlatches the shotgun from the center console and hands it to me – “If you know how to use this thing, use it”, was all he said. (OH S**T) Without notice, other officers from surrounding towns are already lining up behind us, thank god. The dude was thankfully tired of being on the run and was ready to turn himself in. He went in without incident.

Image credits: napbasturd


Former MP here. Partner and I were riding around when we saw another unit dip into a Weapons Storage Area. Figured eh let’s see what they’re up to. Rolled up to the gate and the guard says “You guys here for the bomb leak?”

I’m sorry, what? We are now. Hit the gas and went rolling in to find the fire department and all there investigating.

Had to evacuate the entire weapons area, most of the supply area across the street as well as most of the flight line. Something like a 3000-meter cordon. That was a fun day.

Ended up just being sealant for anyone interested in the outcome.

Image credits: damnedcaptain


My BIL was a police officer in a beach town with a large military presence. On one of his first days as an officer, he responded to what sounded like a fairly routine car accident but when he arrived he found a car on fire and a person trapped inside. While he’s pulling the guy out he realized that the persons leg was severed, so once he got far enough away from the burning car he had to put a tourniquet on the dude’s leg. A higher ranking officer responded after my BIL gave a better description of the scene and that guy ended up getting some kind of award for his “heroic actions”.

Image credits: Delzak421

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