Good Thing The Guy Wasn’t Actually Dangerous

The FBI backed up Anchorage, Alaska police back in September when some jerk barricaded himself, allegedly with weapons, after his girlfriend’s mom called the cops on him. The cops were tied up in a standoff with some other jerkwad, so the Bureau sent its team to get the accused woman-beater. He didn’t come easily, and the news story makes it sound like it was a completely professional takedown.

It didn’t look quite that way. A neighbor shot video, and it’s ugly. Make that fugly.

It’s real life, but it looks more like an FBI buddy comedy with Jack Black and Seth Rogen as bozo Bureau SAs. It justifies the coining of a new word: “Stackass.” These guys are to CQB and warrant service what Bubba is to building heirloom firearms.

At the first viewing, you may have been focused on the stumblebum trying to get through a typical Alaskan (“up here, bears are brown”) home door. Without making sure of his footing. Causing a painful-looking faceplant in the frontal aspect of the Hummer. But the real Keystone aspect to it is watching all his buddies (who taught them to stack in random places?) muzzle him.

Now we understand why Anchorage PD only calls the FBI when their own guys are maxed out. Good policy.

Hat tip, Herschel Smith at Captain’s Quarters (ages ago). His comments, and some of the comments by his readers, are worth reading, also.

56 thoughts on “Good Thing The Guy Wasn’t Actually Dangerous

  1. Dave

    Oh em gee, that faceplant.

    Also, and I don’t mean to disparage the fellow too much, but who pounds on a door, sees it rebound from the bottom, and then decides to swing at the top of the door instead?

  2. SPEMack

    Gosh. I’m surprised they didn’t call in HRT and burn the place down after an “agent down”

  3. Running Man

    After the fall, he lost steam after 20 sec and was looking for the oxygen bottle. That was one serious door, I want one.

  4. John Distai

    It reminds me of the software development process in the company I work for. One guy pounds away, others stand around, nobody knows what the -f- they are doing.

    1. John M.

      LOL. I am a software guy, and I was watching this, thinking, “this is probably what a house raid would look like if somebody put me in charge.”

      -John M.

    2. LSWCHP

      Jeez, that’s sad to hear in this modern age. I’m an embedded systems engineer, and software development doesn’t have to be that way.

      Seriously…drop me a line at if you’d like a pointer to some good reference material about how to do it right.

      1. John Distai

        Thank you. I appreciate the offer! I don’t think it’s a technical knowledge problem, it seems to me to be a cultural/communications/documentation/silo problem. Perhaps yesterday was just a bad day, and this was a great example to lash out some snark on.

        1. Mr. 308

          This is bang on. The job of a software developer is to write documentation. In my experience, which is pretty extensive I will say, it’s like 1 in 1000 that understand this and do it well.

          Requirements, design, planning, building, testing, remediation, more testing, documenting, packaging. How many of those things involve writing lines of code? All the coders I meet, that’s all they want to do is write code.

          Oh and there’s language and communication skills necessary to do all of this stuff well.

          Any idiot can write code. It’s very difficult to write code that actually works, and what’s more important, write code that actually does what the business needs – which are different things btw, and that’s a whole ‘nother pile of ‘challenges’ as we say in the business.

          The worst possible thing is to get the business and the coders together such that the one says to the other ‘can you make it do x, y and z?’ and the coders all say ‘sure! No Problem!’.

          Arrgh. yes this is one of my pet peeves.

  5. Jacobs

    Google “How to be Tacticool”. It’s got language, but is awfully funny. These guys look like that’s all the training they’ve had.

  6. KB Dave

    I like how they just left the rifle all alone, propped up on the garage door. That’s a bonehead E-1 maneuver there.

    1. jim

      It wasn’t just the rifle (a machine gun, I am sure), they left a halligan tool and a friggin CS grenade over there too. I know we get down on the ground with it…Nasty.

  7. James F.

    Attached is a picture of an Alaskan bear door–it’s in bathroom in Denali National Park. I don’t know what you guys were yelling at the screen, but I was yelling “You see that round thing in the middle of the door?” I suppose it can’t be a glass window, or it would have broken from the shock, but I still think he could have punched through it and reached through and opened the thing.

    Maybe I’m wrong. Let’s talk about the weapon leaning against the door(picked up about 1:30). Which wrong thing–in addition to “leaning against the door–is more likely?

    1) Round in chamber, safety OFF
    2) No round in chamber, safety ON

    The mind boggles.

  8. Steve M.

    Saw this not too long ago as well. A few thoughts I had were as follows.
    1 – I want that door. I mean look at it. 2 – Like another commentor, oil in front of the doors would be interesting. 3 – I would have loved to see somebody make off with the rifle, you know, with one of those crazy look-what-I-got sprints. I understand that lives were at stake, but these guys brought it down to slap stick level. 4 – trained professionals, riiiiiiight.


    These guys are just regular investigative-type agents , with no street creds, I get that (most are lawyers, accountants, finance, social science majors in college, etc.)

    But what I really wanna know is how a call gets generated to FBI for this from local PD ,

    and how the FBI office chooses who gets to go to such a call. Do they have individuals who are trained to breach, or do they all get a one-time breach course at Quantico (and that qualifies them forever).

    I’m imagining a bunch of agents working some dull case, then call comes out (we need Pipe Hitters!) and a bunch of otherwise bored agents all run to the kit room to get all their tacticool equipment— that guy with the battering ram, probably called dibs for it at the kit room, hence he got to swing it.

    I’m wondering if these guys will sue having been “target of jokes, derision, ridicule, and disparaging comments” as DEA Agent Lee Paige did after shooting himself,

    1. John M.

      The first guy with the ram must’ve called dibs. There’s no other reason I can think of why they wouldn’t have given it to the second guy. He wielded it with authority.

      -John M.

  10. kaf

    Alright, is it me or does that HMMWV have at least two flat tires?

    And I’d pay money to listen to the audio of the guy with the battering ram going, “HUUUH, HUUUH… your turn, HUUH, take this fucker…”.

  11. bloke_from_ohio

    I would think it is a bad idea to just hang out in front of a door that you just pounded on for the last five minutes. After all, the entire justification for said breach was the possibility of the home owner being armed and in a shooty kind of mood? It looks like a great way to catch a round or three.

    1. LSWCHP

      My thoughts exactly, bloke. Who does that? Who does any of the shit they came up with? Calling it a Keystone Cops effort is insulting the memory of the Keystone Cops.

      I was a jungle soldier, and my MOUT experience could be completely described on one square of toilet paper, but I reckon I could’ve done a better job at this gig than those clowns, with some help from my kids.

      FBI – “Famous But Incompetent” True perhaps?

  12. Alan Ward

    Two by four screwed and nailed to the floor right against the door. First guy did a pretty good job of bouncing the door out of the jamb after said face plant. His continued pounding probably loosened it up for the next guy up. I love all the guys hovering behind the corner of the garage like it was cover or something! Then there is the invisible man in the hummer just waiting to see if the front glass is really bulletproof.

    Poor bastards are doing it in the pouring rain not in the bright sunlight like they did it at Quantico.

    1. Gray

      BITD (almost 40 ago) , foundational entry doctrine included “Do not use front doors; they are hardened points.”

  13. Loren

    My front door is 2″ thick Jarrah (Australian hardwood) and everything attached to it with 4″ screws or bolts. Not sure how long it would hold against a battering ram but probably long enough to get to the 06 autoloader. That assumes I’d not just open the door and ask “what’s the problem?” Course with these assholes, that might be suicide.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Naw. They were honestly not expecting the guy to fire them up or otherwise cause trouble. The FBI teaches (and long has) a gospel of “overwhelming force” when making an arrest or serving a warrant, on the sensible theory that showing the bad guy a really unfavorable correlation of forces causes a rational BG to go quietly. 99% of the time it works. And in this case, the guy was that 99% and he slept in jail that night, alive.

      It’s when the BG is that 1%, and goes all Platt and Matix (the 1986 Miami bank robbers) on your ass, that you need to be alert and tactically disposed. My guess is that the Bureau in Alaska hasn’t seen a hardcore resister in a very long time.

      Fortunately, when they get agents killed, they sometimes tighten up their shot group, but when they get bad publicity, they always react. Bet everyone in the office has had some extra training.

      Fun fact, if an agent wants to go to a school, the agency usually has a budget for that. Not many of them want to go to schools. Guys who go to a lot of schools on the civilian side note the same Feds turning up year in and year out. “Hey, that’s Chris from HSI, let’s say hello.” It’ll never be another guy or gal from Chris’s office, unless it’s Chris’s one self-improvement-happy buddy.

      1. John Distai

        The last paragraph struck me as very interesting. I don’t know if it was nature, nurture, or a combination of both. Somewhere along the way I acquired the “growth mindset”. It was “grow and adapt to be relevant” or else for me. I assumed everyone who made the effort to go to school had this.

        Then I got married. I learned about the “fixed mindset”. It was quite a shock, and not necessarily a pleasant one.

        Perhaps those agents that you speak of have growth mindsets, where others have fixed mindsets?

      2. Gray

        And the percentage of (throughout public safety) guys that go on their own dime (who do not work for agencies that fund external training venues) is an even smaller select group.

        Only one thing cheaper than a cop.

        Two cops.

  14. Cap'n Mike

    The first time you breach a door should not be the first time you breach a door.
    Something tells me these guys bought all the cool SWAT gear and then never trained.

    1. Hognose Post author

      I’m pretty sure it was just the pick-up team of those local agents who had the stones to answer the call. Note that there were no females in the raid party, unless they were among the droids that were apparently the R-2 units of the HMMWV.

  15. raven

    The flex in the door looked like it was absorbing all the rams impact. Interesting, I wonder if that could be used as a design feature for locking hardware. Something with springs to absorb shock.

    1. Josey Wales

      It’s already been done. You take a heavy duty door and mount it in a similarly heavy duty way to a door frame that is attached to the surrounding structure with long bolts, and lots of them. You mount automotive valve springs at regular intervals between the door and the frame. They will pound on that door all day long with no effect.

  16. John Smith

    I remember swinging the knock-knock in training against BTI doors and locally generated props.
    Step 1. Call the breacher up
    Step 2. Adjust security
    Step 3. Breacher makes successful breach within 2 swings
    Step 4. Make entry, proceed to paper slaying glory.

    The first real door I met looked different….

    The 1st breacher was gassed after what seemed like a dozen swings (probably 3) and then we made the decision to go ballistic on the hinges and that worked just as you might imagine. At one point we were going to shift to an alternate breach and start the whole rock slide again on another door.

    There is a reason they call breaching problems….problems.

    These guys looked bad (largely because they dropped security like a mofo…a lot) but I wouldn’t cast too many stones. Thank the Lord there isn’t video of the “kinetic intervention” mentioned supra.

    1. Gray

      Doors are why we never used them.

      Short length of chain welded to a steel “J” hook tapered to a blunt point. (Think 1.5 inch rolled bar turned into a blunt fishhook.)

      Connect chained hook to a kinetic energy recovery strap, connected to a frame mounted pintle hitch. (Another 20′ tag line also attached to hook and strong anchor point to prevent uncontrolled snap during pull.)

      Breachers slam hook through window in a downward fashion over the sill; vehicle pulls away at 3 mph crawl and entire window frame and part of wall comes away, barred or not. Stacked entry goes in. Choreographed, practiced and smooth.

      Other ways to pull the windows based upon access.

      This was circa 1980, so its nothing cutting edge.

      1. CoolHand

        Oh, FFS. Roll up and rip the side out of the house.

        If you’re lucky, it’ll cause tens of thousands of dollars of damage. If you’re not, you’ve condemned the place to the wrecking ball.

        What an awesome way to protect and serve.

        If the guy is an honest to God baddie, the chances that you’re destroying HIS house are almost zero.

        Roll up, destroy shit that doesn’t belong to you OR the guy you’re after, shoot any dog you encounter on the way, and then act offended/close ranks when anyone says anything about it.

        If you guys wonder why people don’t care much for cops anymore, this is why.

        I’m not a cop-basher, but the older I get the less and less the police seem to deserve the benefit of the doubt that so many of us give them.

        I know a few good cops, but even out here in the middle of nowhere, the crummy ones vastly outnumber them.

        1. LCPL Martinez 29 Palms

          Do you go to #BlackLivesMatter protests much?

          The irony here is that White ranchers/Sovereign Citizens/militia-types (even white hippies in Cascadia region) all uniformly hate Fed LE’s ,

          whilst urban non-Whites, la-Raza, illegals, new Black Panthers-type , etc. think local PD, police & sheriff , should all be dismantled and replaced with the Fed’s— Consent Decrees all around.

          I can dig making fun of cops, especially tapes like these, but to equate it to some anti-Police sentiment is just beyond me. I’m sure these Fed’s (well, more likely the complaint will be generated via local PD) will foot the bill for any unnecessary destruction of property,

          there are lawyers that specialize in this , as for excessive and other unnecessary use of police powers, there’s avenues to lodge complaints. Granted if your wrap sheet is long, the benefit of the doubt will fall on the cops (this is where BlackLivesMatter kinda has a point), unless you’re rich in evidence, of course

          but there are avenues available to every citizen when it comes to police abuse of powers.

          For the life of me, I just can’t rectify being pro-Military (I’m sure you are right?), while holding an anti-Police bent. Police and military powers are similar, you’re simply not expose to the latter so much. If you have problems with police in your area, contact your local ACLU or DOJ’s civil rights dept. , otherwise use the formal complaints channel and local courts,

          Participate is the key word here.

  17. TBoone

    Oh my….. I started to wonder about half-way through the vid why the camera was still so steady. Me? It would have been shaking, IF I hadn’t have dropped it as I went to ground laughing and rolling around…

  18. Texas dude

    FBI tactical units can be a mixed bag.

    The Field Offices have teams that generally have everyone go to the official FBI SWAT school. How much training or operational experience they have after that is entirely up to how much emphasis their bosses put on it. While they often have awesome budgets, they may not train very often or have much real experience doing tactical type stuff, and most of that will be serving search warrants. While they may be properly equipped to successfully resolve a barricaded persons incident, they probably have little actual EXPERIENCE (and probably only some sparse training) with such incidents, unlike local teams who do these things fairly often.

    The extreme circumstances that led to this team being called to this incident (the other tactical teams in the area were all tied up with a lengthy barricade where an officer had been shot) are unusual and are the sort of incident where an FBI Field Office SWAT team that doesn’t do barricade incidents winds up handling one.

    Local Resident Agencies (the next unit down from a “Field Office” may have some people on the FO team, and maybe even enough to field a smaller local team, but many of the assets will be at the FO.

    Some FOs have an “enhanced” team with significantly more leadership, equipment and more frequent training. Some are full time teams, or nearly so, and are really good.

    Some individual units at the various FOs are really good, too, in a tactical realm, but aren’t necessarily “SWAT” teams. Most agents…may not have a whole going on in the tactical skill department.

    But these guys, while they may have done a poor job, showed up and did work. Nobody got hurt on either side, and hopefully they learned something.

    It may have looked ugly, but they showed up.

    1. LCPL Martinez 29 Palms

      Thanks, Texas dude, you answered my question above.

      A related question, is there a culture in the FBI, I know it divvies up Police matters, vs. Counter-Intelligence, and these days, Counter-Terrorist matters—- where I’m thinking most hard chargers would end up— in the scales of

      Prevention, Interdiction and Investigation (before, during and after) is there less focus on the Interdiction , hence less tactical training, forsaking this to more surveillance, OP-oriented stuff and investigation, pushing paper, working leads, etc.?

      Or is it more like, they’re just too busy to train the tactical side.

      I remember a police shoot out in Socal, only it wasn’t police, it was the Fed’s (some TF, FBI/DEA/ATF, etc) against Mexican cartel in which they attempted to affect arrest in the middle of the day, middle of a busy intersection, bullets flying everywhere, then all parties just bolted.

      People thought it was some movie production, only to find out it was a traffic stop, since Fed’s had no uniforms, marked cars, and they simply jumped out of their unmarked cars with sub-machine guns, the suspects, assumed it’s another gang, etc. (dubious , but I can see that excuse), so they simply shot back and escaped the barricade balls out, guns blazing…

      they were arrested in another place, this time with local PDs in tow. But tactically speaking to affect arrest initially is very questionable. Does the FBI train in regular PD high risk traffic stops? To include site selection, knowing where and when to do such stop?

    2. Hognose Post author

      Tru dat. Nobody got shot, guy wigging out w/gun gets a time out to contemplate the error of his ways, all concerned get a lesson in what went wrong and what went right. They’ll do better next time, and they went away hoping there isn’t a next time. (I’m sure the town cops could do without a day like that too).

      And, it’s a chance for the citizenry and especially all the rest of LE to make fun of the FBI, so there is that.

      For those made at the guys for taking the door, well, it’s like this: once The Man has decided Citizen X is going to jail, he’s going to jail. He can run, he can hide, he can fight, but when the sun comes up in the morning he’s going to be in a cell (or slabbed, or cuffed to a hospital bed — yeah, I know that’s not a literal thing, but it describes the situation poetically). Cowering in a house when the cops or the FBI comes for you has worked, historically, exactly zero times. Yet they still do it.

  19. 11B-mailclerk

    Seems worthwhile for LE to link up with Fire Dept or demolition firm.

    Controlled/practice burn of structure? Demolishing a condemned house? Give us a call, and we will pop all doors, and some window fishing, maybe.

    They do practice this stuff as a team, right?

    Ok, maybe not. But if your role is ever “door kicker”, why not go find a representative sample that can be kicked with no fuss or paperwork?

    1. Hognose Post author

      Probably because they got it for free from DOD, and didn’t get the budget for the Das Schwarze Korps all-black respray that’s de rigeur on these things. Or maybe it was just an interim stopgap, until they got the MRAP or Stryker they indented for?

      1. Therapist

        Yeah, I guess the Alaska branch is at the back of the line for newer armor. Poor guys are going to have limited protection against all the IEDs they deal with, especially the ones they fall face first on.

  20. Jim

    Clearly they forgot to “hut! hut! hut!” while they were stacking up. Threw the whole raid off, right there.

  21. Aesop

    Saw this some months back.

    Top. Men.

    And let’s remember these are the sort of guys who investigated Shrillary’s e-mails.
    (“Never ascribe to deliberate malice any result which can be adequately explained by innate stupidity.“)

    The biggest wonder is that the maker of that door doesn’t have a viral ad campaign for their product, featuring this incident.

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