T Nation

Mr. Universe Arrested For Assault


REDWOOD CITY – The reigning Mr. Universe was sprayed with Mace and wrestled to the ground by police officers, who mistakenly believed he was intoxicated when the diabetic bodybuilder actually was going through insulin shock.

Despite the misunderstanding, Doug Burns was arrested for misdemeanor assault and resisting arrest for the incident at a downtown movie theater Sunday night. Redwood City Police Capt. Chris Cessina said officers reported that Burns, 43, had assumed a fighting stance and it took four officers to bring him into submission.

“The fact is Mr. Burns assaulted our officer,” Cessina said. “If he had just stood there and let us help him, maybe they would have called the medics if he didn’t seem to fit the description of being under the influence.”

Burns, who was trying a new diabetes drug that night, said he was preparing to see a film when he felt dizziness and poor vision – a sign of low blood sugar – and hurried to a snack counter.

A security guard noticed Burns’ strange behavior and asked him to leave, thinking he was intoxicated, Cessina said. When he refused, the guard called police.

When officers arrived, Burns allegedly lunged at one of them, pushing him to the ground with both hands, and took a fighting stance, Cessina said. Burns continued being combative until four officers wrestled him down, the captain said.

During the scuffle, the officers did not notice Burns’ Medic Alert bracelet. An on-scene medical test later confirmed that Burns had low blood sugar during the incident, Cessina said.

Burns, a board member of the American Diabetes Association who often speaks to raise awareness about the condition, said he doesn’t remember the incident clearly, but could explain the behavior that police described.

“I could understand if I was belligerent or had track marks, but I was nicely dressed and I don’t think I fit the profile or smelled like alcohol,” Burns told the San Mateo Daily Journal.

An officer asked him to sign a citation while he was incoherent, Burns said, and he hasn’t had a chance to review it. A court date has not yet been set in the case.

With guns like that he is lucky the cops didn’t shoot him. He is armed and dangerous.

That’ll teach him to have low blood sugar in public!

Lawyer ought to have a fun time with that one.

This will never hold up in court. He will have all kinds of doctors and experts testify against the police. If he had a medic alert bracelet on, board member of the ADA, and didn’t have any alcohol in his system, nor smelled like alcohol, the cops are in trouble for this one.

If I were him I would countersue the police to death.

[quote]TrainerinDC wrote:
This will never hold up in court. He will have all kinds of doctors and experts testify against the police. If he had a medic alert bracelet on, board member of the ADA, and didn’t have any alcohol in his system, nor smelled like alcohol, the cops are in trouble for this one.

If I were him I would countersue the police to death. [/quote]

Really? Does being a diabetic give someone the right to assault a police officer? I’m not saying how it went down was right or wrong, because I wasn’t there, but I read a different account of the story than the one presented here, one that had a slightly different tone.

Picture this, you’re a cop arriving at the theater when you see a guy staggering around, pushing to the front of the concession line and acting strangely. You approach him and your partner grabs him by the arm to turn him around - yeah, probably with a little force, but would you blame them? The guy pushes your partner to the floor and squares off against you. What do you do? Are you really looking for a medic-alert bracelet in this scenario? It’s likely that you subdue the guy first, whether that means with mace or your club or with your hands. Then you get the answers.

From the different reports I’ve seen, this sounds like what happened.

DB

How long til someone from the media calls ‘roid rage’?

Any locals know where he works out?

[quote]Mowgli wrote:
How long til someone from the media calls ‘roid rage’?[/quote]

As soon as they find his creatine supplier.

DB

[quote]orion wrote:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w10.html[/quote]

Good God…

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
TrainerinDC wrote:
This will never hold up in court. He will have all kinds of doctors and experts testify against the police. If he had a medic alert bracelet on, board member of the ADA, and didn’t have any alcohol in his system, nor smelled like alcohol, the cops are in trouble for this one.

If I were him I would countersue the police to death.

Really? Does being a diabetic give someone the right to assault a police officer? I’m not saying how it went down was right or wrong, because I wasn’t there, but I read a different account of the story than the one presented here, one that had a slightly different tone.

Picture this, you’re a cop arriving at the theater when you see a guy staggering around, pushing to the front of the concession line and acting strangely. You approach him and your partner grabs him by the arm to turn him around - yeah, probably with a little force, but would you blame them? The guy pushes your partner to the floor and squares off against you. What do you do? Are you really looking for a medic-alert bracelet in this scenario? It’s likely that you subdue the guy first, whether that means with mace or your club or with your hands. Then you get the answers.

From the different reports I’ve seen, this sounds like what happened.

DB
[/quote]

Someone assessing the situation should take more into account than just behavior. That includes location and attire. While the symptoms of low blood sugar are sometimes difficult to distinguish from being drunk, people are quick to jump to conclusions.

If you hold yourself as an authority figure in public, it is your duty to understand other factors that could cause those symptoms. Would any of you be this forgiving if a doctor gave him the wrong medical treatment because he thought he was drunk? Doubtful. There would be a mad rush to get a lawyer. The same should go down here.

[quote]Mr. Clean & Jerk wrote:
orion wrote:

Good God…[/quote]

Wait…I thought all Po-lice wuz hero types. Unfortunately the COPS show didn’t have a camera crew with these guys. They’d have been really nice and all if they had been on prime time.

[quote]orion wrote:
http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w10.html [/quote]

I don’t trust anyone who has the legal right to kill me and claim I was at fault no matter what truly happened. If police in general want people to respond to them as a whole as trusted individuals, they should make sure cases like this see execution of those involved.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
dollarbill44 wrote:
TrainerinDC wrote:
This will never hold up in court. He will have all kinds of doctors and experts testify against the police. If he had a medic alert bracelet on, board member of the ADA, and didn’t have any alcohol in his system, nor smelled like alcohol, the cops are in trouble for this one.

If I were him I would countersue the police to death.

Really? Does being a diabetic give someone the right to assault a police officer? I’m not saying how it went down was right or wrong, because I wasn’t there, but I read a different account of the story than the one presented here, one that had a slightly different tone.

Picture this, you’re a cop arriving at the theater when you see a guy staggering around, pushing to the front of the concession line and acting strangely. You approach him and your partner grabs him by the arm to turn him around - yeah, probably with a little force, but would you blame them? The guy pushes your partner to the floor and squares off against you. What do you do? Are you really looking for a medic-alert bracelet in this scenario? It’s likely that you subdue the guy first, whether that means with mace or your club or with your hands. Then you get the answers.

From the different reports I’ve seen, this sounds like what happened.

DB

Someone assessing the situation should take more into account than just behavior. That includes location and attire. While the symptoms of low blood sugar are sometimes difficult to distinguish from being drunk, people are quick to jump to conclusions.

If you hold yourself as an authority figure in public, it is your duty to understand other factors that could cause those symptoms. Would any of you be this forgiving if a doctor gave him the wrong medical treatment because he thought he was drunk? Doubtful. There would be a mad rush to get a lawyer. The same should go down here.[/quote]

It’s a little different scenario. When a Dr. is treating him, there is no threat of bodily harm to anyone in the vicinity. HAve the patient assault the Dr.s assistant as he is making a diagnosis and see how well he performs.
So we think that police officers should have to go through a year of medical training now?

I don’t know if the officers used excessive force or not - I wasn’t there. But nothing I read seemed to indicate that they put a Rodney King hurting on the guy.

Their job is to subdue an unruly person with an appropriate level of force. I would be willing to bet that any of us would err on the side of a little too much force to control a situation than too little and risk losing the initiative and getting someone else hurt.

All I’m trying to say is that these situations are not as clear cut as people like to make them. I’ve never been a cop, but I’ve known several and heard some of their stories about trying to subdue people who look harmless at first and next thing you know, a cop has a broken nose or a derelict locked in a bite on his arm - possible transmitting God-knows-what.

DB

There are some valid points being made here, but my first thought was, skinny little cop, that is scared to death of muscleheads, overreacts, and has to use force on someone that actually needs medical attention.

Lets face it, people that workout, and have built muscular bodies, are getting stereotyped as "juicers", and no matter if you are or you arent, the perception is, that you are “on”, and you will be treated as such, until proven otherwise, which will in turn cost you hundreds of dollars in lawyer fees and court costs.

I always get looked at when I am out in public, and in general the police officers that don`t know me, always do a double take when they see me, like I am some ex-con, looking for trouble, soooo, I am more times than not, tempted to wear extra clothes that cover my body, than I am to wear less and show it off.

Total Bullshit, but until people lighten up about their perceptions about people with muscle, things will not be easy, no matter what situation you are in.

[quote]dollarbill44 wrote:
Picture this, you’re a cop arriving at the theater when you see a guy staggering around, pushing to the front of the concession line and acting strangely. You approach him and your partner grabs him by the arm to turn him around - yeah, probably with a little force, but would you blame them?[/quote]

Yes, I would. If they’d have talked to him first, this probably wouldn’t have happened. There is no excuse for just grabbing him. There are other ways to get a person’s attention. When you surprise people, they might react in a way that you don’t expect. -.-’

It doesn’t matter what the cops thought. The jury WILL side with the victim in this case. The victim is the diabetic who suffered an insulin shock because the police wouldn’t let him get to the food needed to prevent it.

The lawyer will definitely present this case, and win it. The officers should have asked “Sir are you okay?” "When he responds “I’m diabetic, I need food” then the officers can help him. There is no need to put your hands on the person, drunk or not, until you assess the situation.

By DB’s account of the story, the physical confrontation started when an officer put his hands on Mr. Universe. Just because you are a police officer does not give you the right to put your hands on me until you are certain I have broken the law. They were definitely not certain of the fact that he broke the law. They thought he was drunk.

I think the victim will win out. For sure. No reason for him to be treated the way he was. There’s the professional approach and the asshole approach and the cops chose the latter.

In defence of the cops though, has anyone else ever smelled the breath of someone with low blood sugar?

Fruity, and to the untrained nose one might think the individual was throwing down vodka cranberries or fuzzy navels for a couple of hours especially if they’re stumbly and slurring their words.

I worked as an EMT when I was stationed with the Marines, and after dealing with drunk asses and knowing what that smells like, a diabetic with low blood sugar isn’t too far off. I’ve made that mistake myself on scene until I got the patients medical history, thinking they’re just loaded and belligerent rather than diabetic, especially if he was a younger, in-shape dude.

By no means am I defending the po-po on this one, all I’m saying is that mistakes can be made.

B.

[quote]BradTGIF wrote:
By no means am I defending the po-po on this one, all I’m saying is that mistakes can be made.
B.
[/quote]

I fully understand that mistakes can be made. But in short you are agreeing with us that they didn’t need to use any force against him until they assessed the situation correctly. Talking would have worked.