San Antonio

‘You’re a rat’ | SAPD negotiator’s insults enrage family of man having mental breakdown

“He was being very hostile with (my brother),” Cathy Lee Hessbrook mentioned. “Degrading him the entire time… it enraged me.”

SAN ANTONIO — A girl is livid with a San Antonio Police negotiator who repeatedly insulted her brother as he stood on the sting of an overpass Thursday. 

After no less than ten hours, police acquired the man to return down from the ledge and despatched the 40-year-old to jail. Officers closed a portion of Loop 410 through the course of, inflicting vital backups and delays. 

Bystanders’ movies of the incident present a negotiator repeatedly calling the man a “rat” and “pathetic” by a loudspeaker. At instances, police blared their sirens to cease the 40-year-old from speaking. 

“You’re not being a man. You’re a rat,” the negotiator mentioned. “You don’t care about your family? You don’t care about your son… who cares about you? That’s pathetic. You’re pathetic.”

People recording the negotiations expressed disgust with the officer’s technique for protecting the man’s consideration. 

“They’re being really, really mean to this guy,” one particular person mentioned. 

“Great way to go, San Antonio police department,” one other onlooker mentioned, sarcastically.

A San Antonio Police Department spokesperson Monday mentioned he would not focus on “any tactics used, but can say that our Negotiations Team worked tirelessly to resolve the situation in a peaceful manner.” 

“At its conclusion, no one was hurt and the individual was taken into custody,” Sgt. Washington Moscoso added.

But the man’s sister says movies of the interplay “enraged” her. 

“It literally made my stomach turn,” Cathy Lee Hessbrook mentioned. “He does have mental health issues. He’s been having a couple breakdowns recently.” 

Hessbrook would not know why her brother climbed onto the overpass, however mentioned she would not imagine he was going to leap off. 

By the time she and different kin arrived, Hessbrook says the officer’s tone was comfortable and sort. She says she would not perceive why it appears police began negotiations aggressively. 

“It made me sick to my stomach, to be honest,” she mentioned. 

At one level, the negotiator informed the man he felt dangerous for the man’s son. 

“You’re going to let him down like you did before,” the officer mentioned. “I don’t see why he cares about you.” 

Mike Lawlor, an affiliate professor of prison justice on the University of New Haven, reviewed video of the incident for KENS 5. He mentioned the officer’s language appeared inappropriate.

“It doesn’t seem like taunting a guy in that situation is a great idea,” he mentioned. “But we don’t know the whole story.”

Lawlor mentioned negotiators’ chief duty is to maintain a particular person engaged. Sometimes, he mentioned, one of the simplest ways to carry somebody’s consideration is with harsh language. 

“There were many, many moments where the police could’ve felt the worst outcome was imminent,” Lawlor mentioned. “In that case, you want to say something that’s going to attract his attention and get him back to arguing with the cops.” 

Hessbrook says her brother has had a quantity of dangerous experiences with legislation enforcement officers throughout prior arrests. She believes the officers acknowledged the 40-year-old and mutual familiarity influenced their interplay. 

“It’s really hard to judge, in retrospect,” Lawlor mentioned. “It just seems like some of the language is maybe not appropriate. But if that officer felt, in the moment, that that’s something that needed to be said to get the guy back grounded… that might be appropriate.” 

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