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Author Topic: Sometimes it is just like in the movies  (Read 869 times)

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Offline SLawyer Dave

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Sometimes it is just like in the movies
« on: April 17, 2016, 02:27:08 AM »
I am a felony public defender here in my county.  As such, I work very closely with the District Attorney's office.  While the prosecutors and I have our disagreements and little tifts, we work hard to have a mutually respectful and conducive relationship to promote criminal justice within our little sphere of this world.  One of the Deputy D.A.s had been commuting almost 3 hours a day round trip for the last year.  She and her husband just bought their first house and were moving into our county.  Having a truck and good size trailer, (and more brawn than brains), I offered to help.  As it turned out, the District Attorney himself was also there moving boxes and furniture with the rest of us.  So when we got to the new house, (which is out in the country), their dogs, who have been raised in the city, found a jack rabbit and started chasing it.  The rabbit ran into a hole under under the cover of an old, hand dug agricultural "well" on their property, and promptly fell the 18' or so into the water at the bottom. 

So we pull off the cover and find that the rabbit is still alive, and is basically clinging onto a piece of wood sticking out of the water.  So the D.A. says, "grab a ladder and basket and we can get the rabbit out".  So we lower down the 24' long extension ladder, and the D.A. starts down it, then he realizes that the ladder doesn't feel right, and it appears that it is really sitting on the old, half rotten spring box that is under the water.  So three of us grab onto the ladder, to stabilize it and not let it fall.  The brave D.A. goes down the ladder to the water and tries to coax the rabbit into the basket.  I finally tell him to grab it by the ears and just put him in the basket.  So he does that and it works.  So he is proudly ascending the ladder with the rabbit held at arms length, when the ladder starts to go through the top of the spring box.  We all tell him that it is ok, we have the ladder and won't let it fall.  By this time he is about 4' below the top.  He tosses the rabbit out of the hole, who quickly runs away, takes one more step up the ladder while telling me to give him my hand.  Me, again being more brawn than brain apparently, figure he wants help getting up quicker, so I take my right hand off the ladder, and reach down to help pull him up.  We lock hands, and then without further comment, he mightily leaps off the ladder, trying to do a 3' vertical leap, thinking that he can get his foot on the  concrete ledge at the top, so that I can then pull him in to safety.  When his foot hits the side of the concrete wall, a good foot below the top, he suddenly looks up at me with the largest eyes I have ever seen on someone's face.  Then he drops. 

While I couldn't see my own face, I suspect it must have mirrored his.  Suddenly instead of helping pull him up, I have all 170 lbs of the D.A. dangling from my hand.  Mind you, I am bent over, absolutely not expecting this transfer of weight, and still holding the ladder with my left hand.  The only thing that saves us is that I had a good brace with my right foot on the top of the concrete, because I came dang close to falling in with him at that point.  Somehow I was able to keep my footing and balance, and then get my left hand off the ladder, to help grab a hold of his.  Then I was finally able to pull him up out of the hole.   

When I have seen similar scenes in movies, I always figured that could never happen in real life.  Apparently a single hand grip, can support such weight, even to arrest such a fall.  Unfortunately, unlike the movies, my shoulder, wrist and elbow are still feeling the strain. 

If I can figure out how to add photos again, I will post the picture that the Deputy D.A. took just before the ladder started falling through the spring box.  Unfortunately, he did not get a picture of the D.A. dangling from my hand, that would have been so useful in future negotiations.  =)

My wife cracked everyone up just a minute later when she said, "I'm just glad you were able to hold him, because I instantly realized the headline would be, "Public Defender Drops District Attorney in Well, charges pending", if you didn't. 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Sometimes it is just like in the movies
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2016, 06:07:26 AM »
Glad the ungrateful rabbit is okay.

(Actually glad everything went okay. More memories to cherish.)
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Magicman

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Re: Sometimes it is just like in the movies
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2016, 08:03:39 AM »
So the D. A. got to the end, rested his case, forgot about his closing arguments, made a rush to judgement, and you bailed him out??    ???
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Re: Sometimes it is just like in the movies
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2016, 08:22:53 AM »
     Funny story, Dave :D  It seems like everytime I go out of my way to a help a small creature (ones where less sentimental people would ignore it) I end up in some kind of trouble like that. Last fall I was driving down a remote highway, and there was a red squirrel on the road that had been ran over by a car. It just had it's back half squished, and the poor thing looked like it could languish for quite a while. It was just over the crest of a hill with no shoulder, so I couldn't pull off the road. So I thought I would just run it over to finish the poor thing off. I got over and was lining up for the task when I discovered there was even less shoulder than I thought :o I have never had a vehicle that close to flipping over, now I am in panic mode. How do I explain to the boss that I rolled a company pickup trying to squish a squirrel? I'm talking, the driver's side tires were still up on the pavement, but I think just the sidewalls were contacting the asphalt.  Eventually, I calmed down, put it in 4 low, and was able to creep along to a spot where the shoulder wasn't so steep, and finally pop back up onto the road. I honestly can't remember if I was able to finish off the squirrel or not ::) ???
Too many irons in the fire

Offline yukon cornelius

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Re: Sometimes it is just like in the movies
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2016, 08:23:23 AM »
Great story! It is amazing how quickly things can escalate and even more amazing the human response to do what is needed in an instant. I love to hear stories of action when so many today would just grab a  video of it and wait for someone else to act. Great job!
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Offline lowpolyjoe

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Re: Sometimes it is just like in the movies
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2016, 02:40:03 PM »
Wow, quite a story.  Glad things didn't end up worse.  Hope your shoulder heals up ok.

Makes me happy to hear when people go out of their way to help an animal in distress. 

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