“Seconds later, a male subject partially came out at the top of the stairwell. He was sweating profusely; his eyes were wide open with this glazed look literally staring straight through us. And at this point we’re yelling, ‘Show us your hands! Show us your hands!’ and he had no visible reaction. I mean no facial expressions, I don’t remember his eyes blinking, no body movement. I mean, literally, just staring straight through us.” - Ret. Sgt. Michael
Screams pierced the early hours of that December morning, drawing an invisible line between what had been an uneventful shift for Michael and all that would come next. He and his partner had arrived at the high-rise complex within minutes of each other and took off running in pursuit of the chilling cries. Michael knew that in one of the condos a couple was barricaded behind a bedroom door, hiding from a man wielding a knife. What he didn’t know was that he’d soon be forced to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever.
Join former firefighter/paramedic and host Phil Klein as he sits down with Ret. Sgt. Michael, a 20-year law enforcement veteran, whose career began with the United States Air Force in 1998 in security forces. When Michael honorably separated from the Air Force in 2004 as a captain, he joined a California police department where he served in a variety of roles before retiring in 2018. It’s an extensive resume and despite his impressive work domestically, internationally, and on the streets of California, Michael still asserts the bravest thing he’s done is ask for help. He shares how the end of the call at the high-rise was the beginning of a years-long journey through investigations and a federal trial – events that forced him to relive that morning over and over, nearly driving him to take his own life before a friend’s actions pulled him back from the brink and set him on the path to healing.
To check out Michael’s book, Relentless Courage, click here.
To visit Michael’s LinkedIn, click here.
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The Independent Riot