Monday, February 25, 2008

My run in with the LAPD.

On Wednesday I was on an outside security round at the temple. I saw a helicopter flying near the area. I took out my flashlight and flashed the helicopter. Note: The lights we use are the same ones used by the LAPD and are extremely bright. The helicopter flew over to me and lit me up with the spotlight. I've had that happen before but they usually move on after a few seconds. Well this guy was not letting up. After a while I waved at him. He kept making passes and each time held the light on me. I reached the grounds building just as the helicopter was turning around to make another pass so I quickly went inside. I stood a couple of feet from the door and waited. He came back and lit up the area outside the door and all over the place. This guy was looking for me and not giving up. He was searching the entire building. I decide to take the tunnel to another set of buildings which include the visitors center. In the visitors center I looked over and could see that the helicopter was still looking for me. I could also see 3 or 4 people walking toward the grounds building. I had closed the gate so I didn't know how they got on the grounds. I looked closer and could see that they were police officers. I thought "I am dead." I looked to the opposite direction toward the temple and saw a few more officers on foot. I had planned on waiting for the helicopter to leave but with all these police officers on the grounds I knew I couldn't. I called the other security guard and told him I stirred up the hornets nest. I exited the building and saw about 7 more officers with weapons drawn on their way to the grounds building. I startled them and they all drew on me. I put my hands in the air and froze. One of them had a shotgun and pointed it at me ready to shoot. The sergeant told me to "come here." I took a step forward and stopped. I was freaked out with that dang shotgun bead on my chest. The sergeant said "come here" again. I took another step and he said it again. I took another step and he said "come here" again but louder. I took another step forward and by this time he was getting irritated and yelled "COME HERE!" So I walked over and they saw that I was a security guard. He asked if I flashed the helicopter and I said yes. He explained that there was a robbery in the area and the suspect fit my description. The pilot thought for sure he had found the guy. They were so disappointed that I was just a security guard. They talked for a minute and then left. There were probably 20 LAPD officers on the grounds.

The next day one of the Temple Presidency said he was glad to see that I had my color back. The Mission President's wife said everybody had told her LA was dangerous but she figured the temple grounds would be safe. I heard it even made it on the news. It caused quite a stir in LA Temple land.