Feb 152021

My son had an incident Saturday night that could have gone bad but fortunately did not, because everyone involved kept their cool. He is an amazing photographer, and one thing he is doing a lot of is something called light painting, where you turn off all the lights, or go out on a dark night, open the camera’s shutter for a long exposure, and use different colored lights to create patterns.

He was doing this at home sometime after midnight, and all of a sudden, he saw flashlights shining through the windows and looked out to see police officers. One of them pounded on the front door and told him to open the door, and Travis told him that the door was blocked by the couch, they would have to come to the back door, which is the one they normally use. He quickly turned on all the lights and went to the door, keeping his hands empty and raised high.

My son is a very gentle person, and though he is in his 40s, he kisses my cheek every time we get together. However, he looks like a badass biker with a shaved head, beard, and tattoos, so he knows that his appearance alone might make some people uncomfortable.

One officer had his gun drawn but held down low, and the others had their hands on their weapons. Apparently someone had seen lights moving inside the dark house and reported it as a possible burglary. Travis kept his hands high, identified himself, and explained what he was doing. When they asked if they could come in the house, he said he preferred not because of COVID, but he opened the door wide so they could see his camera set-up and then asked if it was okay if he got his ID and phone so they could see some of his work.

One officer stood in the doorway, his weapon pointed down, while Travis retrieved them from the kitchen counter. Once he showed them his license with that address on it, and pictures on his phone of the art he creates, everyone relaxed. They apologized for bothering him and thanked him for his courtesy and the way he presented himself to them. He, in turn, thanked them for the job they are doing, and everything turned out fine. I taught both of my kids from a young age how to cooperate with police if they are ever stopped, and explained to them that you could be a great person or a bad guy, but the officer has no way of knowing that until you show them by your actions and attitude.

Congratulations Carl Swanson, winner of our drawing for an audiobook of Pirate Trials: Dastardly Deeds & Last Words, the first book in my friend Ken Rossignol’s Pirate Trials series. We had 19 entries this time around. Stay tuned, a new contest starts soon. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed.

Thought For The Day – Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “That Could Have Gone Bad”

  1. Wow Nick. That could have gone south real fast. Your son is a smart guy and did exactly what you taught him.

  2. Well done to everyone involved. Nick, for teaching Travis what to do. Travis, for doing it, even in the heat of the moment. To the neighbor that reported it, for looking out for a neighbor’s safety, and to the police, for doing their jobs in a professional manner. Whew!

  3. Good job Travis. So many people have gotten hurt or killed because of their defensive bad attitude.

  4. I concur with Jennifer and Kris Sage’s comments – Travis obviously experienced a supportive. engaged & and loving upbringing.

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