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Man Updates His Facebook Status During Hostage Stand-Off 203

Posted by samzenpus
from the SWAT-team-doesn't-like-this dept.
36-year-old Jason Valdez wouldn't let a little thing like a SWAT team keep him from updating his Facebook status. During a 16 hour hostage stand-off in an Utah motel, Valdez made sure to update his Facebook page with things like, "Got a cute 'Hostage' huh?" He even got help from friends who posted the location of SWAT members outside.
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Man Updates His Facebook Status During Hostage Stand-Off

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  • Obstruction? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordStormes (1749242) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @01:45PM (#36531658) Homepage Journal

    Love to see the "helpful" comment-leavers charged with obstruction of justice. Had this guy been a little more deranged, he could have easily picked off said cops given the positions given out by his buddies.

    • by swanzilla (1458281) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @01:50PM (#36531756) Homepage
      Easily pick off a SWAT cop? Body armor, assault rifles, and shotguns may beg to differ.
      • by jdpars (1480913)
        You haven't played the latest Call of Duty? Tells you just how to do it.
        • Because video games are *such* an excellent guide to real life combat.

          • by Dogtanian (588974)

            Easily pick off a SWAT cop? Body armor, assault rifles, and shotguns may beg to differ.

            You haven't played the latest Call of Duty? Tells you just how to do it.

            Because video games are *such* an excellent guide to real life combat.

            It's not Call of Duty this guy has been using to train, it's *this* hostage/kidnap simulator. [wikipedia.org]

      • Body armor doesn't stop always stop rifle rounds.
        • Re:Obstruction? (Score:5, Informative)

          by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @02:24PM (#36532400)
          Correction: Body armor rarely stops rifle rounds. Most body armor will protect against pistol bullets, shotgun pellets, or artillery/grenade fragments. Even most military body armor is relatively useless against rifle rounds - police armor, definitely not. SWAT, perhaps, has armor that can stop an AK47 round (a rather slow-moving round for a rifle), but a common 5.56mm or 5.45mm will go right through it. And you can forget about any of the heavier rounds - there is NOTHING that will save you from a (civilian-legal in the US) .50BMG round, save being somewhere else while the shooting is going on.

          Body armor's not magic. It can save you from a lot of stuff, the kind of stuff police and armies commonly encounter. Pistols - lightweight bullets, at relatively low velocity, and often designed to fragment on impact - are common and easy to protect from, since they have such low momentum to stop. Artillery kills mainly by fragments, which are also easily stopped. Same for grenades - movies and games massively understate the range on them: a fragmentation grenade can often kill someone half a football field away, if the tiny shards of metal fly in the right direction. But rifles? The most common light rifle round, 5.56x45mm, has 1800 joules of energy. The most common pistol round, 9x19mm, has 570-700 J, depending on make. That's a whole lot more energy to stop, and it's concentrated into a much smaller area (24mm^2 instead of 63mm^2).
          • Re:Obstruction? (Score:5, Informative)

            by x6060 (672364) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @02:45PM (#36532782)
            Hello, There are some good information and bad information in your post. 1. SOFT body armor will not stop rifle rounds. Kevlar is virtually worthless (alone) against rifle rounds. Soft armor (assuming Level IIIA here) will stop most rounds up to and including .44 Magnum (Excluding a few rounds like 5.7mm and 7.62x25) rounds that are FMJ or JHP and of normal velocities. They will NOT stop anything steel cored. 2. SWAT and the military both employ Hard armor as well as soft armor. These are typically either steel plates or ceramic plates. They will either be rated for single impact or multiple impact and whether they are assisted panels or not (If they need to be assisted it means you HAVE to have a soft vest on under the plate or it will NOT stop a rifle round). These plates tend to ONLY cover a small portion of your body though, usually just your vitals as the plates are typically only 10x8 inches in size. (and youll typically have one in front and back) 3. A 7.62x39 round (The round used in the AK47) is actually MUCH harder to stop then your typical 5.56x45 (assuming it is an XM193 round [not steel cored]) round. It is a heavier round that does NOT fragment, however the wounding characteristics are not that great. The majority of the US military uses a XM193 round that fragments on impact making it easier to stop. The Russian 5.45 round is kind of weird and not a very effective round as its wounding method is to yaw inside its target, which means the temporary and permanent crush cavities are not spectacular, though it is decent at penetrating armor. 4. Grenades and Artillery actually try to kill with the concussive force (thats why the range is stated as being shorter) and fragmentation is the secondary wounding method. (If its going to throw chunks of deadly metal everywhere then you might as well capitalize on it.)
            • Re:Obstruction? (Score:4, Informative)

              by NineSprings (1060260) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:04PM (#36533052)
              Correction -- XM193 denotes a QC rejected M193 round, which is a 55 grain 5.56mm FMJ ball round. It is no longer issued in the majority of brnaches/units The most common 5.56 round now is the M855 green tip -- 62 grain FMJ round with a steel core. Now sounds like M855A1 is the next large scale (minor gain) switch.
            • by Matheus (586080)

              And this post (and parent) are *exactly why i like to read /.

              In every situation you'll get a wonderful combination of crazy ranting lunatics AND people who actually know what they are talking about. About literally every topic, this is true.

            • Take your 7.62mm AK round. Two rounds in that same diameter are very common for hunting: .308 Winchester (a.k.a. 7.62x51 NATO) and the .30-06 Springfield (a.k.a. 7.62x63). Both carry a heavier bullet with a higher velocity, and have far more impact energy (up to double).

              While standard police armor will be easily penetrated by either, the modern military composite inserts will stop them, even a 30-06 with a steel penetrator core.

              It's amazing how far armor has come, just 20 years ago an average hunting rifle

            • by gman003 (1693318)
              I am aware of the differences between soft armor and hard armor, as well as most of your other info (the 5.45 bit is new to me, though). I was simply trying to avoid needlessly complicating things. But thank you for providing more information for anyone who needs it.
          • Very interesting post although you did manage to sidestep the most important question of them all - how many pizza boxes will it take to stop a rifle bullet?
          • You don't even need to go all the way up to the .50BMG, any standard full power hunting round will do. Think things like .30-06, .308, .303, 7.62x54r, 300 Winchester magnum. Regular police body armor won't stop things like the .223 (5.56x45), 7.62x39, or .30-30 which are all fairly common hunting round for things up to white tail deer. Even S.W.A.T. armor would have issues with some of those especially with multiple shots fired. Add to the mix shotgun slugs which even if they are stopped by the armor (very
            • by x6060 (672364)

              Yes, those rounds would be good against soft armor. But a Level IV ceramic plate could stop any of those rounds (with the exception of the .50 round)

              My plates are rated to stop anything up to and including a 30.06 steel core (most people call it Armor Piercing, but that isnt technically correct) multiple times.

              • Up to and including .30-06 still wouldn't include the .300 Winchester magnum. I also wonder how it would hold up to a .270 given that that is just a faster necked down .30-06.
            • by gman003 (1693318)
              I didn't want to get into the hunting cartridges, mainly because it makes the math more complicated.

              PS: Most common round used by criminals in the US? .22LR. Because it's dirt-cheap (both the guns and the ammo), and generally easy to conceal.
          • Just curious, why do you bring up something like .50 BMG when its far more likely a cop is going to be shot at with something like 7mm mag or some other high power hunting round?
            • by Duradin (1261418)

              .50 BMG isn't a high power hunting round? That's some tough deer you've got in your area then.

          • by FCAdcock (531678)

            The most common rifle round is NOT the 5.56. By FAR it is the .22. Seeing as how you were most likely referring to military rounds, you're still dead wrong; it's the 7.62 NATO. The last I read there were over 100 million ak47's in the world.

            Body armor can stop the 5.56 as well as the 7.62 round with ceramic plates. I have been hit with a 7.62 round and while it left a huge black and blue spot on my back, knocked me down, and knocked the wind out of me, the vest did it's job and I am here today telling y

            • by gman003 (1693318)
              1) .22 LR is generally considered a pistol round, even though it has "rifle" in the name.

              2) HOW THE FUCK CAN YOU THINK THE AK47 USES 7.62mm NATO? DID YOU NOT PAY ATTENTION AT ALL TO THE PAST 65 YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL POLITICS? DOES THE TERM "THE COLD WAR" MEAN NOTHING TO YOU?

              3) There are two general types of body armor, "soft" and "hard". You were using "hard". Most police forces do not use that - "soft" is much cheaper, much easier to move in, and will still stop 99% of the stuff police have to deal w
      • ***HEADSHOT***

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        One shot in the right location makes the body armor worthless.

        If they're all standing out there not moving, it makes it much easier to put a shot under their arm and kill them, armor or no armor. Or the neck. Both those locations are great for kill shots.

        I shot to the face, regardless of whats covering it is going to take you out for a while just from the energy in the bullet being dissipated.

        They aren't invincible, not anywhere close. Get a clue, you don't know much about firearms and warfare.

    • The article does mention that the police were considering that. It sounded like there was only one comment about the swat team being in the bushes. I guess it depends on whether the prosecutor thinks it's important to send a message.

      It's worth noting that the article makes it sound like the guy shot himself in the chest to try to commit suicide. The police say they didn't fire their gun, but also said that he could face charges for "firing his handgun at police." I suppose he may have been shooting a
      • by caerwyn (38056)

        He fired shots during the standoff, as he reported in one of the status updates.

      • by iksbob (947407)

        The article made it sound like he was going to get his girlfriend out of the room at one point, but the police tried to use that as an opportunity to storm in. In response, he fired a couple of shots and retreated (with his girlfriend) back to the room. The question is whether those shots were directed at the police, or were just warning shots over their heads. Either way, the police are going to charge him with firing on them afterwards.
        I suspect they were warning shots. If he had actually fired at them, I

        • Re:Obstruction? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MBGMorden (803437) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @02:20PM (#36532312)

          The question is whether those shots were directed at the police, or were just warning shots over their heads.

          "Warning shots" still count as a shot towards the individual, and are NEVER justified. Even for a person legally carrying a firearm and acting in self defense, if it comes time to shoot, you're supposed to aim to hit. Warning shots even in such a situation will, at best, tend to draw an "Illegal discharge of a firearm." charge. Simple reason being that those bullets go somewhere. You are responsible for them. If you're not shooting at a specified target with intentions to hit it then you have no damned business putting those bullets into motion in the first place, as you've just upped the possibility greatly of striking an innocent bystander.

          • by Matheus (586080)

            ...and if you'd read parent more than what you quoted you would have gotten to the following quote "Either way, the police are going to charge him with firing on them afterwards."

            The point parent was possibly trying to make (which is valid) is more of a moral / intent differentiation:

            Depending on which comment you believe the guy was firing as a warning or in self-defense when they decided to charge. He was not firing in an attempt to kill an officer explicitly.

            Depending on your personal beliefs you may no

          • Re:Obstruction? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @03:32PM (#36533440) Homepage

            This is why I hate the whole concept of warning shots, or brandishing a weapon. It is a great way to get someone hurt or killed.

            I try to explain to people who don't know much about guns that I don't believe in accidental shooting in 99.99% of cases because is actually negligence. The remaining few are truly accidental shooting even once I had a firearm accidentally discharge, but because it is pointed down nothing bad happened other than the dirt got shot. The way it happened was some friends and I were shooting empty pop cans up north and ran the SKS out of ammo. When empty the bold is automatically held open so you can put more ammo in using a stripper clip. I put the safety on, reloaded, and pulled the bold back to close it. We the bolt closed it chambered a round (like it should), but because we had freezing rain (it was only about 25F out side) the firing pin froze forward and struck the primer discharging the round even with the safety on. This only proves why you should only point firearms at things you intend to shoot (or in this case a safe direction).

            • by Xoltri (1052470)
              My dad had an SKS back in the day and those things got super hot; are you sure freezing rain made the firing pin stick or was it something else?
            • by c++0xFF (1758032)

              I agree with you 100%. There are very few true accidents when it comes to shootings.

              Well, almost 100%. I'll point out that firing a weapon in freezing rain could also be considered negligence ... so call it 99.9% or so.

        • by PickyH3D (680158)

          You don't get to fire warning shorts toward someone and say it's something other than firing at them. To be a warning shot, it must have been shot in their direction. The danger with shooting a gun, in any direction, in a motel really shouldn't need to be explained to anyone.

          • by X0563511 (793323)

            Shots do not need to be fired at someone to warn them. You can quite clearly hear the report from any direction.

        • by Americano (920576)

          I can't wait to see him invoke the "warning shot" defense.

          "Your Honor, I fired shots to keep police away when they were trying to serve me with a felony warrant. But yo, check it out, they was just WARNING shots, I wasn't aiming at the police, just wanted to let them know that I didn't want them to come any closer."

          When somebody's pointing a weapon in your direction and pulling the trigger, they're shooting at you. The fact that he has bad aim and was probably firing blind / wildly doesn't mean a thing, l

    • by Ogive17 (691899)
      Not unless he is a trained sniper with enough cover and 1-way visibility to allow him to get off shots without anyone on the outside seeing him getting ready.

      I really doubt "hey man, they are on the roof" is going to be very helpful, unless going through the roof was his escape route.
      • All you need is a good curtain in the window, man.

      • by X0563511 (793323)

        I really doubt "hey man, they are on the roof" is going to be very helpful, unless...

        Actually, it is.

        You then know they are on the roof, so now you know you -must- watch the stairs, where before you were uncertain. That can make all the difference, and get people killed. Another example: Hear a noise upstairs? Well, before you might be alarmed by it, depending on what you think you heard. Well, now they are really paying attention...

      • Whether the hostage taker is skilled enough to take out a SWAT member with one shot or multiple shots, it does not address whether the hostage taker was helped by the FaceBook poster. By locating the policeman, it still is considered aiding and abetting.
    • I think the correct charge is "aiding and abetting". Obstruction would occur had they failed to divulge information or evidence upon request.
    • I especially love the picture of "3 people like this" when he talks about scaring off the police with gun shots.

      This is why Facebook needs a dislike button or something else, because it makes people look like animals for "Liking" bad news. Most of the time, people hit "Like" to vote up news, not to agree with it.

  • I wonder if the friends can be prosecuted for aiding a criminal like that.

  • It's a metaphor. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @01:46PM (#36531682) Journal

    Isn't that what we're all doing by posting to /. from work?

    • Isn't that what we're all doing by posting to /. from work?

      Yes, in the same way that closing one eye makes everything flat.

    • by magarity (164372)

      Isn't that what we're all doing by posting to /. from work?

      Totally different - the article is about the hostage *taker* doing the posting.

  • by Verteiron (224042) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @01:47PM (#36531708) Homepage

    AFK, hostage.

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @01:49PM (#36531724) Homepage

    Looks like batteries and internet got around the cops.

    Then again, will a hostage situation also require that phone networks go down too?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Since I am not a LEO (but work with them), I can say that this is something they all thing about. Now, they don't often cut the power anymore, but they do run what the LEO's I work with call a "Trap and Trace" (I know, wrong term, but that's what they call it), which kills the data/SMS connections and forwards all outbound calls to a special hostage negotiator phone number. It works pretty damn well all things considered. At one convention I attended a vendor demoed a local-area cell jammer, which the FB

  • ...do not be surprised if they're willing to get rid of the surprise.

    Hopefully none of them get charged with anything that sticks - since they'd only be making things worse off.

    • by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @02:03PM (#36532008)

      This guy is no righteous vigilante, he's been convicted of domestic violence and assault, and was holding a woman at gunpoint.

      Hopefully his friends get charged and convicted of obstruction. And if his hostage had been killed, they should have been charged with accessory to murder. Morons.

      • I'm sorry, no matter how bad that hostage taker is, that seems excessive. Imagine I'm coming over to my friends's apartment and I see a bunch of police around. I check facebook and my friend has an update, "in a bit of a bind lol".

        Now, note that's a bit ambiguous -- maybe he means he's the target, maybe it just means he can't leave his pad because the police are going after someone nearby.

        So I reply to his update with, "yeah, what's going on, man? There are SWAT dudes all over the front lot?"

        Suddenly I'm

        • by nschubach (922175)

          Heck, I know I joke with my friends (who are not the criminal type) about them being watched by someone in the bushes. I can't pick out an exact time, but when they've "broken" minor laws and told me about it, I usually include the phrase: "The police just pulled up outside!" or something on that order.

        • by Dahamma (304068)

          There is no reason to be hypothetical, and there was no ambiguity - why don't you RTFA first?

          His friend REPLIED to his post about taking a hostage, for chrissakes! He had already bragged about shooting at the police, and claimed that police actions might jeopardize her life. The whole thing had been televised for hours, and the SWAT team was present. And his friend's comment was "gunner in the bushes, keep your head down".

          Anyway, of course I agree they will have establish intent, but considering the situ

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday June 22, 2011 @01:52PM (#36531806)

    The "if I don't make it out of here alive" comment, the use of such a public forum, shooting at the cops and the eventual self-inflicted shot to the chest make me think he was trying "suicide by police".

    $100 says that Facebook will shortly come out with an "emergency channel" that police and other emergency crews can use to "break in" and talk to anyone, regardless of friend status.

    • by Shoten (260439)

      Suicide by cop is almost always done without an effective (as in real, or loaded) weapon. And more to the point, people who choose that route get the cops to shoot them, rather than shooting themselves; that's the whole point of it. So this is a little more of a case of really bad project planning and failing to do one's requirements analysis up front.

      • Hence why the person used the phrase "Trying", shooting himself may have been the fallback plan, since getting caught by the police will certainly make actually committing suicide significantly harder, less quick etc... and actually having an unloaded weapon I would imagine would between taking away a backup plan, and being less effective (cops are more likely to fire at you if you fire the first shot). But yes obviously whether attempted or not, he failed, but did not get the worse possible outcome (worse
    • $100 says that Facebook will shortly come out with an "emergency channel" that police and other emergency crews can use to "break in" and talk to anyone, regardless of friend status.

      And would that be such a bad thing? At least if it comes to an emergency, which leaves you trapped somewhere (say, an earthquake traps you in the rubble), they can give you instructions, such as first aid, survival, and possibly even zero in on your position based on what you tell them you see and hear.

      I'd say Facebook should have done that long ago.

      • Seems like a decent idea to me, on Facebook it would be the least of your privacy problems.

    • by mbkennel (97636)

      $100 they already offer this "emergency channel" except they sell it to corporates to check in on their drones, regardless of friend status.

      I seem to remember somebody who worked in HR bragging about this very ability.

    • That functionality exists, just not for cops - but for data mining.

  • Extrapolating from 1999 when I got on board here, in 2018 slashdot will be posting stories about Michael Jackson's alien love child. No mention of facebook.

    • by denobug (753200)
      In 2018 slashdot maybe too old to stay alive and /.er may be too old to bother to post anything.
    • FTFY. Our alien overlord-wannabees will get some details right on their giant mecha robot imitation Michael Jackson, like the single glove and holding the grandchild out the window, but just because they've walked on the moon doesn't mean they'll be able to do the moonwalk credibly.

    • by djdanlib (732853)

      The Javascript will still be just as awful, though.

  • Det #1: "At the crime scene L-O-L"
    Det #2: "That's a good tweet!"

    • by Americano (920576)

      Other People You May Know:

      LAPD SWAT Team (2 Mutual Friends) [Add] [Ignore]

      93rd MP Battalion (7 Mutual Friends) [Add] [Ignore]

      NYPD 37th Precinct (4 Mutual Friends) [Add] [Ignore]

  • are the comments by people with a grudge to settle against the police (probably for their own bad behavior they won't own up to) try to use cases like this as a proxy for their grudge: the hostage taker is an innocent lamb whose actions are perfectly understandable, caused by the police, and the police are vicious thugs out to shoot random people any chance they get

  • Are his friends who pointed out the position of SWAT team members really obstructing justice? Do civilians have the right to report on any police actions they observe under the auspices of the 1st amendment?

    I'd love to see this decided and define the bounds for silliness like ticketing people who flash headlights as they pass speed traps. Or, laws against video taping cops.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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