NASHUA, N.H. (CBS) – A stranger, upset over where an off-duty police officer parked his car, ended up pulling a gun on him.

The officer, Sgt. Scott Childs, used his years of training to calm the man down.

Sgt. Childs has been a police officer for a long time. He’s had his share of scary situations, but an argument in a Nashua parking lot hit a new level.

WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports

“He had a loaded 38 revolver pointed at my chest and was shaking and that crazed look about him,” says Childs. “I thought he certainly had potential to pull the trigger at any point.”

It all started over a parking spot outside a grocery store.

When Sgt. Childs pulled into the lot, the spots were all taken. So he made his own space and that’s what set this guy off.

When Childs got back to the car, Joshua Webb was waiting for him.

Childs says, “I started to open my door, he pushes his body against the trunk of my car and says you’ll have to run me over because you’re not going anywhere.”

Childs informed Webb that he is a police officer. He went for his badge. And when he turned around, Childs says he was over the hood of the car pointing the gun at his chest.

Obviously this could have escalated and been much worse than it was.

Childs is a UMass Lowell police officer now. But it was his 28 years with Nashua PD that really came into play.

He was a crisis negotiator.

Childs was able to take away Webb’s gun and hold him there until police arrived. He’s glad he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’m very thankful actually that it wasn’t someone else in that position that could have said or done the wrong thing that would have potentially forced this individual to have shot that gun.”

Comments (37)
  1. Ric says:

    Why is he identiying himself as a Nachua cop when he is not one anymore?

    1. Thomas Hood says:

      If you could read, you’d see he is still a cop. The article says he works at U Mass Lowell. If you could spell, you’d know it’s spelled Nashua.

      1. Thomas Hood says:

        That’s a little harsh. I wish we could delete our own comments. I take it back :)

      2. tsal says:

        I’ve wished that on occasion also, Thomas. I was just thinking, however, that if you had deleted your comment we would not know you didn’t mean it and I like that you said you’d take it back.

  2. ReadMoreLearnMore says:

    He is still a police officer. In this situation, you don’t have time to pull out your wallet and search for your UMass police badage, do you?

  3. Peter B. Kingman says:

    What was the cop doing parking illegally? To buy groceries?

  4. dcrintaunton says:

    dude, now that is harsh. i suppose that you suspect that the cop was parked in a handicap spot and that the perp was an amputee in a wheelchair. get real … something is wrong here, but there is no reason to pull out a gun.

  5. Bob says:

    I was a witness. He was parked one space after the white parking lines and not blocking anyone. The guy with the gun was a nut from across the street and didn’t even have a car.

  6. BobB says:

    Maybe he shouldn’t have “made his own spot”.
    He’s got the whole entitlement thing going.

    1. tsal says:

      and yes that justifies having a gun pulled on him…………really?

  7. Dave_D says:

    So, who was the good guy in this story?

    Typically, foolish cop thinks that rules don’t apply to him. He gets challenged by a private citizen. Cop whips out his badge (“I’m a cop, don’t you realize that rules don’t apply to me?”). Citizen raises the ante (“I got a gun, wanna bet?”)

    Morals: Too many dumb cops. Too many guns. Too much testosterone.

    1. copsabovethelaw says:

      Well said! I am so sick and tired of hearing about cops breaking the law lately. Seems to be something in the news every other day about it. It’s reprehensible and I’m glad someone called one him on it.. it was a bit much, but maybe he’ll start respecting the laws he’s supposed to be enforcing from now on.

  8. Jon Carry says:

    Typical arrogant cop.
    “Rules for thee, but not for me!”
    He would have ticketed anyone who parked where he did, but because he thinks he is above the law he can do what ever he wants. And guess what? Some laws exist to keep things in order, and by this cop’s attitude he got a nut to go completely off his rocker.

    1. bogus says:

      and let me guess.. only one of them is going to face any type of repercussion over the incident

    2. Tsal says:

      Really…….you are saying the guy was justified pulling the gun?? Really? How sad

  9. Dave_D says:

    Other than to intimidate someone, why would a U-Mass police officer pull out his badge in New Hampshire? This turkey had once been a “crisis negotiator”? Aren’t crisis negotiators trained to defuse a situation?

    1. Steve says:

      Huh? “Aren’t crisis negotiators trained to defuse a situation?” isn’t that exactly what the article said he did? And I’m sure he meant to pull his badge to deter the person from shooitng him.

      With that being said, I don’t think he should have parked there. As someone else stated, a cop would have ticketed anyone else parked in an illegal spot, so why is it any different for them? Every day I commute to Boston, there is a cop parked at the entrance to the HOV lane to stop any vehicle with less than two people from using the HOV lane, yet day after day I see them let cops use the lane even though there is only one person in the cruiser. Just another example of how cops hold everyone else to the law but feel they can do whatever they please just because they wear a badge. There is an old saying… you lead by example. If you want people to follow the law, perhaps the cops should start following the laws themselves.

      1. Dave_D says:

        I read he article to say badge first, then the gun. In any case the source of the story seems to be only the “cop”. I’m sure there are at least two other versions of this story: the “gunman’s” and the truth.

      2. tsal says:

        Dave I’d say threat first, badge and then gun. If I had someone threatening me, you’d better believe I’d pull a badge if I had one. Rage escalates far too quickly in our society and I’d assume exactly what this person did that a badge might be enough intimidation to get the guy to defuse. Why people are assuming he pulled the badge for any other reason escapes me.

  10. dms says:

    I am completely dumbfounded that people are trying to justify the morons actions and put the blame on the off-duty cop. Does it even matter where the guy parked? Who in the world pulls a gun on somebody for parking illegally?

    1. Steve says:

      I don’t think (or at least I’m not) putting blame on the guy who pulled the gun. There is nothing to justify his means. He was in the wrong and should have been arrested and brought up on charges. Makes no difference if it were a cop or a civillian. We’re just trying to point out how lately there has been much in the news about cops involved in situations that they shouldn’t have been in had they been following the laws in which they themselves have been entrusted with upholding. Had he not parked in an illegal spot this may not have happened.

      1. Steve says:

        sorry, wrote that wrong. I didn’t mean to write I’m not putting blame on the guy who pulled the gun. In fact, I place all the blame on him.

    2. tsal says:

      dms people will take any chance they get to bash any member of law enforcement. However, you can be sure that the same people will call them in an instant if they need help. I also wonder how many here have never either parked in a place that isn’t lined or given up waiting and done something out of the box to accomplish whatever their mission is.

  11. Dave_D says:

    I don’t think anyone is justifying the gun. But this situation should not have happened at all.

    Cop decides he can park any place he wants (he is entitled, don’t you know)

    Cop is confronted by citizen. (probably the wrong thing to do)

    Cop whips out his badge. (In New Hampshire he has no authority. He is wrong to do this in any case).

    Citizen whips out his gun. (another wrong thing to do.)

    This is a situation that shouldn’t have happened at all. It was one of constant escalation. It probably could have been defused at any point if either of these morons wasn’t pumping large quantities of testosterone. Also, each of these cowards had something to hide behind. (The “cop” had his badge. The citizen had his gun).

    I also wonder what words both parties were using while this was escalating. I suspect it wasn’t “excuse me, sir, but did you notice the lines”, …”no sir, I didn’t, but in case you were wondering, and I know it is of no relevance, but I happen to be an off duty cop a long way from any place where I have any jurisdiction” …

  12. Ed Hall says:

    What gave this off-duty cop the right to just park anywhere he wanted? What makes them so special?

  13. Mark says:

    This cop is not alone in his feeling that “rules don’t apply to me”. He belongs to the group that so what if the lines in the lot don’t go any further there’s room for me hanging out beyond any body else. There is a reason the lines end where they do. Same group that leaves their carts in the middle of parking spaces because they are too lazy to walk the 10-20 feet to the cart corral. They are inconsiderate and don’t give a hoot about anybody else unless it happens to them.

  14. emom says:

    The officer couldn’t find a parking space so he made his own, AHHHH WHERE . I personally don’t like people using a handicap space when they are truly are not handicap, or the mother to be space when you are a man with only a pot belly. People acting like they are entitled to use things or do things because they believe they have the power is just as bad, ITS WRONG. When I need a handicap space when I am transporting my mom I want one , she has the right to use one. Both these men where in the wrong, one for assuming he could do what ever he wanted in making his own space and the other one for pulling a gun,, both should be punished , sorry neither are right.

  15. Jake says:

    One question nobody seems to be asking is: Did the guy pull his gun because the cop pulled his badge, or because the cop *reached for his belt/inside his coat*? Lots of cops wear their badges on their belt next to their guns. If he saw the gun but not the badge he may have thought he was in danger.

    Or, he may just be an idiot (along with the out-of-state cop who tried to use authority he didn’t actually have). You can’t really tell from this article.

    1. tsal says:

      did they say the cop was carrying? I didn’t see that but could easily have missed it. Either way – the other guy as stated above by a witness went over to the parking lot from across the street with a gun – not a good combination. He certainly seemed to be looking for trouble and I hope he stays off the street.

      1. Dave_D says:

        tsal: I respect and mostly agree with you. However, this situation should not have occurred. The cop was no better than the guy who was arrested , The “cop”started the incident and then escalated it. The cop was wrong! The citizen was wrong! But after he dust clears, the citizen is under arrest (actually, do we even know this? – the article doesn’t really say). Like I said, this is mostly a case of excessive testosterone.

        A couple of things to consider:

        We have not heard the citizens side of this.

        A cop outside of his jurisdiction is not a cop. Likewise a retired cop is not a cop. This “cop” was an ex-Nashua cop (retired?, fired?). He was employed by U-Mass Lowell (do they they have police powers or are they just “rent-a-cops”?). In any case, the “cop” had no police powers in NH.

        Frankly, I see a case of two jerks.

      2. tsal says:

        Dave, I absolutely agree with you that the officer should not have parked where he did. However, I don’t believe that is an arrestable offense. And I don’t believe it justifies shooting someone. A ticket, yes.

        In the case of the person pulling the gun. That is clearly an arrestable offense and I can’t believe anyone can justify pulling a gun on a person who parked illegally but that’s what I’m reading here.

        Where the badge comes in, if a person were physically threatening me, I’d use any tactic I could to diffuse the situation and producing a shield in most cases would stop a person from escalating his rage. The guy didn’t walk across the street – remember he didn’t have a car according to the person above – with a gun intending not to use it. The cop clearly diffused a situation that could have escalated far beyond just he being shot. Testosterone does not diffuse.

        I’d love to know what anyone here would do when faced with a person holding a gun pointed at his stomach. Finding fault with a person who ended the situation peacefully where no one was hurt – and it could have ended up being far more than just the officer – is something I simply do not understand.

  16. MARE531 says:

    ARE YOU PEOPLE KIDDING ME? I think with the exception of maybe the “witness”, I think you are all nuts and need reality checks. NOONE, NOONE is above the law, NO ONE should be pulling guns on another person, and no one should condone the type of behavior that this nutcase exhibited. I have myself parked like that, one space after the white line, am not a cop, and thank God no one pulled a gun on me. What has happened to us, that we not only accept this type of behavior, but blame the victim for it happening? This is a very scarey situation, and that it only ended in an arrest is a remarkable feat. I hope none of you are on the jury when this unbalanced person goes to trial because God forbid he might be pulling the gun on you next.

    1. Mike says:

      Well, one can pull a gun on someone if their life is threatened. This of course was not justified and the guy sounds like an unstable citizen that should have his gun permit revoked, if he has one.

    2. tsal says:

      Mare – welcome to a typical blog discussion. I agree with everything you say – well not calling people names but the rest. The discussion would probably be far different if one of the people were not a police officer. When an officer is involved it will always come down to it being his/her fault – no matter what. Just look at Dave’s comment below at 10:29. About 8 words out of four lines are in reference to a person who pulled a gun – which we know happened. The rest is literally supposition and crucifies the officer. And yet the same people would scream loudly if they needed help.

  17. Mike says:

    This guy should face firearm charges as well as attempted assault with a deadly weapon. As for Sgt. Scott Childs, he was in the wrong but what he did didn’t hurt anyone or even put anyone in any sort of danger. If I saw him parking like that I would have just smiled at him and went about my business. Too many people today are angry at the world and looking for a reason to get into an argument.

  18. Dave says:

    easy solution, charge the guy with the gun, and at least write that illegal parking ticket for the rent-a-cop, and if he was carrying and didnt have a permit, charge him with that too, and if he identified himself as a nh cop, charge him with impersonating, basically charge both of them with anything that will stick

    1. Sauce says:

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      1) Under FEDERAL law, all active and retired police officers employed by governmental agencies (Local, State, Fed, etc) may carry firearms in any state with their police ID on their person. Its called LEOSA (Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act – HR 218)

      2) UMass Lowell (and every other state college in Mass) have bonafide, full service police departments with the same training, and authority as any city or town police officer.

      3) The people who blindly assume all cops are “entitled” and are always looking to break the laws they are sworn to uphold, are the same folks who are doing the same but love to point fingers at the police.

      4) Should he have made his own parking spot? Nope. But stop trying to pretend that its something that isnt done in every busy parking lot, in every city, by all types of people, the least of which are cops.

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