Posts Tagged ‘barrett’

Alameda-Based 11th District Coast Guard Kills Cocaine Smuggler with Shot from Chopper

Monday, January 25th, 2010

[UPDATE: Not sure what makes this a “whiny” intro here. (That’s my way of saying it’s not. And actually, any tone you might be detecting comes from a whole lot of skepticism about “engine fragment or shrapnel injuries.”) Also, never claimed to be “unbiased” or a “journalist.” But I do live in Frisco – you got that part right.]

Well there’s a whole lot I don’t know about this incident involving a purported cocaine smuggler killed on January 19th, 2010 somewhere in the “Eastern Pacific Ocean.” But, apparently, this smuggler and his boat weren’t too far away from Guatemala City because that’s where he ended up dying after the Coast Guard shot at his engine with a massive rifle mounted on a helicopter.

Feel free to read the account below – it was just released from the 11th District HQ in Alameda, They’re looking into the theory that the purported smuggler died due to “engine fragment or shrapnel injuries.”

Did this shooting get any coverage in Guatemala? No se. Did this shooting get much coverage in any English language publication? Not that I can see. Do the Coasties have video of all this? Oh yes, I’m sure. Does the Coast Guard even know this guy’s name? Maybe not, they haven’t released it, anyway.

Here’s your 21st century Coast Guard – a machine gun for warning shots

…and when you ignore that, a massive rifle to take out your engine block, presumably a Barrett M82 .50 cal.

I don’t have a photo of one of those helicopter-mounted rifles, but how would you like .50 caliber rifle bullets like these sailing by your head from a chopper one at a time?

Click to see the ammo – it’s the most powerful commonly available cartridge not considered a destructive device under the National Firearms Act. So don’t be surprised when the unarmored engine block of your “go-fast” boat blows up after you pretend not to hear all the warnings you’ve just been given: 

Last year, the Alameda-based “maritime security cutter” USCGC Bertholf (WMSL-750), which is like a destroyer, basically, bigger and badder than anything else the Coast Guard has ever had in warm waters, was on a maritime security mission in the same area. So I suppose this is how the smallest branch of the military is spending part of its time these days, just hanging out near Central America looking for drug boats and submarines. It’s like Miami Vice, West Coast or something.

And that’s it.

Maybe the Coasties will issue a more-detailed report sometime.

Read all about it, after the jump


A Full-Blown SFPD Enforcement Action at Fell and Masonic

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Before, the SFPD was keeping a watchful eye at this problematic intersection, but nowadays, enforcement has stepped up considerably.

Last year’s arrival of bicycle-only green, yellow, and red lights brought a choice to traffic engineers: Do you let peds and cyclists go go first or do you let eastbound cars wanting to turn left on Masonic go first? Originally, bikes had to wait and cars would go as soon as cross traffic got a red and had to stop. Some cyclists would intentionally and improperly jump the red but most would not. The cars would go and then the cyclists and peds would get their turn.

But things have been rejiggered so now cyclists and peds “go first” in the signal cycle. The vast majority of eastbound cars on Fell in the left-only lane start to creep forward when the light goes green for all the other lanes of Fell Street. A lot of drivers are like ignorant cows who don’t really pay attention and just go with the flow. So, the same kind of peer pressure that educated cyclists about how they shouldn’t go until the bicycle and pedestrian green light is now encouraging drivers to negligently go through the red left turn arrow that’s just for them.  

(Obviously, the City had reasons to adjust the signals to the way they are now. Hopefully, ideology didn’t play a role.)

You see? People are social animals who take cues from others. Peer pressure worked in a positive way before, reinforcing good behavior. But now, peer pressure, of a sort, encourages bad behavior. The pack mentality contradicts the bright red light that the driver obviously can see. Proof of this is the fact that virtually every driver sitting first in the left turn lane creeps forward when the lights for all the other lanes of Masonic turn green. Aren’t drivers addled enough as it is? That’s something to think about as you hear the horns of cars backed up in the queue, with drivers wondering why the idiot up front isn’t going anywhere.  

Now, on with the show…

The City and County is still trying to get the word out on the changes to Fell and Masonic with these electronic signs. Isn’t the graffito lovely? Click to expand:

This is what it looks like to a cyclist when a car improperly runs the red left arrow. This driver doesn’t understand how the lights currently operate at this intersection. (Sorry for the astigmatic view – welcome to my world sans glasses.) 

In contrast, this driver, a local, knows damn well what he’s doing. He’s saving himself the time of waiting through one or two more signal cycles at Oak and Masonic. Is that worth risking a moving violation?  

All right, now we’re cooking. This “radio car” from Ferrari-busting Park Station (you know, the one Bill Ayers’ wife pipe bombed(!) back in the day, killing(!) somebody, (allegedly)) sat in wait for someone to blow the red. This bewildered-looking taxi driver didn’t seem to know what he was doing as he slowly made his turn. He got the bad news and a citation on Page Street. Lesson learned, the hard way, one driver at a time. 

Let’s switch to night vision – hey what’s that over on the right side? Could it be a Crown Victoria with cop motor on the sidewalk hiding behind a gigantic Tasmanian Blue Gum Eucalyptus? Let’s wait for a driver on the left to make an illegal turn. It won’t take long.  

Uh oh, the brake light just turned on, meaning it’s too late for this Arrow Cab (sort of like Veteran’s) driver. He sees the cop car and doesn’t actually complete his improper turn, but he entered the intersection on a red arrow so he’s breaking the law, breaking the law just the same.

The inevitable result – flashing lights and yet another moving violation.

Based upon the presence of multiple radio cars lurking about right now, it appears this particular intersection currently has the full attention of Park Station Captain Teresa Barrett.

Is that good enough for you?