A while back I assisted in taking a violent criminal into custody that ended up throwing a wrench onto my personal life. I won’t get into any specifics about the case because has not been adjudicated and will likely end up being a death penalty case. Regardless, when I went hands on with the suspect I experienced a signifigant blood exposure. The suspect was very bloody from the way he was taken into custody (he lost a fight with the land shark that sniffed him out). Now the call up to that point was pretty tense and because we had been preparing for an ambush, when I exited my car I didn’t glove up and grabbed my rifle.
Let’s face it, if I can choose which tool to take to an ambush, my 10.5" barreled AR-15 with Aimpoint Micro optics and light and more importantly multiple 30 round mags (loaded to 28 rounds of course to stay within department policy) is going to be pretty high on the list, much higher than gloves. I was already wearing my vest but as far as other PPE (personal protective equipment) I could have done better. Sure my ballistic helmet would have been a good idea but even the basics would have been a good idea. I had two pair of black nitril gloves in my vest and another pair in the my pants pockets, but waited too long to get them on.
Once the tempo of the call slowed down I should have gloved up before touching anyone. But this time I didn’t and really wish I had. I am a pretty serious germ-a-phobe and really prefer to glove up before touching people regardless. But like I said I didn’t this time. And when I looked down I had his blood covering my hand and running down the back my hand over some scabs from working on my car and down my arm. As soon as I could I cleaned it off and went through three bottles of hand sanitizer to clean up.
Later when the suspect was receiving medical treatment it was determined that he had MRSA, this combined with the fact the he was a little guy and had been in prison for several years, I assumed he got passed around like a playboy so who knows what else he had. So I completed the appropriate blood exposure paperwork and went through the processes prescribed. I went to the doctor several times and they drew my blood several times for testing and gave me some guidelines. Because they had not analyzed the suspects blood yet they put me on the worst case scenario precautions. Among them was no unprotected sex with my wife for six months. There were some other even more intrusive personal limitations given to me that I will spare you the details of. To confirm, I asked, “Okay so no unprotected sex with my wife but unprotected sex with hookers is still good right?” He had a stunned look on his face so I let him off the hook and told him, “I’m joking you know, right?”
Suffice it to say, this momentary of lapse of not putting PPE gloves on had complicated my life comprehensively. Because of no gloves, I was forced into the scenario of no glove no love. I learned now that no matter what when it comes time to touch people, take the time to glove up. Not just for the six months of probation, but just to avoid the stuff you can bring home to the rest of the family.