~ 720th Military Police Battalion Reunion Association History Project ~

Three strikes and your out...maybe
Fort Hood, Texas, 1976

Strike-1 While on patrol, near the end of midnight shift, it was a Sunday morning.  My partner, unfortunately I can not remember his name, only that he was first in the post middleweight weight lifting division and second in the heavyweight division. We were creeping in towards the Provost Marshal Office, when we received a call of a man with a knife at a snack bar.  Upon arrival we observed a small framed soldier in the snack bar with an Aba Daba stick (a stick used by gangster wannabe’s to tap people to look for guns). The lady behind the counter told us the man had threatened to jump over the counter, take a knife and stab her because he didn’t have enough money to pay for a sandwich and a coke.  When we tried to talk to the soldier he tried to run out of the snack bar.  We blocked his way and he hit my partner with the Aba Daba stick. We picked him up and placed him on a pedestal lunch table to cuff him.  The table broke.  The soldier was yelling "You can’t hurt me I’m Superman.”  We were having trouble cuffing him because he was exceedingly strong for his size. About this time in walks the patrol supervisor, SSG Busby, who does a knee drop to the soldiers throat.  We put the cuffs on him.  SSG Busby tells me to open the door and he reaches down, picks the soldier up and throws him out the door. The momentum flips him over the railing onto the blacktop.  His words change from I’m Superman to “God they’re going to kill me.”  He’s yelling this as we’re loading him in the jeep and people are passing buy on their way to church services.  We take the soldier to the Darnell Army Community Hospital to be checked out.  We were informed he was high on a hallucinogen and has an appointment scheduled for Monday at the mental hygiene clinic.

Strike-2 On Monday I’m driving the patrol supervisor, SSG Busby.  We received a call of a patient with a razor threatening people at mental hygiene clinic.  We arrived along with two other units.  When we went inside it was the same soldier from the snack bar.  He had a razor blade taped to his Aba Daba stick and one on each toe.  SSG Busby tells him to drop the stick and he cuts SSG Busby on the back of his hand.  The place was a madhouse with all the patients screams and yelling.  When SSG Busby was cut all six of us drew our 45’s and chambered a round.  It’s amazing how quite it got in there.  The soldier dropped his stick and surrendered.  Once again SSG Busby chucked him down the stairs and we took him to Darnel Hospital to the mental health ward.  And, once again they said he had an appointment scheduled at the mental hygiene clinic.

Strike-3 The day had yet to end and SSG Busby and I were still on patrol when we received a call that a man at mental hygiene clinic with a baton was breaking out the windows.  When we arrived at the clinic, there’s the same soldier at the top of the stairs with a majorettes  baton.  He recognizes us, drops the baton, says "I know you guys," as he hurried down the stairs and laid on the ground to be cuffed.

SGT David W. Sullivan (MAJ Retired) 401st MP Company, 720th MP Battalion, III Corps, Fort Hood, Texas, February 1974-September 1976.


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