By Ret. Chief of Police Gene Galitz
I started my law enforcement career in June 1982 in Columbus, Nebraska. While there, I served as Patrol Officer and in 1986 was promoted to Patrol Sergeant. I served in that position until August 1988 when my family and I moved to Lander, Wyoming. There, I served as Patrol Officer, FTO, Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant and Chief of Police, retiring July 2010. During my stay in Lander, I also served as a volunteer EMT for 9 years. I wrote a weekly column for our local paper titled "Cops Corner" and finally after retiring wrote a book about my career titled; "Beyond The Blue by Gene Galitz".
One night while I was in the emergency room, a young woman burst through the front doors in a panic. She quickly told us that her boyfriend, who we will just call “Rattlesnake Bob”, had been bitten by a rattlesnake; once on the finger and again on the lip and tongue! I’ll admit it, I was baffled. Where would one find a rattlesnake this time of year and was she sure he really got bit? Well, she told us. Rattlesnake Bob has one for a “pet.”
She then went on to tell how he was holding the snake by the “neck” and flicking his finger in front of the snake’s head. When the snake had enough it bit his finger! Apparently, Ol’ Rattlesnake Bob then attempted to make up with the snake and tried to kiss it! (I ain’t makin’ this up!) This really irritated the snake and it bit him on the lip and the tongue!
At that point, his girlfriend decided to bring him up to the ER. When they arrived and he saw the patrol car he refused to come in since the “cops” were there and he hasn’t had much luck when dealing with the cops. When I heard that, I went out to the car where he was sitting to speak with him and let him know he was not in any trouble and that he really needed to let the ER personnel look at him. He refused. I think what saved Rattlesnake Bob was that 60 – 70 percent of the time when a rattlesnake strikes something it doesn’t inject venom. Either that or the snake didn’t like the taste in his mouth!
I don’t suppose I need to tell you that Rattlesnake Bob was drunk…. No, he was waaaaayy past drunk! In fact, unless I miss my guess, I’d bet the next morning the snake woke up with a hangover and Rattlesnake Bob woke up wondering who pierced his tongue and forgot to put in the decoration! On the list of “dumb things to do,” this one’s going to be hard to beat.
At the time I was writing a weekly column for our local newspaper and this incident of course was featured. A few weeks later, I was sent to one of the local bars to remove an unruly customer. On arrival who do you suppose I found? Sure enough, Rattlesnake Bob. I told him the owner wanted him to leave and asked him to walk to the door with me. Once outside he said, “Gene, you know that article you wrote about me? Well, I framed it and hung it on my wall.”
(On a side note; 11 years later, retired from law enforcement, I was at work and introduced myself to a “new customer.” “I know you” he said. I looked at him and replied “how’s that?” “Do you remember Rattlesnake Bob?” he asked. It was him; he said he got his life in order and he still has the framed article I’d written about him all those years ago. He shook my hand and said “it sure is good to see you.” I congratulated him and told him I was writing a book and that he would be getting a copy of my book when it’s complete!)
Ret. Chief of Police Gene Galitz
By Colonel Kenneth K. Gattis-Antolik
On February 18, 2020 at 10:00 am, Corporal Scott Krouse of the Berwyn Heights Maryland Police Department & the Prince George’s County Police were dispatched to an overpass, located directly over Interstate 495 near the Greenbelt Metro Subway Station, over reports of a man who was straddling the edge of the fence on the bridge. When they arrived they saw the man “distraught" & “threatening to jump.”
The Maryland State Police & the Berwyn Heights Police Department were about to shut down both lanes of 495. When that was about to happen, Corporal Krouse immediately sprang into action after seeing the man about to jump & grabbed him by his leg & pulled him to safety. The man was taken by ambulance to the hospital for evaluation.
Colonel Kenneth K. Gattis-Antolik awarded Corporal Krouse with the Life Saving Award.
Det. Sgt. Scott Krause