An Iowa dad is mourning the loss of his son who died while being pursued by police. James Comstock and his son Tyler had just had a fight over cigarettes. Tyler wanted his dad to purchase a pack for him, and James refused. Nineteen-year-old Tyler got angry and stormed out. He took his dad’s company truck.
It was of course about more than just cigarettes. They had been having a lot of problems with their son, and this was just one more thing. The family indicated that Tyler was trying to turn his life around and was attending daily Bible studies. Tyler had already done time for disorderly conduct.
In the dad’s attempt to teach his unruly and stubborn son a lesson, he called the police and reported his truck stolen. That sent the police on a car chase after Tyler. Writing for the Daily Caller, Robby Soave summarized what ensued:
Cops pursued Tyler to the nearby Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa. During the chase, Comstock rammed a police vehicle at least once, according to reports.
Still, a recently released audio file revealed that dispatchers twice instructed police to stop following Comstock. The officers did not obey.
The truck eventually came to a stop in the middle of campus property, at which point police ordered Comstock to turn off the engine. Instead, the 19-year-old revved it, prompting Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson to fire six shots into the truck. Two of them hit Comstock, killing him at the scene.
I think the lesson here is don’t involve the police in your parenting squabbles. I don’t think the dad was actually concerned that his son had stolen his vehicle. He wanted to scare his son. Maybe James was expecting that Tyler would end up in jail for a couple days.
Did the police overreact? Well, that is their wont. But, in their defense (sort of), they thought they were dealing with an armed, dangerous carjacker. Tyler wasn’t even armed. The dispatchers apparently told the police twice to stop pursuing the kid, but they decided not to comply.
And this is why you don’t involve the police, if at all possible, unless you want someone to be seriously injured or killed.