Burnsville Police’s Camera Tech Captures Tense Incident

BURNSVILLE, Minn. (WCCO) — We’re getting a dramatic look at a confrontation inside a Twin Cities police station that ended with a man getting Taserd and two officers keeping the situation under control.

“Drop that knife!  Hey!  Drop it!  Put that down!  Put that down,” yelled Officer Dave Luchsinger with the Burnsville Police Department.

He had just finished preparing a police report when a suicidal man entered the police station. The man was cut on his neck and bleeding.

The situation lasted several seconds, but it seemed much longer as the confrontation escalated.

“Hey!  Stop!  Drop that knife,” Officer Luchsinger yelled at one point after the man walked through the lobby doors.

He has been a cop six years but never experienced something this dramatic.

“I drew my gun thinking I need to shoot this guy to protect me,” he said.

He called for backup help on his radio.

“I could tell the urgency in his voice,” said Officer Brad Litke, who heard his partner’s emergency call.  “I jumped up from my computer. Me and the Sergeant are both running to the lobby at the same time. And he asked me if I had my Taser on me, which I said, ‘yea!’  And just got my gear on, and soon as we opened the door, I see the guy standing right in front of me.”

Officer Litke pushed open the lobby door, but immediately, Officer Luchsinger yelled for him to get back.

Seconds later, Officer Litke pushed open the door again and shot the man with his Taser.

“Don’t move!  Don’t move,” police yelled after the man went down.

The situation was over, but it’s far from forgotten because of a small camera Officer Luchsinger wears.

“So we’ve got a recording of what we’re doing, and what other people were doing,” he said.

About two dozen Burnsville officers wear the cameras now. Police Chief Bob Hawkins calls them a ‘game changer,’ because if anyone questions an incident, they can just go to the tape.

Both officers received Awards of Honor recently from the Dakota County Chiefs of Police Association for how they handled the situation.

Eagan Police Chief James McDonald, who is also the president of the association, handed out the awards.

“Sometimes we have to do some difficult and challenging things, so it’s good to be recognized for that,” said Officer Luchsinger.

Both kept themselves from getting hurt and put an end to a frightening situation.

  • mike

    WOW, “HOLY S–T” just what this nutty maniac thinking of? Looks like Burnsville must have a few loose cannons running a serious amok in that neck of the woods!

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  • Mike

    How’s that diversity working for ya Kevin?

    • david

      Kevin is a hippocrate, only see things one way. I would be surprised if he replies to this article.

  • angus

    I think this may have been a potential police assisted suicide, he was hoping the police would shoot him.

    Mike, your compassion for the mentally disturbed overwhelms me! Such a fine Christian attitude you have. That is sarcasm in case you can’t figure it out

  • big banjo

    awards of honor?…….PLEASE, give me a break……perhaps a commendation for a job well done but anything more is just over the top and just too grandiose…..its when awards are frivolously given out and inappropriately bestowed upon people who ARE PAID and EXPECTED to act in such fashion that awards are diminished and mean much less than they should……just like the word “hero” these days is used much too often and inappropriately.

  • Sara

    Big Banjo,
    Are you putting your life on the line every day dealing with situations like that? I doubt it. Yes, people are paid and expected to act in such a fashion, but how many jobs actually require you to put your life on the line in this manner? Police, fire, military. These people are heroes, because what they do isn’t expected of everybody, and they are willing to put their lives on the line for others on a daily basis. If I was putting my life on the line, I would like a little recognition for it.

    What these officers did was full of honor. Instead of shooting the man with a gun and possibly killing him, they chose the more humane route and tased him instead. Thus giving him a chance to get the mental help he need rather than just end his life, like he probably was looking for, as angus stated.

    By the way, I know the officer involved, and he is a very kind man with two brand new babies at home, yet he continues to put his life on the line and serve others. I dare you to do the same.

    • dispatchernut

      very well spoken1

    • john

      @ Vader-You should stop posted and being a A** and go find something else to be negative about.

    • Dave

      You are an idiot.

  • Really people

    Well said SARA,

    The general public has no idea how often situations like these and other worse ones play out on a daily basis in our cities. People love to critisize the police because they got a ticket for speed, or got a dwi; because about 35% of the people out there refuse to acknowledge or be held accountable for their behavior and they run around blaming everyone else for their problems. This is probably the case with Big Banjo. Unfortunately, those 35% are the biggest and loudest cry babies who really have no clue or plan in life other than to wine and cry about things in general.

    Most of the public appreciates what they think the officers do on a daily basis, but it is a lot more than the general public thinks about. How many people have ever told a parent their baby died, or was abused, etc, etc. How many actually get out at an accident scene and get covered in blood trying to safe the life of a stranger? How many people take it upon themselves to intervene in people’s moments of crisis in order to try to help them. It is one thing to sit in an office and speak to people about their problems (important also) but try going to their house when the parties are actviely trying to harm or kill each other.
    Yes police get paid but if the majority of officers put their hard work and dedication to work in the private sector; they would make a ton more money. 99% of police do their work because the care about people and their community and they want to make a difference. Police should be rewarded for their dedication and not leaving the public sector to go make more money with the skills and charachterics they posses.
    To all you BIG BANJO types, your postings crying and whining get old, but I admit they are kind of entertaining to see the stupidy in those posts.
    Burnsville PD EXCELLENT JOB. Thank you for the work you do day in and day out. Thanks for the stress and headache you all deal with so others do not have to. Keep up the good work!!!!!

    • Real Talk

      Its called simple economics. If they could make more else where they would. Period. If they are doing it for the love…then they dont really need to be to be extra-special rewarded, because they are doing a job they love. Most people hate their job. Look, its not there is a draft to become a police officer. These people VOLUNTEER for the job. No one forced them.

      Back to the point…the cops did good. What i cant understand is why when the guy is 20 yards away does the cop feel his life is in danger from a man with a knife? Why didnt he try to talk to….not alot, but maybe two or three sentences and hopefully de-escalte the situation. And why after the man has been tased and is convulsing on the ground, does the officer feel the need to keep his service weapon pointed at the suspects head. At that point, no one was in danger. I know its a hard job, and like i said they did good in this instance…maybe you have to be in that situation to fully understand the emotions and related actions by the cops.

      • Some Info

        There is the 21 foot rule called the Tueller Drill stating that 21 feet is the distance it takes for a person to close a gab between them and the officer and time it takes for an officer to draw and shoot a service weapon. In this instance, the officer and this man looked to be around 20 feet apart to start with and when the man began to advance toward the officer, he backed up to create more of a gap. The more space is better for the protection of yourself and for others around you. There could be an argument for the fact that the primary officer did not draw a taser at first, but this is an instance of deadly force by the man with the knife, and at distances the officer was at taser could possibly be ineffective due to the spread of the prongs upon deployment of the taser. When an armed person is aggressive towards an officer (which this man was), they are assumed to be armed until proven otherwise and this is why the officer continued pointing his weapon at the man. Yes, he is on the ground, but until he is placed in handcuffs, they are unaware of if he possesses any other weapons at that time (especially when he brings his hands to his waistband after being tased, plus taser effects don’t last too long and sometimes do little). Even if this man was to be shot by an officer, they place him in handcuffs and search in order to secure safety for themselves and those around them. I agree with you that the officer acted appropriately.

    • DougT

      This is almost too silly to comment on…But if you believe the Sheep need all this help….

      Its a blue collar job – its not hollywood. They apply our laws arbitrarily – depending on mood, weather or if they beat up their girlfriend that day…..

      ya – I do not have much respect for the State Security Forces….


  • Troy

    For being “Minnesota Nice” we sure have a lot of mean comments on these forums.

  • Sick&Tired

    Brats?! Please! Its kids like his that grow up in a nurturing and strong home that are the true futures to society. I think the 18 years of education that we “pay for” is much worth the outcomes–much more than “Big Banjos” children who likely will end up a druggie, jobless, on welfare, or in jail. Like father like son!

    • Darth vader

      You and “really people” must shop at the same tie die stores, and have the same posters of the mammas and pappas on your walls. I see why this country is getting pussified!

  • DougT

    They tasered a guy that was already bleeding. Heroic? Are they not trained to do their job? And for this they get Awards of Honor?

    And I really like this ““Don’t move! Don’t move,” police yelled after the man went down.” I mean ya just tasered the guy – I do not think he is going anywhere…… This is an example of controlling the situation – sounds more like they lost control – from their reaction……

    What next? Helping an old lady across the street?

    Sheesh – this is like a receiver catching a ball….isn’t that what we pay them a lot of money to do?

  • Supporter

    The guy had a knife in his hand DougT. Would you approach him and try and get it out of his hands?! Seriously.

    • Darth vader

      Well, I guess if you’re the cop that looks and talks like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory, Then I guess you wouldn’t.

    • DougT

      Considering they had to open a door to get to him – I might, like others have said, try to find out what was going on before I pull out my side arm and started yelling…..

      Perhaps he needed help – I mean these are “trained union members” – Perhaps its just me but from the sounds of it they lost it and went into battle mode a bit too quickly – but that’s the easier rout ….

      If this happened in Afghanistan I might understand their reaction better – but come on guys a little less on the – gung ho.

      And again – for this they get an award??

  • DougT

    Ok – I reviewed the tap – and they did ask him to put the knife down and he was not really responsive. I have learned over the years they one does not argue with an agent of the State.

    However, his gun did come out pretty quickly – which escalated the moment. The officer could have back off into the office and then waited for the taser to arrive and proceed from there.

    When a human is in shock (not saying this guy was) but when in shock people are not always responsive. What if he accidentally cut himself and went to the station for help? Your in shock and some guy with a gun is yelling at you?

    He was not exactly menacing – more like wandering around.

    However – they did their job – but I do not think one should get an award for doing your job…


  • Supporter

    Yes, accidentally cut himself in the neck with a knife and the carries it into the PD. Had he not drawn his weapon, he couldn’t have been charged at and stabbed. Drawing this weapon provided a barrier of resistance for this guy. If I had a knife and wanted to kill someone, I would be less likely to do it if the person had a knife. Why don’t you explain to his officer’s family when he dies from a stab wound, that he didn’t want to pull his gun out too quickly in case it would escalate the situation.

    • DougT

      Because you cross a big line when you pull out your gun. And dieing from a stab wound (when you are in a police security compound) would be less likely than dieing from a gunshot wound

      I am not saying that they did not take care of this moment – which could have gone south – but again, I thought The Police were the experts on such moment – and giving them an award for this is a bit lame

      “ohhh you did not kill the guy! Nice work!”


    • Real Talk

      So why not try to utter a few sentences to the guy to figure out what it going on BEFORE you put your glock on his dome?? Arent cops supposed to de-escalate a situation?

      Granted the man had a knife…but he didnt threaten anyone, didnt gesture towards to cops…heck he was walking AWAY from the officer.

      And love when the man is convulsing on the floor, the pig still has his glock pointed at his head telling him not to move??? First off, he is convulsing, so might be hard to control his bodily movement at that time. Second, what danger was anyone in that they needed to keep the man in their gun sites?

      Swear to God, sometimes the cops really do seem like they are ichting for a reason to pull that trigger. The man brought a knife to a gun fight…and you think the cops were the ones in danger?

      Not saying the cops did anythign wrong…but Jesus Christ coppers…if you are scared, go to church. Otherwise man up and leave your gun holstered untill you really need to use it.

      • GH

        If someone came into your home or your place of work with a weapon you’re telling me you wouldn’t arm yourself with what you have available? The man refused to listen to the officer, had a weapon, and was unstable. The officer handled this situation perfectly. What would you have done?
        Also, just because someone has been tasered, doesn’t mean that they will lie on the ground and do nothing. People under the influence do not react to things the way a stable person would. It’s possible for the person to get up off the ground and continue with what they planned on doing. Yelling at the man to stay down was the right thing to do.

      • C

        The man began walking toward the officer … this is a sign of aggression. He wasn’t “walking away” from the officer, he began walking towards multiple times. A knife can kill you, it IS a deadly weapon. With suicidal people, not everything is done rationally and the officer can’t predict every move the man is going to make. He was pacing, and walking directly at the officer not answering questions, if it were me, I would be in fear for my life (which is a reason to initiate deadly force). According to MN state statutes, the man could have been shot due to the movement toward the officer. I’m glad he didn’t and hopefully he got the help he needed.

      • tan pup

        I bet you would be the first one to dial 911 of someone was within 20 feet of you, in your space with a knife. You are totally ignorant and I believe you enjoy that lifestyle. As long as you reviewed the tap – Mr. Professional analyst – perhaps you might remember he came into the POLICE precinct carrying a knife and all bloodied, he didn’t ask for help. Good grief, you are really dumb. I think the cops deserve the praise; too many times they are put into situations they handle positively but never get credit. If you think it’s so easy to be a cop, I challenge you to go to school, get certified and start serving.

        • Real Talk

          @GH & @C: Respect. Note my last sentence. I never said the cops did anything wrong in this instance. No one was seriously hurt. Turned out ok.

          @Tan Pup: Personally…my initial reaction wouldnt be to fear for my life. I would be confused and want to know what is going on. And btw…i’ve bounced before and been stabbed twice.

  • Civitas

    Nothing to see here folks………move along.

  • Guy

    There is an old nickname for the police. They earn it each and every day.

  • DEEP

    We The People don’t have federal/state welfare to buy camera’s but I intend to install camera’s in my car. Film is an even bigger game changer for the people when dealing with a crooked cop! Hat’s off to these “good” cops for not killing the obviously distraught man. And again camera’s work both ways, film the police every chance you get! Have your smart phones set up to quickly record any interaction with police such as getting pulled over. Know your rights and say as little as possible to police in any situation. Again, respect to “good cops” everywhere for working a very tough job. RON PAUL 2012!

  • Andy

    Why didn’t the cop just do the guy a favor and waste him

  • Really?

    There is so much stupid in some of the comments above it hurts. If someone has a knife, you get the gun pointed at you. A suicidal person who has already harmed himself who doesn’t drop his weapon immediately isn’t going to go along with any kind of rational “talk to the guy” type BS. Some of you people live in a different world.
    I do agree the award thing is a stretch, cops do this literally everyday and aren’t rewarded, but since they had it on video and it is done flawlessly it gets recognition.
    Oh and the keeping the gun on him after he’s down, yeah, I would too, If I know he had a knife in his hand, what else does he have in his pockets. You cover him until he’s in cuffs.

    • Real Talk

      Does the prods from the taser stuck in the perp and the 10,000 volts pretty much cover you?? You need the glock too??

      • Heath

        10,000 volts? Try 50,000 volts and .004 amps. (not quite as big and bad as it sounds, more voltage occurs when dragging your feet across the carpet and having static discharge occur.) As soon as the cycle (5 seconds) is over ALL incapacitating affects are over too. Translation, the fight is back on.

      • Really?

        Yup, the prods are the least reliable part, once the guy hits the ground and rolls around there is a good chance the prods could disconnect or get moved away from the skin (especially if it is just lodged in his clothing). If that happens the officer can pull the trigger again and the taser will not do what it initally did. It may cause pain but it won’t level him like it did. People have also been known to fight through tasers.
        The taser is great but it is not an end all.
        Any size knife is a dangerous weapon and should be treated as such.

        Also the taser will run 50,000 volts for 5 seconds, after the 5 sec hit you are not impaired in anyway, you can get right back up and continue fighting. If they got two solid prod hits and the prods stayed in, then they could pull the trigger again and let it go for another 5 seconds if the guy started swinging. From the video it looks like he wants no part in taking another 5 seconds and I don’t blame him.

        These guys did a great job, used a taser to subdue the guy and had leathal force as a back up in case things went terribly wrong.

        If your big concern is having a gun pointed at you, then I would advise not going into a police station lobby with a knife in your hand and covered in blood. Then ignoring verbal commands to drop your weapon and walk towards the officer.

        Plus the officer with the gun isn’t pointing it at the guy for his safety after he’s down, he’s doing it for the two officers who are now within knifes range of the guy who will have to move in and handcuff him.

        Not everyone in law enforcement is out to put a boot on your neck.

  • Dudley Do Right

    It will be interesting to see how many times those cameras malfunction when the cops are caught messing up. Thanks to my camera I got a bogus traffic ticket thrown out of court.

  • iCat

    It could of gone totally double jeopardy with the guy walking in with concealed weapon till officer reacted in normal care response until range of getting fatally stabbed.

    He didn’t come in with damaged Twinkie asking for help.

  • sheepdog109

    It saddens me that the general public thinks we, as police officers, should put our defenses down when confronted with life threatening situations. I do a job that I love and so do my brothers and sisters. A man walks into my lobby with a knife. appearing distraught and not responding to my speaking to him, I am definately drawing my service weapon and ordering him to drop the knife. They did a very good job in using the Taser and using the lethal coverage on top of it. These officers dis a great job. That guy can get the help he needs becuase we DO have cool heads and don’t shoot first and ask questions later.

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