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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
gecko BS: Bad day for gecko (21) BS: Bad day for gecko 05 Apr 07


A week ago last Monday (26 March) I was taken hostage for three hours in a Member of Parliament's office - which is where I work.

He had a loaded .303 rifle with which he took a pot shot at a passing police car. I can tell you that I was absolutely terrified but that doesn't really explain how I felt. In retrospect I can isolate several different states of mind that I experienced.

The first was sheer disbelief that this was happening to me - "must be someone playing a joke" I thought. Second was absolute terror as I aknowledged that indeed, this really was happening and that I was in an extremely dangerous situation especially when he pulled the trigger and my ears imploded with the biggest sound I have have ever heard. The third state was one of icey cold detachment from reality. After about two hours when he had started to run out of steam, I morphed back into my Electorate Officer role and with the help of the marvelous police negotiator, talked my way through to his agreeing to my release into the arms of the Swat team in the street outside.

He made his own way out very shortly after me and was taken into custody. He is due to answer charges on May 14 and I just hope to heavens that I can avoid attending court myself.

One of the worst aspects of this horrible event has been the media attention I have been subjected to since by the howling pack of dogs commonly known as the press. Working in the political field for years, I have little respect for journos but even I wouldn't have believed the lengths to which they are prepared to go to get a story.

In one way it was lucky that the bloke came into my Members office when I was alone, because I have been dealing with abusive and aggressive cranks like him for years (just not with loaded guns) and have learned some skills to diffuse tense situations.

I've taken advantage of counseling since then and I'm in better condition than I have a right to be though I've been told delayed stress symptoms can strike at any time.

The people close to me - husband, son, colleagues and Member etc - who were waiting in the police station, had a more stressful time of it than I did and I expect that is a common but unacknowledged problem.

I don't really know why I have told you all this but I thought you might be interested to know what has happened to another 'catter.

On a happier note, may I wish you all an enjoyable break - but go easy on those chocolate eggs!

YIU

gecko


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