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Have you ever been frisked?

Apr 7, 1999
I don't really care to hear about the details of the situation before it happened. I just want to know if the officer found any knives on your person, and if the knife was illegal what did you do to explain it? I don't think random searches are too common, but some people may have other stories. The only time I could see a frisk happening to me is if I got pulled over for a traffic violation--not while walking on the street.
Interesting question. I have only been frisked in training, but as a full time LEO I have conduct frisks almost daily. Let me say that a frisk is different than a search. A frisk is a cursory pat down of the outer garments. I have not found any illegal knives on a person that I have frisked. I have found guns and drugs. Even though a frisk is supposed to be for weapons if an officer feels what in his experience feels like something that is packaged like drugs he can retrieve it. This is called "plain feel".

I have found illegal knives while frisking a vehicle though.


I have been frisked a few times. The first time was as a teen. I'd been setting off firecrackers in an upscale neighborhood with some friends. It disturbed some horse owners who called the sheriff. Some officers stopped us across the street from the local Tasty Freeze. We could have avoided being frisked if we had some firecrackers left to surrender. I doubt they had enough cause for a legitimate search these days, but back in the 60's things were a little looser. When we didn't produce firecrackers they patted our pockets.

They took a 5" Italian pushbutton off of me and a couple gravity knives and a yawara stick off one of my friends. The kids across the street at the Tasty Freeze were awful impressed as the cops kept piling stuff up on the hood of their patrol car. When the deputy asked "gee kid, what are all the knives for?" My friend said "In case we get choosed". (We never let him forget just how stupid that comment was). The officers were trying to figure out what to do with us when they got a hot call. They warned us, took the illegal knives, and returned the yawara stick.

The funny part is just how much hardware they missed in their cursory pat downs. I still had 3 knives in my pockets, a 2" switch blade in my shirt pocket, a 4" fishing knife with the side panels removed behind the wallet in my back pocket, and a razor blade box cutter behind a second sort of wallet in my other back pocket. My friend had a 7" commando dagger up one sleeve and an 8" throwing spike up his other sleeve.

Another memorable search was at the Mexican border when I got us all strip searched trying to smuggle in a 5" Italian pushbutton to replace the one that had been confiscated. I got busted and was fined on the spot. (By the way it's embarrasing when someone pulls a large knife out of your Jocky shorts). For a while I took to carrying my blades hung from an elastic cord sewn to the upper inside of my coat sleeve. A swing of my arm and the knife was in my hand. Close the blade and let go and it was back up my sleeve. That got me by at least one cursory pocket patting. As I recall that pat down was for nothing more than walking down to a late night market.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 26 September 1999).]
When I was 19, I was stopped at 3:00 am for doing 70 mph in a 25 mph zone.
I didn't have my license with me and the officer told me to step out of the car and frisked me.
This was a fairly thorough search, as my crotch was carefully checked. I'm not making a wise-ass comment. I didn't assume that he was getting his jollies, I assumed that he figured that I might have hidden my wallet down my pants.
In any event, he completely missed the Gerber (I forget the name, but it has approximately a 5" double edged blade, with a boot clip) tucked into the small of my back, under by belt line.
After that, he told me to sit in the front seat of HIS car and wait until DMV got back with my history. DMV's computer was down, and he let me go with a warning.
It's always bothered me in some way because I wanted to tell him to check the small of someone's back in the future.
The other times I was frisked, I had blades on me and just answered the officer when he asked if I had any knives on me. They took them during questioning, then returned them without incident.
I even had my AlMar SERE Folder returned, and that sucker was HUGE for a folder!

Vampire Gerbil: similar to a domestic gerbil, except for the odd accent and little black cape.

Only in exercises. But never in the street or car. Body language and attitude does set a tone. Keeping a low profile does wonders.
But I' ll have to say that if an RMP rolls up on you suddenly because they got a call over the radio and you happen to match a description, well...


"To earn a million is easy, a real friend is not."
I had two friends who were hitch-hiking through Arizona and happened to match the description of two nuts who had just walked up and shot a Phoenix police officer to death. They got stopped at gunpoint by a rookie patrolman who tried to cover them both with his shaking revolver and search them while waiting for backup. In the middle of this tense up-against-the-car gunpoint search, a little old lady comes up and asks the cop for street directions.

They freely admitted that they had a cheap .22 revolver frame in one pack and the cylinder in another pack (to try and minimize firearms carry issue while traveling). Naturally that matched the description of the murder weapon. Interrogation was very professional, but tense. They had the alibi that they just barely made it to town and had the officers call LA for a girl friend to confirm their time of departure. She endeared herself to my friends by asking them whether they had "done it" during the call.

In the interrogation wing where they were held all of the officers were unarmed. In the confusion of their interrogation someone brought in their packs and left my friends alone with them. At the time the revolver and a large bowie knife were still in the packs. It really helped my friends' claim not to be mad dog cop killers later when an officer asked them to pull out their pack contents for inventory. He was also asking them where their revolver went while this was happening. They very carefully pulled it out and handed it to him. They were the only armed persons in the room.

Ballistics proved the revolver had not been used in the crime, but the police would not return it until it had been checked against every shooting for the last several years. While hanging around Phoenix my friends had the misfortune of still matching the APB for the cop killers. They were stopped at gunpoint two more times during the week. One time multiple cars and a helicopter showed up. They were given a note saying something like "Please don't detain Rick and Vern any more, they didn't do it". They went down to Tucson until their revolver was released.

They were very impressed by the professionalism and control excercised by PPD, but real happy to go back to LA.

[This message has been edited by Jeff Clark (edited 26 September 1999).]
I got frisked and handcuffed once.

My girlfriend and I were packing up to move down here to Jacksonville, when we got in an argument. We chilled out, made up, and continued packing, when all of a sudden, 45 minutes later, the intercom buzzes. It's the police.

Since I didn't know if it was the police or home invaders claiming to be the police, I headed downstairs with my sidearm in it's IWB holster, under my tshirt. I look through the door, and sure enough, it's two of Louisville's finest in full uniform.

I open up for them, and the next thing I know I'm up against the wall, handcuffed, and being frisked. Meanwhile my girlfriend is screaming at the officers "What the hell are you doing?!?! He hasn't done anything!" They tell her to go back in the apartment. I meanwhile tell them I've got a valid CCW while they are stripping me of my sidearm, spare magazine, and 2 Microtech autos, in my front foyer.

So, they sit me down and then ask what was going on. It turns out that they got a domestic disturbance call. They ask me "Why did you come to the door with a gun?" This flabbergasted me, I mean, if my CCW isn't a good enough reason for them, the fact that I don't have a security camera to see who it is should be more than enough...

The asked what happened, and I told them that we'd have an argument, and they want to check my girlfriend for bruises. We both are pretty offended by this, and she's saying "What, our telling you that no violence happened isn't good enough?"

Eventually my CCW comes back as being valid, and they take off the handcuffs, and return the knives, and hold onto my firearm until they leave. I meanwhile am not happy because they refuse to take action against whoever called them in the first place. The best part is that I have a fully loaded AR-15 and Benelli shotgun by the front door because I wanted to have them handy, yet they didn't even see those (they never set foot in my apartment, all this happened in the hall and on the stairs).

But wait, it's not over! Our neighbor calls the cops 3 times more as we are packing up and moving out. The best time was when they told the dispatcher that we had automatic weapons everywhere. That really took the cake, I mean, I love to waste 45 minutes explaining that our neighbor is crazy when I could be loading up the Uhaul and getting out of there. They sent 2 cars for that one.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for BladeForums.com

Insert witty quip here
I got my 5" Italian switchblade confiscated during a frisk. Nothing special, just a routine shakedown. Had to talk the cops out of arresting me.
It looks like 5" swichblades were pretty popular back in the 60's and 70's.
Ahhh...to be young and stupid again!

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

Quite a coincidence spark i have a nutty neighbor that likes to call the police when she doesn't take her medication. Years back the police knocked at my door bacause of a domestic disturbance complaint. I was home alone and sleeping when they woke me up. They insisted in talking to my wife who was in San Francisco visiting her sister. Told them thay would have to call her on their dime. Then they wanted to come in and see for themselves. Got ugly then since that wasnt't going to happen.
It took a couple years but now they know enough to go to her house first and talk to somebody in the family before bothering the neighbors.
I was frosked once when I was a teen and skipping school. I`d been romping around in the woods in full camo when I decided to sneak into a semi private park to get a drink from the fountain. Imagine my suprise when a cruiser came pulling in! They kept asking me "Where`s your buddy?" (I was alone of course.) They found the Gerber bootknife I had clipped in the pocket of my BDUs but managed to overlook the 18" Ontario machette on my belt! I asked them if they`d like to have that too?
Worst thing was when my Mom picked me up at the cop shop she let em keep the it,doh. Marcus
I got frisked last weekend with a buddy !
We were in a city-owned park/w reservoir on motorcycles. We had parked the bikes, had a cigar or two (and also a beer or four), and were playing that scene where Superman throws the Kriptonite, but we had a green cyalume light stick. It was around midnight. The park is very rural, with over 350 acres of campsites.
Anyway, we were making noise and carrying on.
My AFO was in full-view on the picnic table when the police rolled up.
I immediately declared that it was my knife, as well as the open beer sitting next to it.
I also declared the Walther TPH .22 automatic in my ankle holster.
Anyway, they frisked me (and my buddy) for more weapons and made us sit in the cruiser as they checked records.
Turns out we both had CCW permits. The AFO was no problem.
They DID quiz us as to how much beer we had. They also reaffirmed that alcoholic beverages and glass containers were illegal in the park.
We were polite and ended up talking about bikes, guns, knives and ladies.
Hard to believe ?
I'm 46 with salt-and-pepper hair. My buddy is 50 and looks like bald1. Neither of us has a prior arrest or even traffic history.
And, we live in the last of the great western frontier....Oklahoma!
Anyway, strange your post was so relevant to something that happened a week ago to me.
Half of the concerts that I have gone to had a nice frisking included in the price of admittion. Other than that I have never been frisked, oh wait I forgot about that time at the airport. I guess that they just would not trust their metal detector.
One time me and my friend went to a car show in SanFrancisco and we waited in line for quite a while to get in. By the time we got to the front gate we saw people were being frisked.
unfortounatley we each had folders on us. We had to go all the way back to the car and come back and get in line. Yes it was a hassle, but i underastand their concern, looking at some of the people who came to the show.
Aside from the standard pat-downs at court houses and concerts and such I have been frisked once. I was at a public fireworks display w/ some friends...one of them asked if I was carrying anything. It just so happened that on a quirk I was carrying a CS desperado strapped to my boot in addition to my BM 910 folder. So I pulled my pants leg up very slightly to reveal the edge of the kydex sheath (DUMB!). Well it turns out the place is crawling w/ plaincloths cops....about four of whom start following me and my friend. I had begun to note the presence of 4 rather large dudes following me and one who was getting close to invading my personal space ( I didn't know they were cops at the time). I turned very slightly as this guy got uncomfortabley close and thats when I noticed his gun and very LEO style manner...so needless to say I was very cooperative. They took me and my friend behind a building and patted us down...I had already declared both of my weapons. After a little bit of questioning and a stern warning they gave us back our toy's and let us go on our way. It definetly pays to be polite and cooperative w/ Law Enforcement at all times most of the time they have alot more in common w/ you than you think. Since then I am very careful about carrying a fixed blade and knowing my local laws.
I've had numerous concert pat downs, and one arrest for a suspended DL found a small folder (which was no problem) in my front pocket.

Most of the condert pat downs are jokes, but I received the best frisking of my life last Sunday at the ECW wrestling pay-per-view in Villa Park, IL. Completely checked top-to-bottom, including pats at the center of my chest and back (glad I left the neck knife in the car!). And all at "keep the line moving" speed! Even checked the items in the change container. My JSP V-Gar would have gotten through tied off on the camera, but they weren't allowing digital in the building. Next time, I'll attach it to the cell phone...
I get hand scanned and patted down about 50% of the times I pass through airprot security at Houston Intercontinental Airport. Only metal on my person is small metal belt buckle. Rarely get patted down at other airports.


Cops look at me and laugh. Haven't had the occasion to be frisked in 47 years, even growing up in inner-city Los Angeles...probably because I'd be more likely viewed as the victim than the perpetrator.

Should've hung around Jeff Clark more often when he was in town
I got the "Up against the car M.F." treatment by campus cops after (turns out to be very loosely) matching the description of someone who broke into a dorm room. I was leaving a bar early to avoid "Amateur Hour" (when the drunks are out after closing) & got my little keychain SAK withheld (w/ keys) until I was cleared. Here in NYC (of all places) I've stood for pat-downs at bars & clubs- one menacing-yet inefficient bouncer twice missed a Delica & a Woo.

Runs With Scissors
AKTI# A000107
Heh, five friends and I spent well over half an hour in an amazingly long line Saturday night to get into a Tori Amos/Alanis Morissette concert. Finally got up to the front to discover that the "frisking" was most of the delay, but the frisk ended up consisting of a woman running her hands (hands flat, palms inward and parallel) quickly down my sides, from mid-chest to mid thigh, and about 3" to 4" away from my sides (and no, I'm not that revolting).

The only way they could have possibly have found anything is if the security people had powerful metal detector implants in their hands, or if someone was trying to bring in a throwing spear in an IWB sheath...

I'd made a point of bringing in only my Micra, mini-Police necklace, and an AG Russell Wharncliffe Whittler (2" non-locking blade, owned partly because it's San Diego courthouse-legal), having left my Axis Lock in the car, but I could have brought in nearly anything. There were a lot of comments to the effect of "we waited 40 minutes for this", and I joked with my friends that they seemed to be employing bad psychics for security now...

The single lamest frisk I've ever seen,
-- Carl