Douche of the Week – Rice University

Updated: July 3, 2011

By The Sarge

Incident Review

May 7, 2011 probably started just like any other day for Rice University Police Department (RUPD) Officer David Sedmak. With 17 years of law enforcement experience under his gun belt, Officer Sedmak surely knew the ups and downs of life on the beat. Yep, just a regular day – at least until he heard the call crackling through his radio, “Officer down! Officer down!”

Just minutes away, Fernando Meza, a sharp-eyed Houston Police Department officer working an off-duty jobbie at the local Greyhound bus station, spotted a man with a gun trying to purchase a ticket. Officer Meza took action and things went downhill from there. The man opened fire striking Officer Meza in the hand. Meza managed to squeeze off a few rounds of his own and then the chase was on. The gunman fled to a fast food restaurant and again exchanged gunfire with officers, this time shooting Houston PD Officer Timothy Moore in the leg. Panic tones went off across the city.

Hearing the call, Officer Sedmak adjusted his pucker factor and probably thought to himself, “Where bullets are flying, there shall I be.” Sedmak then did what any good Sheepdog would do, he ran towards the danger in aid of his fellow brothers. Officer Sedmak left the campus of Rice University and set up on the perimeter around the gunman. HPD officers took cover behind Officer Sedmak’s patrol vehicle while they tried to reason with the bad guy. The standoff ended with the gunman taking his own life.

Back to School

A standoff with an armed gunman can take a lot out of a guy. This is especially true in the Texas heat and when you know that the bad guy has already taken out two of your own. Surely at the end of the ordeal, Officer Sedmak enjoyed getting back into his “air conditioned mobile office” and heading back to his campus.

Most agencies would probably spend three or four dollars on a piece of aluminum to pin on this guy’s shirt, print out a certificate of some short, or at least deliver a well deserved pat on the back. Our hero, on the other hand, got a different reception. A month after the incident his leadership, and I use the term loosely, informed him that he was fired! How’s that for an at-a-boy?

According to the brass, when Officer Sedmak left the campus he failed to notify his supervisor and dispatch of his actions. He also left the campus with “only two other officers” on duty. Apparently no one knew where he was for nearly an hour. Rice University would later say that he was fired for “dereliction of duty.” According to reports, Sedmak had to turn over his gun and was sent home dressed in his police uniform – UNARMED!

Now I’d love to know the background of the brainiac that made this decision. I take issue with Rear Echelon M-F’ers that like to play Monday Morning Quaterback. Ever spent any time on a college campus on a Saturday? It deader than the wacky-tabacky laced brain cells that were suffocated next to the bonfire the night before. Besides, it’s not like the entire campus was devoid of any protection. There were two other uniforms on duty. And as far as Sedmak being out of the loop for an hour, well that is about as short as a standoff can get.

The Aftermath

The story hit news channels and spread like wildfire. Sedmak kept it classy stating “My only concern on that day was to render aid to these two officers,” he said. Law Enforcement organizations around the state condemned the actions of Rice University. In fact, the Houston Police Department’s Police Union presented Sedmak with a check for $2500. They called him a hero and hoped that the cash could help him and his family cover his bills until he found another job.

Rice University found themselves in a media shit storm. According to their policy the university doesn’t respond to questions of personnel issues, but they apparently felt the need do a little damage control, which is why we have such brilliant quotes of how Officer Sedmak’s “actions did not support the missions of the university” and of how his leaving “could have endangered the safety of our students and campus.”

Really? Because Rice University officers assist the Houston Police Department on a regular basis on calls for service and investigations. These calls probably tend to involve an underage beer-fest, but what better call to assist with than to save the life of another?

It All Boils Down to This

Did Sedmak break policy or protocol? Well, sure sounds like it. Does it matter in the grand scheme of things? Hell nah! A real leader would hug him for making it out safe, tell him what he may have done wrong and how to fix it, award him for his valor, then get the hell out of his way and let him do his job!

Perhaps the real questions here should be “Why didn’t the other two officers go?” Was it because they were already aware of the tone set by their supervision? Or was it because at the moment of truth they froze? Either way, how is the university gonna fix that?

In conclusion, I’d like to make an official request that Rice University change their name – maybe to Rice College? They simply are unbecoming and undeserving of the RU acronym, seeing how only one member of their staff knew anything about how to Ranger Up – and they’ve pushed him away.




  1. Antonio

    July 3, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Agreed. Rice University and staff are, indeed, deserving of this nomination!

    • Rob

      July 3, 2011 at 11:44 am

      Have fun in Douchebagistan!

  2. Gina

    July 3, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I have heard of “confused” departments, but Rice’s department takes the cake. You can’t make this stuff up. Great story.

  3. frank 320

    July 3, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Typical “specialized policing” leadership. Scared of everything, including their shadow. Weak, inexcusable, and frail. No honor, no courage, and no fortitude. No right to the badge.

  4. Woud

    July 5, 2011 at 8:18 am

    Houston PD should step up and offer this guy a job immediately!

  5. Bob Woehr

    July 5, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I guess this REMF wants the douchbag to eat his cheeseburger in peace than head out to the “University” where our hero awaits…..

  6. Falshrmjgr

    July 5, 2011 at 9:55 am

    WTF!!!???? So maybe Houston PD should stop responding to calls from Rice? How about setting a precedent like that? How would that affect the safety of the university, knowing that the local police would rather see you burn than piss on you.

    Of course this is Texas, and they are cops, and there is no freaking way in hell that they would ever leave an officer’s cries for help go unanswered.

    HPD should hire the guy on the spot and make him the Rice University liaison officer.

  7. John

    July 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Being a member of the Retired Military Group and a former LEO fully retired, what officer Sedmark did was laudable, courageous and should be publicly praised by Rice University; and in private, they should warn him that he MUST keep his own department appraised of his whereabouts and his status. He failed to keep his Supervisor and Dispatch alerted to his absence and unavailability to perform the job that he was hired to do.

    I know this is going to “…throw gasoline on the fire…” but he did wrong and should be counseled on his actions. He acted like a loose cannon and put his own fellow officers at Rice University in jeopardy should they have called on him to support them.

    Granted, the University campus is probably about as active as a library, but what would the community have said about Officer Sedmark’s abandoning his post, without due authority, and a rapist or whaco wanting to do harm to the citizens that he was hired to protect, become active?

    Plain and simple, he did a courageous thing in “running towards the gunfire”, and should be commended for that. But, he did a stupid and dangerous thing in abandoning his post without letting the command structure that he was hired to serve, know where he was and what he was doing!

    Now that he has lost his employment, he should be hired by Houston PD, but I dare-say that he would be fired by HPD if he did that very same thing in their department!

  8. Company Clerk

    July 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Hey Sarge, Can I have your permission to reprint this story in our monthly Veterans newspaper?
    We have a 40,000 monthly circulation in the Tampa Bay Area of Florida and a paid subscription that goes nationwide.
    Thanks for informing us of this situation.


    • The Sarge

      July 8, 2011 at 8:03 pm

      Phillip,you can feel free to repost it so long as you end it with a like to The Rhino Den, Ranger Up & Unapologetically American…great guys doing great stuff.

  9. Antares

    July 5, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Are you KIDDING me ?? A man tries to do the right thing and some desk jockey’s FIRE him ?? I can assure you that not ONE CENT of my grand-children’s college fund will EVER be spent at RICE . Shame on you, you cowards…..

  10. SQN462

    July 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Agreed. Memorandums of Understanding work both ways.

    That being said, is there a Union or Association down there accepting donations for this guy to help him get by for the time being? The show of support from Houston was very generous, and a great gesture, but a couple more guys kicking in a fiver here and there couldn’t hurt to help out a good cop.

  11. Onus

    July 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I like your idea. Haha

  12. Jesse

    July 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Irony really would be to hire him on to HPD and make him the liaison officer. I wish there was a job that would pay me to B!^ch slap every douche that pops up.

  13. steve

    July 5, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    Only wish I lived closer to this guy so if there was an incident in the future I’d be thinking ‘Sedmak probably has my back…I’ll be fine.”

    Way to go RC. You know, like the cheap Cola.

  14. Teener

    July 6, 2011 at 8:27 am

    What of the two campus cops who would not respond? Their response is most likely indicative of why they work for a UPD and not a respectable agency. I can honestly say that had our agency been involved in a similar situation The Sarge would have been ordering people back to their districts; all of my brothers would have been chomping at the bit. I say this with confidence because we have been tested; we passed; we are the RC’s (Real Cops).

  15. HareForce

    July 12, 2011 at 11:56 am

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with John on this one.

    To put it Army terms, wouldn’t what Officer Sedmak did be an epic direct violation of General Orders One *and* Three? And — especially given that there’s only three Orders and you just killed two of them — wouldn’t you get your ass handed to you (if you’re lucky) for that?

  16. MonMount

    July 15, 2011 at 2:01 am

    He may have abandoned his post, but what can happen when there were still 2 other guards left behind?

    His actions may have broken protocol, but isn’t preserving another human being’s life the main reason we have rules regulations?

    It’s not like he left with the University being fully unguarded. There are times when you just say “Screw it, I’m the only person capable of helping at the moment, I’ll think of the technicalities later”

    What’s the worst thing that can happen at the University with him gone? College girl cat fight or a douche bag brawl? The school has never had any really violent incidents.

    Really now? Let’s be realistic and dump the b.s.

  17. Derek

    December 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    Being a Texan I want it first noted that we don’t count Rice as a Texas school…second they owe Officer Sedmak free blowjibbers for life! Go f*** yourselves Rice!

  18. Kevin754

    December 23, 2011 at 1:19 am

    I work for a department that usually only consists of two of us on patrol. Not because we are cheap but only because we can’t justify getting more Officers. Either way my point is no matter whether there is two of us or 1 of us my shift partner and I always do what we can to back up our bros. In time of need. Luckily our Dept. Does not frown on us for that. Sedmak did what any TRUE and GOOD cop would do without hesitating. I work with a guy like that anytime. So yes Rice definately deserves anything related to douchebaggery.

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