Title:
Side handle police baton for striking and blocking
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A baton having a stick with a smaller side handle secured at an angle thereto to move with the stick and an axle which passes through a spindle and attaches it to the free end of the side handle. The operator can now grasp the baton by the spindle with his or her index finger and overlying thumb, while the baton's stick and side handle rotate. A top ridge or stop prevents the grasping hand from slipping off the handle laterally. The middle, ring and little fingers and palm of the hand can now be used to firmly grasp the side handle to precisely interrupt the rotary travel of the baton's stick and side handle while the baton remains secured at its spindle by the operator's index finger and thumb. When the side handle is grasped between the operator's middle, ring and little fingers and his or her palm, the handle, fingers and palm act as a drum brake with the handle acting as the brake drum and the skin of the operator's fingers and, primarily, the skin of the operator's palm acting as the brake pad. As the skin is pressed against the side handle more and more forcefully, forces of friction bring the rotating side handle to a stop. Cutting grooves into the rotating side handle, that is attached to the bound spindle, can make this breaking even more precise. The grooves and their corresponding ridges rotate and contact and drag along the surface of the operator's palm skin at different speeds. Different areas on the continuous sheath of highly elastic palm skin simultaneously experience forces of friction of differing magnitudes.



Inventors:
Shaw, David A. (Yucaipa, CA, US)
Mcnulty Jr., James F. (Calimesa, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/785746
Publication Date:
08/25/2005
Filing Date:
02/24/2004
Assignee:
SHAW DAVID A.
MCNULTY JAMES F.JR.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B15/00; A63B59/00; F41B15/02; (IPC1-7): A63B15/00; A63B59/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PIERCE, WILLIAM M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Leonard Tachner, Professional Law Corporation A. (17961 SKY PARK CIRCLE, SUITE 38-E, IRVINE, CA, 92614, US)
Claims:
1. A side handle police baton for striking and blocking; the baton comprising: an elongated stick; a handle having a proximal end and a distal end and extending from a radial surface of said stick, said handle having a brake portion affixed to said stick for rotation therewith and having a grip portion being free to rotate relative to said stick; said brake portion being at the proximal end of said handle; and said grip portion being at the distal end of said handle.

2. The police baton recited in claim 1 wherein said handle further comprises a stop ridge at said distal end.

3. The police baton recited in claim 1 wherein said handle comprises a plurality of annular gripping ridges each such ridge separated from another such ridge by a recessed annular region having an arched surface.

4. The police baton recited in claim 3 wherein each of said gripping ridges has an outer surface of substantially constant diameter.

5. The police baton recited in claim 3 wherein each of said gripping ridges has an outer surface of substantially flat cross-section.

6. The police baton recited in claim 3 wherein said gripping ridges and said recessed annular regions having substantially equal widths.

7. A baton for striking and blocking and having a side handle affixed to an elongated stick; the stick handle comprising: a spindle affixed to said stick and a grip portion attached to said spindle for relative axial rotation thereto; said spindle residing between said stick and said grip portion.

8. The baton recited in claim 7, said handle further comprising a stop ridge affixed to the distal end of said grip portion.

9. The baton recited in claim 7, said handle further comprising a plurality of sequentially interspersed gripping ridges and recessed annular regions, said ridges and regions being of substantially equal heights along said handle.

10. The baton recited in claim 9 wherein each of said ridges has a substantially constant diameter.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to police batons having a side handle and more specifically to such a baton which is easier to control.

2. Background Art

The use of batons as weapons for striking is far from a recent novelty. The English word baton is derived from the French baton or the Latin bastum, both meaning stick. As both artifacts, the remnants of human activity, and the behaviors of some of mankind's present day primate relatives suggest, from their earliest appearance, hominids have likely used sticks as both striking weapons and to display that authority. Human history is replete with examples of certain types of fashioned sticks or clubs, like maces, which serve these simultaneous purposes. There have been both maces which are weapons for war and civil maces. There have also long since been sticks or clubs such as the Irish shillelagh, which have served primarily as weapons, and sticks or clubs such as royal scepters, which have served exclusively as ceremonial implements.

Similarly, the use of side handled sticks as weapons is in no way original. In the seventeenth century, the people of Okinawa adapted a farm implement, which is known as a tonfa or toifa, that is “handle”, as a weapon. The tonfa is simply a 15″ to 20″ long stick with a side handle. When used as an agricultural tool, the tonfa's stick is inserted into a hole on the side of a millstone and the tonfa's side handle is then grasped by the worker to turn the milling stone. Alternatively, a warrior might rapidly rotate the tonfa's stick into position for blocks and strikes, by first loosening the grasp of the weapon's side handle as he snapped his wrist and, then, interrupting the stick's subsequent rotary travel by tightening his grip on the side handle. In the 20th century, manufacturers in the U.S. adapted these techniques for use with law enforcement batons or truncheons. Such a side handled police club is illustrated in U.S. Design Pat. No. 230,150 issued to Anderson on Jan. 29, 1974 and incorporated herein by reference. Note that this billy club, as does the tonfa, consists simply of a stick with a smaller side handle secured at a right angle thereto. U.S. Design Pat. No. 333,692 issued to Parsons on Mar. 2, 1993 and also incorporated herein, illustrates a variation on such a police baton. Now, the impacts of objects, such as aluminum trash cans, which were previously hurled at peace officers to their injury, could be effectively blocked. The side handle also prevents the night stick from rolling (but not sliding) from the reach of the peace officer if he and/or she should lose their grasp of the baton during its manipulation.

Police throughout the U.S. quickly discovered one of the foibles of the tonfa technique. When the police officer loosens his or her grasp of the baton's side handle to swivel its stick into blocking or striking position, he or she risks losing their grasp of the baton entirely or having it snatched from him or her by an assailant. To overcome this problem, manufacturers began placing trundles or trumbulls on the side handles. Now the police officer could firmly grasp the trundle between his or her middle, ring and little fingers and palm while rotating their wrist and moving the baton's stick into a striking or blocking position. The officer could then interrupt the rotary travel of the baton's stick by grasping the free end of the side handle above the trundle with their thump and index finger. Articulated side handle batons are certainly not in themselves a new concept. U.S. Pat. No. 2,988,949 issued to Rohmann on Jun. 20, 1961 and incorporated herein by reference, illustrates such a ceremonial baton. Articulated clubs are also far from a new concept as attested by such ancient weapons as the Indian lathi, the morning star, flexible coshes (from the Romany kosh or stick), and war flails, which like the tonfa were adapted from a primitive agricultural tool, the flail, a hand threshing instrument.

However, while correcting the tactical dangers presented by an officer's loosened grasp of a baton's side handle, the trundle itself created additional unforseen tactical problems for the peace officers deploying side handled batons. Round headed tools such as screwdrivers and baton side handles are grasped most strongly between the middle, ring and little fingers and the palm of the hand. The index finger which closes into the web of skin between the thumb and index finger and the thumb itself are little involved in such a grasp. The thumb and index finger or the thumb, index finger and middle finger are used together to grasp and manipulate small objects and for such fine work as writing and sewing. The thumb and index finger provide little of the strength needed for grasping tools like screwdrivers and baton side handles. See Earl D. McBride, Disability Evaluation (Philadelphia: J.P. Lippincott Company, 1948) 177-212. Accordingly, when officers attempted to precisely interrupt the travel of a baton stick at desired striking and blocking positions by grasping the free end of the side handle above the trundle with their thumb and index finger or even with their thumb and index finger and middle finger, they found that this weakened grasp allowed the stick to slide past the desired striking or blocking position.

Thus, there is a need to find an alternative side handled baton which can be both firmly grasped in the human hand while its stick is rotated to and precisely stopped at calculated striking and blocking positions.

It should be noted that on many batons, ridges are cut into the handles or side handles. The earlier cited U.S. Design Patent to Anderson illustrates such ridges. As with the ridges on the bicycle and motorcycle handlebar grips, the purpose of these side handle ridges is to impede the grasping hand from moving laterally and slipping off the handle. Accordingly, the knurls on the side handles of these prior art batons have chamfers or fillets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention comprises a baton having a stick with a smaller side handle secured at an angle thereto to move with the stick and an axle which passes through a grip and attaches it to the free end of the side handle. The operator can now grasp the baton by the grip with his or her index finger and overlying thumb, while the baton's stick and side handle rotate. A top ridge or stop prevents the grasping hand from slipping off the handle laterally. The middle, ring and little fingers and palm of the hand can now be used to firmly grasp the side handle to precisely interrupt the rotary travel of the baton's stick and side handle while the baton remains secured at its grip by the operator's index finger and thumb.

When the side handle is grasped between the operator's middle, ring and little fingers and his or her palm, the handle, fingers and palm act as a drum brake with the handle acting as the brake drum and the skin of the operator's fingers and, primarily, the skin of the operator's palm acting as the brake pad. As the skin is pressed against the side handle more and more forcefully, forces of friction bring the rotating side handle to a stop. The magnitude of kinetic friction is calculated using the equation fk=ukn. Acceleration being an implicit factor within a kinetic force equation, cutting grooves into the rotating side handle, that is attached to the bound spindle, can make this breaking even more precise. The grooves and their corresponding ridges rotate and contact and drag along the surface of the operator's palm skin at different speeds. Different areas on the continuous sheath of highly elastic palm skin simultaneously experience forces of friction of differing magnitudes. The elastic properties of the skin act differently to retard these forces, quickly binding the rotating handle. Grooving the handle also increases the surface area in contact. These effects are optimized by making the grooves and ridges of approximately equal width or diameter and planing the tops of the ridges flat while cutting the grooves so their cross section roughly resembles an arc of a circle. Of course, manufacturing and surfacing material(s) can be selected with coefficients of friction desirable to enhance the breaking, or surfaces might be otherwise engraved or treated to enhance the forces of friction. The baton's rotating stick may be of fixed length or telescoping.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The various embodiments, features and advances of the present invention will be understood more completely hereinafter as a result of a detailed description thereof in which reference will be made to the following drawings:

FIG. 1 is an elevated view of the invention in the grasp of a user;

FIG. 2 is a view of a prior art baton;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of the handle portion of the prior art baton of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of the handle of the preferred embodiment of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the grip portion of the handle of the invention; and

FIG. 7 is an end view of the handle of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the accompanying drawings that a police baton 10 comprises an elongated stick 12 which is typically formed as a circular cylinder having dome-shaped ends 13 and having a length of about two feet. A handle 14 extends perpendicularly from the stick about one-quarter the length of the stick from one end thereof and having a typical length of 4½ to 5½ inches from the exterior surface of the stock. As seen best in FIG. 1 the baton 10 is held at the handle 14 so that the stick 12 resides parallel to the exterior side of the forearm and wrist so that the police officer can maneuver his arm defensively to intercept blows with the stick. The handle 14 is held with the thumb and forefinger wrapped around the distal end of the handle and the middle ring finger and little finger in flexion around the proximal end of the handle.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate a typical prior art police baton 5 having stick 6 and a handle 7. Handle 7 comprises a brake portion or spindle 8 and a grip portion 9. Brake portion 8 is fixed relative to stick 6 while grip portion 9 can be rotated freely of stick 6. When a police officer rotates the stick 6, such as between the defensive position of FIG. 1 to an offensive position with the longer portion of the stick extending beyond the officer's hand and coaxially with his or her arm, the grasp of the middle finger, forefinger and the thumb is released or at least loosened while the ring finger and little finger maintain a firm grasp on the grip portion 9. When the officer wishes to suddenly stop the rotation, he or she exerts a grasping action on the brake portion 8 using the middle finger, forefinger and thumb. Unfortunately, as noted above, these fingers are not the strongest combination for grasping and thus braking the rotating action of the stick. Therefore, the officer often cannot exert sufficient force to stop the rotating stick at precisely the preferred position such as the defensive position shown in FIG. 1.

This disadvantage is solved by the present invention, a preferred embodiment of which is shown in FIGS. 4-7 to which reference will now be made.

As shown best in FIGS. 4 and 5, a preferred embodiment of a baton 10 having the features of the present invention comprises a stick 12 and an affixed handle 14. Handle 14 comprises a brake portion or spindle 16 and a grip portion 18, the latter terminating in a stop ridge 20. Spindle 16 is fixed relative to stick 12 so that any rotation of the stick will require simultaneous rotation of the spindle. On the other hand, grip portion 18 is configured to freely rotate relative to stick 12 and to brake portion 16. This independently rotatable configuration is accomplished in the manner shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. More specifically, grip portion 18 has a coaxial large diameter passage 22 and a smaller diameter coaxial passage 24 as well as bolt 26 having a head 28. Bolt 26 is threaded into spindle 16 where it interfaces with grip portion 18 in end-to-end abutting relation. Other arrangements for permitting rotation of grip portion 18 relative to spindle 16 are contemplated such as making passage 24 of a threaded smaller diameter and securing the end of bolt 26 with a nut and washer within spindle 16.

It will also be observed that unlike the prior art handle 7 of FIGS. 2 and 3, the inventive handle 14 of FIGS. 4 and 5 comprises a plurality of annular gripping ridges 15 having flat or relatively uniform diameter outer surfaces 17 and a plurality of wider recessed annular regions 19 each having an arched surface 21. The widths of the ridges 15 and recessed annular regions 19 are preferably about equal in the preferred embodiment to enhance the frictional forces between the officer's hand and the handle 14 for braking rotation of stick 12 as heretofore described.

It will be understood that because the handle 14 of the inventive baton 10 utilizes a braking portion at the proximal end of the handle as opposed to the prior art which employs the braking portion at the distal end, the braking action is implemented by the middle, ring and small fingers which are stronger in grasping than the thumb and forefinger. Therefore, the officer's control of the baton is more precise as a result of the improved handle of the present invention.

Having thus disclosed an exemplary preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be further understood that various modifications and additions are contemplated and will now be perceived by those having knowledge of the baton art and the benefit of the teaching herein. Accordingly, the scope hereof is to be limited only by the appended claims and their equivalents.