back to article Cops taser naked doorbell-ringing giant

A 6ft 7in San Fransisco man who decided to indulge in some light knock down ginger while wearing only tennis shoes ended up at the receiving end of a Taser, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Two residents of the Woodside and Portola Valley area, south of Redwood City, reported that Peter Allen Steele, 38, was "standing …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Can I be the first to ask...

    ....WTF is "Knock Down Ginger?"

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I would hate to be tazered in the beanbag


  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Rhyd

    Ding Dong!

    I'll get my coat...

  5. Jon Double Nice

    Bean bag gun

    Did they also use flares, and then put him in a paisley straight jacket with really big collars before placing him in a cell padded with thick shag pile carpet?

  6. AlistairJ

    I'd like some of what he's having, please

    With a side order of Crystal Meth, natch. But hold the smug moralizing hypocrite reporter and film crew, ta.

  7. Winkypop Silver badge

    Naked Miscreant - Bean bag gun...

    I hope they didn't bean him in the bag!

  8. Matt D 3

    Knock Down Ginger.

    Just as a helpful explanation for anyone who may be unaware, Knock Down Ginger is the name of a childish game in which the participant(s) go to the door of a house, knock loudly on it and then run away and hide. There is usually more than one participant and they will take turns, often running back to join their hiding friends and giggle when the house occupant opens the door to find no-one there.

    Extra kudos can be gained for knocking repeatedly on the same door several times in succession, co-ordinated multiple efforts in which several doors are knocked at the same time, and ultra-elaborate linked attempts, in which door knockers are connected to neighbouring doors with fishing line, causing a pleasing cascade effect in which the opening of the first door by the occupant will cause a knock on the next door, then the next and so on.

    Don't ask me how I know all this.

  9. Kev K

    Must be friday

    Yep - and nearly Beer oclock too

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Hmm... psychiatric observation anyone?

    *Ding-Dong* <"Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?">

    Running naked into a wooded area.. Eww, chiggers, crawly things.

  11. NogginTheNog

    Would be my first choice too!

    Would *YOU* want to try and manhandle a 250lb naked man to the group before cuffing him??!

  12. James Taylor 5

    so what you're saying is

    its knock and run. But being american they had to change the name to something ridiculous?

  13. Emo

    Knock Down Ginger

    AKA Knock-a-door-run for us English :)

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Is it a specific offence then

    to knock on a door while naked in the land of the free? What happens if you are set upon and your clothes stlen?Must you attract attention by shouting from behind the bin, or is crouching behind a bin a chargable offence too?

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Knock Down Ginger

    If you are unsure of the details of the game check the particularly funny wikipedia page. I like the variants - especially, "Ding Dong Sack Whack". A variant that we played at school involved a paper bag and a pile of dog shit. You scoop up with dog shit with the bag, and set fire to it on someone's doorstep whilst ringing the bell. The hope is that the victim stamps on the bag to put it out...

  16. Joel 1

    Re: knock down ginger

    Rather than American, it was English dialect 40+ years ago. Our colonial cousins are off the hook for this one...

  17. The elephant in the room

    I've learned

    a new phrase today!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    A game with many names

    We called it 'Knocky Nine Doors' round our way. :D

  19. Anonymous Coward

    @Neil H - I would hate to be tazered in the beanbag

    Good thing I have insurance. I think I just hurt myself falling out of my chair.

  20. Rob Dobs

    @ MAtt D 3

    Thank you for the explanation, I did assume that this is basically the game we called "ding dong doorbell ditch" which though maybe more descriptive, sounds just as stupid when saying/typing it. I am curious though where the origin of the actual phrase comes from. ( I have images of the name being borrowed from a game meant to floor the Irish, or red headed step childs :-) )

    Can anyone shed light on the origin of this one?

    Also Matt re: the fishing line tied to each knocker......Brilliant absolutely brilliant. This however is so good, I could see it being used to start physical fights between two neighbors. Best to not pass around information like this :-)

    (ahem... "kids" in my neighborhood growing up loved to play the trick of grabbing a persons lawn ornaments or x-mas decorations and moving them to another neighbors yard (best if it the yard is visible from the original owners house.... always hillarious results.... ranks up there with hiding in back yards and surfing to channel 666 with the same identical cable remote that everyone in town has. There is also a evil trick involving lifesavers that is just too malicious to put into print.....)

  21. The Indomitable Gall


    Tazers save lives because they're used where the alternative would be lethal firearms. Like when you're chasing a flasher. With no weapon. And clearly nowhere to conceal one.

    God bless the tazer.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Knock Down Ginger

    Ding-dong-ditching around these parts.

  23. AlgernonFlowers4

    Probably just some 'armless fun..

    He was probably just wanting to tell someone - look no hands!

  24. kain preacher

    great balls of fire

    He is lucky they didn't pepper spray him. Pepper spray ,genitals, ouch.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Down our way

    "Ring-a-bell-run "or "knockout ginger" when I were a lad. Clothed, I might add.

  26. thomas k.

    @ Noggin

    "Would *YOU* want to try and manhandle a 250lb naked man to the ground before cuffing him??!"

    Hmm ... if 5' 4" & 250 lbs then, no, probably not. However, as we're talking 6' 7" / 250 lbs. here, I'd consider it my civic duty to at least have a go at it.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Knock Down Ginger

    ...also known as "Ding Dong Dash" and "Chapsies"** where I come from. I'm sure there are even more variations too.

    ** to "chap" on a door is to knock on it.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Why ...

    Do I never have 6'7" butt-naked giant Gothic monstrosities ringing my doorbell late at night? The chance would be a fine thing.

    Please, God ... let my day come!

  29. Chris iverson

    I second Ding-Dong-Ditch

    Thats what I called it. In addition to the cascade effect that friends and I attempted we did also tape it. Occasionally there would be other pranks pulled as well.....such as a yard full of mufflers(the car part). That was a funny one.

    ...Damn the shackles of work

  30. Johnny Canuck

    We called it

    nicky nicky nine doors when I was a kid.

    Flame, for the flaming bag of poop trick - obviously.

  31. Richard 102


    "Would *YOU* want to try and manhandle a 250lb naked man to the ground before cuffing him??!"

    No, but Tom Brady would do it. Happily. In fact, I'm not sure you could prevent him from doing it.

    (Still can't figure out how to turn this into a Mike Vick joke)

  32. Angus Ireland

    6ft 7in you say?

    Maybe he was actually out with his camera?

  33. Anonymous Coward


    I'm surprised he didn't burst into flames from the alcohol if it were ignited.

  34. sun_god
    Jobs Horns


    Is one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States... I believe our dear beloved Jobbo (Steve Jobs) lives there. Let the rumors begin.

  35. Anonymous Coward

    Knock Down Ginger

    Im guessing Knock Down Ginger is a term for Knock-a-door Run,

    Being Ginger I find this quite offensive. LoL

  36. jake Silver badge


    Woodside is on the bay side of "The Penninsula", where everything is spendy. From Palo Alto and Los Altos to San Francisco (and across the bridge in Marin, for that matter) housing is ridiculously expensive. Some would include Sunnyvale & Cupertino in that.

    Last I knew, Jobs lived Palo Alto, near the boarder with Menlo Park, just around the corner from my house at the time. This was ten years ago, he may have moved.

  37. maxpowers43

    another name for it...

    used by some in the american south is (insert racial slur beginning with "N") Knocking. probably another version of the same sick inside joke as blaming all negative or criminal behavior on same group, often to the investigating police. children's introduction to false flag terrorism?

  38. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    I went looking for trouble...

    My first thought when I read this was, "Type O Negative."

  39. Glen 1
    Paris Hilton

    Hes probably...

    6 feet tall, and 7 inches long (ahem)

  40. Hedley Phillips

    We called it Thunder & Lightning

    The thunder was the hammering on the door, and the lightning was hopefully indicative of how fast you were running afterwards!

  41. D 13

    he may have been playing "Knock down Ginger"

    as I've never heard of it before, but he wasn't playing "Knock a door run", not by any rules that I remember. There were only two rules knock hard, run like hell. Hanging around afterwards was never an option, neither was waving your tackle around.

  42. Francis Boyle

    I have to say, , ,

    I'm disappointed that "knock down ginger" is a children's game and not some weird fetish that I hadn't heard of. Because, thanks to teh internets I'm running out of weird fetishes I haven't heard of.

  43. Dave Bell

    Heavy Americans

    If you just go by BMI, the guy is overweight.

    If he's serious about some sports, the "excess" isn't going to be fat and flab. And, given the US Police reputation for donut consumption, he could easily be a bit of a handful for them.

    Doesn't sound a nice guy.

  44. Exi
    IT Angle

    Knock Down Ginger

    Chappie up here in Scotland

  45. Anonymous Coward

    Ah, childhood days

    I remember we started playing Knock-down ginger as a tyke, back in the 70s, before we graduated to more advanced activities, like:

    -Rocking roofs (a handful of gravel tossed onto a tin roof makes a hell of a racket!);

    -Egging houses;

    -Blowing up peoples' letterboxes with homemade bombs;

    -Sticking dogshit under car door handles;

    -Chocking car wheels with empty beer bottles;

    -Starting bushfires in the nearby paddocks and watching the fire trucks come and put them out.

    Said paddocks were then developed as a new housing estate, which opened up more possibilites, such as:

    - Emptying the contents of a concrete truck over a new road while the workers were at lunch;

    - Setting fire to stacks of timber on building sites;

    - Smashing the windows of half-built houses;

    - Bulldozing a transportable construction-site office with a front-end loader we nicked from a nearby compound;

    - Shifting every single survey marker for a stretch of upcoming road construction (and yes, the idiots actually built the road in the wrong place!)

    But I consider our crowning achievement was stealing the blue lights off the top of a police car while the coppers were in the house talking to the residents!

    And... we never got busted for any of it!

    Ahem... I think I'll make this one anonymous... yes it was 35 years ago and I was a minor, but you never know...

  46. skeptical i

    It was called "ring-n-run" when/ where I was a kid.

    Residents of less-developed backwaters called it "n*gger knocking".

  47. Anonymous Coward

    A title is required

    @ sun_god "Woodside Is one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States"

    Woodside isn't all that exclusive... it's still got a listed ZIP Code. The City of Hillsborough, near Burlingame, CA used to be so exclusive it wasn't even listed in the USPS National ZIP Code directory. That changed a few years ago though, it's now listed, but the ZIP Code belongs to Burlingame.

    My coat's the one with the jury duty badge on it.

  48. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Ah, childhood days

    You must be very proud, AC (I still know who you are, though - silence bribes to the usual address).

    Yes, I'm back, and you had all better behave as I am nice and relaxed after my hols and am not having you lot arse that up.

  49. jake Silver badge

    @AC 06:12

    "The City of Hillsborough, near Burlingame, CA used to be so exclusive it wasn't even listed in the USPS National ZIP Code directory. That changed a few years ago though, it's now listed, but the ZIP Code belongs to Burlingame."

    That is because Hillsborough is no more a separate entity than Barron Park, Palo Verde or Fairmeadow. Shit, even Docktown is more of a city unto it's own than Hillsborough!

  50. Ted Treen

    I'm baffled...

    'Steele earlier this week pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court to charges "that he rang doorbells while naked"'...

    What kind of legislative weirdo would actually make it an offense "to ring doorbells while naked"?

    I'd like to think it was just Merkins, but then I look at our own collection of Millibands, Balls, Harridan Harperson, the Prince of Darkness, etc., and I'm now wondering if there IS a legislator (anywhere) who isn't a 28 carat, one hundred percent weirdo..

  51. Jesthar
    Big Brother

    @ By The Indomitable Gall

    "Tazers save lives because they're used where the alternative would be lethal firearms. Like when you're chasing a flasher. With no weapon. And clearly nowhere to conceal one."


    A starkers Captain Jack Harkness would beg to differ (Dr Who: Bad Wolf episode)

    Trine-E: "But that's a compact laser delux"

    Zu-Zana: "Where were you hiding that!?"

    Jack: "You *really* don't wanna know"


    (Big Brother because of where the Doctor ended up - and, yes, I *KNOW* it's probably all fiction really... ;) )

  52. Anonymous Coward

    Hi Sarah :)

    The cheque is in the mail. No questions asked. And I've been a good boy these past 35 years!

  53. max allan

    Taser had no effect???

    "Officers were obliged to taser the struggling 250lb fugitive, without effect, so they let him have it with a bean-bag gun"

    So a big, drunk, naked person is not affected by the most popular non-lethal police "tool"...

    That guy must be a pretty scary individual.

  54. Damien Thorn
    Paris Hilton

    knock down ginger

    In london uk ive always known it as "knock down ginger"

    Its always nice to laugh at our neighbours across the pond doing these ridiculous stunts and getting themselves arrested.

    The germans have a word for it: Schadenfreude.

    Anyway if it was a woman we would want pics, but you never ever do requests for playmobile reconstructions, c'mon lets have a reconstruction roflmao

    paris, because once you ring her bell you usually sell the video then run.

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