AND I HAVE NEWS!
Today I spoke with Officer Phil Hartman of the Costa Mesa Police Department. Phil formally served on their SWAT team as a tactical officer for 10 years, and spent another 13 years as a crisis negotiator. He was on this team when James Wagner was involved with the team. Phil agreed to let me use his name but he did ask "are you going to burn me?" So the agreement we came to, was he was going to comment on the record just concerning facts and not opinions. Below are a list of questions I asked him, and his answers, I changed their order around a bit so they would be easier to follow. They are also not transcribed quotes but a summary of his answers.
Phil told me that Costa Mesa has a Department of approximately 160 officers. The SWAT team is part time. i.e. the SWAT officers normally perform other functions and then are called together when they need to be deployed. Phil also indicated that this team was not deployed often since Costa Mesa is more peaceful other California communities.
Q: Was Jim Wagner on the SWAT Team? Did he carry a sniper rifle or submachine gun?
A: Wagner was a logistical officer, he was not a regular SWAT officer, though he worked with the SWAT team. He was not a sniper, and he was not executing entries or acting in such a tactical capacity.
Q: How long was Wagner on the Costa Mesa Police Department?
A: I do not know.
Q: Did Wagner leave the department in good standing, or was he terminated.
A: To the best of Phil's knowledge, Wagner left the department in good standing.
Q: Did Wagner tactically train the SWAT Team or Conduct Tactical Training for the Department?
A: Wagner did not train the SWAT team in Tactics, and Phil does not remember Wagner conducting tactical training for the department, though I gathered he simply did not remember such an event happening with the department as a whole rather than simply ruling it out. He was pretty certain howver about Wagner not training the SWAT team tactically.
Phil did indicate that Wagner had helped out with the Costa Mesa police's Citizen Police Academy, but this involves educating citizens about what the department does, it did not involve tactically training civilians.
Finally in our conversation Phil remarked that Wagner had been fine to deal with as a fellow officer, and I observed from the tone of his voice, and how he recounted information that he did not appear to have an ax to grind about Jim. I had been the one to seek him out for information, he did not come to me initially to volunteer his comments and I did not get in contact with him through Hock.
My own comments on this are the following. The burden of proving that he was a Costa Mesa SWAT officer engaging in sniping duties or tactical duties (entries, assualt etc) has now shifted to Jim Wagner. I would like Mr. Wagner to produce at least two named witnesses who were former Costa Mesa Regular SWAT Officers who will be willing to swear under oath that Jim was on the SWAT team as a Sniper/Assaulter/or in such tactical capacity, and that he trained this team in tactical matters. These witnesses should be able to prove they were a part of this SWAT team.
Ball's in your Court Mr. Wagner.
Let's try and keep this thread to just the facts, and not various people's opinions.
For your information, after translating the Dutch article about mr. Wagner, i emailed the Dutch host of one of his seminars informing him about this enquiry about mr. Wagner, i also provided a direct link to this thread but it seems he has not responded (yet).
Originally Posted by Jeff C.
This smacks of RALPH HALL. For those that don't know Ralph was on MAP saying he was a ninja master and recieved a Silver star and purple hearts for being wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now normally I would have nothing but respect for someone like that if it didn't sound fishy. I found the guy and did a video interview with him. He was FULL OF ****!!! An E-5 was Ranger tabbed, a DS badge, SILVER STAR (like no one would check), and he has been in the RESERVES since 2002 (interview as 2006) He knew enough about Army life to full pple who didn't know better but the BS flag went up on those that do.
I get the same feeling with Wagner. Yes he was a cop and yes he was a soldier, for all of 8 months, but the image he created and uses to charge money from pple doesn't add up.
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!
Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
I knew this Wagner guy seemed "too good to be true" when I read those articles in BB magazine that were basically massaging his privates.
I have yet to hear back from "SGT." Jim Wagner in regards to my email I sent him about coming to my school and hosting his certification seminar. I thought I would just let you all know NOTHing YET FROM HIM, NOT EVEN A CANCELLATION....
My question is simple, how did he go this long without being checked out....?That can be emailed to me off site if we want to keep on topic...
This is obviously my opinion.
No one really checks things out. Yep, it is that simple. You have to realize, fake Martial artists have been defrauding people for decades.
Even now, people still balk at providing information. Heck, I have had sudden reversals during investigations.
Also, there was just enough truth in this guys bio.
Seriously, if we get into a semantics argument, he is telling the truth to layperson.
Was he part of Swat? Yes.
Was he an Air Marshall? Yes.
Was he in the Military? Yes.
Was he in the Reserves? Yes.
See where I'm going?
Even the initial comment, from a respected member, confirmed he was an Air Marshal.
Now, just think, the average joe isn't going to go in depth to research this guy. They aren't going to look for the complete truth. Heck, most instructors aren't going to do that themselves. For example look at you. If this thread started after your seminar, you might have a different attitude.
That is not a slight on you just pointing out what happens. As much as we are assholes, most humans want to believe the next man.
Originally Posted by It is Fake
For the most part true. Having written for every major martial arts magazine I can tell you that short of something that may expose the publisher to a libel lawsuit, very few claims are checked out.
Probably 98% of martial arts magazine editors have no martial arts experience. Most of them are journalists who are trying to work their way into a high paying sports magazine.
And like Fake said, most of the claims are true, but highly exaggerated. Things like working as a reserve officer. Most reserve officers are required to ride along with a regular officer on one 8-10 hour shift per month. So if someone claims that they have been a "reserve" officer for 5 years, they actually only worked 60 days on the street. And even that may not be true since many reserves volunteer in other support capacities like search & rescue, traffic control at large events, computer work, etc. And rank in a police reserve unit means nothing outside of other reserve officers. A reserve captain riding with a rookie policeman takes orders from the rookie policeman.
Even elite military units like Seals, Rangers, etc have "logistics" people who shuffle around paperwork and supplies, but get to say they were "assigned" to a "Seal" unit, etc.
I have never posted anything on this web site but do enjoy reading the posts, I feel some of them arguments are a bit trivial. However when I read the pages on Jim Wagner I felt I should know this guy. I was a student at Musashi Martial Arts in Santa Ana, CA from 1978-80 under Ted Lucay Lucay, and then took some classes at the Filipino Kali Academy with Dan Inosanto on Lucay Lucay's referral from 80-82. I have to tell you I do not remember the name Jim Wagner at all. I know the Inosanto Academy has records of all instructors and this can easily be verified.
I even knew the recruiter in Costa Mesa that sent Wagner into the Army. Staff Sergeant William Smeltzer, former Army Special Forces. It is a small world.
I was also a police officer in the city of Newport Beach, CA right next door to Costa Mesa from 1988-96. I felt I should know Wagner as well seeing as we were officers around the same time.
I know many Costa Mesa Officers and gave one of them a call after reading this article asking about Mr. Wagner.
He immediately responded "What a Boob!"
Wagners' accomplishments include how Wagner was driving home one night off duty and saw a car swerving down the freeway. He watched as it careened off the roadway and went down an embankment then collided with a pole on a hill. The vehicle started to back roll backwards and Wagner drew his weapon and fired at the rear tires to "stop' the vehicle thinking it was a drunk driver. The driver was having a seizure and was not DUI.
Another was when Wagner was the second car in a vehicle pursuit. As the pursuit terminated the primary officer opened the door of his unit to take position. Wagner driving too fast smashed into the opening car door tore it off and then slammed into the suspect vehicle pushing it another 50 feet.
My friend also had knowledge of why Wagner was no longer with the Air Marshall's service. Evidently Wagner was constantly trying to access areas that he was not supposed to go into to "test" the airport security. He got into trouble for this. He was also constantly late for the flights because he was putting on "disguises".
Needless to say my friend does not have a high opinion of Mr. Wagner.
I was also in the Army, prior to my career as a police officer. As a police officer I was a defensive tactics instructor, probably just as Wagner claims to be and probably was.
With my background I could "Claim" to be this or that like Wagner does, but honestly there are a lot of heroes out there who are right now fighting the real wars, in other countries and on the police beats of our own country. They deserve as much credit as we can give them. I am also in the local chapter of the Special Forces Association and am friends with some great soldiers from the Vietnam era and before that too. Blowing ones horn as Wagner does is an insult to those who really are heroes. I would not even consider it. As we say in Special Forces we are the "Silent Professionals". I do not deserve to compare myself with the likes of these.
Personally I think that Wagner has a little bit of experience in a lot of areas. Does this make one qualified to teach? Inosanto would be horrified to see those knife drills on the U tube videos since he is claiming to be an Inosanto instructor. Unfortunately Wagner probably thinks that he is good at what he does. You can only go on for so long like this and I think his past is catching up to him.
I do understand Mr. Hockheims concerns as he is in the same category of the martial arts continuum as Wagner proposes to be. I am sure he is asked frequently about other instructors similar to himself. Good luck to you Mr. Wagner.
Last edited by specops06; 7/25/2008 7:29pm at .
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