Sunday, July 24, 2011

Running from the cops 101

I never cease to be amazed that people run from us.  More often than not the odds are stacked against them, yet they still keep trying.  I am going to point out some of the mistakes made in an effort educate you in the event you want to run from the Police (pronounced Poleece). 

The first example I will use occurred just the other night.  One of my buddies attempted to pull over a car for expired registration, which as you can imagine is a very minor offense.  Well dude decided that he did not want to stop.  He just kept strolling along for a few minutes not driving reckless, just kept plugging along.  Well this was mistake number one, because it allows other officers to move that way to assist.  So like a pack of wolves hunting our prey myself and several other officers to position ourselves to pounce.  I saw the suspect proceeding east through a complex with two units behind and I knew that when he got to the end he would go north or south.  So I took a gamble and moved north one street and went east.  It turned out to be a good decision as the suspect decided to bail out of the car part way through that complex and run north.  Well guess what.  I was north to cut him off.  But before he got to me he jumped a fence into a back yard.  This was mistake number two.  What he did not know was the two officers that were out on foot directly behind him were much faster than him.  Part two to this mistake was the yard that he jumped into was home to three dogs.  Well, lucky for him the dogs were inside, but the yard was littered with lawn sausages and by lawn sausage, I mean dog poop.  Lots and lots of dog poop.  You see where this is going right?  Yep, when he was tackled, I mean “assisted him to the ground” he fell into the land of many poops.  He was covered in dog crap.  I mean covered.  His hair, his face, smashed into his clothes.  In my haste to get there and get into the action I did not glove up yet.  So when I grabbed onto him to open up his jacket, not knowing that he was covered in poop and you guessed it.  Dog crap all over my hands.  I was so mad.  I washed my hand with Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, and soap and water about 15 times.  Then some more hand sanitizer again.  I’m just thinking it’s got to be a really crappy (no pun intended) when you go to jail covered dog poop. 

The next example of what not to do occurred several months back.  I was back up officer on a traffic stop.  The officer observed them leaving a know drug house and when the driver made a traffic violation he pulled them over.  We run them for warrants and find that one of the passengers had a warrant, so he was cuffed up and taken to the back of a patrol car.  The rear passenger who the officer had seen at the door of the dope house was sweating and fidgety and looking very nervous.  We got him out of the car and sat him down on the curb to talk to him separately from the others.  Well after he gives consent to be searched the other officer searches him he has him sit back down on the curb and take off his shoes and when he does baggie of crack cocaine falls out, Here comes mistake number one, He jumps up and takes off running with three cops within 5 feet of him.  Mistake number two was trying to run across granite landscaping rock with only one shoe on.  Well he made it about 30 feet only before he was landing like a lawn dart face first into the 1 inch granite landscaping rocks.  Upon impact his face exploded with blood I was down at his feet manually crossing them then kneeling across them to keep him from kicking the other two officers were cuffing him up.  I went back and checked my call comments and I called out foot pursuit, gave out the description and DOT (direction of travel) and called “one detained” meaning we had him secured all on the same minute.  So let’s review his mistakes.   Trying to take off running from being seated is just asking to get caught.  Secondly, trying to run with only one shoe is, well aside from being funny is another bad idea.

Let’s face it, we have all seen the show Cops.  We know what is going to happen if you run.  More likely than not, running from the cops is going to end in a polyester pileup of officers pouncing onto you like a pack of lions on a gazelle.  You’re going to get dragged out scuffed up and bleeding and you’re still going to go to jail. 

I have been lucky thus far and I caught every bad guy I have chased down.  I think mainly because I try to mitigate my chances of getting smoked.  If I have even the slightest inkling that the person will run I sit them down and warn them that I will use whatever force necessary to keep them from running.  I often let them know that with the taser I can be 25 feet away and turn them into a running lawn dart.  Most times the verbal threat is sufficient to keep them chilled out.

So let’s review what we have learned here today.  Don’t give us time to encircle you. Don’t run into unknown territory.  Don’t run if you can’t run fast.  Don’t run if you’re seated.  Don’t run with one shoe on.  Let’s just leave it at, don’t run from the cops.  You’re going to get caught and going to jail, sweaty, bloody and covered in dog poop.  And that can’t be as pleasant as just going to jail right? 

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