Monday, September 21, 2009
Another Lifetime, Part 1.
The desert air was still as I watched the full moon rise thru the windshield of my patrol car. The road in front of me was barren as I sat parked behind a Juniper bush, I was absently filling out a report from the last call. A red Honda Civic drove past, a small part of my subconscious tugged at me as I eased the cruiser out onto the road. I followed unassumingly behind them as I called the license into dispatch. It was no surprise when the car came back as stolen. The suspect was wanted for a list of other crimes. He was a white male, early thirties, 5'8", muscular build, blond hair, flat top. Think white supremacist without the tattoo's.
I turned on the red and blues, the little Honda in front of me lit up by the strobe lights like a psychotic chase scene in a bad zombie movie. Almost predictably, the chase was on, the little car attempted to speed away, it's acceleration was no match for the big V8 in my cruiser and I easily kept pace as I called for backup and started calling streets and directions into the microphone. The siren wailed into the broken stillness of the night as the chase started to head back into town. I knew that the danger was going to increase as more innocent lives came into the risk that this chase was creating.
Suddenly the car came to a halt and I saw the suspect flee on foot out of the passenger side of the vehicle. Across the desert he ran. I quickly bailed out of the cruiser and pursued him. I knew, or perhaps hoped, that backup was close behind. I kept calling my location into the radio; I now had a choice to make, flashlight or pistol? This choice would prove to be the most important out of all made that night. I chose to draw my pistol as I pursued him. I dodged cactus and creosote bushes as I started to close the distance. He had made a mistake when he chose to run from me. I loved to run, and I really loved chasing bad guys. My lungs were starting to find a rhythm as my belt and vest sought to slow me down. Not tonight, tonight my only goal was too put my cuffs on this guy. Soon we would be crossing another road and I started coordinating the backup on that road. I heard the sirens in the distance and knew that I would not be alone for long. I continued shouting commands at the subject.
"Stop, police!" But these commands were to no avail. I saw the road, 50 yards ahead, I saw headlights, but no flashing lights. I put on a final burst of speed as I caught up to my suspect. I shoved my pistol into his holster as we hit the edge of the road. I reached out and grabbed his arm as we collided with the vehicle. I remember putting him into an arm bar as we slid onto the hood and the car started to pull away. I briefly noticed the red paint as I went for a rear wrist lock. The move failed and we continued to fight on the hood of the car. The vehicle made a sudden turn and I rolled on the hood, the suspects arm was torn out of my grasp by the force as I lost my balance and fell of the hood, my body bouncing down the side of the car.
I felt my pistol hit the car and get hooked on something. I remember the distinct clatter it made when it hit the ground. Decision time again, secure my weapon or chase down the suspect? I looked up at the car and saw that it was the one I had chased earlier. I saw the suspect climb in thru an open window. It was crunch time.
What do you do? A choice has to be made here. What is yours?
Part 2 will published on Wednesday, when you will discover what I did.