28 Sept 01

Nice police work by one of my instructors in South Africa:

“Monday, were driving a beat car through one of our local industrial areas. I noticed a suspect being pursued on foot and then tackled by a unformed, private security officer.

I stopped my vehicle and exited. My partner also exited and covered my rear.

The security officer had the suspect on the ground, but was soon overpowered. The suspect grabbed the officer’s holstered CZ-75 and was trying to wrench it free from the holster. By the time I arrived, the suspect had gained control over the pistol and was pointing it at the officer’s head.

Just as we had done many times in class, I executed a disarm as I had been shown by you and others. The suspect never saw me and was completely astounded when I took the gun from him. The pistol’s hammer cut my hand when it fell forward, so I got there in the nick of time! While the suspect was still recovering from his astonishment, I put him, face first, on the ground and cuffed him.

The suspect’s partner then came over to us and surrendered! Neither the security officer, nor my partner, nor I had any idea he was there until he walked up to us with his hands up. I believe my partner’s smooth execution of covering my rear contributed greatly to the second suspect making the decision to give himself up.

Our subsequent investigation found that the suspect and his partner had just robbed a local business with a real-looking, toy pistol. A bag of money was recovered from under a nearby, parked vehicle.

The company that had been robbed didn’t even say thanks, nor were either my partner nor I congratulated by any of the higher-ups at the department. The security officer was the only one to at least say thanks.

By the way, the security officer is still waiting the backup he called. There were a number of other officers close enough to assist, but, it seems, they all found something else to do.

All in a day’s work around here!”

Lessons: “If you sit, just sit. If you walk, just walk. But, whatever you do, don’t wobble!” You may not always be right, but you can always be convincing. Confusion always manifests itself as hesitation. Hesitation always projects weakness and disarrangement of purpose. Our officer and his partner ACTED, smoothly and enthusiastically. The suspect never knew what hit him. The fight was over before it ever started.

“Don’t relax too soon!” Always assume there is at least one more suspect, and that all suspects have more fight in them than would be or could be expected.

We all need to know how to take guns away from people. Retention and disarms should be included in every advanced class.