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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Beyond The Wall

    Default FOOT PURSUIT!!

    Reading a recent foot pursuit that ended poorly I wanted to write about this aspect of things. It doesn't apply to the oversized dad bods so keep it perspective. I was in quite a few of these in my years on the job. I recall in the academy a lengthy discussion of a slightly built deputy that engaged a muscular bad guy in a foot pursuit, only to be unable to do anything with him due to his lack of stamina and physical strength when he caught up to him. The deputy ended up dead as a result.

    All our foot pursuits were handled with the intent of hurting the bad guy when we caught him. It was not a "tag you are it", nor a glorious "tackle". We ran up as close as we could and then pushed him hard into a building, a parked car, or in one instance, down a flight of stairs. If we could not get close enough to do this, we stayed with him, driving him into another officer that would do the same thing. I do not recall anyone ever "tackling" the bad guy.

    If he was armed, we ran as close as we could and then shot him. Policy required that our lives be in peril, defined by them turning toward us. They always did...even if the shots didn't suggest that. We knew the time delay between the turn, the turn back to run and the subsequent shots. Easily articulated. Even today it is unlikely that every step of a pursuit will be video recorded. And the end of the discussion is that if you cannot conclude things in your favor without stupidly risking yourself, you let the bastard get away.

    In mine...numbering in at least a couple of dozen, most of the guys were caught...everyone went to the hospital after the pursuit for one reason or another, and two were shot...oner ridiculously enough, shot himself right in the junk as he was trying to draw on us. He actually saved his life as a 12 ga was about to be touched off on his back as he fell from his own gunshot. All great fun. A foot pursuit was almost as enjoyable as a vehicle pursuit.

    I only recall two times where I was injured in a foot pursuit. One was simply me trying too hard and hitting my elbow on a corner of a building in the dark. The other was when I ran down a rapist and he crashed hard into a building. I was going to "handcuff him" in tumultous and dynamic manner when my sweaty hands and his sweaty arm conflicted and I broke my thumb. C'est la guerre.

    The guys that are on the job and read this...if you are horrified, here is my advise....find a new fucking job. If you are not horrified, understand that YOUR perception of the events and your ability to express it verbally are by far the greatest weapons in your arsenal and trumps anything the bad guys or the admin can deploy against you.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    There it is.

    One more thing: if you go after a bad guy alone planning to tackle him you are an idiot. Odds are good he will outrun you and have the leisure to turn on you and ambush you at a place of his choosing.
    And yes, I have done this. God looks after fools sometimes.
    Warrior for the working day.

    Es una cosa muy seria. --Robert Capa

    "...I ride the range in a Ford V8...Yippy Yi Yo Ki Yay." --Johnny Mercer

    "What cannot be remedied must be endured."

    186. And a wakeup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Phoenix, Arizona
    If I could chase you to within arm's reach, you were also well within the effective range of a 6D Maglite.
    Greg "Hyena" Nichols
    Instagram: tacfit_az
    Facebook: SI Instructor Greg Nichols


    Always entertaining, mildly offensive
    IANative: Indeed, when you grab Brent (or he grabs you), it feels like liquid unobtanium wrapped in rawhide... whereas Greg is just solid muscle wrapped in hate, seasoned w/ snuff and a little lead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    NYPD had a cop named Randolph Holder killed a few years ago in harlem in a foot pursuit. Perp was not even facing him and threw his gun over his shoulder, fired a shot and put of pure chance hit Holder right in the head. Im sure that case can be used to articulate DPF in a foot pursuit against an armed suspect. Good write up as usual Gabe.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Third Coast
    This is one area where the ASP baton shines. Run close distance and throw that thing closed and offhand as hard as you can into the perps back. They usually stagger or go down. Youre also certain the perp has access to at least one weapon in arms reach ;) Also works with PR-24 (not that tj hooker legs crap) and man sized maglights (even the polymer body ones some agencies started issuing)

    RIP brother, I didnt know you, but you wore the badge.

    I'm not in the business of Losing

    A stab to the taint beats most of the mystical bullshit, most of the time

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Richmond, VA
    I remember a story my partner/buddy told me one night. He said he walked up on a guy breaking into business and they took off running. He followed the guy through alleys, back streets, houses, etc. and he was about to just give up when he had a thought. He yelled at the guy, "Hey asshole, I just got out the Army and I've been running 5 miles a day for 4 years. I'm gonna run your ass into the pavement and then kick the shit out of you when you fall." He said the guy stopped, threw his hands up in the air and said, "You got me man, I give up, don't kick my ass. Please." He said he stayed back, shouting commands for the guy to lie face down, arms behind his head, feet spread, etc., till he caught his breath. Then he walked up on the guy and cuffed him.

    On the subject of hurting someone, when I think about this one it seems like I can feel it myself.

    We got after a guy one night, car thief who bailed out of the car on a street in a subdivision on the edge of town and let it run into a parked car as he ran between some houses. After a radio call there where four of us going around with flashlights looking behind houses/garages, under cars, up in the trees, on the decks/patios - everywhere. We couldn't find the guy. We all ended up in an alley, standing there talking, on the verge of giving up and suddenly my partner points into the huge flower bed, on the other side of a chain link fence, and shouted, "There he is." I turned to look just in time to see one of the guys from the other car reach over the fence, grab the guy by the hair and drag him over the top of the chain link fence. I could hear (still can, in my mind) the jagged tops op that fence ripping the guys shirt, and maybe his skin and the guy screaming in pain. The guy from the other car didn't stop pulling till the car thief was on our side of the fence, then he let go and the guy fell face first into the gravel in the alley.

    No problem getting the cuffs on the guy. They said he cried all the way to the jail and bled on the back seat. Those chain link fences are wicked around the edges. Funny how sounds/looks can stick with you so many years. Like the sound a leg makes when the bone breaks. Or the sound a gun you didn't know the guy even had makes when it falls to the pavement. Or the look on his face when he looks up to see what your reaction is. Memories. Most of mine are funny ones, sort of.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    And always remember that if you are with in arm reach of the maggot, you are also within his reach!
    I rather you hated me for who I am than love me for who I ain't!
    This Ain't the Movies, and You Ain't John Wayne!

    Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a 12 pound sledgehammer!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    I know of a TX officer who was shot while exiting his vehicle on the passenger side by a perp who had already started running away. As the perp was taking off, he snapped off a shot (right-handed, from under his left armpit) that caught the exiting officer in the (unprotected by his vest) right armpit. The happy ending here is that the .357 Sig bullet exited just below and to the left of the officer's navel. Miraculously, there was no significant internal damage and he was released from the hospital the next morning.

    After a short foot chase, the perp surrendered when cornered and was apprehended unharmed (also miraculously, or unbelievably, if you prefer).
    Waitin' for a squeeze...

    TWOTU Since March 2012

    AR15/M4 RGF
    HRO-6 CQB
    HRO-7 Team Tactics
    HITS-8 Knife

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Northern California
    The guys that are on the job and read this...if you are horrified, here is my advise....find a new fucking job. If you are not horrified, understand that YOUR perception of the events and your ability to express it verbally are by far the greatest weapons in your arsenal and trumps anything the bad guys or the admin can deploy against you.”


    It’s not so much the training/lack there of, equipment issues, and politics that is crippling LE today...

    It is the lack of heart and mind in most of those going into the Job.

    My first phase FTO in the early 1990’s told me that LE needs fighters AND chess players.

    I asked him, “What about both in the same person?”

    His response: “When you get both in the same person, then you have a Warrior.”

    And we always need more of those.


    Complete Pistol Gunfighter
    Force on Force
    Killing within the Law
    Pistol Groundfighting

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Under the Black Flag
    I can tell you that when you get within 21' popping a tazer into their back makes them fall down. The leads beak, you still get to scrap, but they fall down fast, hard, and unexpectedly. The ground puts a few shot in on them before you jump on them. Oh, ya... it works even better if they are running down concrete stairs... 21' works vertically too... that one needed transport.

    The new guy Nancy's that think the Tazer is the end of the fight don't plan their fight well eoungh. They also do not evaluate the tools they are given..

    A "bloody chess match" indeed Marco.

    Be safe and stay dangerous brothers..

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