Handcuffs: A Deadly Threat

Colorado, Case One, a suspect breaks free during the handcuffing…

Colorado, Case One, a suspect breaks free during the handcuffing process, one bracelet locked on and the other swinging like a small, medieval mace at the arresting trooper. The state patrolman suffers a broken hand in the course of overcoming the offender’s resistance.

firstresp21.jpgUnder similar circumstances in Michigan, Case Two, a suspect at a suburban police station attacks an officer, beating him savagely with the handcuffs and causing severe injuries.

Load Comments
  • Reader

    I recently had an incident that closely mirrored an article in the February issue of GWforLE. I responded to a mutual aid call to back up a County Officer at a general disturbance in a near by small town, I work in a town of less than a thousand residents. When I arrived a 18 year old suspect was very disagreeable (to say the least) and when I attempted to cuff him he began to resist with one cuff on the left hand. Remembering an article I had read several months ago (Handcuffs: A Deadly Threat) I attempted to strike hard and fast by putting him into the side of his near by truck. This did not work and he broke off the side mirror of his truck and swung it at my head, missing by a few inches. In an attempt to regain control and thinking of the possible deadly threat of loose handcuffs I choose to draw my weapon and put a “death grip” on the loose cuff with my left hand. The suspect did stop fighting but continued resisting and would not follow verbal commands. When he turned to attempt to get away I deployed pepper spray, that took the fight out of him. I never did let go of those cuffs, he could have dragged me into the next county and I would have been hanging on to those cuffs. With his family and girlfriend (who the disturbance was over) watching there were the typical calls of excessive force, and “that cop waving his gun around” (oh yeah, WE’RE the bad guys) we contacted our county CIS. They were very surprised that being the only officer on scene with back up over 10 minutes away that I showed so much restraint and did not shoot him, they also agreed that it was definitely a deadly force incident. I doubt the family members on scene will ever understand that. I have my training, size and experience to thank, but also the very excellent article by Mr. Ayoob which will definitely be referenced (along with some case law) during the Felony Assault on an LEO/Resisting court case. Thanks again and keep up the good work.