“Officer reports shots fired.” I’d just gotten in from making a run through the precinct, and now a partner calls in. Just before I had the chance to take my jacket off, I was putting it back on again and heading outside.
Spoken in radio chatter, the dispatcher sends out a description, “Suspect is in his 30s, wearing a white t-shirt and black pants. Last seen in the area of Bower. Suspect is cutting between buildings within the developments.” Our precinct is one of the toughest in the commonwealth of Virginia. The area is tight on space, and thugs walk aimlessly throughout the projects. Quite often we turn to using our Kawasaki 250 dirt bikes for maneuverability. I throw on the helmet and arrive moments later. I see two patrol cars stuck on a sidewalk, unable to pursue the armed man in the alleyways, so I twist my wrist and go where squad cars are unable. As I sprint down each turn, I am surprised to round a corner and find the suspect running towards me with a pistol stuck in his pants. I close the distance quickly before he realizes that I’m even a police officer, and he runs in the other directions. He tosses some trash boxes between us in an attempt to slow me down but I cut right through to him. The chase ends quickly as I run up beside him and knock him down. I know these bikes can take abuse, so I drop it and quickly disarm the disoriented suspect. Luckily, he wouldn’t be firing any more shots that night.
—H.F., Richmond, VA Police Dept.
“Officer reports shots fired.” I’d just gotten in from making a run through the…
by Paul Markel / May 1, 2008