One day I was watching a particularly troublesome spot when I heard a vehicle chase being initiated in the neighboring district to the west. A big gold two-door sedan had run a stop sign and when a deputy tried to pull the car over, it swerved towards the unit as if to ram it and then took off. At the end of his radio transmission, a number of other units advised they were also joining the chase and the suspect vehicle led the cop parade down into a mostly residential area. As I followed the chase on the radio, I knew if he weren’t stopped, he would shortly be in my beat.

The suspect vehicle had tried to evade the deputies inside the residential area, but I could easily spot the big car as it lead a train of white patrol units with flashing red lights. Just as the subject pulled into the edge of the intersection, I sped onto the bridge, slid my unit sideways and blocked the crossing. Rather than ram me he turned into oncoming traffic going the wrong way on a one-way street.

Unfortunately he outran our well-worn patrol cars, and as he made it across the bridge I had to slam on my brakes to avoid rear-ending him, which killed my engine and took me out of the pursuit. I finally got the car started again and listened as the chase ran up the western boundary of city and across another four-lane divided highway and back over into a large subdivision. I knew this area well, so as I paralleled the chase I knew the crazed driver made a stupid mistake when he turned up on this one street that had a big canal on the west side. I recalled a road that intersected the street he was on and just as he sped by, I turned right on to his tail again with my red lights flashing and siren yelping.

The street ended up a dead end, and I have to hand it to this idiot, he did a textbook “Tennessee Turnaround” and came roaring back the way he’d come. Again, I slid my unit sideways to block his path and as I was once more in the “death seat” I got out of the car and ran to the front of it, drawing my revolver. I was yelling all kinds of threats and expletives at the driver and had my gun pointed in his direction. Just a few feet away, I took aim at his left front tire and pulled the trigger on my .357 Mag.

He swerved to the right to try and go around my car, but the cruiser that was behind me skidded into the gap and hit the suspect vehicle head on. With rear tires smoking, the suspect backed up and in reverse gear went down a narrow shell-covered road.

He ran off the road out into the tall grass, which was dripping wet and slick due to the humid conditions common to the area. I ran towards the vehicle and apparently the other deputy who was in the unit that got hit was also out on foot somewhere to my left and rear. The big sedan was wildly fishtailing as those old rear-wheel drive “tanks” were prone to do and then the car suddenly gained traction and shot towards me just a few yards distant. At that point the driver aimed a couple of tons of speeding steel in my direction.

He was bent on getting away and I knew if he got past me he wouldn’t stop and he’d put more lives in jeopardy. Just then there was the explosion of a gunshot…I had no idea where it came from, but I did a long side step to the right and aimed as best I could at the figure behind the glass on the driver’s side of the car. In that weird, slow-motion way things happen in moments of high stress, I made the conscious decision not to shoot the suspect in the head and lowered my aim to the top of the car door as I pulled the trigger and emptied the revolver.

As the glass shattered I noted the driver was fighting the steering wheel as the car slid sideway toward me and slowed to a stop. I immediately lunged forward, grabbed the door handle, ripped open the door and with a backhanded motion, smashed my handgun into the suspect’s face. Stunned, he relaxed his hold on the wheel and I grabbed him with the other hand and threw him out on the ground. With the help of the other deputy he was rolled onto his stomach and handcuffed. It was then that I noted a lot of blood on the left shoulder area of his shirt…we called for an ambulance.

Obviously it was a righteous shoot. The big chase happened because he had a lot of tickets already and panicked after running the stop sign… I guess the good news was nobody had to die that day.
— WB, IN

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