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On the night of June 1st 1998, I was a detective assigned to the FBI Fugitive Task Force in Nevada. It was a Saturday night and my squad was off, and I had just gone to bed, ironically, after watching Americas Most Wanted, which was and still is one of my favorite programs. About 20 minutes after the airing I was tucking myself away in bed when my pager went off. The office had received a call that one of the subjects they had just aired was staying at a local hotel.

The suspect was wanted out of numerous states including Texas, North Carolina and Utah on a litany of offenses including Bank Robbery, Attempted Murder of two Police Officers and Rape. Prior to coming to Nevada, the suspect robbed three banks in 15 minutes in Provo, Utah, and was pulled over for speeding. However, the officer was not aware of the crimes because these had not been broadcasted over the radio. As the officer attempted to exit his vehicle the suspect fired a 9mm, striking the officer in the chest. Thank God the officer was wearing his body armor and recovered.

After arriving at the hotel, a detective and I were given access to a room next to the suspect’s and waited for backup to arrive. The room was quiet and it was unknown if he was inside, so it looked like it would be a waiting game for us. After my sergeant arrived, he and the rest of the squad were staging downstairs at hotel security and formulating a plan. The sergeant decided to make a pretext call into the room at which time we heard the phone ring and a male voice answered the phone.

After approximately five minutes we heard water running, and doors opening and closing. At this time, the detective and I decided to exit our room and set up in the hallway. I was armed with a Beretta 92 F with three magazines and a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson snub nose strapped to my ankle. Also, I was suited with Point Blank soft body armor. As we waited for the rest of the team, the suspect exited; however, he did not see us standing behind him. My partner and I began commanding the suspect to prone out; however, he had a blank stare in his eyes almost as if hypnotized. He began reaching for his waistband and I told him I would shoot him in the face if he did not comply. With that he spun around and I was able to take him down with a leg sweep.

During the pat down I discovered that he was wearing a bulletproof vest with the largest shock plate I had ever seen covering his whole upper torso. My warning him that, “I’ll shoot you in the face” probably had something to do with his decision to surrender. Also, he was in possession of the 9mm, the same one he shot the officer with, four fully loaded magazines
and a plastic bag with 70 or more rounds of ammo; also a large amount of cash, obviously fruits of the bank robberies.

After being read Miranda we asked him if he knew why he was under arrest and he thought it was for a rape he had done in Virginia of a real estate agent he tricked over to a house that was for sale. Virginia did not have him identified as a suspect in that crime. They do now.

The suspect received over 100 years in prison and is still pending several local robberies in Nevada.
— DF, NV

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