I think this officer did a fantastic job of subduing the fugitive while not shooting him, which he would have probably been justified in doing! Decision-making is an important part of Active Self Protection!
If you value what we do at ASP, would you consider becoming an ASP Patron Member to support the work it takes to make the narrated videos like this officer subduing a fugitive? https://get-asp.com/patron gives the details.
News story on the officer with an interview of his chief: https://get-asp.com/inr5
What does this officer teach us about defending ourselves against an armed attacker?
- You must accept that danger exists and that it can happen to you. This is the foundational core of spiritual fitness and the first step in taking proactive steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you live in a fantasyland that nothing bad can happen because nothing bad has happened in the past, you’re setting yourself up for a terrible letdown. Here the officer at first didn’t know that there was danger, but once he had the knowledge that a fugitive owned the car, the risk went WAY up. Knowing that danger exists in your world can go a long way to protecting you.
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. Here the fugitive wanted to hide in the trunk, but when that failed, he got to set the time that the fight started. The officer was on defense!
- Our defensive strategy is always dictated by our mission. It’s worth remembering that the mission of military members (to overwhelm the enemy with force and drive them from the battlefield) is different than the mission of law enforcement officers (to protect and serve the public interest by subduing and arresting those suspected of crime) is different than the mission of armed private citizens (to protect their loved ones from harm by breaking contact effectively with violent criminals). Those varied missions will dictate what skills are needed and what tactics are employed! Non-LEO won’t get into these kinds of situations much, but having the discernment skills to know when problems are coming, and how to protect yourself when facing a drawn gun, are universal!
- Part of your training must be knowing when to use verbal commands, and when to abandon verbal commands and move to physical or deadly force. Many times self-defenders (and LEO) get caught in a loop of issuing the same command repeatedly to no effect. Using verbal commands is an important part of your force options training, and part of that training in verbal commands is knowing when to talk and when to stop talking and act. Here the officer didn’t waste time with verbal commands once the fight started; he went straight to physical skills, and that was important!
- As well-meaning as police officers are, they cannot protect you from danger. As the old adage says, “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away!” You—and ONLY you—can protect yourself from danger when it comes upon you. A police response time of 5 minutes is considered perfectly acceptable in most suburban departments, and times upwards of 30 minutes can be the norm in rural areas! You need to have the attitude, skills, and plan to protect yourself from harm because the police simply can’t. I know it might seem odd to put this lesson in an officer-involved fight, but it’s here because he was on his radio asking for help. He WANTED more officers there to help him with the problem, but even with his radio and motivated friends who wanted to help him, he was on his own. How much more are non-LEO on their own?
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
Copyright Disclaimer. Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.