Friday, March 21, 2008

The Chase Is On!!!

Well good morning. Been awhile since I have been here with a police story. So are you ready for a pretty good one? This is one of my favorite memories of a Trooper friend of mine. He has since died of a brain tumor leaving behind a wife and two little boys. If I ever see those kids I will tell them the story of the night that "The Chase Is On" with their daddy.

Yes as the drill goes, one night while on patrol, I was in the east sector of Enid when a call comes out for help. The uniqueness of the call is it came from an Oklahoma Highway Patrolman. They don't call for help very often so I was THRILLED when I was close by and was allowed to assist. Trooper Puckett was at 10Th and Willow in pursuit of a truck, possible 88. Meaning a drunk driver. He advised he had activated his lights and sirens but could not get the subject to pull over. I just happened to be about 4Th and Willow and they were coming right for me. Oh boy, I mean OH BOY!!! As they approached the intersection the suspect turned north on 4Th street, but he was not driving at a high rate of speed. Oh well. I jumped in the "pursuit". As we drove north he just kept going. I pulled beside him and yelled at him, like that was going to do any good, and saw him drinking a cup of coffee. I kid you not. He had poured a cup of coffee from his thermos and was drinking a cup of joe. He also took the time to smoke a cigarette!! We continued in the pursuit and I realized, oops, I was out of the city limits, and you are suppose to ask permission to leave. So I radioed permission leaving out one small detail, that I was ALREADY out of the city limits. You know, you get kind of caught up in the moment and forget exactly where the line is. It's not like there is a big sign that says "Now leaving Enid" Yeah right! I giggle, I ask permission to do something I have already done, sounds just like something a kid would do. Oh well, we were in hot pursuit of a ...... slow moving vehicle. Now this was in the day before we had the Pitt maneuver. So there is no driving up to him and bumping him off the road. Really there is no reason for it anyway. Sometimes our speed would get up there a little but for the most part he was driving about 55 mph. Hey, I have never been north of Enid before. I have lived here for a few years (was transplanted from Tulsa due to getting married in college) and I have never driven to the north. Someone says are you to Four Corners yet? What the heck are they talking about. I don't know what Four Corners is. Heck, I don't know where anything is. I have never been here before and it is dark outside. "Uh, that's unknown headquarters." Silence. I am sure they are laughing at me for they can tell by my voice that I have no clue where I am. I am just following the pretty red and blue flashing lights.

Well we are headed towards a little town and I hear someone say that the police chief is going to try and intercept the guy. As we get closer I hear gun fire. Crap! The bad guy is shooting, back off, back off!! No, it is the chief trying to take out the suspect. Are you KIDDING me??? I am right behind this guy and you are shooting at him (ME). Well of course it doesn't do any good, trying to shoot out a tire is almost impossible (and against our dept. policy) So we get past the "road block" and continue in pursuit. By this time I am really sure I have no idea where I am. I hate that feeling. But the chase must go on. We cross over this old bridge and all the sudden I see the guy run off the road and goes through a barb wire fence and drives out into the pasture. Now wait a minute. I am in a BRAND NEW POLICE CAR. I kid you not. This car doesn't have hardly any miles on it and I am not going to go running through fences, into pastures chasing some idiot. There are perfectly good other cars to do that, and they are all right there behind me. So I let them go in after him. I figure...what goes in, must come out. So I will wait for him while they chase him in there. Now I get to really see the show. Here is an old beat up truck driving in the dark with his head lights on driving through a pasture. As he drives over the terraces you see his truck go up and down and the lights bouncing as he does it. You can see the cows running for their dear lives and the little calves too. Then you see a ton of police cars all with overhead lights flashing, sirens sounding, following right behind. Over the terraces they go with all the lights bouncing as well. By this time you have several troopers, deputies, a couple private security cars and me on the outside just waiting. Guess what? I was right, he came back through another fence and started back into town. And I was right behind him hot on his tail uhmmm, I mean trail. By this time the tread on his tire is flying off. Rubber going all over the place but that is not stopping him. As he continues down the road the sparks are just flying, shining in the night as the rim is riding against the pavement. I stay right behind him when I see ole George go past us. He drives to the next main intersection, jumps out of his patrol car, pulls out his huge honker of a gun, a .44 magnum and as the tuck approaches him he shoots into the engine of the vehicle that is driving pretty slow by now. Several of the chase vehicle, including me all drive up there fast as we can, throw our cars in park and run up towards the guy. I see the troopers open the door of the moving truck and grab this guy out of it and throw him on the ground. As the truck drives right towards a gas pump. I yell, stop his truck.....I can just see the truck driving into the pump causing an explosion and we all die over this stupid idiot. One trooper catches up with the truck and throws it in park. By this time the guys have grabbed this guy and are throwing him on the ground barking orders, "get down" put your hands behind your back, don't move, etc and in the commotion of it all they just throw him down and all jump on him to apprehend him. Not wanting to be left out of the fun (this shows crowd mania at it's finest) I decide I need to jump right into the middle of it all. So I just flat, literally, jump right on top of everyone and everything. When we finally get him subdued, and handcuffed, and take a step back, my dear friend, David Moffit says, man, I have a goose egg on my head. He must have hit me with something. Then I start laughing, kind of quietly for I realize that during the "apprehension" I jumped on top and hit David in the head with my big ole walkie talkie (back in the day they were monsters strapped to your gun belt) and have cause injury to my partner. That's not uncommon. It was stupid for all of us to be tackling him, but you just get caught up in the moment. So what's a little goose egg on the head as a battle wound to show for it.....I still laugh when I think about it. I don't think I ever told him it was me that nearly split his head open instead of the drunk suspect. But what I think is the funniest part of all of this. George put this guy in the back of his patrol car and he is yelling at him, why are you running, you idiot, why didn't you just stop. And this guy looks up at George with his red face, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and stinky drunken breath and says to him "oh, were you chasing me?" I still laugh out loud to this very day, as did all the others standing around listening to another drunk idiot in this world.

4 comments:

Retired OHP said...

Good story Lisa. Made me remember some of those "situations" that I've been in.

Whirley said...

What a funny story. Did you see on the news this morning where a couple of North Carolina police used their patrol cars to actually hit a couple of guys on foot they were chasing?

I know you have a ton of these.

Shirley said...

I can't even spell my name today. The last post is from Shirley not Whirley. Duh!!!

Debbie in NC said...

Lisa, I can't remember how I got here LOL but I love your blog! My son wants to go into law enforcement. He has decided to take a side track in the Air Force first, which I don't agree with and I retired from the AF! I'm enjoying your stories. I scrolled down and saw the robin post and was glad to see others have a lot of robins too. I've never seen this many before!

I'll be back :) Happy Easter!