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COP TALES: It's not a Scooby Snack

Cop Tales are true stories as told by law enforcement officers from all over the country. The stories are told in the first person. The actual officer’s initials follow each story.

It’s not a Scooby Snack

When I was an officer with the highway patrol, I responded to an injury accident that was blocking both lanes of traffic on a back country road. I was the first one to arrive and observed a utility truck laying on top of a smaller pickup truck with a woman in the driver’s seat of the smaller vehicle. I called for an ambulance and a tow truck, then jumped in the bed of the pickup truck. The rear window was partially smashed.

The woman was screaming. I slipped my arm through the small broken area of glass to try to calm her down. When I did that, I realized she was in shock, because she vigorously grabbed my arm and pulled it toward her mouth and started biting it. The constant grabbing also scraped my skin against the broken glass, which kept cutting my arm. Once the medical aid arrived, we had a difficult time getting her to release my arm. When the tow trucks finally arrived and moved the truck off of her vehicle and pulled her out, my arm was pretty sore. We cleaned up the scene, then I went to take care of my arm.

I was happy to be there with her during her horrifying ordeal. I never got a chance to see her again, but I always wondered if she remembered anything about that day. I know I did.

- BS

Give it up

I started my shift at about 6 a.m. on a Sunday. I proceeded south on one freeway and took the clover leaf to another freeway going east. I pulled into the blind spot of a Corvette convertible. We were the only two cars on the freeway. I paced the driver at over 75 mph, then I moved in behind him with my red light on. I watched as the driver reacted when he saw me in his mirror. He looked back at me, smiled, down shifted, and made an obscene gesture with his finger.

He accelerated away while I stayed about 100 yards behind. I watched as my speedometer passed 140. It stopped at a position where 150 would be. I could see the Corvette driver looking frequently in his mirror, occasionally twisting around to look at me. He finally let off the gas and began slowing. I took my foot off the accelerator and began to coast down. As I did, I counted…thousand one...thousand two...up to thousand six before my speedometer needle began to move down from the 150 mark.

All the way to the jail the guy kept saying, “I didn’t know your cars could go that fast.” An officer from another law enforcement agency who backed me up on the stop told me that the driver was known to him and other officers. The driver would commit obvious traffic violations to get them to chase him. What our violator didn’t know was that our highway patrol cars had 440 cubic inch engines. Our cars were clocked in tests at 168 mph.

- JH

Don’t assume

My partner and I work in a major Midwestern city in a very dangerous area. One night we were about two hours away from quitting time when we ended up getting notified of shots fired about two blocks from our location. My partner and I responded and found another police unit holding someone in custody and we started to look for the gun. While we were on that scene, another call went over the air advising of 11 shots fired and a person shot. That call was about three blocks away from our location.

We got to the scene in about 90 seconds and found people running through the park and two people lying on the ground. I got out of the car with my weapon drawn and yelled out to the first individual I saw lying on the ground. I yelled, "Where are you shot, where are you shot?" He replied, "I'm good, bro. I just fell down."

I then moved onto the next individual who was shot in the chest. That individual had a through and through gunshot wound. I got out my first aid kit, and cut off his jacket and T-shirt to find that he was not having trouble breathing and his bleeding was controlled, so I decided not to use my chest seal. I simply kept him company until medical aid arrived.

As soon as aid arrived, I asked my partner where the other guy went. He replied with a head nod that indicated he had no idea. I walked over to where he was lying and to my surprise, I found a loaded .9mm pistol with a magazine in the dirt. That guy pretended to be shot so he could hide his firearm and get away. He was in his late 50s and did not seem like the type who would get into an all-out gun battle in the middle of a park.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. You never know if the person shot is truly a victim or offender, but you should find out before you decide to render aid or turn your back on anyone. I became more careful after that incident and I take my time when I arrive at those types of calls.

- KC

Brian Smith served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps, and retired as an assistant chief with the California Highway Patrol. He resides in Bakersfield. If you have a personal “Cop Tale” to share, please contact Smith at