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TDG – 2000.02

Traffic cop

By Neil Hawkins

Copyright © 2000 All Rights Reserved

You are a uniformed Police Officer from a small town Sheriffs Department assigned to traffic duty. You are driving a patrol car, along a major but un-kerbed road, outside of town. The area beside the road is farming and there is about 10’ of rough grass, a drainage ditch, and a three-strand barbed wire fence, before open ploughed fields. It’s 1600hrs on a fine clear day and there is not much traffic. You are equipped with all the standard equipment carried by a Law Enforcement Officer, your belt kit includes, baton, pepper spray, handcuffs, a .38 S&W revolver (loaded) and spare ammunition, loose in a pouch. You carry a shotgun in the vehicle and spare ammunition for both the S&W and the Shotgun; there is also a spare pair of handcuffs in the glove box.

As you drive down the road a car pulls out from a side street in front of you, swerving all over the road. The passenger throws what appears to be a bourbon bottle out of the window. You can see two people in the car; the passenger appears to be female.

You call it in to HQ, who tell you the car is licensed and there are no warrants or priors against the registered owner. Then turning on your lights and siren, you attempt to pull the car over. As you come alongside you confirm that the driver is a male approx. 30 years of age, the passenger is female perhaps 25 years old, and both appear to be extremely drunk.

The driver acknowledges your presence and attempts to pull over to the side of the road, in the process letting the car slide into the drainage ditch that runs alongside the road. The car was at that stage going very slowly and no one appears to be hurt. The car has stopped with both offside wheels in the ditch; this prevents the passenger door from opening.

Both occupants are laughing hysterically and pass a bottle of bourbon between them as you pull in behind their car. You notify HQ on the radio and ask for a tow truck and some backup, they tell you that the tow truck will be around 30 minutes, and backup not less than 10. You decide that the people in the car look reasonably harmless and decide to approach them without waiting.

You approach the car carefully with your right hand resting on the butt of your gun, but the occupants of the car seem to have forgotten about you, they are laughing and drinking from the bottle, both squashed to the passenger side of the car by the angle. As you get close enough you notice a trickle of blood on the face of the female, she may have hit her head on the window frame when the car slipped into the ditch.

You ask the male to step from the car, he complies with some difficulty, and you position him on the front fender of the car and ask the girl if she’s all right. She replies affirmatively. You switch attention to the man who is having difficulty standing and is leaning against the front of the car heavily, he has gone pale and you’re not sure if it’s shock or he’s going to puke. You try to talk to him but he does not respond coherently, as you are talking to him you keep an eye on the woman. The man is around 5’10” and maybe 175lbs, thin, with long dark hair. You put the woman at 5’2” and 125lbs; she’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt. They both look clean and presentable; you wonder what they’re celebrating.

She calls out to the man, waving the bottle, and he tries to re-enter the car, you place a hand on his shoulder and ask him to stay where he is, he turns and throws a long looping punch that is so slow you can see it wobble in the air as it comes toward you. You easily block the punch and turn the man around so he is half lying across the hood and reach for your handcuffs. Whilst you do this, the woman tries to get out of the car and is screaming at you to “leave Bobby alone.” She manages to get out of the car just as you get the first cuff onto his wrist; he is beginning to struggle now.

What do you do?

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