View Full Version : In the hole - Trooper taken hostage.

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L. Camejo
08-14-2005, 09:07 PM
Hi folks,

This one is mainly for the LEOs out there who may be training in Aikido also. The following video clip reminds me of an old magazine article by Massad Ayoob of the Lethal Force Institute and some tactics he offered for LEOs and Civilians when caught "In the hole" (i.e. by an aggressor at gunpoint at close range with your own weapon still holstered). Some of the options he offered included joint and body control responses that came directly from research with an Aikido instructor.

The unfortunate Trooper in this video ended up in that situation. Any thoughts on possible response options for disarmament / retaking control, Aikido or otherwise? The following clip initially showed up on Aikidojournal btw.

[Note: the following page links to a video containing some graphic violence and strong language. Please be warned.]



Lan Powers
08-14-2005, 10:30 PM
I couldn't hear it....don't think it is my speakers, but the sound is so low that I couldn't make out any of the speaking.
Nice try for the pistol hand, too bad he didn't get hold of it tho. Ikyo omote coming on.
I am guessing that that is him at the end of the video?
Who could say what would have worked? If the gunman was turned more between the officer and the car, then the grab might have been more successful. Gunman gave ground faster than the trooper could close with him, so ikyo missed. (Then out of the camera, so who knows?)


08-14-2005, 10:32 PM
Why do they always have to tack on music.

08-15-2005, 12:40 AM
That's a situation I would prefer not to second guess. Heck, you do what you can, which means you did what you got away with - period.

The agent is obviously trying to get the suspect closer, but the suspect shows some signs of understanding the advantage of range for a handgun, this even though the suspect shows an "unwillingness" to shoot the agent as well, etc. Who knows - too many variables to play side-line quarterback here - in my opinion.

In our dojo, we don't even train in handgun take aways, let alone knife take aways, etc. Those are crazy odds we try to not get into in the first place even as civilians. So that would be my direction here as well for the agents I do train.

What we teach our agents in our ARCON program relates to what one could have done before that situation developed - namely, control the "battle field" from the commencement. In regards to this situation, this means I would advise folks to not let suspects return to their car - ESPECIALLY unsupervised - once out of it. A person may try this, but once you as an agent issue a command to cease, and should the suspect continue, you and they know that a line is being crossed (i.e. a verbal command) and that an upgrade in alertness should then follow on the part of the agent (e.g. hand on firearm, walking to the passenger side of the car, staying in the blind-spot, etc.).

I saw this clip on a television show - the clip said the officer was fine in the end, returned unharmed. (couldn't see all of the clip linked here, so maybe it said that as well) Not sure if that is true, but I hope so.

Ron Tisdale
08-15-2005, 08:53 AM
I'm with David, hard to second guess what happened. I also agree with what David said about not allowing the suspect to return to the car. Felony stop was out I guess if this is a regular traffic stop, but with passengers in the car, I would be awfully squirelly aobut the laxness of the control.

I will say that my own prefference for a time to move would have been the moment the perp lowered the gun to his side in front of the cop car. But I certainly don't know if I could have moved quickly enough with 20 pounds of gear on to take advantage, and video doesn't always give a realistic idea of distances.


Dan Herak
08-15-2005, 10:48 AM
I agree that it is difficult to second guess a situation like this. In my dojo, we do learn weapon take away techniques, but it is made VERY clear each and every time that they should be done ONLY if you believe you have no other choice. If cooperation appears to be the better way of getting out alive, then cooperate. Given this, I cannot say whether I would have done the same thing as this cop as he had information we do not, such as the look in the guys eyes, subtle voice inflections that may indicate either nervousness or anger, etc. As the guy pulled a gun on a cop on a street with cars passing around makes me deeply suspicious of the assailant (above and beyond the fact that he is an assailant per se ) and his capacity to control himself, which makes me more sympathetic to the cop's behavior.

Stanley Archacki
08-15-2005, 01:13 PM
As the guy pulled a gun on a cop on a street with cars passing around makes me deeply suspicious of the assailant (above and beyond the fact that he is an assailant per se ) and his capacity to control himself, which makes me more sympathetic to the cop's behavior.

Of course I agree. On the other hand, the fact that the perp didn't actually shoot the cop after he attempted to disarm him shows that at least the perp was deterred by the much stiffer penalties for killing a LEO. I think that the situation might have been different, and for our purposes as martial artists who aren't police officers, it is different in that not having that legal protection would make it less likely that we would live through a failed disarm attempt.

Tactically, the police officer's reflexes and response time didn't seem to be the quickest. His situation was NOTHING like dojo training, granted. Those of us who haven't had a gun pointed at us in a threating way can't know what he went through. At the same time, we practice waza because good waza works, and bad waza sometimes happens to work. The police officer seemed to overextend himself when he reached for the gun. Again, I admire him, and he really didn't have a better option.

The police officer wasn't able to "seize chaos" with his waza, but he was with his mind and his voice. He was incredibly calm and brave throught the whole ordeal, and the way he continued to engage the perp in conversation probably saved his life. It seems like this guy knew that he had gotten himself into a "tiger by the tail" dilemma, knowing he was already in big trouble, and that shooting the cop would only make it much, much worse for him. He was freaked out, and that along with the way the LEO humanized himself, bringing up his family, etc., contributed to the happy outcome.