Badge Stops Bullet — Twice in One Day

In two separate incidents Sunday, would-be cop killers were thwarted, not by body armor, Stingray mass-surveillance boxes, the FBI’s PR budget, perfect police training, or any of that jazz.

Their bullets ricocheted off the cops’ badges, leaving the cops safe at home at the end of the day despite the criminals’ kinetically expressed intent.

The outcome for the would be cop killers was a bit different. The guy who shot a Nevada Highway Patrol officer was killed by gunfire from backup officers, and the other guys from his car sit in cells; while the domestic-abuser-turned-cop-attacker from Anaheim, California let cops and Highway Patrol troopers on a merry 85-mile chase before losing control of his car — and burning to death in the wreck.

Good preparation for his eternity, that.

About once every five years, a policeman in the US is saved by his badge, when the badge deflects a bullet. The last time was in New York City in 2010, reporte the New York Times. Last night, however, it happened to two different policemen in two states.

In Huntington Beach, California, officers were involved in a high-speed pursuit when gunfire broke out. A 10-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department had bullets shoot through his windshield and strike him. But his badge stopped the bullets. The suspect veered off the road, crashed his vehicle and died of his injuries.

That’s a very telegraphic version of the story. The Orange County Register has more detail, including these photos, some of which are HBPD handouts and some of which are OCR staff photos:

A hole in the windshield shows how a suspect shot at a Huntington Beach police vehicle, hitting an officer, but it deflected off his badge. "The round came through the front windshield of the officer’s car, struck the officer’s badge and deflected off," said Jennifer Marlatt, a department spokeswoman.

A hole in the windshield shows how a suspect shot at a Huntington Beach police vehicle, hitting an officer, but it deflected off his badge. “The round came through the front windshield of the officer’s car, struck the officer’s badge and deflected off,” said Jennifer Marlatt, a department spokeswoman.

If that doesn’t give you the creeps….

HBPD Statement:

Around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, Huntington Beach Police initiated pursuit of a suspect for an unknown want.

He jumped in the car and fled from being arrested at a domestic violence situation, although the cops didn’t all know the “why” at the time they were chasing him.

During the pursuit the suspect opened fire on officers, striking one of the officers in his badge. Costa Mesa Fire was requested to evaluate the officer.

Apparently, Wife-Beatin’ Willie spun around in a U-Turn and fired at the approaching cops — that’s where he put the slug through the windshield and into the officer’s badge. Fortunately he was using a pistol and not a long gun with barrier blind ammo.

Officers lost sight of the suspect but were able to relocate the suspect as he entered the southbound 405 Freeway. The pursuit continued to the northbound 55 Freeway, Eastbound 91Freeway and then onto the northbound 15 Freeway where the suspect lost control of his vehicle and crashed down an embankment at Cleghorn Road, bursting into flames. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. Huntington Beach Police and CHP are investigating. The pursuit lasted over an hour.

A Huntington Beach Police officer is checked out by Costa Mesa Fire after being shot in his badge during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect. The pursuit ended on the Northbound 15 Freeway when the suspect lost control of his vehicle at Cleghorn Road bursting into flames and killing him around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning in San Bernardino County.

A Huntington Beach Police officer is checked out by Costa Mesa Fire after being shot in his badge during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect. The pursuit ended on the Northbound 15 Freeway when the suspect lost control of his vehicle at Cleghorn Road bursting into flames and killing him around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning in San Bernardino County.

They zoomed in on the badge:

A Huntington Beach Police officer is checked out by Costa Mesa Fire after being shot in his badge during a vehicle pursuit of a suspect. The pursuit ended on the Northbound 15 Freeway when the suspect lost control of his vehicle at Cleghorn Road bursting into flames and killing him around 1:30 a.m. Friday morning in San Bernardino County. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: KEVIN WARN, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, Huntington Beach Police initiated pursuit of a suspect for an unknown want. During the pursuit the suspect opened fire on officers, striking one of the officers in his badge. Costa Mesa Fire was requested to evaluate the officer. Officers lost sight of the suspect but were able to relocate the suspect as he entered the southbound 405 Freeway. The pursuit continued to the northbound 55 Freeway, Eastbound 91Freeway and then onto the northbound 15 Freeway where the suspect lost control of his vehicle and crashed down an embankment at Cleghorn Road, bursting into flames. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. Huntington Beach Police and CHP are investigating. The pursuit lasted over an hour.

 

HBPD’s badges are, unusually, made of steel, not bronze or aluminum.

You know, a fellow could get hurt doing that job. Of course, a fellow shooting at the people doing that job is almost certainly going to get hurt, and soon enough the suspect’s driving speed exceeded his driving skill, resulting in a rare literal crash and burn.

If there was ever a time cops were unenthusiastic about rescuing an MVA victim, this was the time.

If there was ever a time cops were unenthusiastic about rescuing an MVA victim, this was the time.

 

Does anybody get paid enough to smell that smell?

Does anybody get paid enough to smell that smell?

The crispy critter remains identified, as far as we know, at press time.

In Las Vegas, a Nevada State Trooper was conducting a traffic stop when the suspect began to flee the vehicle. During a foot pursuit, gunfire broke out and the trooper was struck in the chest. His badge saved him. The suspect died in the gunfire exchange.

The NHP Tweeted out this picture of the struck badge.

Nevda HP Badge

Two other occupants of the Nevada shooter’s car are in custody.

via Cops Badge Stops Bullet in Separate Shooting Incidents in Nevada, California: Remarkable Coincidence! – Santa Monica Observer.

So, what are the lessons learned here?

  1. It is better to be lucky than to be good.
  2. It is stupid terminally stupid to shoot at the po-po. In case you haven’t noticed, they come in whole troops or precincts.
  3. Maybe if you’re the reincarnation of Fireball Roberts, you can outrun the police car, but you can’t outrun the police radio, or the helicopter that the CHP had following the runner. These things usually end in the reincarnation of no-fireball-in-particular. QED.
  4. Something has gotten into the water (or the media air), and lots of scroungy urban mopes and suburban wildsiders who would never have thunk of it, are down with firing up Officer Friendly in 2016. Is it the Black Criminal Lives Matter movement? The police “going fetal” in urban hellholes? The DOJ lining up behind the violent criminals? Hell, is it sunspots? Or does it even matter? It’s a fact out there.

 

22 thoughts on “Badge Stops Bullet — Twice in One Day

  1. Scott

    Typo, methinks:

    exceeded his driving spill,,

    Not that I didn’t have my own typo in my reply to your Somber Sunday post.

    1. Alan Ward

      And hopefully, he was wearing his belt and remained conscious throughout the warm up event!

  2. Keith Z.

    The meaning of these two shootings is obvious; our police need to be covered in badges!

    Seriously though in the CA incident at least it looks as if had the bullet managed to penitrate the badge it would have hit the vest. While that might have led to a more serious injury I think the vest would have done it’s job. It’s also likely that the windshield ate up at least some of the rounds energy.

  3. LSWCHP

    The marksmanship from the HB villain was unbelievably good or unbelievably lucky. A single round almost centre of mass hit through a windscreen…I wonder if he was a trained shooter or if it was just a matter of the bullet had to go somewhere?

    Whatever the case, good on both those lucky cops. I’m glad they went home and the crooks didn’t, particularly Mr Fireball whose demise I particularly enjoyed.

  4. SPEMack

    My father in law, who having tired of serving in an Army that sent him to Grenada, Panama, Iraq, and Bosnia decided that Columbus, GA needed another guy to help serve and protect.

    He retired this past Saturday, has last case resulting in a conviction. As a fellow whom is in all likelihood signing on with the CPD after separating in January; he said to call him in five years to get his Sergeant badge.

    There is something fitting here.

  5. BAP45

    One of those went right by my place and I didn’t even notice. Guess I’ll have to at least peek at the news from time to time so I dont miss out.

      1. Quill_&_Blade

        So true, and it gets worse with volume. I don’t know if they still do it over there; but in 1968 the country of Japan had regular cremation days. I was 8 years old at the time, my dad was USAF; the story of how he got there is pretty cool, but off topic. Anyway, Japan is an island country, probably about the size of California. Only problem, mostly mountains and little flat area. Combine that with millions of people, and you have high RE prices, and cremation wins out over burial.
        I was just a kid, so the memory and facts are a little sketchy, but they had regular cremation days. Don’t recall if it was once a month, that seems about right; but the whole land, I mean EVERYWHERE had this awful stench. I mean it was absolutely inescapable. You couldn’t drive away from it, or put a cloth over your face. It was in your house, your closet, everywhere. You never forget it. Don’t get me wrong, neat place, nice people, but that. ooh man.

  6. Pangur

    My view of the cops is not improved by the fact that they serve their political masters first, themselves second, and the public way down the list . . . this is compounded by the military grade hardware they have recently come to own, none of which they need. The more I see of cops, the more I realize they protect criminals from people like me, who might have rather un-modern views about the hijinks of criminals and how to deal with them.

    1. 11B-Mailclerk

      Tell a cop he is to keep order in a failed-state neighborhood, with a .38 revolver, 12 rounds of lead round-nose, a stick, and a whistle, and he will tell you to go pound sand. As would you.

      A Patrol Rifle is pretty much another name for Modern Sporting Rifle, and not that far off an M-4.

      Now, we might ponder just what it is we ask them to enforce (a drug “war”, perhaps?) This just -might- have something to do with their apparent drift into “military” thinking.

      Whatever the failings of Law Enforcement as folks, I am reasonably certain that most readers of this forum have no desire to live in the absence of law enforcement. I think we may, however, find some common ground on removing the stupid from the expectations we place on them. Blaming the gun seems… pointless.

    2. Raoul Duke

      Many have fantasies about how badass they’d be in dealing with criminals, were there no laws or restrictions on them.

      In reality, a situation like that would bring big gangs of heavily-armed sociopaths that would do whatever they wanted to you, controlled by a local warlord, who is the biggest sociopath of all.

      See Somalia for a great illustration of how this works.

      1. Aesop

        Right.
        This is why in the Old West, with just a sheriff and/or marshall and a few deputies, the towns were all run by criminal gangs 24/7, and why there was no civilization anywhere outside heavily policed NYFC.

        Wait, that never happened.

        The reality was that the kleptocracies were in NYFC, Boston, Chicongo (even then), and the other big “policed” Eastern cities, and the Western US was notably far less corrupt and lawless than were those cities with officers on every block, and a Boss Tweed behind every city administration, and hand-picked crony running the local constabulary. The Keystone Kops were no mere work of pure comedic fiction.

        Big gangs of heavily armed sociopaths also tried to lord it over a group of sodbusters and store clerks in Northfield MN.
        See if you can guess how that worked out for the James-Younger Gang in 1876.
        Then google the phrase “shot to doll rags”.

        For everyone who thinks professional police are the answer, explain which policemen it was who tamed a continent from Pennsylvania to the Pacific Ocean in two or three generations.

        Again, that would be “none”.

        Heinlein’s comment about “specialization is for insects” applies no less succinctly to community law enforcement than any other human endeavor. I like law and order, but I would shed no tears for the loss of the standing armies in our midst most police forces have become or seek to be.

        When they show the slightest interest in returning to Peel’s Principles, and the Fourth Amendment is no longer found on a milk carton listed as missing for some decades, give a holler, and we can talk about whether they’re worth their salary on a pro vs. con argument.

        If Sam Adams were alive today, he’d be fire-bombing the Boston PD precinct houses daily, on general principles.

        1. Cap'n Mike

          I make a point of not defending the Police in general or Individual officers in particular because we are far from perfect.
          I will say that what you are saying makes sense up to the point of a certain population density.

          If there are few people around, most get along together fine and the police are rarely needed.

          When people are jammed together in urban areas, a well equipped police force is essential, because then people just suck.

      2. Mike_C

        >big gangs of heavily-armed sociopaths[…] controlled by a local warlord, who is the biggest sociopath of all. […] See Somalia for a great illustration of how this works.

        >>the James-Younger Gang [… who] tried to lord it over a group of sodbusters and store clerks in Northfield MN. [… got] “shot to doll rags”.

        ‘Course, the one place being full of Somalis and the other full of Lutheran squareheads might also have had something to do with it, yew betcha. (Funnily enough, I personally have a good impression of Somalis, based on my highly idiosyncratic and perhaps non-representative sample: for a while all the parking-lot attendants at my hospital were Somali women. And they were efficient, professional, and failed to systematically return too little in change, in stark contrast to the locals they replaced en masse. The security guard theft ring, on the other hand ….)

        >>>When people are jammed together in urban areas […] people just suck.
        Yep. “Too many rats in a box” q.v. John Calhoun.

        1. Aesop

          Absolutely true about the population making a difference, which is why predictions of widespread Somali squalor here absent the po-po (who never existed in most of America, nor for most of our history, and are thus as quintessential to maintaining American civilization as seatbelts are to safe operation of motorcycles) are so much hogwash.

          The places where Somali squalor will reign absent the police are exactly the places it already does so with the police:
          Detroit, D.C., Philly, Newark, Oakland, Chicago, and NYFC, who currently take it in turn to see who will be crowned batting champion for most murders per annum, with Chicongo leading the league standings by a healthy sum this season.
          Clauswitz would call it Planned Parenthood by other means.

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