“In June 2017, my team was called to assist in locating and capturing three escaped inmates in a very rural part of the state. One of the inmates was awaiting trial for murder – All were believed to be violent. I was given information that at least two of them were possibly camping along a river just outside a small rural community, so I drove to near their rumored location and continued on foot.
Immediately after reaching the riverbank, I observed one of the escapees drinking from the river, and notified air and ground assets to converge on my location to set up a perimeter. After several of my partners arrived, we began to move closer to the subject while the helo approached and confronted the escapee across the river. I had shouldered my AR and my partner began giving commands. The escapee turned and rushed up the embankment to disappear into the thick woods, evading the eyes of our aircraft overhead.
I remember looking at my partner, asking him if he could swim as we both darted for the river. We made our way through the water just fine until a channel in the middle had us completely submerged, including our gear.
As a young infantry soldier, it was instilled in me to keep my weapon operational at all cost. I could only think about how disappointed my TL would be if he were watching…
After several hours and a 1.5-mile foot pursuit to test our endurance, we took the accused murderer into custody, along with his fellow escapees.
Fortunately, these extreme events don’t occur every day, but they are happening more frequently. I continue to learn from every event I find myself in – Good and bad. Looking back as a kid, growing up bow hunting, learning to track in the woods, and getting the most important firearms lessons from my Grandfather, a WWII Vet, one could say I’ve been training for this my whole life. Certainly, being polished by the US ARMY and all the LE Training I’ve taken along the way have honed my abilities as well. We never know when our life experiences will come together and give us the tools necessary to navigate an extreme scenario like that night on the riverbank, but when they happen, we must be ready to use them without hesitation, at a moment’s notice.
My credo for operational success; “Always testing myself and my equipment”
20 Year LEO/SWAT Team Ldr/FA Instructor/Federal Fugitive Task Force Officer/11B!!