Success In The Field

Trooper James Earnhardt
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency-
Hey Johnny, just wanted to say I used the arm crank in the field tonight while a couple of us were fighting a 400-pound guy and it worked like a charm! Thanks for everything you do for us. See you at instructor re-cert., if not before. Hope all is well with you and yours.

Deputy Tom Smith
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, FL-
Johnny, I wanted to let you know I got attacked last night and if not for your training I may have lost that fight. The ability to hold him back while laying on my back with little to no energy may have been the deciding factor. I believe I went home because of it. Thanks a ton.

Officer Tim Howard
Alabama Department of Corrections-
I’m an Alabama Corrections Officer in Region 09…we received this training last year and again this year. This is my 19th year as a C.O., starting in Georgia and currently Alabama. Finally, we are getting the training I’ve been talking about all these years. Our instructor Luke Harris is very detailed in his training skills and I feel SSGT training finally gives us a fighting chance at survival as well as confidence in our daily duties behind the razor wire…

Officer Patrick Gibbs
Springdale Police Department-
Good day Sir. I hope all is well with you and all you love. Here’s my first update and testament to SSGT training. I was in a one on one altercation Saturday night involving a subject that didn’t want to go to jail. I had one cuff on him when he decided he wanted to attempt to turn and face me trying to punch and elbow my face and head. I successfully executed a two on one take down. After controlling his body from the back, I was able to restrain said subject and get both cuffs on before help arrived. For your knowledge, I thank you as I made it home safely that morning after my shift.

While on duty and escorting a subject, the subject began to aggressively resist. I was able to regain control with use of the SSGT Two-On-One Takedown. I just wanted to say thanks to Johnny for all you do for the Law Enforcement Community.

Gene Guidry

I responded to assist with a hit and run investigation with two other Officers and a Trainee.  After we determined where the suspect lived we attempted contact with the possible suspect.  Something did not sit right with me from the moment we got there.  The possible suspect did not ask why we where there, his front door was open enough that when we knocked on it it opened, and he did not get off the phone for several minutes after looking at us.  Twice he blew off my questions about weapons in the apartment. 

The investigating officer decided to allow him to get some shoes and a jacket and was going to issue him citations for leaving the scene and failure to report.  Based on the lack of response to my question I decide I was going to follow the suspect and glad I did.  We ended up walking into his bedroom and he lunged for a gun sitting on a lazy boy chair.  Thanks to training with Johnny in SSGT, I was able to strip the Glock 21 from the suspect, and take him into custody without any injuries to the Officers or the suspect.  What could have been a bad day, ended well for all parties involved. 

Sgt. Derek Smith with the Dekalb County Police Department responded to a call for assistance of an officer in foot pursuit of a shoplifting suspect. He observed the suspect running from Old Covington Dr. North along Main St. and gave chase. When he caught up to the suspect, the suspect suddenly stopped, faced the officer and reached towards the officer’s throat with his right hand. Officer Smith performed the “Standing Arm-bar to Rear Shoulder Lock” SSGT technique and took the suspect to the ground. From there the officer went into “Back Control” and successfully handcuffed the suspect.

Officer Smith said, “The technique was easy to remember and apply even after the stress of a foot pursuit.” The SSGT technique allowed the suspect to be placed under arrest without injury to the officer or the suspect. Way to go!

Georgia Conservation Ranger John Murphy attempted to arrest a subject for illegally hunting over bait. With the subject being resistive, officer Murphy ordered the subject to prone out on the ground. After officer Murphy placed the first cuff on the subject’s right wrist the subject began to fight. Using SSGT controlling techniques officer Murphy who is 6’1, 190 lbs. was able to easily control the 6′ 175 subject and prevent him from getting up from the ground. Even though officer Murphy had the subject’s right arm pulled well up behind his own upper back, his pain tolerance was such that he wouldn’t give up his left arm to complete cuffing. By this time the subject’s face was bleeding from briar scratches, as was officer Murphy’s hand. To avoid blood contamination, officer Murphy created distance from the subject and went to his O.C.. Back-up arrived soon after. The subject was a previously convicted felon and was in possession of Meth and two fully loaded rifles. The subject had already been previously convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Let’s hear it for officer Murphy. Way to go!

A Madison County Sheriff’s Deputy-AL was knocked to the ground while attempting to place a subject into custody. Once on the ground the officer applied the “Bicycle Kick” keeping the subject back and completed the arrest. The officer was not injured due directly to use of the “Bicycle Kick.” Way to go! The officer was trained in SSGT in the Academy at NEALEA at JSU.

Alabama State Trooper Ryan Bradford began pursuit of a motorcyclist who soon laid the bike down and began to run. Bradford chased the suspect and after catching up to him a fight ensued. In the process the suspect hit the officer several times and tried to take his weapon. The suspect ran again, and again the Bradford caught up to him and they went to the ground. Bradford ended up on his back and the suspect stood up and came at Bradford who in turn used the “SSGT Bicycle Kick” kicking the suspect in the knee and then the face, knocking him to the ground. Trooper Bradford then used pepper spray and arrested the subject. The actual fight lasted a total of 5 minutes. Later the suspect stated that he would have killed the officer, if possible, to avoid going to jail. The suspect had drugs and a firearm and received 10 years and 10 months in Federal Court. Trooper Bradford’s comment: “The ‘SSGT Bicycle Kick’ saved my life.” Way to go! Trooper Bradford received his SSGT training at the Trooper Academy in Selma, AL.

Officer John Self was dispatched to a report of a suicidal person.  The complainant was a psychiatrist and the suicidal person was his patient who was about to be committed to a mental hospital.  Upon arrival, the psychiatrist identified the suicidal person and Officer Self attempted to speak to that person.  The suicidal person refused to speak to Officer Self and attempted to leave.  Officer Self was unaware if the individual was armed and what danger he posed to himself and others.  Officer Self attempted to detain the individual, but he began to physically resist.  When Officer Self blocked the individual’s path, the individual attempted to shove Officer Self aside.  A struggle ensued and the two fell to the ground.  While trying to cuff the individual, Officer Self ended up on his back with the individual on top of him.  At this time, Officer Self used the “Hip Drill Retreat” technique as taught in SSGT to escape the individual.  After successful use of the technique, Officer Self was able to get back to his feet and draw his Taser.  The suspect continued to refuse to follow Officer Self’s orders and Officer Self had to use the Taser twice before gaining control of the individual. Way to go!

My Lt. initiated a pursuit of a stolen vehicle.  Another officer and myself were in the area looking for the vehicle so we immediately joined the chase.  The chase lasted for several miles traveling through three different jurisdictions.  The vehicle chase ended when the fleeing subject lost control of the car in a hairpin turn and wrecked.  He then ran on foot through yards adjacent to the wreck scene.

The lead officer (Officer Spicer) was directly behind the subject as we were running.  Officer Spicer attempted to use the Taser to end the foot chase.  The Taser cycled, however, the probes failed to deploy.  Officer Spicer threw the Taser to the ground and continued chase.  The subject tripped as he ran into a tomato patch and was promptly tackled by officer Spicer and myself.  The subject immediately went to a “turtle” position and refused to comply with commands to show and give up his hands.

Both officer Spicer and myself tried using strikes to the common peroneal and ribs to make the subject relinquish his hands.  The subject turned face down and continued to “turtle” and would not give up his hands.  At this time, I applied an SSGT “Arm Crank to Rear Shoulder Lock from Back Control.”  I was able to pluck his arm from underneath him and go straight to a handcuffing position with lightning speed (repetition is the key!!).  A search of his person after he was handcuffed produced a large folding pocket knife in his front pocket.

The dog pile that we found ourselves in was in a low light to zero light location.  Reflecting back, our strikes proved ineffective because we really did not know if we were hitting the pressure points or not.  The SSGT technique was a gross motor skill that I was able to perform despite the huge adrenaline dump I was experiencing.  The technique allowed me to gain control of the subject and denied him the extra time he needed to get to the knife.

I included the SSGT technique in my use of force report.  My Lt. was rather impressed that I was able to implement the techniques learned from the class so quickly after returning from the school.  Keep up the good work!  Just another example to show your stuff works.

Laramy Gregory