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Video: Officer fights for life as man attempts to grab service weapon

Officer Alec Bowes said he saw Markarios Kirkwood reach for a knife before the man began fighting him

By PoliceOne Staff

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A harrowing fight between an officer and a driver was caught on dash camera footage.

Officer Alec Bowes was on patrol Wednesday when he spotted Markarios Kirkwood, 43, going 71 mph through a neighborhood, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Bowes turned his car around and pulled over Kirkwood, who can be seen on dash camera footage hopping a curb before coming to a complete stop. 

“At that point, I’m thinking DWI,” Bowes told Fox 2 Now. “With the speed he was going and the way he stopped, I was thinking DWI the whole way through.”

Bowes asked for Kirkwood’s paperwork. He gave him one piece, but continued searching for another. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bowes smelled marijuana in the car and Kirkwood admitted to smoking marijuana earlier. The officer asked Kirkwood to get out of his vehicle for a sobriety test when he noticed a knife in Kirkwood’s pocket.

“I see the pocket knife and I tell him [to] pull his hands up and I see him and right there he went for it again,” he said.


This St. Louis area officer got into brutal battle with a suspect during traffic stop. He says the man tried to grab his gun.

Posted by Fox2Now on Friday, September 8, 2017

A struggle ensued and at one point, Kirkwood had Bowes in a headlock. Bowes said Kirkwood reached for his gun during the struggle.

“I pushed his hand away with my left hand and I got my hand on the gun I the holster and he’s ripping at my hand,” he said.

Bowes was able to handcuff Kirkwood and called for backup. Bowes suffered minor injuries. 

Police Chief Vince Delia told Fox 2 Now that watching the video is “gut-wrenching” because situations can “turn to deadly force at any time.”

“Our unwritten rule is ‘always make it home’ and in this case he did so, and that’s the number one goal: always make it home from the job,” he said.

Kirkwood was charged Friday with third-degree assault involving a police officer.

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