Cop life: how a late-night call of a man with a gun led to a love story

Dispatch advised that there was screaming in the background and an active disturbance

By Uniform Stories

This is a guest post by police officer Daniel T. DuRan, a 21-year rookie who's still learning the streets. He's currently assigned as a patrol sergeant with a small town in southern Colorado.

More than 16 years ago, when I was working in Huerfano County, Colorado, I was alone and the only deputy on for the entire county. Late in the night, the radio silence broke with a call of a man with a gun chasing his girlfriend. Dispatch advised that there was screaming in the background and an active disturbance. I hit the lights and went full speed.

When I arrived on scene, I put the car in park and exited my vehicle about 50 yards away. Walking up in the dark, I could hear screaming coming from the house. My heart raced. My mind was filled with a million and one scenarios and not one of them had a happy ending.

I was about 15 yards from the house, swinging out around a corner to see if I could look in a window and get a view at the front door before I approached. Suddenly the front door opened, casting a light out and running shadows in its stream. A female emerged screaming bloody murder and running right at me. My gun had already been out and I brought it up to her, center mass, not knowing who was friend or foe. Unfazed, she sprinted past, yelling, "He's got a gun!"

Immediately after, another screaming female came from the house with a male I knew from past contacts is right behind. She ran toward me, and within seconds, she was gone.The male, seeing me, stopped on the porch, stiff, arms down at his side. There was not much light in the yard but there was enough to catch the silver gleam from a gun barrel.Time stopped. I was alone. The females were somewhere behind me, and whether they were enemies or friends was unknown.

Center mass, "Get down on the ground! Stop, sheriff’s department! Get down on the ground!" The male subject did not obey. He jumped from the porch and out of sight. I started to run forward. My plan was to engage and take the fight to him. End it here before he went anywhere else. While coming around the corner, I saw the tail end of a shadow going around the opposite side. Now I could hear the rapid kick starting attempts of a motorcycle. Around the corner I went and he was on a dirt bike traveling away.

"Walsenburg SO5!" I gave what I could while getting back to my car, and the pursuit was on. His driving skills were better than expected as steering a handle bar while holding a gun was impressive.The chase did not last long. The dirt bike was equipped to go off the county road and up a hill into the black abyss of the county.

I went back to the house and found the females inside. I was relieved to see a Walsenburg PD car there as well. Officer Jim Chamberlin had come to help, with my location only being about 5 miles from the city.I asked Jim to stay outside as I spoke with the females, who were surprisingly calm and visually upset at my presence. "Are you guys ok? What happened?!"

Each question was responded to as if I had just kicked their dog, and I was the worst person in the world. I wasted about 10 minutes of my life trying to piece together what happened: how did this glass get all over the floor, why is the furniture turned over, are you hurt, what kind of gun was used.

"Dan!" Jim yelled from outside, "Dan! He's coming back!" I rushed out of the house and onto the porch where it all started. No lights now. Just darkness and the sound of the dirt bike coming back.Once again, no happy endings in my mind. The strongest thought was that he was going to drive by, shoot at us and keep going.

Once again, I had no intention of dying this night. No thought was really placed into my next action, other than survival. The sound grew closer, louder. His shadow was now visible and my target.

We hit. It was violent. During the arrest my glasses were fatally injured, never to be used again. He went to jail, no gun was ever found, the females were very upset with me. The next morning I went to the sheriff’s office and spoke with Sheriff Salazar, telling him and anyone who would listen about the events of last night. I mean who else can say they tackled a moving motorcycle?

The sheriff had my partner and friend Dale Castro take me to the Walmart vision center in Trinidad to get a replacement pair of glasses. A couple weeks later I went back to get my new glasses and that's when I saw her. I knew her from growing up around town and cruising Main Street. Her smile was infectious. Her personality was great and best of all she was beautiful.

She gave me my glasses and sent me on my way. Little did we know that our paths were to meet up again, all because of an idiot and his dirt bike and a little mistake with my glasses prescription.

I had to call her back because I could not see well, and I was told to come back in. On my next day off, I gladly went back to the vision center, making sure she was the one there. I played my best game I could with her. I made her laugh. I made her smile. Too afraid to ask her in person, I waited until I got home and called the vision center.

She answered, "Vision center, this is Lisa." I had suddenly decided that I was going to the movies that night and wanted to know if she would like to go with me. "No, I don't think I should," she said. Sad, I hung up the phone and left it at that.

Jump ahead to 2 weeks later and my phone rings, "Hi, Daniel? This is Lisa with the vision center. I was calling to do a check-up." Wow what great service I thought, a check-up. Of course vision centers do not call for check-ups, but thankfully this one did. I found out later that Lisa had called the number I left, which at the time was my Dad's, who is also named Daniel.

I know this is a long story, but it's a good story, and it’s still going. It tells the beginning of love – Lisa and I, the beginning of a family – Lisa, Katie and I and the beginning of the Bean – my boy.

Thanks Dad, I love you. Lisa, I love you. Katie, I love you. Son, I love you. #acopslife #love

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