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Vehicle extraction for arrest

Submitted by Shawn McKenna
Raleigh (NC) PD

When extracting someone from a vehicle to take them into custody, why walk the subject to the rear of the vehicle or for that matter even the side of the vehicle? Taking the subject to the rear of the vehicle could just give the subject extra time to formulate a plan. (Most will be thinking, “When should I make a break for it?” while more desperate ones will be thinking, “When can I harm this guy and how?”)
Here’s a tactic that has worked for me: Assist the suspect out of the vehicle with a bent wrist and place him (facing away from you) directly into the door jamb. This is where the door meets the A-post of the vehicle. First if you are going to arrest the person it’s better to get your hands on them sooner rather than later.
Next, by placing them into the door jamb you have effectively cut off any chance of forward and side escape. You can lean your shoulder into them and control the subject’s range of motion while your hands are free to handcuff the subject. The whole action of extracting from the vehicle and handcuffing can be done in a matter of seconds (10-20) as opposed to escorting to the rear of the vehicle and then handcuffing (a lot longer). By doing this, by the time the guy has figured out what’s going on and react he’s already in cuffs and can’t react.
Then again, if he does react and tries to get away, you can pin him into that A-post of the vehicle and control him. You will be able to hold him with your body weight while still using your hands to gain access to your radio, pepper spray, Taser, etc. (I’m not the biggest guy out there at 5’7”, but I have been able to control guys bigger than I am using this technique). If the subject does start to fight his way out of this position, you can retreat without any obstacles in the way and create space. If use-of-force has escalated to a point warranted then you could also use that car door against the subject as you retreat. This is another tool for your toolbox.

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