Thursday, November 13, 2003

Why I Need the Dash Cam

Traffic was heavy today just past the 90/94 toll heading into Chicago. The reason typically is just due to 8 lanes of rush-hour toll paying traffic trying to funnel into three lanes. Some days it's because of construction. Others, a traffic stop that everyone's rubber necking.

Today, it was because Chicago police were running some sort of pinching roadblock. One cop on our side had his car just pointed slightly into the right lane's traffic, forcing them to slow down and edge over, which forced everyone in general to slow down due to a cascading lane effect.

Evidently they were looking for someone, because on the Westbound side (I was on the Eastbound), there were three cops on the shoulder with their lights on.

Suddenly traffic in front of me stops as the cop on the right shoots across a lane and a half of traffic, pointed and parked diagonally across the middle and right lanes, and is pointing and yelling frantically at a car about three cars in front of mine.

I notice a black guy now hobbling in pain on the left shoulder (I was in the left lane) only about two cars up. His face is contorted in pain and he's having a hard time walking. His arms are pinned at his side. He manages to stumble, then hobble, and then eventually trot along, running inbetween lanes of traffic. If I wasn't on the phone at that exact second in time arranging a hair appointment, I could have taken his picture, as he ran right past my car. He was obviously hurt, and his leather jacket (which was unzipped) had been pulled down around his wrists behind his back. This is typically done by just grabbing the coat at the collar and pulling down fast and hard. Usually it creates a sort of cloth handcuffs that is really hard to get out of.

Then what I assumed was an undercover cop runs past my car as he and the uniformed officer easily catch up to the "suspect" and apprehend him, carry him across the two lanes of traffic back to the shoulder, and I'm sure eventually arrested him.

Afterwards, I managed to piece together what had actually happened.

The cops were looking for the black guy, and when they found his car in traffic (which they were intentionally pinching to slow everyone down), they tried to get in front of him. The suspect then exited his vehicle (three cars ahead of mine), and began running along the shoulder (the furthest point away from the cop). The car which was two in front of me was a yellow Lexus IS, and the driver either pulled a 48 Hours move and slammed his door open into the guy, or merely exited his vehicle and slammed the guy into the retaining wall. While the suspect was momentarily stunned, the driver pulled the suspect's jacket down over his wrists to keep him from fighting back. Then he pursued him on foot and helped the cop apprehend him.

I thought the guy who had exited the Lexus was an undercover cop, but evidently he was either some sort of rich cop on his day off, or was simply some sort of martial arts/self defense expert, and had decided (daringly) to assist the police in apprehending the guy. The only reason I'm guessing he wasn't a cop was because

A). Cops don't drive Lexuses (Lexi?)
B). I saw him driving on the highway later, meaning he had helped the cop to cuff the suspect, and then immediately ran back to his car and drove away. I was only a few miles down the road from the incident, and he managed to catch back up, so he must have left the scene immediately after assisting the officer.

So at any rate, WOW. Not something you see everyday, and I would have gotten it all on tape had I the Dash Cam installed.

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