he IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club® pays tribute to those deserving officers who have avoided serious or potentially fatal injuries through the use of any kind of body armor. This column is dedicated to sharing their experiences, in hopes of persuading others to wear their armor. If body armor has helped you or a member of your department survive such an accident or assault, please contact Anna Knight, Club Administrator, IACP/DuPont Kevlar Survivors' Club®, 5401 Jefferson Davis Highway, Richmond, VA 23234; 804-383-3853; 800-441-2746; fax: 804-383-2477; e-mail: (Anna.G.Knight-1@USA.dupont.com). The Survivors' Club application is also available on the IACP's Web site, (www.theiacp.org), under Awards/
Trooper Survives Grinding Crash
Trooper Timothy V. Hanson was working an unmarked car assigned to the Aggressive Driving Apprehension Team program. He was patrolling in the early morning hours westbound along State Route 18. With nothing more than a moment's warning, Hanson met an oncoming passenger car in his lane on the Cedar River Bridge. This vehicle was operated by a 35year-old woman who investigators concluded had consumed alcohol prior to the crash.
Hanson took evasive actions applying emergency braking maneuver but was unable to avoid the nearly full overlap frontal collision. The impact was completely in Hanson's lane of travel with forces great enough to collapse the front end of Hanson's vehicle to the firewall. The vehicles came to rest nearly perpendicular to the lanes of travel. Hanson was strapped in and wearing body armor. The air bag on the patrol car deployed. He was able to extricate himself by climbing through the driver's door window opening and was found lying on the ground by a passing motorist. He suffered a fractured right ankle, a sprained knee, and a sore chest. Investigators reported that the ankle fracture was consistent with the braking action at the time of the crash.
The female operator of the violator vehicle was not strapped in but the air bags did deploy. She was thrown through the windshield and her head struck the collapsing front end of her vehicle and the front end of Hanson's patrol car. Her injuries were fatal.
Hanson was transported to an area hospital where he spent one day for care of his fractured ankle, sprain, and soreness to the chest. It is reported in the incident description that" there is no doubt that Trooper Hanson was spared of more serious injury by not only the use of his seat belt and the equipped air bag, but by his ballistic vest." Hanson completed medical rehabilitation returning to light duty in June and full duty in August 2006.
Connecticut State Police Detective Protected By Body Armor
Detective Daniel J. Sivori of the Connecticut State Police (CSP) and two fellow officers were assigned to a detail at a highway construction site on I-95 at the Quinnipiac Bridge. An armed robbery occurred at a gasoline station and units from the East Haven Police Department (EHPD) were pursuing the fleeing suspects southbound onI-95. Sivori and his associates were alerted to the pursuit and made aware that a handgun was displayed during the robbery. The fleeing suspects rammed vehicles during their flight but were forced to stop by traffic congestion at the highway construction site.
Sivori and CSP Trooper First Class Jeff Correia approached the suspects' vehicle from the front while EHPD Sergeant John Miller and Officers David Cari and Lance Helms approached from the rear. Cari and Helms removed the driver from the vehicle as Sivori and Correia approached on the driver's side of the vehicle and CSP Sergeant Ken Rigney went toward the passenger's door. Miller and Cari handcuffed the driver.
Cari observed the passenger, still in the suspect vehicle, raise a 9mm pistol. He jumped into the vehicle, attempting to subdue the armed suspect. Sivori was moving to a position to assist Cari when the suspect went to the floor and opened fire on Cari, hitting him in the buttocks. Sivori moved to assist Cari and suffered a penetrating wound to his buttocks. He remained engaged and was hit again, this time center chest. This bullet was stopped by his body armor. Helms was able to help Cari out of the vehicle and they moved to the rear of the suspect vehicle, where Rigney provided medical attention.
Sivori and Miller engaged the shooter who was justifiably killed. The injured officers were transported to Yale University Hospital where they were treated for gunshot wounds. The officers are recovering. Body armor likely protected Sivori from more serious physical injury or death. The courage, tenacity, and teamwork demonstrated by the officers ended the career of a violent criminal.
Attacked With a Screwdriver
Officer Jon P. Wenger of the La Crosse, Wisconsin, Police Department responded on request for backup to assist Officer Thad Baldwin, who had stopped a female for speeding and determined that she was intoxicated. There were two male passengers riding with the female, one of whom became belligerent. This individual exited the stopped truck and refused to comply with Baldwin's direction to have a seat in the car. Baldwin observed that the belligerent passenger palmed a flathead screwdriver partially concealed under his coat sleeve. Baldwin ordered the suspect to drop the screwdriver and it appeared that the individual placed the screwdriver in the bed of the truck and then leaned against the bed of the truck.
This belligerence continued and the officers arrested the individual. He vigorously resisted arrest. Wenger announced intent to use an electronic control weapon and both officers disengaged. Wenger placed both prongs on target but the ECW had no effect on the individual, likely due to the heavy coat that he was wearing. The suspect acquired the screwdriver and attacked Wenger, stabbing him a total of three times. The first stab went above the side panel of Wenger's body armor and he suffered a puncture wound. The next two thrusts were to the chest, over the heart and left lung, and both were stopped by his body armor.
Baldwin, using a 9mm pistol, shot the suspect and stopped him. Wenger aided the wounded suspect by applying direct pressure to femoral arterial bleeding and is credited with saving the suspect's life. The suspect was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a police officer and the case is pending before a La Crosse court. Wenger was treated for the puncture wound and has returned to full duty.
Deputy Injured by Deflected Bullet
Deputy Rick A. Brock, Fulton County, Ohio, Sheriff's Office, was dispatched to assist an emergency medical (EMS) unit responding to a reported fall in a barn that upon arrival actually was a domestic violence case. The EMS crew reported that a female had been stabbed but had not identified her assailant.
A male opened a door to the residence adjacent to the barn exposing only the left side of his body. The male said that they were preparing to leave for the hospital. Brock asked the male to step outside so they could talk. The male shut the door and Brock heard the sound of the door being locked. Brock looked through a window and observed the male grab two children. Brock forced entry and the male, carrying the two children, ran down a hallway and into a bedroom.
The male reentered the hallway grasping.22-caliber revolver. He fired twice, with one bullet hitting Brock in the upper left chest, knocking him to the floor. Brock rolled for cover as the male fired a third time. Brock withdrew from the residence, taking cover behind the EMS unit. He instructed the EMS crew to move away on foot. He alerted his dispatcher of shots fired, assistance needed. Brock became aware that he had suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm.
Brock observed the male standing at a window. Backup units arrived and Deputy Brock was transported by medical aircraft to a regional hospital for care of the gunshot wound. It was determined that the shot that was stopped by Brock's body armor from entering his chest was deflected, causing his arm wound. Personnel from the Fulton County Sheriff's Office and assisting agencies contained the incident and attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the incident. The male chose to commit suicide. Brock was hospitalized for two days for treatment of the arm wound. He recovered and returned to full duty. ■