On Sunday, September 1st, just after 4pm, Officers Ruiz, Geary, Purdy, and Keller responded to a disturbance of a man throwing rocks off of a viaduct. The situation grew more dangerous when the dispatcher added that another man needed medical assistance and summoned the CFD Paramedics.
The call changed again to a man yielding a large machete, and the Paramedics calling a 10-1, which is the most serious of police calls in which there is a need of immediate help. Although they were not assigned to the call, they offered assistance and responded quickly to the railroad tracks.
The officers observed a male on the ground, unresponsive, lying on the railroad tracks and nearby was a man waving a machete and screaming. Their initial assessment was that the man with the machete might have harmed or even killed the second individual. They maintained their composer, gave good verbal direction and talked the armed individual into submitting. However, once the first cuff went on, the subject began to flail and regained control of his machete.
It was at that point that Officer Ruiz deployed his taser. While one prong stuck, the other missed and the subject grew more combative. Officer Ruiz deployed a second taser, hitting the moving subject in the trunk of his body and groin. The taser worked and allowed Officers Geary and Purdy the opportunity to completely cuff the assailant and take control of the machete. Officer Keller tripped on the tracks in the struggle causing a laceration to his hand which required a trip to the hospital and several stitches.
Working together, this team of officers controlled the situation, prevented harm to an innocent citizen and their fellow officers. The individual on the ground was not injured, just inebriated, and the subject with the machete needed mental health assistance and was transported to a facility for mental health treatment.
We honor these officers today as an example of the skills an officer must possess to deal with these rapidly-changing situations they face with every police call. They are receiving top quality training to access and use options to control situations with an emphasis to de-escalate situations and bring them under control. Police today are more educated and receiving better training than in the past, and it is making for a better officer on the street and a safer Chicago for all of us. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation is proud to honor these officers as our September Officers of the Month presented by Galls.