Police Officers Describe The Dumbest Ways A Criminal Tried To Escape Custody

If you're American, you have probably heard of the show COPS or seen any of about a million law enforcement reality shows that are on the air at any given time. We've watched bounty hunters chase criminals around a small island and wondered "Where is buddy gonna go? It's an ISLAND."

We've watched more failed fence-jumps than we can count. We've chuckled our way through DUI stops that turned into comedy routines or dance parties. More people try to run away than makes any kind of sense to us, particularly in situations where they're obviously not going to successfully escape. That got us wondering, does this dumb stuff ever actually work? So we turned to Reddit where one user had asked:

Police Officers of Reddit, what's the dumbest way a criminal tried to get away from you?

Long story short, the answer is no. This dumb stuff almost never works - but it makes for great stories!

Not My Pants

A guy had green in his pocket. He tried to convince me that it wasn't his pair of pants and therefore he couldn't be punished for having drugs in the pockets...

Big Mike And The Little Bike

Knew a guy in college named Big Mike...guy was probably 6'5, 300+ pounds. Anyway, being chased by a campus cop one night he decided that his best bet was to hide.

Imagine a giant human quietly crouched behind a ten-speed bike at an otherwise empty bike rack...yeah, he was caught. Really smart guy, but apparently that did not extend to finding appropriate hiding places.

This Dude Arrested Himself

My Aunt is a cop and she tells this story wherever she goes.

She had gotten a call about a very drunk man singing in the street with an open bottle of beer. She arrives and sees him standing in the middle of the road. She turns on her lights to signify she is in a police car and he runs for it, or attempts to. First, he runs to a house on her left and he hits the mailbox and falls over. Then he proceeds to get up and run to the cop car where he attempts to get in the passenger's side. After trying for a couple of seconds he squats down a bit and bangs on the window and says:

"You have got to help me, there is a cop chasing me and I think they are coming this way."

She proceeded to unlock the rear doors and he gets in and then she locks them again and takes him to the precinct. He spent the night in the holding cell and went home with a warning for being disruptive at 3am and being drunk in a public place. Apparently he didn't remember it at all the next morning.

Truly A Light In The Darkness

Back in the '90's there was a fashion for trainers that had red lights in the sole/heel that lit up with every step. One night we had a call to a burglary and the lad doing the burgling was wearing these trainers. He ran off across some nearby wasteland, helpfully signalling every step.

Running Away From Home

My colleague was about to start the process of writing a ticket and the guy suddenly starts sprinting away, ditching his backpack, hat and coat. Thing is, we were outside his address. We still had his driving license, and his car was still running. He made it one mile down the road before trying to jump a garden fence, failing, bringing the fence down and knocking himself unconscious. Talk about dramatic.

"Quit Running, It's Hot Out Here"

So i'm not a law enforcement officer, but I've worked in a prison for almost 10 years now.

So the answer here is.......any time they try to run.

Like guy, this is a prison. You can only run so far. Sure you may get away with whatever contraband you have, but man, I've seen your face. You've been here 20 years, and I know where you live. Quit running, it's hot out here.

Good Puppers

My family owns an automotive shop, we have a big rottweiler that runs loose around our yard when we are closed. This dog is big, strong, and mean (to strangers, he is a f*cking angel to us). This dude is running from the cops, it's Sunday, we are closed, he hopped our fence to get away from the police.

Luckily we were at the shop that day because we were rearranging some racks. Our dog, named Oso (spanish for Bear) ran after him, nearly bit him on the ass. I had to restrain the dog. After I got a hold of the dog, the guy just walked over to the cops f*cking crying.

The cops thought it was hilarious.

Thanks, Nature!

Nearly every foot pursuit I've had has been stopped by flora. I don't know what I've done that made mother nature owe me one, but every time I've chased someone I've ended up pulling them out of a bush. One guy I had for DUI took off in the middle of field sobriety tests and ran straight into a thorn bush. Instead of going in after him, I just waited patiently while he freed himself, at which point he just walked over to me and put his hands behind his back.


Had a guy with a warrant for drugs and burglary. He tried to give me his brothers name. Guess he forgot we went to school together since kindergarten.

Confessions Of A Drunken Moron

Not a cop, but a former criminal here. I had gone to a bar with my ex and we got super wasted. Some dudes were following me around and being obnoxious. My ex was playing pool and saw what was going on and came up and cracked the leader of the group over his head with a pool stick. Blood everywhere. He wase on the ground bleeding all over next to a broken pool stick. I had light grey jeans on and they had blood spattered on them. I lived walking distance away from the bar so we both take off running for home. We get separated and I'm running by myself, covered in blood.

A cop comes out of nowhere and grabs me and puts me in the car. I am super drunk and being obnoxious about everything. Turns out I had a warrant. They take me in to the station to book me. I was sitting alone in booking handcuffed to the bench for what felt like forever. I decide that since I only live a couple houses up from the police station I can slip the cuff and make a run for it. So I do. I get almost to the exit and all of a sudden I'm smooshed up against the wall. Before I know it I am double-cuffed to the bench.

In my drunk mind I thought this would totally go smoothly. Didn't really work out. Glad those days are behind me.


Not a cop myself, but one told me this story when he was helping me recover my stolen bike (a great story itself).

Some kid stole a bike and took off with this cop giving chase. It's kid on bike vs man on foot, but after about 30 seconds the kid throws down the bike and takes off on foot. I guess he thought if he left the bike they'd leave him alone?

Anyways, the cop just grabs the bike, hops on and runs him down on the bike that he stole. Insta-justice.

Ice Hockey

There were some people ice skating on a pond that was off limits. We showed up and everyone got off the pond except for 1 guy. He skated with glee as he taunted us and yelling:

"You can't do anything to me if I stay out here!"

One of the responding officers had played ice hockey in college. He asked the crowd,

_"Does anyone have a size 9 hockey skate"? _

Someone offered their skates. The officer put them on and skated with fury right at the rogue skater. The rogue skater tried to get away, then he tried to surrender but the die had been cast. The hockey playing police officer checked the guy and sent him flying.

We arrested him for. Where did he think he was going to go? He was on a freaking pond.

Don't Laugh From Your Hiding Place

Went to a domestic in the middle of the night with the boyfriend long gone by the time we arrived. After chatting with the girlfriend for 20 minutes I did a quick walk through the yard to say I made an effort. Yard has a few piles of scrap and 4 rusted cars. I can't see anyone, so turn to leave and walk straight into a massive spider web.

I screamed and the boyfriend/offender hiding under a pile of metal sheets laughs.

Promptly arrested.

"It's Glorious."

Was an ex-manager at a movie theater.

Some young adults/teenagers decided they wanted to steal something, so they tried to steal a wet floor sign (one that was like 10 years old and was filthy)

What they didn't account for was that we were hosting a police event, there were K9 units, police officers in full uniform, we even had 2 officers on horseback in the parking lot.

So 3 these people are trying to get away on foot and half of them on skateboard. The 3 or so on foot are being chased by a good dozen police officers.

2 are trying to get away on skateboard..and had horseback mounted police chasing them.

All of them were caught within 5 minutes.

Have you ever seen mounted horseback police chase down a perp? It's glorious.

Championship Wrestler, Terrible At Fences

I was working Oktoberfest with another MP, driving around in a golf cart making sure no one got out of hand. We notice one guy in particular who has all the signs. Yelling, aggressive, spilling beer (you have to be pretty drunk to spill a $7 beer.) So we start driving over to make sure someone in his group can keep control over him.

He sees us coming and takes off running.

The entire event is surrounded by a 10 foot chain link fence. There are 2 openings, the main entrance/exit in the front and a staff entrance on one side. He starts running for the staff entrance. We drive behind him, but start to notice he's not quite headed for the giant opening in the fence. Instead, he ends up about 6 feet to the right of it and just starts climbing the fence. We just rolled through the opening and waited for him to drop on the other side.

That was the easy part, though. The hard part was getting the cuffs on the f*cker. It took 3 grown men. We found out later he was a state champion wrestler in high school.

Hi, Mark!

Saw a well known local (who had a warrant) going into his house, so I shouted to him. He turned, looked and scurried inside his house and locked the door.

Whilst shouting:

_"Mark, come and answer I know you are in there." _

A fake high pitched voice replied:

_"Mark isn't here!" _

I told him how stupid he sounded but he still wouldn't answer the door. Ended up kicking the door in and breaking the frame.

I didn't know people were this stupid until I did this job!

The Best And Worst

I have both a best and worst, all from the same party.

Setting the scene:

It's New Years Eve and we are at a big high school party - everyone is getting absolutely hammered and I was splitting a handle with one other guy and we are doing a great job at that. Naturally, the cops show up and everyone tries to run or hide. A lot of us try to hide upstairs and get caught.

The Worst:

My buddy (who I split the handle of captain with) is being led down the steps in front of me by a cop that knows him from loads of previous issues in this small borough. He decides to make a break for it since his house is down the street.

He gets to the front door - locked.

Back door - locked.

Jumps off the deck - onto his face.

Tries the garage - locked.

Shimmies between the garage and the fence to keep running. Makes it to the gravel driveway and falls several times on his face.

The cop was just casually walking behind him and finally picks him up on the third or fourth fall. My buddy walks in the door, handcuffed, screaming "motherf*cker tasered me!" The officer did not. He just fell repeatedly. He also ended up with alcohol poisoning.

*Now for the good one: *

While all of this was going on, my other friend slipped into the basement where he found a massive pile of dirty laundry, slipped in and proceeded to watch an entire basketball game through an eye hole he made while all his friends were upstairs getting arrested and picked up by parents.

The Police

Ok I am NOT a cop but...

I was once boating on a lake not long ago and noticed a boat that just seemed overcrowded to me. It also look pretty low in the water. Thinking it might be taking on water I went to see if they needed help.

As I got close I see a big splash and hear a kah-ploosh. As I pulled alongside one of them says "sh*t... he's not a cop. Quick get the green" One guy jumps over the side and dives only to come up empty handed.

I was wearing an old _The Police _concert shirt.

Window Removal Service

Served a warrant at a residence in an upscale neighborhood (or what passes for upscale in rural Oklahoma). One of VERY few homes in our city/state that actually had a basement. The wanted individual was hiding in said basement. The door to the basement was hidden as part of (behind) the pantry. Once he realized we discovered the basement access, in a panic, he tried to escape out of the tiny basement (slider) window. Wasn't a big dude, but that opening was small and he got himself stuck. I mean REALLY stuck.

We wound up having to have the window completely removed with him in it, and then cut him out of the frame.

H/T: Reddit


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