Cop on scooter catches suspected crook

Sept. 3, 2007 at 2:02 PM
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CHICAGO, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A Chicago cop riding a Segway scooter has become the first city police officer to use the electric transportation to chase down a violent suspect.

Officer Thaddeus Martyka said he was riding one of the Chicago Police Department's 29 Segways on patrol Sunday when he heard gunfire and saw two men running from the scene, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

"I heard a shot, so I proceeded to the corner, and then the chase was on," Martyka said later.

Martyka said he chased one of the men for three blocks before he stopped him. The man, who allegedly threw a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun into an alley during the chase, is suspected of shooting another man in the lower back. Police said the victim was in good condition Sunday at Mercy Hospital.

"I followed the guy who tossed the gun, and he just got tired. He just gave up," Martyka said. "I told him to come here, get down on the ground."

The top speed of a Segway is only 10 to 12 mph, but Central District Cmdr. Kevin Ryan said the scooters have an advantage over foot travel: "These don't wear down. People do," he said.

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