A female West Virginia sheriff's deputy is lucky to be alive after a violent fight with a suspect who was allegedly high on drugs. She shared her experience on social media to encourage her fellow officers to get training in hand-to-hand combat.
What are the details of the incident?
According to KHQ-TV, K9 Deputy Kristen Richmond of the Brooke County Sheriff's Department encountered what could have been a life-or-death situation with a purportedly drug-addled suspect early Friday morning.
Richmond responded to a call at Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia, to address an incident in which a man was reported to be throwing things out of a third-floor window on the school's campus.
KHQ reported that the suspect was later identified as 21-year-old Brandon Lamar Jackson of Georgia.
The station reported that Jackson "appeared to be on drugs and hallucinating," and began fighting with Richmond.
WTRF-TV reported that after the altercation with Richmond, Jackson was transported to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
The station noted that the incident remains under investigation.
Charges against are Jackson are pending.
What did Richmond have to say about the incident?
In a lengthy Facebook post — which has been liked and shared over 100,000 times — Richmond wrote what she called "probably one of the rawest posts" she'd write.
"I debated posting anything but, in doing so, my hope is that it serves as a swift kick in the a** to a lot of cops," Richmond added, detailing the attack with a 5-foot-11, 195 pound "collegiate male athlete who was gooned up on an unknown drug."
Richmond said that the fight lasted about five minutes.
"During said altercation, my glasses were shattered and knocked off my face, none of my radio transmissions got out, and a ton of equipment was stripped from my vest and duty belt," she explained, but added that despite all this, she was able to remain in the fight.
Richmond said that she was able to secure one of the suspect's hands in cuffs, and also released her K9 partner — but the purportedly drugged-up suspect kept on coming.
"All the K9 bites, punches, knees, and baton strikes did not deter this guy," she wrote. "He wasn’t there. The drug had consumed every part of him."
Richmond said that after approximately five minutes of exchanging blows with the large suspect, her partners finally discovered her, and collectively, were able to subdue the suspect.
"The following saying comes to mind: Sometimes I had a bad day means that I almost didn’t make it home," she wrote. "While fighting with this guy, he reached for my duty weapon. Given the circumstances (full details are not being disclosed in this post), deadly force was warranted and it was probably getting close to my last resort."
"Thankfully, it did not reach that point," she added, and credited that fact to her training outside of work.
Richmond explained, "I’ve been beat to hell and back in training so I knew how to react and fight through being repeatedly being struck in the face and head. I didn’t freak out ... I knew I was okay and still in the fight."
"This post isn’t to be all bravado," she cautioned. "I got my a** kicked this morning (there’s no doubt about it), but I also gave it right back."
Who does the officer gives credit to?
She added that her three partners deserved credit, as well, noting that if they hadn't intervened when they did ,"the outcome probably would have been much worse."
"The purpose of this post is three-fold," Richmond wrote. "First and foremost, I implore you to train! Thank God I do. You don’t want to be in the fight for your life wishing you had done more to prepare for that exact moment."
"Second, bond with your partners," she warned. "They’re your family and when you find yourself in a dark corner at 0300 praying for backup, they’re gonna be the ones who come running."
"Last, but not least, this is for the families, friends, and/or critics," Richmond wrote. "After hours at the hospital and being treated for a broken nose, a fractured sinus, and some other minor bumps and lacerations to my hands, face, and head I went home.
"I took my bloody uniform, duty belt, and gear inside with me and dropped it on the floor," she continued. "I took my tired K9 partner to her crate so she could get some much deserved rest.
"I went upstairs, undressed, turned on the hot water in the shower, stepped in, and washed his and my blood off my body," Richmond wrote. "I watched it circle the drain not knowing whose exactly it was. Not a lot of people know what it’s like to do that.
"No, we don’t get into fights like these everyday but they do happen ... along with situations that are far worse," she concluded. "Please take a few moments to consider everything that we go through before jumping to conclusions based off slanted media and facts. At the end of the day, we are exactly like all of you 'normal' people. We just want to go home after work."
You can read the full post below.
(Content warning: Rough language and graphic photos):