Suspect Used Handcuffs as a Weapon to Escape

handcuffs private investigator training

I am posting a rare “mid-week” post to remind you of the fundamentals and dangers of using handcuffs.

As I warned in my original post back in 2014, handcuffs are a temporary restraint and you need to be constantly vigilant with your suspect.

Recently a murder suspect escaped from police headquarters in Fresno, California injuring two detectives in the process.

He was handcuffed to a chair by one wrist and left unattended.

The suspect got the handcuff off of the chair (police are still investigating how) and tried to slip out of the room. As he left, he encountered the detectives and put up a fight.

He used the handcuff still attached to his wrist as a weapon against the officers and was able to break free from the detectives. The two detectives suffered bruises and scrapes.

And don’t think of these as two fat, dumpy cops. I’ve read that they’re physically fit – meaning this can happen to you too if you drop your guard!

If you’ve gotten my book How to Make A Citizen’s Arrest then you know my feelings about using handcuffs as a private citizen (unless your a loss prevention officer, bounty hunter or otherwise need them for your job), but if you decide to use them, please remember they are not some magical device that ensures your safety, the safety of the suspect or the safety of those around you.

Look, I’ve lived a lot of this life and can only say, I’ve avoided many problems like this one strictly “by the grace of God”, but sometimes it’s because He gives us the grace to follow proper procedures even when they are hard or inconvenient.

Stay Safe,

1 Simple Skip Tracing Tip. LKA.

I’m here every Tuesday putting out new videos and new blog post and this week I’m going to share with you a skip tracing tip that you can ignore at your own risk.

Full Disclosure: I’ve made the mistake of skipping this important step in skip tracing many times. If you think you’re too smart or experienced to miss this… think again.

In fact if you are truly experienced at skip tracing, you’ll probably nod your head and say, “Yeah, Larry. I’ve made this mistake too.”! Continue reading

How to tell if something you “need” as a Private Investigator is worth it.

This week I’m going to explain how you can tell if something you “need” for your private investigator or process serving business is actually worth it!

Full Disclaimer: I am not a guy who likes to buy a bunch of “stuff”.

We (all humans, as far as I can tell) think if we only had this “do-dad” or that “thing-a-ma-bob” then we would be happy. And we kinda’ know deep down that’s not true, but when you run your own business (like a detective agency), you can trick your self into saying you do “need” that thing.

We say, “I need more zoom on my surveillance camera. I need case management software. I need a high-end color printer so I can make brochures for marketing.”

And let’s face it, we do need some (minimal) things. If you do surveillance, you need a camera and a reliable vehicle. But… Continue reading

6 Tips when struggling as a private investigator.

The one thing private investigators never talk about is the struggle, just how darn difficult it is to make a living running your own detective agency.

And I think this is the case for entrepreneurs in general.

A lot of times we have things that we love or that we want to do but we struggle with getting the clients and that’s the tough part!

If you’re struggling, don’t worry, everybody struggles, it happens and nobody’s talking about it! You’re not alone, we all have gone through it!.

I recently was reading about  Continue reading

Private investigator explains 3 interesting police tactics.

This week I’m revealing a police “dirty trick” I never thought I would reveal online. (See “Tactic 3” below.)

Tactic 1

After an officer pulls over a car, he evaluates the driver and the circumstances. If the officer determines he needs to search the car (and here’s the trick) the officer calls for back-up before telling the suspect he’s going to search the car.

There is no reason to notify the possible bad guy any earlier than necessary. If he knows the car is going to be searched and if he knows there’s a weapon or drugs in the car, that guys the bad guy a lot of time to think about which instinct he wants to follow… fight or flight.

And that’s dangerous for everyone.

Tactic 2

When an officer is searching a car and he finds something illegal (like a gun or dope), if it’s safe to do so, the officer might pretend to “miss” the contraband. In other words if he finds a baggie of dope under the driver’s seat, the officer might pass it over as if he didn’t see it.

Since everyone in the car knows where the dope is they are all nervous. When they see the officer “miss” the dope they relax a bit.

The driver (and others) thinks they “got away with it” and the instinct to fight or flight lessens. This give the officer a real tactical advantage.

The bad guy thinks he’s free but the officer knows exactly how he’s going to proceed over the next few minutes. This makes things much, much safer for everyone.

Now all the searching officer has to do is covertly communicate his intentions to the back-up officer who’s keeping an eye on the suspect.

Here’s the trick I will only reveal here…

Tactic 3

This works for police officers, but Loss Prevention Officers, asset protection and even some security guards will find it useful.

Imagine this scenario…

Two police officers have a driver out of his car. On officer is watching the suspect while the second officer searches the car.

The searching officer discovers a loaded gun in the glove box with a baggie of dope. He knows they are going to arrest the driver.

The searching officer uses trick number two by “passing over” the gun and dope so the suspect thinks the officer may have missed them.

The searching officer comes back to the suspect and distracts him with a question asking a harmless question the suspect knows is not a problem. So the officer might circle around to a previous question he’s asked saying something like, “So, who’s this car registered to?”

The suspect isn’t worried because he knows it’s his car and properly registered so he answers.

Then the officer ask, “So who’s Beatrice?”

And he officer watching the suspect (knowing what’s happening) places the suspect in handcuffs.

What just happened?!?

The officers know that (sometimes) it’s best to make the physical arrest when the suspect least expects it. This prevent him (or her) from preparing mentally and physically to fight or run.

The trick here is the officers have a code word or phrase that tells the other officer, “We are making this arrest.”

In this case the bad guy is distracted with a softball question (and the other officers understands this is a set up for the arrest). In this example: “So, who’s this car registered to?”

Then the code phrase means “make the arrest”. In this example the name “Beatrice” or the phrase, “So who is Beatrice?” is the code phrase for “make the arrest”.

The whole point is to distract the suspect mentally and to make your coordinated arrest before he can prepare to resist.

This is safer for the officers and the suspect.

What do you think of this tactic? Should you notify a suspect before you cuff him? Is it best to take him “by surprise”? Maybe the best tactic lies somewhere in the middle. Comment below and let me know what you think.

Stay safe,
Larry Kaye, P.I.
P.S. – If you like learning tricks like these, you may also like my #1 Best Seller, so be sure to check out 51 Dirty Tricks Bad Guys Really Hate: Sneaky Tactics used by Police, Private Investigators and Bounty Hunters. Check it out at

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