The tactical office had received a tip from an informant that a person wanted by the police would be at a pawn shop on Belmont Avenue. The intelligence gathered on this fleeing felon stated that he was heavily armed and would shoot it out with the police when stopped. Quickly gathering officers in civilian dress, we setup around the pawn shop. We had five marked squads in alleys and nearby parking lots prepared to block all traffic on Belmont when necessary. We had pairs of undercover officers in the stores adjacent to the pawn shop. I was sitting across the street in a parking lot with another sergeant using binoculars to observe the front door. One of the officers spotted the offender parking his vehicle. We wanted to do the takedown but there was too much pedestrian traffic so we allowed him to continue into the pawn shop. I requested that the dispatcher give us the “air” and keep all other officers off the radio. I announced to all the officers on the detail to be on their toes. After a few minutes, the felon completed his business and emerged. As he stepped onto the sidewalk, the Sergeant and I shouted on our respective radios to take him down. Within seconds, the streets were blocked. He spotted the officers running toward him from across the street. This allowed officers from the adjoining storefronts to bum rush him and take him to the ground with him never being able to draw the .357 magnum from his waistband. Great takedown! No officers injured, one very bad guy in handcuffs, and within a few minutes the area was returned to normal. It is a phenomenal feeling when a plan of that magnitude comes to fruition. But, it pays off to work with some of Chicago’s finest police officers.
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