Editor’s Note: Dallas bicycle police officers Rick Janich and Pam Maines, who work at the East Dallas Police Storefront, arrested two South Dallas youths (ages 18 and 14) following a shooting incident last month in which one youth fired a pistol at the officers near 4700 Reiger, police say. No one was injured in the shooting, and the young men were captured after a short chase. Both were charged with attempted capital murder. Prior to this incident, no Dallas bicycle officer had been fired upon in the line of duty.
Advocate: Well, I heard that you had a little excitement down there.
Rick: Yeah, I guess you could call it that. We were out on regular patrol, and we saw a guy relieving himself behind a building. When he saw us, he darted behind the building. We were on the bikes, so when we rode around the building, four guys were standing there. We heard a shot, and they all took off running.
The shot happened so quickly, as we came around the building…we saw the guy, and boom, it was all over in a matter of milli-seconds. It happened so quickly, that was the weird, scary part; it all happened so quickly.
Advocate: I don’t recall reading anything about this in the paper or seeing anything about it on TV. Isn’t this the first time any Dallas bicycle officers have been fired upon?
Rick: It was bound to happen sometime. We’ve had a couple of officers almost run over by cars, but not shot at before. We’re prepared to deal with it, but…I guess that’s just life in the big city.
Advocate: Why didn’t you fire back?
Rick: I drew my handgun, but I really didn’t know in my heart which one had shot at us, so I just didn’t return fire. That’s why I didn’t shoot.
Pam: You know, the shooter – I pulled up the record on him later – he had been arrested seven times during the last year and a half. That’s just frustrating: What’s he even doing out on the street?
Everybody asked me if I was scared, but to tell you the truth, it was all said and done before we even knew what hit us. After it was over, I was real mad because, jeez, with us (bicycle patrol officers), everybody has always said: Aren’t you afraid to ride around on a bike? If we had been in a squad car, that bullet wouldn’t have penetrated the car. But there is nothing to penetrate on a bike.
The more you think about it, the more you realize that that could have been it. When something like this happens, you realize that even on the smallest thing, it can happen. After five years of not being shot at, well, this is just a crazy world.
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