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Here’s a first in the history of policing: An officer used a Segway to pursue and catch a fleeing, gun-wielding suspect.
Apparently the Chicago police force has 29 Segways, and various officers use them to patrol the downtown core. Officer Thaddeus Martyka was riding one when he heard a gunshot. He saw the perps running away, and gave chase — at the Segway’s blistering top speed of 12.5 miles per hour. Eventually the suspect pooped out and Martkya dismounted and cuffed him. As the Chicago Sun-Times reported:
This is the first time I can recall that the officer used it to chase somebody down,” Central District Cmdr. Kevin Ryan said.
Heh. I’ll bet. It’s such a great mental picture: An officer, trundling leisurely down the street at a pace that would not disturb a cupholder full of coffee, just very … slowly … wearing … the suspect … down. No screaming sirens, no people diving out of the way of the pursuing vehicle: Just the gentle whine of an electric motor as implacable justice meanders down the street.
Even better is the fact that the Sun-Times used the full, official name of the device — the Segway Human Transporter. Human Transporter? I wasn’t aware of any Segways designed for other, y’know, species. Is there some sort of Segway for dogs or giraffes or something that I’m not aware of?
(Thanks to Fark for this one!)
I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).
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