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Close call for Massillon police officer during traffic stop

Posted at 10:54 PM, Jan 27, 2018

Police officers say there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.

"You really have no idea when you walk up to that car what you're going to be involved in," said Massillon Police Officer Sherman Kruger.

On Friday night on 6th Street and Perry Avenue in Massillon, officer Sherman Kruger's stop was far from ordinary.

"During the traffic stop the passenger kind of started acting a little fishy," said Officer Kruger.

He quickly learned the passenger had a warrant for her arrest.

"She attempted to run but I was right behind her, so I was forced to take her down to the ground," he said.

At the time the arrest was happening, Kruger's back was towards the car, but from the corner of his eye he saw the driver starting to move.

"I could see him reaching towards the glove compartment of the vehicle," said Kruger.

In a few moments he would find out, the driver had a gun.

"The handgun was in the center console, a loaded magazine fully loaded was in the glove box of the vehicle and he also had one live round inside his sweatshirt," said the officer. "You get home later and it's like, I just had my back to a guy who had a gun and I'm in the process of fighting a friend."

For most of the traffic stop Kruger was alone. Before calling for backup, it was just him and his body camera.

As a one man team, officer Kruger says his body camera is a necessity. Not only can he re-watch every single piece of footage, but he can also learn from it to keep himself, and others, safe.

"We have young guys who are getting hired in here, if they can watch my body camera and learn from something that I did, right or wrong, it's a benefit to everyone," said Kruger.