Constable Benedetto, a general-duties officer with Western Australia Police who previously served eight years in the army, was patrolling an area known for drug use when the incident occurred.
At 1.35 am on 22 February, Benedetto and his partner stopped a man for questioning. At the time they had no idea that the suspect had recently been released from prison, where he’d served time for multiple armed robbery and burglary offences.
“We conducted a name check and discovered he had an outstanding arrest warrant,” said Benedetto. “Then, as I moved in to arrest the man, he started walking backwards and reaching for his waistband or rear pocket. I identified this as an immediate potential threat, as I was standing about 1 to 1.5 metres away.”
Benedetto had to act quickly, but his choices were limited: “A taser deployment would have been ineffective due to his heavy jacket, and I was not justified in drawing my firearm because I could not identify what the man was carrying,” he said, “plus, the engagement could possibly have ended with me becoming entangled with the suspect.”
Benedetto decided to “go hands-on”, at which point the man abandoned his attempts to draw a weapon, and ran. Giving chase, the police officers caught up to the suspect and Benedetto made a second attempt to arrest him.
“I again went hands-on, but he bladed away from me like before,” said Benedetto. “This time, however, I secured him in a ‘seatbelt’ clinch and drove him into a fence, utilising the ACP ‘wall domination’ technique, which allowed me to knock him off balance and drive him into the footpath.
“I then got him into a ‘high-cross domination’ position, securing both arms while my partner dominated his lower half. We then rolled him onto his stomach and handcuffed him in a rear-stack position.”
The officer then searched the suspect and discovered two pairs of scissors, approximately six inches long, in the rear pockets of his pants.
“Had he been able to access these, I have no doubt that either me, my partner or the offender would have ended up in hospital,” said Benedetto.
The constable, who previously served in the Australian Army as a Fitter Armourer, had completed Level 1 and 2 of the Army Combatives Program (ACP) not long before discharging. ACP was developed by Kinetic Fighting founder Paul Cale following the success of his Infantry Integrated Combat program, and is now mandatory for Australian soldiers.
“ACP potentially saved me and my partner from serious injury last night,” said Benedetto. “Unfortunately, WAPOL doesn’t put much emphasis on these skills, which we tend to use 80 per cent of the time [in arrests].
“I would just like to thank Paul and the team for equipping me with some tools to utilise out on patrol that will get me home safe.”Download PDF of this article
Soldier practising wall domination during a lesson in the Australian Army Combatives Program (ACP)