A California police officer’s life was saved after a bullet headed towards his heart deflected off his police officers badge during a pursuit early Friday morning.
After police responded to a domestic violence call around 12:15 a.m. in Huntington Beach, the driver fled when police arrived. After getting a few miles away, he turned around and began firing at police officers. One of the police officers was struck by one of the bullets.
“The round came through the front windshield of the officer’s car, struck the officer’s badge and deflected off. The round did not go through the badge or hit the officer’s (protective) vest,” Huntington Beach police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Marlatt told The Orange County Register.
The officers in the patrol cars returned fire according to Marlatt. The officers got involved in a high speed pursuit of the vehicle until California Highway Patrol intervened. The suspect was at one point hitting speeds of 100 miles per hour, according to police.
The driver of the vehicle drove for roughly 70 miles before he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an embankment. The car went up in flames and the driver was killed.
Marlatt said the officer who’s badge was struck by the bullet was taken to a hospital but had only received minor injuries from the windshield glass.
The badge was rested on the edge of the officers protective vest covering the flesh that wasn’t protected by the body armor.
“Adrenaline kicked in, and he didn’t even know he was hit until he pulled over in Costa Mesa,” Marlatt told the Orange County Register.
“It’s safe to say the badge saved his life,” Police Chief Robert Handy told reporters. “This officer was very lucky.”