There comes a time during every cops career when they have to make a decision; to say fuck it put me in Captain, or to wait for backup. On June 28, 2016, Tactical Flight Officer Sergeant Steven Borgstedte probably kissed his wife and kids in the morning as he went off to work not expecting he’d have one of the single greatest highlight tapes in police takedown history when he returned in the evening for supper. It’s a rare occasion to get inducted into The Hall for just one act, but all fans of the Spike TV shows Cops and Live P.D. can truly appreciate a 10-second snapshot when a cop turns an oh shit situation into an unbelievable action movie. Some of these instances have been burned into our brains forever because of how awesome and outrageous they were, many of us can definitely rattle off the best takedowns off the top of our heads.
Maybe Juggernaut cop comes to mind, when a GIANT cop magically appears on screen while sprinting balls-out on the breakdown lane of the highway passing nearby cops like he’s fucking T-1000 as he pancakes a criminal into the asphalt. It’s one of those things that at the time it’s an adrenaline dump of pure badassery and risk, but afterward it’s something we all wish we could do in the heat of the moment. Something those cops reflect upon with a twinkle in their eye as they bob their small alien grandson on their knees after hanging it up in retirement. The time grandpa made the news by pulverizing some asshole that just created a mid-day traffic jam on a Thursday of a three-day long-weekend and after all was said and done, onlookers in cars cheered in appeasement giving grandpa two thumbs’ up and a few “Atta Boys, you got ’ems”.
Maybe others remember Tactical Cop from 2017, when coincidently another maniac decided to sprint across four lanes of traffic on the highway to freedom and a cop makes that split-second-fuck-it decision that we respectfully will glorify here. (The tactical cops are the dudes wearing the greenish grey cargo pants and pistols strapped to their tree trunk thighs).
It’s also important to note that in all these GIFs (I made these on Giphy because nobody puts RespeK on the takedown game anymore) there is always somebody we think will catch the suspect and then to the surprise of everyone involved, we get a hero.
At the end of the GIF above look at how many cops (4) surround the minivan and try to scrape and claw for sleeve or a sneaker. It’s almost as if the criminal thought the minivan would keep driving and he’d ride it like a skateboard like in all those Old West cowboy films. Imagine being a driver of that minivan? What would you do in that situation? I’d like to think I’d be a hero myself but I’d probably crap my pants as one nincompoop just slip-and-slided up my windshield, I don’t know if I’d be prepared for two.
Then once the crook pulls his pants up to assess the situation, he’s sees a cop do what he failed to do, mostly because the minivan was moving and these silly crooks don’t understand physics, oh let me run up this moving speeding silver bullet….anyway, two shimmies and the cop Brian Urlacher’d this dude straight off the top of the minivan. The soccer mom was probably floored that the cop wiped the scum off her minivan free of charge. Can’t ask for that kind of service anywhere else on I-75.
Now finally we have the tale that leads us to back to Tactical Flight Officer Sgt. Steven Borgstedt in the flesh and his actions that seal his fate in The Hall forever.
After trailing a burglary suspect in Houston with a Little Bird Police helicopter in 2016, Sgt. Borgstedt motioned for his pilot, Jeffery Serpas, to cutoff his escape route hovering just feet from the ground. Later in an interview, the Serpas stated the suspect would’ve likely gotten away if he continued to run to the adjacent field as many of the pursuing police officers were on foot. Never-mind the complete lackluster effort of the officer in the police cruiser, as he practically ran the guy over, not that I’m complaining.
The suspect took the hardest charlie horse in his life and got up and kept strolling. We needed a Leroy Jenkins, a John Rambo, or perhaps Sgt. Borgstedte to do something so legendary that any of us other fellow humans wouldn’t dare to do.
We needed Sgt. Borgstedte to jump out of his helo as if he was a Navy SEAL chasing down a terrorist, except as it happened it probably occurred in slo-motion because it was so cool. The other newscopter crew at the time knew immediately what was unfolding and as fellow cool-guy pilots they setup the perfect camera angle for Borgstedte to appear out of nowhere gaining ground like a Stormtrooper that just teleported into the action.
After tackling the dude to the ground, Borgstedte squares up ready to box this guy into the next century. When the suspect thinks, “Oh for fucks sake”, that’s when Borgstedte does his best Stone Cold impression by pile-driving the suspect into the grass. During the melee, his weapon becomes disabled and he chucks it because he knows he could still head-butt the perp to death as Dark Helmet.
If there is one thing we can all learn from this, its to never fight a man with a helicopter helmet on. It’s like this nimrod has never seen a cartoon before, how the hell are you gonna damage the face of someone with an impenetrable forcefield around their moneymaker? That’s the easiest way to “Ow weeeeeeeee” your hand. Sgt. Borgstedte received help from a number of officers that pounced on the suspect and arrested him.
Sgt. Borgstedte and Serpas were later honored at the Houston Astros game and, in epic fashion their highlight tape was shown on the Jumbotron to thousands of hometown fans. Following the ordeal and in multiple interviews he later said, “I’m no hero, I was just doing my job”, because that’s exactly what every hero says. The city of Houston awarded them certificates for their gratitude and they continue to serve as helicopter pilots in the Houston PD to this day.
Today June 15th, 2018, The Human Hall OF Fame welcomes Juggernaut Cop, Tactical Cop, and Tactical Flight Officers Steven Borgstedte and Jeffrey Serpas into this prestigious group of humans who changed the world. They join the likes of Food Wizards, Innovators, Space Travelers, War Heroes, Guardian Angels we humans refer to as Humanitarians, Film Icons, and so many more – Human HOF