‘You’re always a cop’: Retired officer still has touch, helps nab suspect


He’s retired. But he’s also a former police officer.

That helped him end a police chase that reached 100 mph in northern Gwinnett County.

“I did what I had to do,” the officer, who asked not to be identified, told Channel 2 Action News.

This Saturday started like many others, with the officer going to the QuikTrip at Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Duluth Highway for coffee.

“The clerk and myself heard a loud bang,” he said.

That was a crash that the suspect, who was 17 years old, caused while trying to evade police in a stolen car. 

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The teen was traveling almost 100 mph in the 45-mph zone, and hit a driver while she was at a red light — all in a stolen car, the station reported. Then he ran from the scene.

“The suspect in the car accident came running toward me with his right hand in his pocket,” the former officer said, “so I just assumed he had a weapon.”

Then his instincts kicked in.

“You do the job for so long, so right away my first instincts were to say. ‘Police — let me see your hands,’” he said.

The suspect complied, and that ended the 30-minute chase.

The former officer was quick to credit the Suwanee and Duluth police departments. And he explained his own actions.

 “It just happened so fast, training and experience take over,” he said. “The old saying is — once you’re a cop, you’re always a cop.”

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