NH Trooper Avoided Use of Violent Force Thanks to Jiu Jitsu Training

A New Hampshire State Police trooper is talking about what he calls the toughest arrest of his career.

Trooper Bryan Tracy sat down with NBC10 Boston in an exclusive interview to explain how he avoided using lethal force during the violent struggle.

"Any one of us could be in that situation. It is very scary, it is very stressful and there are chances you might not come out of that," he said.

It was just after dark on Sunday night when Tracy spotted a wanted fugitive walking near the Plymouth Airport.

"I told him to stop, turn around, he's under arrest, but he didn't want to do that," Tracy said.

When the suspect took off running, Tracy deployed his K9, Stryker.

With Stryker's help, Tracy took the man to the ground - but then, things got even more dangerous.

"He had some military training. He was strong, he was not going back to jail," Tracy recalled. "He was going for my weapons, he was biting me and he was able to get ahold of my Taser."

At that point, if a subject has stolen an officer's taser and that officer believes his life is in imminent danger, he could use deadly force, but this is where Tracy credits his training in Jiu Jitsu.

When asked if that's what saved his life Sunday, he responded, "100 percent, that's it."

Tracy says pairing his police academy training with the disciplined approach of Jiu Jitsu gave him the control and the confidence he needed during the struggle.

"It's not the physical component, it's the mental piece of it," Tracy said. "It allows you to have a clear picture of what's going on and in stressful situations it allows you to stay calm and maintain your focus."

Within minutes, he was able to get the suspect into handcuffs.

Matthew Drake is now facing a slew of charges, including assault on a police officer.

Tracy is well aware that it could have been worse.

"That's why I want everyone to do extra training, why I want everyone to do a little bit more, because you need to go home to your family at night," Tracy said. "Don't wait until you're in a situation to wish you had trained more."

Drake was wanted for drug possession and was known to have weapons. He's being held on $25,000 cash bail.

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