Officer stuck in ambitious squeeze play

May 12, 1994|By Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A 325-pound police officer was a bit too ambitious when he tried to squeeze through a broken window to rescue a man fighting a burglar.

Officer Jorge Benitez-Merlo got stuck.

"It must have looked pretty ridiculous with me stuck halfway in and halfway out," Officer Benitez-Merlo said yesterday.

The 6-foot, 1-inch tall weightlifter was able to free himself quickly, but not before being cut by jagged glass.

A neighbor who saw the officer's problems offered to crawl through the window and open the front door from the inside. Officer Benitez-Merlo gave him the go-ahead.

"He was the one who saved the day," Officer Benitez-Merlo said. "I don't know where he came from."

The officer arrested a blood-soaked suspect in a back hallway. He apparently hadn't heard the officer trying to get in.

Terry Swan, 27, of Fort Lauderdale, was charged with burglary, burglary with battery, resisting arrest and criminal mischief.

It took Officer Benitez-Merlo and other officers 10 minutes to subdue the suspect.

Officer and suspect were taken to the hospital, where the policeman got nine stitches and the suspect was treated for numerous glass cuts.

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