It wasn’t long after Shelby, N.C. patrolman Dan Bernat had slapped his handcuffs on alleged Charleston church killer Dylann Roof that officers were able to show their relief.
The first congratulatory fist bump, in fact, came 45 seconds after Roof was in cuffs.
Roof, a 21-year-old avowed white supremacist, had been national news and the subject of an intense manhunt since nine people were gunned down inside a Charleston, S.C. historic black church the night before.
For Shelby, a rural town of 20,000 in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hooking Roof was a big catch.
On Tuesday the Shelby Police Department released patrol car dashcam video of the arrest. While the traffic stop and arrest of Roof are fairly uneventful, the officers’ reactions are anything but.
They brandished big smiles after Roof was in cuffs and the threat of danger had passed.
“You could tell they were all happy to apprehend this guy and get him off the street,” Shelby police Chief Jeff Ledford told Yahoo News. “I can understand them being excited.”
At one point Officer Joe Burris, who discovered the alleged murder weapon in Roof’s backseat, pounds his palms wildly like a linebacker celebrating a game-winning tackle.
The church’s security cameras had captured images of Roof and his black Hyundai sedan, which Charleston police relayed to news outlets in a widespread plea for help.
Debbie Dills, who lives nearby, was on her way to work in neighboring Kings Mountain, N.C., late Thursday morning when she first saw a car she believed to be Roof’s traveling westbound on U.S. 74 toward Shelby. She called her boss to be sure. He got on the phone with local police to describe what she saw. The license plate matched, and Shelby officers were put on alert.
According to Bernat’s incident report, also made public Tuesday, he and his partner, Officer Burris, spotted the black sedan on U.S. 74 on the west side of Shelby.
Roof “abruptly moved over to the right lane in front of a traveling vehicle” after they pulled onto the highway, Bernat writes. When Roof got too close to a tractor-trailer in front of him, Bernat and Burris turned on their lights and sirens, calling for Roof to pull over.
Roof pulled off the road and into a rock driveway.
Bernat yelled for Roof to put his hands on the steering wheel as he approached with his gun drawn. Burris and five other officers closed in on the Hyundai as well.
Bernat ordered the driver to slowly turn the car off and step out and put his hands on the roof.
“I asked the driver his name, he stated Dylann Roof,” Bernat writes.
With Roof locked away in the back of the patrol car, the officers started to secure the area so that the getaway car could be searched for evidence.
But they also relished the moment: exchanging more fist bumps, smiles and a round of high-fives before Roof was taken to police headquarters.
SOURCE: Yahoo! News, Jason Sickles