TPD officer reflects on run-in with a suspect that wanted to be shot
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A Toledo Police Officer is speaking out after a suspect tried to get him to shoot him after a high speed chase earlier this month.
Officer Glenden Teems, a ten-year veteran with Toledo Police, said he never encountered a situation like he did on November 5th, 2021.
“Not like that, not where I have had someone try to get me to pull the trigger on them,” said Teems.
Teems was responding to a call of a high speed chase that ended when domestic violence suspect, Leland Pickens, 39, crashed in the parking lot at Toledo Technology Academy.
“I lost sight of him for a second going around the building, which is why I drew my gun not knowing where he was or if he was armed,” Teems said.
Body camera footage sows Pickens with his hands in the air.
“He already has his hands up and I could tell that his hands were clear, that he had no weapon in hand at the time,” Teems explained. “I had him contained between me and the building. I then chose to start deescalating the situation by moving to my taser.”
Teems said Pickens then started walking towards him and tried to get him to shoot him by pretending to have a gun in his pocket.
“He became more animated and his motions seems exaggerated,” said Teems. “He would move real quick with a finger gun and that basically confirmed to me that he did not have a weapon.”
Pickens then took off into the school and Teems said he yelled to a pipefitter working in the building to help stop him. Pickens was taken down without incident and placed in custody.
“Every situation is different, you never know what you are going to be presented with,” he said. “You really have to understand your department policies, and understand what you are being presented with and you have to have a lot of attention to detail.”
Afterwards, Teems sent a group text to his wife, sister and mother, with the message, “I am okay.”
Teems said the outcome could have been much different if not for his training.
“None of us come to work each day wanting to shoot anyone,” said Teems. “That’s not why we put on the badge, that’s not why we show up.”
Pickens was released form jail on his own recognizance. He is expected to face a judge on November 29, 2021.
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