Columbia, SC (WLTX) - In a world where some arrests end in death, Richland County Deputy Chris Mastrianni was able to tackle a suspect with his baby in hands, and arrest him safely. But how did he do it?
Mastrianni was part of a pursuit of a suspect, 22-year-old Bryan Martin, Saturday night that was captured during an episode of the A&E program "Live PD." That program follows around members of the Richland County Sheriff's Department on Friday and Saturday nights.
At the end of the pursuit, Martin got out of his vehicle with his two-year-old daughter in his arms. Officers say he continued to struggle with Mastrianni with his daughter. After less than a minute, he let his daughter down,and Mastrianni put the suspect on the ground and began to handcuff him.
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Richland County Sheriff's Department training Lieutenant Dominick Pagano says there were a lot of different directions Mastrianni could have taken the situation, but he did the right thing.
A deputy has a belt full of tools available to them, from batons and pepper spray all the way to guns. Mastrianni opted to use his hands because Pagano says, "those prongs are indiscriminate when they come out so there's a chance we could've hit the baby and cause injury to the baby."
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He couldn't use pepper spray because it could've gotten to the baby's respiratory system and that Pagano says could've been deadly for their underdeveloped lungs.
"He did the right thing," said Pagano about doing an only-hands approach when trying to arrest a suspect and save an innocent life.
Bryant remains in custody on a $103,000 bond. His daughter suffered no injuries, but was taken to the hospital for observation.
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