2022 Year in Review: Scary Close Calls Caught on Video

Jan. 1, 2023
Flamethrower and excavator attacks. Wrong-way drivers, Shots fired by 4-year-old as his dad was arrested. OFFICER Magazine compiled some of the close calls officers encountered this year.

Successful law enforcement careers are built on a foundation of rigorous and effective training, and it's that training that can keep a close call from turning into a fatal one.

OFFICER Magazine looked back at some of the close calls police officers encountered that were caught on video in 2022. In one instance, honed driving skills meant a Vermont state trooper went home uninjured after an unsecured chair flew off a pickup truck and crashed into his cruiser's windshield. In another, properly wearing a bulletproof vest not only saved a Georgia deputy's life, but prevented serious injuries, when a traffic stop turned into a shootout. 

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But even the best, most comprehensive training can't cover every harrowing eventuality. How does an officer fend off a suspect wielding a flamethrower? Or what do deputies do when they're attacked by a man in an excavator while apprehending someone else? 

Those danger-filled, adrenaline-pumping moments might only make up scant minutes of an officer's time on the job, but those close calls—and how they're handled—might be the difference between a long career in law enforcement and a short one.

A look back at the close calls of 2022 should be a reminder that the goal of every officer is to make it home safely at the end of the day.

Suspect with Flamethrower Confronts N.J. SWAT Unit

A Lyndhurst man with a flamethrower and firearms faces attempted murder and other charges after a nearly 24-hour standoff with police and the Bergen County Regional SWAT Team.

Drivers Help Fla. Trooper Attacked on Roadside

Dashboard camera footage captured a pedestrian punching a Florida Highway Patrol trooper who stopped after spotting the man walking along Interstate 4 in Tampa.

Video Shows Scary Scene as Body Armor Saves Ga. Deputy's Life

Newly released dashboard and body camera footage captures a 24-year-old driver being pulled over before shooting a Jones County sheriff's deputy, whose bulletproof vest prevented serious injury.

Flying Chair Crashes into Windshield of Vt. Trooper's Cruiser

A Vermont State Police trooper had a close call driving along the interstate in South Burlington after an unsecured chair flew off a pickup truck and into the trooper's windshield.

Tenn. Officers Dragged by Car as Suspect Flees Traffic Stop

A frightening traffic stop was captured by a dashboard camera as two Franklin police officers struggled with a suspect before being dragged along the interstate, with one officer run over during the escape.

Gunman Hangs from Moving Car to Shoot at Detroit Police

A squad car was struck in the engine block and the roof—just a few inches from an officer's head—when Detroit police on drag racing detail spotted a man hanging out of a car's window.

Dad Uses Excavator to Attack Vt. Troopers Arresting Son

When Vermont State Police troopers tried to take his son into custody, a father in Hardwick got behind the controls of an excavator to swing the scoop at troopers in a wild attack caught on video.

Ala. Officer Fights Off Inmate Grabbing for Gun

While being escorted to a waiting transport unit, an inmate tried to take the gun from Cullman Police Officer Matt Hollingsworth, whose quick reactions foiled the inmate.

Bodycam Captures Scary Moment of 4-Year-Old Firing on Utah Police

Unified Police Department officers were involved in a close call earlier this year when a 4-year-old boy shot at them while they were apprehending the child's father outside a Midvale fast food restaurant.

Sparking Power Lines Nearly Hit Tenn. Police Officer

Cookeville police dashcam footage captured an incident when a tractor-trailer drove through a crash scene, pulling down a utility pole and power lines.

Tampa Police Officer Narrowly Avoids Pair of Wrong-Way Drivers

Dashboard camera footage captured two drivers traveling the wrong way on an expressway exit, forcing a Tampa police officer to swerve out of the way to prevent a collision.

Bodycam Shows N.C. Police's Violent Clash with Mass Shooting Suspect

In the recently released footage, Raleigh police are seen exchanging gunfire with a suspect who had shot seven people and wounded an officer in the shootout.

Man Posing as Parent Attacks Ohio Officer During Questioning

While a suspect accused of impersonating a parent in order to kidnap a girl at a school open house was waiting to be interviewed, he tried to stab a Xenia police officer with a pen before being subdued.

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