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Police Try Surprise Tactics, Like Stomping On Feet

April 27, 1987

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) _ The police department is instructing officers to smile instead of wrestling offenders to the ground, and if that doesn’t work to stomp on their feet or pull their hair.

The surprise gets the offender’s attention, and cooperation, Capt. Kenneth McCarty says.

Police began looking for a different way to subdue offenders last year after six officers were injured while making arrests. Two of them suffered permanent disabilities.

The department found Lee Shaykhet, who teaches a new law enforcement method developed in the Soviet Union as a form of self-defense.

″Shaykhet teaches the police to forget their inhibitions about unfair fighting,″ McCarty said.

Using the technique, which police are hesitant to elaborate on, two officers can perform an arrest that previously required six, McCarty said. And it nearly eliminates the risk of injury to the officers, he said.

″It’s not the martial arts,″ McCarty said. ″It’s not judo or karate. It’s so basic, a lot of people don’t think of it.″

McCarty said the new tactic has worked the seven times it has been used, with no further resistance or complaint from the prisoners. Law enforcement agencies in Michigan and Kentucky also report success with Shaykhet’s methods, he said.