Vargas: Madera PD ridealong experiences the terror of taking gunfire from fleeing suspect


What’s it like to be a police officer?

It’s a challenge for police officers everywhere to try and share the experience of policing with the public. One of the ways officers attempt to do just that is through a civilian ridealong.

For some it is required as part of a class assignment. For others it is an opportunity to understand what the police officers in their community experience day in and day out.

On Oct. 23, for a young lady riding with a Madera police officer, it was the ride of a lifetime.

As the officer attempted to pull over an SUV the vehicle failed to stop. It then accelerated through a stop sign and the pursuit was on.

Within minutes, shots were fired from the car and the police vehicle was disabled.

Photo courtesy of Madera PD

Photo from Madera PD Facebook page

Despite begin shot at, the Madera officer continued the pursuit until the police vehicle was disabled. The young lady riding with the officer couldn’t believe what they had just experienced.

The officer was uninjured and the ridealong received minor injuries from glass fragments.

The vehicle was later abandoned with an assault pistol found inside. The Madera Police Department released the dash cam video and photographs of the damaged police vehicle and a photo of the recovered weapon.

Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at

Photo courtesy of Madera PD

Madera PD Facebook page photo