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 Post subject: Escaping from handcuffs, in the news
PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:29 pm 
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Well, not quite, but something about how to manipulate your handcuffed hands from behind your back to the front.

http://www.slate.com/id/2175054/fr/flyout

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYjNUoZgXTQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL1iywvsM3s

Slate Magazine

Strangled by Handcuffs?
Carol Gotbaum, and the dangers of contortionism.
By Michelle Tsai
Posted Monday, Oct. 1, 2007, at 6:19 PM ET

A New York woman died in police custody at the Phoenix airport Friday after she was handcuffed behind her back and arrested for disorderly conduct. About 10 minutes after leaving the woman in a holding cell, police found her unconscious and with "handcuffs up by her neck area." Investigators guessed that she "tried to manipulate the handcuffs from behind her to the front, got tangled up in the process," and accidentally strangled herself. Could this really have happened?

Yes. Bringing your arms from behind your back over your head is a difficult maneuver, but it can be done—especially by those who are exceedingly slender, limber, or who have a high tolerance for pain. (At 5 feet 7 inches and 105 pounds, it's possible the woman who died in Phoenix was thin enough to carry this off.) But if someone isn't able to complete the entire move and becomes trapped in a strained position, though, suffocation and strangulation could occur.

According to escape artists, here's how you slip handcuffs from behind over your head (don't try this at home): First, push the left arm as far to the right as possible, or dislocate the shoulder altogether. Rotate the right wrist clockwise within the handcuff until the inside of the wrist faces outward, then bring up the right wrist as if in a bicep curl; the left arm will be tugged upward at the same time. Next, the right arm moves up, scraping up the shoulder blade, until both hands are basically behind the neck and the right elbow points up above your head. Then, tucking your chin into the chest, bring the crook of your right arm over your head. To finish the maneuver, pop the handcuffs around the left forearm, dislocate the left shoulder (if you haven't already), and bring the left arm down in front. (Here's a slow-motion video of the whole thing.) During a murder trial in Australia a few years ago, a woman who had been abducted demonstrated to the jury in a couple of seconds how she made her escape by executing this maneuver. Some real life Gumbys can do this without bending their arms.

If someone is struggling to bring the right arm over, then his head might be shoved into the down position, which can make breathing difficult. If he is able to bring the right arm over, but he can't get his left shoulder twisted around, then the handcuff chains might press into the left side of his neck. There's a greater risk that something can go wrong when the handcuffs aren't double-locked, i.e., prevented from getting tighter on the wrists. In that case, they might constrict at a crucial moment.

It's easier to bring your handcuffed wrists in front of you the other way, by sliding them underneath your feet. Simply shimmy through your arms, butt first, until you can step over the handcuffs with your feet. Long arms and a narrow frame can help. And though you can accidentally pull your arms out of their sockets, you're probably not risking strangulation.

If you want to get out of a pair of handcuffs, you might try to pick the locks with a pin or squeeze your hands through the restraints. Slim wrists helped this Carolina Panthers cheerleader slip out of her cuffs; those with larger paws might end up breaking a thumb or wrist.

Got a question about today's news? Ask the Explainer.

Explainer thanks Mark Cannon of Cannon's Great Escapes, Jim Hart of the American Jail Association, and Nelson Lugo.
Michelle Tsai is a writer living in Jersey City, N.J.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2175054/

Copyright 2007 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive Co. LLC


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:05 pm 
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Heh. I was talking with an Edmonton Police Officer about his cuffs this past spring. I carry "police style" handcuff in my shop, and was really wondering what the difference between the cuffs I carry, and the cops the police are actually issued.

I took a look at them. Same key, same quality cuffs. I questioned him about the fact that they all use pretty much the same style key to get out, and the keys are readily available. Most keys that come with a cheap $5 set of cuffs would work. He hasn't seen anyone with their own key. But they do search their pockets.

He mentioned it is more likely that they're just going to break the cuffs by leveraging them on anything, even their wrists. They are not very strong. He has seen it a few times.

The cuffs aren't meant to lock up the prisoners like a jail, but rather, keep their hands relatively subdued to make transportation of the criminals safer. And to prevent them from doing stupid things.

I suppose that is why I'm seeing a lot more zip ties being used in police and military take-dows on television.

8)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:20 pm 
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when I started reading this, the first thing that poped into my head was "why not go the easy way, under your legs?"

Its funny that they brought in Mark Cannon, he is more than qualified to answer and discuss this on.

Why are some people just so stupid. I really dont feel pitty for this person. Sorry, if that offends any one, but come on....

Yes Wayno, your correct, zip ties are being used more and more for raids.
They are fast, tight, and can be fairly strong.

Cuffs can be picked and can be broken (well so can ties, but they are a edited of a lot cheaper).

There are special hand cuffs, used by police that will use a slightly bigger/smaller key, or some that have a second appendage. These are more often found on leg shackels and high security cuffs.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:41 pm 
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DavidTheCryptic wrote:
Cuffs can be picked and can be broken (well so can ties, but they are a edited of a lot cheaper).


And a lot more painfull. You're going to cut yourself something bad trying to break out of them. There's nothing to leverege, they're very strong, and they're very thin.

8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:46 pm 
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wayno wrote:
DavidTheCryptic wrote:
Cuffs can be picked and can be broken (well so can ties, but they are a edited of a lot cheaper).


And a lot more painfull. You're going to cut yourself something bad trying to break out of them. There's nothing to leverege, they're very strong, and they're very thin.

8)


Yep, I have cut myself a few times in attepmts to break out of them by force. It takes alot of force to snap them. And to "pick" them, takes skill.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:06 pm 
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The cheap ones are pretty simple. A toothpick will do the trick. But the ones with the metal tabs sunk into the plastic housing can be a little annoying. heh.

Never thought of escape attampts, but rather, freeing my computer cables up without having to use new zips. Heh.

8)


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