Reports of gunshots led to a high-speed chase and crash, but it was the struggle between Senior Deputy Chris Mastrianni and a father with his toddler tucked under his arm that left a nation of viewers stunned and propelled Mastrianni to national fame.
It all started the night of July 8, 2017 when a car drove away at a high rate of speed from a house where gunshots were reported. Mastrianni pursued the car with speeds up to 90 mph until the car crashed and overturned.
When Mastrianni got out of his patrol car and ran over to the overturned vehicle, the barefoot driver crawled out, swinging a toddler girl under his arm.
While holding the toddler he began slinging her around, and he fought with Mastrianni, who repeatedly yells, “That’s your baby!” and “Let go of the baby!”
An A&E producer ran over and picked up the girl as Mastrianni and the suspect continued struggling until backup arrived. At times it looked like the suspect was reaching for Mastrianni’s gun. Stunned viewers watched Mastrianni later carrying the girl as she rested her head on his shoulder.
All of that over a small quantity of marijuana that would have resulted in a ticket. A few weeks later the suspect was arrested again in possession of marijuana while still on bail from the previous incident.
Live PD host Dan Abrams later tweeted: “I’ve done a lot of live television but tonights #livepd was definitely one of the most emotionally draining. Ever.”
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) July 9, 2017
On March 23rd, 2018 Mastrianni earned a promotion to Investigator and no longer appears on the show.
“Couldn’t be more proud to work for @RCSD and am truly thankful for being promoted to Investigator,” Mastrianni, a four-year veteran of the department, wrote in a tweet announcing the promotion. “I am very excited for this next chapter in my career.”
— Chris Mastrianni (@MastrianniChris) March 24, 2018
WARNING: VIDEO IS INTENSE