A former special forces operator, Hardman is a martial arts master and sympathetic toward street kids
DETROIT—Det. Chase Hardman, who gained fame last year when he single-handedly took down a murderous drug ring led by a former CIA operative who knew Hardman from their time together in Southeast Asia, is being threatened with suspension after a wild car chase that resulted in over three dozen automobile accidents and $2 million in property damages. Hardman, who colleagues have described as a “loose cannon”, has argued against the threatened suspension, as there were no serious injuries other than the two bank robbers he was pursuing, who he shot dead only after they drew on him first.
“I was actually off duty when I took the guys out,” Hardman recalls, “I called for back-up, but they were taking too long, so I went in alone. When I came face to face with the guys, one yelled ‘Die pig!’ and took a shot at me, but he missed. I calmly aimed my .44 Magnum and said, ‘You first’ before I shot them both.”
At the time of the robbery Hardman was at dinner with his ex-wife, Maria, with whom he is attempting to reconcile, although she continues to resist because he has never been able to successfully separate his work from his family. Chances of the reconciliation now seem slimmer than ever as Hardman left the dinner to pursue the criminals.
“We just never catch a break, you know?” says Maria, “With him it’s always the job first. My mother thinks I’m crazy for thinking I can change him, but damn it, I love that son of a bitch.”
Captain Lou Riggs, Hardman’s direct superior, has offered to remove the threat of suspension if Hardman will agree to visit the police psychiatrist once a month, but thus far Hardman has resisted. Riggs, who is tough on Hardman, but ultimately fair, believes that therapy is all that can save Hardman from his self-destructive ways, which have included turning to the bottle following his divorce and the death of his partner, who was only two-weeks away from retirement when he was killed by a crime lord, a case which Hardman single-handedly solved while serving a previous suspension.
“I’ve been called a lousy cop, and maybe that’s true,” Hardman says, “But sometimes you have to shoot first and ask questions when the smoke clears. The bottom line is, I get the job done. If the captain thinks that makes me a candidate for the nut house, then he can have my badge. But I’m keeping the gun.”