Officer Pray challenged to foot race by teen and wins – twice
This sure was one foot race worth covering.
Bryan Pray of the Sheboygan Police Department and two co-workers were called to Deland Park on Sunday after a complaint that a bunch of cars were doing burnouts. But the only ticket he could have issued was to a teenager for going too slow.
“I’m older now,” the 36-year-old said. “So any chance I can show that I had a little bit of speed, I try to prove some of these kids wrong out here.”
The threesome were on foot patrol when they approached several cars in a parking lot near Lake Michigan. The officers made the rounds and were ready to leave but saw one more vehicle with four people in it that had just finished tossing a football around.
After asking if they saw anything, Pray chatted with them for a bit. He asked who the good football players were and a 19-year-old standing outside the car his friends were in claimed he was.
Pray jokingly said he was better, so the teen chuckled and suggested a game between his group and the officers.
Since that was not reasonable, the man – still wearing his cleats – responded by saying none of the cops could beat him in a race.
“At that point,” Pray said, “I was like, ‘I don’t think you know who you’re talking to. You should Google me.’”
For good reason.
Pray not only helped his Oklahoma City high school win a track and field state title, he also qualified for two events in the NCAA Championships while attending Pittsburg State University.
Pray, who played football in college as well, then spent about 10 seasons in the Arena Football League (his career debut was in Milwaukee).
If only the poor guy knew.
At first, he thought Pray was scared because he did not want to run on the somewhat wet grass because of the shoes he was in.
After they decided football cleats were meant for grass and cop shoes work better on pavement, the race was on.
By this time, some 10 to 15 minutes had passed and a small crowd came to see what the fuss was all about.
What they saw – while Pray’s co-worker videotaped it – was an officer in full uniform win the 40-yard race pretty easily.
Pray congratulated his opponent and asked if he wanted to race again. Of course, was his reply.
“The second time, I just blew him out,” Pray said.
The crowd high-fived Pray and the officers stayed to mingle for a short time before returning to work.
“It was a good time,” he said. “I kind of joked with the kids and let them know, ‘hey, you guys commit crimes and I’m investigating, you’re not going to get away from me.’
“So it was a good laugh.”