Ted Bundy’s Arrest on February 15, 1978 from a Visual Timeline
Ted has an opportunity to slip across state
lines, but ends up prowling a Pensacola industrial area for a vacant parking lot
where he can get some sleep, maybe steal another car.
1:34 a.m. Patrolman David Lee of the Pensacola Police Department spotted Ted
turning into the rear of Oscar’s Restaurant (Ted’s headlights were on). Lee silently
followed Ted while calling in the license plate (tag 13D-15864; complaint #M5308,
TPD). Upon learning it was stolen, he put on his blue light. A chase ensued and
ended when Ted pulled over on North W Street just north of W Cross Street. Lee
got out of his car while directing his service revolver on Ted and demanded Ted get
out of his car. Lee had to repeat the demand several times before Ted complied.
He ordered Ted to lie down on the pavement in front of his headlights. As Ted got
down, Lee directed his attention to the front passenger side of Ted’s VW. With all
the junk in Ted’s car, Lee thought there might be someone else in the seat. Lee
called out but got no response. He then asked Ted, but still got no response. As he
placed the first cuff on Ted’s wrist, but with his attention diverted, Ted kicked Lee’s feet out from under him and struck him somewhere
– Lee couldn’t recall. As Lee went down and Ted
came up, Lee discharged his gun in the air, more as
an automatic response than with intent to hit someone. Whereupon Ted fled south on W Street and east
into Cross Street. Lee got up and demanded Ted stop.
Ted turned back to look at Lee, and in that moment
Lee thought he could see something in Ted’s hand
(thinking it might be a gun). Lee later realized it was
the cuff he had half gotten on Ted’s wrist. Notwithstanding, Lee fired a second shot. Ted went down.
There was approximately half a block between the
two men at this stage. Thinking he had shot his man,
Lee went over to check. Ted was lying face down.
As Lee kneeled down to roll him over, Ted started fighting again. This time striking Lee with his hands,
with the handcuff that was on his “left” wrist. He was
trying to get at Lee’s gun, the same time screaming
for help. At that moment a citizen came out and said
something to the effect, “Why are you hurting that
man?” but when he saw it was an officer doing his
duty, he disappeared. Shortly thereafter, Lee got the
better of Ted and fully handcuffed him. As he hauled
Ted back to his vehicle, two other patrolmen arrived.