Cuff flexing
March 1, 2006 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Can you really get handcuffs from your back to your front?

I was watching an old episode of 24, where Jack just slides his hands down over his butt and then steps through the cuffs, getting his hands up front. I can't imagine it being that easy.
posted by cgs to Grab Bag (27 answers total)
posted by 517 at 8:09 AM on March 1, 2006

The absolute coolest part of Thunderheart was when they cuff a guy, he breaks away, sprints at a car, leaps onto it, jumps as high as he can off of it and pulls his hands below his tucked feet to get the cuffs in front.

So maybe there weren't so many competitors for "absolute coolest". Either way.
posted by yerfatma at 8:11 AM on March 1, 2006

posted by cribcage at 8:16 AM on March 1, 2006

Sure, depending on the cuffs, the length of your arms, and the size of your butt.

If your wrists are bound tightly together with zip ties, it'll be really hard, maybe impossible.

If you're bound with the Handcuffs Classic[tm] with the little length of chain, then it seems to me that it'd be pretty trivial for someone of average build.

Of course, those with short arms and/or wide butts might have more of a problem.
posted by chazlarson at 8:17 AM on March 1, 2006

Can anyone do it, or just unusually flexible people?
posted by crabintheocean at 8:18 AM on March 1, 2006

I knew a woman in college who could dislocate her shoulders. She'd hold her hands behind her back and bring them over her head to the front of her body. I remember thinking at the time that handcuffs would be useless on her.
posted by Lucinda at 8:19 AM on March 1, 2006

Sorry, should have previewed.
posted by crabintheocean at 8:19 AM on March 1, 2006

I remember thinking at the time that handcuffs would be useless on her.

Well, she'd still be, y'know, handcuffed.
posted by cribcage at 8:21 AM on March 1, 2006

I can't find the link now but didn't the issue come up at the trial of Bradley Murdoch, convicted of killing backpacker Peter Falconio? The defence requested that the girlfriend, Joanne Lees, demonstrate her ability to do this.
posted by ceri richard at 8:32 AM on March 1, 2006

I just wrapped a USB cable around my hands behind my back and I can step over my hands. And I'm not particularly graceful.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:56 AM on March 1, 2006

This all seems a little unecessary. When I have a problem with my handcuffs, I just call out my safe word.

That being said, Houdini had quite few tricks for getting out of handcuffs.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:00 AM on March 1, 2006

When I was in highschool, I worked at a pizzaria. In the convenience store next door (in the same building) there was, one night, a ruckus. This ruckus resulted in the ruckuser being cuffed and put in the back of a cruiser. Seems he was making a mess due to a chemically induced state of one type or another.

Important fact, across the street from pizzaria and store is a giant field.

We're watching from the safety of our pizza restaurant.

So, criminal is in back of cruiser, which doesn't, for whatever reason, have it's inside gate up. Cop goes inside to take a statement. Criminal decides he'd like to be elsewhere, pulls his hands around his ass, and climbs into the front of the cruiser.

He drives off into the field across the street and proceeds to drive around like an idiot for ten minutes or so. Eventually he hits a tree which causes the console mounted shotgun to blow a hole through the roof of the cruiser.

Fun story. But point was - he got his hands in front of him.
posted by jaded at 9:03 AM on March 1, 2006

Can you really get handcuffs from your back to your front?


Some people I know cannot. Flexibility seems to be the distinguishing factor.
posted by Elsa at 9:22 AM on March 1, 2006

Sad to say, I'm in the short arms/wide butt demographic. If I ever get cuffed, I'll just be screwed.

(Raise your hand if, since opening this thread, you've attempted this escape yourself. Or don't, if you're stuck in handcuffs.)
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:26 AM on March 1, 2006

*raises hand*

I find that I can't do it if I'm holding my wrist. But if I'm clasping my two hands together tightly, I can then. I figure I need about 4" space between my wrists to pull it off.
posted by waldo at 9:35 AM on March 1, 2006

I can do this holding my wrists both by bringing my hands around my head, and also around my butt.

I can also bring the loop of my clasped hands all the way around my body.

I am teh wins!
posted by adamwolf at 10:04 AM on March 1, 2006

Go read the police report about the Carolina Panthers cheerleaders busted for having sex in the bathroom. One of the cheerleaders could apparently not only step over the cuffs, she could slip her wrists out of them, even at their smallest diameter. This, of course, pissed the cops off to no end.
posted by frogan at 10:04 AM on March 1, 2006

*raises hand*

I can't do it, but I have short arms and a wide(ish) bum. But that was a fun thirty seconds.
posted by kalimac at 10:05 AM on March 1, 2006

Novelty handcuffs (ones you can remove by yourself) are not that hard to come by. Why don't you get some and try it out?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:08 AM on March 1, 2006

I can do it really easily holding my wrists together. I'm really skinny though.
posted by chunking express at 11:23 AM on March 1, 2006

I have done this a couple of times.

Be relatively thin. Any sort of gut makes it hard. You must also expect to cause some pain to your wrists (but having to sit for long periods of time cuffed behind your back is painful too).

Kick off your shoes. (You can put them back on when your hands are in front of you. Bend forward and streeeetch for that last bit to get your wrists past you heels. You will have to spread your forearms away from each other to allow passage of your feet through the gap at your wrists. Expect some pretty noticable wrist hurtage. Put your shoes back on.

Try not to look too smug when the cops open the paddywagon/holding cell to retrieve you. I know from experience they hate this.
posted by sourwookie at 12:15 PM on March 1, 2006

Yep. I can do it, so can my bf.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:55 PM on March 1, 2006

The mid 80's movie FX with Brian Brown and Brian Dennehy has a scene where an assasin jumps his cuffs in one smooth motion. My friend and I both kinda gasped because it was so freakin badass.
posted by vronsky at 3:38 PM on March 1, 2006

I can do it by stepping through, provided that the cuffs are not too tight. I have the advantage of being thin and flexible, as well as possessing monkey arms, though, so there you go.
posted by scody at 3:52 PM on March 1, 2006

I can and have. I have a weird trick with my shoulder (I don't actually pop out of the socket) where I clasp my two hands behind me and bring them over my head. I wouldn't recommend trying to do it yourself however. My friends shoulder dislocated trying to copy me. You don't have to be particularly thin for this method and I think you don't particularly have to be flexible you just have to stretch the one particular muscle in your shoulder.

By the way I used to do this all the time on demand, (Are you the girl that can pull her arms over her head? OMG becky, watch this its soooo funny/freaky/disgusting!) and got really good at it. But now I am rusty to the point that I have to really work to get all the way around.
posted by Suparnova at 4:25 PM on March 1, 2006

FYI, you can undo cable ties with the tweezers from a Swiss Army knife by sliding one leg of the tweezers through the latch (pushing the grabber out of the way). Hard to do if your wrists are really close together.
posted by plinth at 8:10 PM on March 1, 2006

This book shows you how to get out of handcuffs in a few seconds with a bobby pin. It actually works, i've tried.
posted by octavia at 9:07 PM on March 2, 2006

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