Tiniest Crime Fighter Ever!27 May 2011
Ryan Berger from California may just be the world’s smallest detective, measuring up to only three feet two inches tall.
34 year old Ryan, was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta or Brittle Bones (like me), and like myself, he has type III, which is one of the more severe types, although he hasn’t suffered from any fractures for a few years.
The most common characteristics of OI type III is a very short stature, extremely fragile bones, hearing loss and brittle teeth.
Although some of his family are part of law enforcement divisions, including his dad and brother, Ryan wasn’t originally planning on following in their footsteps, and studied computer sciences instead. He was eventually drawn to the industry though.
He isn’t able to go out on the force and directly catch criminals himself, but he does do his fair share of police work, by assisting other detectives that he works with.
Ryan uses an electric wheelchair to get around, so slight modifications had to be made to part of the office and some equipment, but Ryan’s supervisor Sgt. Troy Guidry says “mentally is where he’s so tough, his attitude with life. That’s why he fits in so well” and he does: “everything most able-bodied people can do”.
Ryan assists his colleagues with questioning suspects and victims, gathering and organizing paperwork for cases, testifying in court, and other aspects of criminal investigation.
Ryan jokes “it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble” when speaking of his employment at The Santa Ana Police Department.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) may be a rare condition, but it effects almost 1 in 20,000 people, with more than half of the cases being the milder type, type I, which can often exist in families for years before patients are diagnosed, if at all.
Another common trait that people with severe types of OI have, is a high pitched voice. Ryan says that people often mistake him for a woman over the telephone. “When they come in to the station, they see that I’m a man and a short statured man, so they’re a bit surprised, but once I start talking to them, they relax,” he says.
Ryan is a true testament to the strong ‘OI spirit’, by not letting anything come in between him and what he wants to achieve.