Everybody has “one of those days,” right? Well, suppose your “days” were like these…
- While working an undercover assignment that spilled over to another state, I was with two informants who’d introduced me to a drug supplier. At the time of the meeting where we were to purchase a quantity of cocaine, I was unarmed with no radio and no phone. Well, as bad luck would have it, a guy walked up and I immediately recognized him as someone I’d once arrested for selling crack. I continued with the transaction, keeping my cool, but on the inside my heart was pounding like a bass drum in a high school marching band. Apparently the thug didn’t recognize me and the deal went through as planned. Afterward, the three of us returned to our car and we’re preparing to leave when “my friend” walked up and tapped on my window. This is it, I thought. He’s going to shoot us. But he stood there and motioned for me to roll down the glass. When I did he leaned over and whispered, “You owe me one. Big time.” Then he gave me a slight wink and walked back inside. Talk about a pucker factor times ten!
- Subsequent to serving a search warrant on the home and property of a drug dealer, one of the officers assigned to search the vehicles called me on the radio and said, “You need to see something out here.” I stepped outside and found him standing behind a car with the trunk open. When I walked over he pointed inside at a couple of silhouette targets, each with multiple bullet holes punched through the paper. My name was written at the top, just above the heads. This was the second time I’d seen my name on a target such as these. Very creepy, to say the least.
- I’ve performed CPR a few of times over the years. Once was on a drug addict who’d overdosed. Before he consumed the drug, though, he’d eaten a can of sardines, with mustard, and he’d filled his gut with a rather large amount of beer and liquor. Unfortunately, I received a big taste of each as I blew much-needed O2 into his lungs. After this incident I purchased a CPR pocket mask. No more mouth-to-mouth for me. I also made a promise to my stomach that I would never allow another sardine to pass my lips. I don’t even like seeing the tiny fish at aquariums. Yuck!
- One Saturday morning an elderly lady called dispatch to report a fire in her kitchen. I was nearby and responded to see if I could help. The woman met me on her front porch wearing a robe and slippers and a massive amount of curlers in her hair. She was visibly upset. I rushed inside and found the burnt contents of a frying pan on fire. I dumped a bunch of salt into the pan and covered it with a lid. She told me she’d been cooking fish, but the charred stuff was totally unrecognizable. So I opened the windows and doors and used a dishtowel to force some of the thick smoke outside. After things calmed down I noticed several full and stinky garbage bags sitting on the back porch. She explained that her grandson used to come by to haul the garbage to a nearby dumpster, but he’d gotten into a bit of trouble and was currently in jail. So I loaded the bags into the trunk of my patrol car and told her I’d take them away for her. She grabbed my arms and pulled me down to her level so she could kiss my cheek. She then called me her “white knight.” Well, long story short…I stopped by on a regular basis to take away her trash, fix a broken cabinet drawer, lift and tote things, run to the grocery store for this and that, listen to stories about her family, her deceased husband, and about her church—she dearly loved attending church, and, well, I even found myself mowing her lawn after work. Sadly, my elderly friend died six months after the morning of her fish fire. I was the only white person who attended the funeral. Her family thanked me for being her friend, and for being her white knight.
- I responded to a shots-fired call at a crowded nightclub. My backup was a rookie officer who was so new, in fact, his uniform still smelled like its packaging. Now that’s a rookie. We pulled into the parking lot and were met by several dozen people running from the club. We’d parked and taken a few steps toward the building when a man stepped outside and began firing an Uzi into the lot. I’ll never forget seeing the spatter of muzzle flashes. I’ll also never forget seeing my “partner” tucking tail and running back to his car. He’d left his door open and when he came with a few feet of the vehicle he practically dove inside where he frantically grabbed the radio mic and began shouting “Incoming! Incoming! Incoming!” He was subsequently assigned the nickname “Klinger,” after Cpl Max Klinger on MASH. Klinger was one of the characters on the show who announced “Incoming wounded!”
- It was early one Sunday morning, about 3 a.m., or so, when I received a call about a fight in progress at a club, with weapons involved. As my luck would have it I was nearby. When I pulled up I saw a group of people, men and women who were in the process of yelling and screaming and pushing and swinging. One shirtless young man held a knife in his right hand and used the left to cover his very bloody neck. I hopped out of my car and ran over to him. He made a couple of swipes at me with the knife and it was then that I saw blood spurting from between his fingers. The thin streams of blood looked like they were being shot from a high-end water pistol. I called for EMS and then wrestled the knife from him. One of the men in the crowd gave me his t-shirt and I used it to apply pressure to the wound until the ambulance arrived. An ER doctor told me the man had suffered a stab wound that nicked his carotid artery. The wounded man survived. I was covered in blood and had to go home to shower and change.
- I responded to an “escaped prisoner” call at a local jail. A newly hired corrections officer/jailer processed a prisoner and was taking him to his cell when the bad guy got away from the officer. The two were running around in the lockup area, and during the melee the inmate had somehow taken the keys from the jailer. When I arrived the prisoner was holding the officer away by bombarding him with rolls of toilet tissue, bars of soap, and whatever items he could find to throw. The other prisoners joined in and were also lobbing things at the officer. We quickly got things under control, took the keys from him, and then discovered a small pistol in the pocket of his jumpsuit. The jailer had not found it during the pre-lockup STRIP SEARCH! How in the heck do you miss seeing a gun on someone who’s totally nude. Turns out the new jailer was too shy to ask prisoners to strip so he skipped that so very important step of the process. He was fired. The officer who brought the armed man to the jail was also in a heap of trouble.
- A man wearing a corrections uniform was driving a car late at night on a deserted stretch of interstate. He was speeding and weaving a bit between the lanes, so I stopped him. His passenger was totally nude (male), handcuffed to the car door, and beads of sweat the size of gumdrops dripped from his face onto his pasty-white, beluga-whalish body. The driver wore only his Department of Corrections shirt. He was nude from the waist down. No shoes or socks. When he rolled down his window the two looked at me as if to say, “Is there something wrong, officer?”
So, how’s your day going so far?