Thursday, January 3, 2013


“She was just.....” he paused to take a deep breath before finishing the sentence, “.... flirting with me.”

“Flirting? You call that flirting?” I asked while securing the second hand cuff.

“Why were you running then?”

He pointed with a head nod (as he no longer had the use of his hands) at the girl behind him. “She ran....” he managed to stammer out before the next big gasp for air, “ I ran too.”

I gave a sideways glance at the girl who had just managed to get to her feet and pull her pink sweatpants over her teenage hips.

“That’s quite the flirting technique.” I told her.

I had to wonder what school of flirting she had attended; a school which, I assume, most teenage boys would like all girls to attend if it actually existed.

I gave the young girl the opportunity to wear my second pair of silver (color) bracelets as backing officers arrived.................................

I first saw the “flirtatious” couple in the park pavilion. It was long past dawn and I had been patrolling with my lights off looking for burglars.

I caught sight of some movement in the pavilion so I slowly pulled into the parking lot and illuminated the area with my spotlight. I saw two young teenagers swiftly scramble to their feet and out of the bright light. They scrambled so quickly that if scrambling were an Olympic event they would have won gold.

As quick as they were on their feet they were fleeing into the field like rats might flee from a burning building. I began chasing after a quick radio transmission, “Foot pursuit!”

Dispatch followed up with, “Clothing description and direction of travel?”

“One female,” I said, as I paused to take in with curiosity the sight in front of me, “completely naked.....” I continued and could barely contain my laughter from the first announcement, “....and one male, fully clothed.”

As I chased them through the park with only the moonlight illuminating the way, I will forever have etched into my memory the two moonlit pasty white bouncing cheeks fleeing into the darkness. They were highlighted by a poorly done tramp stamp; I couldn’t help but think of the line from Cars, “Hey, do I spy a little pin striping tattoo back there?”

She was able to grab some clothing during the gold medal event. She managed to awkwardly put on the shirt while running but when it came to the pants she failed miserably; she tripped and sprawled out over the grass. I felt bad for the grass. She laid there for a moment in the field like a dog laying on a cool tile floor midsummer.

Her now noble boyfriend stopped running and stood in front of her as to block anyone’s view of his naked friend. He did not get to stand there very long as I grabbed him and slapped on the hand cuffs. He must have noticed the puzzled and dismayed look on my face as he quickly exclaimed that she was only flirting.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Grassy Knoll

It was in the in the late hours of the night when most people are fast asleep in their warm quiet homes. I initially entered the quiet apartment complex looking for what the caller said would be her “ex boyfriend coming to get [her]”. I drove past the playground where little children would generally play during the midday flurry of activities. I didn’t see any children. I really didn’t expect anyone at all. It wasn’t until I approached a small grassy knoll at the end of the complex that I spotted the two dark personages silhouetted against the white fence.

They saw me approaching and immediately turned away as if some commanding officer ordered, “About face!” They quickly scurried behind the apartment building like a cockroach might scurry under the refrigerator after turning on the light.

The late hour, secluded corner, and sudden turn peaked my curiosity.

I jumped out of my patrol car and rounded the corner of the building expecting them to be huddled in the corner. I was surprised to see only one of them standing at the edge of the property where two vinyl fences met.

I saw an exceptionally large female standing in the corner looking like a rat trapped in the corner of its cage.

“Where did your friend go?” I asked the woman.

With a stupid look on her puffy round face she replied, “What friend?”

I figured her partner had scaled the fence and she was too dumb or stout to follow him over. I assumed the latter.

I gazed over the fence and saw the second subject walking down the sidewalk next to the normally bustling yet eerily quiet street. He seemed more anxious to avoid the police than his plump acquaintance. I felt that he needed my attention more that she did.

I scaled the fence and had to walk quickly to gain any ground as he continued at a brisk pace. As I closed the distance I asked him where he was going.

He turned toward me and I saw that he was a small, thin, tattooed man with what appeared to be a permanent scowl etched into his face, most likely from time spent in prison. His hatred for police quickly evident from his expression tone of voice as he told me he did nothing wrong. I saw that his stance was staggered and his fists were clinched as if he were ready for a fight. He wore a thick coat and large backpack.

The thick jacket, large backpack, his stance, his clinched fists and his overall body language screamed WEAPONS, DRUGS, FIGHT!!!

I kept my distance while maintaining my own bladed stance with my hands ready for anything. We stood there for a moment on the side of the normally busy street examining each other. I’m sure we looked like two UFC fighters at the beginning of a bout; the ones that reserve so much detestation for the other that they don’t touch gloves before trying to obliterate each other.

The standoff led me to immediately ask the suspect if he had weapons. He told me he did nothing wrong. I asked again. He told me he did nothing wrong. I had to mentally limber up because I wouldn’t have time before what I knew the next sequence of events would include; a chase, a fight, or a shooting (possibly all three).

I grabbed the radio strapped to my chest and said, “Start me a back.” I hadn’t quite released the button on my radio when, like a startled gazelle, he leaped into the street to flee. He must not have anticipated the curb being so high (4 inches) because he stumbled off and skidded across the road face first. He managed to get to his knees before I lowered my shoulder and smashed into his back. He sprawled out over the blacktop and I landed on top.

We were now lying in the middle of a four lane road and, while trying to gain control of him, I prayed we would be seen by any oncoming traffic.

I thought I had him under control before he spun around to face me. He suddenly reached around by back and pulled me down while his hands began sliding toward my belt.

One thought resonated in my mind; there is a gun brought to every fight I’m in, my own!

As his hands slid toward my gun belt the thought of his proximity to my gun was rampant. I was on my own, though I could hear the distant sirens getting closer, we were in the middle of a road, and I had to stop the threat. I had to change his course of action. I had to make me want to part of this fight!

My training kicked in; I pushed back with my left hand, balled up my fist, and came down on his left cheek with all I had, like a sledge hammer to drywall.

His eyes opened wide with surprise as I reared back and swung another wrecking ball at the side of his face. I vaguely remember his head bouncing off the blacktop with each blow.

He no longer wanted any part of the fight. He rolled over onto his stomach as he screamed, “Why are you hitting me?!” I did not take the time to explain that I was literally fighting for my life.

My efforts were successful. He forgot about wanting to wrestle or reach for my gun. He only wanted to get away.

I did not have a chance to bask in my success because he scrambled to his feet and broke loose from my grip.

I got up and chased him to the other side of the street and down the road. My badge and radio dropped the the ground as I chased him.

I was done fighting! I was done running!

I told him that if he did not stop he would be tasered. I didn't have to remind him of the seriousness of this threat because he immediately threw his hands in the air and dove into some bushes on the side of the road.

I gave him step by step instructions on how to back out of the bushes. I quickly slapped the cuffs on his wrists as my backup arrived.

It turns out that he was fresh out of prison and was selling drugs to get by. He was sent right back to prison where I'm sure his scowl will only be etched deeper.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Some things have changed in my recent history. I have since left Arizona to continue my career in Utah. It is amazing how names and faces change but the bad guys all stay the same. In commemoration of my recent change of venue I have decided to somewhat change my writing. I have been to many calls for service and have seen a lot of things that make me wonder what was going through the suspect's head. My new blogs are my interpretation of how the events unfurled and why the police eventually came.

My only WARNING is that some posts might be PG-13.


The sun was shining through the thin slates in the window blinds causing an almost mesmerizing glow on the chrome. The cool metal felt good on his finger as he caressed the trigger on his prize 1911 hand gun. He had been contemplating this moment ever since she told him she was leaving and taking the kids with her. The ten years of marriage would be history and his children would soon be calling the new boyfriend “dad” anyway. His thoughts turned to the last three difficult months as he struggled to find a new job after being laid off. Twelve years working at the same company meant nothing as well.

He had been thinking about it long enough. It was time to do it. Nothing matters now. It will all be over as soon as he pulled the trigger. He had read the suicide articles and knew the best chance of no suffering was putting the bullet through the roof of his mouth.

But what if the bullet was a dud or the gun was jammed? He could not go through the long drawn out hours of thought that went into one trigger pull to end it all. Maybe if he tested one round. Just one round through the wall to be sure the brand of bullet would not fail and the gun was functioning properly. The neighbors might hear the shot but who cares? They would call the police sooner or later anyway. He slowly took aim at the closet door. He would test just one shot before turning it on himself.

He pressed the trigger recognizing the familiar resistance the trigger spring gave him. He made sure he pressed it slowly and smoothing until the hammer swung forward. Bang!! There was a flash of light, the sound of wood splintering, and then another faint unclear muffled sound that seemed out of place. The muffled sound became clearer as the sound of a child crying came to mind.

“Oh %#^%” he said out loud. His four year old son was not home, was he? He had been asleep when his wife left and assumed she took all the kids. The sound of his crying son became very clear. What had he done!? He ran to his son’s room and witnessed his son laying on the floor sobbing. He frantically looked for the damage he had caused and assumed the worst based on all the blood. He cursed himself as he anxiously searched until he saw that only his son’s foot was bleeding. The bullet had grazed his son’s foot after passing though three bedroom walls. He was thankful for the best of the possible ill-fated outcomes. But how would he explain this to anyone now? His own life is one thing, but shooting his son? Unforgivable! He would probably be sent to prison as he was already a felon and shouldn't have a gun anyway. Now he not only owned a gun but shot his own son. A long sentence in prison was certain. He couldn't do that again for a short term let alone a long one. This could not happen. It would be most undoubtedly worse than death. It cannot happen! It will not happen!

He had to finish what he started. He had to make sure his neighbor’s heard and called the police to help his son.

He raised the gun and swiftly pulled the trigger as rounds carelessly traversed the dry wall, wood, and whatever else stood in its way. The hail of gunfire mimicked the sound of warfare and would most surly arouse the suspicion of his nosey neighbors. He placed the now scorching barrel into his mouth. He was confident in the feel of the trigger though the angle felt awkward as for the first time his hand was angled at his self. He pressed the trigger and heard a brief “Pop” and everything went black. That was it. Not a thought. Not a sound. No pain. Nothing! It went completely black and silent. He was not aware of it but his lifeless body fell limply to the floor face first. Hot brass, spinsters of wood, drywall dust, and blood covered the room.

The police quickly responded to the residence and found that the neighbors had called his wife and she was there with the bleeding child. The child would be okay, physically anyway. He was not. The familiar yellow tape encircled the home and the investigation began. I guess at least there would be one less felon with a gun to worry about.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"Are You the Neighbor?"

The slow night was creeping to an anticlimactic end, almost like watching Steven Spielberg’s A.I. for the first time. We moseyed down the roadway on our bikes through the same run-of-the-mill Arizona neighborhood when Freeman caught a short lived whiff of the familiar herbal aroma called marijuana.

The smell peaked our interest as we knew someone nearby was smoking up. Like a couple of vultures circling overhead, we circled the street trying to find the source of the aroma. Our noses lead us strait to an open garage door followed by muffled voices mingled with the sound of clanking tools. Realizing we were at the right place, we stopped and parked our bikes in the driveway of the vacant house next door.

While standing and listening we were overcome with the overwhelming odor of burning weed. We had the joyous option of kicking in the back gate, like some action movie with Steven Segal, or politely poking our heads over the gate and telling them to walk to the front yard. Unfortunately, for safety reasons, we chose the latter.

I walked to the far side of the yard as Freeman poked his helmet covered head over the fence. He shinned his light at the two suspects and said. “Are you guys selling it or is it personal use only?”

“Are you the neighbor?” They intelligently replied.

This time with the proper introduction Freeman said, “This is the Police. Are you selling marijuana or is it person use only?”

Once again they intelligently replied, “It’s for personal use.”

They appeared completely dumbfounded as they awkwardly sauntered into the garage and to the front yard as requested. As they slowly arrived I asked where the rest of the marijuana was at. They younger and apparently smarter one said it was in the house.
As if he did not get the hint they were in a little trouble he asked, “Can I go get it?”

I told him no.

He stood there, surely pondering in his lowered IQ marijuana brain how he was caught, when Freeman spotted the bag of marijuana protruding from his front pocket.

Freeman asked for the marijuana when he replied, “What marijuana?”

We both followed up with an, “Oh Geez!”

“You mean this bag?” he said.

“Yep,” We replied.

The marijuana toting suspect was booked on his new felony charges. As we rode to our patrol car I pondered ------If your going to smoke weed anywhere in Arizona, I suggest not doing it while the Bike Squad and their almost K9 like noses are on duty----- ; )

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shots Fired

My heart started racing as I heard the first of several shots ring out. We both looked at each other and muttered the already understood thoughts of “that was pretty close”.

Our short meeting with the patrol officer at 2 St. and Harrison Dr. was cut short as we purposefully turned down the street, east, toward the sound.

I have never had more of an acute awareness of my surroundings as I did at this moment. I visually and auditorily noted each part of my surroundings. I could have counted the number of ants marching across the street.

My awareness was heightened with knowledge of the Homicide that occurred at the nearby apartment complex only one week prior. With the rapid succession of shots I was not discounting retaliation.

I peddled at a snail’s pace scanning the dark landscape for anything; a suspect, victim, evidence, witness or something out of the ordinary.

It wasn’t until I broadened my visual search that I saw the sole occupant of the abandoned roadway.

Freeman and I saw him at the same time and instinctively flanked him to the left as we approached. I visually scrutinized his every movement but maintained a heightened interest in his hands. I immediately noted that his hands were free of weapons but saw that his left hand snugly clasping the outside of his shorts.

When close enough, I dismounted my bike and approached him from the left. Freeman rode around to the back and stealthily dismounted his bike. I immediately told the subject to put his hand in the air. He slowly put his hands in the air as he looked over his shoulder at Freeman then glanced from side to side. I recognized his visual scan as someone contemplating flight.

I let him know the seriousness of my demands as I shouted for him to put his hands in the air, “NOW!”

Freeman told him to pull his shirt up. He steadily took hold of the top of his shirt and lifted it antagonistically little. Without a clear view of his waist band Freeman told him to raise the shirt higher.

My instincts and suspicions were confirmed as I saw the butt of a small caliber gun protruding from his left waist band.

My mind refuses to recall how I drew my firearm, but there I was, gun in hand pointing it at the suspect. (At the rate my adrenaline was pumping and my heart was racing, it is nothing short of miraculous that I recall this much).

I told him the suspect to drop to his knees. His mind must have been clouded because it wasn’t until the second time I told him, with a .45 staring at him in the eyes, that he complied.

He quickly dropped to his knees and was taken into custody.


It was later determined that there was no homicide. There was not even a victim. It was revealed that the suspect had a new gun he wanted to try. He left his apartment complex to fire several rounds over a new neighborhood. He must have skipped the science lesson that taught, “What goes up must come down.”

He was later booked on two felonies.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


It was mostly luck that Freeman saw the silhouette of a man in the alley way. We had peddled past the same alley at least four times earlier in the evening and, as usual, it was vacant. This time it was not.

Though I strained to see the murky outline of a person against the dark city backdrop, I did see it. We were at least two blocks away as we silently strolled down the alley as stealthily as possible.

Mine eyes remained focused on the unmoving silhouette and I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t ride my bike strait into a large rock or boulder and flip over the handlebars.

As we encroached on the subject he suddenly started moving.

Like a startled wild animal he fled to the closest opening in the alley.

Freeman shined his light toward the unsuspecting suspect.

I was startled with what I witnessed.

Running toward an abandoned apartment, I saw the backside of a tall, middle aged, naked man.

Naked or not, we gave chase.

The Hispanic male, still wearing his birthday suit, grabbed on to the door handle of an abandoned apartment. He desperately shook the locked apartment door with no success.

With two officers quickly approaching he darted for a wooden fence. With his naked body pressed up against the wooden slats, he reached for the metal latch to unlock the gate. After, perhaps, a sliver or two, he opened the latch and pushed open the door.

He sprinted around the gate and crouched down in the corner behind it.

Not knowing what the exposed subject was doing behind the gate, Freeman slammed his front tire into the wood, causing the gate to whip around and crash into the suspect.

The disrobed man remained wedged somewhere between the gate and block wall. When the suspect failed to move from behind the gate, Freeman gave the fence a hard kick, promptly followed by a second one.

The suspect endured the bombardment of wooden slats well as we later discovered he was trying to put his pants on between kicks.

Once we saw that he had no weapons hidden behind the wall, we allowed him to get dressed. After the suspect put his cloths on, still missing shoes and socks, we talked to him about why he was naked in the alley.

All he could say, with most the interview in Spanish, was that he was trying to find a place to poop. He could not explain why he was in the alley for five minutes looking for a place to go, or why he removed his pants, shirt, and shoes to do so. He could not even explain why he did not go at his own home only 30 feet away.

All he could say was that he had to go and he was looking for a rock.


We could not find anyone in the area to be the victim of indecent exposure. So before we released him from scene, I explained to the subject that the real victim here was my partner who had to see him “desnudo” (des – new - dough).

Freeman, who thought he had translated the conversation well, later asked me if I told the suspect that he was the real victim because he saw his “noodle”. (Though technically accurate either way, I had to explain that desnudo means naked).

Though this was not the first naked subject I have chased, I am hoping it is the last.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Day

It was still quite warm for an early September morning as the sun finished rising over the desert horizon. I glanced around at the sea of white shirts and black ties, polished shoes, short hair cuts and the occasional bun style hairdo.

I felt more nervous than I had anticipated. What little breakfast I had before arrival, now felt knotted up somewhere between my throat and stomach.

Most everyone was quietly waiting but a few side conversations broke the silence with hushed words spoken slightly louder than a quiet whisper. I could hear birds singing in the distance and guessed they had a right to be care free; it wasn’t their first day at the police academy.

As the official starting time grew closer you could almost cut the cloud of anticipation with a knife. The side conversations ceased and everyone stood around waiting for what would happen next.

I glanced at my watch and saw that the start time had inched passed. As I looked downward I noticed a shimmer of light catch the corner of my eye. I looked up and saw that the light was the sun’s refection off a well polished badge.

The badge belonged to one of four menacing looking men walking into the parking lot. They were dressed in crisply pressed uniforms, highly polished shoes and the soon to be unforgettable campaign hats; a broad-brimmed felt hat with a high crown pinched at the four corners (like Smokey the Bear).

The large uniformed bodies walked purposefully toward the group with almost mechanical movement. They arrived uniformly, stopping at the end of the sidewalk, and one of them stepped forward and pointing at the ground.

“Line up facing east, shoulder to shoulder, starting right here.”

As if more motivation was needed, he yelled out, “MOVE!”

Like a stampede of wild animals, everyone scrabbled to find a spot in line.

“You call this a strait line?” yelled the voice behind the campaign hat.

First day stress was obvious as line mimicked the shape of a J. After several harsh words were uttered from under the campaign hat, and scrambled adjustments were made, the confusing wave of rushing recruits managed a satisfactory line.

Without a moment to bask in the enjoyment of our first completed group task, the next command echoed off the desert landscape, “Turn to your right and follow the recruit in front of you…..... move!”

We marched out of the parking lot and made our way through the labyrinth of what would soon to be our home; the academy campus.

At the far end of campus we made our way into a very plain looking class room. The front of the class room was covered wall to wall with a bare whiteboard. The two side walls were equally bare with an empty cork message board at the end of each one. At the front of the class hung two blue banners with yellow numbers, “391” and “393”.

The floor was crowded with long tables which had room for four chairs each. Stacked on the table in front of each chair were neatly assembled binders and folders with a large name tag set on top.
Fifty-two of us filed into the room and were promptly told to find our name tag. I quickly found mine in the back of the room where the names were conveniently placed in alphabetical order.

Once in the room, several of us began to sit in the chairs when a loud stern voice grunted from the back of the room, “No one told you to sit down!”

The screech of metal chairs running across tile floor filled the room as we reacquired our place behind our chairs. All four corners of the room were filled with the same stern looking officers wearing the same pressed uniforms and shined shoes.

After standing for an uncomfortable amount of time, the back door suddenly swung open. I saw a noticeably shorter uniformed officer, this time with three stripes lining the arm on each shoulder, walk into the room. I glanced back to see who it was when I saw him immediately step up into a recruit’s face. With the brim of the campaign hat pressing into the recruits forehead, I heard an accented voice say, “Are you eye-balling me recruit?”

A nervous “No Sir” rolled off the recruit’s tongue as his eyes darted for any location besides the two beady eyes under the campaign hat. I, almost in unison with the rest of the class, looked at the front white board in order to avoid any similar greeting.

The room, silent enough to hear a pin drop, now echoed with the sound of heavy boots pacing the floor. The Sergeant filled the sterile room with instructions on how to stand at attention.

He introduced himself as Sergeant Velasquez.

I can not recall the remainder of the instructions as the once piercing voice of Sergeant Velasquez began to sound similar to someone talking into a tin can. I could feel the sweat beading on my forehead as the room slowly started to spin. Before the voice completely disappeared and the room spun out of control, I turned to asked one of the menacing statures if I could sit down.

Almost before they could respond I pulled a seat out and sat down. I felt the blood rush back into my legs and head as the spinning room slowed to a gentle roll.

As my ashen face regained color, one of the Recruit Training Officers (RTO) reminded me to not lock my knees when standing at attention. I thought to myself that this information would have been useful from my new sergeant during the instruction phase.

I sat still and hoped to not be noticed as I sat in the back of the room. I could only imagine the angry harangue if the last recruit had only “eye-balled” the Sergeant.

I wanted to be invisible.

As soon as I regained composure I stood up, silently pushed my chair in, and stood at attention for the remainder of what seemed like eternity. (Knees slightly bent to avoid passing out).

When the sermon was done, we were ordered to sit down….