Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oh The Things I Have Seen!

Oh the things I have seen!

This blog is not for the queasy or faint of heart.

Dispatch advised that the neighboring city was in a high speed pursuit that ended in a wreck at 115 Ave and I-10. I was less than a block away when it happened and I immediately followed the billow of smoke to the far side of the freeway. I made my way up the eastbound off ramp.
The freeway soon appeared like a red and blue rock concert as numerous emergency vehicles surrounded the area with sirens, horns, and lights.
I arrived as one of the first officer’s on scene and found it difficult to find the shape of a car in the flattened, black, four door heap of mangled metal. I threw my vehicle in park and quickly removed my fire extinguisher to put out a small engine fire. I watched as arriving officer’s surrounded the jumbled remains and removed the two conscience female passengers and carried them to a safe distance in case the engine fire got out of hand.

As the two females were carried to safety I watched the overweight driver take his last gargled breath while his mangled lifeless body hung out the driver’s window. His body hung out the window feet first as he had been partially ejected during the collision but was held back by the fact that his head was crushed between the seat and roof.
As I further examined the wreckage, I walked to the back of the car and saw that the fourth passenger remained in his seat. No one attempted to extract him either, mostly due to his split skull oozing with a grayish-red brain matter that slowly dripped onto the rear floor mat.

The driver of the stolen sedan lost control of the vehicle when he erroneously maneuvered through the rocky gore area (between the freeway and off ramp) causing the vehicle to spin out of control until it violently encountered a full grown palm tree. The front passenger had been instantly killed when the vehicle slammed into the palm tree at over 60 mph. The driver died a short time later. The two females survived the crash.
I responded to a trailer park on Main Street in reference to a stabbing report. Upon arrival I contacted a shirtless Hispanic male complaining of chest pain. The cause of his pain was obvious as I watched his filleted upper chest precariously hanging on a flap of skin.

I believed the chest pain was also due to the numerous puncture wounds in his lower abdomen and self defense slashes on his hands, wrists, and arms.
The Spanish speaking victim got into an argument with his roommate earlier in the night. After all was said (and thought to be done) the victim went to bed and fell asleep. The roommate, still angry from the argument, grabbed a large kitchen knife, entered the bedroom, and stabbed the victim several times. The victim survived and the suspect fled to Mexico.
I responded to a reported shooting in the area of Thomas Rd and 107 Ave. Upon arrival, I contacted a Hispanic male teenager lying on the living room floor wincing in pain. Not seeing any obvious gun shot wound I asked him if he was okay. He responded by pulling the font of his pants down and yelling out “I shot my @$%#$# off!”
The image of the bloody appendage was etched in my mind forever as it reminded me of a half eaten hot dog that had been nuked in the microwave for too long.
I guess the teen decided to play around with a pump action shotgun loaded with bird shot and for some unfathomable reason he pointed the shotgun a little too low. (And pulled the trigger)

The bird shot instantly removed his member as the bloody carnage was strewn down the hallway in a perfect geometric line. Small bb's speckled the floor and wall from the blast. Upon further examination of the irreplaceable minced limb on the wall, I saw flies and other insects enjoying their fresh meal for the night.

(Again, for reasons unknown, the victim had time to rack the shotgun which ejected the spent casing from the barrel, prior to calling the police)
I still have my suspicions that said teenager was putting the now fly dinner where it did not belong, and someone taught him an unforgettable lesson. But he stuck to his story.

Monday, May 11, 2009

What a Great Day to Come Back!

I had fractured my right index finger (trigger finger) in two places while playing flag football with fellow police officers. I finished three games after breaking the finger and refused to believe that anything was wrong until it swelled up so big that I couldn’t bend it anymore.
I went to see a doctor and eventually a surgeon. I was told by the surgeon that I would, in all probability, lose most of the range of motion in my finger. It was difficult to imagine that one little finger could cause so many problems, but I remained positive.

The surgery was successful but the doctor said the fracture was a lot worse than previously thought. I had two pins protruding from my finger for several weeks and was the butt of most nose picking jokes.

When it came time to remove the pins I was significantly surprised by my lack of dexterity and mobility in my finger. I couldn’t even force my finger to bend with my other hand. I thought to myself several times, “How would I ever pull the trigger on my gun again?”

I didn’t want to imagine the possibility of not being able to return to a job that I love because of some dumb broken finger.

I worked hard during my physical therapy and after several months of working Light Duty behind a desk, I was back.

The slothful people of Old Town had gone unchecked for several weeks, and now was their time to be hunted by the bike squad.

After finishing our prep work for the day, we mounted the bikes and headed out the gate.

We were as gitty as two school girls to be back, but as hungry as ravished wolves to get back into action.

Our first stop was successful as we made a felony warrant arrest and found some drugs. After four hours of pounding the pavement, we debated grabbing a bite to eat. Freeman said he was not quite hungry yet and was enjoying our success too much to waist time eating.

Without much of a debate, we headed to a high drug traffic area on Hill Drive to see what we could find. As we rounded the corner we saw our prey; he was a white male junkie in his mid thirties riding a bike. His name, not ever to be forgotten, is Raul.

We followed Raul north on Fifth St where he clearly ran a stop sign on his bike to head east on Riley Dr.

I sped up to make the stop and with a short distance between us I told Raul to “Pull over!” Raul gave the half head turn and shouted, “What did I do?” as he started to peddle faster. The race was on!

Raul was losing ground but saw his escape route through an open gate into a residential yard. Raul stumbled off of his bike and started to run on foot. I went to follow when all of a sudden Freeman flew past me on his bike and said he would chase him and told me to cut Raul off on the other side.

Raul had already cleared the first 6 ft chain-link fence and was headed across the alley toward the next.

Freeman flew off his bike, all but hurdled the first fence, and was on his way down from the second one by the time I turned to the end of the street.

I sailed around the alleyway toward the next street when I saw Raul running east from the fenced yards.

As quickly as Freeman had cleared the fences I was surprised that Raul was not already hog tied in the front yard. I watched Raul run past me and glanced back at Freeman to hear him yell, “Get him, he’s coming right at you!”

I saw Freeman wince in pain, holding his left arm, as he said this. I knew that somehow Raul had hurt my partner. Raul, in my mind, was no better off than a sitting duck.

With ease I turned to follow Raul on my bike as he ran into a car port and tried to clear a gate. I slid my bike out from under me as I approached the fence and watched Raul struggle to hang on as the gate unexpectedly swung open. As the fence came to a stop I saw him awkwardly fall to the ground. He stammered back onto his feet as he continued to flee through the back yard.

With wild anger spewing from within like an erupting volcano, I wanted nothing more than to seriously hurt Raul for whatever he did to my partner. Raul was slow and clumsy by now and I was locked onto him like a laser guided missile. With as much force as two colliding humans could produce I slammed into Raul. Raul flew sideways and smashed into a metal fountain and flopped onto the ground.

I pounced on top and ripped Raul’s arms from underneath him as I put him in hand cuffs.
I was less then gentle with Raul as I lifted him from the ground and dragged him to the front yard. I advised dispatch that I had one subject in custody.

As soon as Freeman knew I was okay and I had one in custody, he asked for Fire to roll in.

We came to find out that the reason Raul ran was he had drug paraphernalia in his possession. Raul said he was on Hill Drive to buy some meth but said the dealer’s would not sell to him because the “bike guys were around”. Raul was booked in jail and only received a 90 day sentence for resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Freeman later told me that as he cleared the last fence, within inches of Raul, he landed on an empty trash bin which easily toppled over. Freeman braced for the impact by placing his left arm in front of him and the force of the impact shattered and dislocated his elbow.

Needless to say that Raul was out of jail and back in the street stealing and using drugs before Freeman was back at work.

What a great day to come back!

What a terrible day!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Stinky Situation....

Briefing just ended and I left in a patrol car to start the day. I went strait to Durango Park, a large housing development located just south of an old run down neighborhood called Cashion.

I went to this area based on the briefing where we discussed the increasing number of burglaries in Durango Park.

I have already described an area known as Old Town which I called the loathsome epicenter of theft. As bad as Old Town might seem, Cashion is about 10 times worse. Cashion is one square mile of gangs, drugs, shootings, robberies, and homicides. (Also known as one of my favorite places to work, sorry Mom).

To give an example of the mostly corrupt square mile, one time, when doing bike patrol in Cashion, we parked our patrol car in front of a well lit community park. After completing patrol for the night we returned to our patrol car to find a large brick thrown through the back window. The driver’s side window was busted out as well. Upon further examination we determined that some Cashionite (what we call the people of Cashion) attempted to steal the locked computer from the passenger compartment. The Cashioninte trifled through our glove box and paperwork as well. Nothing was taken because they couldn't get into the trunk, but damage was done.

Unfortunately, and unbeknownst to most of the good people of the Durango Park community, the Cashionites tend to trickle into their neighborhood to commit thefts, burglaries, home invasions, and robberies.

I entered Durango Park as I turned south from Durango St onto Whyman Blvd. I immediately noticed a red in color passenger vehicle blow through a stop sign and head south on Whyman Blvd, directly in front of me.

The driver zipped around the corner then floored the gas as he quickly sped to over 65 mph through a school zone in this residential neighborhood. When I finally caught up with the vehicle I was sure that the Cashionite occupant had just committed some kind of theft or burglary.

I lit up the car which slowly came to a stop on the wrong side of the road. I cautiously approached the driver’s side door where the driver appeared extremely nervous and fidgety. I looked in through the vehicle windows and saw construction equipment and copper wire, a sure sign of many burglars.

I contacted the driver and asked for the usual license, registration and insurance. The driver complied but still seemed nervous and was starting to sweat.
I asked for an additional unit and before the driver could give his excuse I told him to remain in the vehicle. I took his credentials back to my car and conducted the usual warrants and driving history check.

When the driver was negative for warrants and had a clean driving history, I completed a citation for the stop sign violation and speed greater than reasonable and prudent. While I scratched the cite, I watched the extremely nervous driver reach around in the car and continually look in the rear view mirror to monitor my actions.

When I completed my citation, I reproached the driver and was overwhelmed with a noxious smell. I looked at the driver and observed an almost foam-like, brown, runny substance oozing from his right leg where his shorts stopped. I looked at the driver’s face which was turning crimson from embarrassment. Apparently he was not nervous; he just had a serious case of the runs!

I almost felt bad as I handed him the speeding ticket to sign and stood a few feet back to avoid the putrid stench.

I could hardly imagine his embarrassment again when I had to retell the complete story in a packed courtroom. Though the judge didn’t buy it, the driver felt justified in speeding to get to the restroom!