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!

4 comments:

Angela said...

I remember hearing about that one! Glad you're both back on the beat.

Freeman's Mom (AKA) Killer Miller said...

The words out, nothing stops the Bike Squad. Sometimes down, but never out. Don't mess with their Mom's either.

POLICE DIVER said...

Hey Z:
Good to have you back Bro.
I also did some damage to a digit a few years back, (thankfully not my trigger finger). I used one of those thick rubber bands you find on broccoli or the mailman drops on your sidewalk. Put it on the good hand between the thumb and index finger and kept exercising it that way. It happened to be my middle finger that was broken so needless to say if a " gold shield" came around, out would come the rubber band, and the exercise began.
Take care Bro!!

Missy said...

You see, this is why I don't play rough sports, or any sports. The very sight of your finger makes me cringe- I know that had to hurt. See, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I suck at sports. You probably thought that I don't play because I suck. Well, you were wrong. That's only part of why I don't play. :)
You probably still play flag football too... crazy.
Glad the physical therapy worked and now you can get back to more serious injury-causing activities... well, I'm happy that you're happy anyway. :)
You know what else makes me happy? The fact that Raul is a free man because your job is so effective that he didn't get the opportunity to do what he wanted to do. I think that is definately encouraging.