A Christmas Story (not to be confused with THE Christmas story.)

It’s been a while since I posted a “story”. This one was 1983, I hope you enjoy.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

The Christmas holidays were never my favorite time of year. Since my first wife died they got even worse. Usually if I had the day off on the holiday I would trade with a married guy so he could be with his family and I didn’t have to be alone.

This year was no better or worse than any other. Same old traffic accidents, family fights, bar drunks, family drunks, and bar fights.

I’d just finished working an accident in an intersection. This required me to direct traffic, in the pouring rain, for 15-20 minutes. I was soaking wet and trying to sip a cup of hot dark water the drive through called coffee.

It was 10:05pm, or twenty-two zero five in cop lingo, and I only had 25 minutes left until I was done for the night, when the call came.

“427” (That’s me)

“427” Standing by..”

 

“427: Adult males drinking in a parked vehicle. Fronting 46-228 Luluku Road. Complainant is a juvenile alone at that address”

Great, just what I wanted before I go home.

The location was at the farthest end of my beat, about as far from where I was as you could get and still be in my zone. Since this appeared not to be a life and death situation I tried to finish the coffee before I started out the address.

Not to be.

“427”

“Standing by”

“427-second call…Same complaint…Appears to be getting concerned about the males…Says the radio is real loud.”

“10-4, dispatch…in route”

As usual I throw the coffee out the window. Too hot to drive with and I have no desire to pour hot coffee in a sensitive area of my anatomy. Since this wasn’t a hot call, no lights or sirens, I just took the quickest route to the location. It took maybe 7 minutes to get to the area even by the most direct route.

As I turned onto the caller’s street I could hear radio from the end of the block. I killed my lights and pulled to the curb a few feet behind the vehicle. First thing I noticed was the vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the street.

Of course, he was parked on the wrong side of the street.

The driver’s door was opened and a foot was propped on the hinge. Next to the driver’s side, on the grass, were several empty beer bottles.

As I got out of my vehicle I realized I knew the car. It belonged to one of our area burglars of little talent. I mean he keeps getting caught. I was sure he was presently on bail awaiting trial.

The music was so loud, or perhaps there were other reasons the two occupants of the car didn’t even hear me walk up until I “bumped” into the rear of the car causing the door to shut a little, pinching the occupants foot.

The driver, Tito, sat up and started cursing.

“HEY man, watch what you doing. You coulda hurt me,” then he looked up and saw who it was.

“Tito. Tito. Tito. What am I going to do with you? You don’t live in this area and you don’t want to be pulling any jobs tonight. You don’t want to spend the holidays in the cell block”.

Tito looked about half bagged but still capable of some thought. Well, as much as Tito and his partner Bobby were ever capable of thinking.

“Look Tito, It’s late”, I explained.” I want to go home and you don’t want to go to jail. So, turn down the radio, pick up your bottles, and go home.”

“Naw man. You can’t tell us what to do. We got rights like everyone else.” Oh, Oh. The booze has made Bobby brave.

“Ya man. We got rights”. Tito was quick. Nothing gets past him.

So I explained to Tito and Bobby how easy it would be for them to drive away, and how hard it would be if I had to arrest and book them. I also explained how long it would take for them to make a phone call on a night their paperwork was “lost” due to the Christmas crush. And let’s not even consider all the paperwork for towing the car.

They both were muttering under their breath as they picked up some of the empty bottles on the ground. Some, but not all. I wasn’t going to push it; if they just left I wouldn’t complain. All this took 3 to 4 minutes, but that was less than the 3 to 4 hours the other alternative would have taken.

Finally they were back in the car and getting ready to leave, when I tapped on the window. Tito took his time in rolling the window down.

“Tito, don’t come back. Understand?”

He didn’t answer, just revved the engine a little and pulled away from the curb as fast as he dared. You know, maintain a little “face” and showing me how little he cared. I let him go.

It was then I noticed it had been raining for several minutes and I was wet, again. I got into my car and picked up the radio,

“427-Central”

“Central standing-by 427”

“427..10-08 (returned from call)..Subjects have departed area”

“10-04..427..10-1 (return to station)…2230 hours..All third watch units 10-1 and sign off..”

Well, I’d only be 10-15 minutes late.

I’d just started to pull away from the curb when there was a knocking on the driver’s door. I jerked my head to look but didn’t see anyone there as I jammed on the brakes. I rolled down the window as I spotted the small boy standing next to the car.

“Oh..Thank you Mr. Policeman….” a small hand reached into my open window and dropped a small candy cane into my lap.

“I was sooo scared. My mom and dad are down the street and I didn’t want to walk pass that car. Thank you Mr. Policeman.” He turned and seemed about to run away when he stopped, turned back to face me and yelled, “Merry Christmas Mr. Policeman. Merry Christmas.” And he ran into the house.

You know, Christmas that year wasn’t so bad.

 

Jeep 3 – Storyteller 2

Okay, we have an update on the accident.

Got a call yesterday from my attorney. All-State ‘s third adjuster has decided the first 2 were wrong and their client running me down in the parking lot was NOT my fault after all.  Not even 70% my fault. They are now agreeing to pay up to the limits of their clients insurance, 20,000 dollars.

The medical bills were $19, 680, my lost wages are $6,868, and now my attorney fee’s will be about $6,000. This leaves me just under $13,000 in the hole. Cant’s sue the driver, he has less than nothing.

I could have written off the lost wages had they settled for the medical bills right up front, but no, they had to be hardaxxed about it and forced me to get an attorney and that ran up at least another 6 grand in legal fees.

All this because some guy can’t look behind himself while reversing into the 7-11 parking stall. And there is something wrong with the legal system when the victim (me) ends up  in the hole due to another’s negligence.

 

See where Tulsi is speaking about being in the the N.H. primary? Told ya she was looking for that national name recognition. She has never had Hawaii’s interest at heart. We were just a stepping stoner for her.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Sounds like Hawaii politics.

Toys For Tots… and other motes

Today is the first Sunday of December, the annual day for the Street Bikers United “Toys For Tots” ride and collection.

I rode, or attended, every TFT from 1976 to 2007. In 1985 I sneaked out of Queens after back surgery just to attend. I was first rider in two (’94 and ’95) parades, helped organize and publicized many many more. I was SBU president 3 times, served as a legislative representative , and the voice of SBU so many years it’s hard to remember. But it was never about “me”, it’s always been about the kids the toys are gathered.

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Free Speech                                                                                                                                      There seems to be a lot of conversation about “free speech”. There is NO FREE SPEECH. There is a price you have to pay for everything, especially the words that come out of your mouth. Sometimes the price is just a little discomfort, other times it can cost you everything you hold dear. Remember that the next time you decide to “it’s just my opinion” something.

Recent Movies

Skyscraper ; The Rock as found his special niche in the movies. It’s a good mindless, action flick and a swell  way to waste an evening. No Oscar, but what the heck.                     The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ; borrrriiiinnnngggg.                                                               Hotel Transylvania 3 ; like Skyscraper a pleasant way to lose an evening. Funny, childish, and without world shaking political commentary.

 

Light Notes

Sorry about nothing posted, I had cataract (not Rinkcon, Cataract) surgery and it’s healing as well as anything ever does for me. As for the above very bad joke, you can thank Wolfman for cornering me outside Tony Roma’s the other night.

Pine Sol mistaken for apple juice at an East Honolulu pre-school ? Sounds like cheap help isn’t.

 

It’s Monday

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It appears I dropped this last time. “Chicken and Joy”?

 

Lately Schatz and Gabbard have both seemed to have a lot of stupid to say. Years ago I was taught when you want to find the reason for anything, first ask who does this action “profit / benefit”?  We all know that neither of these two are actually good legislators.  He is a living example of the “Peter Principle” and she seems a lot more concerned with world problems than Hawaii’s problems. First, I am sure Schatz has risen to his highest level of incompetence.  But she wants a national stage. So why does she speak, to gain that national name recognition. The hell with us voters. There’s your answer.

Tear Gas at the boarder? When a group of people from one country, force their way into another country and start making demands, it’s rightfully called an invasion. (Ask Poland how that works.) Sure there are women and children in the front, there to be photographed and videoed, but the U.N. report on the “caravan” states it is more than 85% military age males. Tear gas is just the start. It’ll get worse.

Recently read a report on TSA. Seems there have been over 200 reported firearms related incidents in the past 10 years. These include everything from leaving a firearm behind in a bathroom stall, negligent discharges, showing up for flights intoxicated, and my personal favorite, showing up for firearms training intoxicated. It went on further to say; “Air Marshals receive extensive firearms training that surpasses that of other Law Enforcement agencies”. Really?

It now seems that it is okay to assault someone if you disagree with them. (I’ve never agreed with anyone I’ve assaulted.) You can have the moral high ground if you feel offended. It’s now okay onto grab someone’s hat, or throw soda on their offensive t-shirt. But remember, they could get offended at your being offended, and that would cause a disagreement. That just might result in you getting your ass kicked. Pick your “offenses” carefully.

More Dust Motes

Chicken and Joy (?)   I’m not even gonna ask.

Woman Bitten To Death.                                                                                                          Story says a woman in India was attacked by monkey’s and bitten to death, just days after the same group of monkey’s snatched and killed a 12 day old infant. Planet of the apes..  Now?

A sad week.                                                                                                                                        We lost Roy Clark, Stan Lee, and William Goldman (Hee Haw, Marvel comic’s, and The Princess Bride) all in one week.

Anthony Hopkins Manson Spared By California Wildfire.                                                       I wouldn’t mess with Hannibal Lecter either.

Have you ever noticed that movie and tv assassins and such never practice, never train, and never miss? How do they do that?

Girls Thong Used As Evidence of Consent.                                                                                   I don’t even know what to say to this. It was in Ireland and he was acquitted. I’m ashamed of any man that would say this.

Happy Sam’s

Captain Revenge always figured he’d give me enough rope to really hang myself. It never worked, but he kept trying.  I guess he figured the other times were just flukes.

He calls me into his office and explains how much faith and confidence he has in me, because now he’s got a really “special” assignment, just for me.

We had just started the 9 week mid cycle, 10:30 pm to 7:15 am. For the rest of the cycle I would do nothing but cruise late night areas, except Hotel Street and Waikiki areas. I was to stay out of those areas.

I was to check bars, restaurants, parking lots, and other late night open establishments. If I was in the “immediate” area of an “in progress” call I could respond, but otherwise I was to observe, make “on view” arrests, and he wanted a full “To-From” report at the end of every shift detailing where I was at all times, who I spoke to, and what information I had gathered.

He would be the sole judge of my performance. Again, enough rope to hang myself.

So night after night that’s what I did.  I patrolled the strip club parking lots. I talked to bar owners and late night restaurant managers. I did not go into Waikiki or Hotel Street areas. I did not go to the big restaurants and bars. And every morning I put a typed report on the Captain’s desk.

The 1st one was something like 16 pages. They got bigger almost every night. In a month, 20 pages were the usual.

I also got wanted vehicle and warrant lists from records and dispatch. That was my idea.

Now my nightly reports also included stolen vehicle operator arrests, outstanding warrant arrests, and a load of usable information for the detectives. Let’s face it; sleazy bars need love and protection too.

One of those little sleazy bars was “Happy Sam’s” on Kapahulu. Sam’s had been through a number of evolution’s over the years but at this time was just a small hostess bar on the outskirts of Waikiki, outskirts being the optimum word.

The owner, a middle aged Korean lady who called herself, well Sam, was nice enough. She didn’t encourage her girls to rip off customers or try to sell way over priced “champagne”.

The clientele was mostly neighborhood men, sometimes couples, and the hostess’ were mostly girls trying to pick up a little extra money with a couple of Sam’s relatives called in on Friday and Saturday or whenever the club got really busy during sports nights.

A nice clean neighborhood hostess bar, sometimes strangers would wonder in, stay or not. Sam’s had a pretty regular group. Good drinkers that could walk home or would use a cab. No problems. Sam, and her bartenders and hostess’ always seemed glad to see me and always treated me with courtesy and respect.

No trouble at Sam’s.

Which made it even more surprising when dispatch called me to report the manager of Happy Sam’s had called requesting my assistance with a customer.

I wasn’t too far away, told dispatch I’d respond, and another area officer, Bobby L. says he’ll back me up.

Bobby and I got there about the same time. As I got out of my vehicle, a customer walks out the front door, and starts across the street.

I look into the club and Sam is pointing at the customer walking away. Pointing furiously and speaking Korean, of course.

I told Bobby to talk to the guy walking away. Get some ID or something to hold him till I talk to Sam.

Bobby walked across the street toward the departing male. I walked to the front door and there met Sam and one of her girls.

The hostess was jabbering away. Of course, in Korean and Sam was trying to tell me in English. Finally I heard one word clearly “gun”. And the hostess is rubbing her hand around the back of her hip like someone was hugging her, and patting her right hip. But I heard “gun” loud and clear.

I looked across the street and the former customer had been stopped by Bobby. The customer had his back to me and Bobby was still talking so I started across the street as fast as I could without actually running.

As I approached, I heard Bobby demand some ID. It appeared it wasn’t the first time Bobby had asked for it. The customer reached his right hand behind his hip as if reaching for a wallet. But from my vantage point I could see the outline of a wallet, in his left rear pocket. As his right hand reached under his shirt I could see a small holster, hidden by his shirt, at the back of his hip.

As he pulled the gun, a small semi-auto pistol, I was right behind him.

I yelled “Gun” to Bobby, grabbed the guy’s right hand, and pulled it hard, against my chest, and bullet proof vest.

Bobby was a serious weight lifter and had big biceps. At my yell, Bobby didn’t even hesitate; he just threw a right hand punch. The sound of his fist impacting the guy’s head was almost louder than the “click” of the guns hammer falling. Almost.

As I had grabbed the gun, his grip had pulled back the trigger. The gun was later identified as a Colt Junior, a .25 caliber semi-automatic pistol with an external hammer, and it had a round in the chamber. Because the “junior” didn’t have a grip safety, it didn’t require a complete grip to fire. But it hadn’t fired. It just went click. The round didn’t fire.

Bobby’s punch had knocked the guy unconscious and as his body collapsed on the ground. I stood there holding his hand and the gun tightly to my chest.

When he saw what I was holding Bobby’s knees sagged just a little but he was right back and pulled out cuffs. We cuffed the guy, I put the gun in my pocket, and we had to almost drag him to Bobby’s vehicle.

Once we got him secured in the vehicle cage Bobby called for a sector supervisor, a detective, and ambulance for our “customer”. I cleared and locked up the gun and we started the investigation fun.

Sorting out what Sam and the hostess had to say was as I guessed, confusing. The hostess had sat down next to the customer, he bought her a drink, and when she slid her arm around his waist she felt the holstered gun.

She tried not to alert the guy, so she kept smiling and told Sam in Korean, what was up. The customer may have spoken some Korean or may have just spooked, but he walked out without finishing his beer. That’s when we got there.

The customer turned out to be a Marine stationed in Kaneohe. A search of his vehicle turned up a K-bar knife, a smoke grenade, and an explosive grenade simulator which is basically a very large fire cracker.

Basically the detectives took over from there. Bobby and I went back to type our  reports.

At the end of that watch, 7 weeks later, the next shift Commander also assigned units to check the bars, parking lots and restaurants. To do what I had done for those long weeks. Two men units were assigned after that. They were assigned to succeed, not hang themselves. And of course Captain Revenge received an attaboy letter for coming up with the idea.

Shortly after the Happy Sam’s incident, Bobby was picked to transfer to a plain clothes unit from which he eventually became an investigator for the City and County Prosecutors Office under Charles Marsland.

I don’t know what happened to the “customer”. I tried to follow up with the detectives and was told the case had been “passed upward” whatever the hell that meant.

At the end of that 9 weeks the Captain, put me back into the patrol pool and I spent the next 2 cycles patrolling the area around Hawaii Kai, Sandy Beach, and Hanauma Bay. Basically, the ass end of district 1. But at least I was away from the Captain.

I’ve heard that “click” in my nightmares in the years since, sometimes it goes off. Well, it is just a nightmare.

At least that’s what I keep telling myself.