The Last Laugh

I would guess my problems, as a cop, started in 71-72 with a real good arrest.

There was an armed robbery call from Liberty House in the Ala Moana shopping center. There was a really good description of the suspect, and his sawed off shotgun.

I was patrolling inside Ala Moana Park when it happened. Being the cop I was (am?) I started scanning the park.

And there he was. The right male, fitting the  description, the right clothes, and that Pam Am bag. Even tho’ every other person in the park carried one of those damn bags; I was betting it was him.

The first thing I did was call for back-up, but everyone was at the shopping center. Everyone but an adjoining sector sergeant.

I will not use his name, mostly because I don’t want to.

He radio’s back that he will “cover” me. Let me set something straight here, to “cover” means he’s got my back. He will be there to back-me up, to protect me, to be my second pair of eyes, or hands if everything turns to shit. He’s supposed to make sure we go home tonight. When someone says they’ll cover, you trust them.

So I went forward knowing, should I need it, help was on the way. Somehow I snuck up on my suspect; he was so focused on someone coming from the shopping center, that he never saw me coming from ahead of him in the park.

I was there in front of him, car stopped, gun drawn and he was centered in the sights before he actually was aware everything was over.

Of course, I was yelling for him to drop the bag, don’t move, put up his hands, don’t move, you know all the contradicting orders cops give when they’re scared, amped up, and 25 years old hoping to make 26.

He dropped the bag raised his hands, and didn’t say anything. He’d been thru this before.

I cuffed him, put him in the back seat, and sat down to take some deep breaths. Inside the Pan Am bag, a loaded sawed-off double barrel shotgun.

When I started looking around I realized, my back-up was nowhere around. I finally spot him, across the park, in a parking lot, watching with binoculars. BINOCULARS!

By then, other units, detectives, Sergeants, all start showing up. The bag and its contents were “recovered” into evidence. I transported the the Suspect back to the Beretania Street Station for booking, and I went to the squad room to start the report.

By now it was late afternoon and the 3rd watch was getting ready to start. It was either a Wednesday or a Friday as the on-coming watch was getting ready for inspection. So everyone was in the squad room. I sat down at one of the typewriters.

So, everyone was there when my “back up” sergeant shows up, slaps me on the back and tells me what a good arrest “we” made.

I lost it. I called him every kind of coward I could think of. I maybe made up a few new ones. In front of God, Buddha, and the on-coming watch, and at the top of my voice, I loudly proclaimed him a coward for his long distance back-up.

Finally a couple of the on-coming Sergeants got between us, moved him away from me, and got me calmed down. But I never forgot, and neither did he.

A short time later he was transferred to Internal Affairs, and I became one of, if not his only, favorite targets. He took minor complaints, made them major violations and basically made me his career. Or made his career on me.

He finally put in his time, retired and got his pension.

Me, I got fired eventually.

I guess he had the last laugh.

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