Oh, Mayor Mike, Never a Cop Around When You Need One Huh?

Authors Note: This is a work of fiction, a Parody no less so relax. Names and places have been changed to protect the ignorant and misguided. Though this is technically not a story about a stupid criminal, this statement was so ignorant, if I wasn’t such a freedom of speech advocate I would want the man in jail. Anyway…

Mayor Mike Ellyott of Brooklyn Heights, Minnesota is headed home after a long day of pondering what it will be like when a police officer no longer needs a gun to enforce the law. Over brunch he and his advisors had a long and deep conversation about all the ways an armed police force only adds stress to the city. How guns themselves are a long-standing threat to peace. If no one had guns there wouldn’t be violence in the streets. People could carry out their days without having to look over their shoulder every time a black and white police car drove by.

The idea of police cars being black and white even became its own discussion. Why are police cars black and white? So stark. Karen, Mayor Mike’s civic Empowerment Council chair and long-time confidant from their days as women’s studies majors at the University of Phoenix had made a great point.

“Certain colors are more stressful than others,” she’d said, “Why not find colors that foster calm? That way the public stress is lowered, the police will be less stressed, and the cars themselves would brighten up Brooklyn Heights,”

Mayor Mike was not usually an impulse decision maker, but Karen’s suggestion felt right in his bones.

“Let’s do it,” he’d said.

A quick Google search of relaxing color palettes and they decided right there, purple and a muted grey. They even decided to change the department’s uniforms to a muted grey to match.

Monty, his Recreation Director made a good point, “The Minnesota Football team (He couldn’t recall the name) was purple. Some people love sports, this is going to be a hit!”

Being Mayor was a tough job but tonight Mayor Mike pulled his Smart Car into his driveway carrying a big smile on his face. He had been a little nervous after the press conference. The thing he said about guns and traffic stops just came out. It’s usually not smart for a politician to speak from the heart. But it had worked, his friends were so supportive.

Mayor Mike grabbed his canvas tote from the passenger seat and was walking up his step when he noticed his front door looked…off. The latch was open. It was only and inch or two, but it was open.

That’s odd, he thought. Maybe Rosetta, his housekeeper, left the door open again. She’d done it before.

“Hello?” he called as he walked in. He turned on lights as he made his way from the foyer to the kitchen. As he passed a doorway between the kitchen and the living room, he noticed another anomaly standing out from the norm of his household.

It was dark in there, but Mayor Mike distinctly saw a man standing in his living room.

He had a knife in his hand.

Time stood still for a moment. Mayor Mike and the armed intruder in a standoff. Then it moved, he swore the man with the knife moved but Mayor Mike could not be sure. With a shriek of animalistic terror so high in decibel a chardonnay glass on the counter shattered Mayor Mike ran for his life. His feet scrambling, he ran in a blind panic. With no direction or thought, he sprinted right past the hallway leading to the back door of the house and up the stairs. He locked himself in the bathroom, screaming like a banshee the whole time.

He locked the door and threw a towel hanging from the hamper at it. Then he threw the entire hamper and its contents at the door. Mayor Mike stopped screaming when he backed into the toilet and almost fell in the bowel. He clawed at his pocket for his phone. His fingers would not respond to his commands when he tried to hit the emergency dial.

Finally, the connection started ringing,

Once…

Twice…

Three times…

“Come onnnn,” he whined.

“911 what is the nature of your emergency?” A dispassionate female voice asked.

“Mmm, bla, mmer, blah!” Mayor Mike was so scared he’d lost the ability to speak.

“Ma’am please, try and calm down. What is your address?’

“912 Folsom, this is the mayor!” Mayor Mike cried.

“What is your emergency…Sir?”

“Man! Knife! In my house!” he spurted. “He’s in my house,”

The dispatcher didn’t miss a beat. She transitioned to the Police frequency while maintaining the same unflappable tone, “All units in the vicinity, possible Burglary with weapon at 912 Folsom Street. Complainant states an individual with a knife is in his home,”

Mayor Mike heard the call go out, “Tell them it’s the Mayor!”

There was a pause, “You sure Sir?”

“Yes, hurry,” was the desperate reply.

Another pause, then, “Be advised, it’s the mayor’s residence,”

Unit 3-1-3, at Avondale and Main Street had just stopped for a traffic light when the dispatcher took to the air waves. She interrupted an incredibly involved conversation,

“No, I mean how else do they have a dress unless they ate the last chick they came across?” asked Hammond, driving down the point with a knife hand to the palm.

Burman was driving, “I can’t stress enough how little I care about space bears or Star Wars,” he said in a gruff voice.

“They’re not space bears, they’re Ewoks,” Hammond blurted.

“Still don’t care,”

The car radio crackled, “All units in the vicinity, possible Burglary with weapon at 912 Folsom Street. Complainant states an individual with a knife is in his home,” a dispatcher named Trisha announced.

Hammond grabbed the microphone from its cradle, but he couldn’t trigger the talk button before the dispatcher added, “Be advised, it’s the mayor’s residence,”

Hammond and Burman froze. The microphone in Hammond’s hand dropped an inch.

“BWAHH, HAHAHA! HAHAHA!” The two patrolmen lost it.

There wasn’t a cop in Minnesota that hadn’t heard Mayor Mikes comments on whether or not Police need to have guns when conducting certain traffic stops. What an asshole. And what a horribly stupid thing to say. Statistically, police are more likely to be killed during a traffic stop than any other operational activity, and this guy was supposed to be their leader.

Burnam’s eyes were tearing up. Hammond patted him on the shoulder,

“SHH! SHH!” He knew dispatch had the geolocation of all the squad cars and they were only six blocks away. They had to answer up. He had to hold his breath for a second to keep from cracking up when he went over the air.

“Control,” he wheezed, “Show 3-1-3 in route,” Hammond flipped on the overhead blue and red lights and blipped the siren.

Burnam didn’t peel out to burn the red light like he usually did.

“What are you doin?” asked Hammond.

Burman pointed to the red light above, “Obey all traffic laws,” he said.

“Huh?”

“You didn’t read the updates. Mayor Mike sent a memo last week stating that police, fire, and EMS will do their upmost to emphasize the safety and concern of the public,”

Hammond sat back in his seat, “So out of all people Mayor Mike would not want us to put the public in jeopardy only on his account,”

“No way,” commented Burnam.

“Course not,”

That same moment Mayor Mike screamed, “Help Me!” in Dispatcher Trisha’s ear.

The light turned green but no other cars in any of the four lanes surrounding the intersection moved until Burnam pulled responsibly from the line. He accelerated to the exact speed limit, 35 mile per hour.

“Very responsible,” said Hammond,

“Safety first,” replied Burnam.

The black and white patrol car drove down the main thoroughfare traversing Brooklyn Heights at thirty four miles an hour, a horde of cars backing up behind them. The patrolmen made it though two more lights before the next changed from green to yellow. Burnam slowed to a stop before it went red. The intersection all around them was a ghost town as vehicles to the left and right were not willing to cut off the police car with lights flashing.

“Clear?” asked Burnam.

Hammond studied the intersection for ten seconds, “Clear,” he confirmed.

Burnam activated his right blinker and slowly made the turn. He gingerly attained the speed limit before slowing again. A woman walking her dog was looking to cross. She looked at the flashing car. Both the woman and her dog’s head cocked in the same curious way. Hammond lowered his window and waved her across.

“Courteous,” said Hammond.

“Mmm hmpf,”

The patrol car returned to the speed limit four more blocks before Burman again activated his blinker, the left this time. He came to a stop. A beige Chrysler minivan was fifty yards away traveling in their direction. The police officers waited patiently until the confused woman behind the wheel came to a stop opposite them. Hammond waved to her as a means of thanking her as they turned.

Dispatcher Trisha clicked across the radio, “The mayor states he can hear the party in his house. 3-1-3 what’s your ETA?” In the background a high-pitched crying could be heard amongst a muted chorus of laughter.

“Control show us on scene,”

Burnam cut the lights and pulled to the curb one house down. He and Hammond exited the car, softly clicking the doors shut. It was dusk but still light enough to see without their flashlights. The unholstered their service issue Glock 22’s and approached Mayor Mike’s house. From the driveway they could see the front door was closed.

“Control can the mayor come to the door?” Burnam asked in his shoulder mic.

Trisha keyed the microphone but all they could hear over the channel, and from inside the house was a desperate, “Please God Help Me!”

Burnam and Hammond looked at each other, “Sounds exigent,” Hammond stated.

“Control, we’re making entry, give us the channel,”

“All unit’s clear channel for 3-1-3,”

Burnam took point and after getting set at the front door he put a boot to it, splintering the frame and denting the locking mechanism. The two flowed into the foyer shouting, “Police! Police! Come out with your hands up!”

The two cops moved in sync from door to door, clearing hallways and other potential danger areas. All the while they heard mumbled cries, from upstairs. As they came to the living room Burnam covered the kitchen as Hammond sliced the pie, revealing the living room before him step by step. When he saw a figure standing in the center of the room he shouted, “Don’t move!”

The figure didn’t move.

“Got one in the living room,” Hammond called, “Put your hands up, do it now,”

The figure didn’t move, it was dark in the living room, he could only make out the silhouette of a man, something was in his hand,

“I said put your God damned hands up!” he shouted. Then he clicked on his flashlight.

The bright light revealed a mannequin, faceless, dressed in a weird, grey/brown Brooklyn Heights Police uniform. Hammond pulled a rolled-up note from the plastic left hand. It was for Mayor Mike,

“Mike,

I was so excited about the new direction for the PD that I ran over to the uniform outlets and pulled this together as an idea, isn’t it great!”

signed Monty.”

When Hammond turned with a quizzical look on his face Burnam was there to snap a photo with his phone.

“What the fuck?” griped Hammond,

“At least you didn’t shoot him,” said Burnam.

“Control be advised, Mayor residence clear,”

After a pause Trisha came over the radio, “Copy, residence clear,” the laughter in the dispatch center was louder now.

Hammond and Burnam were studying the new Brooklyn Heights Police uniform while they waited for Mayor Mike, there was violet striping down the leg,

“There is no way I’m wearing this,” Burnam declared.

“You smell piss?”

They turned around to see Mayor Mike descend slowly down the stairs. His face was streaked in tears, eyes puffy and red. He walked in between them to look at the ‘intruder.’ Burnam and Hammond shared a look behind his back. Hammond nodded in gesture toward the seat of the mayor’s pants. They were soaked.

“Nothing to worry about Mr. Mayor,” said Hammond quenching a grin.

“Just glad your alright Sir,” added Burnam, stone faced.

Mayor Mike looked too exhausted to speak.

Hammond watched him, “You know Sir, I see you don’t have an alarm, that kind of thing really helps put people at ease,”

“Having a gun in the house helps too,” added Burnam.

Hammond’s head snapped in Burnam’s direction; eyes wide. He was biting his upper lip so hard he might draw blood.

The mayors head perked up.

Hammond keyed his mic and started for the door, “Control, Mayor secure, show us 0-8 (available for call),” as the two cops fled the scene.

The following day both men were detailed to the newly created Mayor’s (Armed) Protection Detail. Neither asked how often or when the mayor thought they should carry their weapons.

They were also plainclothes so Burnam never had to wear the new uniform.

Reference:

https://www.bizpacreview.com/2021/04/14/brooklyn-center-mayor-police-dont-necessarily-need-guns-for-making-traffic-stops-1059671/

The Great Irish Birdseed Caper

That’s right, a trio of geniuses in Limerick, Ireland knocked off an armored truck and all they had t show for it was a bag of birdseed.

This story brings to mind one immediate question: Who do you think got their ass kicked for this?

According to the article, there were a minimum of three dudes on this job. So, was it the guy who planned this shit show or the guy that mistook birdseed for a cash transport bag that got punched first?

When I walk through this one, I have to start with the stakeout. Let’s give them credit enough to stalk the armored car, learn its routes, maybe time its stops? Clearly, we can’t say that they paid a whole lot of attention to what the money bags looked like. Unless the brand of birdseed was so cool the bags resembled locking, security laden, reinforced cash transport bags (some how I doubt it though).

Anyway, lets put the three of our robbers in the car, a white Skoda sedan, since we’re in Ireland. Thad is the getaway driver, Kev is the bag man, Liam is the leader, and on overwatch. According to the article Kev used an ‘implement’ to subdue the armored car guy. What the hell do they mean by implement? Like a crowbar or something? If it was a crowbar why didn’t the journalist just say they used a crowbar to smack the security guard and make off with the loot? Another stray thought I had on this was how is it after all of Ireland’s ‘troubles’ in the seventies and eighties they don’t have more guns lying around?

Liam is driving Kev and Thad bonkers. He keeps calling out stops and times that he armored car is making along its route.

                “Nine oh five, bank on Smythe,”

                Then…

                “Nine ten, petrol station, Glenhadden,”

                And…

                “Nine fifteen, Western Union, Waller street,”

                Liam’s foot is tapping a staccato on the floorboards of the Skoda.

                Thad’s too afraid to say anything to Liam about the toe-tapping. This is his first gig with these guys, and he doesn’t want to mess up his big break. He concentrates instead on checking his mirrors for the cops. Thad jumps in his seat when Kev finally blurts out,

                “For fuck sake Liam. We know the fuckin route, the schedule, the whole things, shut it man!”

                At least Kev got the toe-tapping to stop.

                “You just watch your lip Kev,” Liam snaps back, “This is serious shit, every detail down to the hair on your arse’s gotta be perfect,”

                “Perfect this,” says Kev waving Liam the finger, “I know the job,”

                “You better,” states Liam flatly.

                “Clear off,”

                Thad straightens in his seat, “Boys, boy’s!”

                The armored truck is rounding the corner. The next stop on its route is a bank located in a strip mall. It sits between a discount store and a shoe store.

                “I told ya!” exclaims Liam, “Right on time,”

                Kev doesn’t say anything, he’s focused. He’s got plans for the money, and it’s so close now. The vision of himself rocking a new gold watch with a diamond encrusted face the size of his head. Rolling through Fitzpatrick’s Casino in Limerick like a whale.

                The armored truck rolls to a stop between the discount store and the bank. Thad, Liam, and Kev sitting thirty feet away in the front row of the parking lot.

                “Here we go,” says Liam.

                Liam and Kev exit the Skoda while one of the guards waddles his way from the passenger seat and down to the pavement. He’s older, with a brown mustache. The guard’s blue uniform is oversized, even for his pot belly. The guard straightens his uniform cap before shuffling around the back of the truck. Kev takes the rear while Liam rounds the front to keep an eye on the driver. Kev has a little further to go than Liam and when he makes his way to the rear fender the last person, he expects to find is the mustachioed guard walking right toward him, a canvas bag in his hand. The two almost run into each other.

“Ahhh!” screams Kev with the genuine inflection of a six-year-old girl.

                The excitation takes the old guard by surprise too. He screams the same way, “Ahhh!”

                Kev rips the crowbar from his jacket and bashes the wide-eyed guard over the head. As the guard stumbles back, Kev snatches the bag from his hand,

                “Let’s go!” he yells only a decibel under the scream he let fly a moment before.

                Liam follows and Thad pulls the Skoda out, its tires squealing. Thad pops the boot and Kev throws the bag in the dark compartment before jumping in the back seat.

                “Move!” Liam barks and the three thieves roar out of the parking lot.

                Twenty minutes later the Skoda pulls into a garage on the other side of Limerick.

                “Whew, that was flawless boys. I told ya! I told ya we couldn’t lose!”

                “Yeah, you said it alright,” comments Kev.

                Thad had heard them but was more interest in seeing the money. He curled around the boot and popped the latch with the key fob. His hands shaking as he lifts the lid.

                “Huh?” he utters. The boot is full of…dust? Thad had checked the whole car himself before they took off for the job. The compartment had been spotless. Thad reaches in and grabs some of the…birdseed?

                “What’s that?” Liam pushes passed him and reaches for the bag. He freezes as his hand reaches the bag. Instead of finding strapped bills filling the canvas bag he retracts his hand to reveal a fist full of birdseed.

                Thad, Liam, and Kev watch as a long sad stream of birdseed sifts from Liam’s hand like sand from an hourglass.

As I write this I kind of don’t want to say who his who first. Instead of a beat down, I like to think Kev and Liam just go at it in a rolling throwdown like when Peter fights the giant Chicken in Family Guy. When it’s all over I have to end it with the three of them standing together watching the Skoda go up in flames. These criminal masterminds have seen every episode of CSI (every flavor, even Miami) and know that they have to burn the getaway car to throw the cops off their trail. Kev has a split lip, and one of Liam’s eyes are swollen shut. Thad is holding an empty gas can wondering when he can get away from the other two without it being awkward. From the boot random bits of birdseed pop every now and then like popcorn.

The article notes that the guard had stopped at the discount store next to the bank to buy some birdseed in between stops. Kev apparently stumbled into him after the discount store but before the bank. I can’t say this enough. I love dumb criminals.

We’ll just leave it at that.

Three men arrested in probe into cash-in-transit robbery where bird seed was stolen instead of cash – Independent.ie

Oooh Cheetos!

FROM KTUL: News 8, Tulsa

“TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — Tulsa police said a woman is in jail after Cheeto residue on her teeth linked her to an attempted home burglary.

Police said on Feb. 26 patrol officers were dispatched to reports of a person attempting to force their way through the window of a home near 51st and Sheridan.”

I took some liberties with this one.

The responding officer (RO) arrives on scene where a homeowner just reported a burglary. The two are standing in the center of her kitchen while she tells him what happened.

“We just sat down for movie night. We were watching Raya, that China, dragon movie. It just started when all of a sudden there’s this woman in my kitchen. She’s goin’ through my fridge!

I say, what the hell are you doin?

She doesn’t say nothin. Takes a bottle of water from my fridge and a bag of Cheetos, the puffy kind not the skinny kind, the puffy kind are way better. She grabs the Cheetos and walks to the back of the house.

I grabbed my boys T-ball bat and started callin you all. That creeped me the f*&k out.”

The homeowner gestures to the back of the house,

“She might be back there still, I don’t know,”

RO speaks in a clear, confident voice, “I checked the rest of the house ma’am, there’s no one back there,” he consults the notes he has so far.

He has ‘Burglary’ at the top of the page, date, time, address, homeowners name, then under items taken he has: ‘Water’ and ‘Cheetos’. Then a line through ‘water’ and ‘Cheetos’

“You sure nothing was taken, ma’am?” he asks.

“Not that I can see,” the homeowner answers.

The officer nods and notices the Cheetos and the half empty bottle of water sitting on the counter in front of him. He found them sitting under an open window in the back bathroom. He smiles, “Well, Brightside, at least she didn’t get all your Cheetos right?”

The homeowner cocks her head to the side and her eyes go wide, “That supposed to be funny?” she asks plainly.

The RO’s smile fades. He clears his voice, “Can you describe her for me one more time?”

Three minutes later the RO is back in his cruiser. He makes a mental note that his next complaint will not be a use of force beef, and that his jokes suck.

He advises dispatch that he’s 0-8 (available for call) and rolls the neighborhood. You never know, he thinks.

Ten minutes later RO’s on his way out of the area when he rounds a curb to find a pedestrian matching the description of his burglary suspect. Female, grey hoodie, and black pants. A woman matching that exact description just froze in mid-stride as he approached. In his headlights he see’s the woman’s eyes are wide as saucers.

Being the opposite of nonchalant, the woman continues on her path, her head buried in the neck of her hoodie. She refuses to look at the patrol car.

The responding officer stops twenty yards from her,

“Dispatch, I’m out with the possible suspect from the burglary I just cleared. We’re at Easterling and Filmore (Made up streets).

She continues walking slowly toward him, her hands buried in her front pocket. She’s trying not to look at him.

RO puts his flashlight on her, focused on her hands, “Evening,” he says, “Mind taking your hands out of your pockets miss?” he asks.

The woman complies, slowly raising her hands for him to see,

“What seems to be the problem officer,” the slur in her words do not go unnoticed.

RO closes the distance on her, coming in on her left flank, “We had a break in down the street. I’m asking around to see if any one saw anything,”

“I ain’t seen no one officer,” she says squinting in the light.

RO smiles, “I haven’t even told you what I’m looking for yet,” he tells her.

The woman smiles a little too, just the twitch of her lip, revealing bright white, well not quite white teeth.

RO can’t help but notice a bright orange smudge coatingthe top of her teeth. That observation leads to the recognition of similar orange flecks in the delicate hairs of her upper lip. A stroll of the flashlight down the front of her hoodie reveals three long, extended smears of consistent orange powder. She’s still grinning, which RO takes as a good thing, but her eyes plead for a lucky break.

RO leans back on his rear foot and studies her for a minute.

“Like I said, we had a burglary in the area,”

The grin on the woman’s face waivers but holds on. Her expression is hopeful, but her eyes question every millisecond.

It’s a struggle for the RO to keep his voice steady and his expression stoic, “Miss?” he asks,

“Sharon,” she answers with a nod and a glint of hope in her wide expressive eyes.

“Sharon,” RO says with a quiet but business-like inflection, “If I told you, it-ain’t-easy-bein-cheesy, what would you say?

A panicked giggle escapes he lip. RO covers his own excruciating need to laugh with a pseudo-cough. The two are in a standoff now, who’s going to crack first?

Finally Sharon asks, “I had it in my teeth?”

RO nods slowly as he pops his handcuffs from his belt, “You had it in your teeth,” he tells her.

Texas man arrested for plan to murder, cannibalize girl

https://www.ktre.com/2018/10/22/affidavit-texas-man-arrested-plan-murder-cannibalize-girl/

DPWFLCJS4FA6ZN77GIMXHGNLTU

Since it’s Halloween I thought I do my best to make sure you can’t sleep tonight.

In Shelby County, Texas Alexander Barter sits in jail after being charged with Conspiracy to Sexually Assault and Murder a Minor.

If you haven’t heard of the dark web I would suggest not trying to find it. In simple terms it is a collection of networks that run on the internet but require specific software like the Tor browser to access. It’s the kind of place where you find people looking for someone willing to sell their daughter so that they can rape, murder, commit necrophilia, and eat her.

According to the affidavit Barter posted on the dark web that he was looking for anyone interested in allowing him to commit necrophilia and cannibalism. An agent with Texas DPS found the post and responded offering his ‘daughter’ for sale. Barter’s reply, “Nice, I’m in East Texas. How old is your daughter? Can we kill her?”

Over several days the DPS Agent established rapport with Barter and even received instructions from Barter that included the use of ‘burner’ phones, clothing changes after the murder, and an alibi when he returned home without the ‘daughter.’ The affidavit also includes the statement, “I’m not going to change my mind about this. I really want to do this,”

Texas DPS identified Barter through investigative channels I will not detail here and on the day Barter was supposed to meet the undercover ‘dad’ he instead stepped out of his house and found himself surrounded by cops. It should be noted that when he was taken down Barter had in his possession plastic trash bags and a knife, items specifically mention by Barter as tools of the crime in email communications. The official charges brought against Barter were:

Criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony

Criminal Attempt: Capital Murder, a second-degree felony.

Conspiracy to Commit Capital Murder, a first-degree felony

Criminal Attempt: Sexual Performance of a Child, a second-degree felony

That’s one guy that Texas DPS happened to find cruising the internet in the hopes of raping, murdering, and eating his victim. Granted that, judging by his photo, Hannibal Lecter he is not. But even a chuckle head like that could do real damage if given the opportunity. Now ask yourself, is he the only one? Is that jerk off unique? As someone who has conducted online investigations let me tell you with no degree of uncertainty: not even close. Barter is a drop in the bucket of sick and twisted that infests the very same cities and towns you and I live in. Try to sleep tonight with that thought rattling around in your head.

In law enforcement you always hope for those days you can say you truly took real evil off the street. Congratulations to that unnamed Texas DPS agent and his team. On October 19th 2018, they did just that.

Happy Halloween

Don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

 

Choice of Weapon: Lawn Mower

Father attacked his son with chainsaw before son ran him over with lawn mower, police say

https://amp.usatoday.com/amp/1647350002

RELAX IT’S A HALLOWEEN GAG PHOTO

Yup, that about says it all. In Bristol, TN a 76 year old man attacked his own son with a chain saw, and according to the article, his son (the victim) ran him over with a lawn mower. I know what your thinking: “A lawn mower? Even a seventy-six year old man can out run a lawn mower,”

Not if it’s a zero turn, and it was. Think of the agility needed by the old man to get away from that thing. The funniest part is that even though the old man lost his leg, he still got charged. According to the article the authorities had to wait several weeks until the subject (the guy who got run over with a lawn mower) could be arrested for Attempted Murder.

I know this is just the cop in me coming out but imagine what the responding officers thought when they got there. First off, how did the call go out?

Dispatch: Contol-313 (that’s my old call sign)

313: Go ahead Control.

Dispatch: Respond to 123 What the Crap Lane. Reported disturbance, possible assault.

A blanket disturbance call is always one that will make your hair stand up. You don’t know what your heading into. You wading into a riot or will you show up to find a couple dude in wheelchairs throwing dentures at each other.

313: Any further details Control

Dispatch: pause, pause, muffled giggle, 313 be advised it appears one party was armed with a chain saw, one other party was armed with a lawn mower. Injuries reported, EMS is enroute.

313: Control did you say a chain saw and a lawn mower?

Dispatch: Affirmative 313, it was a zero turn

The quotes from the article are the best part:

“He was mowing around some bushes or trees and the father comes out with this chainsaw running at him,” said Lt. Andy Seabolt of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office.

First thought: Was he wearing a Leatherface mask? It’s almost Halloween and wouldn’t that suck if the whole thing was a giant misunderstanding.

“So he turns to actually try to get away from him, turns around and the father is still coming at him with the chainsaw. So he hits him with the mower. And that’s when everything stopped.”

It wasn’t a misunderstanding.

When they say everything stopped did they mean the engine? Like did the blades get tangled up in a pant leg or something?

This incident left me with so many questions.

Don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

Savannah’s Pissed

Savannah unamused by googly eyes placed on historic statue: ‘It’s a crime’

http://amp.thestate.com/news/local/crime/article219716780.html

Guess who gets this case? The new guy in the Detective Bureau, that’s right.

In Savannah, GA someone (read drunken SCAD nerds) put googly eye stickers on a monument to Nathaniel Greene. I had a civil war joke to make about this article but then I realized Nathaniel Greene was a hero of the Revolutionary war and it ruined everything.

They have a real whodunit in Savannah. I’m going to call my shot here and guess how this one is going to play out.

In reality I’m betting the two googly eyes were stripped off by a city maintenance worker and tossed in the trash when the incident was first discovered.

But just for a moment lets imagine he left them there. It is pretty funny, the maintenance guy can not help but snap a picture and immediately post to twitter, Instagram, facebook (I guess), and maybe Snap, if they haven’t declared bankruptcy yet. He hash-tagged it #Savannah #crazyeyes or something equally un-inventive and forgot about the whole thing. Seven minutes and forty-nine seconds later a Daughter of the American Revolution (that’s a real thing, look it up) hopped on her phone, set up for her by her granddaughter, and automatically following #savannah, saw the disgrace of this national monument and went apoplectic. She called the mayor, she called the chief, she called the rest of the DAR…Sacrilege!

The intern at the Mayors office found the post and showed it to the Deputy Assistant Executive Assistant to the Associate Mayor who seeing an opportunity to be an actual Associate Mayor some day took swift action for the public good. They re-posted the googly eyes with a demand that something be done!

Ten minutes later the Chief of the Savannah PD puts the phone back in the cradle with a sigh, rubs his eyes and calls for his secretary to call the Commander of the Detective Bureau.

Six minutes after that the Commander storms out of his office and finds the Lieutenant, the Lieutenant finds the Sergeant, the Sergeant looks around the bull pen. He studies all the gruff and time worn faces and finds the one in the bunch who won’t give him shit. He strides to the desk of the newest detective in Savannah and drops a note on his desk. He says, “A lot of eyes on this one kid, don’t fuck this up,” he bites his tongue and retreats to his office.

“Shiiiiit,” New guys says once the Sarge is out of ear shot.

From the next desk over an overweight fifty-something detective playing solitaire grins, “Better move on this one F-N-G, those stickers won’t stick for ever, it’s hot outside.”

New guy doesn’t have a take home car so he has to sign a beater that smells like old feet out of the fleet. He rolls to the Nathaniel Greene statue to see a crowd of old women in period dress barking at a swarm of teenagers who have climbed up on the statue to take selfies with the googly eyes. New Guy realizes right there that he made a mistake giving up patrol for this but he has a job to do. He puts on his cop voice,

“Police! Get off the statue!” When you do cop voice right everyone freezes. I still use it on my kids. If you’ve never done it, I can’t explain it to you.

The crowd freezes, and the last teen drops to the ground once his phone goes, Click. They all look at him expectantly.

New Guy has an epiphany. He charges into the crowd, “This is a crime scene, I’m going to have to ask everyone to back up,” for effect he is slipping a pair of latex gloves on as he passes.

One of the teens starts to mouth off and New Guy turns on a dime to stop only an inch from the boys nose, “Do you want to go to jail for obstruction?”

“Ob-wha?”

“Xactly, move,” the kid and his friends make a run for it.

New Guy stops to study the crime scene. He peels off his sunglasses slowly, and steps up on the platform to get a closer look. He lingers for a while, just for effect before leaping down from the statue and returning to his car. In a moment he returns carrying what looks like a tool box. When he opens it everyone leans in to get a look. With a beat up old fiberglass brush in one hand and a jar of black powder in the other he climbs back up the statue and paints Nathaniel Greene’s brass mug in black fingerprint powder. He can see friction ridges on the surface of the googly eyes. He spreads transparent lift tape over each of the eyes and peels the tape back revealing fingerprints. He affixes his lifts to two fingerprint cards. He peels the stickers off the statue with the care that a Revolutionary War hero deserves and packages each one in a paper bag complete with bright red evidence tape. When he looks up all eyes are on him, watching every move. He puts his sunglasses back on,

“I’m going to need every one of you to form a line here to my left. I’m going to take  fingerprints and a statement from each of you,”

Some of the onlooker’s go blank, a couple of the teenagers straight up bail, and the rest form a line to the right not the left. But instead of offering their biometric data they promise they had nothing to do with it.

New guy smiles at them, nods, and leaves them standing there without another word.

Just because the Sergeant decided to screw him over with the bullshit case he takes his lifts to the crime scene unit and has the tech run the prints through the national database. There’s a hit, two of them. Sure enough, SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) nerds.

New Guy leaves the crime scene office, and heads straight for the judge he knows is a re-enactor. The judge doesn’t even ask a question, just signs the pair of arrest warrants.

The nerds aren’t hard to find. New Guy beats on the door of their dingy apartment until one of the half baked fools, he has a man-bun, opens the door. Three minutes later, one is still wearing his vintage Star Wars pajama pants as he perp-walks them both to his car.

A well placed text to a friend of his ensures there is a reporter from the Savannah Morning News waiting at the county jail intake when he arrives.

“I can’t comment on anything ma’am,” he tells the reporter, “this is still an evolving situation,”

When New Guy walks back into the office two hours later there is silence. He walks to his desk casually, bracing himself to return to the backlog of real cases that have been waiting for him all morning. Two minutes later the Lieutenant is standing at his desk,

“You’re shitting me right?”

“No Sir, case closed, got any more?”

That’s all bullshit but I found it entertaining. I mean…really…googly eyes?

Don’t forget to check out my work on Amazon or any other bookstore. My newest novel Where Angels Sing is on sale now.

The Window (Short)

Hey, I really liked the female protagonist in this story so I figured I would share. It’s another one of the shorts I found in my files. Here you go, let me know what you think.

The Window

 

Behaviorally speaking, there is no difference between a five-year-old boy caught with his hand in the cookie jar, and a thirty-five-year-old accountant accused of raping and murdering a twenty-one year old bartender. The two mirror each other in movement, posture, responses. Tapping feet, shifting eyes, slumped shoulders. These movements betray their secrets. They try to put up a strong front; to deny their truth, both know what the outcome will be. Each can feel the ‘other shoe’ poised over their heads waiting to drop. The only difference between the two is a matter of time. Where the five year old will fold under the withering gaze of grandma in moments, the thirty-five year old thinks he’s crafty, ahead of the game. He requires a little more convincing.

    The way he slumps in the cold hard metal chair; one leg outstretched, his left arm crooked over the seat back. He looks calm. The expensive black suit says he is important, and the smug grin shows he believes it. His eyes angle toward the dull gray metal table, feigning indifference. He’s checked his watch three times in the fifteen minutes he’s been in there. All of that is betrayed, however, by the subtle movement of his lower lip. Beneath that smug, half grin, he gnaws on it like a wolf chewing though his leg to get out of a trap. This is where time comes in.

    He gnaws on his lip. After a few minutes his left knee starts to bounce ever so slightly. His eyes fix across the table. He just noticed the file, a simple manila folder. The word Subject precedes his name, and a thick stack of various forms hide beneath its cover. One form peeks out from under the off-white cover. The title reads, Search Warrant. His name is at the top of that too.

    His eyes dart to the window and he catches his own reflection. There’s a lack of confidence he can’t bear to see so he turns back to the warrant. Yearning to see without overtly straining, he reads as much as he can. Only three lines of text are available to him. When he scans the text his eyes flash wide, though only for a micro second. Instinctively, his right hand snaps to his left collar bone. He doesn’t consciously realize he is trying to hide the deep gashes that stretch from the base of his neck to his chest. He looks back to the window. His eyes are wider now, like the eyes of a person who realized they just stepped out in front of a bus. He is searching for help, searching for hope. It only takes a moment for him to recover.

    On the other side of the one way glass she looks once more at the photo in her hand. Swollen, closed eyes, black, blue, purple, the bloody pulp was once the beautiful face of Shannon Wells, twenty-one, bartender. She could quote the Medical Examiner’s report by letter and verse. Shannon Wells was a fighter, and that made Detective Kate Mills smile. Shannon died as a result of manual strangulation coupled with an intracranial hematoma. The medical examiner found mounds of ripped skin, not Shannon’s, buried under her fingernails. Shannon also had a chunk of areola lodged in her trachea. The girl fought for her life, no one could ask for anymore. And she had had a lot to live for.

    Shannon was a scholar in the truest sense of the word. Daughter of a single father; her Mother, Maya, died while delivering her. Shannon was valedictorian of a class of less than a hundred students in a speck of an upstate New York High School. She led her high school soccer team to a state title her senior year then shot out of town like a rocket. Despite being wooed by every major team in the NCAA, Shannon hung up her cleats in favor of Physics. She was a freshman at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on a full academic scholarship. Shannon studied Physics by day and slung drinks at night to make ends meet. Then she met Anthony ‘Tony’ Chapman. The crime scene examination showed forced entry through a shattered door frame. Holes in the sheetrock, a broken coffee table, and shattered television showed Tony liked it rough. Alex Newton, Manager of the Thirsty Owl where Shannon worked picked Tony out of a line up and remembered Tony hovering around Shannon until closing time the night before she went missing.

    Tony is a proud product of South Boston, and he has a record. He married once however that marriage ended with facial reconstruction for his wife, a restraining order, and ninety days in county jail. It seemed Tony liked to hit his girls, and the wife wasn’t the only domestic trouble he’s been a part of. Interviews of former girlfriends yielded adjectives such as scumbag, Napoleon, sadist. Mills also found a south side hooker named Tina who pressed charges on him for assault a few years back. The assault failed to stick since Tina was a hooker. Tony liked to make himself feel strong at the expense of his girls.

Kate watched her quarry for another moment then knocked on the window three times. Slow and deliberate, the rumble of the heavy plate glass was like the sullen drone of a death toll. It’s an utterly unproductive gesture, lends nothing to the coming interrogation. The initial volley in an unmitigated psychological war Detective Kate Mills was about to unleash on this trapped predator.

Tony shot out of his chair at the rumbling staccato, eyes like saucers, he looked at the window, toward her. She smiled. Tony likes it rough. Tony ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Detective Mills secured Shannon Wells’ photo to the file that will bear her legacy and turned from the window. Thirty-five or five, little boys do not change. Tony Chapman is about to realize he has been caught with his hand in a very dangerous cookie jar.

END

Don’t forget to check out my books here. My new novel Where Angels Sing just came out in October.

Where Angels Sing Cover

 

Last Call

whiskey

CAVEAT: I don’t get short fiction. My mind doesn’t seem to work in short bursts of writing a single scene or putting a story together in only a couple of thousand words. That being said I was going through my files and found a couple of old stories that I like. I figured why not share them and see what you think.

My first offering is a short called ‘Last Call,’ it takes a look at a detective having a bad day. He’s treading on the edge of disaster and needs a little gentle advice to set him straight. I hope you like it.

Last Call

            Jack’s gut twisted like a cat falling off a building. He pulled on the brass handle and the heavy wooden door swung open with ease.  His eyes on the ground, he crossed the threshold.  Warm as the womb, smoke, stale beer, and the lingering scent of spilled liquor greeted him as he stepped into the bar.  It was quiet and he kept his head down as he made his way to his stool.  There were two couples in a booth toward the back by the fire place.  Three sets of slumped shouldered men hovered over their drinks as if searching for truth at the bottom of their glass.

He found his stool, snakes in his belly were writhing and kicking.  His head hurt and his hands shook as he settled in.  Bennie, the bartender and owner of Jameson’s Pub watched him from down the bar.  He managed a weak nod toward the older man and in a low voice muttered,

“Bourbon, neat Bennie,” he couldn’t meet the old man’s eyes.

He heard the old man sigh as he limped to the shelf and grabbed a tumbler and a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.  He watched him start to pour as tears welled in his eyes and he again had to turn his eyes to the floor.

Go! Now! The voice screamed in his head.  Throughout the day that voice had grown progressively weaker like a clock winding down.  In the end it was over matched by the thirst.  The glass slapping the solid oak of the bar sounded like a gong and snapped him out of his thoughts.  Before him stood the tumbler, half full of the harsh amber fluid.  Flanking the larger glass on either side stood two shot glasses brimming with the same.  Bennie loomed over the five drinks, his tired eyes boring into him.  A hint of sadness trimmed the burning disgust in the bartenders eyes.

“What’s this?” Jack asked.

“This?” he pointed to the shot furthest to the right, “is for Tina,”  pointing to the next shot glass he said, “Sammy,”  Bennie skipped the tumbler and at the next shot glass said, “Jack Junior,” Bennie paused for a minute and studied him.  Then his arm shot across the bar and into the breast pocket of Jack’s blazer.  Smooth as lightning he slipped Jack’s wallet.  Flipping it open before his face flopped a  New York Police Department, Detective First Class shield.  “The last shot,”  Bennie palmed the badge and slammed it into the bar so hard it dented the wood.  “is for your badge ya pathetic son of a bitch.  If your wife and kids ain’t enough to keep you straight I thought maybe the job would.  The last time Tina came to pick you up off my bar I could see it in her eyes Jackie.  She’s done, she won’t be here for you this time.  So here you go.  Drink up, but let’s make it a toast.”  Bennie lifted the shot farthest to the left.  He then leaned in so close Jack could feel the heat of his breath.  Jack stared at the bar. He was shaking.

“But…” he offered.

“No! No But, you selfish prick!  Nobody gives a shit what your pantywaist, traumatic, predisposed, worthless excuse is or will be. Least of all me, and certainly not Tina or the kids.”  He slammed the shot down in front of Jack, alcohol spewing from in between his meaty fingers.  “So what’s it gonna be, Jackie boy,” he whispered.

Jack looked at Bennie. Met him eye to eye.  They were red, swollen, broken.  “You can be a real Son of a Bitch sometimes you know that Lieutenant? It’s a good thing you’re retired.”

“Bein an asshole is the only way I ever got you to learn boy.”

Slipping off the stool, shoulders still sagging, Jack tossed a twenty on the bar and started for the door.

END

Make sure you check out the rest of my titles here. My newest release, ‘Where Angels Sing,’ came out in October.

Where Angels Sing Cover

Author Spotlight: Mark Bacon’s Desert Kill Switch

Desert Kill Switch Front cover final smal

Mark Bacon is a former crime reporter turned novelist. His newest release Desert Kill Switch is the second offering in the Nostalgia City Mystery Series and bears a look. Attached is the synopsis and other information about Mark and Desert Kill Switch.

Synopsis

A life-and-death chase across the Nevada desert in the middle of August highlights the action in Desert Kill Switch a complex mystery spread across the southwest

On an empty desert road, stressed-out ex-cop Lyle Deming finds a bullet-riddled body next to a mint-condition 1970s Pontiac Firebird. When he returns to the scene with sheriff’s deputies: no car, no body.  Does the answer lie in Nostalgia City where Lyle works? The Arizona retro theme park re-creates—in every detail—an entire small town from the early 1970s.  It’s complete with period cars, clothes, music, hairstyles, food, shops, fads, restaurants—the works.

Lyle swapped his job as a Phoenix homicide detective for a cab in Nostalgia City when the anxieties and disappointments of police work nearly pushed him over the edge.

Nostalgia City VP Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is in Nevada on park business when she gets mixed up with a sleazy Las Vegas auto dealer who puts hidden “kill switches” and GPS trackers in cars he sells—mainly to low-income buyers.  Miss a payment—sometimes by as little as a few days—and your car is dead.  Maybe you are, too.

When Kate’s accused of murder in Reno, Lyle arrives to help his blonde, not-quite-girlfriend and they plow through a deadly tangle of suspects and motives.  Kate and Lyle hit one dead end after another as they struggle to exonerate Kate, catch a blackmailer, save a witness’s life, and help find the missing corpse.

Praise

“In Desert Kill Switch, Lyle Deming, an ex-cop who drives a cab in a retro theme park, and co-worker Kate Sorensen, are unexpectedly thrown together again when Kate becomes a murder suspect. If you like fast-paced mysteries, nasty characters and enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end, this is a must read!”

“Love this book! I was so happy to be back in Nostalgia City, the retro theme park. Bacon’s protagonist Kate Sorensen is a three-dimensional character, who stands up to challenges without being ‘super woman.’ This is the kind of book where you keep saying ‘just one more chapter.’”

Mark’s Bio

Mark S. Bacon began his career as a southern California newspaper police reporter, one of his crime stories becoming key evidence in a murder case that spanned decades.

After working for two newspapers, he moved to advertising and marketing when he became a copywriter for Knott’s Berry Farm, the large theme park down the road from Disneyland.  Experience working at Knott’s formed part of the inspiration for his creation of Nostalgia City theme park.

Before turning to fiction, Bacon wrote business books including Do-It-yourself Direct Marketing, printed in four languages and three editions and named best business book of the year by Library Journal.  His articles have appeared in the Washington Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, San Antonio Express News, and many other publications.  Most recently he was a correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Desert Kill Switch is the second book in the Nostalgia City mystery series that began with Death in Nostalgia City an award winner at the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival.

He taught journalism as a member of the adjunct faculty at Cal Poly University – Pomona, University of Redlands, and the University of Nevada – Reno.  He earned an MA in mass media from UNLV and a BA in journalism from Fresno State

As always don’t forget to check out my new book, Where Angels Sing: Spoilers Book Two.

Where Angels Sing Cover

 

Human Trafficking

Any good story has to have an underlying bedrock of truth.

Brothers Keeper

In my novel Brother’s Keeper I follow undercover ICE Agent Charlie Bowman as he infiltrates a human trafficking ring. In the book women from the far east are kidnapped off the street and transported in cargo containers to the Port of Charleston then distributed throughout a criminal network. It’s all fiction, but any good story has to have an underlying bedrock of truth.

In the novel I have the victims taken in a foreign land and shipped like animals to the U.S. but I came across this story the other day and thought it bore further study.

Picture1

This is a case where my alumni at the FBI used undercovers to catch a guy outside of Atlanta who tried to hire a couple of thugs to murder one woman and kidnap another.  According to the article the subject was planning on kidnapping his target to pimp her out as a human slave. This story hits pretty close to home. When you see a movie or read a book like Brother’s Keeper where human trafficking is part of the story it makes sense that the actual victims are from somewhere else. Sure they end up in the US and a bunch of other places around the world where they are exploited in a variety of ways but to think of an american girl kidnapped and made a slave here doesn’t compute. Not here right? This case can really give one pause.

I tend to believe that over the career I’ve had and some of the cases I have worked that I am pretty hard to surprise. When I was researching Brother’s Keeper some of the stats I came across related to human trafficking were staggering. The brutality and the tactics used to force another human into modern day slavery are pretty bad too but the shear scope of the problem is what really got my attention. When I began writing Brother’s Keeper human smuggling was just a means of making my bad guys as awful as possible. When I was trying to get the reality of human smuggling right I really learned something though. I’m not going to bury you with stats but it is worth mentioning that today human trafficking is a 32 billion dollar business. There are over 4.5 million people forced into sexual exploitation in our country every year, and 300,000 of those are under eighteen and bought and sold on the commercial sex market.

I’m not big on preaching but the practice of human trafficking is something that the average person doesn’t see, and doesn’t think about, so it doesn’t exist in their world. Sadly you probably run into modern human slaves a lot more often than you think. before I close here are some things to look for that may be indicators of a possible human trafficking scenario: (Courtesy of the www.polarisproject.org)

  • Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
  • Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
  • Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
  • Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
  • Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
  • Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
  • High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
  • Has few or no personal possessions
  • Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
  • Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
  • Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
  • Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
  • Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or do not know what city he/she is in
  • Loss of sense of time
  • Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story

References:

http://m.waff.com/story/36575966/decatur-police-fbi-arrest-man-in-alleged-human-trafficking-plot

http://arkofhopeforchildren.org/child-trafficking/child-trafficking-statistics

https://polarisproject.org/recognize-signs