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/

How high do you have to be to steal an ambulance?

There is a guy in Houston, Texas who needed a taco- a Jack in The Box taco no less- so bad he was willing to steal an ambulance to get it.

I ask, how high do you have to be to steal an ambulance because: A-Jack In The Box tacos aren’t that great, B-there’s no upside to stealing an ambulance. They’re not fast, or fun to drive, they’re not fun to hang out in, and they’re really easy to spot when the police come looking. I don’t know if this dude was high or not, I’m making all this up, but an exciting end to a monumental bender seems like a possibility.

So here we are, the ambulance arrives on scene. The report didn’t say what the call was for but I’m going to say it was a life alert call because the ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up,’ commercials are hilarious to me.  The ambulance pulls to the the curb and Renaldo Leonard, that’s him, age 36, is sitting on the porch across the street. Renaldo and two of his friends, Maxie, and Ray have been rotating between playing Xbox and smoking weed since around two o’clock in the afternoon. It’s now almost eleven at night. The guys ran out of weed around nine. They tried to call their boy Brad for a re-up but Brad was out because he’s a junior in high school and tonight was prom. Maxie’s cousin Tieg had an ounce he would sell him but he was on lockdown. Tieg sold to an undercover cop and was under house arrest after pleading to Possession with Intent to Distribute and his mom wouldn’t let him leave the house with the tracker on his ankle. She thought if he went outside they’d come and lock him up for real.

Renaldo was zoning out watching the red, spinning lights on the roof of the ambulance when Maxie slammed his phone down,

“Fuck!” he yelled.

                The expletive shook Renaldo out of his fugue, “What?” he slurred.

                “Fuckin Tieg got some but he won’t leave the house. He’s under house arrest,”

                “Don’t look at me,” Ray said, “My ride got repo’d last week,”

                “I got no ride, and I ain’t ridin a bike all the way to Whitmer,” Whitmer was the street Tieg lived on ten blocks away.

                Renaldo had slipped back into a trance watching the lights on the ambulance. He heard Ray and Maxie talking about Tieg. He knew Tieg, and he wanted some more smoke. He didn’t have a car, and his mom was at work so her car was gone too.

                Renaldo stepped off the porch and had to pause for a minute to keep his legs under him. After a moment he started toward the ambulance.

                “Where you goin?” Ray called from the stoop.

                Renaldo heard him but he was too focused on the flashing red lights. A medic ran out of the house and grabbed a bag out of the back as Renaldo crossed the street. He didn’t break stride as the medic hurried back inside with whatever was in the bag. The ambulance was idling as he jumped in the driver seat. He didn’t even look at the house where the paramedics were treating someone. Nobody was looking his way. No one but Ray and Maxie that is,

                “What the fuck are you doing?” yelled  Maxie.

                Renaldo lowered the window, “I’ll be back,” he told them, he dropped the truck into gear and stood on the gas. The ambulance was a beast and it accelerated with all the verve of a sea slug. He was moving though, and he really wanted another smoke. He headed out of the neighborhood and pulled onto the main thoroughfare. He blended with traffic but everybody on the road slowed down and pulled over as he came up behind them. It was trippy but Renaldo didn’t have to wait for anybody. He was gonna be at Tieg’s and back in only a couple of minutes. Then he saw a Jack in the Box coming up on his right. Suddenly all thoughts of more weed were gone and he was rolling up to the drive thru. Renaldo pulled to a stop at the order box and when he shifted in his seat to lean toward the microphone his elbow bumped the center console and suddenly the ambulance was screaming, it’s high pitched whine filling the air.

                “Shit,” he swore as a voice called from the ordering box,

                “Welcome to Jack In the Box, how can I help you?” a woman asked.

                “Taco,” Renaldo said to himself as he tried to focus on the menu.

                “I’m sorry I didn’t catch that, is that a siren?”

                “A taco, three tacos,” said Renaldo.

                “I’m sorry you cut out,” the girl on the other side of the order box said.

                Renaldo looked for the switch for the siren but only succeeded in finding the button that  made the thing do a, WHOOP! WHOOP!

                “Shit!” Renaldo bellowed.

                The girl on the other end of the call giggled,

                “Come on!” Renaldo was exasperated.

                “He said he wanted a taco!” Renaldo’s head snapped around to find a blinding white light in his face. Beyond the light he saw a silver badge gleaming in the lights of the drive through. The officer lowered his flashlight and Renaldo recognized a wide smile on the cop’s face. Well that and the gun pointed at him. There was another cop on the passenger side of the ambulance too. The policeman held up his free hand. He put three fingers up, “that was three tacos right?” he asked.

                The drive thru girl didn’t miss a beat, “Three J-I-B tacos, anything to drink with that?”

                The responding officers let Renaldo have the tacos, and even let him eat before taking him in (that’s what I would have done anyway), but Renaldo never made it to Tieg’s place.

NOTE: I probably wouldn’t have put myself in front of a multi-ton vehicle when approaching a felony suspect in the drivers seat of a stolen ambulance, but I thought it sounded funnier if I sacrificed tactics for art.

My blog, I can do what I want.

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.

“It Wasn’t My Idea,”

https://www.nola.com/crime/2018/10/man-convicted-in-fatal-attempted-robbery-of-loomis-guard-said-crime-was-co-defendants-idea.html

loom

New Orleans, LA

If you do ever happen to find yourself charged with a crime there are a variety of ways to try and get out of it. A good lawyer is probably the best, maybe a close second to keeping your freaking mouth shut. Blaming somebody else is also a good choice depending on circumstance. I have even had a guy explain to me that the crack-cocaine in his pocket was not his because the pants he happened to be wearing were also not his. In that particular instance, however, when asked if the five hundred dollars, also found in said pants was also not his, the story about the mysterious missing pant owners  seemed to fall apart. He went to jail.

One excuse I have never heard work, and will never work when trying to get out of a charge is to play the, “It wasn’t my idea,” card.

On May 31, 2017 at around 4:30pm two ‘gentleman’ (not going to give their names because they should thrown in a hole and forgotten, not celebratized) drew down on a Loomis armored car after it pulled up to re-supply an ATM machine. During the robbery one of the guards, Jimmy McBride, was shot and killed. The subjects got away with about $5,000 dollars cash and did what most criminals do, they got caught. Turns out that not everybody in the U.S. has figured out that there are cameras everywhere. The robbery, or enough of it was caught on camera to identify the two subjects.

Like always happens one subject turned on the other to gain leniency. On October 24th in federal court got the opportunity to testify against his cohort. What was his guilt mitigating rationale for why an upstanding citizen is dead? It wasn’t my idea. He didn’t deny taking part (cameras make that difficult), didn’t plead that he was forced, under duress into committing the crime. Nope, it just wasn’t his idea.

Saying you were kidnapped and forced into the robbery by a group of armored truck marauding space aliens would get you better traction in court than saying, “It was his idea, but, uh, I was already there…so…”

The article says both men face life in prison, which is probably best for everybody.

Oh, and one other thing. The article says they pulled off the robbery at 4:30pm on a Wednesday in a major city. What kind of getaway do you plan to make in rush hour traffic in the middle of the week? My God, criminal masterminds all over the world are shaking their heads in disbelief. De Niro and Kilmer circa “Heat” they are not. I mean…Damn.

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

Texas man arrested for plan to murder, cannibalize girl

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

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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.

Review: The Cobra Event by Richard Preston


Richard Preston’s The Cobra Event was one of those books I had my eye on for a long time but never pulled the trigger on. I would look at it lingering on my book list and wonder if a medical thriller could catch my attention and keep it. From the outside looking in I equated it with like an Outbreak or ER type of story, I thought all the medical stuff would bore me. Man was I wrong.

I didn’t know what was missing from my literary life until I finally dove into The Cobra Event. Richard Preston created a masterpiece with this book. From the opening pages I had one of those books in my hand that make you want to go to bed early so that you had more time to read. It’s been a long time since I read a book like that.

Though it’s a novel the story reads like it could be a case file. The characters depth and scientific backgrounds are believable which shows Preston did his fair share of research in creating them. The details of the labs and equipment needed to effect a bio-terrorism event were expertly explained while not sounding like a technical manual. He even made decontamination process, and small mistakes in the decontamination process sound interesting. And when the intensity ramped up and we drew in on the bad guy the tactics, and tactical mistakes that kept the chase alive were written so real you could feel the danger.

I know the book is a little dated, The Cobra Event was released in 1998 but the old reads are still some of the best. I’m glad I finally took the leap and gave The Cobra Event another chance. It was awesome.

I attached the synopsis below. It’s worth a look.

“The Cobra Event is a petrifying, fictional account of a very real threat: biological terrorism.

Seventeen-year-old Kate Moran wakes one morning to the beginnings of a head cold but shrugs it off and goes to school anyway. By her midmorning art class, Kate’s runny nose gives way to violent seizures and a hideous scene of self-cannibalization. She dies soon after. When a homeless man meets a similarly gruesome — and mystifying — fate, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta sends pathologist Alice Austen to investigate. What she uncovers is the work of a killer, a man who calls himself Archimedes and is intent on spreading his deadly Cobra virus throughout New York City. A silent crisis erupts, with Austen and a secret FBI forensic team rushing to expose the terrorist.

Even more frightening than Preston’s story about the fictitious Cobra virus, however, is the truth that lies beneath it. As the author writes in his introduction, “The nonfiction roots of this book run deep…. My sources include eyewitnesses who have seen a variety of biological-weapons installations in different countries, and people who have developed and tested strategic bioweapons.” In fact, the only reason The Cobra Event was not written as nonfiction is that none of Preston’s sources would go on record.

Woven throughout the novel are sections of straight nonfiction reporting that reveal the terrifying truth about the development of biological weapons and the clandestine operations of Russia and Iraq. Three years of research and more than 100 interviews with high-level sources in the FBI, the U.S. military, and the scientific community went into The Cobra Event. The result is sure to shock you.”

Hope you like it and don’t forget to check out my novels available here and wherever books are sold. Also I will be at Literary Love Savannah, GA the 26-28th signing and sitting on a couple of panels. I look forward to seeing you there.

Out.

Author Spotlight: Ellison Cooper

cgHey everybody I have been out of pocket for a minute but I do have an excuse. I have been editing the monster that is my new fantasy novel (Title Pending). Had no idea what I was getting into. The cultural research alone could have earned me a second master’s degree. BTW, now I know what to call medieval stuff…extremely useful knowledge in 2018.

Anyway, I have a book recommendation for you. “Caged” is Ellison Cooper’s debut thriller.

Here is some info about the book:

“FBI neuroscientist Sayer Altair hunts for evil in the deepest recesses of the human mind. Still reeling from the death of her fiance, she wants nothing more than to focus on her research into the brains of serial killers. But when the Washington D.C. police stumble upon a gruesome murder scene involving a girl who’d been slowly starved to death while held captive in a cage, Sayer is called in to lead the investigation. When the victim is identified as the daughter of a high profile senator, Sayer is thrust into the spotlight.

As public pressure mounts, she discovers that another girl has been taken and is teetering on the brink of death. With evidence unraveling around her, Sayer races to save the second victim but soon realizes that they are hunting a killer with a dangerous obsession…a killer who is closer than she thought.”

Praise for Caged:

“Dark and mesmerizing…channels equal parts KATHY REICHS and THOMAS HARRIS…You will read till the bitter end…then sleep with the lights on!”
Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author

“I started and couldn’t stop.”
—F. Paul Wilson, New York Times bestselling author

CAGED is a gripping thriller debut for fans of Kathy Reichs, Thomas Harris, and Patricia Cornwell.

Ellison’s Bio:

Ellison Cooper has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, with a background in archaeology, cultural neuroscience, ancient religion, colonialism, and human rights. She has conducted fieldwork in Central , West Africa, Micronesia, and Western Europe. She has worked as a murder investigator in Washington DC, and is a certified K9 Search and Rescue Federal Disaster Worker. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.

Social Media

web: http://ellisoncooper.com/

facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EllisonCooperAuthor 

twitter: https://twitter.com/ECooperAuthor

instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ecooperauthor/

goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17392133.Ellison_Cooper

It’s always important to support new authors. Wishing the best of luck to Ellison Cooper! Here’s where to find Caged:

Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/CagedAmazon

IndieBound: http://hyperurl.co/CagedIndieBound

Book-A-Million: http://hyperurl.co/CagedBAM

iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/CagedApple

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