Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Halloween Special

Posted by: Blue

It was a dark and stormy night.  The rain hadn't come yet, but the clouds had blackened out the stars and moonlight.  Lightning streaked sporadically around the sky, creating eerie strobes of illumination over the darkened stables.

We were there on a distress alarm.  The huge grounds of the horse racing track on the West end of the city were shadowy and lonely at 2:00 a.m.  The race track ran a small daycare centre out of one of their outbuildings, and the alarm company had reported multiple alarms coming from various zones.

We approached the security gates and were given a laminated hand-drawn map of the grounds.  They covered the space of approximately 4 football fields and were full of stables which housed the Thoroughbred horses.  The long, narrow, squat buildings stretched out in a grid pattern.  We had to navigate through them on pot-holed dirt roads.  The only light came from our headlights and take-downs, but those didn't pierce far into the night and seemed to bounce off of all of the right-angles of the structures and served to diminish visibility rather than improve it.

As we navigated the minefield of watering troughs and hay bales, exercise loops and horse-shit, we crept closer and closer to the target building.  It was a converted stable.  The roof was low-slung and it was entirely sheathed in sheet metal.  The windows had been cut-out as an afterthought and looked out-of-place and ramshackle.

The yard was fenced and the scattered plastic toys seemed oddly foreign in the huge acreage dedicated to horses.  They cast long shadows in the beam of our headlights.  The wind slowly moved the chain swings and the rusty bolts squeaked with each sway.

There was a faint glow of light exuding from one of the windows.  The rest of the building was dark.  We searched the perimeter, first observing whether windows were open or broken, tripping a few times in the process over Tonka trucks or discarded dolls.  Then we began checking the doors methodically for security.

As we worked in tandem around the building, we found a single vehicle: a minivan.  The hood was cold.  It had been there a while.  But then again, the call was about 45 minutes old.  JT turned to me and said "I've got the heebie jeebies about this place dude.  All the friggin kids toys and creaky swing sets are freaking me out a little.  Wouldn't it freak you out if shit went down out here?  It looks like some kinda evil child labour camp or something."

I laughed a little, but really it was to hide the fact that the whole scenario had me right scared.  Something was off.  I couldn't put a finger on it though.  I definitely couldn't picture children enjoying themselves in the yard on a bright summer's day at that point.

We had found a window which had been cracked open, but it appeared that it was only for ventilation purposes.  As we rounded the building the second time and checked the last three doors, I began to relax a little, realizing that the alarm had probably been a false, set off by the weather.

Last door, then we would clear and head back to the station.

I grabbed the knob and rattled it.  It turned.  It popped open.  It creaked as it swung, revealing a blood red glow coming from the exit sign above it.

My glance snapped over to JT.  He was surprised and wide eyed.  His hands went for the Taser holster.  I went for my Glock.


I stepped in first, slowly cutting corners.  The door was in the centre of the building and the hallway it entered ran in both directions.  I slowly went left, JT went right.  We began the building search, flashlights in hand, methodically clearing each room as we went, calling out our presence to whoever might be inside.  I had my light in my left hand, supporting my right hand with the back of my left hand, pistol at high-ready.

As I got closer and closer to the end of the building, I had gone through two long rooms with a couple of offices in-between.  Neither JT nor I had found the lights yet.  I opened the last door with my flashlight hand. Just then, my light cut-out.  The room went black.  I shook it.  It flickered on momentarily and then extinguished again.

The audible alarm started up with a shrill, piercing siren.

Suddenly, a shout and a crash came from JT's end of the building.  I called out to him without turning around, in case it was an ambush and I had someone waiting for me on my end too.

"JT, YOU OK!?"

Silence first.  Then I hollered the same thing again.  This time a muffled yell.

"JT you sonofabitch, if you're just screwing with me I'm gonna shoot you.  Are you alright?"

I smacked my light a few more times and searched by feel for a light switch nearby.  It seriously crossed my mind for a split second to fire a few rounds to light the room with the muzzle-flash.  I thought better of it immediately though.

"Ya.  I'm fine.  Just tripped on a doll carriage.  Stupid toys!"

"Geez man.  Don't do that to me!"

I found a switch.  The room lit up.  My nerves were frayed and I was on high adrenaline.  I breathed deep and focused.  I crept around the corners and cleared the last room.  As I holstered my firearm and turned, I found myself face-to-face with the single ugliest face I have ever seen.  My heart skipped a beat and I froze in terror.

JT had snuck-up behind me and was pulling on his ears and puffing-out his cheeks like a monkey.  "BOO" he yelled.

I almost asped his ass.

"C'mon.  It's clear.  Someone just forgot to lock-up."

We waited for the key-holder and then cleared once they had re-set the alarm.

It remains the only time so far in this job that I have been elevated past adrenaline-flowing to fear-pumping.


Sunday, October 28, 2012


I took the kids to a birthday party yesterday afternoon.

I always get a bit nervous meeting new people as I can be quite shy at first, but it's a lot easier when you're chatting with someone who's kids are in the same class at school as there is at least some common ground; teachers, activities, friends, kids are the same age and probably into the same things. While Waffle and The Boy were glow bowling I struck-up a conversation with some of the other mom's. It went well, but I find that pregnancy always brings out the most bizarre comments from people. They say things to your face that, normally, wouldn't be the least bit appropriate to mutter even under your breath as you walk away. Comments like "You're huge!" or "How many are in there?" or "Wow, you're really waddling now!" or "You're still here!?" Granted, there are the good comments from people as well, but it's always the slightly off-colour ones that stick.

Other Mom: So when are you due?

CB: Oh, in a few weeks.

Other Mom: Ya, you look it.

Awkward pause

(What do I say to that!? Thanks? "Gee, thanks for pointing out that I'm waddling like a preggo-potamus and my clothes are having a hard time stretching enough to cover my very pregnant belly! So kind of you.")

CB: Haha, well, I'm definitely feeling it alright!

Aaaaaand, change subject.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

No One Said You Had to be Smart

Posted by: Blue

Two days ago, one of the other crews had an intoxicated prisoner in one of the cells.  They filled out a property form and asked him to sign for the items that they had taken for safekeeping.  His name was Isaac.

The first attempt at a signature was painfully slow.... then he scribbled it out, presumably due to a spelling error.  His next attempt stuck.  This is how he spelled "Isaac":

That's right.  "I - Backwards 3 - Backwards 3 - 9 - C".

I've encountered a number of illiterates already, but none that couldn't spell their own name.  Wow.

Remarkably, his last name was correctly spelled on the first attempt.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Package Deal

Posted by: Blue

On our second-last evening shift, JT found out that his uniform pants were ripped right down the fly.

He didn't have another back-up pair in his locker.

He spent the night working with his bright tighty whities poking out of his midnight blue duty cargoes.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tommy Solami Part IV

Posted by: Blue

The other day, while doing combined duty typing reports and patrolling, I spotted a familiar face.

I hit the lights and siren for a short chirp and then hopped out of the shotgun seat and yelled: "TOMMY!"

He looked like he was about to bolt until he recognized who was hollering at him.

"Hey, guys, long time, no see!  How's it going?"

"Not bad Tommy.  How you been?  You're not back with Mariah, are you?" I joked.

Tommy just gave me a look that said it all.

"Did you have to find a new place to live when you got released?"

Another look.

"We're gonna leave now before you say something that gets you arrested."

Looks like we're gonna be doing an address check next week for old Tommy Solami.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tommy Solami Part III

Posted by: Blue

We got a call that there was a male at the complainant's apartment door with a knife trying to break the door down.

We showed up a short time later and found the apartment building quiet.  The suspect had apparently left and was nowhere to be seen during a search of the building.

We spoke to the complainant who clearly had a number of stab marks in his front door.

The trouble with his neighbour had started when he had found his neighbour's girlfriend standing in the hallway buck naked and locked out of her apartment a few weeks ago.  The neighbour was Tommy.  The girlfriend was Mariah.  The complainant had given Mariah a phone to use and a set of clothes to wear.  Tommy had become convinced that they were sleeping together and today he had gotten good and drunk and gone over the edge.

We decided to try knocking on Tommy's door which was a floor up.  We knocked and knocked and called to Tommy through the door, but there was no answer.  We were just discussing whether to write him up for warrant when we heard a noise in the stairwell behind us.  We both turned just as the door opened into the hall.

There was Tommy.  Shirtless again.  His stitches in his neck looked red and infected.  We both drew down on him, 'cause he apparently had a knife.  I pulled the Taser, my partner pulled his Glock.  We yelled at Tommy to get down.  I called him by name.  He had a series of facial expressions going from fear to acceptance to relief.  He recognized us just as he started raising his hands into the air and said "Oh thank God it's you guys!"  He continued onto the floor into the prone position and gave us no trouble.

"You still have a knife on you, Tommy?"

"Ya.  Ya, it's in my back pocket."

"OK.  Don't reach for it or you're gonna get either shot or tasered or both.  You understand?"

"Ya.  I'm just glad it's you guys.  You guys are good guys."

We cuffed him and took him down to the car.  I arrested him for all of the nonsense that had happened that night.

On the way back to the station, I asked him what his version of the story was.

"Well, about a week ago, we were having sex on the couch and then we finished and everything was good until she told me to get her a cheeseburger.  I told her 'forget it, bitch, I'm not your servant', but she wouldn't give it up.  She kept demanding a cheeseburger, so I threw.... I shoved.... I placed her gently outside the apartment and locked her out.  That guy from that apartment brought her into his place and she's been fucking him ever since.  Tonight I just lost it."

"Ya.  You kinda did."

JT and I laughed.  Tommy laughed.

"Thanks for being good with me guys.  I'm glad it was you that came to arrest me."

"Tommy, you've gotta get rid of the girl and quit drinkin' man.  No woman is worth going to jail over just cause she's screwing some other dude."

"Ya.  I know.  She's such a bitch.  But I love her."

Back at the station, we introduced Tommy to our Sergeant as "Tommy Solami".  The Sergeant snapped his head up from his desk.

"THE Tommy Solami?!"

"Yes sir.  The very one and only."

"How do you know about me?" Tommy asked.

Just then a few other cops walked by.  We informed them that they were in the presence of the legend, Tommy Solami.  They all raised their eyebrows and a couple of them went to shake his hand, playing along with our mock reverence (which of course didn't work because Tommy was cuffed).  It was clear that the attention was going to Tommy's head.

"Everyone knows you here, Tommy.  We were telling the whole shift about you when we were looking for Mariah."

As we carted him off to his cell, we passed the detective's office and Tommy hollered out "Hey guys, it's me, Tommy Solami!  Need an autograph?  I'm here all night!"

We finished our reports, hauled him away to jail and locked him up, still beaming.

The best part of the night was still to come.  When we came into the provincial jail, Tommy walked up to one of the grumpy senior guards and tried to shake his hand (once the cuffs had come off), introducing himself as "The Famous Tommy Solami".  It was clear then that his fame had not extended to the provincial jail quite yet, because the guard simply responded "I don't give a FUCK who you are!  Shut your mouth and listen to what we tell you to do when we tell you to do it and there won't be any problems."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tommy Solami Part II

Posted by: Blue

Two days after we forced Tommy to see a doctor by promising him we wouldn't arrest his girlfriend that night, I ran her name to see if she was still wanted or if she had turned herself in like she had promised.

She had not.

We went and knocked on her door to try to find her.  Tommy answered.  We asked him where she was.  He said he didn't know.  He let us check the apartment.  We didn't find her there.

Tommy was shirtless.  I noticed he had a poorly done tattoo on his left shoulder: TOMMY SOLAMI.
I pointed it out to my partner.  We had a good laugh at the misspelt sausage variety he had permanently inked on his body.

When we got back to the station, the legend began.  We told our whole shift all about Tommy and Mariah and how we really wanted to arrest her on her warrant after she had lied to us about turning herself in.  The tattoo was brought-up, and Tommy Solami began to be a well-known name in the station.

We even had the nickname added as an alias on our system.

We searched high and low for Mariah the next few weeks.  We never found her, but all the while, Tommy's fame grew, as we continued to brief the Sergeants on the female we were looking for.  The true extent of his infamy will come to light in Part III.

Stay tuned.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tommy Solami Part I

Posted by: Blue

Tommy and Mariah were having a domestic.  A neighbour called it in that Tommy had come to his door looking for help with blood streaming from his neck.

We showed-up on scene and met the couple who were both drunk.  Tommy had a small cut on his neck which he insisted was from falling and cutting himself on a bike wheel.  We managed to get it out of him eventually that he was mad at his girlfriend for saying she felt like killing herself sometimes, so he held a knife to his throat to show her how it felt.

But he was drunk and cut himself by accident.

We called an ambulance.  Tommy didn't want an ambulance.  It was clear from Mariah's behaviour that Tommy was gonna get lucky that night if the cops would just leave them alone to make-up after their argument, but Tommy wouldn't stop bleeding.  Probably because his blood was so thinned-out from the alcohol.

It was a busy night and we hadn't put a rush on the bus, so the ambulance was taking a while.  JT and I played darts in the living room to pass some time.

A little while later, it was clear that Tommy's neck had stopped bleeding and the cut was clotting itself.  Ambulance was still a long ways away.  We cancelled the paramedics and I turned to take Mariah's name for my report.  She gave me a name and I quickly ran it on our information channel.  It came up negative.  No involvement with police whatsoever.  My spidey sense lit up.  She must have a warrant or court-ordered conditions to abstain from alcohol.  We brought her down to the car to try to ID her.

It took a while, but we finally got her real name out of her.  She had a warrant.  It was a cheap one for FTA court.  They were a dime a dozen.  She didn't have a bad record.  Just some silly youth charge.  I was about to arrest her, but then we looked over to Tommy who had come down to the car.  There was a huge puddle of blood at his feet.  He had started gushing again.

We ordered another bus on a rush.  We punted her from the car and told her to turn herself in on her warrant first thing the next day.  Then we took Tommy with the ambulance 'cause he was still refusing treatment.

Tommy ended-up getting stitched back together.  He was complaining to the nurse about us keeping him there.  The nurse told him he would have bled to death if we hadn't.

That was the first time I met Tommy.  Stay tuned for parts II to IV.