Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Family Matters

A 35 year old man was recently released from state prison serving a 10 year sentence for armed robbery and vehicle theft. He was released on parole 18 months early for good behavior. He returned to civilian life with a resolution to become a law abiding citizen.

He reconciled with his family who welcomed him home with hopes for a better future together. They were short on space as five adults and one child lived together in the small 2 bedroom apartment. They were happy to be together, though, and hoped he would be able to help care for his 23 year old special-needs sister while Mom worked.

After a few months, things began to sour. It was unfortunate he was unable to find work but even more so that he didn't even bother looking. One thing he did find, however, was alcohol -and lots of it. He decided it was much easier to pass the time drinking 40 ounce malt liquors with his buddies than to actually attempt a productive life. Mom was becoming fed up with him but it wasn't the drunkenness that pushed her over the edge;

It was the rape of his 23 year old mentally challenged sister that did it.

Mom came home to find him and his buddy passed out on the couches. She called police to have him escorted out. While we were on the way, her daughter (and his sister) called her to report he had sexually assaulted her 3 times in the last 2 weeks. One time, her 4 year old son walked in on them in the act. Mother was appalled, furious, and thankful police were there to stop her from fulfilling her own punishment on him.

Of course he denied sister's accusations and blamed it on her mental instability. When I informed him she had undergone a forensic examination at the hospital in which DNA evidence was collected, his eyes opened wide with fright. Even through his drunken state I could sense him contemplating his pending return to state prison with the possibility of another decade or so of added time.

We contacted his Parole Officer (PO) by phone and told him of the convict's current drunken state. One of the provisions of his parole was no consumption of alcohol. The PO revoked his parole which meant an immediate trip back to prison to serve the remaining year and a half of his original sentence. While there, the detectives will be busy preparing multiple charges of sexual assault.

People do all kinds of bad things but those who victimize a vulnerable member of their own family epitomize the sentiment: "Lock 'em up and throw away the key."

Saturday, January 24, 2009


I was driving my patrol car towards a busy intersection and spotted a small SUV speed out of a parking lot and then turn right onto a major street without stopping for the red light. I sped up to follow and saw the vehicle make another quick right turn into a neighborhood without signalling.

This SUV was driving erratically and speeding through a neighborhood streets so I caught up and pulled him over. A 20 year old man immediately jumps out of the driver's side and starts walking towards me. Anytime a driver approaches this quickly signals danger to me so I met him with gun drawn (this is why you should wait in your car with hands on the steering wheel and let the officer approach -unless instructed otherwise.)

He sees my gun pointed squarely at his chest and holds up his hands to show me his empty hands. I yell, "What the hell are you driving like that for?!"
"I just got robbed and was chasing the guy."
"Did you call 911 to report the robbery?"
I put my gun away and patted him down to make sure he wasn't armed.
"How were you robbed?", I ask.
"Well, this guy I know needed some money so I loaned him $120. Then he took off so I chased him to get it back."

It didn't take a genius to figure out this was not a robbery. To make sure he wasn't a victim I asked why he would chase a person he willingly loaned money to.

He paused for a moment (probably mentally planning the next lie) and said, "Well, after I gave him the money, he didn't tell me when he was going to pay me back so I chased after him to ask when would he pay me back."

I explained that loaning somebody money was not exactly 'robbery' and that the only crime committed was his driving. I told him I didn't believe his story and knew something else had happened. I suspected he had just been ripped off in a bad drug deal so I asked for his consent to search his pockets. He acted nervous and said he didn't thing there was any reason for that.

My Sergeant arrived as backup and kept an eye on the driver while I walked up to the passenger of the SUV. I asked him what happened but he was clueless. On the floor of the vehicle was a couple syringes, a shoelace, and a spoon with a sticky dark residue. I told my Sergeant in police jargon that I had spotted drug paraphernalia in plain view. This provided us with the probable cause to arrest the driver.

What a shock it was to find a small baggie of heroin in the driver's pocket. He swore it was fake and begged us to test it. On the way to the police station he told me he bought Heroin from a dealer a few days ago but when he and his friends used it, none of them felt anything. Suspecting they were sold phony drugs they called the dealer back to complain. The dealer said he sold them a bad batch by mistake but would make up for it by giving them a much larger quantity for $120. I happened to drive by just as the driver realized the drug dealer took the $120, walked to his car and drove away without giving him anything. He was chasing after him for being ripped off twice in the same week.

He told me several of his friends (many of them high schoolers) were addicted to Heroin and hoped his arrest would help him kick the habit.

If any of you readers are parents of teenage kids please talk to them about Heroin. I've arrested so many young kids hooked on this stuff and have seen even more adults living pathetic lives because of it. It's cheap, easy to find, and socially acceptable to use.