My wife woke me up at 5:30 this morning with a sharp elbow, saying someone was at the door. I stumbled down the stairs to find our neighbor, open Miller-Lite can in hand, talking about how he caught a guy breaking into our truck. Our other neighbor was at her door, we share a stoop, excitedly asking if the cops caught the guy. I excused myself to go put on pants, so I could join the fun outside.
I found the truck’s driver door open, we had mistakenly left the window open about three inches to let the air and passers-by into the cab. The center panel of the dash was off, the stereo was still there, the contents of the glove box were all over the passenger seat, and on the floor was a cell phone I have never seen before. Mr. Miller time told me how he saw the guy in the truck so he called 911, three times. A police car showed up coming the wrong way down our one way street, the burglar took off on a bicycle, and the cop went after him. Upon discovering the discarded phone, neighbor man began urging me to use it to call 911 again to get the cops back, or to call the last dialed number as he saw the guy in the truck using a phone.
I was scrolling through numbers in the phone when the cops came back.
The first guy back had a shaved head and a smirk on his face. “ya get ‘im?” inquired my also shaved headed, yet drunken, friend. “Yeah. Not me, but we got him down around the corner.” More cops began coming up the street, two squad cars in front of the house, one at the end of the block. They looked in the car again, asked me about how I left it, took the phone, and then began talking with each other about paperwork.
The original shaved head cop, who chased the burglar from the car, said, “we got the guy back in the car. You wanna work him over?” Two other cops who heard the offer volunteered, “Yeah, we didn’t see nothing”. My lady neighbor chuckled at the proposition saying, “not this guy. He aint’ one of those, not like us,” referring to me, as well as herself. She went back inside to put on coffee. The cops shrugged and asked the other neighbor, still nursing his beer, if he would come down to give a statement. “Naw, it’s his car,” again referring to me. A young cop smiled at the neighbor remarking, “5:30 and you’re still hangin in there?” “F you, I work third,” and he went back to his own stoop.
I agreed to go down to fill out the paperwork and crumpled myself into the unnapholstered back of a cop car. As the cop and I were in the elevator at the station I asked if that was a tazer in his belt. “He replied, “yeah, but I haven’t gotten to use it yet. Maybe if I can catch someone where no one can see.”
I answered two brief questions, signed my name at the bottom, and headed back home.
I was glad they caught the guy. The whole block is happy, the guy had gotten many of us before. I was grateful the cops showed up and caught him. Part of me wanted to take them up on their offer of some ‘alone time’ with the criminal, but the rest of me was thinking about the tazer, the offer, and what the morning would have been like if the cops were in a bad mood.